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What Is the Most Durable Type of Leather for Furniture?

The Most Durable Type of Leather for Furniture


When choosing a piece of leather furniture, you want the very best. 

You want a piece of furniture that will not only look good – you want a piece that’s going to last a long time.

To ensure this happens, you need to choose the best type of leather for your needs – the most durable type of leather which will add beauty and elegance to your home. 

Why Choose Real Leather Furniture Options 

At first glance, some faux leather may look just as good as the genuine product. Looks can be deceiving, though. 

Over time, the faux leather isn’t going to hold up as well as real leather. Real leather – if well-cared for – can last for decades. You can pass it down from one generation to another. Typically, that’s not possible with synthetic leather.  

Additionally, with time, the wear and tear on real leather add to its character, patina which makes it look more beautiful as time goes on. With faux leather, you can end up with a tattered looking piece of furniture that’s obviously not the real deal. 

What Leather Should You Choose? Your Guide to Durable Leather Furniture

Here are some things to look for when choosing a durable piece of leather furniture. (Below, each type of leather will have a “durability score,” which is a score ranging from 1-10, with 10 being the highest level of durability.)

Pure Aniline (Full Grain Leather)

Full-grain leather is that which hasn’t undergone any sort of correction,  like a sanding process to remove imperfections. Pure aniline leather is top grain leather that looks the most natural, so if that’s a look you like, this is the leather for you. You’ll get a gorgeous piece of furniture which will age beautifully. 

Durability Score: 7

Semi-Aniline/Aniline Plus

If you love the look, feel, and durability of full grain, pure aniline leather but want some more options, you might be interested in semi-aniline or aniline plus leather. 

Semi-aniline leather comes from both full-grain and corrected grain hides.   The difference is this type of leather has micro-pigment color, as well as a protective coating.

You can expect these leathers to be very soft and durable for high traffic areas.

Durability Score: 9-10

Pigmented or Finished Leather

Pigmented leather is a finished leather made from the first cut of animal hide. It’s milled for hours to make it soft, then color and protective coating are added to it.

Because it’s milled, it loses some of the imperfections which make leather so popular. So, it’s pressed with a slight pattern to give it a more natural look. 

Durability Score: 10


This is a softer, decorative leather that is similar to suede but way more durable. It’s not quite as soft as suede but it feels like flannel and is quite durable and receives a liquid repellent during tanning

Durability Score: 7-9

Less Durable Leathers to Avoid

When shopping for furniture, it’s best to stay away from the following leather options if durability is your number one concern:

  • Suede (2-4 on the durability scale)
  • Bi-Cast leather (1 on the durability scale)
  • Bonded leather (1 on the durability scale)

These choices won’t hold up for long under normal wear and tear. Add “extreme” conditions, like children or animals, and these leather options will break down even faster. 

Save Time and Frustration by Choosing the Best First

It can be tempting to choose a cheaper option even if you know it might not hold up as long. However, when the time comes to start making repairs or replace the furniture, you’re likely going to be frustrated. 

Buying a piece of leather furniture is a big investment. Make sure you do it right the first time and buy a high-quality piece that has the durability you really need. 

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