Microfiber vs. leather sofas

Written by amy swanton mills
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Microfiber vs. leather sofas
(Glamour Goes Green, Glamour Goes Green, tz1_1zt: Flickr.com)

Microfiber and leather are both excellent upholstery choices for sofas. Both materials offer durability, style and comfort. There are some difference between the materials, however, so before you purchasing a sofa, take a closer look at these two materials.

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The Facts

Microfiber consists of synthetic, tiny fibres that are woven tightly together. Microfibers are 100 times finer than human hair. The fineness of microfibers creates durability and flexibility in the fabric. Leather is made from the hide of a cow or other animal that has undergone a tanning process before being upholstered onto a sofa. Microfiber is purchased by the yard. Leather is purchased by the hide.

Benefits

Microfiber and leather sofas offer many years of use and beauty. Both microfiber and leather are extremely durable and have inherent stain-resistant properties. They hold up well to daily use and are a good choice for people with children or pets. Microfiber and leather sofas are available at many furniture stores.

Appearance

Leather and microfiber are dyed in a variety of colours and patterns. Microfiber is completely man-made and comes in a variety of textures, patterns and colours. It offers a soft, uniform feel. It can be woven to resemble suede, velvet or cotton. Leather was once the skin of a living animal and may bear scars, wrinkles and other marks. It also comes in different patterns and colours, but the texture stays the same. Both materials upholster tightly onto the frame of the sofa.

Microfiber vs. leather sofas
This is an example of a microfiber sofa.

Features

If you have allergies, a leather sofa is a better choice than a microfiber sofa because leather won't absorb dust and other small particles into the cushions. Microfiber does not offer the same barrier. Both microfiber sofas and leather sofas are good for pets as their tightly woven structure is resistant to pills and fraying. If you or your family is vegan, microfiber is a good choice because no animals are involved in the manufacturing process. In terms of cost, leather is usually more expensive than microfiber.

Microfiber vs. leather sofas
Leather sofas work well for people with pets.

Considerations

Leather and microfiber look and feel very different. Ultimately it is a matter of personal preference when choosing between these two types of sofas. If possible, visit a furniture store that has both types of sofas in their showroom and sit on them. If ordering from a catalogue, request samples of leather and microfiber fabrics so you can see what they look and feel like. Finally, when choosing either a microfiber or leather sofa, remember that dark colours will always wear better than light colours.

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