Jump to navigation links Jump to main content Jump to footer links
Leather Sofa vs. Fabric Sofa: Which Should You Choose?

Leather Sofa vs. Fabric Sofa: Which Should You Choose?

Family of four sitting on living room sofa smiling and playing

You’ve started sofa shopping but reached a fork in the road. Should you get a sleek leather or faux-leather sofa, or is a comfy fabric couch the way to go instead? Beyond your interior design style, it’s important to consider factors like budget, lifestyle, and the members of your household when choosing between the two.

Here are some of the biggest advantages and disadvantages of leather, faux leather, and fabric couches to help weigh your options and make a smart purchasing decision.

Leather Sofa Pros and Cons

Pro: They’re easy to wipe clean!

Stunning brown leather sofas sitting perpendicular to one another in living room with brick accent wallLeather scores some major points in the fabric vs. leather sofas showdown, thanks to how easy they are to wipe clean after a spill. This is great news for those with small kiddos or pets. A quick wipe-down is all you’ll need to handle most messes.

Con: They tend to show scratches.

Even though leather couches and sectionals handle spills with ease, they are susceptible to scratches from sharp objects (like your pup’s nails). Opting for high-quality leather can prevent major unsightly scratches, and it’s helpful to read any available reviews. Faux leather is often more fragile than real leather, so keep that in mind if you’re concerned about physical damage.

Pro: They’re great for people with allergies.

Fabric couches can attract and hold onto allergens and dust, which does no favors for people who suffer from allergies. Leather couches, on the other hand, are easy to keep sleek and dust-free.

Con: They reflect the temperature they’re in.

Leather can feel cold in winter and hot in summer, which may affect comfort depending on the climate. That said, you probably use an A/C to keep your living space at a comfortable temperature during heat waves and colder months. In which case, leather couches will do just fine in an air-conditioned home.

Pro: Leather is durable, and your couch will likely last a long time.

Leather is a robust, durable material, allowing it to withstand all kinds of wear and tear over time. However, while faux leather can have a similar look and feel to real leather, note that it does not boast as lengthy of a lifespan.

Con: They are often pricey.

The manufacturing process for a leather couch is lengthy and intricate, and that’s reflected in the price. Real leather couches cost more, on average, than fabric options. However, faux leather couches have many of the same advantages as a real leather couch and with a much lower price tag.

Fabric Sofa Pros and Cons

Pro: They come in endless colors, patterns, and fabrics.

Beautiful gray sofa with decorative pillows in bright living roomWhile you’ll typically find leather couches in neutral colors like brown and black, you can get a fabric couch in any color of the rainbow. If you’re looking to make a statement with a bold-colored couch, fabric may be the move.

Con: They often attract pet hair.

Just like our clothing, fabric couches can attract pet hair. If you’ve got a household full of furry friends, you may find yourself constantly lint-rolling and vacuuming it to keep it clean.

Pro: They’re comfortable!

Admittedly, this is a subjective statement of personal preference. However, fabric couches are typically softer and more plush than leather couches, which can feel a bit more stiff. If you’re looking for a couch to nap on, think about which material you’d find more comfy.

Con: They’re more tricky to clean after a spill or stain.

While liquid rolls right off a leather couch, it’ll soak right into a fabric one. If you’ve got young children or pets, keeping a couch’s “stainability” in mind is important. Consider the different types of fabric, and look for one that’s marketed as stain-resistant.

Pro: They’re often cheaper than leather couches.

Because fabric is typically a more affordable material than leather, fabric couches come with a lower price tag. If you’re furnishing your home on a budget, you’ll likely find a fabric couch that fits into it.

Con: They may have a shorter lifespan than their leather counterparts.

Over time, fabric sofas will fade, sag, and show wear, and they generally don’t last as long as leather sofas. Like any piece of furniture, however, you can extend your couch’s lifespan by taking great care of it.

Consider Leather and Fabric Hybrid Sofas

While this article treats fabric and leather, or faux leather, as opposites, that certainly doesn’t have to be the case. If there are things you love about both, look into hybrid options! By selecting a couch that has leather and fabric features, you can have everything you love about both.

Shop Leather and Fabric Sofas at Rent-A-Center

Ready to take the plunge and purchase a sofa for your living room? Let Rent-A-Center make the decision a little easier with our wide selection of rent-to-own faux leather, fabric, hybrid, and leather sofa options. You’ll also enjoy the added benefit of flexible payment options and free delivery! Shop sectionals and more online or at a Rent-A-Center near you today!

About Us

The good things in life don’t have to be out of reach. Rent-A-Center is here to make the things you want and need accessible, and Front & Center is your resource for living well on a budget.

Each week, we’ll bring you tips and tricks for infusing simplicity, style—even a little fun—into every aspect of your life and home. From decorating advice to money-saving strategies to opportunities to share with others like you, we’ll give you ideas that inspire. Live well, friends. And send your submissions, suggestions and questions for the blog to blog@rentacenter.com. For all customer service inquiries, please contact our Solution Center team at 1-800-422-8186.