12 best leather sofas and sectionals for a modern interior
Our edit of the best leather sofas, recliners, and leather sectionals for a contemporary home; from apartment-friendly two-seaters to spacious modular designs
Leather sofas make for investment pieces that will only get better with time, whether you opt for a smart and sleek two-seater or a leather sectional built to withstand the rigors of family life.
Alongside the benefits of hardwearing upholstery and added durability, a modern leather sofa is also a great fit for a contemporary interior, offering a sculptural form that works well as a centerpiece in an open plan layout or to contrast with softer textural elements in the room.
Opt for a minimalist high-legged option to increase feelings of spaciousness in a smaller living space, or a low-to-the-floor sectional to ground a larger living area.
Leather is also a great material for emphasizing shape and form, making it a great choice to accentuate a sofa with undulating curves or a bold silhouette.
You'll find plenty more seating options in our guide to the best couches for a modern interior, but if you know that leather is the look for you, just keep on scrolling to find the Livingetc team's round-up of the best leather sofas you can buy right now.
12 best leather sofas and sectionals for a modern interior
Livingetc knows design. We spend hours testing and comparing the latest products, bringing only our edit of the very best to you. Find out more about how we review.
1. McGee & Co Warner Leather Sofa
Sofa: H30 x W80.5 x D34" | Upholstery options: 1
The Warner leather sofa may only offer one upholstery option, but the dark inky black tones pair perfectly with the dark maple legs, creating a Parisien-inspired design that's big on sophisticated style. The compact build is ideal for an apartment or small living space, with the high-legged design allowing the eye to run underneath the frame to add visual spaciousness.
2. Arhaus Malta Leather Sofa
Sofa: H28 x W88 x D37" | Upholstery options: 2
Available in warm, honey-colored Camel or muted Graphite, the subtle colorings of the Malta leather sofa make it easy to work into a decor scheme. The low profile design is perfect for an open plan layout, whilst the relatively compact dimensions mean you don't need a living room the size of a tennis court to make this option work for you. Pair with the coordinating Malta leather chair that features the same cocooning bolster cushions for comfortable lounging.
3. Stephen Kenn Inheritance Leather Sofa
Sofa: H30 x W108 x D38" | Upholstery options: 2
Designed by Los Angeles-based Stephen Kenn, the Inheritance sofa is inspired by the geometric shapes and functionality of Brutalist Architecture and Soviet Modernism. Intended to be infinitely customizable, the collection of sofas, chairs, and sectional seating is the result of a distillation of the furniture-making process down to its barest bones, with cushions strapped to the metal frame by belts that allow them to be undone and interchanged. Purposely constructed to expose the architecture of the furniture, this is a sculptural piece designed to take center stage.
4. Anthropologie Bowen Leather Sofa
Sofa: H31 x W71 x D35" | Upholstery options: 9
An affordable leather sofa can be a hard piece to find, but by offering a choice of seven less expensive top-grain leather options, alongside two options of full-grain leather, the Bowen sofa delivers modern and relaxed seating at a relatively budget-friendly price point. Deep T-shaped seats, well-padded back cushions, and high cast iron or brass finish legs create a contemporary yet timeless look, whilst three width options – 71", 81", or 91" width – make for versatile proportions.
5. Mitchell Gold + Bob Williams Giselle Leather Sectional
Sofa: H30 x W131 x D62" | Upholstery options: 38
The subtle sheen and light-reflecting qualities of leather really come into their own on the curvaceous Giselle sectional, transforming the organic lines of the seating into a sculptural form well worthy of a place center stage. Over thirty leather upholstery options also offer plenty of choices to blend or contrast this focal point piece with living room decor, whether you opt for the subtle colors of the Mont Blanc Italian leather or the neutral delights of a nubuck option. You can go larger still with the curving four-piece sectional, or opt for the more compact 85" width kidney-shaped sofa or rounded Giselle swivel chair for a smaller living space.
6. APT2B Phantom Leather Sofa with Power Footrests
Sofa: H29 x W91 x D38" | Upholstery options: 3
Leather recliners are a living room staple, but finding one that doesn't compromise on aesthetics can be a tall order. The Phantom leather sofa from APT2B aims to change that, with ingenious hidden powered footrests that can be independently extended at the touch of a button – without ruining the contemporary slimline design. The deeply channeled back offers a modern take on the classic tufted Chesterfield design, whilst the low-profile frame and high legs eliminate the bulk common to the average leather recliner sofa.
7. APT2B Jude 2pc Leather Sectional Sofa
Sofa: H27 x W116 x D63" | Upholstery options: 3
Opting for a leather sectional with a chaise will ensure you have plenty of space to stretch out and get comfortable, and this full-grain leather option delivers a great mix of contemporary design at a relatively affordable price point. Gently flared arms, knife-edge cushion tailoring, and high straight legs take care of the style credentials, whilst the generously padded seat and back cushions ensure comfort. Plus, a compact 83" two-seater, leather armchair, and coordinating ottoman allow plenty of options for creating a seating configuration in proportion to your living space.
8. Mitchell Gold + Bob Williams Hunter Leather Sofa
Sofa: H32 x W90/100 x D39" | Upholstery options: 40
This modern, geometric-shaped leather sofa is available in a classic two-cushioned design, or a contemporary bench seat configuration. Clean, straight legs lift the squared frame high above the ground, making this a great option for smaller rooms thanks to the extra visual space that creates, and the choice of 90" or 100" width, forty leather upholstery options, multiple cushion-fill choices, and two options of leg finish deliver welcome versatility to the design.
9. CB2 Forte Channeled Saddle Leather Extra Large Sofa
Sofa: H27.5 x W101 x D38" | Upholstery options: 1
Designed by Barcelona-based Mermelada Estudio, this modern take on the traditional Chesterfield sofa sees deep channels formed in the saddle-colored top-grain leather, lending the blocky form a softer, sculptural quality. The extra-large 101" width frame is perfect for grounding a larger space, but there is also a more compact 80" for small space living. Juxtapose the simple form with a textural boucle accent chair to play with contrasts.
10. Mitchell Gold + Bob Williams Niles Leather Sofa
Sofa: H32 x W90/100 x D38" | Upholstery options: 100+
If you're looking for a sofa to make a statement, then this modern design has us going weak at the knees, not least because of the one-hundred-plus swoon-worthy shades of upholstery on offer, including over thirty leather options. Opt for creamy Mont Blanc, textural Tribeca, or tactile Nubuck Italian leather; paired with the playful, sculptural form we think any one of them will mean you're investing in a modern masterpiece in the making, whether you decide on the 90" or 100" width sofa, or the coordinating Niles accent chair.
11. Mitchell Gold + Bob Williams Reese Leather Sleeper Sofa
Sofa: H31 x W71/79 x D37" | Upholstery options: 40
Available in a 71" width full-size sleeper or the more spacious 79" width queen-size option, this leather sleeper sofa delivers a multifunctional sit/sleep solution without compromising on aesthetics. The pull-out mattress features a low VOC CertiPUR-US foam core that is flame-retardant and formaldehyde free, whilst for seating comfort you can choose from three cushion fills, including MGBW's Signature Blend Poly, Eco-Luxe Poly, or Eco Down Blend, along with forty leather upholstery options and twenty leg finishes. No wonder it features in the Livingetc team's round-up of the best sleeper sofas you can buy.
12. Jonathan Adler Claridge Sofa
Sofa: H28 x W90 x D35" | Upholstery options: 3
Known for its OTT style and decadent decor, Jonathan Adler's eponymous store should be your first point of call if you're after some Miami glamor, and the Claridge sofa doesn't disappoint in delivering the designer's signature style. A spin on the classic Chesterfield, the design features smart, tailored tufting, statement navy leather upholstery, and, the finishing touch, oversized and ultra-glam brass orbs in place of traditional wooden feet. The perfect sofa for a party pad, it makes the ideal place for perching, cocktail in hand.
Leather sofas: a buying guide
Choosing the right leather sofa for your interior comes down to a few key considerations, including scale, style and upholstery finish. Read on to find our top tips for sourcing the best leather seating; whether recliner, sofa, or sectional.
Leather upholstery options: full-grain or top-grain?
A leather sofa is likely to be an investment, and potentially one made with the longevity and durability of the seating in mind. As such it's useful to understand the types of leather upholstery and finish available in order to ascertain when it's worth splashing the cash, and when a leather sofa is potentially offering more style than substance.
This can often be made trickier as not all sofa manufacturers make the type of leather that has been used in their upholstery abundantly clear, especially if you're buying a more affordable option. However, a leather sofa worth its salt is likely to offer a few clues that will help you to pin down exactly what you're getting in terms of upholstery, and the keywords to look out for here are full-grain or top-grain leather.
Full-grain leather is generally considered the highest quality grade of leather. It comes from the top layer of the animal hide and includes the natural grain and imperfections that make each piece of furniture unique, over time softening and developing the much sought-after rich burnished patina that comes from regular handling (or sitting).
Full-grain leather is thick, tough, and durable, and the tight grain resists moisture and spills very well which makes for long-lasting furniture upholstery. However, this hardwearing nature also makes the material difficult for manufacturers and craftspeople to work with, making it one of the most expensive leathers you can buy.
Top-grain leather is the second-highest grade of leather and has had the uppermost layer of the hide removed. Sanding away the natural grain from the top surface of the leather removes imperfections and blemishes, resulting in a more uniform appearance. This also makes the leather thinner and easier to work with, so it's generally a less expensive option than its full-grain counterpart. But, as a result, top-grain leather loses some of its strength and durability and is unlikely to develop the same depth of patina a full-grain leather allows.
Choosing the scale of a leather sofa
It may sound obvious, but size is one of the most important aspects to consider before falling in love with any sofa, whether leather or fabric.
You're probably going to want the most spacious seating your room will allow, but it's also important to consider proportions to ensure a design works in a particular space. Just as a couch that's too small can impact entertaining or family living, opting for too large of a sofa can also overwhelm a room.
One useful approach – especially if your sofa will be pushed back against a wall – is to utilise the two-thirds rule. This means opting for a sofa width that is no more than two-thirds the width of the wall behind it. If you have enough space to play with that you can opt for sofa half the width of the wall behind then this will increase the feelings of spaciousness further, and allow room for end tables and/or floor lamps at either end.
If you have an open plan layout, then a sectional sofa can be a useful zoning tool. Modular units will allow flexible U- or L-shaped seating configurations, whilst grouping seating on and around a large area rug will help to ground the 'chill-out' area and create a more intimate 'zone' within a larger space.
When considering size, of course, it's also hugely important to check your measurements.
As well as width, make sure to take into account the sofa's height, especially if it needs to fit under any existing architectural details like a windowsill or picture rail, and remember to consider the sofa's depth to ensure there's still plenty of room to walk and move around it. Marking out the dimensions with tape is an easy way to try and get a sense of scale. Even a compact two-seater can overwhelm a smaller room if the sofa depth is too deep.
Also, consider access dimensions. If you have a narrow entranceway, awkwardly shaped hallway, or need to negotiate a staircase, then measuring up to ensure the sofa will fit through any tricky access points will save a lot of stress on delivery day.
And if your access is difficult? Don't think that means you have to plump for the smallest two-seater you can find. A modular leather sofa is a great option for adding spacious seating to difficult rooms.
Choosing the right style of leather sofa
Leather sofas have come a long way since the days of the classic leather Chesterfield sofa synonymous with the smoky interiors of the so-called Gentlemen's Clubs of the 19th and 20th centuries.
Nowadays relaxed, contemporary, or minimalist options abound, and whilst beauty is, of course, in the eye of the beholder, a few simple tips can ensure the leather sofa you opt for will work with the decor style you're planning.
Firstly, consider the sofa legs. Easy to overlook whilst you are trying to find the exact shade of muted tan leather in your mind's eye, the legs of a sofa can have a big impact on its overall appearance.
Generally speaking, low-to-the-ground sofas that have no visible legs to speak of are best for open plan rooms where the more bulky design will help to add gravitas to the room and ground a scheme.
Smaller rooms will benefit from a leggy design where the sofa base is lifted clear of the floor. Allowing the eye to travel under the sofa – potentially to the furthest wall of the room – will create a feeling of spaciousness and stop what is potentially the largest piece of furniture in the room from dominating too much.
Next, there's the height of the backrest to consider. Whilst comfort will likely play a large part in your preference – higher backs generally offering a more supportive seated experience – there are also aesthetics at play. A low-profile sofa will generally work best in an open plan layout, allowing your eye to move across the entire space without interruption, whereas a higher-backed design will work well against a wall, or can be used to good effect to create a more intimate seating space and grouped comfortable accent chairs for easy conversation when entertaining.
Want more living room inspiration? From general living room ideas and living room color inspiration to gallery wall ideas, you'll find plenty of top tips for creating the perfect scheme online at Livingetc.
Amy’s eye for colour, form and composition was honed in the design studio, creating surface patterns for the interiors industry. Here she developed her knowledge of key design principles and gained a deeper understanding of how a space can influence our sense of wellbeing.
Amy’s own style is considered, contemporary and timeless, with a strong interest in contemporary craft and homewares that champion collaboration between traditional makers and innovative technologies. A belief that design must exist in balance with the natural world fuels her interest in exploring sustainable, circular, and regenerative design processes and underpins her passion for natural materials and responsible craftsmanship.
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