4 Tips for Choosing the Right Leather Sofa

Buying a new leather sofa is an investment that should be carefully considered; after-all, a beautiful leather sofa doesn’t come cheap. As with all things in life, you get what you pay for – so deciding to pay less for what you think is a bargain might not be the best option. Here are some tips to make sure you understand what is the best leather sofa for you.

  1. Choose the right type of leather for your needs

As the UK’s leading manufacturer of Chesterfield sofas we know a thing or two about leather, but it’s easy to forget that our customers don’t. There are plenty of different types of leather, with different properties and qualities that come at different prices so knowing the difference between these can help you make an informed decision when buying your new sofa.

Top grain, full grain, aniline, split grain and bonded leather – they’re all different, so here’s a quick breakdown.

Top grain

The toughest, most durable part of a cow’s hide – this is where the natural graining patterns are evident, and the tightness of the pattern helps the leather resist moisture and its pores allow it to breathe. It has high moisture content, so the leather warms quicker to touch when it’s cold and will dissipate heat quicker on a hot day. Split grain and bonded leather hides don’t do this.

Full Grain

Full grain leather is the name given to top grain hides that contain no scars or blemishes. It’s very rare, and this rarity makes it expensive. This type of leather is used in the highest quality sofas and can easily cost upwards of three to four thousand pounds.


Aniline leather gets its name from the dyeing agent used to treat it. Aniline opens the pores of the leather, allowing dye to seep through the entire hide, colouring the hide completely. This process is carried out in a tannery, where full hides are tempered in huge drums.

Split Grain and Bonded Leather

These types of leather are not typically used in the production of leather furniture. Split grain is the name given to the lower layer of leather removed after the top grain. It’s often removed in strips and used for clothing accessories like belts and shoes. Bonded leather is more of a hybrid of leather and fabric; think faux leather.

  1. Not every sofa frame is made the same

The frame of a sofa is its foundation. It needs to be strong, sturdy and built to withstand as much punishment as possible. Cheap sofas often have poorly constructed frames built as cheaply as possible so that the manufacturer and reseller can both make a profit; it’s great for business, but bad for the end user.

If you’ve found a cheap sofa that looks the part, chances are the price is too good to be true. In this situation, simply ask about the sofas frame and how it’s constructed. If the seller doesn’t know, red flags should be raised. As a rule, don’t impulse buy. If you’re second-guessing a purchase and the salesperson is being pushy, it’s likely because they know that if you think about it you’ll back out. So take your time do your research and think about what types of frames will suit your living space the best.

  1. Make sure you understand your warranty

Some warranties are fantastic, whilst others are full of little clauses that allow the seller to get out of paying out for repairs or replacements when things go wrong. For example, our warranty is fully inclusive; as long as you’re in the UK, we’ll either try our best to repair any genuine faults or we’ll replace the sofa. On the other hand, some manufacturers and resellers may only offer a 6-month warranty that excludes the most common types of faulty returns. If you’re ever in doubt, ask questions and find out everything you need to know. A leather sofa is an expensive investment, so if you’re not happy with the answers then simply walk away.

  1. Buy your sofa from a brand you can trust

DesignerSofas4U are the UKs leading manufacturer of Chesterfield furniture, but we make hundreds of other sofas, chairs, footrests and other pieces so we have all the experience necessary to help our customers make the right decisions. If you have questions you’d like answering then don’t hesitate to contact a member of our customer service department. You can email, call 01254268 590 or fill out our contact us form today.

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