How to find the best TV viewing angle for your space

Struggling to achieve the perfect TV-to-sofa arrangement? We explore how to find the ideal viewing angles for your space

LG G2 TV mounted to the wall in airy living space with grey fabric sofa set and floor to ceiling windows
(Image credit: LG)

Want to rearrange your living space? Or are you perplexed by where to put that new TV that's much larger than your previous one? We all know that one of the most important things to consider when arranging your living space is how pieces relate to each other in the room, and technology is bound to be part of this calculation in any modern home.

So where should you put your sofa in relation to the TV? It's a question as old as home entertainment itself, but with new technology being released all of the time and screen sizes getting larger and larger, the answer is anything but simple.

The best viewing angle for any TV is going to be straight on, but this may be impossible for anyone other than solo dwellers with a single chair in the room. For everyone else, there will need to be some compromises made, and we outline some of the most important things to consider below.

Head over to our guide if you want to know more about the best TV brands on offer right now, and check out our expert living room TV ideas for more inspiration. 

LG G2 TV mounted to the wall above fireplace in large modern sitting room

(Image credit: LG)

Why do viewing angles matter?

If you've found yourself reading this article, then it's likely you already know that a bad TV-to-furniture configuration can mean the difference between enjoying a movie at home and straining to see anything from the corner of the room. If not, then you may be wondering why people are so obsessed with viewing angles in the first place.

These angles are measured in 'cones,' and the viewer should be sitting within this cone to get the best experience. Anything outside of this will result in a distorted picture, reduced contrast, and greater eye strain for the viewer. Generally speaking, because of the lack of a backlight, OLED screens have the best viewing angles with virtually no distortion wherever you choose to sit, but standard LED and QLED screens need a little more consideration.

According to TCL's advice, the sweet spot for most TVs is 40 degrees to the left or right, so we would advise you to stick within this range when choosing where to place your seating.

Samsung QN900B TV with soundbar and subwoofer sitting on dark wood TV stand opposite woman

(Image credit: Samsung)

Viewing distance

Getting the viewing distance right for your TV is quite a bit easier than viewing angles, and you can quickly calculate the optimal position based on the size of your TV and its resolution. According to Sony, you will want to be sitting back 1.5x the vertical height of a 4K or 8K TV. This translates to:

  • 55" - 3.28ft
  • 65" - 3.94ft
  • 75" - 4.60ft
  • 85" - 5.25ft

And so on. For HD models, the recommendation is to sit back 3x the verticle height of your TV. The measurements above are only a recommendation, though, as the height of your TV may be slightly different than the average used for these calculations.

Samsung The Frame 85-inch TV in Art Mode mounted to green kitchen wall

(Image credit: Samsung)

Is your TV multi-purpose?

For those who have their TV in a dedicated lounge space, the measures for viewing angles and distance are relatively simple, but what if you also want your TV to be visible from an open-plan kitchen or dining area? A large, multi-purpose space complicates the process, but finding the sweet spot is still possible.

If you spend the most time on one side of the kitchen, for example, try to place your seating adjacent (it's not so easy to switch the spot for your cooker and fridge!) and your TV on the opposite wall. You can also purchase an inexpensive TV mount that swivels, making it easy to reposition the TV when you're cooking and back again when you're ready for a cozy evening.

LG G1 TV in dark blue living room mounted above navy, white and copper TV stand

(Image credit: LG)

Check your TV's specs

Giving consumers the widest viewing angles possible is important to manufacturers, and so most brands now have televisions that add technology for this purpose. 'Art' TVs like Samsung's The Frame actually have matte finishes that pretty much eliminate screen glare, for example, and OLED TVs tend to offer better viewing angles than other technology.

If you're shopping for a new TV rather than trying to arrange a room, always check the promised viewing angles. If you're working with an existing set, do some research into what the manufacturer thinks should be possible for your model.

You can also play with the brightness, contrast, and backlight settings on your TV to better suit an awkward layout, but be aware that this may have the opposite effect of distorting the image for someone watching from head-on. 

LG QNED99 TV mounted to the wall in a bedroom with fireplace and seating area

(Image credit: LG)

Don't be afraid to break the 'rules'

Awkward-shaped living room? It may come down to trial and error to see where your TV and furniture work best for everyone. The 'rules' of TV placement are there for guidance, but everyone's habits and environment are different.

Always check that your TV position is based on how you actually sit comfortably, for example, as it's no use measuring from an upright position in the bedroom when you tend to watch lying down. If you're able, test potential positions with various family members and friends, and find a compromise that works for everyone.

Caroline Preece
Smart Homes Ecommerce Editor

Caroline is the smart home ecommerce editor for Livingetc, covering everything tech for the home, from smart speakers to air purifiers and everything in between. She is passionate about the role that technology and smart devices can play in daily life, enhancing the home without sacrificing personal style and carefully chosen interiors. In her spare time, she can be found tinkering with bulbs, soundbars, and video doorbells in an effort to automate every part of her small home. Previously, she lent her expertise to the likes of Expert Reviews, IT Pro, Coach, The Week, and more.