Upholstered Or Leather Furniture? What Should You Choose?

Jun 13 2012

When you're buying furniture, there are several questions that will occur – what are the size, dimensions and style of furniture you want to get? What is going to fit within your budget? What will match the scheme of things or the theme that you have around the home?

Apart from all of these questions you will want to decide what finish you want the furniture to have: do you want upholstered furniture or do you prefer leather or similar finish? Upholstery (fabric, tapestry or cloth) has its own benefits while leather has its own.

Leather can be an expensive option, particularly if it is real and good quality leather you're thinking about whereas upholstery can be a lot more economical. If cost is not a factor, leather can be a really good option. However there are faux leather or imitation leather options also available, which look much like the real thing but could cost a lot less.

Ethical Considerations
Vegans are forbidden from using animal products such as leather for even bags and shoes and those who follow the concept of beauty without cruelty will also want to eschew leather. So in such cases, upholstered furniture that is made using organic products is a better option.

Longevity or Durability
Leather can be more long wearing than fabric. Whereas fabric may stain, wear out and get raggedy over time, this will not happen with leather. Leather tends to age a lot better. Even when it gets that worn look it can look charming rather than seedy. With leather, worn is not a bad look whereas fabric can look very tatty and threadbare when it starts to wear out.

Leather can be quite a lot more durable and long lasting and can also withstand quite a bit of punishment since it ages so well. So if you have a house with kids and pets, where there is likely to be a lot of roughhousing, spilling, vigorous use and so on, leather would be a good bet.

Fabric will need periodic cleaning or washing, whereas all that leather typically needs is a wipe down with a moist cloth. Stains can also be a problem with fabric but are much less of a problem with leather. Upholstery will therefore need quite a bit of maintenance in terms of removing, washing and replacing, whereas with leather all that may be required is a cream treatment once a year.

The Weather
Hot weather can make leather a hot, sticky and uncomfortable surface to sit on, whereas upholstery can be a lot more comfortable.

The rest of your Furniture
You would obviously have to consider whether upholstery or leather fits better with the rest of your furniture and décor theme.

Personal Preference
Probably the most important consideration here would be your personal tastes and preferences. Some people love the look, feel and smell of leather whereas others find it cold and lacking in color. Tapestry can obviously offer you many variations in terms of color finishes, designs, patterns, look and feel, whereas leather has far fewer options. Also tapestry can look more warm and inviting whereas leather can feel less so.

About the Author:
Sarika Periwal has written this article. She has written numerous design and decor articles. She recommends buying a classic hardwood dining table and chairs. Amish made dining room furniture sets last for generations and require little in terms of maintenance.

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