Which sofa fabric is best for you?

When it comes to buying a new sofa for your home, one of the most important decisions will be the material. After all, you’re going to sit on this sofa for many years to come, and you want to be comfortable, right? But it’s not just comfort that you should consider; don’t forget about usage, traffic, kids and pets to name a few. Feeling a bit overwhelmed? Don’t worry, bespoke furniture experts James and Rose is here to help.

Cotton and polyester blend

Pros: This material is the best of both worlds, and is possibly the most popular choice for a sofa material. The synthetic polyester provides protection and strength against fading and wrinkling, while the added cotton makes it look and feel good.

Cons: There aren’t really any! A blend of cotton and polyester gives you all the benefits of both materials – breathability and a natural feeling with strength and flexibility.

Ideal for: High-traffic rooms and busy family homes


Pros: Leather is probably the second most popular choice for sofa materials, and it’s not hard to understand why. It’s timeless, classy and its look only get better with age. All you need is a damp cloth to easily clean up spills and most stains, and it can be brushed and swept quickly.

Cons: They are more susceptible to scrapes, cuts and rips. They can also feel sticky and uncomfortable on hot sweaty days.

Ideal for: Homes with babies, toddlers or pets that shed


Pros: You can’t really go wrong with microfiber. This material has experienced a surge in popularity over the years due to its incredibly soft feel, almost like velvet. It’s durability and comfort all rolled into one.

Cons: Doesn’t clean quite as easily as leather, although the clean time is quick and effective

Ideal for: The closely-woven fabric allows less dust to gather, perfect for people with dust allergies or sensitivities

Textured cotton

Pros: If you’re looking for a sofa material that is going to wow and impress, then textured cotton is the way to go.

Cons: Due to the textured nature, worn areas will show up quicker and be more visible on this type of material. The tiny crevices also mean dust, dirt and grit can accumulate and, if it isn’t cleaned regularly, these small bits of dirt can cause stains and smells.

Ideal for: Showpieces that are unlikely to experience heavy daily use


Pros: If your sofa is going to get a lot of use, or if you have children, you’ll be wanting a sofa material that can stand up for itself. Vinyl has a long life and is incredible resistant to stains and damage. As it’s not an absorbent fabric, stains and spills can be wiped away with a damp cloth. Many people also consider it a cheaper alternative to leather, but without sacrificing the look.

Cons: Similar to leather, vinyl is difficult to repair after damage. Some people also complain about how it feels against the skin.

Ideal for: Homes with large families or children


Pros: Nylon is often blended with other fabrics to make them more durable and resistant to stains. As an example, velvet is a gorgeous material but it is prone to crushing, which is why nylon is incorporated to increase its quality. It’s able to withstand a high amount of wear.

Cons: Nylon sofas are more prone to pilling (tiny bobbles of fibers) and fading in colour

Ideal for: High traffic rooms such as living and recreational areas