Buying Leather Furniture

Check out these 10 tips for choosing the perfect leather furniture for your lifestyle.

leather sofa with white pillow

Want stylish, comfortable furniture that actually improves with age? Then invest in leather, a durable and attractive material that comes in a variety of styles, colors and strengths. Here are things to keep in mind when shopping:

1. Leather is four times more durable than fabric, so don't worry about having kids around it. Just like a leather jacket or shoes, leather furniture gets better with age.

2. Aniline leather is dyed in a drum, which allows the dye to completely soak through for a rich, deep color. No protective coating is added, and it's the softest and most expensive leather.

3. Semi-aniline (protected aniline) leather is also dyed in a drum and has a small amount of coating applied, giving it slightly better protection against stains and fading than aniline leather.

4. For pigmented leather, color is applied to the surface, not dyed through and through. And while the color isn't as rich, it's finished to provide greater protection against scratches, stains and fading. These leathers are less expensive and usually aren't as soft as dyed leathers.

5. Unlike upholstery, the color of your leather piece doesn't make a difference when it comes to regular maintenance. Just use a damp cloth to remove dust.

6. Look for leather upholstery with zippered seat cushions. While the leather can last decades, the seat cushion may not and you'll want easy access to get it refilled.

7. Leather takes on the temperature of your body within 12 seconds, so the notion that leather is cold is a misconception.

8. A leather sofa has to suit your lifestyle first. Is it going to work for the way you're going to use it? What room will it go in? If it's a busy space that gets a lot of wear and tear, go with a little heavier finish and protection so that you can just wipe up a stain.

9. When considering price, remember that a leather sofa will last at least as long as three fabric sofas.

10. Avoid a leather-vinyl combination. While the two materials might look good together, leather will always outlast the vinyl.

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