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Leather sofas with style: popular types of leather and properties

A high-quality leather sofa is always a great eye-catcher! So it’s no wonder that a leather sofa is the focus of many living rooms. The high-quality natural material scores not only with its appearance, but also with its soft and robust quality. Here is some information about the most popular types of leather for sofas and their typical properties.

From nappa to nubuck: types of leather for sofas

If you are looking for a leather sofa, you should find out about the different types of leather and their properties in advance. There is detailed information on the various areas of application and processing types in an article by the online retailer SoftArt, which offers all types of leather from five selected animals.

The first decision when buying a leather sofa: should the leather be rough or smooth? Rough leather is more sensitive than smooth leather, but it feels softer and does not wrinkle as much. To protect the suede from everyday wear and tear, it is often covered with a polyurethane sealant that protects against moisture and dirt. Smooth leather, on the other hand, is easier to clean because the grain side or the skin side is on the outside. It is easier to color and therefore offers a wider range of colors. But which types of leather are particularly suitable for a sofa?

different versions of leather sofa

In the case of rough leather, these are the following:

  • Nubuck leather: velvety feel, is sanded on the smooth side, breathable
  • Suede: rougher than nubuck leather, generic term for rough types of leather

And with smooth leather, there are these types:

  • Cowhide: pigmented smooth leather, hard-wearing
  • Aniline leather: colored and open-pored smooth leather, relatively expensive and sensitive
  • Semi-aniline leather: more robust and easier to care for than aniline leather
  • Nappa leather: tanned smooth leather, very soft, with full grain

Which type of leather wins the race when looking for a sofa is of course a question of personal taste. Extensive trial sitting should therefore be a compulsory exercise before the decision is made for the noble piece.

elegant-brown-leather-sofa-in-the-living room

What are the properties of leather as a natural product?

A real leather sofa has what it takes to become a lifelong companion or even a coveted family heirloom. The high-quality natural product shows the typical signs of wear and tear after a few years, but it is precisely this patina that gives a leather sofa its special charm. However, you should be careful if the sun shines too intensely on the sofa, which is often the case with a parking space by the window. The strong light radiation leads to the fact that the leather can discolour irregularly. Unsightly stains are the result.

Compared to synthetic leather or other fabrics, a real leather sofa costs a steep price, but the investment is definitely worth it. Leather is also easier to clean than many other materials. The fact that it is sometimes perceived as cold is often due to the poor quality of the leather. High-quality material, on the other hand, heats up faster when you sit.


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