What to consider before buying a fabric or leather sofa

The Sofa Struggle

Your sofa is an important furniture piece for your home. It's a style statement that sets the tone of the room and as with any significant investment, it’s important to get it right. That’s where an independent furniture store can be invaluable to ensure that you get the right advice. To help decide what sofa is best for you, your family and lifestyle, here are some tips on what to consider before purchasing a sofa.

what to consider before buying a fabric or leather sofa

A sofa should meet three key requirements, eye appeal, comfort appeal and pocket appeal. Most importantly, you want something that will last through the years, so keep an eye on the frame warranty. Look for a 10-year frame warranty and consider choosing quality materials which can withstand the nature of family life, growing children, pets and parties!

Leather Vs Fabric

Deciding between leather or fabric really is the ultimate sofa struggle. We're often asked which is better, so we thought we would share some of our experiences and insight. Here are a couple of things to consider when deciding between a leather or fabric sofa.

Leather Sofas

Faux Leather: Here at The 1933 Furniture Company, we aren't really fans of faux leather. Faux leather, or ‘pleather’, is the opposite of what real leather offers. 

Protected Leather: Real, protected leather can give an elegant, clean and modern look to any room. It’s hugely practical, hard wearing, as well as family friendly. As the name suggests, protected leather is a protective finishing to real leather. Which means most family spills can be easily cleaned and wiped away using warm water.

Natural Leather: Real, natural leather celebrates all the scars and natural markings of the hide. It’s super soft and sumptuous, we love it! However, for most people, protected real leather offers the best of both worlds. The luxury and softness of real leather, combined with the peace of mind that protection brings.

natuzzi editions b619 black leather corner sofa

Natuzzi Editions - B619 Corner Sofa

Hypoallergenic: Leather sofas are hypoallergenic. Great if you or other family members are sensitive to dust mites, pet hair and other allergies. 

Colour: Leather generally only comes in one all-over colour. This makes it quite easy to coordinate into the colour scheme of a room, and if you do grow tired of a colour choice, pillows, throws and area rugs can be simply changed to complete and refresh the look of the room.

`xooon lima corner leather brown sofa

XOOON - Lima Sofa

Fabric Sofas

Comfort & Colour: Fabric sofas offer great comfort, and feel soft, warm and cosy - perfect to curl up on, especially in winter! There are loads of colours and material options available. Many have the option of a pillow back, fixed back or as loose covers. These can be easily removed and washed. So it’s a  super option for families with pets and young children. 

alexander and james eden mustard pillow back sofa

Alexander & James - Eden Sofa

Patterns: In a time where anything goes, people are much more confident about mixing and matching patterns to create unique styles and different looks. With fabric sofas, you can mix stripes, diamonds, geometric shapes, and plain colours to create lots of different textures and styles, adding depth to the room. 

spink and edgar upholstery

Spink & Edgar Tiffany Sofa


Staining: Fabric sofas can be vulnerable to stains and might not suit a family with young children unless it has removable, washable covers. However, protection treatments are available at an extra cost, check out fiberseal for more information.

xooon paxos blue fabric sofa

XOOON - Paxos Sofa

So those are our top tips to consider when buying a fabric or leather sofa. We hope you feel more confident about choosing the right sofa for your home. The good thing is, there’s no right or wrong answer! It’s totally up to personal preference and what you value the most when it comes to your lifestyle, family and comfort needs. Costs of leather and fabric sofas can vary depending on the different grades of fabrics and leathers chosen. Therefore, we always recommend speaking with an expert to help guide you on what fabrics, leathers, protections and finishes will suit you best for what you’re looking for. 

Check out Natuzzi Editions and Natuzzi Italia for an extensive leather range. Or if you prefer fabric, then Alexander & James, Tetrad and our 1933 range of Irish made sofas offer a variety of beautiful colours and fabrics to choose from.

Until next time, happy shopping and sofa trying!

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