Problems With Leather Sofas

Leather is an extremely durable material, and a leather sofa should last longer than a regular sofa; however, it is not a perfect interior decorating solution for everyone. Before purchasing a leather sofa, consider possible drawbacks to buying and maintaining such a piece of furniture.

A leather sofa, while sleek and durable, has a certain number of drawbacks.


According to the website, "Prices for leather furniture can vary drastically. One retailer may sell a couch for $2,500, whereas another with a couch that looks almost the same sells for $800." The website further explains that this mostly has to do with the type of leather used for the couch, with full grain leathers being more expensive and more processed leathers being cheaper. While a larger sofa made of non-leather materials might cost more than a petite leather couch, when comparing two sofas of the same size, the leather sofa will almost always cost more.


In some ways, the upkeep of leather sofas is more involved that sofas made of other materials. Spills can be much harder to clean off of leather and can soak more deeply into the grain, leaving a permanent mark. Unlike other materials, you can't just scrub leather with a soft cloth and soap and water to easily rub out a stain. Instead, you must blot the stain and use special stain remover for leather. You also have to remember to condition your leather sofa once or twice a year with conditioner specifically designed for leather sofas. Also, you must take heed to keep your leather sofa out of direct sunlight.


While tears in leather occur far less than in other materials, leather sofas can rip. Repairing a rip adequately is hard for the lay person to perform—you need a special needle, special thread, a strong thimble, an experienced sewing technique and possibly a leather patch, depending on how big the rip is. Even though you might be able to repair a regular sofa yourself, a leather sofa will almost always require that you seek the help of a professional upholsterer.

Other Considerations

Because leather is a natural material, in the summer time it retains heat, making it hot to sit on unless you have air conditioning in the room in which it is located. In the winter, the leather sofa will be a little chilly to sit on, so you might want to have a decorative blanket nearby. Leather, when new, is also slippery, so you may find yourself sliding off the sofa at first.