Choosing the right material - Leather or Fabric Sofa?

Leather vs Fabric – it’s a timeless battle that only gets harder the years go on as new styles emerge. For some people, choosing between them is an easy decision, but for some it’s hard. When it comes down to sofa shopping, a lot of people don’t know what they are looking for. Comfort? Style? Scatter back? There’s also a vast amount of materials, brands and styles such as corner sofas, three pieces and more.

For this post, we will focus on only fabric and leather - talking about both the strengths and weaknesses of each. Keep reading and by the end of this blog, hopefully we can help you decide on whether a fabric or leather sofa is the one for you!

Why Choose A Leather Sofa?

A leather sofa is a staple piece in anyone’s living room. A great thing about a leather sofa is that they are easy to clean. All it takes is a damp cloth to wipe over leather in order to remove any build-up of dirt, which can cause fabric wear, and dulling of the colour.

It looks modern and luxurious and best of all, it gets better with age. Keeping your sofa looking good is crucial to maximise its lifespan and increase the strength of the material.

There are several varieties of leather to choose from, each with their own unique points. For example, the most premium leather available is ‘Italian full grain’ or ‘top grain’. Top grain means that the layers of the hide are used to make the leather and this increases the lifespan and durability of it. This leather is the most expensive, but it’s also the highest quality money can buy.

Leather types & caring for your leather

Another type of leather that is common in household furniture is called ‘aniline leather’ and this is the most natural looking out of all the leather types. Similarly, as the name suggests, ‘semi-aniline leather’ maintains its natural look, but has more durability. The durability of semi-aniline leather is due to a thin layer of pigment that is applied to the top of the leather which helps to ensure consistent colours and also brings with it some stain resistance.

Leather is quite versatile as it can be added to any room to instantly give a modern feel. There’s a wide variety of leather to choose from, depending on your own personal preferences.

Leather is often picked above fabric for households with pets and babies as they are much easier to clean. Of course, to prolong the life of your sofa, we recommend you use ScS recommended cleaning products. These are available to purchase when buying your sofa, and come with a premium care kit or a standard care kit option. 

Why Choose Fabric?

Just like leather, there are a wide variety of fabric materials to choose from when it comes to your sofa. What type of fabric you choose will depend on your personal preferences and the uses for your fabric sofa.

Some fabrics are more durable than others and this might be more appropriate for a household with pets and small children where stains and accidents are likely, if leather is not to your taste. Sofas in our ScS living range are highly durable sofas, such as the Whisper.

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Sofa Material options


Recently, microfibre has soared in popularity due to its very soft feel, almost velvety to the touch. It’s a very versatile material that is used in a lot of household items. The polyester fibres contained within this fabric promote durability, yet at the same time provide lots of comfort.

Although this type of fabric is not as easy to clean as leather, if you do spill something on it, you have a bit of time to get rid of any stains as microfiber has a quick response time. Stock up on our ScS cleaning products in case of emergency!

Microfibre is a great choice for those who suffer with allergies. This is because the fibres are so closely woven that it does not allow much opportunity for the build of dust and allergens.

Blend of Polyester and Cotton

A mix or polyester and cotton as a sofa fabric are a popular choice for families. The synthetic polyester material is used as it strengthens and protects the fabric in order to minimise wrinkling and fading. This makes it an ideal choice for a high-traffic household.

The cotton is added to the mix as it provides extra comfort and makes the sofa more aesthetically pleasing. This blend is a great all- rounder due to its cost-effectiveness and high durability. It should be able to withstand the test of time in a busy family household with limited wear and tear.

Cotton Fabric

Cotton is one of the most (if not the most) popular fabrics in the world! It is highly prevalent in a range of industries such as clothing and home design. The material comes from the seedpod of the cotton plant and it is popular because of its soft and comfortable touch.

Cotton is relatively easy to clean and the material breathes in hot weather, absorbing body perspiration which it later expels through evaporation. During colder months, cotton retains body heat adding to its comfortability.

Textured cotton sofas are as the name suggests. The cotton is textured, adding to the visual appeal of the sofa. Sofas of this variety are not ideal for heavy use because worn patches may show up more quickly on textured sofas.

They are also more prone to attracting and retaining dust. Textured cotton sofas are used more as show-pieces, rather than everyday sofas as they are not suitable for heavy use. In buying one, this could be a staple piece and a great talking point for any room. 

Vinyl Sofas

Vinyl is a synthetic material and is similar in its appearance to leather. It is often used as a sofa covering because it is protective due to its durable nature. Wear of this fabric is very slow and barely noticeable and it is also very easy to clean.

 This makes vinyl sofas suitable for children’s bedrooms or any areas where they will experience lots of use. You could even have a vinyl sofa just for your dogs to get comfy on!

ScS offer a fabric care kit for just £30.

Leather or Fabric – Which is Right for You?

Before going ahead and purchasing a sofa, it’s a good idea to think about the different types of fabric available and which of these will work best in your home. Each fabric has its own unique strengths and weaknesses; you just need to decide which one appeals to you the most.

All fabrics will experience wear over their lifetime which is why it is important that you make the right choice according to your circumstances, in order to get maximum use out of a specific sofa.


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