Style Guide: The Different Types of Leather Furniture

Style Guide: The Different Types of Leather Furniture

The appeal of leather furniture is timeless. Leather sofas, sectionals, or accent chairs are classic style icons. A living room or office styled with leather furniture exudes an understated and timeless glamour.  But all leather is not the same. The term applies to various textures, patterns, and durability of the same material. There are misconceptions too, with confusing tags and misnomers. And to top it all, buyers might be anxious about the upkeep of these furniture pieces.

So here is a list of different types of leather furniture so you can make a smart buying choice. Leather items are, after all, first-class investments and demand close attention:

Top grain leather furniture – sofa, recliners, ottomans

The first furniture piece that comes to mind is of course a plush sofa. A leather sofa looks dreamlike. Combine it with top grain leather and it becomes extra supple. No wonder top grain is looked upon favorably by both designers and consumers. If you are wondering what top grain signifies, it is leather that has undergone some buffing up. This doesn’t affect its purity but makes the leather more durable. Apart from sofas, they are made into loveseats or sleepers with extra storage. For instance, a top-grain sofa cover with simple, neat edges and sturdy framing is both aesthetic and highly practical.

Top grain leather upholstery is one of the finest and commands instant respect. Expect to see plush sofa sleepers in top grain. Comfy recliners, with additional deep padding and head pillow, are also given top grain upholstery. If you fancy ottomans and cushioned benches, this is the cover you can go for. While you can customize the cover with any fabric of your choice this variety of leather furnishings is like a little boost to your ego. When they see it, your guests can’t stop complimenting your fine taste.

Full grain leather power sectionals


This is the genuine one, with the least treatment, finish, or dye. Makers of genuine leather go out of their way to maintain the sanctity of the material. The hide is cleaned of dirt or hair and only the gentlest of color is applied. Full grain leather is expensive and furniture businesses put it away for aficionados. However, your ‘leather dream won’t die here at this point.

Reputed leather furniture businesses offer their customers financing options. Sectionals, when powered or otherwise often carry a full grain genuine leather upholstery. So this piece acquires softness with time. Usually Italian in origin, full grain leather is, without doubt, one of the most luxurious pieces of leather furniture feature.

Bonded leather for furniture

You guessed it right, bonded leather is bound-up leather. This leather is made from scraps and the scraps are held together by an adhesive material. The resultant leather has the all-important leather look and feel. While not exactly pure leather, the finished material can help you add the missing pieces to your all-leather living room furniture.

But the real deal is in the price. Bonded leather items are easy on your pocket. If you are looking for budget leather that is durable and pretty, this is the one for you. Just make sure to use it carefully, since bonded leather might start wearing out faster. And when that happens, you can see leather scraps coming loose.

Faux leather items and decor

If you prefer not to have real animal hide, there’s something else for you. Faux leather replicates the look of real leather very well. It could be an ideal alternative for your home if you want the appearance of leather without its accompanying smell or texture. Faux leather furniture is a popular lifestyle choice. Not just furniture, this particular material is also used for home decor items like decorative.


Delicate and easily distressed, Nubuck leather is best used for leather items of occasional use. If your furniture is meant to undergo daily wear and tear, perhaps Nubuck is not the ideal choice. Animal hide, usually from cattle, is smoothed and made softer. This imparts to the leather a velvety texture, often comparable to high quality suede, and makes it more pliant. In addition, if you plan to use this variation, make sure it has been provided some protection since it is more susceptible to dust, scratches, and moisture. Often, Nubuck undergoes waterproofing to become more durable.


Here leather is shorn of its top surface. The remaining layer is the split grain. It is harder to the touch, lacking the smooth softness of top or full grain leather. It is more expensive to maintain too.


As the name suggests, bi-cast is made from split grain. The latter is coated with polyurethane. The polyurethane is pigmented and this gives bi-cast leather its leathery look and color. It goes without saying that bi-cast leather is cheap. But it can end up costing you a lot since it is prone to flaking and discoloration.

Leather grades for furniture

These are the different types of leather that go into leather furniture. Learn to identify the features of good leather and ask for them the next time you buy furniture. Similar to grain and texture, there is another thing called leather grade and this is also an important factor in furniture making. Different grades show different characteristics. For instance, 1st grade is usually the finest, with hardly any imperfection. 2nd or third grades may pass off with minor faults and so on. The place of origin of the leather, the climate, and the diet of the hide animal are all important factors.  Italian leather is highly prized among furniture companies and designers.


When buying furniture made of leather, it is useful to remember that the very imperfections of leather prove its authenticity. While top grain is more favored for making furniture like sofas and accent chairs, all leather varieties serve a purpose. If you want to know more about leather furniture quality, prices, and maintenance, get in touch with a furniture seller or interior designer near you. Ask for customization options and check out what furniture they have for your bedroom, living room, patios, and offices.

Style Guides, Inspiration, and Tips

Creating a Luxurious Dining Experience at Home with Designer Furniture

Creating a Luxurious Dining Experience at Home with Designer Furniture

Dining rooms are often neglected in favor of living rooms, bedrooms, and kitchen space when it comes to artistic design. However, smart homeowners understand that …

Designer Lighting: Illuminating Your Home with Style and Elegance

Designer Lighting: Illuminating Your Home with Style and Elegance

Imagine this: You’ve returned home from a tiring day at work and are welcomed by a warm, soft glow in the atmosphere that immediately …

The Art of High-End Minimalist Interior Design with Luxury Furniture

The Art of High-End Minimalist Interior Design with Luxury Furniture

Your home is one of your most prized possessions. It’s not just a safe dwelling space but also a statement of your sense of …

The Health & Safety of our Community is Our Priority For this reason, we will be changing our business hours to:

MON - SAT 12pm - 5pm

Or by appointment

We will communicate any updates through our social media and other regular mediums. Thank you for being a loyal customer!

Learn More