Leather vs Fabric Sofas: Which one is For You?

Buying a new sofa is decision that you will need to think about carefully as it can represent a large investment of income. With so many choices of design and construction, you are certain to find something perfect for your living space. One of the biggest decisions will be whether you go for a leather, or a fabric sofa. These two coverings offer different advantages and disadvantages, so if you’re looking for some help in choosing the right one for you, here is an overview of the pros and cons:

Image from Pinterest



Image from Pinterest




  • Fabric sofas come in a huge variety of colours and patterns. This makes it easy to select a style that fits with your own personal taste and room colour scheme. You can choose anything, from bright geometric patterns, to subtle pastel florals, the choice is endless.

  • Fabric adds a warm and cosy feel to your living room space. Sumptuous fabrics can make the room an inviting and relaxing place to curl up with a book, or enjoy what’s on the box.

  • With a multitude of textures, fabric can really add to the tactile nature of your sofa. Velvet, corduroy, linen, wool or chenille all have a very different look and feel.

  • A lot of fabric covers are removable, so they can be washed. This is a huge advantage, and means that your sofa will stay clean and smell fresh.




  • Fabric can often be permanently stained by food and drink that is spilt on your sofa. If you have a young family, then this might not be the right choice for you.

  • Some parts of your sofa may become worn over time and start to rip or tear. Fabric can fray, and wear thin in some areas, and it also picks up any strong odours such as cigarettes or pets.

  • Some patterns quickly become very dated and you may no longer wish to keep your sofa. If you wait long enough, the style may come back into fashion! but ideally you want your investment to last as long as possible.


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  • most types of leather sofa are easy to keep clean; a regular vacuum and a damp cloth is all you need. There are also specialist leather cleaning products that will help to protect and prolong the life of your sofa.

  • Leather is extremely durable and long lasting, it will not fray, and over time will develop character and become softer and more comfortable.

  • The clean, sophisticated and modern looking nature of leather means that your sofa will not become dated as easily as some fabric designs. It’s a timeless classic that will withstand the test of time and can be passed down the family as an heirloom.

  • There are a huge variety of types for all budgets and lifestyle needs.




  • Leather scratches quite easily, so any sharp objects may scratch or puncture the surface.

  • The nature of leather means that it can be cold to the touch, which isn’t as cosy as having fabric.

  • Leather sofas are restricted by not having as many colour choices available. The colour palette is nowhere near as plentiful as for fabric options.

  • Leather fabric can feel sticky in hot or humid weather, especially when bare arms or legs are against it.


Image from Pinterest


Both leather and fabric choices offer you a different set of positives and negatives. Fabric offers an endless amount of colour and pattern choices, but can date quickly and suffer over time. Leather, on the other hand becomes better with age, but is more restricted in its colour choices.


Whether you choose the classic design of the chesterfield sofa, such as the ones sold by The Chesterfield Company, or a more contemporary fashion sofa, you will find that the investment is worthwhile, and transforms the living space of your home.

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I am a lover of all things DIY and have written for a number of renowned home improvement sites.

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