'Ergonomic' home theater seating on a LOWWW budget (what did you say?) - AVS Forum | Home Theater Discussions And Reviews
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post #1 of 1 Old 08-08-2014, 09:24 PM - Thread Starter
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'Ergonomic' home theater seating on a LOWWW budget (what did you say?)

Sorry for Too Much Information but hey it's me again, I blab.

Shopping for home theater/living room seating is an ordeal. Most furniture is painful for me to sit on let alone shop for.

I am 5'10" and have spine problems that require very firm solid ergonomic support. Due to the unruly ergonomics of living room furniture in local showrooms I decided to go with home theater seating. Then I hit a wall of my own ignorance. The closest store with 'real' home theater seating is 30 miles away. Will check it out soon.

Motors that jiggle flab and refrigerated lighted drink holders are last on my list of priorities although trays are OK.

I tried Craigslist used ads. Most are manual recline and not interesting. Only Craigslist ads of interest are out-of-production, out-of-business power recliners of dubious pedigree with no trays that are difficult to find out anything about their quality and probably have broken-down foam and springs already if not failing motors. Worse still is the lack of correlation between cost and comfort in these products at the higher end that I see people complaining about on this forum. How would I ever know, going out to look at something while clueless? I thought there was a great deal I just missed, but I really do not know for sure because even at 40% off, is an out-of-business display model 4 years old a good deal compared to modern merchandise? How would I know whether to buy or not even if I happened to be the first responder?

My fallback solution is a new, Flexsteel 2-section power recliner sofa. Advantage is being able to recline while seated in the middle (provided left and right halves are set the same), or lay sideways across the seat since the foam cushions are flat on top rather than countoured. Disadvantage is the hole under the lumbar area at the gap between seat and back that opens up as soon as one 'sinks in' and worsens in recline. Also the front-to-back steel spring webbing forms a semi-cylindrical sling that compresses the bottom front-to-back and I noticed this effect although it was less offensive than serpentine spring webbing compressing the bottom in all directions. This was the highest-priced and essentially only solution I could find at 'furniture store' that actually looks like it might work out for me in my space.

Anyway, the main reason I checked out the Flexsteel was that this room doubles as home theater and living room, and sometimes it is nice to just sprawl sideways on a sofa. If I go with home theater seating, it has to be comfortable enough to sleep on when reclined because it will be taking up the space where a sofa normally goes. I doubt many affordable options accomplish that.

Even considering Berklines available at closeout pricing online I find I know nothing about them except some say they are great and others say they are uncomfortable but the 12006 looks promising because A it is available B it is on sale C it is narrow so how would it stack up against something similarly priced, anyone have experience w/it, and where can I find one in the SF East Bay to try out? Is 38.5" enough height to support the head of someone 5'10" with cervical spine issues? Will it still be enough even after slipping a piece of panelling in/under the cushions to firm up the frame?

Hoping for a curved row of 3 or a curved row of 4 with loveseat in the middle. The sweet spot is a priority so no sense wasting it with an armrest. Still thinking about that Flexsteel and being able to lay across it or sit three with the middle seat reclined. Wondering if a custom straight row 4-seat power reclining 'sofa' with no intermediate arms is an option? Or am I just making a fool of myself now? How nice to be able to recline four modestly-sized people like me, or to be able to sprawl across all four recliners after they leave! Now that is space saving but is it economical? Obviously it would require the widest available seats and probably expen$ive...

OK back to bottom line.

Need thick firm foam seat pads with no gap between seat and back, and solid lumbar support in the backrest, not loose webbed frame that sags or serpentine springs that collapse like the bench seat in your 1970 sedan. Not sold on pocket coils yet, either for evenness of support or for long-term reliability, though I could maybe be convinced. 'Used' to a memory foam bed, hoping to emulate without $inking the $hip.

The room is shallow at 168"Wx144"Dx96"H. A curved sectional would fit OK as a wedge in front of the surround towers if I could find a sectional with a 45 degree bend but they are all 90 degree bends or oddly contoured chaises that I saw, and built like marshmallows. Some of the cheaper 'futon' designs are now platform and clever! but they are made for kids, with cheap thin foam cushions sewn on, manual recline, low backs and no footrest.

So that leaves me looking at a curved row of 3 or 4 home theater power recliners. The curve is gentle so the limitation is they must be narrow enough to fit between the side surround towers rather than in front. Regardless of other considerations, 4 seats will be a tight fit and unworkable with some wider models.

I still like the idea of a straight row power recliner with 4 recliners and no intermediate arm rests. It would be the best use of my space.

There is 123" and essentially zero wiggle room extra between the left and right side surround towers. The front of the seats must fit between these towers, whereas the rear of the seats could be wider, but hopefully not much because I would like to align the center seat on the sweet spot between the towers. Yes I know this is too close and 3 seats is probably a better choice. Still... I might go for one extra at the right price.

At this point I am looking at either a used solution or an innovative solution. A line of credit for multiple thousands worth of customized furniture is not the best option today. This may limit innovation.

One other option I toyed with was getting a nice fixed chaise with pillow. It seemed to be just about the right height and angle and it sure was pretty. Unfortunately it leaves not much room for a sofa. It sure looks and feels nice though. Anyone else ever tried a fixed chaise as a home theater seat? Once you get it lined up, it never needs readjusting... right? The angle seemed about right. Tried to sit on it for as long as possible in the store and never felt uncomfortable...

There must be some story out there about fixed chaises someone can share? Custom row of 3 or 4 seats of power recliners with no intermediate arm rests? Ultra-firm platform-emulating home theater seating with good lumbar support throughout recline? Deals too good to pass up that can be made to work? Anything?

Thanks for reading.
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