Fabric vs Leather Office Chairs

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Updated December 10, 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 are 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 office chairs made from vinyl vs bonded leather, leather vs mesh office chairs, and mesh vs fabric office chairs.

Here are more differences between fabric seats and 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. For an affordable fabric option, you can read our AmazonBasics upholstered, low-back, adjustable, swivel office desk chair review. You can even take it a step further and re-fabric your chair to whatever design suits your fancy. Speaking of fancy, you might like the more therapeutic chairs like La-Z-Boy vs Tempurpedic office chairs.


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. And if you are curious about an all-mesh chair, you can read our NeueChair review to see if it fits your needs. But if you want a budget chair and don’t mind leather, you can check out our AmazonBasics leather mid-back office chairs review.


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 sensitive to certain particles. If those aren’t deal breakers for you, check out our OFM Core Collection modern fabric upholstered office chair review. When it comes to leather, you can simply wipe any potential allergens away with some cleaning solution and a microfiber cloth. You can read our Amazon Basics classic leather office chair review for a great budget option.


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 material will likely rip or become otherwise damaged as you use it. You may need to learn how to fix a butt dent in a leather office chair to keep it looking nice, but that is easier to do than reupholstering a fabric chair. For a couple of durable chairs, check out our mashup of the Herman Miller Embody Rhythm vs Balance. Additionally, if you need a chair durable enough to be suitable for larger individuals, check out our BestOffice 400lbs wide seat desk computer lumbar support adjustable arms task rolling swivel mesh executive high back ergonomic chair review.


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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