Leather vs Fabric Sofa

Leather or Fabric Sofa?

leather vs fabric sofa

If you are having a hard time deciding between a leather and fabric sofa, it is no wonder. It is a big deal buying a sofa, as it is a central point in the household where we get to spend quality time with those we are close to. We want to make the right decision and buy a sofa that is a perfect fit for our needs and wants, matches our interior décor and won’t leave us with any regrets because or oversights on our part before purchasing.

It is pretty obvious that when comparing a leather or fabric sofa, both will have pros and cons. With all of the options sofa makers currently have available on the market, It doesn’t make it any easier to choose which one is better. However we have listed here some important points to highlight the benefits and disadvantages of both materials and help you to make your decision. Leather or fabric sofa, which one is better?

Durability – leather vs fabric sofa

There is a saying that leather wears in and fabric wears out, which many of us would probably think rings true.

Leather, overall is a very durable material. Sofa makers know this, and the products they build with it are meant to last a very long time and tend to be more premium quality products because of it. It can however, be scratched quite easily by animals or sharp edged objects. Once this has occurred, it may not necessarily affect its longevity, but may detract from the beauty and feeling that leather furniture brings into your living space.

Some leather can also be susceptible to cracking or splitting in certain conditions. For example, some modern leather sofas may not like being in hot concentrated sunlight for long periods of time, maybe more so if they are covered in darker colored upholstery. Usually spills and dirt don’t present too much of a problem and they can easily be wiped off. Leather sofas also tend to look much better as they age, taking on a look and class all of their own. Aging brings out the best in leather sofas over time, and this is what many people believe is their value and what makes them a sound investment.

Fabric can often prove to be a much harder proposition material to clean than leather if stained. It should be noted though, many sofa makers these days choose to make modern sofas upholstered in fabric with a stain resistant coating or a material resistant to spills and stains. Another issue with fabric is that it may absorb odors such as smoke or animal odors if your pets lie on them. They can also be susceptible to harboring dust mites which you need to look out for. Some fabric sofas come equipped with removable covers so that they can be cleaned more easily.

General tips

To solve some of the issues mentioned here, you could add a removable cover or a simple throw, which can also add to the decor.

Look to buy a sofa with a scotchgard fabric to improve the water resistance and prevent damage. Not all sofa makers have this option, but some do, so you will have to check.

Nyle Charcoal Fabric Sofa Bed with Chrome Legs

A refreshing, clean, minimalist look for your living space that will completely transform the look and feel. That’s what you get with the Nyle from Zuri. The clean straight lines and contemporary style are most certain to add something unique into your room. The Nyle comes in a shade of navy blue upholstery with perfectly matched rounded chrome feet. Being a modular set, it is quite the versatile piece for creating your own look and feel for your interior. Definitely check out this fabulous contemporary sectional in its beautiful blue fabric.

most comfortable couches - Nyle from Zuri


Cost of leather vs fabric sofa

Generally modern leather sofas would be about two to three times the price of fabric sofa, but could outlast them by up to four times as long. Good fabrics, leathers and framing are expensive. More often than not, a similar leather piece will cost you more as buying a high quality fabric sofa. Leather sofas often are heavier, the leather weighs more and they usually have more robust frames for support. These all add to the cost as well as leather just being a pricier material.

When talking about cost comparison, you would have to measure the leather or fabric sofa by the overall quality. So, the cost of both types of sofas is determined by the quality and the quality is determined by the construction and materials used and what they have to offer us in the longterm. The best strategy to follow in this regard, is to compare features such as ease of cleaning, comfort and durability. When making your decisions, take into account your own preferences.

VIG Furniture Divani Casa Contemporary Black and White Leather Sectional

The Divani Casa sectional has a striking, contemporary look that can’t help but add style and comfort to anyones living space. It’s stunning looks and design make it a most suitable choice to fit in well in many home settings. It’s key features are a stainless steel frame for longterm strength and durability, and it being a big, spacious unit that offers a high level of comfort as well. This very functional Black and White Bonded Leather Sectional Sofa is most likely not like any other you have seen before. A most comfortable modern sofa from Zuri furniture that leaves a lasting impression.

VIG furniture - leather sofa company

Maintenance – leather vs fabric sofa

Maintenance  is a very important  aspect to consider as it can help greatly with the life expectancy.

Leather is generally easy to clean with a damp cloth and is stain resistant. It does require some more specialized care compared with fabric though. Some types may need to have a leather conditioner applied from time to time. This can add to the cost. It is important to keep leather clean. They are also more  vulnerable to scratches and humidity than their fabric counterparts.

Sofa fabrics have different lifespans before wearing and tearing depending on the quality of the material. Of course, it goes without saying the better materials last longer. The cleaning products for fabric are usually cheap. Many of todays fabric sofas have a stain resistant finish or material, making cleaning so much easier.

For those that don’t, you should take care to clean them promptly. You can take care of general spills with a cloth or with a sponge and soap. Sometimes manufacturers may give instructions on how best to deal with cleaning procedures. Make sure to take note. Keep in mind that if the fabric is not of a premium quality, you might have a difficult time removing the stains.

Maintenance tips

Leather:  Use a conditioner when recommended by the manufactures. Wipe spills up straight away with a clean cloth. Avoid using normal soaps, detergents, solvents etc, which can harm the finish.

Fabric : Regularly vacuum clean in crevices or along the bottom to clean your furniture as dust and fluff can accumulate.

Both leather and fabric sofa :  Make sure to protect your furniture from direct sun light. Colors can fade to some degree if exposed to longterm sun.

Homelegance Piping Trim Linen Like Fabric Sofa in Grey

This is a beautiful example of a fabric sofa that offers a distinctive, classic look for your home. Available in 4 trendy colors of teal, grey, yellow and beige. Let your decorative personality shine. The Structural piping trim enhances this modern sofas classic clean cut style. It features an arm rest and supportive backrest for maximum comfort. It can be bought with a matching love seat and chair.

Home elegance grey sofa

Comfort Level – leather vs fabric sofa

There are many determining  factors in the level of comfort provided by our furniture. The type of construction materials,  in and outside,  and the support system, such as cushions and frames play a major role here. In this case, many would be inclined to say that the fabric pieces are more comfortable than their leather counterparts for several reasons.

The main one is that the feel of fabric is more pleasant than leather.  Just like your car seat, leather absorbs heat a lot faster than fabric. If it is a darker colour in a sunny room, this could be problematic as it is possible in some instances to be able to burn the skin. Even when it is warm, some complain of it feeling sticky on the skin. At the other end of the scale, when it is cold weather, a leather couch can take a while to warm up. Another complaint with the comfort of them is that some people feel the surface of them is too slippery. They can slide down on them for instance, when watching a TV show.

Leather surfaces can feel a lot firmer than fabric too. A new contemporary leather sofa may  take quite a while to ‘break in’ and not feel so firm.

Fabric isn’t generally as temperature prone to problems, and pretty much are comfortable from the get go without drama, so get the points here.

Comfort tips

Leather: Again, a removable cover or throw may be a simple solution for your couch to regulate temperature conditions.

Color choice – leather and fabric sofa

Traditionally,  leather couches were available in common colors like black and chestnut brown. Not much else. Fabric came in a whole rainbow of colors. Today, there are even more color options available with fabrics. With leather, we are seeing many more brighter colors such as green, orange, red, yellow and of course whites being used. One big difference though is that fabric sofas are available in many more choices of patterns and designs which you wont see with leather sofas.

Color Tip

Fabric:   Many sofa makers may advertise a product and show it in one color online. Be sure to check availability of other color options, as they more often make products in many colors nowadays. (sometimes in leather options too)

The Valentino Premium Leather Sectional

J and M Furniture have introduced their latest addition to their premium leather sectional sofas lineup, and it is a stunner. The Valentino Premium Leather Sectional has certainly been designed with the maximum comfort in mind. The back cushions have been filled with a mix of feather down and foam for an extra plush sectional. The best part.. It looks as good as it is to sit on! It has been upholstered in premium quality, thick, red italian leather all over.

quality sofa brands - J and M

Pros and Cons of leather vs fabric sofas

Leather sofas

Maintenance –       Easy Maintenance
Comfort level –     Medium – a few issues – can feel firm, sticky, too hot/cold Naturally
Colour choices –     Good Color Variety
Wear –        Wear in –  Some new leathers may be firm and need to wear in for comfort
Wear out –      Great Long lasting ability
Durability  –    Very durable apart from scratches
Cost  –         Usually will cost more
Recommended for –      People who are more affluent, want to make a statement in home decor
Not Recommended for –   Pet lovers with animals that scratch.

Fabric sofas

Maintenance –        Medium Maintenance
Comfort level –   Medium – High. No temperature issues. Has a more natural, relaxing feel.
Colour choices –   Good Color Variety with many pattern options
Wear –              Wear in –  Usually good to go from purchase
Wear out –  Dependant on the fabric quality for Long lasting ability. Can be touch or go.
Durability  –    Average
Cost  –         Not so costly
Recommended for –  People who want comfort at a reasonable price.
Not Recommended for – the lazy who won’t maintain it, the fussy who make not like the look of it as it ages


So there you have it. When you go through the different points of comparison, you can see each definitely have their advantages and disadvantages. Choosing between the two will come down to what you think suits and serves your home best, in regard to cost, comfort, durability and style. We really aren’t able to clearly tell you which one is best, as this will come down to your personal preferencesand circumstances. We just hope this post is able to guide you in your decision.

Check out our top 10 list of most comfortable couches if you are looking for some inspiration in your search. There are some very comfortable fabric choices there for you to browse through. If you are more interested in modern leather sofas, then you should check out the Zuri Furniture post. Happy hunting.


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