If you’re weighing the pros and cons of buying a less expensive faux leather sofa rather than real, genuine leather, let our guide help you decide which is wiser.
Real leather is more expensive for good reason. Animal hide — whether buttery soft or exquisitely distressed — will reward you with a feeling of luxury and prestige for up to 20 years. Not so with “faux.” Synthetic laminates may look good and feel soft (maybe a little too soft!) in the store, but you can expect many to peel, crack, fade and sag within a few years. Here’s why.
Faux Leather Deconstructed
Faux leather is made from a base of polyester, cotton, nylon, rayon or plastic treated with wax, dye or polyurethane to create the color and texture. You’re left with a manufactured grain that is uniform in texture, but rather lifeless. Yes, it’s very easy to keep clean, but plastic easily cracks and fades with use and, over time, faux leather loses its elasticity and begins to sag at the seams.
[Caption:] To make PU Faux Leather, a polyurethane finish is applied to a base fabric. An artificial grain is added to mimic the look of genuine leather. Unfortunately, the plastic easily cracks over time.
[Caption:] Faux leather is not pet friendly, while genuine leather is a much better option for homes with pets.
How Genuine Leather Compares
Genuine leather is made from cattle, buffalo or oxen hides. Each one is unique, marked with unevenly spaced pores and other inconsistencies that only enhance its character and beauty.
[Caption] Genuine leather has unique markings that enhances its character, while manufactured faux leather has a uniformity that feels lifeless.
The benefits of going natural are many:
Superior durability. Intricately intertwined collagen fibers make real leather far more durable than manmade faux leather. It naturally resists tears and punctures, and modern tanning processes create a surface much less likely to peel, crack or sag. A top grain leather with aniline dye can last decades.
[Caption] Its durability is visible. The gleaming top grain leather arms, seat and back of this Futura adjustable power reclining sofa is ultra-soft and equipped with a USB port on the power control.
More Beautiful with Age. With wear, real leather actually becomes more supple. Instead of looking tired and worn-out, it develops a beautiful patina that makes it look even more inviting with age.
Inherently Comfortable. Unlike many synthetic imitation leathers, genuine leather has warmth. Since it absorbs and releases moisture, it doesn’t feel sticky or clammy like vinyl or plastic-based imitation leathers do.
Easy to Maintain. Real leather resists dirt and spills. Just wipe with a damp cloth. And, contrary to what many people believe, real leather is child-friendly and pet-friendly.
It Just Smells Like Luxury. That real leather smell cannot be faked. It smells like privilege, while faux leather smells, well, like plastic. Real leather also doesn’t hold on to dust and dander like fabric does, making it a great alterative for people with allergies.
Caption: At Baer’s, we carry a wide selection of genuine leather furniture in a variety of styles. The neutral tufted Hooker Chesterfield Sofa with nail head trim is a beautiful transitional piece that will last through numerous interior design changes.
Say ‘No to Faux’ at Baer’s
Before you choose faux leather, let Baer’s show you what your living room can look like with real leather. We pride ourselves on our selection of quality leather furniture made by Natuzzi Editions, Futura Leather, Bernhardt, American Leather and Hooker Furniture. Whether you shop online or come into one of our 17 stores throughout Florida, we think you’ll be delightfully surprised at the range of styles, built-in amenities (such as cup holders and phone chargers), and unrivaled service we can offer you.