Choosing the Right Couch Fabric: Upholstery vs. Leather

The atmosphere you hope to create in your home can make the choice between leather and upholstered couches easier.

By Erin Gunther

 

Buying the right kind of sofa or couch for your lifestyle can be a daunting task with the plethora of different styles and varieties. Choosing between leather and upholstery for your new couch requires careful consideration when comparing how the two fabrics fare with your tastes and needs. Whether it’s for your first apartment or home, or you’re just looking to replace an old one, there are a few different things you need to consider before making the decision to go with upholstery or leather.

 

Color

One perk of buying an upholstered couch is all the fabric colors you can choose from. Having a variety of color options can brighten a room when matching the couch with your wallpaper or paint and choosing complementary accents throughout the room. Leather couches, on the other hand, often only come in shades of brown, gray, black or white. If you’re looking to add a more sophisticated flair to the room and don’t mind choosing from limited colors, leather could be the best choice for you.  

 

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Cleaning

For anyone that has had a lighter-colored upholstered couch, it’s a well-known fact that they are susceptible to stains and blemishes. While there are a variety of cleaners to remove stains from upholstered couches, they may not be the best choice for young families where spills are inevitable. Leather couches can be easily cleaned, usually with only a wet towel to wipe up the mess. For those who also might have busier lifestyles and prefer easier maintenance and cleaning, a leather couch might be the best option.

 

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Price

Upholstered couches tend to run cheaper than leather couches, which can be a large deciding factor in which fabric to choose. For those looking to stay within a tight budget, an upholstered couch may be the best way to go. But if the price isn’t an issue, a leather couch could give you the luxurious touch your living room needs.

 

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Comfort

For those looking to create a more comfortable, homey atmosphere, the upholstered option can seem appealing. The soft fabric of upholstered couches can be much more inviting for nights in, rather than the feeling of cold leather in chillier climates or the sticky feeling of the leather in warmer or more humid climates. If comfort is key, upholstered may be the way to go.  

 

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Durability

A drawback to upholstered couches is that after a while, especially with heavy use, the fabric color can become faded and the couch can appear worn. This fabric is more susceptible to tears and rips as well, which can create a dingy appearance. Leather couches maintain their color much better because the color is stained into the material. The thickness of the leather also makes leather couches less susceptible to tears. Leather couches also become softer and more supple over time, rather than getting a worn-out look. When factoring in durability and longevity, leather couches may take an edge depending on how heavily used your couch will be.

 

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Depending on the atmosphere you hope to create in your home, as well as these other lifestyle factors, it can make the choice between leather and upholstered couches easier. Try making a list to see which fabric suits your needs best!

 

Images used with permission, courtesy of www.shutterstock.com

Next: Reviving That Old Furniture to Make a Perfect Accent for Baby’s Room