Choosing the Perfect Material for Your Sofa
June 17, 2022


A sofa is a relatively significant investment, time and money-wise. Sure, you can get a cheap one, but if it’s meant to be the centerpiece to your living room and will be in constant use by you and your family, you want something that is high quality and will last a long time. The framework, cushion material, and style matter, but not quite as much as the fabric.

You see, the fabric of a sofa tells the story of its years. If kids or dogs and cats live in the home, it’s not hard to tell once that sofa hits the curb, and let’s be honest, that sofa is going to hit the curb sooner than later if you choose the wrong type of fabric. Certain fabrics look gorgeous but cannot withstand daily use. Let’s look at a few different ones to help you decide.


One of the most common couch fabrics on the market, microfiber is a synthetic material reminiscent of suede. It looks and feels gorgeous on a showroom floor and seems irresistible, especially once you get the stain-resistant spiel. Many parents choose it thinking they’ve solved the sofa issue for the next decade without realizing that stain resistance only goes so far. Don’t get me wrong, a spill will quickly dry and disappear or remain pooled on the surface for an easy wipe down, but it shows every scuff and scratch made on the surface easily. It also collects pet hair like a trap, and you’ll need a handy lint roller sitting next to it to remove the hair often. The perks include fade resistance and durability, which are high points in its favor if this couch will be in a sunny room. It’s also somewhat easy to clean depending upon the base material.


Cotton is the next most popular couch material due to its affordability and ability to hold colors and patterns. It’s also cool to the touch. If you’re looking for a patterned sofa for under $1,000, you’ll likely choose cotton. Be warned, however, that it’s easily susceptible to stains and sun fade. What’s more, cotton shrinks when it’s wet, wrinkles easily, and can only withstand so much contact before becoming threadbare. Think of your favorite cotton t-shirt that’s most likely close to tatters in your closet. On the upside, cotton is easy to wash and dry, and if you aren’t worried about kids and pets, it really is an excellent choice for a splash of bright color in a curtained room. Do yourself a favor and Scotchguard it immediately once it’s assembled and in place.


One of the pricier options on the market, leather is long-lasting and very durable. Unlike fiber, it won’t fray over time, and any scuffs or scratches are easy to buff off. It’s naturally hydrophobic, so spills are easy to take care of, but the material does dry out over time and begin to crack if not properly taken care of. You’ll need to condition it at least once a year with a leather conditioner. It’s also odor resistant, so it’s perfect for smelly pups to lounge on. Still, the price tag is a hefty consideration, and if your pet likes to chew furniture, your investment can quickly become trash as leather couches are not easy to repair. It’s also not UV resistant in the slightest and will soon fade in the sun.


Now that you have the pros and cons of the three most popular materials for sofas, it’s time to make your choice. Keep in mind that not all styles will be available in each material, so that might also play a factor. If I’m being candid, I tell my friends to buy the cheapest couch on the market until their kids are well into their teen years because no couch can truly withstand childhood. Still, there are thousands of options available, so keep your eyes open until you find the perfect one for your family!