So you’ve narrowed it down to the sofa style you want, now what? It’s time to think about sofa materials and what you want for your upholstery. The sofa fabric supplier would like to introduce in details.
Whether you love the glossy look of leather or prefer synthetic fibers that are easy to clean, the right material for your sofa depends on your lifestyle and how you use your space. If you live alone and want a little luxury, velvet and chenille are chic upholstery fabrics. If your home has kids and pets running around all the time, consider durable fabrics for sofa upholstery, like microfiber to polyester.
With so many options for fabrics and materials to choose from at stores and online, it can all feel very overwhelming very quickly. Don’t worry. Here, we’re laying out the most popular sofa material options and breaking down the pros and cons of each one to help you get a better understanding of what you should look for.
If you’re just beginning to think about investing in a sofa, our best advice is to do some research. For starters, consider whether you want a sectional vs sofa, check out our sofa buying guide for the big questions to ask yourself, and get our tips for buying a sofa online.
A popular upholstery choice for sofas, leather not only has good looks but it’s also durable. Keep in mind there are different grades of leather, with genuine leather being the highest quality at a more expensive price point. If it’s in your budget, a leather sofa is a great investment piece.
Easy cleaning. Leather is resistant to stains and spills (just wipe off liquids with a cloth), so no bad smells or damp residues, which can happen with fabrics.
Way durable. If you have pets or need a sofa that can stand up to heavy use and take a beating, leather is the way to go.
Bold and timeless. In addition to being a tough material, leather has a timeless look. A sofa in caramel or tan leather is a statement piece that will never go out of style.
Strong texture. Leather has a smooth yet hard touch compared to fabrics. If you’re looking for a soft sofa you can sink into, leather is not for you.
Streaks and splits. Leather can develop splits and cracks over time, especially if you use it heavily. Also, watch out for fading in direct sunlight.
It’s spendy! Leather furniture is expensive. If you see a cheap leather sofa, it’s likely low quality and not designed to last.
The Verdict: Good quality leather is incredibly durable, easy to clean, and will develop an aged look that gives it character over time. A well-cared-for leather sofa will last for years.
Made with synthetic fabrics, faux leather is a favorite sofa upholstery option for those who want the durability and look of leather at a less expensive price point.
Sun protection. Synthetic leathers are usually UV-resistant, so even if you position your sofa in a sunny area it won’t result in fading.
New environmental options. New faux leathers now include cork leather from oak trees (called Swedish Koskinn) and ocean leather made from kelp. Faux leather in general is also perfect for those who support not buying animal hides.
Luxe look for less. First things first, faux leather gives you the upscale look you crave without emptying your bank account. And there’s a wide variety to choose from!
Beware of the materials. Faux leathers are often made with PVC (hard to clean) and other poly-leather types, like polyurethane. While polyurethane ‘breathes,’ PVC doesn’t so the material can get hot in a hot room.
Not-so-durable. Artificial leathers are easily damaged and don’t wear well over time.
Non-hypoallergenic. Believe it or not, real leather is hypoallergenic. Not so much with these simulated fabrics!
The Verdict: Faux leather is definitely worth the savings if you want the look of leather. Just be sure to spend a little more and get the newer environmental leathers.
This sofa fabric is an excellent choice for pet owners. In terms of sofa materials, microfiber is a fine polyester that’s soft, durable, and easy to clean. It has a tight weave, so pet hair, dust, and lint won’t stick or stay trapped in these synthetic fibers—which makes upkeep incredibly simple.
Superb resistance. Microfiber is fade-resistant. It holds color longer than most fabrics, and the tight weave makes it easy to spot-clean and wipe off stains.
Eco-friendly and durable. Synthetic microfiber is one of the most durable engineered fabrics. But what’s great is that it’s petroleum-based, which makes it easily recyclable.
A+ for comfort. A sofa upholstered in microfiber is warmer than leather and polyester, so it’s cozy to rest on. It’s also hypoallergenic.
Watch for water marks. While microfiber stands up to most stains, if somehow water, especially dirty water, penetrates the fabric, it may show the staining when it dries.