It may seem a strange notion but sofa legs can cause some problems. Let’s rephrase that… sofa height can cause some problems.
If you’re particularly tall, a sofa or chair can be really uncomfortable if it’s too low. And if you’re particularly tall you might find that every sofa is too low and uncomfortable. So, what are the options for changing your sofa height?
Does a Sofa Need Legs At All?
It’s really a question for less tall people, or those looking for a particular style, for example the style of Japanese furniture is traditionally very low.
Historically sofas were merely cushions placed on the ground. It was a comfort thing. The floor was hard and cushions were soft. And the idea of raising sofas off the ground came later as culturally people no longer wanted to be associated with the floor, which was seen as dirty.
These days a modern sofa is around 18” from the floor to the top of the seat, but the actual sitting position is also determined by the cushion material. Down will cause the sitter to sink more than a firmer, latex material.
But there are other reasons why legs are useful on a sofa.
They make your sofa more stable, they make it easier to sit on and they stop it getting damaged.
A sofa with legs is better rooted than cushions on the floor. Having those four legs means there’s a much lower risk of sliding around Even for a smaller person having to stoop near to the floor to get onto your seat is going to be tricky. If you’re tall or have problems with mobility, or say, you’re pregnant, a lower seat is going to prove a real problem.
When a sofa is sitting at ground level there’s also a much greater chance of damage to the material and dust getting caught in the fibres.
How to Make Your Sofa Taller
People commonly use those small raisers to increase the height of a sofa. If you’ve not seen them they’re a little like the plastic pots with string that children use as miniature stilts. The furniture versions don’t have the string, but do sit underneath the existing sofa legs and raise them a few inches.
But it’s generally agreed they don’t look so nice. Actually they’ve been described as downright ugly. And as style is as much a reason for picking a sofa as comfort, how it looks is seriously important.
So a better way might be to swap out the legs entirely.
Not only does swapping out the legs for larger ones mean an easy and stylish refurbishment, but it also means you can add a few inches in height without too much trouble. You are essentially customising your sofa to meet your height requirements. Flat-pack favourite Ikea has a range of sofa legs in different sizes that can usually be adapted to your sofa height needs.
If you can’t swap out the legs then a riser might be the only option. But what’s to stop you making your own so they are a little more stylish than the plastic ones?
You can add blocks of wood underneath your existing legs, but ones that are stylish and have been painted or stained by you to perfectly match the room and existing sofa. Try 4x4x4 inch blocks, but don’t just place wooden blocks under your existing sofa legs. You’d need to sand the blocks smooth and then drill a hole around an inch deep into the blocks for the existing legs to sit comfortably inside. You want to make the holes slightly larger than the bottom of the legs.
Sofa Height is Important
Manufacturers rarely offer interchangeable legs that are designed to match the existing sofa itself. There’s just no customisation. And it’s definitely interchangeable that you want, not just adjustable. The latter will likely mean a telescopic style leg that can be screwed or unscrewed to the desired height. Great for functionality, but it’s going to be pretty terrible when it comes to aesthetics.
Humans come in all sizes, but sofas generally don’t. If your sofa is uncomfortable because it’s the wrong size for you it might be easier than you think to fix.