Differences between Synthetic Hide / Faux Leather vs Leather

faux leather vs leather furniture options

Leather furniture has been a symbol of luxury and comfort throughout history. Today, designers and furniture makers are offering leather alternatives for those wishing to be more animal-friendly and cost efficient without losing quality. There are endless real leather and faux leather furniture options to choose from couches to tables to zero gravity chairs. The question is how do they compare?

We’re taking a look at faux leather vs leather to see the differences between them and help you decide which is best for your home.

What is Faux Leather vs Leather?

Traditional leather furniture uses the hides of animals (most commonly the cow). The leather is created through skill and labor-intensive process where the hide is taken, cured, and tanned. There are a variety of methods to do this but the most important factor is hide quality. There are different types of leather used to make furniture. To get the best leather for luxury furniture, the highest quality hides must be used. Once the process is complete, the hides are tumbled in drums for hours to give them the incredible soft feeling you expect in high-quality leather furniture.

Faux leather is a synthetic leather alternative. For faux leather furniture, there are generally two types of materials considered vegan synthetic hide. The first is polyurethane (PU) and is made by coating a base fabric with a flexible polymer that is then treated to resemble natural animal hide. The second is polyvinyl chloride (PVC), a synthetic fabric backing topped with chemical layers and plasticizers sealing in the fabric.

As there are fewer layers in PU faux leather, it is often more breathable. The more pliant nature can even allow it to wrinkle similarly to high-quality real leather. PVS is often the less expensive faux leather furniture option but comes with the drawback of being less environmentally-friendly and may not replicate real leather quite as well.

When you’re debating on a faux leather vs real leather chair, knowing exactly how it was made can heavily influence your ultimate decision.

What is Used to Make Faux Leather vs Leather Fabrics?

In the debate between faux leather vs real leather chairs, sustainability is often a key element. As real leather has to come directly from animals, it brings with it certain criticisms. Conversely, faux leather is a synthetic hide able to be made from more sustainable materials.

While the entire process isn’t 100% environmentally friendly, it does have the distinct difference of being a cruelty-free option. As advancements in faux leather creation continue, there are now companies producing vegan leather alternatives using unconventional materials like fruit! These options are not as widespread on the market just yet, but certainly continue to increase their market share year over year. 

Durability of Faux Leather vs Leather

When considering the differences between faux leather and real leather, durability is top of many people’s list. Is one so different from the other?

Real leather can last a lifetime and will even, in some ways, get better with age. As real leather furniture is used and “broken in” it begins to soften even further. When taken care of properly, real leather furniture can last a lifetime. Full-grain leather is even puncture and tear resistant! This durability makes leather family room furniture an appealing option for those looking for the most longevity.

Faux leather may not have the generational durability that real leather has, but it is extremely durable nonetheless! Over time, manufacturers of vegan leather alternatives have made advancements in quality that keep your faux leather furniture looking and feeling amazing for a very long time. With proper care, faux leather furniture like zero gravity chairs will provide the highest quality experience.

In the faux leather vs real leather chair debate, both will provide wonderful durability if taken care of properly. The trick is making sure they’re well-maintained, bringing us to our next point:

How to Care for Faux Leather vs Leather

Let’s take a look at the differences between caring for faux leather and leather! When you’re making a large furniture purchase, you’ll want to make sure you know how to maintain it for optimal quality. A faux leather vs real leather chair doesn’t change the fact that both need routine care! 

Real leather requires more maintenance than its faux leather alternative but the upkeep can pay off. While real leather furniture has a bit of natural liquid resistance, all spills should be cleaned up immediately to prevent permanent staining. Furthermore, real leather furniture should be out of direct sunlight to prevent the natural oils from drying up. This can lead to discoloration or cracking in the fabric. Your leather furniture will need regular maintenance such as moisturizing and conditioning to stay in top shape. Ensure you’re willing to keep it up before committing to it!

Faux leather requires less upkeep to stay looking sharp, but still needs caring for. Most faux leather alternatives can be cleaned with a mild soap and water mixture. As it’s a synthetic material, there’s less risk of sun discoloration and it won’t dry out like real leather will, keeping your couch, zero gravity chair, or loveseat looking great even in a sunlit room.

What’s the Cost Difference Between Faux Leather vs Leather?

One major difference between a faux leather vs real leather chair you’re likely to encounter is the price tag. Being a synthetic material, one of the benefits of faux leather vs real leather is that it’s often far more economical than real leather furniture. Vegan leather can be mass produced whereas each leather hide has to come directly from an animal and be processed, making faux leather cheaper to create. Since faux leather provides much of the same benefits as real leather, it’s a great option for those looking to save a little when purchasing a new chair.

As an added bonus, faux leather can come in a greater variety of colors and patterns since it doesn’t rely on nature for its development!

Adding a new furniture piece to your home in an investment. The differences between synthetic hide/faux leather vs leather provide options for everyone to find the perfect piece to suit their wants and needs. Each has its pros and cons but both provide comfort and style. Choose a zero gravity chair that fits into your lifestyle and you’ll enjoy it.

Interested in more ways to use faux leather vs leather? Discover 5 alternatives to leather furniture and decor that you can use to transform your living space!