Leather sofas buying guide

A firm favourite in many homes, the timeless leather sofa is a design icon. Not only does it age with grace but it has a versatile style, place it anywhere and it will make a design statement.

Whether you're after a sofa, armchair, chaise longue or sofa bed, we have the perfect leather sofa for you. We also have a whole host of ranges of colours and finishes so whatever look you're after from contemporary to traditional, we are sure to have it.

The icing on the cake? Our leather sofas are easy to look after. Keep them out of direct sunlight and remove dust with a damp cloth, it's really that simple.

Making the right choices: leather sofas

Choosing a leather sofa is simple with Habitat. First, have a browse on our website to get the look and feel that you would like for your room.

Next, having decided whether you are after a sofa, sofa bed, chaise longue or armchair, be sure to measure the space carefully (including doorways and stairwells). Have a look at our sofa measuring guide to give you a helping hand.

Want a closer look or need some advice? Pop in-store to try before you buy, as well as chatting to our friendly staff if you have any queries or concerns before making your new purchase.

Finally, have a think about the rest of the room, will you need other leather pieces to fit in the room? Or maybe some accessories such as lighting  and rugs  to show off your new space?

What types of leather sofas are there?

Madras Leather

Madras is a corrected pigmented leather –the leather is drum-dyed, with a colour pigment and texture applied to the buffed leather surface to achieve a uniform appearance. This is then treated with a thick transparent polymer layer to make it resistant to every day family wear and tear.

Madras leather is particularly popular due to its uniform texture and solid colours, with an embossed decorative pattern applied to the surface. Any imperfections are buffed and filled out, with a thick wear layer then added to make it less prone to damage.

Get the look: Porto leather sofa

Rancho Leather

Rancho leather is a slightly corrected, aniline leather which is dyed throughout the hide to allow natural characteristics of leather to show, whilst retaining an even colour.

The term aniline signifies that no artificial pigment has been applied, which makes it a very natural leather. It is finished with wax finish instead of a covering finish, giving it a soft, silky feel.

It is lightly buffed to remove any imperfections, making it more uniform and more rustic than luxury leather.

Get the look: Hyde leather sofa

Arredo Leather

Arredo leather is a corrected pigmented leather-this leather is dyed and then a colour pigment and texture is applied to buffed leather to achieve a uniform appearance. The leather is treated with a transparent polymer layer to make it resistant to wear & tear.

With a large selection of colours, this type of leather offers lots of choice, allowing you to integrate your new upholstery into your current look or create a new style if you are having a re-vamp.

Get the look: Rupert leather sofa

Carson City Leather

Carson City leather is a slightly corrected, semi-aniline leather. The leather is also dyed throughout which lends to a more even colouration but the base coat contains a pigment which enhances durability.

In addition, by lightly buffing the surface any natural defects are removed.

Get the look: Chester leather sofa

Luxury Leather

Luxury leather is an aniline leather which is dyed throughout to allow the natural characteristics to show whilst retaining an even colour. It has the advantage that the original leather is showcased at its best -natural blemishes or marks only enhance the stylish & sophisticated finish.

The term aniline signifies that no artificial pigment finish has been applied making it a very natural, breathable leather. It is finished with wax finish instead of a covering finish, giving it a soft, natural feel.

Get the look: Smithfield leather armchair

How do I look after my leather sofa?

  • We recommend that you get your leather upholstery professionally cleaned
  • Avoid exposing your furniture to direct and prolonged periods of sunlight and heat sources as this may result in fading
  • Wipe with a damp cloth and then immediately wipe dry with a soft dry cloth
  • Great care must be taken to avoid spillages
  • Rotate and 'plump-up' cushions regularly to prevent uneven wear and excessive soiling
  • Vacuum or brush weekly, as accumulated dirt will accelerate wear and dull colours
  • Avoid sharp objects
  • Do not use solvent based cleaners

What are the different types of leather finishes available?

There are many types of leather available. It is worth noting that Habitat only uses real leather on our sofas – no PU or bonded leather (also called finished split leather). Aniline leather is the least processed leather whilst corrected, pigmented leather has been heavily treated to make it more uniform.

Aniline

This is the most natural leather, it has been dyed to colour and has either received a thin, clear natural coating or no finish at all. It has the advantage that the original leather is showcased at its best -natural blemishes, marks and creases only enhance the stylishly rustic finish of this leather.

Semi aniline leather

This leather displays all the natural beauty of aniline but with the addition of a thin surface coating. Semi aniline is the ideal choice to achieve that unprocessed look, whilst the protective layer preserves the finish and allows it to be cleaned more effectively.

Pigmented leather

This leather has a pigment layer which typically gives a consistent appearance and also has practical benefits. The pigmented finish offers improved durability and resistance to soiling and allows the leather to be produced in a range of colours.

Corrected Grain

Corrected grain is a dyed leather printed with a uniform leather texture that maintains its look over time. This makes it ideal for the customer who prefers a sleek, flawless leather finish.

How do you choose a leather sofa?

There are two important decisions to make when choosing your leather sofa. First you must decide the leather and then the finish. Our website and in-store staff will help you find the perfect sofa for your home.

Opt for light leather to give an uplift to your room and allow bright accessories to do the talking. Or go for a darker, richer colour to give a cosy feel to your room.

When choosing a finish, be sure to think about how much usage your sofa will get. A thicker, tougher finish such as pigmented leather will ensure it survives all the family. Whilst a more delicate corrected grain finish will make a style statement.

Finally, be sure to measure the space carefully. Will you need a two seater, three seater, sofa bed or corner sofa? Try laying out newspapers on the floor to the measurements of your sofa to ensure it will fit and be sure to measure doorways and stairwells as well as the room itself.

Watch our sofa measuring guide:

What accessories can sofas be teamed with?

Sofas are great for introducing a colour or theme into your space but accessories can be just as important. When choosing your sofa, have a think about which cushions you would like to have. Would you like to coordinate or clash? For a solid block of colour on the sofa, it is often fun to introduce a playful print to your soft furnishings. Will you need a rug as well? How will this fit in the space?

Lighting is a great way to add a mood to your room, you can opt for a statement piece such as a floor lamp or introduce subtle hints of colour with a desk or table lamp. Be sure to order lamp shades and light bulbs at the same time to ensure you can enjoy them as soon as they arrive.

Finally, furniture. Do you need side tables, coffee tables or a bookshelf? Or maybe a console table or footstool? After all, you're room will need to be practical as well as comfy.

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