Ultimate Sofa Buying Guide

Ultimate guide to distinguish real leather couch and fake one

how to know if your couch real leather

How to know if a couch is real leather? – Real leather furniture is an investment and you want it to be long lasting. We all know that real leather is more durable than pleather and bonded leather. But, most of sofa on the market is made from Bonded leather that will easily crack and peeling without proper maintenance. 

Bonded leather sofa is a leather material but Not the Skin of an animal, bonded leather is made up of leftover pieces of leather Blended together. Now, you might hear it called by a few names like reconstituted leather or maybe Blended leather. 

If you have a large enough budget to buy a real leather couch but don’t know how to tell the difference between synthetic leather, bonded leather and genuine leather because they look very similar. 

Don’t worry, with this article we will discuss how to distinguish synthetic leather and genuine leather so that you are more confident when deciding to buy your new sofa. here is difference between bonded leather and real leather

1.Look at the surface, real leather surface is not uniform

The easiest way to distinguish real leather from synthetic is by looking at the surface. The surface of vinyl and bonded leather is uniform because the surface is re-coated and printed by a machine, while real leather uses natural materials made from genuine animal skin.

The grain of Genuine Leather should have imperfections or variations because real leather has “wrinkled fat” attached to the animal of origin. So that the different patterns on each surface of sofa.

2. If surface is very smooth, it’s definitely not leathers

Faux and bonded leather are smoother. When you touch it, bonded leather is smooth and soft buttery feel compare to real leather.  When you feel surface is very smooth, it’s definitely not leathers, because genuine leather is a natural material. So, when you touch it, it doesn’t feel perfectly smooth.

another thing you could do is actually do the finger test by pressing your leather couch. Genuine leather will stretch and wrinkle slightly like spider webs

Unlike bonded leather or faux leather when you press your finger against the surface, instead of stretching or wrinkling, bonded leather simply pressed and still keeping its shape.

3.Read the label and ask sales person to make sure it is genuine leather.

bonded leather products should be labeled as such but make sure you’ve got to ask and check the label so that you are sure.  

the salesperson might not Come out and just say, “you know, you’re buying bonded leather”.

That’s why You should clear to ask the question. Is this faux leather or bonded leather?

Furniture labels denoting faux leather can include terms such as faux leather, pleather, Naugahyde, bonded leather or leatherette. In addition, the price of goods covered in genuine leather tends to be much higher than for pieces of faux leather.

If the label says nothing about the ingredients, it’s likely bonded leather or even faux leather. Real or genuine leather is always noted on the label because it is one of the advantages that can be the selling point of the sofa.

4.Smell it, you will notice if it is genuine leather.

Real leather has a characteristic natural, organic smell. Real leather that is smoother and unprocessed emits a stronger and richer aroma than real leather that has been subjected to more mechanical processes, such as coloring, buffing, sanding, and adding a protective layer.

Genuine leather has a very different aroma from bonded or synthetic leather. Imitation leather usually has an unpleasant chemical smell that comes from its synthetic fibers which have a plastic scent.

5. Drop a water, Genuine leather will absorb it in a few seconds.

Drop water on the sofa and see what happens, if the couch absorbs the water, this indicates that it is made of genuine leather because it absorbs moisture in a short time after water is poured on it.

Conversely, if you drip water on the Artificial Leather, the water will not be absorbed into the sofa surface and form a wet patch on the surface. Therefore, real leather is easier to absorb dirt and sweat, so it requires regular cleaning and maintenance

6. Burn it, genuine leather has a high resistance to fire

This test may be a bit overwhelming and unnecessary, but if you are curious it can effectively answer your questions about the quality of a skin.

Genuine leather has a high resistance to fire and will not burn immediately when burned, or melt like plastic. Real leather will only burn slightly, and smell like burnt hair, faux leather will burn and smell like burnt plastic. Plastic is flammable, because plastic is made from petroleum.

7. Real leather is more expensive.

Bonded leather price is about 6 dollars a square foot for real leather the price is above 17 dollars a square foot. If somebody say that this is the real leather just remember this, the real leather sofa can cost you about $3,000 – $4,000 

but you if you’re looking at a good size couch and it’s $600 and 3000 dollars.  could be the reason that’s an indication $600 couch would be bonded or maybe synthetic leather and 3000 would be genuine leather.

Final verdict

These are the various ways you can differentiate between synthetic and genuine leather. Now you are more confident when deciding to buy a leather sofa.

investing in a genuine leather sofa is a smart choice because with a genuine leather sofa you can use it for more than 10-30 years. But with synthetic leather which can only be worn between 2 to 5 years.

Please share your experience in differentiating between real leather, synthetic and faux leather when choosing a new sofa in the comments section.

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