How to Choose the Right Leather Furniture


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Leather furniture is an excellent choice for the interior design of your home. No matter how styles evolve, leather furniture is timeless, allowing you to easily adapt your other décor around it.

Once you’ve made the decision to buy leather furniture, you may wonder how you can make the right choice. There are countless options, but these tips will help you choose wisely!

Know How to Spot Genuine Leather Over Faux

When buying leather furniture, you want to make sure it’s the real deal. Genuine leather feels incredible, looks good, and has a rich aroma. You’ll want to be sure this is what you’re getting rather than faux. 

Check the Backside of the Furniture

As you shop for a leather sofa or large piece of furniture, keep in mind that leather only comes in certain sizes. The larger the item, the more pieces of leather it will require to be stitched together. A peek at the back should reveal stitching for an authentic leather sofa. If you don’t see this, it’s not genuine.

Leather Furniture Isn’t Cheap

While certain grades of leather will command higher prices over other pieces, all leather furniture will cost more than faux options. If you spy a piece of furniture advertised as leather with a price that’s as cheap as fabric or synthetics, it’s likely not real leather.

Look at the Tag

Just about every piece of furniture, leather or not, will contain a tag that details the materials. If it’s real leather, it will describe the type of leather used for this piece of furniture.

Leather Has a Unique Texture and Smell

You might be able to fake the look of leather, but you can’t fake the texture or smell. Leather is soft, with the exception of full grain leather which softens more over time. It should also feel warm to the touch, and it has an unmistakable rich aroma. With faux leather, you may detect an unpleasant chemical smell from polyurethane

Inspect the Grain

Genuine leather will always have some variations in the grain. It’s as unique as the hide it comes from, like a fingerprint. Faux leather will have a fully uniform appearance.

Check the Reverse Side

Another way to check on your leather is to look at the reverse side which will remain unfinished, have no color, and feel rougher when it’s real leather. If you flip the cushions and see that it’s all the same, it’s faux. 

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Picking the Right Leather Type

You will be sure to find real leather furniture at a leather furniture store. This will ensure that you choose the right furniture, though there are different kinds of leather.

If you want the most durable, choose full grain leather. It starts off rougher and softens with time. It will also be the most expensive option. Top grain leather is polished a little more but is softer from the start without sacrificing quality.

You can choose bonded leather for the look of leather with good quality at a lower cost. All told, it’s only about 17% leather in composition but it will have that leather aroma and appearance. Nubuck leather is another option, made from rawhide and sanded for a suede-like look. However, it’s really fragile and it may not be the best option if you have kids or pets. Full grain and top grain are ideal for withstanding the wear and tear imposed on furniture by children and furry family members.

What you’ll want to avoid is anything made from bi-cast leather or faux materials. The tips above can help you spot them. Don’t be led to believe you’re buying leather when it’s fake. While some people actively choose faux options, those that spend good money to get leather will be disappointed when bi-cast or faux material cracks and peels.

Other leather options may come at a lower price tag but provide less longevity. It helps to speak with leather experts at the furniture store to find out which one is the right choice for you.

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