How Long Do Leather Couches Last? Tips to Increase Lifespan

How Long Do Leather Couches Last? Photo of a very well-maintained leather couch.

If you’re considering a leather couch over another material, take the time to learn just what leather couches can offer for longevity! Below you’ll find out how long do leather couches last.

A properly cared-for leather couch should last between 15-20 years, making it a great investment. You can ensure you get the total amount of time out of your couch by buying one made from high-quality leather, caring for your leather couch properly, and how much usage your leather couch gets.

Read on to learn more about how to get as many years out of your leather couch as possible!

Are leather sofas high maintenance?

One of the first things you’ll want to know about your potential couch purchase is how easy and hard it will be to care for. When it comes to leather sofas, you won’t find them much different than a classic couch. 

Austin Furniture Repair explains that you’ll want to wipe the couch clean the moment there is a spill on it and also wipe it down with a cloth once a week as you clean the rest of the house. When you want to get the crumbs and grit out of it, use the brush attachment on your vacuum cleaner and carefully suck it all out as you sweep the bristles. 

The only thing that’s a bit different is that you’ll want to use a cleaner specific to leather rather than traditional household cleaners. A cleaner for leather couches will be effective at cleaning the couch, but it won’t have anything that isn’t safe for leather.

You’ll want to consider conditioning your leather couch, too. When it comes to when to clean the leather, it depends on how much you use it and the type of leather you have.

Hint:

Most leather couch providers include a booklet with details on care and maintenance. You should read it thoroughly for the best approach to care for your specific couch.

Is a leather couch worth it?

As you can imagine, the type of couch that you get is a personal decision. That being said, there will be a general tipping point where one type wins out over the other. A leather couch is the best choice for value for money; just choose well and be wary of pets.

The honest reality is that a leather couch will be more expensive than a faux leather couch or a fabric couch, but it will outlive them, too. If you take care of it properly and understand the complexities of leather as far as what you should or shouldn’t do. In that case, you’ll see that investment winning when it lasts you 20 years and is still looking great. 

Advantages and disadvantages of a leather couch

Advantages of leather

  • Excellent value for your money
  • Leather couches last for a long time
  • They match other furniture easily
  • They dress up your living space

Disadvantages of leather

  • Not many color or pattern choices
  • More sensitive to temperature changes
  • Expensive 
  • High-maintenance

As you can see, the advantages are pretty impressive and tempting. It’ll be great for tipping you over to the plus side of having a leather couch. That being said, it’s also important to consider the disadvantages. If these are significant dealbreakers for you, you’ll need to consider whether this is the best choice for you or not.

How can you tell a good quality leather sofa?

When you’re figuring out whether you’ve got a good quality sofa, it’s going to come in two parts: knowing your material and understanding the signs that it’s wearing out.

When it comes to the material, certain leathers are going to be better than others. This can refer to the animal skin (cowskin versus alligator skin, for example), but it’s more specific to the kind of grain. The grain will determine the quality — and we’ll talk about that in a bit.

The other thing is how it wears in the first few years. Any quality couch will have a warranty for a certain amount of time covering manufacturing mishaps or the quality of materials.

So, if you notice that your couch is peeling or cracking and you’ve been caring for it properly. In that case, it could signify that your couch is made from poor-quality leather somewhere along the way. 

When should I replace my leather couch?

If you’ve got 15 years out of your couch and you’re wondering if it’s time to replace it, don’t feel that you need to. After all, you know that it can last much longer than that. You’ll know that it’s time to consider replacing your leather couch if you notice either of these:

  • The couch is no longer in style
  • Any fixes are going to cost more than the couch is worth

For some people, a couch that’s out of style is no big deal. For others, they must keep up with the home decor style a la mode. While it’s still a good idea to get a leather couch’s whole lifespan out of it, you’ll want to consider replacing it if it’s so out of style that it’s bothering you.

Tip:

When buying your leather couch, aim for classic and timeless styles so that it’s always going to be a la mode, even if it’s 20 years later!

The other “time to move on” moment will be if any repairs or fixes you may need (ex: needing part of the frame fixed or replacing a spring) are going to be more expensive than the couch is worth. This can be a hard one to face since you most likely are considering the repairs because you love the couch. But it is something to think about.

Signs you should replace your leather couch

Are you looking for something a bit more specific as far as replacement motivators? Here are some of the leading causes for couch shopping, as Simply Sweet Home explains. You should replace a couch:

  • When it’s discolored
  • When it’s no longer comfortable
  • When it’s smelly

If you’ve tried to fix these issues and it’s just not working, it’s a sure sign that you should go shopping for a new couch. You’ve got a lot of years and use out of it, and you can feel guilt-free about upgrading!

How long do faux leather couches last?

So you’re also considering a faux leather couch, right? It’s perfectly okay. After all, they’ll be cheaper and look just like the real thing!

However, you also will have to face the harsh reality that a faux leather couch may only last you 5 years or so. Since it’s made of vinyl-based material, it just can’t hold up as long as authentic leather. The materials to make it are going to be cheaper than classic leather, so it means that it’ll wear out faster. 

How to increase the lifespan of a leather couch

To help you get the absolute longest time possible out of your couch, several focus points can help you get the best value for money. These include:

  • Do your own research on types of leather couches and their care routines
  • Buy from a reputable store
  • Choose a couch made from a high-quality leather grain
  • Take care of your couch from the very beginning

Do your own research

Different kinds of leather require different kinds of care. This includes care products, frequency of use, and even recommended uses for the couch. Don’t choose a leather type that will cause you nothing from frustration!

Buy from a reputable store

Next is to only go with pros when it comes to where you purchase your leather couch from. Trustworthy stores with a good track record will be the best way to get the best value for money. 

Don’t forget to get a warranty, even if it costs more. If there’s something faulty with your couch, you’ll want to know that you can get your money back or a replacement couch!

Choose a couch made from a high-quality leather grain

Did you know that the grain of leather can determine its worth? You’ll want to go with a full-grain or top-grain leather couch. Full-grain couches have the toughest fibers and are the best choice for households that will use their couch a lot and potentially put wear and tear on them. Top-grain leather is better for resisting scratches and is easier to clean.

Take care of your couch from the very beginning

How you take care of your leather couch from the very beginning will determine how well it holds up over time. Not only does proper care from the beginning protect your couch from day 1, but it will also put you in a good routine of caring for your couch for the entirety of its life span.

Focus on details like buffing out scratches when you see them, keeping them covered from the sun, and using a leather cleaner and conditioner as recommended.

When cared for properly, leather couches will be good for 15-20 years and potentially even longer. You’ll want to make sure that you research the different types of leather and their care instructions and factor in how you and your family members (including the furry ones) will use the couch. 

Know someone considering a leather couch and wondering if it’s worth the investment? Share this with them and spread the good news!

Andre from leatherninja.com

Andre is a passionate leatherworker who spends his spare time working with leather. He loves the smell and feel of leather, and he takes great care in selecting the right pieces of leather for his projects. Read more here.