From a classic mid-century modern couch to the most contemporary chair, let's face it: leather furniture is a timeless option that will never go out of style!
You can find leather models for all kinds of pieces of furniture, meaning that it won't be hard to create or maintain a consistent look. Or, on the contrary, you could choose one accent leather piece that will immediately stand out without looking out of place.
Either way, let's tell you all about the pros and cons of leather furniture to make sure that this is the right material for your needs and habits.
Pros of leather furniture
It looks sophisticated and stylish
The appeal of leather furniture goes beyond personal preference: it's a statement.
Thanks to its elegant look and its immediate association with luxury, leather furniture will translate into a sophisticated vibe for your living room, bedroom, or wherever you're planning on placing it.
It can work with different types of décors
Leather is especially popular with modern, retro, contemporary, and rustic interior styles;
However, depending on the style of a specific model, you can easily find a leather piece that works with less obvious settings, too;
From the material of their frame to the finish and whether or not they feature a tufted back, some more specific leather models can help you reinforce the interior style that you already have in your room.
It's a reliable and durable option
When you choose leather furniture, you're basically investing in items that will stay with you for many, many years to come:
From its water resistance to its sturdy texture, the very properties of this material enhance the durability of your furniture;
In fact, these pieces can last up to four times longer than their faux-leather counterparts.
It's easy to maintain and to wipe or clean
We're pretty sure you'll find leather's signature properties super handy even when it comes to the maintenance of your furniture:
Because it's water-resistant, leather furniture won't require you to move onto the floor for the rest of the night when you accidentally spill a drink while having dinner in front of a movie. As long as you wipe it asap, you won't even stain it nor ruin it!
Dusting leather furniture is also extremely easy since it presents such a smooth surface.
Vintage Leather Armchairs
It's a safe choice if you have pets
Contrary to popular belief, leather furniture is actually a practical choice if you have pets:
First of all, because leather is so resistant, it's not that easy to ruin it by scratching it;
Second, it's odor-repellent: if your four-legged friend likes sitting next to you, you won't have to worry about a stinky result over time;
Finally, leather doesn't harbor pet dander and other allergens as easily as other fabric options, and, because it's so easy to wipe clean, you won't have to worry about fur and hair.
Cons of leather furniture
It comes with a higher price tag
If you haven't already noticed this, let us spare you a heartache before you start browsing a few models:
Leather furniture can be a lot more expensive than other popular options;
However, keep in mind that, because it will last you for many years, it can be a one-time investment that will stay with you forever.
It can discolor over time when kept in direct sunlight
Just like for vampires, the biggest enemy of leather furniture is… sunlight.
Even though it's extremely durable, leather won't look as new as when you first bought it if you keep in direct sunlight all the time.
If you're set on investing in leather furniture, be sure to position it a bit further away from large windows.
Leather furniture might not be the best choice for vegans and vegetarians
This obviously depends: we have both some vegetarian friends who don't mind leather furniture and some others who'd be extremely uncomfortable sitting on a leather sofa.
Hey, you do you!
However, we thought we'd point it out in case you were planning on surprising someone in your household with a new leather item. You might want to ask them first!
It comes with fewer color options
With fabric upholstery, you can think of pretty much any hue and you're guaranteed to find an item in that exact color. With leather? Not so much!
Leather upholstery is mainly available in brown, black, and similar neutral colors;
This makes it easier to complement existing palettes or use them as your primary color, but not so much to turn them into your brightest accent shade;
Having said that, it's not impossible to find leather furniture in different colors: you might just have less choice or need to compromise on design and size, but you can certainly find a few colorful models, out there.
It can feel sticky in the hottest climates
Leather usually maintains your ambient temperature, which can be both good and bad news.
However, if you live in a particularly hot or humid climate, sitting on a leather sofa will often lead to an uncomfortable sticky feeling. If you're dead set on leather, just be sure to keep your room well ventilated to avoid it.
Even though there are several pros and cons to leather furniture, the moral of the story is: does it work for your specific situation?
If you're happy to invest in a durable solution, aren't planning on keeping it in direct sunlight, and aren't too fussy when it comes to colors, you're good to go.
Caroline is a young, New York-based interior designer and home decor writer, obsessed with textiles and designer furniture. Backed with rigorous training from a prestigious design school, as well as a profound understanding of material quality and fabric care, she offers spot-on advice on how to furnish your place with reliable, functional, and aesthetically pleasing pieces.
Foter Magazine is a premier architecture, decoration, interiors and design website. We inspire and guide you to make your home a more attractive place.