Leather sofas are popular for their timeless style, neutral aesthetic, and ability to complement many interiors. This material is easy to clean and highly durable, resistant to tears and punctures. In fact, leather sofas may last up to four times longer than fabric sofas. While they come with a premium price tag, considering the quality, durability, and longevity of leather, these sofas are ultimately a cost-effective choice.
Modern futons, elegant Chesterfields, sectionals with built-in storage, pillow-top loveseats—leather sofas come in a variety of sizes and styles. Keep reading to learn more about important features to consider when shopping for the best leather sofa.
- BEST OVERALL: AllModern Ainslee 84” Genuine Leather Sofa
- BEST VALUE: Winston Porter Maumee Faux Leather Sofa with Ottoman
- BEST LUXURY: Joybird Eliot Leather Sofa
- BEST MIDCENTURY: Article Timber Charme Chocolat Sofa
- BEST CONTEMPORARY: Myars 69” Leather Loveseat
- BEST TRADITIONAL: Birch Lane Adelbert Genuine Leather Chesterfield Sofa
- BEST SECTIONAL: Burrow Nomad Leather Sectional
- BEST MODERN: Article Cigar Rawhide Brown Sofa
- MOST COMFORTABLE: Red Barrel Studio Beneduce 62.5″ Pillow Top Loveseat
What to Consider When Choosing the Best Leather Sofa
Leather sofas come in different styles and sizes and are made using various types of leather. Before making a purchase, consider each couch’s overall comfort and any useful features that might be incorporated into its design. The more settled you are on the type, size, and style of leather sofa you want, the more likely you are to find one that aligns with your needs and preferences.
The major decision that couch shoppers have to make is the type of sofa they want to purchase: Is a loveseat or sectional more preferable, or is a sofa bed or recliner a better option? Once this choice is made, it’s easy to eliminate a lot of sofas and focus on the ones that will best suit your needs. The different types of sofas include:
- Traditional sofas have long bench seats that offer seating for three or four people. Most of these sofas have raised arms.
- Sectional sofas feature interconnecting pieces to offer plenty of seating for multiple individuals. Sectionals come in a variety of shapes including U-shaped, L-shaped, and semicircular.
- Loveseats are a smaller version of the traditional sofa. They usually accommodate two people cozily, hence its name.
- Reclining sofas (or recliners) have one or more seats that can recline to allow individuals to put up their feet. Recliners are like couches with built-in footrests.
- Futons and some sofa beds or sleeper sofas convert from an upright sofa to a flat bed. Other sleeper sofas look like regular couches but have pull-out mattresses underneath the seat cushions.
The next things to think about are where in your home the sofa will go and the measurements of that space. Shoppers who equip themselves with this information are better able to find the perfect sofa for the available space in a home. Regardless of how gorgeous a sofa is, if it’s longer than your allotted living room space and butts up against your refrigerator, it’s just not the sofa for you.
A three-person leather sofa is typically between 70 and 87 inches long, with 84 inches being the most popular length. If that’s not ample enough, consider a long or extra-long couch. These typically range from 87 inches to over 100 inches long.
The depth of the sofa and seat are two important measurements to keep in mind. Some people love the coziness of an extra-deep seat, while others—particularly older people—may have trouble getting up out of it. Typically, sofas have an overall depth between 32 and 40 inches. Seat depths can range from standard (20 to 25 inches) to deep (28 to 35 inches) or extra-deep (greater than 35 inches deep).
Finally, consider the seat height, which is measured from the floor to the top of the seat cushions. Most sofas have a seat height between 17 and 18 inches, though this figure can range from 15 to 20 inches.
Leather sofas look terrific and can last for ages, but not all types of leather are top quality. Given that leather sofas can be costly investments, be sure you know what kind of leather you’re getting and whether it justifies a premium price before making a purchase.
- Top-grain leather is the outer layer of a hide. Sofas made with top-grain leather offer superior durability and strength.
- Split-grain leather comes from the second or third layer of the skin after the full-grain leather layer has been removed. It is less expensive than top-grain leather and may be used for less expensive sofas.
- Bonded leather is made by using an adhesive to bond different leather scraps together. The finished result may be spray-painted to look like top-grain leather. Bonded leather is the cheapest grade of leather.
- Bi-cast leather features a split layer back that is covered with either vinyl or polyurethane that is embossed. Bi-cast leather was initially designed to make glossy shoes, but it is now also used on some furniture pieces. It is not as durable or long-lasting as top-grain leather.
- Nubuck leather is sanded to give it a suede-like look. The sanding opens the cells and gives the leather a soft, velvety feel. This leather can look a lot like top-grain leather, but it does not have the same quality, strength, or durability of top-grain leather.
- Faux leather is not leather at all. It is a synthetic material with a leather-like look and feel. Faux leather is most often made of polyurethane (PU) or polyvinyl chloride (PVC).
Finding a sofa to match the style and decor of your living space is important. Some common sofa styles include:
- Modern sofas feature a sleek design and a low back. Some modern sofas may also have polished metal legs, while other options may be legless.
- Midcentury sofas have clean lines and slanted or tapered legs. They often come in bold colors. A tuxedo sofa, which has arms that are the same height as the sofa’s back, is an example of a popular midcentury sofa.
- Traditional sofas typically have arched backs with scalloped designs or rolled arms, such as the popular Chesterfield and English sofas.
- Contemporary sofas have square edges and come in more neutral colors. The Lawson sofa, which has a high back and low arms, is an example of a popular contemporary sofa.
A sofa’s comfort is equally, if not more, important than its style. The amount of cushioning the sofa has, as well as the material used to create the cushioning, will impact how comfortable it is. Some common materials used for padding include:
- Foam is the most commonly used material for sofa cushions. The density of the foam will impact its feel and comfort. Low-density foam has the softest feel, but it also flattens the fastest. High-density foam is firm, but it generally softens over time. Some sofas may also have memory foam cushions that contour to the shape of each body to offer greater support.
- Hollow-fill fiber sofa cushions are very soft, but they don’t offer much support. However, sofas with hollow-fill fiber cushions can offer a comfortable place to lie down and relax or nap. These cushions should be rotated frequently to ensure even wear on each side of the cushion to extend its lifespan.
- Down or feather cushions are filled with soft feathers. The softness and firmness levels of these cushions can sometimes be customized by adjusting the amount of feathers in the cushion.
- Batting is used to provide cushioning and insulation to a cushion. It is available in 25.5-ounce and 42.4-ounce thickness options. Batting may be made from either cotton, polyester, or wool.
- Polyester sofa cushions come in a variety of densities to match different preferences. These pillow cushions are less expensive, but they may flatten more quickly than cushions made from other materials.
- Mixed material sofa cushions may feature a mix of some of the materials listed above to create a comfortable and supportive seat cushion.
Some sofas come with upgrades that you may be interested in. Certain add-ons contribute to the sofa’s comfort, while others offer additional functionality. Some nice-to-have sofa features include pull-out and powered reclining seats, removable covers, cupholders, device charging banks, and storage ottomans.
Our Top Picks
These leather sofas stand out in comfort, quality of construction, and style. Continue reading to discover some of the best leather sofas on the market, available in different sizes, styles, and price points.
The Ainslee genuine leather sofa from AllModern is 84 inches long and comfortably seats three people. Its sturdy solid wood frame and legs support up to 700 pounds and is upholstered with black genuine leather.
The design features of this sofa—corded edges, one long tufted seat cushion, and two leather bolster pillows—make it a logical addition to a midcentury modern living room. The seat cushion and back cushions are removable for cleaning. This sofa has an 18-inch seat height with a 23-inch seat depth.
Shoppers who are looking for a sofa that doubles as a storage space should consider the Winston Porter Maumee faux leather sectional sofa. It comes with a large, all-purpose ottoman for holding trays or books or propping up feet. The ottoman has a hinged top that opens to reveal a storage compartment roomy enough to hold linens, books, toys, or other essentials.
The sofa and ottoman are upholstered in faux leather that is available in black, maroon, or turquoise shades. The sofa is 103.5 inches long, seats six adults comfortably, and comes with either a right- or left-hand chaise lounge. Its seat height is 15 inches, and the seat depth is 21 inches.
The Eliot leather sofa from Joybird brings an elegant, classy vibe to any living space—it would look just as at home in Sherlock Holmes’ study as it would in a boho living room. Choose from three fashionable leather shades, including Santiago steel black, Santiago ale light brown, and Santiago cigar brown. It features a kiln-dried hardwood frame crafted from responsibly sourced wood. Four tapered wood legs complete the look of the sofa.
At 84 inches long, this couch is roomy enough to accommodate three or four people comfortably. Its seat and back cushions are made from a high-density polyurethane foam wrapped in multiple fiber layers and don’t contain fire retardants or harmful chemicals. Though the cushions are removable, they’re not reversible. The Eliot has an 18-inch seat height and a 25-inch seat depth.
Article’s Timber leather sofa has a corner-blocked wooden frame with four tapered honey oak wood legs that will lend your family room plenty of midcentury modern cred. Its luxurious, full-aniline, Italian-tanned chocolate leather upholstery will soften and develop natural wrinkles and patina over time. At 90 inches long, the sofa is plenty big enough for three or four people.
The sofa’s seat cushions are made from high-density foam with down and polyester filling, which is both comfortable and supportive to sit on. The seat and back cushions are loose and removable for added style and function. However, because the backs of the cushions are covered in fabric, not leather, they are not reversible. The Timber Charme sofa has a 19-inch seat height, a 24-inch seat depth, and is also available in tan leather.
Myars’ 69-inch leather loveseat features geometric lines and cushions that are trimmed in contrasting dark piping. Rectangular, espresso-finished wooden feet complete its contemporary look.
This loveseat is upholstered in a deep cognac brown leather that will complement rugs, chairs, and accessories of just about any hue or pattern. Its plush seat cushions are made of 2.2-pound foam filling with a mix of washed feather and fiber. Seat height is 20 inches, and seat depth is 22 inches.
Birch Lane’s Adelbert genuine leather sofa features a traditional Chesterfield rolled-arm design with hand-applied nailheads and button tufting. It is upholstered in navy Italian leather with a crackled two-tone appearance. In addition to being visually appealing, the leather is also exceptionally soft and comfortable.
At 95 inches long, this sofa is plenty big enough for a larger gathering, and its seat cushions are removable for easy fluffing. It has a 750-pound weight capacity, a 20-inch seat height, and a 24-inch seat depth.
The Nomad Leather Sectional from Burrow features a unique modular design to allow for complete customization. Buyers can attach the chaise lounge section to any of the other three seats, including the middle seat. The sofa is upholstered in buttery soft top-grain Italian leather in slate, chestnut, or camel hues. A three-layer foam-and-fiber design ensures that the cushions are soft, comfortable, and hold their shape.
The Nomad sofa has one handy feature you won’t find in many other leather sofas: a built-in USB port. The sides of the sofa are 5 inches deep, with the chaise lounge extending the total depth to 61 inches. This sofa is 85 inches long with a 17-inch seat height, 22-inch seat depth, and 7-inch chrome legs.
A modern addition to any living space, Article’s Cigar rawhide brown leather sofa has a tight seat and back with integrated cushions for an overall effect of sleek and clean meets vintage and rustic. The sofa’s Italian-tanned pull-up leather upholstery is a gorgeous deep brown color that takes on a vintage hue with age. Natural variations in the grain of the leather, along with scars and markings in each hide, give this piece even more character.
Cigar has a corner-blocked wooden frame with raw seams. It is 92 inches wide with a 15-inch seat height, which might feel low for some users. High-density foam and polyester filling in the cushions deliver comfort and support, though the tight seat and back may feel firmer than shoppers are used to.
Red Barrel Studio’s Beneduce loveseat offers a comfortable place to rest and relax. Rest your arms on the pillow-top arms when you have company, and when they’re gone, prop your head and neck on those comfy pillows and indulge in a restful snooze. The couch’s tufted-back design adds style and visual interest to a variety of living spaces.
The Beneduce’s faux leather upholstery comes in multiple colors, including ranger taupe, Cabo dark brown, San Marino Black, stallion charcoal, and sizzle pearl. The seat height for this model is 20.5 inches and the seat depth is 24.5 inches. The loveseat can support up to 300 pounds and is made in the USA. Some assembly required.
After researching the best leather sofas, you may still have some questions. These frequently asked questions and their corresponding answers will help you learn more about how to shop for the best leather sofa.
Q: What is the highest quality leather for furniture?
Top-grain leather, which comes from the outer layer of a hide, is the highest quality type of leather for furniture. It is stronger, more durable, and smoother than other types of leather.
Q: What is the most durable leather couch?
Sofas made from pigmented leather are typically more durable than those made from other types of leather. The polymer surface coating that adds the pigments to the leather also works to enhance its durability.
Q: Do leather sofas stain easily?
In general, leather sofas are more stain-resistant than fabric sofas. In the event of a spill, wiping the spilled substance is typically enough to prevent staining. Keeping the leather soft and moisturized will help a leather sofa maintain its stain-resisting properties.
Q: Can scratches be removed from leather furniture?
Yes, in many cases, scratches can be removed from leather furniture. Using a soft cloth with a little leather conditioner or leather oil to buff the scratch will often be sufficient for shallow scratches. Deeper scratches may require a recoloring product or a leather repair kit.
Q: How do you clean a leather sofa?
Regularly dust a leather sofa to keep it clean. Leather cleaners or creams can also be applied to remove stains and ensure the leather maintains its moisture.