Leather or Fabric Sofa?

Having a hard time deciding between a leather and fabric sofa?

Most forum/blogs will suggest a leather sofa. However we won’t take side.

Here’s WHY:

Both leather & fabric sofa have their pros & cons. You can easily turn fabric sofa’s weakness into it’s strength when you play it well. Work with it, instead of working against it.

(Please note that we are talking about genuine leather here. Faux leather is out of the topic.)

1) Durability
No doubt that leather wears in and fabric wears out.Furniture in SingaporeFor leather sofa ★★★:
Leather is a very durable material, they are meant to build to last. However it can be easily scratched. Leather is also susceptible to cracking or splitting. Spills and dirt can easily be wiped off. The sofa also looks better as it becomes worn down with age. Aging brings out its natural patina, making it even more beautiful over time, this is a purchase that makes a sound investment.
For Fabric sofa ★★:
Fabric can be hard to clean if stained and may absorb odors such as smoke. It can also be susceptible to dust mites. However, some fabric sofas are equipped with removable covers that can be cleaned more easily.

  • #TIPS: Here’s when etch&bolts comes in to tackle this. All the sofa here is designed with fully removable cover.
  • #TIPS: Request from etch&bolts for scotchgard fabric to improve the water resistance of fabric sofa.


2) Cost
Generally leather sofa is about x2 to x3 the price of fabric sofa. But it last 4x longer than fabric.

Furniture in Singapore

3) Maintenance

Leather is generally easy to clean with a damp cloth and is stain resistant. However, it does need some more care compared with fabric — it is important to keep leather clean.

Furniture in Singapore

For leather sofa :

  • #TIPS: Use conditioner every 6-12months and wipe up spills as they occur with a clean cloth. Avoid using normal cleaning suppliers like soaps, detergents, solvents, etc.

For Fabric sofa :

  • #TIPS: Under normal usage/conditions, regular dry-cloth dusting and vacuum cleaning in crevices or along the bottom is all that is necessary to clean your furniture.
  • #TIPS:  Protect your furniture from sun and direct light. Like any upholstery material, leather can fade to some degree if exposed to the sun.


4) Colours

While leather sofas are available most commonly in colors like black and chestnut, bright colors like green, orange or yellow may also be available. However, fabric sofas are available in many more patterns and colors than leather sofas.

  1. Furniture in Singapore
    For leather sofa ★:

    • #TIPS: Don’t get tricked by faux leather. It may comes in as many colour options as fabric. But that’s definitely not what you are looking for.

    For Fabric sofa ★★★:

    • #TIPS: Microfiber fabric definitely comes in vast colour option, there’s even duo colour option. Request colour swatches from etch&bolts today.

    5) Comfort

    Leather can be cold to the touch, and some find it uncomfortable in hot weather, as it can stick to the skin. Leather seats may also be slippery.

    Furniture in Singapore 

    For leather sofa ★★:
    Leather sofas gets a bit warm to sit on when the weather is hot.

    • #TIPS: Calf Leather- It tends to be very soft and comfortable. Cow leather – Highly resistant. Buffalo Leather – Oh man, kinda hard.


    6) Fun Level
    If you are someone who gets bored easily, Fabric Sofa with fully removable upholstery might suits you more.

    Furniture in Singapore


    • #TIPS: etch&bolts enables you to change your upholstery at affordable pricing even after years. Which means, your sofa will look brand new in the chosen colour of the year.
    • #TIPS: Most sofa has a similar structure, the only difference is the upholstery and detailed designs – eg. With tufted buttons or with piping.


    7) Other Tips

    • #TIPS: Fabric furniture absorbs sound well and gives a warm feel to places that have mostly hardwood and few soft furnishings.
    • #TIPS: If your air-condition is on most of the time, leather sofa will feel cold against your skin. You might also slide around on it.
    • #TIPS: A light coloured microfiber material is known to be kid friendly.
    • #TIPS: Consider the contrast against the floor color. A dark piece of furniture can really darken down a room and close it in if the floor is dark too.



    Here’s the summary chart on Leather & Fabric sofas.

    Easy Maintenance High Maintenance
    Feels Luxury Naturally Feels Comfy Naturally
    Less Colour Variety More Colour Variety
    Wear In Overtime Wear Out Overtime
    High Durability Low Durability
    High Cost Low Cost
    Expensive Re-upholstery Easy Re-upholstery
    (for fully removable designs)
    Warmer in hot whether Cooler
    Child Proof Higher Risk
    Suitable for Homes with Pet Not Suitable for Homes with Pet
    For the Rich For the Cool


Here’s another guide for you on how to judge a sofa for quality.