How to Measure for Recliner Covers

When your favorite recliner is no longer fit for company or doesn’t fit your new decor scheme, your only option may be to make some recliner covers. Before you get excited about ordering recliner covers online, ensure you have measured your recliner correctly, as there are many different recliner shapes and sizes. 

Thankfully, Kovi Fabrics has the best guide on measuring your recliner, using their yardage calculator, and ordering the right fabric in the required number of yards. 

Measuring Your Recliner 

When you are ready to measure your recliner, be sure to measure twice, write down the exact measurement per panel (a picture of your recliner helps), and add allowances for extra-large recliners. After all, you want to order the right number of yards of upholstery fabric and not struggle with ordering more when it’s gone out of stock or is no longer in production. 

What Do You Need to Measure Your Recliner?

To measure your recliner, you will need the following:

  • Pen 
  • Paper 
  • A flexible measuring tape 
  • Calculator (if the math has you stumped)
  • A little drawing skills

4 Steps to Measure Your Recliner

When measuring your recliner, start with a basic drawing of the recliner. This drawing doesn’t need to be done according to scale. Instead, you will transfer the measurements you take to the drawing, which will help you calculate how many yards of fabric you need (or the size of the slipcover). 

Step One: Upright Measurements 

Close your recliner into the upright position. It should be in the “chair” position as this provides you with the highest point the recliner will be at. Now, measure from the top of the recliner back to the bottom edge, just above the feet of the recliner. This is your recliner height, so write it down on your drawing in the same position as where you measured. 

Be sure to record all your measurements in inches. Be exact, and don’t round up or down on the measurement. 

Step Two: Width Measurements

Find the widest part of your recliner across the two armrests. Some recliners slope inward toward the back, while others are entirely square. Be sure to keep the upholstery and extra armrest padding in mind. Most often, the widest part will be at the front of the armrests, where your hands would rest if seated in the recliner. 

Measure the distance from the right armrest’s outer edge to the left armrest’s outer edge. Record this distance on your drawing in inches. This is the width of your recliner.

Step Three: Reclined Measurement

Next, open your recliner into the furthest reclining setting your recliner can go into. Some recliners can open into a bed-like horizontal tilt, while others have only one or two settings. This is the longest position your recliner will occupy. 

Now, measure the distance between the top of the recliner’s back edge and the tip of the footpad or footrest at the other end. Write down this distance in inches on your drawing. 

Step Four: Measuring Extras

Some recliners don’t have a footrest built-in but come with a loose ottoman. This can be challenging if you order a recliner slipcover online because you don’t want the matching ottoman to no longer match the recliner. However, most manufacturers of quality slipcovers will have the same fabric on the bolt (on the roll) as the slipcover and can design a slipcover for the ottoman too. 

So how do you measure an ottoman? It’s not difficult at all. 

Simply measure the distance between the left and right sides of the ottoman (which will be the width). 

Next, measure the distance between the front and back of the ottoman (which is the length). Finally, measure the distance from the upper edge of the ottoman to the floor or to the area just above the ottoman’s feet (this is your height). 

Top Tips for Ordering the Right Recliner Covers

No two slipcovers are ever the same. The fabric chosen and the design of the slipcover will contribute to how well it fits and whether it still fits nicely when you sit in your recliner and open it into a reclining position. Here are some tips to help you choose recliner covers you won’t regret. 

1. Fabric Is Everything 

Be sure to order some samples of the fabric you are considering for a recliner slipcover. It’s pointless to order a slipcover that’s made of fabric you don’t enjoy sitting on. Is the fabric sample rough or elastic? Does it make you feel itchy? 

When shopping for clothes in a store, you would feel the fabric first. You wouldn’t consider buying that clothing item if it instantly leaves you feeling itchy or icky. The same applies to a recliner slipcover. It needs to be made from a comfortable fabric. 

2. Choose an Elastic Cover

If you’re not 100% sure of the size of your recliner or it has odd dimensions, then an elastic fabric slipcover is a good option. With an elasticated fabric, the slipcover is more forgiving and may fit better. As a downside to this, elasticated fabric slipcovers tend to move on the recliner, so you may have to add a few hidden ties to hold it in place. 

3. Use a Fabric Yardage Calculator

If you don’t like measuring things, opting for a fabric yardage calculator is a good bet. Simply match your recliner to a similar recliner on the yardage calculator, click the image, and get the yardage you will need to order if you are having your slipcover custom-made. 

Final Covers

Choosing a quality slipcover should get the same consideration and attention to detail as paying for a full reupholstery project. Your slipcover can last for years if it’s quality and fits your recliner well. 

Recliner covers protect your furniture from mishaps and help prolong the recliner’s life while you raise your children or potty-train puppies. Once life returns to normal, your recliner’s glorious original upholstery will still be there, waiting for you.

Leave a Comment