Vintage brown leather sofa with grunge gray wall living room.

Buying Guide for Leather Couches

Wood center table with wheel and light brown leather sofa in industrial style decoration.

Why buy a leather couch?

Picking the right couch or sofa for your den or living room can be a challenge, given how many different options and styles are out there. 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. Thus durability and long service life are invaluable in a couch, especially since a good sofa or couch isn’t a cheap investment. Leather couches fit the bill perfectly. Real and faux leather are stronger materials than fabric or cloth, longer-lasting, and less likely to rip or tear. It also doesn’t fray or have trailing threads that can get caught in pets’ claws, and any scratches or scuffs can be easily covered up with good leather polish. If you spill liquid or have furry friends at home, their fur won’t get stuck in or cling to leather as it does with 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 simultaneously. 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 even as many as 12 if you have an extra-large living room or den. There are plenty of smaller two-person loveseat options too.
  • Style: Leather couches offer a wider range of different design options than you might think. While a plain leather couch can look plenty stylish on its own, 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. You color options will be a bit more limited compared to upholstered couches, mostly various shades of brown or neutral hues like blacks and 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: There are plenty of couches made from either real or faux leather, and both materials have their advantages and disadvantages. Real leather is overall 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?

To clean an accidental spill, you’ll be able to get away with a quick wipe-down of your couch with a (preferably) microfiber towel and mild soap and water or 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

Top Choice

Pros: Couches are often pricey investments, understandably so since they are large pieces of furniture meant to last, and leather couches tend to be more expensive than most. This three-seater faux-leather model, however, provides you with a standard-sized couch for a more reasonable cost than most. You aren’t trading a lower price for poor quality, either. The hand-stitched faux leather is sleek and smooth-looking to provide a timeless look, stretched over a real eucalyptus wood frame with metal legs. The legs come with anti-slip mats for the feet to protect your floors as well as two matching bolster pillows to nestle against the couch’s arms. Assembly is quite minimal; all you have to do in install the legs and metal buckle. A matching ottoman is also available for (separate) purchase if you so choose.

Cons: Your color choices for this couch are quite limited, even by leather couch standards. The seat cushion is non-removable which will make it harder to vacuum up any crumbs or debris that slip between the cracks.

Bottom Line: Leather couches are known for their classic and versatile style, and this light-brown faux-leather three-seater encompasses that perfectly. Though labeled as a mid-century style couch, this model will fit in with just about any home decor or design style.

Vintage Futon Design

Pros: Leather couches aren’t available just in standard-couch form, as this three-seated proves. It’s a a leather couch futon that’s able to be converted between a couch and a bed as needed. 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 their shape over time.

Bottom Line: Futon couches aren’t pieces of furniture often associated with sophistication and elegance but this faux-leather futon couch will defy that particular perception. It provides all the classic functionality and convenience of a classic futon in a much better-looking and more stylish package.

Beautiful Tufted Design

Pros: If you want a leather couch that is a bit 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 both the back of the couch and the seat cushions to provide more texture and decoration. The two included rounded throw pillows help to enhance its appearance as well. This couch is every bit 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 those of others. The price is on the lower side for a three-seater leather couch too, even a faux-leather one. There are seven colors to choose from, as well as 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 a particularly challenging undertaking, 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, and for 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 own home.

Best Reclining Sofa

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 feature push-out, built-in footrests as well so you can really 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 be able to get away with it seating four grown adults if the recliner and footrests aren’t activated. An alternate sofa style plus two loveseat versions are available for purchase as well.

Cons: The middle seat doesn’t recline the way the two sides 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, what with the plush cushions and supple upholstery thrown into the mix.

Best with Ottoman

Pros: Besides the sectional sofa and its chaise, you also receive an ottoman that you can use as a large footrest, matching coffee table, or separate seat. You also have the option to push it up against the sofa to create a large chaise lounger. The entire set is upholstered with durable brown faux leather for a classic yet contemporary look that’s smooth and supple to the touch, easy to wipe clean, and resistant to daily wear and tear. The soft foam cushioning is comfortable for lounging, and each cushion is secured by hook-and-loop fasteners to keep it secure without hindering your ability to move it.

Cons: Though you can use this couch as a sleeper, note that the ottoman can’t be connected to the couch or chaise. It’s also worth noting that the price varies considerably depending on which of the three colors you pick.

Bottom Line: This highly modern, functional, and customizable faux-leather sectional sofa set will look great in just about any living space. It’s comfortable, versatile, and easy for senior citizens to get in and out of.

Final Thoughts

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. With proper quality and upkeep, you can find yourself enjoying your leather couch for a long time to come.

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