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Real Leather vs. Fake Leather: What’s the Better Option?

At West Avenue Furniture we see a lot of people debate whether or not they should buy real leather or fake leather. Since we get this a lot, we thought we would devote a post to identifying the pros and cons of real leather vs. fake leather.  Enjoy!


First up in our real vs. fake leather debate is durability, and real leather takes the cake on this one! Arguably the best thing about real leather is its durability. Like a fine wine, real leather only gets better with age. It’s less likely to tear or crack like faux leather does. Real leather is also much more breathable, making it better for your skin and the air around you.

Environmental impact

Despite common belief that real leather is bad for the environment, there are a lot of ways in which it is less environmentally wasteful than faux leather. Most fake leathers are made of some type of plastic and are imported from China, thus driving up their ecological footprint. Another reason why real leather has less of an impact on our planet is because it lasts longer, which means it doesn’t end up in a landfill as much. For example, one real leather couch will outlive at least three fabric couches.

Overall look, feel and smell

Real leather is an elegant material and is always in style, making it a timeless design. While some faux leather can look just like the real deal, it surely won’t stand the test of time. After a while faux leather will begin to crack and tear. Faux leather is very thin and will often times feel similar to plastic, making it uncomfortable to sit on. And of course we can’t forget the smell. Real leather has a distinct scent that cannot be replicated by synthetic materials. Just like a new car, there’s nothing like that real leather smell!

Controversies of real leather

One of the controversies of leather is that it’s made out of the hide of animals (typically cow, sheep or lamb). However, a lot of leather is made as a by-product of cows processed for their meat. Major retailers like Adidas and Timberland have also partnered to form the Leather Working Group which works to develop a protocol for tanners that promote sustainable and appropriate environmental business practices within the leather industry.

The moral of the story is that real leather is going to be the better option when choosing your next couch or furniture set. Although faux leather may appear to be good at first glance (price, eco-conscious, etc.) real leather is going to be the better option in the long run. For 100% real leather furniture, shop at West Avenue Furniture today! Also look at our options for Eugene living room furniture and bedroom furniture.