The Best Material for Sofas Ultimate Guide

Does the leather sofa contain 100% real leather? Do you know which sofa material hand feeling is the best? What is the most durable and best material for sofas?

When choosing the best material for sofas, it is important to consider the properties of each material and how they meet your personal requirements and lifestyle. Today we will talk about 13 most common and popular types of sofa materials, leather sofas & fabric sofas, and the best material for sofas. You can navigate to each sofa material by clicking the link below.

Leather-Layers best material for sofas


The leather here refers to real leather and artificial leather. The most common leathers include Full Grain Leather, Split Leather, Bonded Leather, Faux Leather, Microfiber Leather, etc. Each leather material has different properties, and the quality of sofas made from each leather is different. Now let’s go into details of each type.

1. Full Grain Leather

Full grain leather contains the entire grain layer without any removal of the surface, retaining the original grain of the leather. Full-grain leather is characterized by its luxurious, smooth, and virtually flawless surface. It is usually considered the best material for sofas.

Full Grain Leather Sofa China

Full grain leather can be plain or wrestling, but its air holes are clearly visible. Similar to nubuck leather, full-grain leather is very absorbent and breathable. This feature also makes full-grain leather much more difficult to take care of. Full grain leather is mostly matte, and with use, it will absorb grease to form a kind of patina, which is a thin layer that protects the leather from wear or corrosion. This is also a unique covering effect of high-grade leather.

Split Leather Sofa China

2. Split Leathe(Bi-Cast Leather)

Split leather is the part of leather that is left after the top grain has been separated from the leather.

Split leather is usually covered with a PU coating which has been embossed with a grain pattern, to make it look like top grain leather. It is also known as Bi-Cast Leather. Split leather can legitimately be called genuine leather, but not full-grain leather. It is not the best material for sofas.

Split leather is much cheaper than Full grain leather, but it will flake and crack if not treated correctly.

In addition, split leather is often mistaken for quality leather because people label their products as “genuine leather”. Although these sofas are made of genuine leather and not faux leather, it is not the highest quality leather. And, people will find that their Split leather sofas start to crack after a few years.

The Difference Between Full-Grain and Split Leather

3. Bonded Leather

Bonded Leather Sofa China

Bonded leather, also called reconstituted leather, is made of shredded leather fibers bonded together with a polyurethane mixture, and attached to a fiber backing. The surface of the bonded leather is embossed with a leather-like texture, making it looks like real leather.

The leather content of the bonded leather may vary greatly (from 10% to 90%). Some sofa manufacturers sell bonded leather as genuine leather when in fact it contains only a small percentage of genuine leather.

In addition, bonded leather is generally less durable than natural leather, and it may wear and break after just a few years of use. Therefore, it is similar to split leather and is not the best material for sofas.

What is bonded leather? A Genuine Leather Alternative.

4. Faux Leather

Faux Leather Sofa China

Faux leather, also called artificial leather or synthetic leather, is often considered to be a low-cost alternative to genuine leather. There are three main types of artificial leather structures: polyurethane (PU), polyvinyl chloride (PVC) and silicone.

Although the quality of faux leather has not completely reached real leather quality, it has improved enough that faux leather furniture is both durable and beautiful. For some animal lovers, faux leather could be a smart and attractive alternative.

5. Microfiber Leather

Microfiber Leather Sofa China

Microfiber leather has the scientific name of microfiber polyurethane (PU) synthetic leather. It is the highest grade of faux leather. Microfiber leather is created using a layer of high performance polyurethane resin and extremely fine fiber base cloth. Due to its excellent performance, microfiber leather is known as the best alternative to real leather.

Microfiber leather perfectly replicates features of real leather such as the hand feeling, breathability, and moisture absorption. Moreover, the performance of microfiber leather including chemical and abrasion resistance, anti-crease, and aging resistance is better than real leather. Therefore, microfiber leather is one of the best material for sofas.

Natural Fibers

Fabric sofas made of natural fibers are preferred by many furniture buyers because of their soft hand feeling and easy maintenance. They are more sustainable and durable because they are made of natural materials.

6. Linen

Linen durable sofa fabrics

Linen is suitable for most interior designs, and the simple & natural style looks particularly beautiful. When choosing your sofa materials, consider how they will work with other parts of your home and your lifestyle. You may prefer a simple, leisurely sofa, in this case, linen is definitely suitable for you. However, if you prefer super luxury and fashion, then linen may not be the best material for sofas for your home.

Linen is probably the most used sofa materials on the market now. The characteristics of linen are breathable, cool, rough to the touch, and easy wrinkles.

Linen is made from the linen plant’s fibers and is the most hard-wearing natural sofa material. The high quality linen fiber is strong and durable, and is the best material for high wear furniture such as sofas and chairs.

But full linen is easily wrinkled, so the linen used for sofa materials will be combined with other fibers. In addition, the color fastness of linen is not high, so many brightly colored linen sofas on the market, often do not contain linen.

7. Velvet

Velvet best sofa material

Velvet is a type of woven tufted fabric. Velvet can be divided into warp-knitted velvet, weft-knitted velvet and woven velvet. High-end velvet is usually woven. Velvet is featured with good abrasion resistance and excellent skin friendly, giving a unique soft feel. In the past, velvet was usually made of silk. Today, velvet can be made from linen, cotton, wool, and synthetic fibers.

The cotton velvet is very breathable, and is warm in winter, cool in summer. The 70%-100% cotton velvet is the best material for high-end sofas, with no shaded surface (no backward velvet).

High gram weight warp knitted velvet can achieve excellent effects. This type of velvet is the best material for light luxury sofas, with a texture similar to nubuck leather.

8. Cotton

Cotton best material for sofas

Cotton is a natural fiber and is a very widely used material for sofas. In the export-oriented sofa factories in China, cotton fabric is used in large quantities. In most cases, cotton is associated with linen, which Chinese sofa factories will call cotton and linen fabric.

The characteristics of cotton sofa fabric are soft, breathable and can come in a variety of colors. And, almost nobody is allergic to cotton. The cotton sofa is easy to clean without pilling, but the disadvantage is that cotton will shrink seriously in water, and is not as durable as other sofa materials. Therefore, usually cotton is combined with other fibers, such as polyester, acrylic, or nylon.

9. Wool

Wool best sofa material

Wool fabrics are made from the natural fibers of sheep, goats, and other animal wool. Wool fabrics mainly consist of keratin-based proteins, which makes them one of the most elastic natural sofa materials. In addition, the unique texture of the wool is difficult to replace by other fabrics. So, wool is one of the best sofa materials.

Sofa materials are available in a variety of wool and are environmentally friendly. However, wool fabric tends to shed and can be a bit skin-prickly in summer.

The great advantage of wool is that it can retain heat very well. Other benefits of wool include its durability and versatility, making it the best material for sofas.

Wool Sofa

10. Silk

Silk best material for sofas

The last common type of natural sofa material is silk. Silk is a natural protein fiber that is produced from the cocoons of certain insect larvae, and then woven into textiles in certain forms. Silk is a specialty fiber known for its color, sparkle, quality, and sturdiness.

In ancient times, when there were no synthetic fibers, velvet was also silk.. At that time, sofas were aristocratic items, sofas are also mostly made of silk materials, silk fabrics are extremely comfortable and can present a very noble effect after embroidery. Except for its high price and lack of wear resistance, silk is almost without disadvantages. So, silk is one of the best material for sofas.

Silk Sofa

Synthetic Fibers

Synthetic fibers are often blended with natural fibers to increase the durability of the fabric sofa material. They usually look like natural fibers, but are cheaper than the comparable natural products.

11. Polyester


Polyester is a strong synthetic fiber that is very resilient, durable, and can withstand a lot of wear and tear. It lasts longer and fades less than cotton. It is more durable and less faded than cotton, and is wrinkle-resistant, hydrophobic and quick-drying.

Polyester is used as a cheap alternative to natural fibers. Most of the common sofa materials on the China furniture market are Polyester, a variety of cotton and linen, in fact, the real ingredients of them are Polyester-based.

12. Acrylic

Acrylic best material for sofas

Acrylic, also known as PolyAcrylic, is a synthetic fiber that is usually less expensive than natural fibers. The greatest advantage offered by acrylic material is that it is light, soft, and warm, but not as warm as wool. It feels like wool and is the best material for fabric sofas with a faux wool effect.

The acrylic material is washable, wrinkle resistant and holds color well. Acrylic is normally free of pilling and linting. However, acrylic is not durable and is best combined with other natural fibers.

13. Viscose

Viscose best sofa material

Viscose is a man-made fabric. Although it is man-made, it is not synthetic. Viscose is a fiber derived from natural wood cellulose and has the property of making people feel cool. It has slightly less abrasion resistance and is usually combined with other fibers, which can present a more advanced texture. Viscose can mimic the texture of other fabrics, such as cotton, silk, wool, etc., so it is the best material for sofas.

In addition, Viscose does not wick away moisture like cotton. The viscose is soft, smooth, and breathable, making it comfortable and cool in hot weather. However, it loses its strength when wet, while the cotton remains strong.

Now It’s Your Turn

We hope this can provide you with some useful knowledge about the best material for sofas. If you have any questions, please leave a comment below.

If you need help in customizing and wholesaling sofa from China, please feel free to CONTACT US. We are Rix Sourcing in China, a sourcing company with 11 years of experience in the furniture industry.

Share This Article to Social Media


Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

More to explorer

Do you want a successful import business?

We will help you find factories, get best quotes, support you all the way until products arriving your doorstep.
Share your sourcing request to get a free quote within 24 hours.

Submit Inquiry

Tell us what kind of product you want to import from China. We will contact you within a few hours.