Recliners are the ultimate seat of comfort and relaxation, designed to bring a sense of luxury and ease into your home. Offering a place to kick back, unwind, and escape from the stresses of everyday life, a recliner is an excellent choice for your living room.
However, choosing the material for your recliner is more complicated. Like other furniture, recliner chair covers are made from various materials, each possessing its unique feel, texture, advantages, and disadvantages. If you have been researching the best upholstery for your recliner, you may have noticed two popular material types that keep popping up over and over again: 100% leather and fabric. So it’s essential to do your research before buying. When choosing between fabric and leather upholstery it’s helpful to consider the pros and cons of each. Let’s walk through some of the characteristics of leather versus fabric recliners to see which might fit your home and lifestyle the best.
Genuine leather is made from animal hides like sheep, goats, and cows. Each hide goes through a cleaning process, chemical treatment, and vegetable or chrome tanning process. After tanning, the leather is dyed to achieve the desired appearance. Genuine leather recliners rightfully deserve the title of best recliners. They offer luxurious, comfortable textured upholstery with a long lifespan and excellent durability. Although leather recliner chairs cost more than their fabric counterparts, the product justifies the price.
*Pros of Genuine Leather Recliners
If you want longevity, choose one in 100% leather. Leather furniture is long-lasting and, with proper care, can remain in top condition for decades without losing its feel, color, and texture. And because of its durability and longevity, it would give your space an updated look. The natural finish of a genuine leather recliner offers a buttery-smooth feel designed to last for more than a decade, in which you would want to lounge for hours.
Furthermore, leather has a smooth and soft texture, making it comfortable to sit in for long periods of time. Since it provides a high level of comfort, you can relax all day sitting on a leather recliner. It allows air to circulate, making it more breathable than other materials, reducing heat and sweat. So leather may feel cooler in hot weather, while fabric may be warmer and cozier in colder weather.
Leather is also simpler to clean and maintain than other materials. Since leather doesn’t absorb stains easily, leather recliners can be easily wiped down with a damp cloth.
Leather recliners are hypoallergenic. So, even if you are prone to allergies, you are not going to get any allergies from your leather recliner.
For some, the leather truly makes this the most comfortable recliner ever!
*Cons of Genuine Leather Recliners
In the race between leather recliner vs fabric recliner, it is also important to look at the cons of both types of the recliners. Talking about the disadvantages of leather recliners, we don’t get many actually. The most obvious drawback of a genuine leather recliner is it’s expense. Real leather is more intricate to manufacture than fabric, resulting in higher prices.
And when used in a tropical environment, leather can start to feel tacky to the touch, warm or slippery. Since real leather tends to retain heat, it is less suitable for hot climates. In such cases, faux leather or cloth recliners are better options.
Recliners made from genuine leather require routine care, making cleaning them more challenging. Unlike fabric chairs, genuine leather requires specialized cleaners that don’t damage the surface. Also, to maintain its shape and texture, minimize water use, and avoid excessive rubbing or scrubbing during cleaning. Furthermore, leather can easily be scratched by pets or small children. Scratches and other marks are far more visible on leather than fabric upholstery. So it should be conditioned consistently to prevent cracks and splits.
The last point of the disadvantages of leather recliners is that the tanning process of real leather is notorious for its greenhouse gas emissions and, as such, negatively affects the environment.
Keep in mind that the category of “fabric” is much broader than the category of “leather” because there are so many different types of fabric. Furniture makers use natural fibers made from wool, linen, cotton, or silk for soft material. They may also use synthetic fibers made from petroleum or polypropylene to make upholstery fabric.
*Pros of Fabric Recliners
There are several advantages to owning fabric recliners. First of all, fabric recliners come in a variety of colors and are less expensive.
First, fabric recliners are typically cost-effective because of their wide availability and popularity. Certain types of high-end fabric may be more expensive than others, but the total cost of the recliner will be lower than the same model with leather upholstery. So if you are looking to save money when purchasing a recliner, an upholstered recliner will be much kinder to your budget. Even when high-quality framing and high-end fabric, an upholstered recliner may be a less expensive option.
The second advantage is that fabric recliners come in a wide range of colors and patterns, making it easy to find one that fits your decor. With fabric, you have various design, colors, and materials options to choose from, So fabric recliners can be easily coordinated with the rest of your furniture and furnishings.
Thirdly, fabric recliners are soft, pliable, and comfortable. However, the type of fabric used for the recliner often determines the comfort level. High-quality fabric is soft but not loose and won’t wrinkle when you stand up.
Fourthly, premium fabric recliners boast advanced treatments to handle wear and tear efficiently. Fabric doesn’t get scratched as leather does, so it tends to handle pets’ claws better than leather. The wear and tear of fabric recliners most often depend on the grade of fabric. As you would expect, high-quality fabrics (just like high-quality leathers) will withstand wear better. Furthermore, usually fabric recliners are also easy to be cleaned. Most fabric recliners are treated with a stain-resistant finish, so when spills do happen, they’re easily cleaned with speciality products or a handheld steam cleaner.
*Cons of Fabric Recliners
It’s essential to consider the following drawbacks when weighing leather vs. Fabric chairs:
When we discussed leather recliners, we saw they would not give you any allergies. But in the case of fabric recliners, there is a high chance you get allergies. The fabrics used for recliners are breathable, meaning there are tiny spaces for dust, dust mites, mold, and pet dander to gather and accumulate. So, to avoid any allergies, you need to clean your fabric recliner on a daily basis. For people with serious allergies that ease of cleaning can make a leather recliner the perfect option. Furthermore, since most fabrics tend to be porous, fabric recliners would absorb sweat and spillage and give off a foul odor.
Secondly, fabric recliners are less durable as compared to leather recliners. Some manufacturers treat fabric recliners with stain-resistant chemicals, but they still stain more than leather chairs, and deep-set stains can be permanent. Good quality fabric will stand up to more stains but many still require special cleaning. You can increase the life-circle of your fabric recliner if you take care of it properly and clean it regularly. Regular vacuuming and cleaning up spills when they happen will keep the recliner looking great for many years.
Thirdly, regular use can cause pilling on the recliner material and even cause it to wear thin over time, but high-quality fabrics may last longer.
In the end, I would like to end the debate of “Leather or fabric recliner, which one is better?” by saying that it depends on your choice. Take your time and consider all the pros and cons of these two types of recliners before deciding which one is best for you. Ultimately, the best choice will depend on individual needs, preferences, aesthetics of the house and also budget!
As a professional recliner manufacturer, we sell high-quality and affordable leather recliners as well as fabric chairs. Focus on what is important to you and your family, and don’t be afraid to seek advice and guidance from our experienced professionals. Call us today at 213-933-4058. Take a look at the many recliner styles we have to offer. Whether you prefer fabric or leather upholstery, we have the perfect recliner for you!
How long does fabric last in comparison to leather?
Generally speaking, fabric upholstery lasts about 7 years with proper care and maintenance, while high-quality leather can last 15 years or more. However, the lifespan of both materials can vary depending on factors such as usage, environmental conditions, and maintenance. Ultimately, the longevity of either material depends on how well it is taken care of.
Which is tougher to clean? A fabric or leather recliner?
Cleaning either a fabric or leather recliner depends on the type of stain. In general, fabric recliners can be more challenging to clean due to the tendency of stains to penetrate into the fibers, while leather recliners are more resistant to staining. Leather recliners require special cleaning products to maintain their appearance, while fabric recliners may need to be professionally cleaned.
Which recliner is more comfortable? Fabric or leather?
Comfort is subjective and can vary greatly based on individual preferences. However, many people find leather recliners to be more comfortable due to the smooth and soft texture of the material. Fabric recliners, on the other hand, offer a wider variety of textures and fabrics which can also provide comfort. Ultimately, the most comfortable recliner will actually depend on personal preference.