Leather or Fabric Upholstery, Pros and Cons

When choosing furniture coverings, leather, and fabric upholstery are two common options that each have their own advantages and disadvantages. Here is a breakdown of the pros and cons of each:

Leather Upholstery:


– Luxurious Appearance: Leather upholstery adds a touch of sophistication and elegance to any room.
– Durability: Leather is a durable material that can withstand wear and tear, making it less likely to tear or rip than fabric.
– Easy to Clean: Spills can be wiped off quickly, and leather is less likely to retain odors.
– Hypoallergenic: For allergy sufferers, leather is a better option as it doesn’t trap dust mites, pet dander, or other allergens.
– Ages Gracefully: Leather develops a patina over time, which can enhance its appearance and character.


– Expense: Leather upholstery tends to be more expensive than fabric, making it less budget-friendly.
– Temperature Sensitivity: Leather can feel cold in winter and hot in summer, which may not be comfortable in extreme climates.
– Prone to Scratches: Although durable, leather can be susceptible to scratches and marks, especially if not properly cared for.
– Fading: Leather can fade when exposed to direct sunlight over time.
– Maintenance: Leather requires regular conditioning to prevent drying and cracking, adding to its maintenance needs.


Fabric Upholstery:

– Versatility: Fabric upholstery offers a wide range of patterns, colors, and textures, providing more design options to suit different preferences.
– Comfort: Fabrics are generally softer and more comfortable to sit on.
– Affordability: Fabric upholstery is typically more affordable than leather, making it a more budget-friendly choice.
– Breathability: Fabrics allow for better airflow, making them more comfortable in hot and humid climates.
– Low Maintenance: Many modern fabrics are treated to resist stains and can be easier to clean than leather.

– Stains and Odors: Some fabrics are more prone to staining and may retain odors if spills are not cleaned immediately.
– Allergen Trapping: Fabrics can trap dust, pet dander, and allergens more easily, making them less suitable for those with allergies.
– Durability: Fabric upholstery may not be as durable as leather and can show signs of wear and tear over time.
– Fading and Pilling: Certain fabrics can fade with prolonged exposure to sunlight, and some may develop pilling with frequent use.
– Pet-Friendly Concerns: Pets with claws can easily snag or tear fabric upholstery.

Ultimately, the choice between leather and fabric upholstery depends on your preferences, lifestyle, budget, and the intended use of the furniture. Leather is ideal for a luxurious and long-lasting look, while fabric offers more variety and comfort at a lower cost. Consider your needs and weigh the pros and cons to make an informed decision.

Demetria Clark

Call me to chat about your homeownership options.

Demetria Clark, Realtor | Virginia Realtor
Hauser Realty Group

All information provided herein has been obtained from reliable sources, but may be subject to errors, omissions, change of price, prior sale, or withdrawal without notice. Homes by Demetria and its affiliates make no representation, warranty or guarantee as to the accuracy of any information contained herein. You should consult your advisors for independent verification of any properties.