Expert Answers: Furniture Dimensions

When reading furniture dimensions, which number is which? HANDY has the answer.

Q: When measurements are given for a piece of furniture (for example, 24 x 30 x 25 in.), which figure refers to which dimension? - Bernadette Scutaro, Milan, NY

A: Furniture measurements typically are expressed in the sequence height, width, depth. Height is always listed first. But confusion can occur because the terms width and depth are not always intuitive. Consider a coffee table that’s 24 in. from front to back and 48 in. from end to end. It would be natural to think of the 24-in. dimension as the width and the 48-in. dimension as the length. But most manufacturers would list the table size as height x width (48 in.) x depth (24 in.). In addition, the term length often is employed instead of depth, in which case width can refer to the dimension that would otherwise be expressed as depth. By visualizing the object, however, you can usually deduce which measurement is which. - HANDY