Moving and Packing Tips

How to Get a Sofa Through a Door

Moving house is hard enough as it is. It takes time and money, not to mention lots and lots of nerves. However, there’s one aspect that you can never anticipate, and that alone can quickly drive you up the wall – moving your sofa through the front door.

If the door’s width is greater than your sofa’s height, It wouldn’t be a problem for any sofa to go through. But if you’re in a position where you try everything, and the sofa just won’t fit, do not worry. Today you will learn how to get a sofa through a door.

So, if:

  • You’re moving out or moving in and your sofa won’t fit through the front door either way;
  • The feet of your sofa cannot be removed;
  • The more you try, the more you leave marks on the door frame,

Then read along!

Take measurements

Measure your sofa

Before you even think about moving a sofa through the door, save yourself the trouble and find a measuring tape. Measure the full dimensions and not just the width and height of your sofa. Write down the measurements so you don’t forget them.

  • Width – the distance between the two armrests.
  • Height – the distance from the floor to the top of the backrest. When you start from the floor you include the legs, which is important because sometimes they might be the only thing stopping the sofa from fitting through a door frame.
  • Depth – the distance from the back to the front of the sofa. To get the most accurate measurements, measure from the highest point of the backrest.
  • Diagonal depth – place a straight edge from the highest point of the backrest to the front part of the armrests. Now measure the distance from the bottom rear corner up to the point which intersects with the straight edge and you have diagonal depth

Measure your doorways

Now that you know the exact dimensions of your sofa, it’s time to move to the doorway. In this case, you only need to measure the height and width of all the doorframes where the sofa will be put through. If you live on the second floor or above, measure the size of the lift, as well as any staircases and railings. Also, if you have a sloping ceiling, measure its height so you know if the sofa will fit.

When you have those down, compare sizes with the sofa and you will know right away if the move will be easy or hard.

Dismantle the sofa to fit through the door (Optional)

Sometimes you have to dismantle the sofa so you can fit it through a door. it’s possible to take the sofa apart yourself. Unlike old sofas, where everything is built together as one big item, most newer models have detachable legs and armrests, however, it will not be noticeable right away.

  1. Remove the cushions and turn the sofa upside down. Look for screws around the legs and unscrew them. Some screws might only need to be unfastened.
  2. Remove the legs from the sofa frame. It might take a little effort to loosen them before removal.

If the legs are not enough to fit the piece through the door, go for the armrests. Check if there’s a gap between them and the seatback. If there is one, then likely they’re two separate parts which can be detached.

  1. Pull out the staples from under the sofa, so you can remove the covering. You can do this by using a flathead screwdriver and pliers.
  2. Roll the cover back so you can see the frame.
  3. Pull up the staples which hold the upholstery covering the armrests.
  4. Roll the upholstery until you manage to see the fasteners holding the armrests to the base.
  5. Unscrew the bolts holding the armrests.
  6. Remove the armrests.
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Inspect exit openings

It would be really frustrating to successfully fit the sofa through a narrow doorway only to find a radiator blocking it from the other side. That’s why you have to inspect the room first and get whatever you can out of the way. Radiators, obviously, would be impossible, while pieces of furniture should be moved to another part of the room so they won’t cause an obstruction.

Carpets should also be put into consideration as they are a different kind of obstacle. In the best-case scenario you should carry your sofa above the carpet, but if that is not an option, consider putting something between the sofa legs and carpet. For more information, check our post on how to move heavy furniture on carpet.

Remove doors

After removing any obstructions inside the room, you can also remove the doors. You’re not obligated to do this, but getting the sofa through the doorway would be easier if you take the door off first. Luckily, interior doors are lightweight, and taking them off their hinges won’t be such a problem.

This is how to remove an interior door

  1. Close the door;
  2. Place a nail punch below the first hinge pin;
  3. Tap the bottom of the hinge pin with a nail and hammer. Keep tapping until the hinge pin is about 2 centimetres out ;
  4. Grab the area below the head of the hinge pin with pointy-nosed pliers
  5. Tap the pliers up so the hinge pin becomes looser and eventually slides out;
  6. Repeat on the other hinge pin.

As an extra measure, you can also remove the door hinges and door stops. The hinges might tear the sofa fabric if the door frame is too narrow and you have to squeeze it in.

On the other hand, door stops, if they’re on the floor, can cause you to trip and fall whilst carrying the heavy sofa.

Ask for help when moving the sofa

Moving a sofa even from one floor to another, simple as it may sound, requires a minimum of 3 people. That way the chances of anybody getting a serious back injury from carrying a heavy piece of furniture or inflicting property damage gets reduced significantly. Keep in mind, none of you are professional movers, so the more friends you call and show up, the better.

If you fail to secure at least 3 people, don’t take up this task at all.

Learn more about our man and van London services by visiting our page.

Get the sofa through the door

Now that all initial preparations are carried out, you can proceed to move your sofa through the door.

  • Put on a pair of furniture gloves. These will give you a better grip and protect your hands from accidents.
  • Remove all cushions before lifting.
  • Lift the sofa from your knees and not your back to prevent possible injuries.
  • Lift the sofa by the frame.
  • For better and easier moving of large sofas or couches, use furniture sliders or lifting straps. Sliders prevent your floor or carpets from damage and make the sliding of the sofa easier, while straps make lifting the piece more efficient and easy on your hands.

Squeeze it in

The good thing about sofas is that, even though they seem large, they’re soft and thus can be squeezed through door frames and corridors. All you need to do is push and watch your fingers.

Move at an angle

If the sofa is too big to go through a small door, you’d have to move it at an angle even after all other obstacles are removed. Place the sofa on one end in a vertical position, with the seat side facing the door. Now, twist the piece as if it were walking through the doorway. If the door frame is too low, tilt back the sofa top a little and continue in the same manner until the entire piece is inside.

Another option is to move the sofa in a horizontal position but tilt it at an angle so that it forms the letter V. It will make the piece horizontally smaller and easier to manoeuvre around the frame.

Need a Mover?

Find professionals to take care of your sofa.

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Call professional movers

Moving and fitting sofas through tight spaces is a daunting task which shouldn’t be done by unqualified personnel due to the risk of serious injury. The movers Fantastic Services works with are highly experienced and qualified to dismantle and get any piece of furniture through different spaces. Whenever you’re doing a small move in London, be sure to check out our man and van services.


  • Always measure your sofa and door frames to see how one compares to the other.
  • Remove any items of furniture which might get in the way of the sofa.
  • Have enough helpers. 3 is the minimum, 5 is much better.
  • Dismantle the sofa if all else fails.


Do you have a move coming soon? How are you palling to move your sofa? Let us know with a comment below.

Image Source: Shutterstock / Andrey_Popov

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