What Does Bonded Leather Mean On A Sofa

The answer to what does bonded leather mean on a sofa is that the furniture uses reconstituted leather. Technically, it still has genuine leather, but it’s not an intact material like those in top-grain or full-grain leather couches. Below you will understand what reconstituted leather means. 

We also recommend checking these tips when buying a leather sofa. They will help you know what to look for in a leather couch and discover if bonded leather is suitable for you. 

what does bonded leather mean on a sofa


What Is a Bonded Leather Sofa?

A bonded leather sofa means that it uses both fake and natural leather. Bonded leather is also called reconstituted leather because the manufacturer blends real leather scraps with a binder like polyurethane. The reconstituted material is then bonded to a paper backing and coated to look and feel more like genuine leather. 

It’s common for brands to label their bonded leather couch as genuine leather because of the scraps and fibers sourced from genuine leather. However, the overall composition will only be 10 to 20% real leather because most are made from synthetic materials. Therefore, it’s always best to clarify with the salesperson the type of leather the furniture uses to avoid confusion. 


Bonded leather vs genuine leather

There are signs to tell if a sofa is real leather, and it usually starts with checking the tag if the brand indicates it as genuine leather. But because some manufacturers focus on the fact that their bonded leather furniture has a small percentage of genuine leather, the label is unreliable. So instead, consider if the leather sofa comes at a suspiciously low price.  

A bonded leather sofa will always cost lower than a genuine leather sofa because it does not use full-grain or top-grain leather. Furthermore, you will notice a synthetic feel and smell on the couch that indicates the use of plastics. And of course, genuine leather has imperfections compared to bonded leather with consistent patterns. 


Advantages of bonded leather

The lower price of a bonded leather couch allows homeowners on a budget to get the classy look of leather furniture for their living room. You will also have a broader range of styles and colors than sofas sourced from animal hide. And finally, the polyurethane composition of bonded leather makes cleaning less meticulous than porous animal-sourced leather. 


Disadvantages of bonded leather

You’re more likely to need to learn how to repair a bonded leather sofa because it will not be as durable as a genuine leather couch. The synthetic material is prone to peeling, cracking, tears, and discoloration, primarily if used often. So it might be a better investment to get something expensive that’s long-lasting than cheap furniture that will eventually require a replacement. 


Should I Buy Bonded Leather Furniture?

If you are wondering if bonded leather sofas are any good, the answer depends on your lifestyle. You might have an allocated budget for living room furniture. Perhaps you’re also environmentally conscious and appreciate the fact that bonded leather’s production uses leftovers. 


How to maintain a bonded leather sofa?

Maintaining a bonded leather couch is no different than other synthetic upholstery materials. Address spills as soon as possible and avoid using harsh cleaners. Furthermore, use a soft cloth to wipe the sofa’s surface without scratching the finish. 

Do you condition bonded leather? This material is not porous, so using a leather conditioner is pointless. You only need to keep the surface clean regularly with a damp cloth to protect the surface finish.  


Does bonded leather peel?

Bonded leather can peel because it’s not elastic. The consistent usage from sitting and moving on the sofa can crack the material and peel it away from the backing. You can’t also use leather conditioners to protect and lengthen the material’s lifespan. 

So how to fix a leather sofa peeling? You should easily find the matching leather repair kit for your couch. It comes with a patch for the damaged area and dyes to blend it with the rest of the sofa. 


How long should a bonded leather sofa last?

A bonded leather sofa can last anywhere from 2 to 5 years, depending on its quality and how you use and maintain it. Compared to a typical lifespan of a leather couch, which is up to 25 years, a bonded leather sofa significantly lasts shorter. Consistent maintenance should help it last for more than a year, but you should consider other types of leather if you want to save yourself the hassle of potential repairs. 


Which Is Better Bonded Or Faux Leather?

Faux leather is better than bonded leather because it doesn’t contain any animal product. Instead, manufacturers use either PU or PVC, making the faux leather material less prone to cracking and fading. Furthermore, it’s an excellent alternative for homeowners who only want to use vegan products. 

Do note that faux leather is still less durable than genuine leather. Here is the best way to repair a faux leather sofa in case your furniture develops tears or holes. 



Are you familiar with the different types of leather? In this article, you have learned the answer to what does bonded leather mean on a sofa. Unfortunately, it can be confusing as some brands label their bonded models as genuine leather simply because 10 to 20% of their composition uses leather scraps. 

But to recap, bonded leather is only reconstituted leather from genuine leather scraps and fibers. The majority of the materials are still synthetic. We hope this clarifies your confusion, but feel free to leave any questions if you still have any.


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