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How to Compare Leather Sofa Quality

Updated November 21, 2016

Leather is attractive, durable, easy to care for, and fits well into almost any decor The toughness of leather makes it an ideal choice for homes with kids and pets. According to BuyLeatherFurniture.org, if you buy a quality leather sofa, the leather will outlast any other furniture cover. The trick is to determine the quality of a leather sofa.

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  1. Arm yourself with knowledge before shopping for your new leather sofa. Check online sites that specialise in leather to learn the facts on leather sofas.

  2. Seek out a reputable store in your area that sells a variety of leather furniture. Ask friends and family for store recommendations. Use your local phone book to find stores. Call to determine if they have a large selection.

  3. Visit the furniture store. Ask to speak to their leather specialist. Many stores with larger leather selections will have staff that is specially trained in leather.

  4. Decide if you want a sofa that is leather all over or one that is a leather/vinyl combination. The combination will usually have leather in all areas that touch the body, such as seat, back cushions, front of frame and arms. The outside backs and sides will be covered in vinyl. This is done as a cost saver, opening the door to people who want leather, but have less money to spend. Generally the leather/vinyl is not a problem, except sometimes the vinyl will not wear as well. On the other hand, the vinyl areas do not get as much use.

  5. Ask about the type of leather on different sofas. Check to see if the leather is top grain. Top-grain leather is considered the most durable, but it is also the most expensive. Protective coatings are applied to some leathers to help prevent surface marks, such as scratches.

  6. Notice if the leather is smooth across the surface or if it has puckers and wrinkles. The leather will tend to loosen somewhat with time, so you want it to be as tight as possible initially.

  7. Ask your salesperson about frame construction. Question whether the frame is made of hardwood, plywood, or plastic. Hardwood and plywood can be equal in quality if the plywood is at least 3/4 inch thick. Find out if there are corner blocks on the frame. Ask if the legs are built as part of the frame or simply screwed in.

  8. Determine the density of the foam cushions. Higher density foam will last longer without compacting down. Better quality cushions have zippers and are removable. The leather will likely outlast the core, so the zippers allow you to replace the core.

  9. Inquire as to which leather sofa manufacturer has the smallest number of complaints and service issues.

  10. Tip

    Shop for your leather sofa when you have an ample amount of time to gather the facts. Ask for another salesperson if the one you have is not able to answer all your questions.


    Condition your leather sofa at least 3 times a year to keep the leather supple.

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Things You'll Need

  • Computer
  • Phone Book

About the Author

Kate Daniels
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