Your Next Couch – Not ‘SOFA’ Away

A sofa is an indispensable part of living room furniture. Whether you want to relax while watching television, lounge around before a meal, or if you’re just too tired to go to bed to take a nap, a sofa always comes in handy. When deciding on what type of sofa you should get for your home, there are many types of considerations, from price, to colour, to durability, and the list goes on. Commonly you will find yourself choosing between a leather sofa, a fabric sofa or a PVC sofa, and we will break down the different pros and cons of these types of materials so you can make the right choice when choosing a sofa.


Whether you are planning for your brand new BTO flat, or replacing an old sofa, price is going to be of paramount concern. Look at your budget and consider how much can you afford to spend on your sofa, the difference between a leather sofa and a PVC sofa of the same design and model can be a few hundred dollars.

Image of living room with blue canvas sofas

Make sure you are clear about how much you can spend on the sofa. That way you can limit yourself to an affordable range of choices and easily eliminate any options which are too expensive.

A leather sofa can cost upwards of a thousand dollars, while PVC sofas and fabric sofas start from a few hundred dollars.


Durability of the sofa is also a key consideration when choosing the material. The more durable the material, the more stain (and odour) resistant it is, and the longer the sofa will be able to last you. This means you will spend less money in the long run as you can keep your original sofa for a longer period. Leather sofas are by far the most durable of materials.

Leather is highly stain and odour resistant and can be very easily cleaned with simple wiping a few times a year. Leather is also thick and would resist scratches and spills. This makes leather the ideal choice for homes with small children or pets. Pet fur would not stick to the leather and small children who are prone to spilling food on the sofa would not make such a big mess on leather sofas. However, you would need to take care of your sofa over time with leather cleaners to prevent the leather from cracking, although this only needs to be done about once a year.

PVC has properties like leather in terms of durability. PVC, or synthetic leather, is also water-proof, making it highly stain and odour resistant. However, the material is not as thick as leather and can be easily scratched and worn down, making them considerably less durable than leather sofas over time. They are also prone to cracking and splitting, which unlike leather sofas, can not be prevented by using leather cleaners.

Image of fabric sofa

PVC sofas are prone to being worn down with loss of the material over time

Fabric sofas are the most delicate of sofa materials. Fabric is notorious for staining, making it very easily dirtied whenever there is a spill on the sofa. The material will retain any strong odours as well, so if you smoke in your house, the sofa will start to smell of smoke over time. This means that if you go on the sofa when you are dirty or sweaty, you will also be leaving stains and smells on it as well. Fabric is also easily cut and scratched, so if you have a pet in the house, you need to be careful of it when it is around the sofa to prevent any unwanted accidents from happening.


Leather and PVC sofas require little cleaning year-round. The thick waterproof material makes it stain resistant and you only need to wipe it down every few months. With leather sofas you will also have to apply a leather cleaner around a year. This waxes the leather and prevents it from cracking.

Image of cleaning fabric sofa

Once PVC sofas start showing signs of cracking and their waterproof material starts being worn down to the threads, you need to take more care of it as it is not as durable and resistant as it once was.

Fabric sofas need regular cleaning, whether vacuuming or steam cleaning, as the fabric mops up all dirt that it encounters. Fabric sofas are also highly porous, making it easy for hair and dirt to get trapped inside the material. However, some fabric sofas come with removable covers. This makes them easy to clean as you can just take off the covers and send them for washing. This may be a better choice if you want to clean your sofa thoroughly more regularly as leather and PVC sofas cannot be cleaned so extensively.


Image of dog sitting on fabric sofa

PVC and leather sofas are the choice if you are concerned about allergens, asthma or you are concerned about young infants in the house. Fabric sofas are hot beds for pests like dust mites and even bed bugs. Other allergens like pollen or dirt and dust can get easily trapped between the fabric.


Image of women and dog sitting on leather sofa

Comfort is highly dependent on your personal choice. You may find that fabric sofas are comfier and cosier than leather or PVC sofas, or vice versa. With the climate in Singapore, you may find your legs and thighs sweating and getting stuck to the surface of leather and PVC sofas, making it uncomfortable when the air-conditioning is turned off. In the same way, you may find these sofas too cold to the touch when its cool and makes it uncomfortable for you to sit on them, and you may even start to slide on it.

Fabric sofas almost always feel warmer and more comfortable no matter the weather, making them more welcoming and pleasant.