Comparison Tips

Fabric vs. leather sofa – which should you pick?

September 14, 2019 | By

When it comes to the living space of your home or even the lounge area at your office, you might be faced with the dilemma of choosing between a fabric sofa and a leather sofa. The decision is yours to make and it sure can be quite confusing! To assist you in making a well-informed choice, allow us to take you through a detailed comparison of fabric and leather sofas.


Combining materials such as cotton, wool and linen with synthetics can make the sofa convenient to clean as it can be vacuumed regularly.  Products for cleaning fabric sofas are widely available. So you won’t have to invest significant time into looking for those supplies. Stains can sometimes be taken care of with a sponge and soap, which is an inexpensive option for maintaining a fabric sofa. Furthermore, by maintaining the cleanliness of the sofa frequently, the usage life of the sofa extends. This way you can save money on not buying replacement sofas. 

However, it should be noted that couches of a fabric material is subject to wear and tear with a lot of usage. However as long as a good quality fabric is chosen, this can be avoided. You might have to increase your budget on the fabric couch in order to purchase a high quality one that may last for a longer time. Fabric may not be a good choice for the ones who do not want to take the burden of frequently cleaning it. 


Leather sofas may be ideal for the ones who do not have the time for cleaning . All it requires is just a swift wiping and slight dusting. White fabric sofas suffer the most when it comes to stains, leather is relatively stain resistant. It is still easier to wipe a stain off a leather sofa than a white fabric couch. Furthermore, leather sofas are comparatively more pet friendly than fabric sofas. Fabric sofas accumulate pet fur while a leather sofa may only suffer from scratches. So ultimately it’s a choice you have to make while considering the opportunity costs; the option which mitigates the damage, if pets are in the picture, is quiet clearly leather. 

Unfortunately, even the busiest people cannot shirk their duties of maintaining leather. To keep it in good shape, you must moisturize every now and then. The durability of leather depends on the quality of it. Imitation leather lasts for a short time and may crack easily regardless of how well it is maintained. It is recommended that you look for full-grain, aniline, or semi-aniline leather. 



One might argue that when choosing a sofa comfort is the most important factor. However, subjectivity comes to play here. While in the office, a leather couch for straight-sitters may be deemed appropriate, a fabric cushy couch could be perfect for your home if you want to sink into it, relax and watch Netflix after a long day at work. In addition to that, comfort may also be tied to how the couch looks.  You’ll want to opt for a piece that is on par with your taste. It should also be coherent with the rest of the interior design.

Leather absorbs heat quicker compared to fabric. Thus a leather sofa is likely to get warm after sitting on it for some time, which may cause some discomfort. 

If you or anyone at your office or home is prone to allergic reactions, then a fabric sofa may not be a good choice. This is because fabric gathers dust mites and various allergens which may trigger an allergic reaction; this is the epitome of discomfort! If this is an issue for you, then leather would be the way to go.


Color Longevity 

Both fabric and leather offer a wide range of colors to choose from. Especially when it comes to fabric, you can get almost any color you want in stores. However, the colors can lighten with time, and the reasons include frequent usage of the sofa or washing it too often. 

Compared to fabric, leather offers a slightly limited color palette, but the options are wide nevertheless; on top of that, the color of the leather will be intact for a longer time period, granted that it is of a good quality. The only downside is that not everyone may like the sheen that leather reflects. 

Image: Pinterest


Leather with its sheeny and quintessential look will make the room appear regal and elegant without being too loud which is ideal for an office. If you wish to establish a lux finishing to your home, consider a leather couch because they are timeless. Even in a home with boho aesthetic, leather sofas are versatile so it can fit right in. 

As previously discussed, a downside to leather is that there are limited colors to choose from relative to fabric. A fabric sofa speaks more to the homes that are modern in the interior designing, with its endless variety of patterns and colors. You can choose whichever prints you want, an option which is not available for leather. It’s wiser to opt for fabric sofas if you like a matte appearance instead of a slightly glossy one. 



Without a shadow of a doubt, if you want a good quality sofa regardless of the material, you may have to compromise on a tight budget and splurge a little. However, if we had to break it down with comparing leather and fabric, the latter is relatively cheaper than high quality leather. Faux leather, on the other hand, may have the same cost more or less as fabric, but it may not last as long as high quality leather. The heavy pricing of leather sofa is justified because it lasts much longer than fabric sofas. 

However, we all have the habit of losing interest unless there is change, and this is where fabric sofa wins. You can easily change the covers according to your preference. When making a decision, it would be smart to compare the prices and take into account other costs associated with maintaining the sofa. Such as how much would it cost to buy cleaning supplies for fabric and how frequently would it be required. 

Image: Pinterest

Child Friendliness 

Regardless of whether you are a singleton or have a family, children will inevitably occupy your sofa. Whether they are your own kids or guest visitors. As mentioned before, leather is the best option for people who are allergic or suffer from sensitive skin. Plus, dust does not accumulate easily on leather as it does on fabric. So it is safe for children to sit on leather sofas. Just make sure you keep the sharpies away from the children. otherwise your sofa may turn into a canvas of drawings made by them!


Overall, the bottom line is, it all comes down to preferences. It has already been established that leather is versatile so it can be appropriate for both offices and homes. Fabric, on the other hand, enables to create an inviting atmosphere at home. Having considered all the pros and cons, we believe you will now be able to decide with ease which option suits you best. Because your sense of interior designing is as distinct as your individuality!

If you would like any assistance with giving your home a makeover, or even repairing and refurbishing your existing worn-out sofas contact us at Sheraspace!

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