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Leather vs Fabric

Leather vs. Fabric: Which is right for you?

When considering buying a sofa, you want to choose the fabric that best matches your lifestyle and style taste, and the room and purpose of the couch. But when it comes to the fabric of your couch, there’s much more to keep in mind than just how the couch looks.

Leather couches (top grain real leather) are extremely durable and long-lasting (and a great investment!), but to some are perceived to look masculine and bulky. Fabric couches come in a wider variety of colors and textures, but have a much shorter lifespan. As you can tell, both types have pros and cons. Here is a more detailed listing of some of the pros and cons to keep in mind when comparing Fabric vs. Leather Couches.



  • The feel of elegance and luxury. Appears sleeker and more high-end.
  • Extremely durable - It lasts about 4x longer than fabric.
  • Doesn’t lose its shape as quickly as fabric.
  • Great long-term investment for a media room or entertainment room.
  • Hypoallergenic – won’t hold in odors or allergens from the air


  • The cheaper stuff will scratch easily.
  • Price - More expensive than fabric.
  • Non-breathable fabric. Depending on the outside temperature, when it’s hot, your skin sweats more easily when sitting on the couch, and when it’s cold, the leather couch can feel cold when sitting on with bare skin.
  • May be perceived as too dark and too masculine in a living room space.
  • Some higher quality leathers require oiling maintenance.

Here's a great selection of leather couches.



  • Visual appeal – comes in various fabrics, textures and colors (linens, microfibers, patterns, etc.)
  • Price – almost always less expensive than leather.
  • Greater selection and wider variety of design styles.
  • Comfort – many shoppers report fabric couches to be more comfortable than leather, because they’re often softer and more plush.
  • Cons:

  • Holds in allergens, spills and odors – not idea for pets or young children because it can be more difficult to keep clean than leather.
  • Fabric can look worn faster, and can lose shape quickly (depending on fabric and cushion quality).
  • Maintenance and cleaning – vacuuming, cleaning up spills, and with some fabrics, even water can cause a stain on the fabric. Ask the sales person how much maintenance the type of fabric will need to keep looking good.

Here's a great selection of fabric couches.

Regardless of whether you are pro-leather or pro-fabric, (or even wanting both in your home!) Now you know what to expect with the sofa so there are no surprises. If you’re still on the fence about what option is best for you, let the friendly folks at Nassau Furniture help you find the right fit for you.

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