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What are different leather grades in furniture?

Updated April 15, 2017

The price of leather furniture varies greatly as does the quality of the leather. Some leather is better for people with children or pets, and other types are better for decoration. Understanding the different types of leather will help you make the best decisions about which leather best fits your needs based on budget and use.

Bonded Leather

Bonded leather is the lowest quality of leather and also the cheapest. It is patched together from scraps of leather, which makes it less durable and not as suitable for furniture that will be used by children or animals.

Split Grain Leather

Split grain leather is stronger than bonded leather because it is made from a single piece. However, it is made from the inside of the hide so it is lower quality than top grain leather and full grain leather because it is not as durable as the outer hide.

Top Grain Leather

Top grain leather is made from the outer portion of the hide but is buffed to get rid of any imperfections. This is the longest lasting leather because it is made from the outer portion of the hide and is treated to make it last longer, but can be very expensive.

Full Grain Leather

Full grain is the top-of-the-line leather. It is also made from the outer portion of the hide but is left unsanded. This leather is more for decoration and is unsuitable for kids or animals.

Fun Fact

About 10 per cent of the hides produced in the world in 2008 went to making furniture.

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About the Author

Mark Kennan is a writer based in the Kansas City area, specializing in personal finance and business topics. He has been writing since 2009 and has been published by "Quicken," "TurboTax," and "The Motley Fool."