Choosing Fabric Material

The Different Kinds of Sofa Materials & How to Pick the Right One

Aim for great looks as well as the durability


Livspace Editorial Team

October 27, 2021


Sofas are a massive investment, so you don’t want to be second-guessing your choice of material or style at any point in time. To avoid future ‘what ifs’ and regrets, take time to select the right material for your sofa — whether customised or not. You’ll be happy with your choice for years to come and won’t have to shell out extra for maintenance or upkeep! Putting durability, comfort and style first, here are a few sofa set fabric choices you could look at.

#1: Leather

Leather is easy to clean

An age-old favourite, leather is a no-brainer when it comes to sofas of any style. It’s easy to clean, holds up well over time and comes in a variety of colours, finishes and textures that deliver on visual appeal. Most leather sofa material today has a stain-resistant finish, making it ideal for houses with high footfall in the living area. That said, leather is quite vulnerable to scratches and may develop cracks if levels of humidity fluctuate.

#2: Linen

Linen is a tough textile and has a luxe feel, which makes it an enviable sofa material choice. However, this fabric is ideally suited for homes with adult inhabitants rather than families with young kids or pets as linen doesn’t hold up well under duress, especially if the chosen linen fabric is made of loose weaves. Lighter colours don’t hold a candle to other materials when it comes to stain resistance and it’s hard to keep it wrinkle-free at all times.

#3: Cotton

Quite similar to linen, cotton is also a breezy and durable fabric but doesn’t hold up well in areas where there is a chance of too many people gathering at a time, like the living room. This sofa material can be treated and made stain-resistant but even then, it isn’t quite as easy to clean. Densely woven cotton fabrics such as denim and canvas are a clever way around these caveats; pure cotton, despite being able to resist piling, absorbs stains and colours faster.

#4: Wool

Wool and wool blends make ideal sofa material choices because they’re durable and warm. They’re also a good choice for kid-friendly homes because they don’t experience much piling and wrinkling. Wool is also easier to spot-clean in case of spills and stains; running a vacuum over it removes dust. However, this fabric might not be an ideal choice for warmer climes as it retains heat.

So, which is the best sofa fabric option based on durability?


Leather stands head and shoulders over other sofa materials when it comes to durability. It’s quite an investment but stands the test of time and holds up well under distress. If you’re worried about kids or pets staining the material, consider opting for distressed leather — any blemishes will blend right in. 

PRO Tip:

If you’re planning to reupholster, the best material also depends on the shape of the furniture. Be careful of patterns and prints, as these may distort when the fabric is cut up. So what you pick after a first favourable impression may not look great when it takes the shape of a sofa!