Leather furniture… True or faux?

News release

Know what you are buying

July 9, 2018 – OTTAWA, ON – Competition Bureau

When shopping for your next leather chair, loveseat or sofa, you may come across many types of “leather” such as full grain, top grain, bonded leather, faux leather, vegan leather and more. All these choices can be quite confusing and make it difficult to know what you are buying. Avoid surprises by doing your homework before making that purchase.

Though the various types of “leather” may have the look and feel of real leather, they will have different features: price, durability, flexibility, breathability and comfort. Some types are also more resilient, easier to care for and clean.

Full grain or top grain leather are generally considered the strongest and most durable types of leather. Other so-called leather may be composed of synthetic material containing some or no leather at all. Alternatively, vegan leather has the look and feel of leather but contains no animal skin.

Before investing in furniture, familiarize yourself with the numerous types of leather and know what features are most important to you. Check the Bureau’s cheat sheet to get a better idea of what’s behind some of the most common types of “leather.” Furthermore, consider the following tips:

  • Know what you want. Determine what type of material is best suited for your lifestyle and budget.
  • Know what you are buying. Ask what materials are used. Know that not everything named “leather” is entirely leather, and not all offer the same quality, durability and comfort.
  • Ask about the warranty and what is covered. The length of the warranty may be indicative of the quality of the “leather”. The same applies to coverage for cracking, peeling, and wear and tear.
  • See beyond the price. Don’t be lured by extremely high or low prices. Ask questions, make an informed decision.   
  • Don’t be swayed by fancy names and descriptions. Confirm the actual composition of the furniture.

Consumers who believe they have been misled by advertising for leather furniture should report it to the Competition Bureau.

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