Fabric sofas versus leather: Which is better?

2016-04-13 | jlbworks


The world is divided into two opposing factions those who come down on the side of the leather sofa and those on the fabric sofa side. Which one are you?

There’s a lot to consider when you’re buying a sofa and after your home or car, it’s probably the most important purchase you’ll make. With so many to choose from, there is one crucial thing to consider before you start. Which is better for you leather or fabric?

Filling the room

You only need to look on Daft.ie to see how a poorly chosen leather sofa can completely dominate a room. A dark-coloured leather sofa occupies the space in a living room with authority and you need to be sure that there is sufficient negative space around the furniture to give the room an airy feel. A monolithic black leather sofa can look like a disgruntled hippo sitting in the middle of the room if not chosen carefully.

Fabric sofas offer a greater variety of forms, colours and patterns than leather and are therefore easier to match with the surrounding décor. It’s a lot easier to get creative with your furnishing when you’re choosing a fabric sofa. For those you have a creative vision for their living space and plan a total look down to the last detail, fabric definitely gives you more control.


If you have young children, leather is easier maintain. A white, Italian fabric sofa may not be the wisest decision if you’ve got twin boys under three. Leather can be wiped clean very easily and spillages are not the disaster they can be on fabric sofas. That said, there are a range of stain resistant fabrics that can be cleaned very easily.

If you have multiple cats, you might be in trouble with a leather sofa, particular if they like to sharpen their claws on a brand new leather sofa. There are some more robust fabrics that are more resistant to cats’ claws but in general, if you have a new sofa, you cat is public enemy number one.


There are a lot of factors that influence how comfortable your sofa is – underlying structure, design, fabric, reclining ability, but the most important is your own personal taste. Some might like to sit bolt upright, others prefer to melt into their sofa with their feet up until they are joined to the furniture at a molecular level. Leather sofas can retain body heat, so sitting on one in 40 degree heat while wearing shorts might not be the most comfortable way to relax, the chances of that ever happening in Ireland are nil. If you use your sofa a lot during the day when the house can be colder consider fabric as it is more comfortable when you immediately sit into it.


Good quality leather ages very well, providing it’s looked after and the styles associated with leather sofas tend to be more classic and therefore don’t date. Fabric sofas, while offering you more freedom of choice in style, can date due to their stylised design. Fabric can wear out over time as well and a few disastrous spills can make a leave it looking drab rather quickly.


Leather sofas are more expensive and you tend to get more bang for your buck with fabric ones. However, if you’ve fallen in love with a leather sofa and know you want it, it is a great investment in your home. A sofa is something you use every day and getting it right is important. There are a range of styles and tastes to suit every budget, the important thing is that you’re happy with your choice. That’s why it’s always best to ask sofa experts. When you go shopping, make sure you take detailed measurements of your room and consider any furniture reconfigurations for the future. Take plenty of photographs so the expert can help you get what’s right for you.

Source: Fabric sofas versus leather: Which is better?