Why Furniture Material Matters

May 04, 2020
Living Room

The Pros and Cons of Natural, Synthetic, and Leather Furniture

You can find a lot of information today on couches, love seats, and recliners. Are sectionals better? Should you get a powered recliner? How about a chaise lounge? Chances are good you already know what you need. However, one question that might still be on your mind is what material you should get.

Natural, synthetic, and leather material types all have their pros and cons. We're here to help you understand the ins and outs of each.


Natural materials include cotton, silk, and wool. If you're wondering what a couch made from this material might feel and look like, imagine the material from a cotton shirt, but woven much more tightly. 


  • Fibers are tightly woven, leading to a durable, long-lasting piece of furniture
  • Easy to clean and repair
  • Multiple types of natural materials offer a wide, approachable price range


  • Just like clothing, natural materials can become wrinkled if not cared for
  • Units can be damaged by excessive sunlight and moisture
  • Wool and silk furniture can require professional cleanings


Most of the furniture you see on the market is made from some form of synthetic fiber. This can include microfiber, nylon, or polyester as some of the more popular choices. The biggest standout with synthetic fiber is in its name, this is a created material. With that comes a number of distinct advantages, in addition to a few downsides as well.


  • Much easier to clean than natural
  • Resists stains and discoloration
  • Stands up better to pets and rough usage


  • Beware of shocks! Synthetic material builds up static electricity
  • Some synthetics pill up, gather lint, and collect hair
  • Oils from your hands and skins can leave stains that are difficult to remove


Some might say leather is the best of the best. Top quality material with a long lifespan and quality comfort to boot. Usually made from cow hide or suede, leather is indeed a premium material. Its high durability and comfort do come at a steep cost, though. Requiring both high price and careful care, leather might be a rare choice for casual furniture shoppers.


  • Real leather can last upwards of 4x longer than other material types
  • Doesn't absorb odors, dirt, and easy to clean. 
  • Durable, high-quality comfort


  • Expensive. Very expensive.
  • Absorbs heat easily, potentially becoming sticky and hot.
  • Difficulty and costly to repair.

If you're ready for an upgrade, Progressive Leasing offers simple, flexible payment options from over 30,000 retail partner locations. Find a store near you and discover your perfect furniture set by visiting our website at progleasing.com.