Buying Guides

Well positioned furniture in a lounge

Measuring up for furniture

If you’re buying new furniture, it’s important to check all your room measurements ready for when you order.

This guide will show you how to work with the space you have – no matter how large or small.

Living room

When you buy new furniture, it’s important to make sure that it’s in proportion to the rest of the room. To check, map out the space using newspaper, or mark out your floor with masking tape.

  • Leave yourself enough space to walk around the room comfortably
  • Try not to overcrowd the space so you can retain a spacious look and feel
  • If you choose a sofa bed or recliner, check that there's enough room for it in its extended position

Be sure the furniture will fit through the door when we deliver it. If you think it's going to be tricky, take a look at furniture that's partial or full assembly. Many of our sofas come with removable feet or bolt-on arms which makes access to your property a lot easier; this information can be found listed on each sofa product page.

For more information, see our sofa and chairs buying guide.

Dining room

When selecting furniture for your dining room, leave enough space to be able to manoeuvre when sitting at the table. We’d recommend leaving a gap of roughly 60cm between the back of your dining chair and the wall or nearest piece of furniture.

Extending tables are an excellent option as on a day to day basis you can have a smaller table, adding the extensions when family and friends come around.

All of our dining tables come with the legs removed to allow access into your home


Consider whether a fully assembled item of furniture or one that requires partial assembly is best for you. Self-assembly furniture is an excellent choice if your home has restricted access because it comes in smaller parts.

We often remove legs from assembled furniture to reduce the possibility of transit damage.

Tall pieces of furniture may need to be assembled on the floor and then lifted up, so do check that there's sufficient ceiling height for this


We recommend that freestanding furniture over 60cm in height is attached to the wall for added safety and security. This is extremely important when babies and children have access, particularly if they want to reach an item over their height and try to use furniture to climb up on.

Think about the type of wall that your furniture will be positioned against and make sure you use the correct wall fixings. It's best to plan this prior to buying your furniture when you're considering the best place for it.


Bed sizes and names can vary depending on who you shop with, so do check you're ordering the correct size. All of our mattresses are UK standard sizes - see the table below.

We can also make mattresses to bespoke specifications; please ask in your local John Lewis & Partners shop for further details.

a bedroom design

Mattress sizes


Small single

W75 x L190


W90 x L190

Small double

W120 x L190


W135 x L190


W150 x L200

Super kingsize

W180 x L200

Super kingsize zipped and linked

W180 x L200

If you're buying a divan or bed frame with drawers, check that
there's adequate space to pull them out and access the contents. If you're short of space but want
to make the most of the storage your bed base can offer, consider a lift-up storage bed.

Bed frames are always marginally larger than a divan because the
mattress sits within the frame rather than on top of it.

Care of your furniture

When working out what space you have, remember to also to take into account the surroundings and environment.  Direct sunlight and proximity to radiators can cause damage or increased wear to your furniture.

For more information, visit the Care sections in these buying guides:

aerial view of a table and chairs