Fabric vs Leather Office Chairs

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Updated June 27, 2022

If you are shopping around for a new seat, you may be comparing fabric vs leather office chairs. The best office chairs, after all, come in a wide variety of materials and designs. Keep reading to learn about the differences between these two chair types.


  • Leather office chairs tend to be more durable and last longer than fabric chairs. As a matter of fact, leather gets more sought after with age.
  • Fabric office chairs offer the option for more aesthetic diversity, with a variety of colors and multiple design options available.
  • Fabric tends to be more breathable, and therefore cooler than real leather, though both pale in this regard when compared to mesh.

Differences Between Fabric and Real Leather Office Chairs

The primary difference here is the materials that make up the exterior of the chair. This contrast in materials does, however, lead to a suite of related differences, such as when you are comparing offices chairs made from vinyl vs bonded leather.

Here are more differences between fabric seats and a leather chairs.

Insider Tip

You can simply reupholster a pre-existing chair if you want something new without having to spring for a newly manufactured item.

Aesthetic Options

Though leather office chairs are quite attractive, especially in professional environments, they do not typically allow for unique designs. The opposite is true with fabric office chairs, as they tend to be available in just about any color you can think of, with the option of various designs. You can even take it a step further and re-fabric your chair to whatever design suits your fancy.


Fabric may not be as breathable as mesh, but it will be more breathable than leather, as leather tends to be one of the hottest options you can place on the exterior of a seat. If you work in an office that tends to get humid or even hot, you will want to avoid a leather office chair and go with a fabric variety. The same thing should be considered when comparing mesh vs cushion office chairs.


Leather can stain but tends to be easier to clean than fabric in some scenarios. Additionally, fabric tends to hold onto odors, whereas leather will not. In other words, be careful not to spill anything on your brand new fabric office chair. Additionally, fabric tends to absorb allergens, which can be an issue for those who are sensitive to certain particles. When it comes to leather, you can simply wipe any potential allergens away with some cleaning solution and a microfiber cloth.


Leather chairs are known for their lifespan and overall durability. Leather, after all, actually gets better with age. The same cannot be said for fabric, as the fabric will likely rip or become otherwise damaged as you use it.


Leather vs mesh office chairs, which is better for your back?

Both types of chairs offer an ergonomic design, depending on the make and model, though mesh chairs may offer more adjustability options over leather products.

PU leather vs fabric: Which one to choose for a gaming chair?

A fabric gaming chair can make for an aesthetically pleasing seat, but PU leather tends to be more durable. Ultimately, it is up to you whether you choose fabric chairs, mesh chairs, leather products, or any other type of gaming chair.

How to tell if it is PU leather?

The documentation accompanying all leather furniture should announce if it is made from artificial leather, such as faux leather, or any other type of leather.

STAT: If you have a smaller budget, then fabric chairs are usually the best option. (source)

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