What is Too High for a TV? The Expert Guide on Ideal TV Mounting Height

Mounting your TV at the proper height is crucial for getting the best viewing experience. But what exactly is too high for a TV? This definitive guide will walk you through the ideal placement and factors to consider when deciding where to mount your flat screen.

The Basic Rule – Eye Level is Best

The most fundamental guideline that experts agree on is that you want the center of your TV screen to be at eye level when seated in your normal viewing position. As Chris Heinonen, TV reviewer at Wirecutter, explains:

"The center of the TV should be at or just below eye level when you‘re seated. This typically ends up being around 42 inches from the floor to the center of the screen."

This eye level height reduces strain on your eyes and neck compared to looking up or down for extended viewing.

Aiming for the Bottom Third

A good way to double check your placement is the "bottom third rule." As described by Kyle Schurman of Business Insider:

"You want your eyes to hit around the bottom third of the TV screen when seated. So measure up from the floor to about one-third the total height of your TV screen."

Most of the important visual elements are centered in this bottom portion of the frame. Aligning your gaze here when relaxed on the couch gives you a comfortable TV watching experience.

Tweaks Based on Your Furniture

The 42 inch eye level guideline may need to be adjusted based on your room setup:

  • Above a higher media console or dresser, mount a bit lower.
  • If mounting above a fireplace, raise the height a few inches higher than eye level.
  • When wall mounting above shorter furniture like a sofa table, go higher than the standard height.

The key is to achieve that straight-ahead gaze for your normal sitting position.

Consider the Ideal Viewing Distance

Another factor in choosing the right mounting height is viewing distance. The further you sit from the TV, the higher it should be placed to achieve eye level viewing.

Follow the below recommended distances and adjust height accordingly:

  • 55" TV – 7 to 11.5 feet distance
  • 60" TV – 7.5 to 12.5 feet distance
  • 65" TV – 8 to 13.5 feet distance
  • 70" TV – 9 to 14.5 feet distance

Standing vs. Seated Viewing

Do you mostly watch TV while standing in your kitchen or seated in the living room? If you primarily view from a standing position, you may want to place the TV a bit higher than the standard guidelines.

Just don‘t let occasional standing viewing impact the height for normal seated viewing positions. You can always angle the screen down slightly for better upright viewing.

Using Adjustable Wall Mounts

Installing your flat screen on an adjustable wall mounting bracket lets you fine tune the ideal height:

  • Tilt the TV down for standing viewing
  • Raise or lower to get the perfect placement
  • Easily change viewing angle

Models like the Full Motion Articulating mount give you maximum positioning flexibility.

The Right Placement in the Room

Don‘t just center the TV on a wall without thought. Instead, logically place it based on:

  • Primary seating locations – optimize viewing angle for couches or beds.
  • Avoiding glare from windows by adjusting left or right.
  • Traffic flow in the room.
  • Balancing aesthetics and focal points.

Ignore Store TVs – They Don‘t Reflect Real Home Usage

TVs on display in retail stores are designed to stand out in a brightly lit environment. They are calibrated differently than a TV properly set up for home use:

  • Higher brightness settings fatigue eyes over time.
  • More vivid color wears you out compared to normal viewing.
  • You don‘t get a real sense of the picture quality.

Follow in-home guidelines instead for ideal long-term TV viewing.

Key Takeaways

To summarize the key recommendations on TV mounting height:

  • Center the screen at around 42 inches from the floor – eye level height when seated.
  • Adjust up or down based on your furniture and viewing distance.
  • Use an adjustable mount to fine tune placement.
  • Consider optimal viewing angles and room layout.
  • Don‘t use retail store displays as a height reference.

Properly mounting your flat screen at the ideal height takes some planning – but it‘s worth it for a TV viewing experience that won‘t strain your eyes or neck. Follow these expert guidelines, and you can sit back, relax, and enjoy your brand new television.Hey there! Finding the ideal height for your new TV is crucial to get that perfect viewing experience in your home. Mount too high and you‘ll get neck strain looking up. Too low and it will feel awkward.

Don‘t worry – I‘ve got you covered with the ultimate guide on optimizing your TV height. In this detailed breakdown, we‘ll dig into the many factors that impact ideal placement.

Ready? Let‘s do this.

The Basic Rule – Eye Level is Best

The most basic guideline from experts is to place the center of your TV screen at eye level when seated in your primary viewing spot.

As Chris Heinonen, longtime TV reviewer at Wirecutter, recommends:

"The center of the TV should be at or just below eye level when you‘re seated. This typically ends up being around 42 inches from the floor to the center of the screen."

This eye level standard applies across screen sizes – whether you have a small 32" screen or a massive 75" display.

Placing the center at around 42” high allows a slight downward gaze for comfortable long-term viewing. You avoid constant tilting of your head or straining your neck muscles.

According to ergonomic guidelines from OSHA, your eye gaze should be angled downward between 15 to 30 degrees when relaxed. A TV height with the center at 42” aligns perfectly with this ideal angle.

Pro Tip: Use a tape measure to determine the seated eye level of viewers in your home. This gives you a tailored mounting height for your family instead of a generic 42” standard.

Fact Checking With the "Bottom Third" Rule

Once you‘ve mounted your flat screen TV based on eye level guidelines, you can double check the height using the "bottom third rule."

Interior designer Kyle Schurman of Decoist describes this quick way to validate your placement:

“You want your eyes to hit around the bottom third of the TV screen when seated. Measure up from the floor to about one-third the total height of your TV screen."

Why the bottom third? Most of the visual action in movies and TV shows happens in the center of the frame. Having your natural gaze align with this bottom third when relaxed on the couch provides an optimal viewing experience.

You avoid constantly looking up and down to see faces, text, and other on-screen elements.

According to pioneers in home theater standards THX, the ideal placement puts your eyes 2/3 of the way up the screen. This aligns perfectly with the one-third floor distance guideline.

Tweak Height Based on Your Furniture

The 42” eye level measurement is just a starting point for determining TV height. From there, you need to consider your room layout.

If mounting above a media console or dresser, you may need to adjust lower. For example, with a taller seven-foot media cabinet, you might lower the center of a 65 inch TV to around 36 inches.

Conversely, if your TV sits above a short console or sofa table, go higher than the baseline to achieve eye level gaze.

And be sure to account for the height of your sofa or chairs! A taller seat means you need to bump up the mount to keep that relaxing straight-ahead view.

Above a fireplace, increase the standard height by a few inches to counter the mantel. You want to minimize extreme neck craning when viewing from your living room sofa.

Pro Tip: Use stacks of books on your media console to mimic the exact height of a wall mounted TV. Check that your eyes align with the bottom third before permanent installation.

The key is dialing in the height based on your furniture and space. Don‘t just blindly stick to 42 inches without considering room context.

Ideal Viewing Distance for Eye Strain-Free TV Watching

Proper viewing distance also plays a crucial role in optimizing TV height.

The further you sit from the screen, the higher the placement should be to achieve eye level viewing alignment.

Here are the recommended distances based on screen size from THX home cinema standards:

Screen Size Optimal Viewing Distance
55" 7 to 11.5 feet
60" 7.5 to 12.5 feet
65" 8 to 13.5 feet
70" 9 to 14.5 feet

These distances give you the full immersive experience without your eyes working overtime.

Why does distance matter? Sitting too close strains your eyes to focus and scan across a wider field of view. If the TV fills too much of your visual field, you feel overwhelmed and fatigued.

The American Academy of Ophthalmology recommends a viewing distance of at least 5 feet for a 55” screen. But more distance is ideal for fully relaxing your eye muscles during an evening of Netflix binging.

Standing vs. Seated Viewing

Do you mostly watch TV while kicking back on the couch? Or do you spend time prepping meals and washing dishes while catching up on the news?

Viewing position impacts ideal mounting height. If you frequently view from a standing position in the kitchen, place the TV a few inches higher than standard seated guidelines.

You can always angle the screen down slightly with an adjustable wall mount for better upright head-on viewing.

Just don‘t let occasional standing viewing drive the height you choose for primary seating areas like your living room sofa. Optimize first for your most common sitting positions to avoid neck strain.

Adjustable Wall Mounts Offer Flexible Viewing Options

Installing your flat screen TV on an adjustable wall mounting bracket provides maximum options to refine viewing height and angle:

  • Tilt the TV down for standing viewing in the kitchen.
  • Swivel left or right for optimal side-to-side viewing angles.
  • Extend outward from the wall for the perfect distance.
  • Raise or lower to micro adjust the ideal placement.

This flexibility is especially helpful for tricky viewing contexts like above a fireplace or in a corner. Products like the Full Motion articulating mount by Mount-It give you limitless positioning possibilities.

Downsides? Adjustable mounts cost more than fixed models. And installation takes a bit longer allowing for leveling and positioning. But the viewing benefits outweigh the minor negatives.

Picking the Right Placement Within a Room

When deciding precisely where to mount your TV within a room, consider these factors:

  • Primary seating positions – optimize viewing angle for couches or beds before finalizing placement.
  • Avoiding glare from windows by shifting left or right of center.
  • Traffic flow to avoid bumping into the screen when walking about.
  • Overall aesthetics and focal points in the space.

In many cases, simply centering the TV on a wall looks a bit odd. Use the flexibility of wall mounting to find the sweet spot for both form and function.

TV Too High? Signs of Poor Mounting Height

How can you tell if your existing TV is mounted too high? Watch out for these indicators:

  • Constantly craning your neck upwards leading to strain.
  • Difficulty seeing faces and text on screen clearly.
  • Hunching your shoulders while watching.
  • Reclining your head back into the sofa.
  • Eyes getting fatigued more quickly during viewing sessions.

If you notice these symptoms, your TV is likely placed too high for comfortable long-term viewing. Follow this guide‘s recommendations to remedy the issue.

Ignore Deceptive Retail Store Displays

On a trip to buy a TV, don‘t use retail store displays as examples of ideal mounting height!

Store demo TVs are configured to stand out in a harshly lit environment vying for attention. They use settings optimized for short duration viewing, not extended 2-3 hour movie nights.

Store displays are calibrated with:

  • Extra bright backlighting leading to eye strain.
  • Cranked up contrast fatiguing your vision.
  • Vivid colors that overwhelm in a home setting.

While striking at first, these overly bright and saturated demos won‘t provide an accurate sense of picture quality and viewing comfort.

Let the guidelines in this article lead you to better in-home placement.

Technical Aspects That Impact Mounting Height

A few key specs can influence ideal TV viewing height and distance:

  • Resolution – With 8K screens, you can move closer to see additional detail vs. 4K or 1080p.
  • Pixel density – Smaller screen sizes packed with pixels also allow moving nearer without pixelation.
  • HDR – High dynamic range content is designed for closer viewing to appreciate enhanced contrast.

But simpler is often better. Don‘t get overwhelmed pixel peeping. Focus first on comfortable viewing based on these best practice recommendations.

The Diminishing Returns of Bigger Screens

Beware falling into the trap of constantly upgrading to larger screens:

  • Moving from 50” to 60” has a noticeable impact, but…
  • Going from 70” to 80” is less remarkable despite the cost.

Our visual acuity can only appreciate so much detail and sharpness as screens grow bigger. And large screens need more distance which reduces immersion.

Consider your usage, room size, and seating before deciding between a 70" or 80" behemoth. Bigger is not always better when it comes to TVs.

Projecting Screen Size Based on Viewing Distance

Want to geek out on the ideal screen size for your room‘s seating? Use this viewing angle calculation:

  • Measure viewing distance from your eyes to the wall.
  • Plug into this formula: Tan(x degrees/2) = (1/2 screen height) / (viewing distance)
  • For example: Tan(30 degrees/2) = (18 inch screen height/2) / (10 foot distance)
  • Gives you a 26" ideal screen size for a 10‘ distance.

Adjust the angle from 30 to 40 degrees based on personal preference for more or less immersive experience. Now you can mathematically nerd out on screen size!

Key Takeaways

Let‘s recap the core guidelines:

  • Mount center of TV at around 42” high – seated eye level.
  • Tweak height based on furniture size and viewing position.
  • Calculate ideal distance to prevent eye strain.
  • Use adjustable mounts for maximum flexibility.
  • Ignore deceptively configured retail store demos.

With these tips in mind, you can confidently mount your TV at the optimal height and distance for your space and usage.

I hope this detailed breakdown gives you everything you need to maximize viewing comfort in your home theater. Let me know if you have any other questions!

How useful was this post?

Click on a star to rate it!

Average rating 0 / 5. Vote count: 0

No votes so far! Be the first to rate this post.