When it comes to leather sofa, quality is about more than just looks. There are a variety of factors to consider, from comfort to durability. To compare quality, it is important to take into account many aspects of the furniture’s construction, including the frame, seating support, filling, and type of leather, as these specifications all affect the comfort and durability of the sofa. When evaluating the quality of a leather sofa or any other type of leather furniture, consider the following five criteria:
When considering the type of leather, it is important to consider how the leather looks and feels. A soft, matte leather looks more luxurious and more expensive than shiny leather, and top-grain leather is the most durable type of leather used in leather furniture. Top-grain leather has been sanded and protected with a finish coat that gives this type of leather increased resistance against stains and scratches. For higher quality, avoid a leather couch that is made from a combination of leather and vinyl. Although using vinyl on the sides and back of a sofa reduces costs, vinyl wears out faster than leather, requiring partial reupholstering or a new couch.
The dye used on the leather is an integral part of the look, feel, and quality of a leather sofa. There are three types of dye used on leather furniture. Pigmented leather is the cheapest, because only the surface of the leather is treated. In this case, the dye is mixed with a protective coating, which makes this option durable but potentially unnatural-looking because pigmented leather is often lacking the buttery feel that many people associate with high quality leather. A better option is analine, of which there are two types: protected and untreated. Analine leather is dyed in a drum, which allows the color to permeate the leather completely. Protected analine is coated with a protective sealant to prevent staining, which makes this type of leather durable but stiff. Untreated analine is the highest quality leather, as it has the ideal soft, supple feel of quality leather.
The quality of a leather couch is affected by more than just the leather itself. A high quality couch should not move or squeak when someone sits on it, so the quality of construction depends on the type of wood used for the frame, the type of coils used for support, and the quality of the joints. Kiln-dried hardwood makes the highest quality frame, as it retains its shape and stability longer than plywood, softwood, or other kinds of frames. Tempered steel is generally considered the best material for coils, and the corners of the furniture should be strengthened with reinforcing blocks for extra support. In addition, the joints should glued, dowelled, and screwed for strength.
Good quality stitching is important on any kind of leather furniture, whether it be a leather couch, a leather sectional, or a leather chair. High-quality leather pieces have tight stitches with no fraying. The leather should also be smooth across the surface of the furniture because leather loosens over time.
The quality of the padding is a key factor in the overall quality of a leather sofa, although high quality leather usually outlasts the padding. The padding in the sofa should be high-density, so that it will last longer without permanently compressing, and the frame of the sofa should not be noticeable through the padding. In addition, the cushions of a leather couch should have removable covers so that the padding can be replaced without cutting the leather. This feature allows for easy repairs, thus extending the life span of the sofa and resulting in higher quality.
These same basic criteria for comparing leather sofa quality can also be applied to other types of leather pieces, such as leather chairs and leather recliners. The best way to assess the quality of leather furniture is to go to a furniture store and personally test out the comfort of the furniture and the feel of the leather.