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Bonded Leather Sofas Vs. Genuine Leather: Price, Durability & Cleaning

Hardwood floors, attractive artwork, elegant leather couches – every detail of your business's facility forms a lasting impression. Along with style, however, business owners must balance value and durability when making furnishing decisions. True quality and toughness are essential to ensure your investment lasts. Due to its sophistication and durability, leather furniture tends to appeal to businesses of all sizes, but the cost can sometimes be prohibitive. To save money, you might consider a bonded leather sofa – but what are the differences? The experts at ServiceMaster Clean put together this simple guide to bonded leather versus genuine leather so you can make the right decision for your needs and budget.

Bonded Leather vs. Genuine Leather

Are all leather couches created equal? No. Unlike genuine leather, bonded leather is a man-made textile comprised of leftover scraps of hide that are fused together. Once assembled, this reconstituted leather is coated to resemble the real thing. Genuine leather will be labelled with terms like full-grain and top-grain, which provide insight into the process used to treat the natural surface of a hide. Because of the material differences between bonded leather and genuine leather furniture, there are several factors you should consider when choosing which to buy for your office.


If you see a great deal on a piece of leather furniture, read the fine print on the tags or description to see if it's upholstered with genuine or bonded leather. You can expect to pay hundreds of dollars less for a bonded leather sofa compared to genuine leather, but the upfront savings often come with more costs later on.


Bonded leather may look and smell like leather, but it usually won't last as long. Because of its composite design, bonded leather tends to be more vulnerable and show regular wear and tear sooner than genuine leather. Sunlight can also dry or fade the material more easily. Position bonded leather furniture away from direct sunlight, and avoid resting heavy objects on them for best results. High-volume lobbies and waiting rooms that see lots of children may find bonded leather sofas less practical than real leather or other kinds of furniture.


Proper, routine cleaning and maintenance can help preserve both genuine and bonded leather sofas – not to mention the impact a fresh, clean space can have on guests and customers. Each week, gently vacuum your furniture's cushions with a soft brush attachment. Follow up with a quick wipe using a slightly damp cloth. Then, dry the material with a clean rag to keep your leather furniture looking and feeling like new. Once or twice a year, apply a conditioner made to nourish the material your couch is made of, whether it's bonded or genuine leather. Always test your cleaning and conditioning products in small, inconspicuous areas before using them on the whole piece.

The information above can help you make a decision, but only you can know which type of sofa is right for your business. Remember that while you may save money upfront, you may also need to repair or replace bonded leather sofas more frequently. If you want leather furniture that's sure to last, look into genuine full-grain or top-grain leather instead. Whichever style you choose, you can extend the life of your leather furniture even more with regular professional cleanings and maintenance from the experts at ServiceMaster Clean. We have the advanced tools, experience and proven processes to give your furniture exactly what it needs to shine. Learn more about our commercial upholstery cleaning services today.

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