How durable is faux leather?

What is more durable: real leather or faux leather?

The answer might surprise you, but according to tests and experiences from different people and organizations, faux leather is not only very durable, but it is the one that is going to keep looking the most attractive and durable.

To best clean faux leahter upholstery, only use DC22 Upholstery Cleaner. Click here to try it!

I know that most people think that real leather is the most durable when it comes to leather objects, but the truth is that faux leather can be much more durable, however, all this depends on the quality of the faux leather fabrics used in the manufacturing process!

Some cars made in the 50s are still enjoying their faux leather upholstery, it is because the faux leather fabric used was of great quality and faux-leather-cracksalso it used mixed materials.

By mix materials, I mean that the faux leather used in the upholstery is not just plastic, it is plastic mixed with synthetic or natural fibers.

In the process of making faux leather, manufacturers can add either synthetic fibers like nylon, or add natural fibers like cotton or wool, both processes are very efficient at making the faux leather fabric more durable and stronger.

However, for faux leather to stay durable and stronger it does not only require good materials, it will also require good maintenance.

You may think that the real leather is the only leather that must require care and maintenance, but this is totally wrong, faux leather requires attention and care too.

One of the best products you can apply to make faux leather not only durable, but also very resistant and stronger is quality leather conditioners.

They are going to help the fibers stay strong and durable; they will also prevent the faux leather surface from cracking and losing fat and other essential chemicals that hold it together.

I’ve seen faux leather that was sixty years old that was doing great!

And on the other hand I’ve seen faux leather that was three months old that was already cracking and losing its resistance and value.

This means that to have a very durable faux leather, you must care for it and you must select only the best quality materials and fabrics.

For all your leather and faux leather items, I highly recommend Saddle soap. Click here to try it!

So, if you are looking for durability and strength, don’t buy cheap products, they will not last you a long time.

Author: Jean-Marc Chateigner

Jean-Marc Chateigner is a leather artisan who grew up in the region of Toulouse, France. He was passionate by leather work since his childhood, he spent many years as an apprentice to a true leather craftsman.

He is practicing his passion in the city of Toulouse with his wife and two children.
Throughout Jean-Marc wants to share his expertise on the subject of faux leather and also share valuable advices for people wanting to acquire faux leather objects.

58 thoughts on “How durable is faux leather?”

  1. Hi. I am looking at an Ashley sofa made out of their Durablend material. Do you know anything about the quality of their faux leather? Thanks for your help.

    1. Ashley Furniture makes great products, but only buy the high end ones, the lower the price, the lower the quality will be.

    2. i purchased a durablend couch and 2 recliner from Ashley about 6 years ago. I cant remember how long they lasted but not more than a few years. All 3 pieces and the couch and recliners were different brands bought at different times, bought the warranty for the sofa but they said it didnt cover peeling or cracking After that purchased recliners from prolounger, called renu leather, whatever that means and the leather has held up well after 3 years, no cracks peeling or anything but faded like crazy. the problem with them was the metal frames for the footrests did not hold up, now replacing with a set from american signature furniture that is vinyl that looks like leather, hope I have better luck with that set.

    3. Horrible, our Ashley dura blend leather sofa and loveseat are in bad condition. The set is four years old and it is cracking and peeling everywhere. My husband and I live alone with no children. We are sooooo disappointed.

    4. I purchased a set from Ashley about 3 yrs ago. Label said bonded leather. I am sick! It is. completely peeling off. I now am looking for something else. Would never buy from Ashley again

  2. I just purchased a couch that was manufactored from One 80, It says it is Faux Leather. Do you know anything about this brand?

  3. We purchased a faux leather chair and matching stool. It only lasted 2 years!!! over which time it has considerably deteriorated. All the areas around the stitching has cracked and it is all wearing off/peeling off everywhere that the body touches. The arms the back the seat!!! If it’s not got leather in it it should never have the word LEATHER at all in its description. If its got some sort of plastic in it, which is what we have now found out, I have had plastic type of furniture (corner settee) many years ago and it lasted forever, so why is this so inferior. Would never buy it again!! This was purchased from Harveys Furniture and when we complained about it, their so called expert told us it was wear and tear – After two years!! surely it should last longer. Oh and also we were using the wrong stuff on it to clean it. Damp cloth – yes that was correct. But we were never told that faux leather was not real leather, so used the same leather cream on it as we have done on the settee which is real leather may I add and that hasn’t got anything wrong with it. As we thought it was still leather not plastic. We couldn’t get any joy from Harveys with regard to the item, in our opinion it should have lasted more than 2 years. It wasn’t even sat in that much. If its wear and tear then obviously the only way it would have stayed in good condition was not to sit in it!!!!

    1. It’s because it was made of poor faux leather! Sorry to hear this, but the first thing to never do with this fabric is to go cheap or look for the best “deals”! There are none! Don’t lose hope in faux leather, I have so many products and furniture made of it and they’re all great looking, in fact, I have one couch which is probably more than 15 years of age, and I bought it from a thrift shop years ago.

      1. Do you use any type of conditioner on your faux leather? Ihave had awful luck with it. Even boots jackets ect. I hadgood luck with something called renu leather bt faded terribly but tha is an easy fix with dye, to bad the metal footrests didnt hold up on those recliners.

        1. Always focus on elasticity and back threads, the more elastic it looks and feels, the more durable it will be, one more thing, never buy smelly faux leather, it’s a sure sign of low quality.

    2. Apparently, you don’t know that the word “faux” is French for false, which means it’s not real leather.

  4. I want to buy a faux leather sandals .is it comfort while wearing .it feels comfort while wearing ? ..
    and how long would it be standard …?

    1. I’m sorry, but I’ve never had faux leather sandals before 🙁 If you take good care of the fabric, condition it once every six months and don’t expose it a lot to sunlight and water, then it can last you for a very long time for sure.

  5. I purchased a recliner at big lots used it same way as my leather recliner except the leather recliner lasted 15yrs, the FAUX is 2 yrs old I keep it covered up because I can not look at this missable piece of junk.

  6. Hello, i want ask a question about what is the best matherial for make a good faux leather?
    I love animals and really i dont want to use of real leather.
    do you know any brand that made bag, jacket and … just with faux leather??

    1. Probably more than $800, but in general, go for a known brand, it’s the best way to avoid cheaply made faux leather.

  7. So does faux leather take normal leather oils . ?? I do one thing that can be considered dirty but I feel works … facial oils ! I have a leather HP cover oiled by my facial oil ( accidentally of course) , but now I realise it works well – so I just continue 🙂

  8. I bought 2 power chairs of bonded leather that lasted 3 yrs and pealed like an orange. Ashley was the seller. Attitudes by them was tough. Now I got two new chairs which was supposed to be leather wherever the body touched Find out it is faux leathers. Seems like I’m looking for the same kind of trouble. What do you think

    1. Stay away from faux leather if it’s going in a highly humid or warm place, and please, try maintaining it by applying baby oil once every three months.

      1. I just bought a sofa and 2 recliners from american signature. Looks like leather but the salesman said vinyl and the info on the set on the websight (havnt recieved yet) says the couch vinyl, th recliners says 100 percent polyster, I dont know why because they are from the same set, but anyway, How should I take care of them.? I live in Florida where it is hot and humid but we keep the ac on in the summer.

        1. Well, they are new, this means that nothing needs to be done at the moment, to take great care, you need to apply a good vinyl conditioner, like the one offered by Meguiar, I have used one by 3M in the past, seemed good but some people don’t like it, anyway, since I’m not sure if you mean vinyl or faux leather, I’m only going to suggest that you use this conditioner, please, feel free to ask me if you need more help.
          PS: Thanks for contributing to other comments, this helps readers a lot.

  9. I am considering to buy a faux leather couch. I live in a surrounding which has extreme winters [goes up to -15] and the summers are beautiful.
    1. Do you recommend Faux leather for such extreme weather conditions?
    2. How do you identify a good Faux leather vs. not a quality one?
    3. What maintainance should be kept in mind, while purchasing a Faux Leather product?

    1. Of course, it’s ideal for faux leather, just use baby oil once three or six months, depending on the usage frequency, as far as the quality, choose known brands and look for flexible and malleable faux leather fabric, one with threads.

  10. When shopping for faux leather furniture, how will I know good quality materials from poor quality materials? If I use baby oil to care for the material, won’t it come off on my clothing? I thought I wanted faux leather, but after reading these posts, I’m not so sure. I only want high quality, long-lasting furniture.

    1. You let baby oil soak in for one hour, there are some amazing brands, you just need to look for a durable faux leather fabric that’s thick, elastic and has fiber threads.

  11. Thinking of purchasing a Lankinhurst faux leather sofa made by Ashley. How will it stand up and especially since the set will be in my living room that has a wood stove that runs pretty much constantly from Oct till May.

  12. Hi Jean-Marc,
    I am planning to buy Leo Minor Double Leather Reclining Sofa and Loveseat, putty color. Do you have any idea if it’s durable or not?
    Thank you.

    1. Hello, I have just checked a website that provides good information on these, well, they are made of PU, which is excellent in my opinion, so, yes, they look great and they are made of a quality fabric, however, you need to take good care, they’re expensive, so, once every six months, use a good faux leather conditioner like the one by TriNova, and one more thing, avoid sunlight and heat exposure as much as possible.

  13. Hi, I’ve been thinking of purchasing the supernova sectional sofa from bobs discount furniture they say it’s a high performance fabric pu faux leather 75% polyurethane and 25% polyester it says. I m looking to get at least 8yrs. Out of it .do you think it’s a decedent quality?I’m really concerned about peeling and cracking.

    1. Hi Michelle, the thing is not what it’s made of, it’s what quality the materials are, there are so many types of PU leather, and calling their fabric high performance is a bit scary to me because it seems like good marketing.
      Have you checked the sectional yet? Can you provide me with a link?

    2. O no, we bought sofa from bob, they said lots of good things, then they make us to buy 5y insurance…3 years, it start to peal like leave. Guess what, insurance didnt cover. We stuck with garbage.

  14. I am looking at purchasing a Faux Leather sectional. Its a Simmons Shiloh super soft faux leather. Its around $1900. Is this considered a quality piece? I do not want to deal with peeling and cracking.

  15. I have just purchased the walworth sofa, loveseat, and recliner from Ashley.

    I was told it was matched leather, (which I assumed meant the leather colors matched) until I got home and started researching to find out that the parts your body touches are leather (the website says 100% leather) but the back and outside arms are vinyl (26% polyester and 74% PVC). After looking at the reviews someone posted a picture of peeling and now I am very scared I made the wrong decision. I paid about $4700 for all three pieces and I want this furnitire to last for many years. It is very comfortable, which is what sold me, but it will be heartbreaking if it doesn’t hold up.

    1) Should I cancel my purchase? Is this a bad decision? I have three days if I want to cancel.

    2) If this is good quality in your opinion, how should I care for it to ensure it lasts for many years without cracking or peeling?

    Thank you so much!

    1. So, the quality is ok in my opinion, not the best, but I have seen worse, it’s a bit pricey if you ask me! I think you can keep it if you really like it, I would keep it if I were you but nonetheless, you should care for it every six months, a good vinyl conditioner, like this one: , should protect it and prevent peeling and cracking and please, avoid direct sunlight and heat exposure, never clean with water or alcohol.

      1. Thank you so much!? What product would you recommend for protecting the leather parts? I really can’t tell you how much I appreciate your feedback!

  16. Hi, I am thinking of buying Faux Leather sectional, but the one I really love is white/cream in color… how do I keep it clean and presentable for at least 2 years with 2 boys in the house (16yrs old and 6yrs). They sale extended warranty for product for 3yrs, 5yrs – so I may get but will 3yrs be okay or 5yrs? I may say I am sucker when it comes to warranty – I rather pay more but be covered.
    I live in Seattle, Washington with quite dust sometimes in my area. I had the bonded leather and it lasted about 2 and half years – the sofa has been peeling and making messes all over. Can I avoid peeling from the faux leather for at least 2-3 years.
    Here is the link…

    and below link is for the black one:

    Also they have it with another seller – Kind of confused

    As you can see the white one is more attractive… Are they good puchase?
    Any help will be appreciated.

    1. Hello, well, having two boys in the house won’t be easy on your new sofa, but don’t worry, I’ll show you what to do to keep it in fantastic shape not just for 3 years, but for even much more years.
      So, the first thing you need to always have in mind is that all fabric hates direct heat, especially sunlight, so, the less your sofa is exposed to sunlight and other sources of heat the better, if you can’t do with this, then you need to start adding a maintenance routine that’s going to keep your sofa as new for many many years, I have many faux leather items around the house that are 20+ years which look just like new.
      So, every six months, apply about one tablespoon of baby oil to one square foot of fabric, just rub gently and then don’t use it for one hour, in order to recover lost oils from your fabric, this will keep it lasting for many years.
      You need to be vigilant and avoid pointy objects touching your sofa, especially dirty shoes, they tend to worn sofas very quickly, but in general, if you apply the baby oil technique once every six months, you will be good to go.
      Please, try to also get this amazing conditioner that’s designed for faux leather, it’s the one I use personally:
      And yes, these sofas are great for the price, which seems very attractive if you ask me, so, don’t spend more on other brands, these look attractive and very praticale, I have never used this brand to be honest with you, but I have checked their website and reveiws from different readers, a good choice, of course, as with most furniture, the more you maintain it, the better it will resist time and daily use.
      If you have a question, don’t hesitate to ask me.
      And please, use these links to buy youe sofa from Amazon, this will give a nice commision to this website:
      White sofa:
      Black sofa:

  17. You have mentioned that cotton and other materials can be added to faux leather. In terms of garments, can cordura be used with faux leather as a “base layer” to strengthen it? Also, how does faux leather compare to real leather in terms of its resistance to abrasions/cuts?

    1. To tell you the truth, it’s the first time I have heard about this fabric, so, I’m not able to answer this question and as far as durability is concerned, faux leather, can not be compared to real leather, because there are so many variants, for example, if you take high quality faux leather fabrics, they can last more than real leather, one more important thing, the way you take care of your fabric is also important, I have faux leather shoes that were cheaply made many years ago and are like new because I maintain them. So, it’s up to you to keep faux leather durable, maintain it the right way and it will ultimately outlast real leather.

  18. Hello
    I just ordered two faux leather recliner chairs and have read the interesting comments about care. I need to make these last! Just need one more clarification. I can order the conditioner you recommended. But can I use a leather cleaner/conditioner I just purchased fromForce Field. It has very high ratings for users

    1. Hello Jeanne,
      I have to say no to using a leather conditioner for faux leather, in the past I used to recommend one specific brand of leather conditioner for faux leather usage, but the formula has changed and it doesn’t work anymore, to make your chairs last longer, use the faux leather conditioner in this post.

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