Which Furniture Fabric Works Best for Your Lifestyle?

Happy afroamerican woman on a sofa

When choosing new furniture, one of the most important — and sometimes confusing — considerations is fabric selection. From kids and pets to dirty shoes and spilled drinks, you need material that can stand up to everyday life. But how do you know what’s best?

First, consider how the furniture will be used. If your furniture will be subjected to heavy wear, like a couch in a central area of your home, it’s best to choose a tough, durable fabric that’s easy to clean and can withstand daily use. In these cases, look for tightly woven fabrics with high thread counts (the number of threads per square inch). Also consider who will be using your new furniture. If you invite pets onto the couch, for example, consider a microfiber or faux leather since these fabrics can withstand extra wear and tear.

No matter what you’re shopping for, the following guide will help you better understand the different types of upholstery fabric in order to make the best choice for you and your family.

Ashley Alenya microfiber sofa

Microfiber
An ultra-soft fabric made of polyester, microfiber is a popular furniture choice for several reasons. It’s stain-resistant, fade-resistant and water-resistant, making it perfect for families with children and pets, while its velvety texture provides comfort for extra-long lounge sessions. Since it is made with small synthetic fibers that create tighter weaves, microfiber fabric is hypoallergenic, so less dust and other allergens sink into and through the furniture.

Benchcraft Braxlin-Charcoal chaise sofa

Chenille
Meaning “caterpillar” in French, chenille has a soft, fuzzy feel and plush texture that is deceptively durable, making it a popular choice for furniture. Upholstery-quality chenille has a tight weave and proper pile direction with pretreated finishes for added durability and is most commonly made of cotton or cotton blends.

Ashley faux leather sofa

Faux/synthetic leather
Often made of polyurethane, an environmentally-friendly material, faux and synthetic leather is durable and can be easily cleaned. Today, this material can be produced in an endless variety of colors or patterns, including a high-gloss finish and realistic leather textures. However, unlike the real thing, synthetic leather requires little maintenance and won’t fade or crack over time. Bonus: It can be easily cleaned with a damp cloth.

Ashley Geordie polyester sofa

Polyester
Rarely used as a stand-alone fabric in furniture upholstery, some RAC furniture incorporates polyester with other fibers to add wrinkle resistance and reduce fading.

Once you have found that perfect piece of furniture in the fabric that fits your lifestyle, Rent-A-Center makes it possible to bring it home right away with no credit check, no down payment and no restrictive contracts. Choose a flexible payment plan that works for you, then sit back and relax with the RAC WorryFree Guarantee, which includes free delivery, set up, service and repairs on all of your rent-to-own products.