Leatherette Versus Leather Furniture: What’s the Difference?


When shopping for anything there are many things that you consider before you get fully satisfied with the product and purchase it.

When it comes to buying new furniture, durability, cost, features, color, comfort and material are the factors to consider.

While looking up for furniture you must have encountered leather and leatherette because these are the two most common materials used for various types of furniture.

Now, if you’re wondering what’s the difference between these two materials then you’re in the right place:

Leather and Leatherette

Before we look at the differences between leather and leatherette, you must know what these materials are made of – it will help you understand the difference.

Leather is a flexible and durable material, made by tanning animal rawhide and skins. Leather furniture, for example a sofa, can give your house and workplace a better look because the leather looks elegant.

On the other hand, leatherette is a synthetic surface generally made by the type of plastic that is meant to mimic the look and feel of authentic leather.

That is why these materials look and feel similar.

Leatherette has become very popular because it’s hard to tell the difference between leather and leatherette.

The Differences Between Leather and Leatherette

If you’re on the fence about which material to choose for your furniture, here are the notable differences between leather and leatherette:


Leather is extremely expensive because of its luxurious look while leatherette tends to be about half the price of real leather.


Leather is very durable and can easily last more than 15 years with proper care and maintenance – it doesn’t wear out easily even in rough conditions.

Leatherette is not as durable as leather. With good care and maintenance, it will last less than 8 years.

Easy to Wash

Leather is not washable, but you can keep it clean by using leather cream.

Leatherette is not washable as well. It has small holes which tend to soak in liquid less easily.


Leather tends to breathe better, in hot weather, it stays a bit cooler which makes it more comfortable.

Leatherette doesn’t breathe because of its non-porous nature. It gets warmer and can cause sweating in hot weather that is why it is not as comfortable as leather. 


Leather mostly comes in less variety because it can’t be dyed easily. It is restricted to three color options: muddy brown, white and black.

Leatherette comes in a wide variety of colors because it can be dyed easily. You can choose any color of your choice.


Leather is biodegradable, it can take 50 years for leather to be fully decomposed.

Leatherette is not biodegradable.

Environmentally Friendly

Leather is environmentally friendly because it is tanned naturally without using chemicals.

Leatherette is not environmentally friendly because it is made of plastic and mostly known as fake leather.


Leather is used to make footwear, automobile seats, book bindings, fashion accessories, clothing, bags, and furniture.

Leatherette is used to make automobile seats, furniture, footwear, and upholstery.

Final Thought

While you may be tempted to opt for the less expensive product, leatherette, keep in mind that price equals quality when it comes to choosing leather.

Take into consideration how often the furniture will be used and how well-maintained it will be.

While both products have their benefits, the best one is that which suits your home and lifestyle.

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