Buying Guide for Leather Couches
Why buy a leather couch?
Picking the right couch or sofa for your den or living room can be challenging, given the many different options and styles. Since couches are often the focal point and the main seat in the living room or den, they tend to see a lot of daily use. No matter how careful you are, most couches see a lot of accidental spills and wear and tear. Therefore, durability and long service life are invaluable in a couch, especially since a good sofa isn’t a cheap investment. Leather couches fit the bill perfectly. Real and faux leather are stronger than fabric or cloth, longer-lasting, and less likely to rip or tear. Leather also doesn’t fray or have trailing threads that can get caught in pets’ claws, and any scratches or scuffs can be easily covered with good leather polish. If you spill liquid or have furry friends at home, their fur won’t cling to leather as it does to fabric. And leather doesn’t absorb outside smells the way cloth does, either.
What should you look for in leather couches?
- Seats: Before you buy a leather couch, you’ll want to consider how many people can sit on it together. The general rule of thumb is one person per cushion (unless the cushions are on the bigger side or one large seat cushion instead of several), so the number of seat cushions a couch has will often align with the maximum number of people it can seat at once. As with most sofas and couches, the average leather couch comes with three or four seat cushions. But some larger models can seat five to seven people or more. There are plenty of two-person loveseat options too.
- Style: Leather couches offer more design options than you might think. While a plain leather couch can look stylish, this is far from your only option. Leather couches can be tufted or sewn with studs or buttons for an extra-decorative touch. The leather can be embossed or as fine or thick-grained as you want for a smoother or bumpier-looking texture. Your color options will be a bit more limited compared to upholstered couches, mostly various shades of brown or neutral hues like blacks, grays, and creams, but there are some more colorful options out there, too if you’re willing to dig for them.
- Real vs. Faux Leather: Plenty of couches are made from either real or faux leather, and both materials have advantages and disadvantages. Real leather is hardier, softer, and more supple, but it’s also much more expensive and more high maintenance; it may develop cracks in the long run if not cared for properly. Faux leather is much more affordable, it’s cruelty-free for animal lovers, and the color is less likely to fade with time. It’s also more prone to ripping or scratching (though it’s still stronger than most fabrics in this area, especially rips) and is stiffer than real leather.
How do you clean leather couches?
You’ll get away with a quick wipe-down of your couch to clean an accidental spill, preferably with a microfiber towel, mild soap, and water, or a 50/50 vinegar and water solution. You can also use a specialty leather couch cleaner; these are handy because they help to polish and hydrate the leather, not just clean it, which helps care for your couch and keep it looking good in the long run. An occasional slightly more in-depth clean with either one of these specialty cleaners or a leather cream goes a long way toward maintaining your leather couch.
Our Picks for the Best Leather Couches
Amazon Brand Rivet Aiden Mid-Century Modern Leather Sofa Couch
A leather couch like one from a James Bond film, sleek with nice lines and rounded edges.
Pros: Couches are pricey; leather couches are the most expensive and worth it, especially if you love the scent of leather. This 1950s-60s-style top grain leather upholstered couch has a luxurious look and comfortable support. It’s the laid-back style that catches the eye. Seven feet in length with seats nearly two feet deep, this couch could seat several children or two adults stretched out for movie night. The round bolster pillows contrast with the angular frame, enhancing that edgy look.
Cons: A few users say that while it looks great, the overall quality isn’t worth the price tag.
Bottom Line: This easy-to-assemble leather couch makes a simple way to change up your living room decor or coordinate with its current aesthetic. We also like that the bolster pillows and back cushions are removable and reversible.
Novogratz Brittany Faux-Leather Futon Couch
This faux leather couch marries the functionality and convertibility of a futon with the stylish elegance of leather.
Pros: Leather couches aren’t just available in the standard couch form, as this three-seater proves. It’s a leather couch futon that can be converted between a couch and a bed. There are also two different possible reclining conversion options when in couch form, depending on your lounging habits and comfort. Assembly is minimal and only requires one person, and this couch is available in a much wider range of colors than most leather models (13 options in total). If the futon style isn’t to your liking, this same couch is available in other styles—two different-sized sleep couches, a sectional sofa, and a futon without arms for easy conversion.
Cons: This couch doesn’t have very long legs and thus sits low to the ground in all forms. You’ll also likely have to reshape and adjust the seat cushions fairly often, as they tend to compress and lose shape over time.
Bottom Line: Futon couches aren’t furniture pieces often associated with sophistication and elegance, but this faux leather futon couch will defy that particular perception. It provides all the functionality and convenience of a classic futon in a much better-looking and more stylish package.
Edenbrook Lynnwood Faux-Leather Upholstered Sofa
This tufted faux leather couch offers some extra decorative touches.
Pros: If you want a leather couch that is more decorative than the traditional sleek, smooth models, this faux leather three-seater will be right up your alley. The faux leather is tufted along the back of the couch and the seat cushions to provide more texture and decoration. The two included rounded throw pillows help to enhance their appearance as well. This couch is as comfortable as it looks, too, thanks to the plush, thick foam-stuffed cushions that shouldn’t flatten or lose their shape as easily as others. The price is on the lower side for a three-seater leather couch, even a faux leather one. There are seven colors to choose from and a matching chair (sold separately), so you can match your living room furniture to each other. If you prefer a smaller couch, a loveseat version is available too.
Cons: Though assembly is tool-free and shouldn’t be particularly challenging, you will need another set of hands to complete the job. Also, note that the wooden frame underneath the cushions isn’t the sturdiest, so consider reinforcing it during assembly.
Bottom Line: You’ve probably seen a couch very similar to this one in office buildings, hotel lobbies, and higher-tier waiting rooms before, for a good reason. Between the square arms, tufted accents, and faux leather upholstery, this couch allows you to bring a professional look into the comfort of your home.
Signature Design by Ashley Faux-Leather Pull-Tab Reclining Sofa
Faux leather is already a nice comfy material to sit on, and this couch's ability to recline only adds to its comfort.
Pros: If you love kicking back and putting your feet up after a long day at work, this faux leather couch will be the perfect addition to your home. Not only do the backs of the individual seats recline, but they also feature push-out and built-in footrests, so you can lean back and relax from head to toe. If you share this couch with a guest or loved one, the two end seats have separate controls so one person can recline while the other can sit upright if they prefer. The cushions are plush and comfy, stuffed with high-resiliency foam from top to bottom. While this couch is marketed as a three-seater, it’s large enough that you may get away with it seating four grown adults if the recliner and footrests aren’t activated. An alternate sofa style and two loveseat versions are also available for purchase.
Cons: The middle seat doesn’t recline the way the two side seats do.
Bottom Line: Reclining armchairs and couches are often considered the epitome of comfort, especially if they have a built-in ottoman or foot support. And this large, sprawling faux leather couch is about as comfortable as you can get, with the plush cushions and supple upholstery thrown into the mix.
Beverly Fine Furniture Sectional Sofa Set
A sofa, chaise, and storage ottoman set that comes in eight brilliant colors.
Pros: Besides the sectional sofa and its chaise, you receive a multipurpose ottoman; it could sell independently. Lift the lid to store blankets, books—whatever. It works as a footrest, stool, seat, or even a coffee table. All three furniture pieces have a wooden structure, soft sponge cushioning, and faux leather for a contemporary look. To top it off, you get two throw pillows to arrange in the sofa’s corners.
Cons: It’s worth noting that the price varies depending on which of the eight colors you pick.
Bottom Line: This highly modern, functional, and customizable faux leather sectional sofa set will look great in any living space. It’s comfortable, versatile, and space-saving if you remember to open the ottoman lid.
Whether you buy a real or faux leather model, these sleek, elegant couches will never go out of style. They’ll last longer than fabric, age beautifully with proper care, and are more resistant to stains and spills. You can enjoy your leather couch for a long time with proper upkeep.