Leather sofas are investment pieces that usually improve with age. Alongside the benefits of hardwearing upholstery and durability, a modern leather sofa can make a stylish centrepiece in a living space.
Offering natural texture, as well as neutral tones or splashes of color, leather sofas can blend easily with other elements in a contemporary interior.
1. Best linear leather sofas
Price: from $2,998
Deep T-shaped seats, well-padded back cushions, and high cast iron or brass finish legs create a streamlined look, whilst three width options – 71", 81", or 91" – make for versatile proportions with this stylish leather sofa.
Upholstered in top-grain leather (examined by Martindale Abrasion and Pilling Tester, to ensure its durability), this is a great value leather couch. It's available as a 3, 4 or 6 seater too with various pillow options.
2. Best statement leather sofas
Price: from $2,099
With stylish leather tufting and a sleek wooden base, the Texada sofa creates a cool and contemporary look. It's made with untreated Taos leather that's soft to touch and weighs in at 29.5"H x 90.5"W x 39.5"D for a comfy place to stretch out on.
Set on a light iron frame, this bench-style couch has supple leather upholstery and folded arms resulting in an elegant combo of hard and soft surfaces. An on-trend statement piece, it measures a comfortable 88.5W x 39.25"D x 32.75"H too.
Best tufted leather sofas
Upholstered in espresso brown aniline tufted leather and finished with dark brass nail heads, this classic Chesterfield would ground a modern living space with its traditional style. It's an investment piece that would improve with age.
Available in natural wash camel hued top grain leather, this sleek, chic tufted sofa combines traditional detailing with a linear modern silhouette. Choose from small (75"W x 35"D x 28"H) or large (90"W x 35"D x 28"H) for your living space.
4. Best vintage-style leather sofas
Offered in tan, chocolate, black or navy leather options (as well as fabric or velvet upholstery), the Sven sofa is a modern take on a mid-century classic. Its clean lines and vintage styler make it a popular choice at Livingetc.
This grey top grain leather sofa is a comfortable size (34"H x 37.5"W x 91" D) with a boxy shape, tapered timber legs and a smart wood trim which would bring a touch of slick mid-century style to a modern home.
What is the best quality leather for a sofa?
Full-grain leather is considered the best quality leather for upholstery. It comes from the top layer of the animal hide and includes the natural grain and imperfections that make each piece of furniture unique. It softens over time and develops the much sought-after patina that comes from regular use.
It's also durable and resists moisture and spills well. However, this hardwearing nature also makes the material difficult for manufacturers 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. As a result, top-grain leather loses some of its strength and durability so is less likely to develop the same depth of patina a full-grain leather allows.
'Leather is commonly used on furniture, such as sofas, because it stands up well to wear and tear for years and obtains a beautiful lived-in look over time,' says Madison Adam, Interior Design Services Manager at Article.
'Leather’s natural color is also a great tone that complements many existing colors and fabrics. I love pairing leather with a throw pillow or blanket in a soft material like bouclé or wool. It’s an easy way to make a room look luxurious.'
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Jacky Parker is a London-based freelance journalist and content creator, specialising in interiors, travel and food. From buying guides and real home case studies to shopping and news pages, she produces a wide range of features for national magazines and SEO content for websites
A long-time contributor to Livingetc, as a member of the team, she regularly reports on the latest trends, speaking to experts and discovering the latest tips. Jacky has also written for other publications such as Homes and Gardens, Ideal Home, Red, Grand Designs, Sunday Times Style and AD, Country Homes and Interiors and ELLE Decoration.
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