Leather is known for its professional, elegant look that can make any room instantly stylish. Low maintenance yet luxurious, leather does not require vacuuming like carpets do and can be wiped down quickly with a damp cloth. There are several types of leather that can be used to make various furniture pieces. Each type of leather has a different look and feel as well as a different price tag.
Types of Leather Used for Furniture
The processing of the leather determines what “type” of leather it is within the furniture industry. Leathers that are processed less are of higher quality and will hold up longer. They may also be more coarse than other less expensive leathers that have gone through more processing.
Full Grain Leather
Full grain leather sofas are the most expensive leather sofas you can buy and the most durable. This leather goes through the least amount of processing; the original animal hide hair is removed and the hide is soaked in a natural dye. Full grain leather softens over time with use.
Top Grain Leather
Top grain leather is very similar to full grain but goes through an additional processing step called buffing that makes it softer.
Split Grain Leather
Split grain leather is the hide section that is left when the top layer of leather is removed. This leather is harder in texture and harder to maintain but also less expensive.
This leather is a great option for those wanting a smooth look at a lower cost. Bonded leather is made from leather scraps that are rolled up using an adhesive material.
Bi-cast leather is split grain with a coating of color polyurethane that makes it look like top grain leather. This leather is a lower cost alternative to top grain, but requires a special treatment. Without this treatment, bi-cast leather will peel and crack.
Is Leather Furniture Durable?
With the proper care and maintenance, real quality leather furniture can last a lifetime. It is one of the most durable materials you can use to build furniture.
When it comes to selecting a timeless and versatile piece, leather furniture is a great investment that can easily blend with any color or theme you choose for your living space over the years.
While leather is an extremely durable material, it is not resistant to life’s everyday mishaps. Kids and pets can leave their mark on leather furniture through scratches and stains.. There are ways to repair these scratches, but it can be costly or timely. That’s why we always recommend opting for a protection plan that covers your stylish investment. Learn more about our Smart Choice Protection Plan.
What to Consider When Buying Leather Furniture
Once you’ve decided that leather seating is the right choice for your room, there are a few factors you should consider before you shop. Style is certainly a factor when choosing any piece of furniture for your home, however for leather furniture, budget and intended use are just as important.
Leather Furniture Budget
Set a realistic budget for your new leather seating (leather recliner, leather sofa, leather sleeper). You can find good quality leather pieces within your price range that work for you and your home. Average prices for quality leather seating vary greatly on furniture size and function. A standard three-seater leather sofa can run you anywhere from $1500 to $4000. If the leather sofa has a recliner or other electronic parts, the price of the piece goes up. Leather chairs can range anywhere from $500 to $1500 depending on the style and materials used in the piece. Leather sleepers range from $2000 to $3000.
Leather Furniture Intended Use
Consider how often this piece of leather furniture will be used and who will be using it. If this leather seating is going into an office or guest room that is not frequently used, then you may not need to spend extra money on a higher quality leather. If your new leather piece is going into a high traffic room like a living room or family entertainment room, it may be worth investing into a higher quality and more durable leather. If you have young children or pets that may be likely to scratch the leather, take that into consideration as well. Are you willing to pay to have those scratches repaired or are you more likely to replace the whole sofa after a certain amount of damage?
Maintenance for Leather Furniture
Leather seating is much easier to care for than upholstered seating. Leather sofas and chairs do not need to be vacuumed out regularly and do not retain liquids like upholstered sofas. Here are a few tips for caring for your new leather piece:
1. Avoid Common Household Soaps
Oil soaps and dishwashing soaps can stain and darken leather. At times, it may even remove the color of the product. Soaps also tend to remove leather’s natural oils, just like it removes the oil from our hands. Leather has no means to replace this oil and will eventually become dry, brittle and damaged.
2. Avoid Direct Sunlight
The heat and light from the sun can cause leather to dry and crack.
3. Clean Up Spills Quickly
Use clean paper towels or cloth towels to wipe away spills quickly. Talcum powder can be used to help absorb grease and oil spills. If needed, use a quality furniture cleaner to help clean up spills.
4. Keep the Dust Off
Keep your leather seating free of dust and wipe occasionally with a barely damp cloth.
El Dorado Furniture has a wide variety of leather couches, chairs, recliners and sleepers to choose from. Check out more of our leather furniture options for your living space!