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ARTICLES

Leather Sofa VS Fabric Sofa, Which Is Better?

Shopping for a sofa is a major decision. It’s probably the first thing you'd go to after stepping in, and the place where family and friends will gather, so 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’ll get 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.

Bedok Reservoir View by Attic Studio Interiors
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Comfort

There are many factors that determine the comfort of a sofa, like its support system (the frame and cushions). This is because how deep/high you want your sofa depends on things like your size and how you like to sit on the sofa.

The type of textile also plays a huge role: fabric sofas – being made of fabric – are naturally softer than leather, which makes them comfier to sit on.

There’s also the fact that leather absorbs heat faster than fabric, which can make you feel warm after sitting on it for a while. However, it is firmer than fabric, which some might prefer.

Our take: Fabric sofas

Pasir Ris Street 21 by Happe Design Atelier
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Going by pure comfort, one look at fabric sofas and you can already imagine sinking into a plush haven.

Shop fabric sofas here:


Maintenance

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 off any unfortunate stains.

But! If the fabric is not of premium quality, removing stains might prove tough. In this case, leather might be a better solution.

Tampines Street 12 by Space Atelier
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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 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 stuck on the (torn) fabric or unsightly scratch marks on the leather. Otherwise, leather seems more resistant and easy to care for.

Kallang Residences by Reno Times
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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. 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

Depot Road by Zenith Arc
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Not sure where to start looking?

Shop leather sofas here:


Appearance

A leather sofa, with its sleek and classic appearance, adds a certain elegance to the room. You can hardly achieve the same effect with fabrics. On the other hand, 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 compliment. For something timeless, sleek (and slightly masculine), a leather sofa may be a better choice.

Dakota Breeze by Mr Shopper Studio
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Shop a wide range of sofas in different colours, materials and sizes:


Safety

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 to professional cleaning or take care of the furniture regularly. With a leather sofa, you will save effort, money and time.

Our take: Leather sofas

Bishan Street 23 by Comfort Home Interior
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Budget

The cost of both types of sofas is determined by quality. Undoubtedly, good fabric and framing are expensive. In 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 your own preferences into account.

Our take: It depends.

If you own cats or dogs at home, it’s better to go for a premium material for durability’s sake, so do expect to pay more.

Greentops @ Sims Place by Ethereall
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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.

This article was originally published on 17 August 2017 and last updated on 18 May 2023.


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