how to tell if a couch is real leather
Kristina Davis

When looking to buy a couch, you may be wondering how to tell if a couch is real leather. 

Whether it be for your living room or your personal living space, you have to ensure that the piece will last.

Real leather is quite durable. However, some non-leather items look beautiful and feel good.

Don’t buy something that breaks down after a few years or looks bad.

If you hold your hand over the surface of a genuine leather couch and it feels cold, then it is most likely genuine leather. If the surface is warm, then it may be faux leather or vinyl. 

READ NEXT:  Why Are Couches So Expensive?

How To Tell If A Used Couch Is Real Leather

used couch

We all love to buy used furniture, and for good reason, it’s often cheaper than new.

But there are a few things you should check before you buy a used couch that is important to know. 

You need to be sure you’re getting the best deal on your new piece of furniture.

Don’t Assume It’s Leather Because It Feels Like It

Do not assume that because it feels like leather, it is leather. Leather comes in a variety of colors, including brown and black.

So, if something doesn’t look like the picture or has any color at all on it, it’s probably not real leather.

Check The Seams Where The Cushions Are Attached

Look at the seams where the cushions are attached to the frame of the couch.

If they’re sewn together with thin threads instead of thick ones, this is an indicator that this couch is not genuine leather.

couch seams

Ask For Samples From Several Different Couches

If you have any doubts about whether or not a couch is genuine leather, ask for a sample.

READ NEXT:  How Long Should a Leather Couch Last? Facts You Must Know!

Or better yet, ask for samples from several different couches to compare side by side with your potential purchase. 

Tip: Make sure to do this before making any purchase decisions.

Are Leather Couches Real Leather?

Yes, leather couches are real leather. Leather comes from various animals. Cowhide leather is the most frequent.

It’s durable and water-resistant because it’s from meat-and-milk cows. 

Goatskin and sheepskin are sometimes substituted for cowhide. These sturdy animal byproducts aren’t as water-resistant as cowhide.

How Is Leather Made?

how leather made

The next thing you need to know about leather is how it’s made: by tanning! The best way to tan a piece of leather is through an acid solution called tannic acid. 

This process removes some of the fibers in the skin so that they don’t stay together when they dry out and makes them stronger. 

After this process is complete, you’ll have what’s called “natural” or “uncoated” leather. This means there aren’t any chemicals added during manufacturing.

READ NEXT:  How to Remove Roaches from a Couch - The Ideal Solution

However, if you want your couch or chair made from something, then you’ll need to use another type of material. 

There are a few different options, but the most common one is vinyl.

This synthetic material is made from polyvinyl chloride and other chemicals, which means it’s not biodegradable like leather.

Because of this, some people are wary about the longevity of vinyl furniture.

In reality, it’s actually quite durable and can last for years if taken care of properly. 

To prevent your material from cracking over time, you’ll want to avoid exposing it to direct sunlight and heat as much as possible. 

Note: Be conscious of this especially in the summer months when temperatures tend to be higher than average.

What Is The Best Leather For A Couch?

best leather

When it comes to choosing the best leather for a couch, there are a few factors you’ll want to consider.

Factor #1: Decide If You Want A Fake Or Real Leather

You need to decide if you want your couch to be made of real leather or fake leather.

Real leather is more durable and can last longer than fake leather, but it’s also more expensive. 

READ NEXT:  How to Disinfect Leather Couch Like a Professional

Fake leather is less expensive, but it won’t last as long as real leather and can crack easily.

Factor #2: Consider Your Budget

Next, you’ll want to consider how much of your budget goes into the couch itself versus the rest of your home décor. 

Remember that your furniture comes in all shapes, sizes, colors, and prices! 

A good rule of thumb is that anything over $500 should be considered high-end quality furniture made from natural materials such as wood or metal.

Tip: Anything under $500 should be considered mid-range quality furniture made from artificial materials such as plastic or fabric.

Factor #3: Consider The Texture

Finally, think about what kind of feel you’re going for with your new couch: will it be casual and warm or formal and cold? 

If it’s going to be formal and cold, then go for something like suede or velvet.

If it’s going to be casual and warm then go for something like denim or wool blend fabrics.

READ NEXT:  How To Tell If Your Couch Has Mold - Ideal Methods!

How Long Do Real Leather Couches Last?

Leather is a material with a natural structure and color. The more you care for your leather, the more it will age, making it softer and more supple. 

Leather can be treated to make it more durable and waterproof, but this makes it less flexible.

It’s important to remember that genuine leather is a natural product, so no two pieces of furniture are identical.

How You Treat Your Leather Affects Its Life Span

lifespan leather couch

The lifespan of genuine leather couches depends on the type of treatment applied and how often you use the couch. 

For example, untreated leather tends to last longer than treated leather without being oiled or waxed.

You may also notice that the surface of some couches gets scratched over time by pets or children who sit on them too long.

If you have a leather couch that is no longer comfortable for you, consider having it professionally cleaned by a professional cleaning service.

They can remove stains and restore the original beauty of your couch.

They will also help you with any repairs that need to be done, such as replacing zippers or buttons.

READ NEXT:  Can You Reupholster a Leather Couch? Complete Guide

If you have a leather sofa that has been damaged by pets or children, consider having it professionally cleaned by a professional cleaning service.

You can also consider cleaning it yourself by cleaning the surface with a damp cloth or sponge.

Note: Do not use abrasive cleaners or chemicals on any part of your sofa; these could cause damage to the leather over time.

How To Tell If A Couch Is Real Leather?

real leather couch

Leather is a durable, natural material that has been used in furniture and other products for centuries.

It is a mix of proteins, fats, and oils that come from cows, pigs, and sheep. 

The process of making leather involves tanning the hide or skin of an animal to make it soft and pliable.

The hide is then split into pieces and soaked in water for several days to remove excess water before bleaching it with chemicals. 

The final step is to treat the leather with a dye so that it can be dyed in any color desired.

READ NEXT:   How to Dry a Couch Fast? - Easiest Methods!

All of these steps create a rough outer surface on the leather product, which does not have much give or elasticity compared to other materials such as cotton or polyester. 

However, once this outer layer has been removed by washing or polishing, it will reveal its true nature as genuine leather underneath!

If you’re looking to buy a couch, but you aren’t sure if it’s real leather, there are a few ways to tell.

Way #1: It’s Look

look of couch

The best way to tell if a couch is made of genuine leather is to look at it.

If it has an in-laid pattern and the leather appears wrinkled, then the couch is most likely real leather material.

Way #2: Stitches At The Seam

Another way to determine if your couch is real leather is by looking for stitching on the back of the cushions. 

Real leather will have stitching that goes all around each cushion and down both sides of the back of the couch.

Also, look out for defects in the material. If there are any holes or tears in the material, then it’s probably not real leather.

Note: You can also check the furniture's seams for stitching to determine if it's leather.

Way #3: Thickness

couch thickness

Look at how thick the cushions are. 

READ NEXT:  How To Clean Chenille Couches? - An Ultimate Guide

A genuine leather couch should have thick cushions that are firm enough to sit on comfortably without sagging in the middle or sinking into itself when you lean back on it. 

If they’re thin or flimsy, then they’re probably not real leather!


You have probably come across the question “how to tell if a couch is real leather” before, and the answer is not clear to you. 

Oftentimes the first thing people do is search the couch to see if there’s a “leather” label hidden on one of the pieces. 

This is not always accurate. Many furniture stores are notorious for labeling their products as real leather when they are actually some sort of synthetic material. 

The best advice is when in doubt, it is better to ask your salesperson or reach out to your trusted leather seller.