How Long Do Leather Couches Last?

The stunning, genuine look and feel of leather is undoubtedly beautiful when wrapped over one of our favorite couches. Maybe it’s always been your dream or goal to own a real leather couch, but you’re worried about the lifespan and functionality of the leather. 

If that sounds like you, don’t worry! With a little care and some careful planning, a genuine leather couch will outlast a fabric sofa over many years. 

The important thing to remember is that all leather couches have different lifespans depending on the quality of leather, your budget, and the amount of care that you’re willing to put in.

To extend the duration of your leather couch, you have to make sure that the leather is preserved and cleaned on a routine basis. This is the only way to ensure that your investment will get a wonderful return. 

Maintaining the Longevity of Your Couch

There’s no guaranteed lifespan for a leather couch because there are so many factors that can affect how long your couch stays durable. 

How Long Do Leather Couches Last

Maybe you’re in the process of picking new furniture for your family room. The last couch and loveseat you bought didn’t hold up well to your family’s daily use in that space. Your couch isn’t torn, but it just looks very worn out, almost like it’s been used all the time! Maybe you’re tired of looking at fabric couches that you know will not last with your family. 

Those are some reasons why you should look into purchasing a real leather couch!

Caring for your leather couch includes cleaning and moisturizing. Just like your own skincare routine, your leather couch deserves proper care in order to stay looking its best. While skincare products will not work on your couch, there are certainly ways to clean and maintain your leather furniture to keep it fresh and clean. Here are some tips to help you extend the life of your couch. 

Tip #1

One of the most important things that you can do to extend the life of your leather couch is to be mindful of direct lighting. Being a natural material exposure to direct lighting will discolor and oftentimes lighten and dry out the leather. Modern lamps with their extreme color variance have also been known to fade aniline leather couches.

That’s why if your couch is going to be in direct light you need to ensure that it’s pigmented or semi-aniline leather. However, it’s still recommended to pay attention to the light sources closest to your couch.  

Tip #2

It’s a very bad idea to place leather couches close to fireplaces or heating vents. Maybe not something to think about in the middle of summer, but having the heat blasting on the furniture all winter will dry out your piece. Your leather furniture will dry out from the exposure to this heat and that will cause a shortened lifespan. 

Tip #3

Other considerations that need to be thought of when caring for your furniture are the cleaning agents. It’s wise to stay away from harsh chemicals. You wouldn’t put chemicals like bleach, hand sanitizers, or harsh chemicals on your skin, so why would you put those things on leather? Detergents, polishes, and cleaners can ruin the finish of your leather. 

Additionally, the use of these types of cleaners can compromise the color and feel of your couch. That’s why it’s super important to treat your leather couch with care if you want to ensure that it lasts for years.  

Tip #4

Be careful when sitting down on the couch with pens, keys, or pocket knives in your pockets. While leather is durable, it isn’t indestructible and sharp objects can create punctures and scrapes in your furniture. 

Marks and light scratches can be removed by gently buffing the area with a warm dry cloth. To get the proper heat, just hold the dry cloth over your mouth and breathe on it for a minute or so. This will hear up the cloth and allow you to gently rub the scratches and marks out of the couch.  However, deep scratches and cuts will permanently damage leather. 

Caring for Your Couch

Cleaning leather involves the simplest ideas possible. There’s no need to spend hard-earned money on expensive cleaners. If you’re diligent about care and maintenance, then you can simply use damp cloths and vacuum cleaners. 

Vacuum the couch regularly to remove any dust and debris, and then wipe with a damp fine threaded cloth, do not use an abrasive shop towel for this. Be especially careful when wiping as you don’t want to create rub marks on your leather couch. Additionally, if you happen to spill something on your couch, make sure to shake it off and dab up the moisture as quickly as possible to prevent staining.

Extending the life of your leather couch can also be easily accomplished by limiting who uses the couch. There’s no reason that your new coach has to become the family dinner table. Keep everyone off of the couch at inappropriate times and you will automatically extend the life of it.

Buff Your Couch Regularly

Scratches on your couch can happen even with the best of preventative measures. Fortunately, with a microfiber cloth and a little elbow grease, you can get these out fairly easily. Just make sure to heed the warnings that we mentioned previously. 

Make sure that you gently rub in a counter-clockwise direction when you start buffing your couch. There’s no need to add any moisture. The action itself will realign the grains and hopefully hide those tiny scratches before they become large eyesores.  

Place Away From Sun and Light

Leather is a natural product and will fade and dry-out overtime if left in a sunny place. It’s best to position your leather couch away from windows and strong heavy lights. 

Clean up spills as soon as they happen! Dab dry any liquids and look at the material. If the material still looks dirty, use a safe dishwashing liquid to remove grease and debris, then moisturize and use your favorite leather conditioner.  

Clean your couch as life happens. A clean, dry fine threaded cloth will quickly absorb any fluid so your couch doesn’t suffer from the unfortunate spill. In these cases, it’s important to move quickly with your cleanup in order to prevent further staining.

The Highest-Quality Leather

Full-grain leather is the highest quality grade of leather that’s available for purchase. Full-grain gets its name because it comes from the top layer of the hide and includes all of the natural grain. The reason it’s so expensive is that the production process is more difficult and getting full prime hides is hard to do. 

When an animal hide is processed, it’s cut in order to separate all the different layers. That means that full-grain leather is the only type of leather that leaves the hide intact with no surface alterations or splitting. Not only is full-grain leather stronger, but it will also showcase the hide’s natural texture and pattern.

It’s worth noting that full-grain leather will develop a patina over time since the material adapts to its surroundings. Additionally full-grain leather will absorb the natural oils of those that sit on it. That’s why it’s important to only sit on these couches when wearing clean clothes.

Kitchen grease, car oils, and fuel will soak into the leather and leave a residue as well as a scent. Although this can be viewed negatively, this natural absorption and adaptation gives it a high appeal among homeowners and is a normal sign of its natural origins.

The Cheapest Type of Leather

The cheapest type of leather on the market is bonded leather. It’s made from the scraps of other leathers then glued together. These scraps include the dust and shavings from the processing of other leathers. These leftovers are then bonded together using polyurethane or latex with a fiber sheet as a backer. 

It’s often spray-painted in order to mimic high-end leathers. There’s no way to determine the quality of natural leather in bonded leather unless the manufacturer decides to include this information. Since most are unlikely to do this, these bonded leathers are used for various things from furniture making to bookbindings due to their relatively cheap cost.


Looking for leather couches can be a fun and exciting time in any homeowner’s life! With its natural look, increased beauty, and possibility to last for multiple years, genuine leather couches provide an easy way to ensure that you’re not buying furniture every few years. With a little care and consideration, the couches should outlive all of the trials that you and your family throw at it!

If you’re interested in more buying guides, reviews, and further home improvement information, please feel free to keep exploring our site!

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