Fabric or Leather Sofa?

Sofa and furniture have evolved from its functional purpose of sitting to comfort and enhancing your interior design. When chosen right, sofa does not only complement your house style but can also make it stand out and appear more attractive. And then there are other considerations that come into play: such as comfort, durability, flexibility and size. All these questions allude to the importance of selecting the right sofa for your home. As many would know, it is the first place that visitors, including yourself, head for a get-together. For many homeowners, the common question asked is the pros and cons of selecting fabric sofa vis-à-vis leather sofa. If this is a similar question that strikes your mind, below we provide you with the comparison of both types of sofa for your consideration:

Style and Appearance

 Fineline fabic sofa in living room

Project Design: Fineline

If you already have a style of your interior design in your mind (or already have an existing style), choosing a fabric or leather sofa can affect the overall ambience of your home. While fabric sofas can be quirkier due to the availability of various designs and patterns, a leather sofa typically exudes a sleeker appearance that enhance the elegant of your house. However, if you want to opt for leather but still go quirky, be rest assured that there are bright colours available out there like red, orange or yellow. Style-wise, fabric sofa can complement the contemporary, modern and retro while the leather sofa can suit the industrial and the contemporary and modern as well. Depending on your style, the choice of going fabric or leather may not be a difficult question after all.

Comfort and Safety

Appearance aside, comfort is another crucial element in selecting the best sofa. It is quite apparent that fabric sofa is more comfortable for users – being cushiony and soft to the touch. In comparison, leather is firmer and tougher to the touch and can be slippery at times. Additionally, in a hot weather like Singapore, leather absorbs heat easily and not only might this cause cracks, but a hot seat can be especially uncomfortable to sit down. However, if you are sensitive to allergen and dust, leather sofa might be more comfortable overall considering that they are hypoallergenic and do not accumulate allergen like pet dander and mites. Meanwhile, fabric sofa is more susceptible to ‘attracting’ allergens. However, this can be avoided if you clean the fabric sofa regularly.

My Reno Diary leather sofa in living room

Project design: My Reno Diary


This brings us to the point of maintenance and upkeeping, which is another pivotal consideration for any furniture. Typically, if the quality of sofa is good and the owners themselves maintain the sofa well, one can expect to keep a sofa up between seven and fifteen years. The good thing about fabric sofa is that there are various fabric cleaning products available in the market, which ensures that you can upkeep the condition of your sofa and take care of the unforeseen stains. Even without cleaning products, fabric sofa can still be maintained through simple methods like sponge and soap and steam cleaner. This is especially so if your fabric is of a premium quality. Meanwhile, for leather it is advisable to clean your leather with leather cleaning and polishing products to ensure that you maintain its quality and avoid the potentiality of cracks when you used other cleaning solutions. Although leather is perhaps easier to clean considering its material and texture, the firmer skin of your leather sofa makes it difficult to maintain considering that they are less susceptible to scratches (e.g. from pets or from bangles and necklaces).

Starry Homestead fabric sofa in living room

Photo Design: Starry Homestead


Last but not least, let’s look into the budget of purchasing fabric versus leather sofa. Generally, leather sofa cost more than a fabric sofa but this additional price is usually accounted for by the fact that leather sofa can last longer (refer to maintenance above) as well as the sleek and finished look that it provides to your home (see style and appearance). It is wise to note that leather, as a material cost more than fabric due to the quality of the material. Hence, in terms of overall cost (considering the depreciation of sofas), the cost of both fabric sofa and leather sofa might match after all. At the end of the day, it is all dependent on homeowners’ style and their lifestyle which may help them select the best sofa that suit your needs.  

NID Interior matching leather sofa and seat

Project Design: NID Interior