The leather couch a home status symbol in any space. It grows. It slouches. It relaxes. It stiffens. It transitions into something impossibly casual and molds into something out of the St. James club. The leather couch is always aspirational, but aspirations change—sometimes quickly. Today’s most popular leather couch designs tend to have streamlined silhouettes and echo mid-century designs crossed with Scandinavian looks. They are intended as a high-end blend. Shabby chic is, beyond the borders of New England, no longer a go-to aesthetic for the model.
The current vogue for more geometric couches suitable for more efficient spaces makes a certain sense. Salaries are higher in cities, where living spaces are smaller, and leather couches can be very expensive. Good ones currently run from $1,600 up with most quality models over the $2000 mark. If they represent aspiration, they also represent investment.
And it starts with the leather. Better couches are upholstered from whole hide leathers, notably:
- Full-grain leather: A high-quality leather that is durable and long-lasting, making it a great option for leather couches. It is made of hide that hasn’t been buffed to remove imperfections which gives it a natural look.
- Top-grain leather: Another high-quality leather that is sanded and buffed to remove imperfections for a smoother appearance.
- Aniline leather: Leather that is colored with soluble dye to maintain the leather’s natural beauty. It is very soft but also more prone to scratches and stains than full-grain or top-grain leather.
- Semi-Aniline leather: Similar to aniline leather but features a protective coating to make it more resistant to stains and scratches.
- Nubuck leather: Aniline leather that’s been sanded for a softer more velvety texture. Nubuck is significantly more prone to stains and scratches than the other options listed above and should likely be avoided if you have pets or small children in the home.
Full-grain and top-grain leathers are great options if you want a durable and long-lasting couch, while aniline and semi-aniline leathers can be softer and more comfortable but will require more maintenance overall.
What the Experts Say
A representative of Tannery NYC, a leather upholstery outfit, says that his clients favor “distressed and vintage leathers in earth tones.” Even when they want a clean silhouette, they want the couch to look loved. Leather is popular because it gives a room a warm feeling. That’s less true if it’s not a bit scuffed.
Interior stylist Maxine Bradley takes this logic that the extreme and frequently recommends that her clients splurge on a classic style like a Chesterfield. These couches, she points out, “only look better as they age.”
Hobbes Mid-Century Leather Sofa – Abbyson Living
Target is a great destination for leather couches like this contemporary Hobbes mid-century design. It features resilient foam cushions covered by quality top-grain leather standing on oak-finished wood legs. This option can be purchased in the neutral hues of brown, camel, or gray, making it an easy piece to showcase in your living room.
Chateaugay Corrigan Studio Jayvonn Top Grain Leather Sofa
This mid-century modern loveseat features a streamlined design that’s compact and perfect for any condo, apartment, or small living space. Made of sleek top-grain leather filled with high-density foam, the 3-seater Jayvonn couch is durable enough for high-traffic use. The solid walnut wood legs raise off the floor for a light airy feel and are reinforced with protectors to prevent floor damage.
Ashley Exclusive Maimz Faux Leather Sofa
At less than $900, the Maimz Sofa from Ashley Furniture is an amazing buy. It’s made from the lower quality faux leather, but this mid-century modern design offers a minimalistic silhouette, while the durable foam cushion and platform foundation provides long-lasting, sag-resistant comfort. This sofa is additionally highlighted by attached bolster pillows and tapered legs that complete the look.
Oak Park Leather Sofa
Add a pop of contemporary color to your space with the Oak Park Leather Sofa. It’s made of iron and durable top-grain leather filled with comfortable foam padding for a cozy feel. It features three deep seats and comes in a striking Teal hue that will certainly become the centerpiece of your living room.
Best Leather Couches Under $3,000
Grayleigh Kenisha Leather Square Arm Sofa
The clean, modern lines of the Kenisha Leather Sofa make it a total showstopper. It offers generous seating with plush foam cushions that come covered in genuine top grain leather. This style additionally features square arms and solid wood legs for durability and sleek styling.
Momenty Zin Italian Minimalist Leather Sofa
Plush and durable at the same time, the Momenty Zin genuine leather sofa brings modern comfort to your living area. It features cushions overstuffed with goose-down feathers reinforced by latex and foam and has a low-profile silhouette that sits close to the floor. The solid wood frame and L-shaped metal legs finished in matte black bring ultimate durability.
Best Leather Couches Over $3,000
Williams Sonoma Home Laguna Leather Sofa
Sink into customized comfort with Williams Sonoma Laguna Leather Sofa. It’s offered in various lengths, depths, and sectional configurations and comes with cushions that are generously filled with plush, durable foam. With this style, Williams Sonoma provides a choice of over 15 premium leather options and a selection of solid hardwood feet that are stained in either natural, gray, or ebony.
Chester Stationary Sofa
This classic button tufted design is made of top-grain leather and comes highlighted with nailhead trim. Perfect for a sitting room, library, or living room, the rustic brown silhouette features rolled arms and tapered legs set upon a durable kiln-dried frame.
Harmony Leather 2-Piece Chaise Sectional
A modern sectional like the Harmony Leather Sofa from West Elm offers comfort and a relaxed ambiance to a living room. The plush pillow-soft cushions are filled with feather, down, and fiber, while the solid hardwood frame with removable legs adds maximum durability. If you’re looking for something firm, however, we suggest exploring the Grayleigh Kenisha Leather Square Arm Sofa listed below. This piece is highlighted by genuine top-grain leather in a color choice that includes a variety of navies, browns, grays, and black. Lumbar pillows and throw pillows are also included in this purchase.
LoveSac Urban Walnut Top Grain Leather
Lovesac makes it easy to change the look of your couch without having to buy a whole new piece of furniture. Offered in a variety of fabrics, including sleek leather options, their Sactional collection grows with you and can be expanded or decreased to fit your space and lifestyle over the years. Their cover offerings offer three 100% top-grain leather options that are all durable and easy to maintain. In terms of fill, there’s the option of choosing the included Standard Foam or upgrading to the brand’s Lovesoft, or Down Blend filling for an additional cost. With the Lovesac Sactional, you can also add tech-savvy features such as wireless charging and built-in speakers for a theater-like surround sound experience.
Crate & Barrel Lounge Deep Leather Sectional Sofa
Crate & Barrel’s Lounge Deep Leather Sofa is one of the most luxurious options on this list, making it a definite splurge when it comes to the best leather couches. It’s made of soft, matte leather that has been tanned and dyed using intricate methods that add depth and sophistication to its texture. It is then finished with a topcoat that protects it against everyday wear and tear. The Flexolator foundation offers optimal cushion support to eliminate sagging, while the interior is filled with soy-based polyfoam seat cushions that are wrapped in a fiber-down blend and encased in down-proof ticking.