How To Tell The Quality Of A Leather Sofa? 3 Factors

If you’re unsure how to tell the quality of a leather sofa, please consider these three factors. This article will talk about how to spot genuine versus fake leather, the type of leather you need, and the frame quality to look out for. By the end of the reading, you should be ready to go to the furniture store. 

Speaking of buying, we have created a leather sofa buying guide. It’s tailored to how buyers can find the best furniture for their homes and lifestyle. Give that a quick read, and then use this article to identify the best quality sofa in the market. 


How Can You Tell A Good Quality Leather Sofa?


1. Genuine vs fake leather

There are some signs to know how to tell if a sofa is real leather, and it’s important when judging the quality of your leather furniture. It’s not enough to rely on the tag because manufacturers tend to call their sofa real leather due to using leather scraps that comprised 10 to 20% of the material. Remember that the best quality leather couch will use genuine or 100% leather for you to get the expected durability of such material. 

For example, an actual leather sofa will have imperfections compared to a synthetic material made to look like one. The surface is not smooth, and you can even notice a faint organic smell. You should even feel some bounce when you touch the leather similar to real skin. 


2. Type of leather

There are different types of leather, and each of them varies in characteristics. High-quality leather furniture typically uses full-grain and top-grain leather. Full-grain leather refers to the outer layer of hide, so it is the most durable, while top-grain leather is sanded or buffed to improve its appearance. 

If your leather sofa is more affordable than expected, there’s a high chance that the manufacturer used reconstituted leather. This is also called bonded leather, where leather scraps are bonded with polyurethane. Bonded leather furniture might look like natural leather at a lower cost, but expect that it won’t last as long, so you have to know how to repair a bonded leather sofa


3. Frame quality

After checking the authenticity and type of leather used in the couch, the final factor to know what quality to expect with your furniture is its frame. The best-quality leather sofa does not only use genuine and full-grain or top-grain leather, but it also has a well-constructed frame underneath. You know it’s a good-quality leather couch if its frame is made of kiln-dried hardwood or knot-free wood sourced from oak, maple, or walnut. 

Avoid softwoods for your furniture because they won’t last against wear and tear, and you’ll eventually need to learn how to fix a broken sofa frame. But if you’re on a budget, opt for high-quality plywood as an alternative. Then, don’t forget to check the furniture back, arms, legs, and joints if the pieces are integrated well and do not feel flimsy. 


What Is The Best Quality Leather For A Sofa?



The best quality leather for a sofa and the most expensive leather you can buy is full-grain leather. From the name itself, full-grain leather uses the whole hide and only underwent hair removal. It is not treated, polished, or finished, so the durable characteristics are retained, ideal for wear and tear.



The sofa is not only used for sitting and lounging because it’s also the heart of the living room. You want something durable for usage but also visually pleasing. This is where getting a top-grain leather sofa is sensible because it is buffed but still long-lasting, unlike synthetic leather. 



While pleather or PU leather won’t be as durable and resistant to cracking over time, your lifestyle might be more suitable with pleather furniture. PU leather can provide the aesthetic you want for the living room, but it doesn’t require regular moisturizing like real leather. It’s also not absorbent and is generally easier to clean if you have children or pets. 

Over time, you might need to fix the synthetic leather couch. Here is how to repair a pleather sofa to give you some ideas. 


What Is The Best Type Of Leather For A Sofa?

One of the best leather you can get for a sofa is the pigmented type of top-grain leather. This will allow you to find the color, texture, and finish suitable for the style of your living room. You also want to get leather coated with polymer to provide durability and ease of cleaning for convenience if you have a busy household.


Aniline vs semi-aniline

Top-grain leather can be categorized into aniline and semi-aniline. Choosing between them will depend on your preferred looks and expected use. For example, aniline leather looks more natural, but you might prefer semi-aniline leather because it uses a surface coating that offers some protection. 



Now that you’re done reading the article, you should be ready to shop for leather furniture. You have learned how to tell the quality of a leather sofa by checking if it’s real leather and the specific type that the furniture used. We also discussed the things to know if the couch frame is the best quality. 

We hope you learned a lot from this article. Feel free to drop any questions below if you have any!


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