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Pros and Cons of Leather Furniture

Category Buying
Each type of furniture upholstery has its positive and negative features. This is a guide about the pros and cons of leather furniture.


Ask a QuestionHere are the questions asked by community members. Read on to see the answers provided by the ThriftyFun community or ask a new question.

By 0 found this helpful
February 15, 2010

I am thinking about buying leather furniture. My family suffers from allergies. Will this be the best furniture for people with allergies? Also, do cats claw this furniture?

By Cindy from TX


February 16, 20100 found this helpful

Don't know about the cat question although I would suspect they would, as they can do any furniture. As to the allergy question, I can say it helped me. We live where it's quite dusty (farm land) and I could smack the arm of my fabric couch and see dust fly even right after cleaning. With the leather I just keep it wiped down (sometimes with leather cleaner and sometimes with a damp cloth) and this eliminates the dust and helps my allergies.

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February 17, 20100 found this helpful

I have leather furniture and 3 cats. My cats don't claw the furniture, but if they are running and jump on it (just playing around) they can scratch it some.

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February 18, 20100 found this helpful

Hot in warm weather and cold in cold weather.

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February 18, 20100 found this helpful

Cats scratched the sides of my son's leather sofa and chairs:-( It's more noticeable on leather, too.

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February 18, 20100 found this helpful

I love our leather couches! We have 2 dogs and a cat and the leather is great with pets. Our couches have a distressed finish so it doesn't show any marks when the dogs run and jump on the couch.


It's perfect! I keep an old knitting project folded up on one of the arms and our cat think it's his personal space. He goes right to it every time and doesn't bother with the rest of the couch at all.

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February 18, 20100 found this helpful

Leather will last longer than most other things. We tried to save money and had a matching vinyl covering added to the backs and sides of our couch and chair (where you don't see) and wish I had kept it all leather. They put vinyl on the sides of the seats and it is cracking at the seams. It would have been worth it to me to go ahead and spend the money but for sure, get all leather around the seats.

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February 15, 20100 found this helpful

I am having to make furniture buying decisions in the next few weeks. I have always loved leather, however I am not sure about the durability. When I poll my friends about their furniture woes and joys. I hear over and over, buy the best you can afford. I understand that many of the cushions and armrests break down and the "extended warranties" that you can purchase are virtually worthless. What do you think?


We are a small family, one dog. We live in the country and bring a lot of dirt in the house. The dog is not allowed on the furniture. If I buy a cream or beige leather will it clean up well? Does the super soft leather absorb dirt and oil worse than the shiny finish type? What happens if you spill red wine on beige leather? What happens if a small hole happens? Is this fixable? Does anyone regret buying leather? Why? Any recommendations? Thank you a bunch.

Kelly from Anchorage, AK


Pros and Cons of Leather Furniture

We have a taupe color leather living room set, couch, loveseat, chair, and rocker/recliner. Many may not agree with my opinion, but I would not have any other kind of furniture. They say that there are some easy to clean ones out there? But we have the (shiny) leather and I love it. Spills wipe right off, pet friendly, kid friendly you name it.


We purchased extra protection for any rips or hole that might happen to it. Once there was a cigarette burn that they had to come and repair. If you looked close you could see where the repair was, but you had to be looking for it. They also sell repair liquid for car interiors and such that if you want you can repair it yourself. The only thing I would recommend is to get all leather, some of the furniture is leather only where you touch it like the seat and arms then it's sewn on an imitation leather. This does not hold up and will rip at the seams over time. We have raised 4 boys and 3 dogs. I have had couches ruined from play dough, spills you name it. But the leather one has been a blessing in our home. Good luck and enjoy your new furniture. (06/18/2007)


By Linda

Pros and Cons of Leather Furniture

Leather is hot and sticky. Not comfortable (in my opinion) to sleep on or lounge on. But I've seen some really nice ones, but I think that the lighter ones don't do as well. If you sit for any amount of time, the oils from your head will make a mark that no leather person will be able to get out. And you can keep blankets on them, they slide off. Can you tell we don't have leather? (06/19/2007)

By Michawn

Pros and Cons of Leather Furniture

We had a light fabric suite (bad choice) which was my worst ever decision. We replaced it about 6 years ago with an all leather black suite (goes with any other colour). I absolutely love it, it's a very comfortable design, still looks as good as new and I admit that I have hardly ever conditioned it although this is recommended. I've wiped smudges off with a damp cloth. We did get one or two "wear" marks on the back of one chair which rubbed against a wall. These were very easily repaired. I now keep a throw blanket over the back to protect this area. This is the best suite we have ever purchased, I have not regretted it, very low maintenance. I don't know how lighter coloured leather would wear though. (06/19/2007)


By jojo

Pros and Cons of Leather Furniture

While I have never had leather furniture in my house I have it in my cars. I love it. I would buy leather furniture. It is so easy to clean. Spills come right up and you can spot crumbs and dust on it easier than fabric furniture. Some may consider that a con, but I like clean furniture. All you need is a Swiffer duster.

As far as some scratching and wear and tear some people say it gives leather its distinct look. I worked in a furniture store for four years and when we had a leather piece that had a scuff we would take a hair dryer and turn it to the lowest setting and blow it on the scuff for a few seconds then rub a clean cloth over it. Works like a charm on minor scuffs. Good luck. (06/19/2007)

By tracey

Pros and Cons of Leather Furniture

6 months ago I bought my first leather couch and loveseat. I highly recommend you get the extra warranty plan, if one is offered. You should get a leather cleaner and conditioning cream to use for cleaning and protecting your leather. Before weekly dusting with a lint-free cloth, I use my Hoover vacuum attachment wand to get crumbs that have fallen in the cracks. I have no regrets in my leather furniture purchase. Good luck to you. (06/19/2007)

By Melissa

Pros and Cons of Leather Furniture

Yes, don't buy fabric. If you have one near you, you can get reasonably priced, high quality leather from Costco. Another choice is pleather (plastic leather) or leather substitutes. They all clean well and wear well and they look much more sophisticated that they used to. Also, you can look second hand on craigslist and what not.

But buying fabric or "micro-fabric" or whatever they are calling fabric these days is a total waste of money. (06/19/2007)


Pros and Cons of Leather Furniture

My husband and I have a leather couch. Actually we didn't choose it. It came with our furnished apartment. We have some complaints about this couch. One is that our cat scratches it, not on purpose, but when she plays. So we keep the couch covered in a constantly slipping slip cover. The other major complaint is that the couch is noisy. Whenever one of us moves, the leather creaks. In short, I'm pretty sure I'll never buy a leather couch. (06/19/2007)

By Amity

Pros and Cons of Leather Furniture

I have a leather couch, chair, and matching ottoman. They were purchased over 20 years ago. I just adore all the pieces. We paid over $2000 for the set, which 20 years ago was a lot of money for a leather set. It has turned out to be an investment comparable to an oriental rug.

I have never had a problem with it being sticky in the summer and cold in the winter. Rather it is so soft it feels like I have sunk into a marshmallow. Maybe it's because we bought the most expensive grade of leather. We have one tiny area on the arm of the chair that looks like a tiny crack starting. I think of that as giving the chair character. If you can afford leather buy the best your pocketbook will allow. Occasionally I will take a cotton dustcloth that is lightly dampened with water and lightly wash it. Good luck and if you go through with your purchase I hope you enjoy your set as much as I do mine. (06/19/2007)

By joesgirl

Pros and Cons of Leather Furniture

We saved for three years and found our darkish leather love seats at Costco in 2000. They are always comfortable, no matter what the temperature. They are easy to keep clean, and our guests exclaim over how comfy they are. When I get a cold, I sleep on them to keep from disturbing my husband all night. Even though they are 5 feet long and I am 5'8" they give me a good night's sleep. We paid $1500 for the two of them, and they are going to last a long time. They still look new after 7 years. We don't have indoor pets, but we both weigh about 200 pounds, so that should tell you something. The leather is from Sweden, and is very soft. (06/19/2007)

By Coreen Hart

Pros and Cons of Leather Furniture

I brought a new leather suite back in October and I am delighted with it. The only advise that I can give you is pay as much as you can afford as the quality of the leather and how much of the suite is actual leather does matter.

My suite is all genuine leather, but I discovered that some of the cheaper leather suites only have actual leather on the arm rests and seating cushions. The sides, back, etc. are PCV or another leather substitute.

I know that my leather suite cost me alot of money around $2500, but if I clean it and oil it regularly then it will last me for many years. (06/20/2007)

By Karon

Pros and Cons of Leather Furniture

We also have all smooth leather. Ours is a burgundy brown and the highest quality we could afford when we bought it 8 years ago. Use the cleaners and conditioners at least once in awhile otherwise just dust it. It has stayed soft and pliable, not noisy. Ours is also over-stuffed and comfy to sleep on and not hot in the summer or cold in the winter. My husband is almost 400 lbs and his chair is still in great shape and that says something in itself. (06/20/2007)

By Diane

Pros and Cons of Leather Furniture

Leather is not sticky in hot weather because it breathes. Don't confuse it with cheap vinyl which is sticky. (06/20/2007)

By Beth

Pros and Cons of Leather Furniture

I have had 3 leather sofas with 2 boys and several dogs and cats through the years, the first one last 24 years and that was when the boys were home. Leather is a good investment, fabric is terrible, it gets dirty and you have to have it cleaned and the fabric wears out and it looks terrible. (07/17/2008)

By Diane

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