No matter what the style of your home, there are always going to be practical features that you have to take into account when picking items of furniture or soft furnishings.
For those looking for new sofas to buy, practical choices are particularly important. Children and pets can be one of the most important things to consider as you need to ask yourself what happens if they make a mess? Or what if the cat scratches up the sofa just days after you’ve bought it?
To make the best decision for you and your family you need to weigh up the pros and cons of different sofas styles as well as different materials. Leather and fabric are your two main options here … but which is best?
Leather sofas are a definite advantage when it comes to cleaning, simply wipe the dirt off and the job is done. There are even leather polishes which give them a fresh smell and appearance for after they have been cleaned.
Fabric sofas don’t offer such immediate cleaning results but their cushion covers can often be removed and washed separately to keep them looking at their best. This can offer a deeper, more thorough, clean than is available with leather sofas but the process is more time consuming and the risk of stains more pronounced.
Scratches and damage
Cats are known for scratching furniture – whether we like it or not. Leather sofas are definitely not great at withstanding this sort of damage and once damaged they are difficult to revert back to their original condition unless you know what you’re doing or get it done professionally.
Fabric sofas are very good at hiding wear and tear like cat scratches, but they do fade with time and stray threads can become a real snagging hazard. The best option for either sofa is to discourage pets from climbing onto furniture and using throws, blankets or covers to protect your sofa when you are not around to keep pets off the cushions!
Fabric sofas are cosy and warm but you may find that some cheaper materials can feel a little scratchy on the skin. Leather sofas, on the other hand, are typically a lot softer but the material can be a lot colder in the winter and cause bare skin to sweat and stick to it during the summer.
Ultimately, only you can decide which material is best for your family sofa but as a general rule leather is the best choice for long-lasting appearances and easy cleaning while fabric is better for hiding damage and scratches and for deeper cleaning.