Leather Vs. Microfiber Recliner

by Andrew Smith| Last Updated: May 5, 2022

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Leather Vs. Microfiber Recliner

The main difference between a leather and microfiber recliner is the texture of their upholstery. Leather recliners are rough because they’re made from animal hide, which has undergone tanning.  On the other hand, microfiber recliners have a fine texture.

So, leather vs. microfiber recliner?

A leather recliner is made of natural skin with clear pores, while a microfiber has artificial skin with a consistent poreless texture. Although both are durable, the former has higher longevity. For that reason, the leather chair is more expensive than its microfiber counterpart.  

Only here can you find sufficient information on how leather recliners compare with microfiber recliners. Read till the end for easy decision-making on which of the two pieces of furniture to purchase. Let’s get started.

Table of Contents

Leather Vs. Microfiber Recliner: What’s The Difference?

Leather and microfiber recliners have both similarities and differences. To settle on one, look at your family lifestyle, furniture location, color, the care you can offer, and how much you’re willing to spend. Let’s look at the various factors that make the two chairs different:

1. Comfort

A comfortable upholstery is essential for a recliner to offer maximum comfort. Nonetheless, you have to pick the right furniture to be guaranteed comfort. Leather and microfiber covers provide different levels of satisfaction.

Leather: Has a highly soft and warm feel and adjusts to your body’s temperatures. For instance, top grain leather is cool during summer and warm in winter. Full-grain leather becomes more comfortable with increased use, while the natural leather’s unique fragrance also adds to the comfort. 

Microfiber:  Natural fibers are the softest fabrics, with linen and cotton leading by a significant margin. The comfort of this upholstery also depends on the frame structure and support system.

2. Appearance

Your furniture’s look is a crucial consideration as it influences the atmosphere of your living room. A living room is a place for you to relax with family and friends, and you want furniture that brightens your mood. It should also align with your decor.

Leather: Top grain leather is naturally beautiful and unique, enhancing the prestigious and intriguing atmosphere of any room. Although its wrinkles may not be all people’s favorite, some may still find the wrinkles as part of the chair’s beauty.

Microfiber: Their fabric comes in various colors, textures, and patterns. That allows you to choose a future that blends well with your living room decor. The upholstery can be woven, printed, solid, or patterned, enabling you to express your unique style.

3. Durability

It’s essential to consider the longevity of your recliner chair because it’s an expensive lifetime investment. The cover of your chair is a crucial contributor to how long it lasts.

Leather: Forms a long-lasting upholstery whose longevity is comparable to none as it can last between 15 to 20 years. Natural oils keep your recliner off peeling, cracking, tearing, and flacking, even along the edges. Leather types like the top grain are too thick and tough to be damaged by pets or small children.

Microfiber: Microfiber is the most durable and synthetic polyester blend among the various fabrics. This fiber is extremely thin and tightly intertwined to build strong layers of protection. That forms a smooth synthetic blend that keeps off dust and other allergens. This fiber also prevents the penetration of spills and dirt, making your recliner more durable.

4. Maintenance

How to clean and maintain your recliner chair is an important deliberation. If you’ve children and pets around, more care is needed. That determines how long the chair will serve you.

Leather: There are different cleaning and maintenance requirements for specific leather covers. Hence, you need to get a recliner whose care you can accord to maintain its beauty and usefulness. This upholstery isn’t heat-friendly and requires periodic vacuuming and dusting.

Microfiber: Various upholstery fabrics are prone to soiling, and microfiber stands out as perfect stain-resistant. The best stain treatment you can give to any recliner cover is immediate attention to the stains using solvents or detergents.

5. Cost

 When buying any furniture, its price is essential because you need to work with a budget. 

Leather: Leather upholstery is extremely expensive. This fabric has passed the test of time in style and value because of its high quality and durability. For instance, a top-grain, aniline leather recliner can cost more than double any lower grade cover.

Microfiber: Although fibers recliners are relatively cheap, their cost varies depending on several factors. Microfibers have tighter and denser weaves than their counterparts, requiring more labor and raw materials. As a result, their price is high. 

Is that all? Not really! Let’s look at each of the two pieces of furniture in detail to identify more distinctive features.

What Are Leather Recliners?

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Leather recliners are luxurious chairs made of flexible leather and have a reclining position. Hence, they’re the ultimate pieces of furniture that can provide the maximum relaxation you need after a long day’s work. These recliners can last between seven to fifteen years. Their longevity depends on whether you use them regularly or for decorative purposes.

Like with other recliners, there are manual and power leather recliners. The manual ones are button-controlled, while the power recliners use electricity or rechargeable batteries to function. 

There are various leather recliners whose difference comes from the leathers that cover them.

What Are The Types Of Leather Upholstery?

There are various types of leather upholstery that are either natural or synthetic. Genuine leather is soft, flexible, warm, and has a grainy feel. On the other hand, synthetic leather is smooth and plastic-like. The variance depends on the amount of hide present in the particular leather. Below are the diverse types of leather upholstery.

Leather fabric comes in different colors because they’re dyed with various leather dyes.

Types Of Leather Fabric Dyes

There are three major types of dyes that coat leather fabrics after tanning. They include:

What Are The Features Of Leather Recliners?

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There are various features that identify a leather recliner chair. Nonetheless, natural leather differs from synthetic leather. Below are the elements that make up a leather recliner.

What Are The Pros And Cons Of Leather Recliners?

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Leather recliners have various disadvantages and disadvantages, including the following:

Pros of leather recliners:

Cons of leather recliners:

What Are Microfiber Recliners?

Microfiber recliners are pieces of furniture fitted with a reclining function and covered with lightweight synthetic material (microfiber). This fabric has gained popularity from its elegance, good feel, and wide range of colors. Nonetheless, microfiber upholstery can be challenging to clean and maintain. 

Microfiber’s feel resembles that of suede and can be produced from wool, linen, silk, cotton, acetate, and rayon materials. This upholstery is resilient, light, durable, and affordable. 

Like their leather counterparts, microfiber recliners come in various types.

What Are The Types Of Microfiber Upholstery?

There are various types of microfiber upholstery made of either natural or synthetic microfiber. Natural microfibers are made from animals and plants filaments, while synthetic microfibers are produced from chemicals. Additionally, synthetic microfibers are more long-lasting and resistant to stains and fading than their natural counterparts. Contradictorily, these fabrics cost less than the natural ones.  

Natural microfibers:

Synthetic microfiber:

What Are The Features Of Microfiber Recliners?

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There are various features of microfiber recliners. Whether natural or synthetic, below are the general properties of the upholstery that make up microfiber recliners.

What Are The Pros And Cons Of Microfiber Recliners?

There are several pros and cons that come with microfiber recliners. Let’s look at the two sides of a coin of these covers.

Pros of microfiber recliners:

Cons of microfiber recliners:


What Lasts Longer, Microfiber Or Leather?

Leather lasts longer than microfiber. A good leather piece of furniture lasts more than 25 years, while its microfiber counterpart usually lasts between 7 to 10 years. Faux leather has a life span of between three and five years. Nonetheless, your furniture’s longevity highly depends on the care you accord it. A well-kept microfiber recliner lasts longer than an unkept high-quality leather recline.

Is Microfiber Considered Faux Leather?

Yes, microfiber is considered faux leather. Microfiber leather is a form of microfiber polyurethane synthetic (faux) leather, with the highest quality artificial leather.  Furthermore, this fabric has an exceptional performance that ranks it the best genuine leather substitute. Microfiber is in the third generation of synthetic leather.

Does Microfiber Tear Easily?

Microfiber doesn’t tear easily. Why? Because it’s the strongest fabric. Consequently, it serves as a covering material for items prone to wear and tear, like recliners.

Is Microfiber Healthy To Sleep On?

Yes, microfiber is healthy to sleep on. It’s ideal if you’ve got sensitive skin. It’s comfortable enough to enhance a good sleeping atmosphere. For that reason, you can turn your microfiber recliner into a bed and have a  sleeping posture and feel change like no other!

Why Is Microfiber Bad For The Environment?

Microfiber is bad for the environment because its fibers are too small to be sieved by waste treatment companies. These tiny fibers swim through water pipes into the rivers and oceans. As a result, it causes water pollution that’s health hazardous to marine life.  

Leather Vs. Microfiber Recliner: Which Is Your Ideal Choice?

Buying a recliner is a huge investment that requires adequate prior preparation to make the right choice of furniture. When presented with leather and microfiber recliners, there are various factors to consider to differentiate them and settle on one.

Leather recliners are more durable and have higher quality; thus, the chairs are a bit expensive. On the other hand, microfibers are durable and less pricey. Nonetheless, the longevity of both recliners depends on the care you give them.

After reading through this article, you can now take the right footing toward choosing your ideal recliner and enjoy the utmost comfort you’re looking for!


  • Andrew Smith

    Andrew Smith is the founder of CozySeating, is a father of 2, and an engineer from one of the leading furniture stores in the country. Due to his 10 years of experience, he has proved to be the best person to offer advice to clients regarding different seating furniture based on their needs and performance. Besides, he is a specialist in product reviews and always keeps up with the current trends in the market.

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