Leather Sofa VS Fabric Sofa, Which Is Better?

August 17, 2017

Shopping for a sofa is a major decision. Probably the first thing you'd go to after stepping in, and the place where family and friends will gather, the right sofa should set the tone of your space without compromising on comfort. But, with so many options on the market, picking one can get really confusing! And usually, you will be stuck between picking a leather sofa or a fabric one.

It is time to put an end to the sofa dilemma. Figure out which sofa type is best for you, as we highlight the benefits and disadvantages of both materials.

Leather Sofa or Fabric Sofa

Interior Designer: Artmuse Interior


There are many factors that determine the comfort of furniture. The type of textile and the support system, such as cushions and frames play a huge role. In this case, the fabric pieces are more comfortable than their leather counterparts for several reasons. The main one is that fabric is overall more comfortable than leather. Like your car seat, leather absorbs heat faster than fabric. The same is with leather furniture, it will feel warm after sitting on it for a while. Leather furniture however, are firmer than the fabric ones.

Our take: Fabric sofas

Leather Sofa or Fabric Sofa

Interior Designer: In2space Interior


Depending on the quality of the material, fabrics have different lifespans in terms of wear and tear. Of course, higher quality materials usually last longer, as many probably come with a stain-resistant finish that makes it easy to wipe of any unfortunate stains. Plus, fabric cleaning products are widely offered and affordable, or simply take care of spills with a handled steam cleaner or with a sponge and soap. But! If the fabric is not of premium quality, removing stains might prove tough. In this case leather might be a better solution.

Leather Sofa or Fabric Sofa

Interior Designer: Design Chapterz

On the other hand, leather sofas are more vulnerable to scratches and humidity than the fabric pieces - making them not-so pet friendly. While it’s worth mentioning that leather is very easy to clean, mostly requiring light dusting and vacuuming, you'll may want to consider investing in leather softening or polishing products to keep it from forming cracks.

Our take: Leather sofas. If you keep cats or dogs at home, it's a choice between having fur getting stucked on the (torn) fabric, or unsightly scratch marks on leather. Otherwise, leather seems more resistant and easy to care for.

Leather Sofa or Fabric Sofa

Interior Designer: LS2 Design & Construction

Colour Durability

Both materials offer varieties of options. Fabrics provide unlimited tones and pattern choices that will fit any decor. The downside is that colours tend to fade out very quickly in time. It can be due to the excessive use of the sofa, frequent washing, or the fact that it simply fades out with age. On the contrary, leather’s colour palette is more lasting - but only if you don't mind the slight sheen that comes with the material.

Our take: Leather sofas

Leather Sofa or Fabric Sofa

Interior Designer: Voila


A leather sofa, with its sleek and classic appearance, adds certain elegance to the room. You can hardly achieve the same effect with fabrics. Fabric sofas are available in many hues and designs, and tend to add to a contemporary vibe to a home.

Our take: It depends. What kind of look are you going after? If you like something clean and matte, fabrics in solid colours work great as a complement. For something timeless, sleek (and slightly masculine), A leather sofa may be a better choice. Why not see how leather and fabric sofas set the tone for these homes before deciding on one?

Leather Sofa or Fabric Sofa

Interior Designer: Starry Homestead


The leather sofas are hypoallergenic, which makes them appropriate for people with allergies. Unlike fabric, leather doesn’t accumulate dust mites, pet dander, and other allergens easily. In case of allergies, you need to turn professional cleaning or take care of the furniture regularly. With the leather sofa you will save effort, money and time.

Our take: Leather sofas

Leather Sofa or Fabric Sofa

Interior Designer: Flo Design


The cost of both types of sofas is determined by the quality. Undoubtedly, good fabric and framing are expensive. At the end, however, the same leather piece will cost you the same if not more as buying a high quality fabric sofa. The best strategy is to compare prices and features such as ease of cleaning, comfort and durability. When making your decisions, take into account your own preferences.

Our take: If you own cats or dogs at home, opt for a more premium material for durability, so expect to pay more.

Leather Sofa or Fabric Sofa

Interior Designer: Habit

So which should you pick?

Both materials have their benefits and disadvantages. At the end of the day, you need to decide what you value most – durability or comfort.

Decking out the ultimate crash pad (aka living space) starts here.

Check out more handy guides to help your navigate about the treacherous waters of designing the perfect living room:

All set and ready to renovate your living room (and also the rest of your home, please)? Request for a quote here, and we will match you up with 5 interior designers, based on your budget and style.

Updated 17 August 2017.

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