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Which is Best: Leather or Fabric? 


Once you’ve found your favorite sofa or chair, it’s time to pick the cover. 

Do you imagine the warm, plush feel of fabric or the buttery soft hand of leather? With the wide array of leathers and fabrics available, the options are nearly endless and there’s no wrong choice. 

Both leather- and fabric-covered furnishings are attractive, durable and touchably soft. So how do you choose?


Fabric CouchFind Your Fashion

Ultimately, the best cover for your new furniture is the one you love. 

It should fit the sofa, chair, recliner or sectional you’ve chosen and complement the aesthetic of your home. 

If you’re not sure where to begin, look at inspiration photos of room designs you like and focus on the furnishings. 

Take note of the materials and characteristics of each upholstered piece. It may be the color, character or the hand that attracts your attention—but once you’ve found your ideal fabric or leather, you’ll know.

A Few Distinctions

There are some features unique to each type of cover. 

While today’s leathers are more fashionable than ever, if you’re looking for an unusual color or pattern, raised design or highly textured material, a fabric cover will give you the most options.

Have an allergy sufferer in the household? Leather is a great choice for sensitive environments. Upholstered leather furnishings are typically more impervious to dust mites, pet dander and airborne allergens than similar fabric models.

Cleanability & Care

Fabric and leather furnishings are equally easy to maintain when you choose the correct fit for your lifestyle. 

In a household that includes little hands or paws, look for a performance fabric or one featuring fabric protection. 

Pet hair doesn’t stick to leather so it can be a great choice for families with children and animals, but steer clear of pure aniline grades that are less stain-resistant and more easily marred. 

And remember, both fabric and leather are susceptible to fading, so limit your furniture’s exposure to direct sunlight.

Can’t Decide?

If choosing between fabric and leather seems impossible, you can have both. 

Gone are the days when every piece in a room had to match. Today’s most successful interior designs feature a mix of upholstery covers and finishes. 

If you’ve found your dream leather sectional, consider adding an accent chair in a fun fabric. Or, add a pair of leather ottomans to your favorite fabric-upholstered sofa. Express yourself by creating a look that’s all your own. 

These tips are courtesy of Palliser, one of the nation’s top home furnishings brands. Browse our selection of Palliser home theater furniture now.