4 min read

Did you know that not all leather is the same?

You might have heard that, here at Sofology, we only ever use 100% natural leather. We believe there’s just no substitute for the real thing, even though some faux leathers do a good job of looking like the real thing…at first.

Imitation leather is often less durable than the natural, authentic leather used on all Sofology sofas – and, more importantly, it doesn’t feel anywhere near as soft, warm and supple as the real thing. Some other manufacturers cut expenses by using a mix of real and faux leather, but as the two age and fade very differently, you end up with a patchwork effect on your sofa.

Even though all our sofas are made from 100% natural leather, there are still factors to consider when you decide you want to buy a leather sofa from Sofology.

The first step is to carefully analyse the way your sofa will be treated – how often it will be used, and by whom. Do you have young children? Do you have pets? How do you want your sofa to age – gracefully like a fine wine or do you want it to stay looking new for as long as possible? Each of the 3 types of leather we use will perform differently for you and your lifestyle. Read on to learn more about each type and to find out which is the right choice for you.

Aniline leather is left untreated to emphasise its natural characteristics. This can include life-like features such as scars, scratches and brand marks – each one telling a story, making the piece of leather completely unique and adding to its charm. Aniline leather just gets better with age, and it’s reassuringly warm to the touch, offering a blissful spot to sink into at the end of the day.

An aniline leather sofa needs to be cherished and invested in with specialist care treatments to keep it looking its best. This style of leather is much better suited to households with adults and older children and where it won’t be exposed to your four legged friends. If you love the distressed look, this one’s for you.

With a layer of protection applied that doesn’t completely detract from the beautiful, unique features of the natural leather, semi aniline offers the best of both worlds. You’ll still notice the natural leather characteristics, but they won’t be as obvious as those featured on aniline leather. If you’ve got a busy family and like to eat your dinner on the sofa from time-to-time (we all do it!) then the light protective coating on this leather could save the day.

It’s worth factoring into your buying decision that a semi aniline sofa will require a medium level of maintenance – so will require a little care to keep it looking its best. You may see some aging and signs of a much-loved sofa as the years go by, but following the manufacturer’s care instructions will always prolong the life of your semi-aniline leather sofa.

Pigmented leather is the most durable leather type. The generous protective coating will keep your sofa safe from spills, be more resilient to scratching and help the leather stay looking new for longer. This means it’s perfect for young families or households with cheeky pets that like to jump on the sofa!

Granted, there are much fewer natural characteristics in pigmented leather, but the maintenance level is super-low. A quick, but fairly regular, wipe down of this leather type should keep it looking fabulous for as long as you need it to.

So, now that you’ve got the facts, why not browse through our range of leather sofas to find the one that’s perfect for your home?

And if you want to read more about how to care for your leather sofa, read our top tips and tricks here.

About Sofology

Helping everybody feel happier and more comfortable at home - that's what we’re all about. Originally founded in the North West of England in 1974, Sofology now has stores all across the UK. Providing specialist sofa advice and interiors inspiration for your home, our stores are designed to be a haven from the chaos of traditional sofa shopping.


  • Hadrian Morton says:

    I am looking for two single light worn brown leather arm chairs and a three seater sofa with the same type of leather.
    Is it possible to have an all in one cushion sewn in to the three seater sofa so that it does not slip when one is seated ?