Choosing Leather FurnitureNeed to Spend Big $ to Get Great Leather Furniture? (NO)


Customers will often ask me how much they need to spend to get good leather sofa. In short, I respond that most people don’t want to buy the cheapest leather sofa nor do they want to buy a very expensive leather sofa. 

The middle price-point is most often the best

Certainly there are exceptions to this general rule but here are some general leather price-point lessons I have learned over the years that will help you spend well:

Lesson #1 Really cheap is NOT worth it!

You will usually find really cheap leather at a store that sells bulk cereal, discount electronics and leather furniture (Which should be your first clue!)

It can cost anywhere from a few hundred to over $1000 dollars. 

Buying the cheapest leather you can find is a bad idea for a number of reasons. 

  • First, cheap leather usually conceals a cheap frame and cheap pillow cores and filling. These things may actually wear out before your leather does and cost much to repair. 
  • Second, cheap leather can often be made of a combination of leather and vinyl.  Leather where you touch and vinyl everywhere else (sides, back).  
  • Third, bi-cast leather is usually sold at the low end of the price-points.  It is mostly bad news, weak and wears out in many different ways.
  • Finally, cheap leather is probably finished cheaply.  I mean the color and topcoat applied to the leather is done poorly.  This leather can crack, peel and rub off in just a year or two. 

In conclusion, don’t buy the cheapest leather sofa you can find… but don’t necessarily buy the most expensive one either (see lesson #2) 

Lesson#2:  Expensive doesn’t mean durable.

Often a very expensive leather sofa is less durable than the middle price-point leather sofa. 

 It is often either called aniline, nu buck, semi-aniline or butter-soft leather. 

Though it looks and feels great in the showroom, it will not wear well for most lifestyles.  The absorbant nature of this leather will suck in oils, liquids and other stains.  Once these stains have set in, they are uncleanable. 

So if you have pets, children or lots of parties, save some of your money and buy a mid-grade leather sofa like I describe in lesson #3.   

I reccomend you have a professional apply a leather protection spray to your high-grade leather.  Contact me with any questions about this service at

Also a leather protection product can be applied to higher grades of leather to make them somewhat more durable.  These products will slightly darken your leather but protect the surface from stains.  SG-25 or SG-50 are the products we recommend.  Click here to see these products if you have a higher grade leather.

Lesson #3: Buy a middle priced leather sofa from a reputable furniture store.

I suggest for long-term durability that you buy either a good middle-grade finished or pull-up leather sofa.

You will spend anywhere from around $1500-$3000 for a good leather sofa.

I also suggest you go to a reputable furniture store where the salesperson can give you good information on your purchase. 

You will want to find a mid-priced leather furniture for a number of reasons.  

  • First, most mid-level leather furniture is well tanned and finished.  The color will not just crack, peel or wear off with normal use. 
  • Second, most mid-level furniture has been constructed with solid guts (the frame, foam core, stitching, ect.. are going to hold up) 
  • Finally, a mid-priced finished or pull-up leather will clean up well.
  • Finished leather will remain closer to like-new.  Pul-up leather will patina as you use it.

Again, there are certainly exceptions to these price-point lessons. So, if you have questions about a certain leather furniture you are looking to buy, as me


Click here for the local Baltimore/Washington stores I have worked with for many years and recommend for you to buy a great leather sofa.