Which Is Better – A Leather Couch Or A Fabric One?

Which Is Better – A Leather Couch Or A Fabric One?

  22 Mar 2019

Whether you are buying your first ever sofa or simply want an upgrade, you may be torn between the choice to buy a leather couch or a fabric one.

While the debate between whether to choose an animal hide or fabric sofa continues to rage on, at the end of the day, what it really comes down to is your preferences and financial situation.

Let’s explore the benefits and disadvantages of each option.


Leather Couch

The quality and longevity of this material depends on the part of the cowhide that it is made from. For something longer-lasting, consider purchasing a higher grade leather couch, which will become softer over time.

man sitting in a leather sofa



  • They tend to last 5+ years longer than fabric sofas due to the strength, durability and stain resistance of the hide. If they are well cared for, they could last you a lifetime.
  • They are easy to clean as spills can easily be wiped down with a cloth (making them a great option for people with babies or pets!).
  • They add an upmarket, contemporary atmosphere to a room. Stylish and sophisticated, they are the perfect ‘high-end’ addition to any home.



  • A white leather couch will tend to show more stains and markings than darker ones, which means that they will require more maintenance.
  • They require regular moisturising in order to keep the hide soft and smooth.
  • They can become extremely hot or cold depending on the weather, which means that temperature control in the room is crucial for ensuring that the sofa is comfortable to sit on. You don’t want to sit on a hot and sticky or ice-cold sofa!


Fabric sofa

fabric sofa

The quality and durability of a fabric sofa will depend on its ‘rub rate’ (the number of times it can be rubbed before it begins to wear). For a better quality, longer-lasting sofa, choose one made from heavy grade fabric (with a rub rate higher than 25,000).



  • Fabric sofas give you a greater variety of colour and texture options, allowing you to let your creativity run wild and choose something that is unique and personalised.
  • Different styles and fabrics are constantly being created, positioning fabric sofas at the forefront of fashion.
  • They add a cool, casual atmosphere to a room, making them great for chill-out spaces.
  • Their soft, warm, tactile feel make them super comfortable.
  • Choosing a neutral or dark colour (or patterned style) may increase the sofa’s lifespan as it is better able to hide stains and markings.
  • They are usually cheaper than buying a leather couch, which can help you save money.



  • A fabric sofa generally won’t last as long due to it being more prone to wear and tear.
  • Colours, patterns and styles can become dated. Timeless styles like solid block colours could be a better option for the fashion-conscious.
  • They may fade over time, especially if they’re made from linen or cotton.
  • They are not the best option for people with kids or pets; drink spills, dirt and pet fur are harder to get out of a fabric sofa than a leather couch.
  • Putting a slip cover on your sofa to keep it clean may be convenient, but it generally doesn’t look or feel very nice. You can keep your sofa clean by treating it with a fabric protector prior to using it and by dry cleaning it annually.



Both a leather couch and a fabric sofa offer their own unique advantages and disadvantages. The one you end up selecting depends on your lifestyle, preferences and financial situation.