Sofas are a huge financial 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 the 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 upholstery choices for your sofa set.

#1: Leather

Leather, as a sofa material, 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. Leather sofa material is so popular because it 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 the levels of humidity fluctuate.

#2: Linen

A tough and rough textile

Linen is a tough textile and has a luxe feel, which makes it an enviable sofa material choice. However, out of different sofa cloth types, this fabric is ideally suited for homes with adult inhabitants rather than families with young kids or pets.

That’s because 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

Woven cotton fabric is durable

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; out of sofa cloth types, pure cotton, despite being able to resist piling, absorbs stains and colours faster.

#4: Wool

Wool blends are durable and warm

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; simply running a vacuum over it removes dust. However, this fabric might not be an ideal choice for warmer climates, as it retains heat.

#5: Suede

Did you know the tough and durable suede is a type of leather sofa material?

Dabble in a touch of high-end glamour with a durable suede couch. Though this sofa material can be a sight for sore eyes, it can require more maintenance. Regular upkeep is required to ensure you’re getting the best out of it. Though this is a relatively durable material, it can get dirty fairly quickly if you live in a home with pets and kids. However, if you’re someone who cleans your upholstery regularly, you need not worry.

#6: Velvet

Embrace the lush life with a velvet couch

If there’s anything that represents the luxe life well, it’s a velvet sofa. This soft and textured material is luxury personified and is one of the perfect elements to dress up your interiors. Though a luxury material might seem like it requires more maintenance, velvet is relatively easy to maintain. In fact, it can handle daily wear and tear just as well as any other material.

Also Read: Where to Use Velvet at Home?

7: Chenille

Chenille sofas are best stored away from direct light

Durable and soft, chenille sofas have a high pile (the raised surface of thread) which makes them great for upholstery. As they are typically soft to touch, they lend a subtle fuzzy feeling to your furniture. However, chenille is not as durable when directly exposed to harsh sunlight. Be sure to position your chenille couch away from windows to keep your upholstery looking brand new.

8: Polyester

Looking for a sofa material that’s non-allergenic? Here!

When we talk about synthetic fibres, the first one that comes to mind is polyester. It resists stains more than other natural materials, which is a huge plus, if you ask us. Polyester is also a non-allergenic material, and that means fewer sneezes and fewer skin reactions. It also does a good job at resisting damage.

In fact, if you’re looking to replicate the look and feel of a leather sofa, you can opt for polyester.

9: Nylon

If your sofa material is nylon, you can avoid a lot of downsides that natural fibres might have

Another sofa material that’s fairly resistant to stains and damage, nylon is often considered as the best fabric for sofa. In addition to being a strong upholstery material for sofas, it can resist discolouration and fading when added with blends.

Also Read: 8 Curtain Fabrics to Step Up Your Living Room

10: Vinyl

Did you mistake it for a leather sofa? That’s how good vinyl is, as a leather alternative

Again another great alternative to leather sofa material, vinyl is cheaper and offers toughness. However, it might be wise to note that vinyl can crack over time, while leather ages more gracefully and develops a beautiful patina that’s a sign of sophistication and opulence.

11: Acrylic

The olive green acrylic sofa adds a distinct aura of sophistication to this living room

While we’re on the talk of types of sofa materials, how can we forget acrylic? It’s a viable alternative to wool, as it’s a synthetic imitation of wool. It’s great at resisting wear and tear, wrinkling, discolouration and fading.

12: Olefin

olefin sofa cloth types
Here comes the sun and Olefin says it’s alright

Remember how we mentioned that chenille fabric sofa material can get damaged when exposed to sunlight? Introducing a synthetic sofa cloth fabric, olefin, that’s resistant to sunlight, chemicals, abrasions and stains! If you’re looking for sofa material types that can withstand heavy usage, olefin is the best fabric for sofa.

Things to Consider When Choosing Upholstery and Sofa Material

  1. If you’ve young children or pets, you might want to go for a sturdier synthetic fibre rather than a natural sofa material. Opt for something more durable and look away from leather, cotton and wool.
  2. How you plan to use your sofa must also determine your choice. To elaborate, if you’re someone who likes to take an occasional nap on your sofa, go for a softer fabric. Whereas, if you’re someone who enjoys TV dinners in the living room then go for a durable sofa that’s stain-resistant.
  3. If you or a family member has any allergies, it’s best to opt for a sofa material like polyester or a similar non-allergenic sofa material.
  4. Sofas are investments, so consider durable options that’ll stand the test of time.

The Best Sofa Fabric Option Based on Durability: Leather

Classic brown leather

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! 

Check out living room designs:

How Can Livspace Help You? 

We hope you found our ideas useful! If you want beautiful interiors for your home, then look no further. Book an online consultation with Livspace today. Have any thoughts or suggestions you’d like to share with us? We’re all ears! Drop us a line at