Synthetic Leather or Real Leather Beds?
There is a wide range of leather beds available on the market today. These are divided into upholstered beds with artificial or real leather covers. By definition, artificial leather is a combination of a textile with a plastic surface with a leather look, while real leather is an animal hide made durable by tanning. What are the advantages and disadvantages of the two material variants and how do I recognize or differentiate between the two types of leather?
How do I know whether the leather bed has a real or artificial leather cover?
For the layman, there is often no visual difference between the two leathers. So what can you do to find out whether it is a synthetic or a real leather bed?
· The manufacturer’s label primarily helps here. Both the retailer and the manufacturer are obliged to point out the use of artificial leather in a way that is clearly visible to the layman. This also applies to sales on the Internet. However, there are of course black sheep here too, and to be on the safe side, other distinguishing features should be consulted. If you have the opportunity to look at a piece of leather from the back, you will come across a textile fabric with artificial leather, while real leather has a typically rough leather back.
· Another criterion is the feel. Real leather is usually much more supple than synthetic leather. However, there is also high-quality synthetic leather that is very similar to real leather in terms of its feel.
· If you look closely at the surface of the leather, you will notice that the surface of artificial leather is much more even than that of real leather. Due to the artificial embossing of the surface, colored dots are repeated and the grain is more even.
· Finally, the nose can also help to differentiate: the smell of real leather is unmistakable and cannot be found in artificial leather.
Which is better: synthetic or real leather?
When comparing the two materials, the first thing that catches the eye is the large price difference. While artificial leather beds can already be found in the very low price segment, real leather beds tend to appear at the upper end of the price curve. In general, the following applies to both synthetic and real leather: the more expensive, the higher the quality of the leather used. Due to today’s technical possibilities, an expensive and therefore high-quality synthetic leather can be compared in terms of quality to a cheaper real leather. In addition to the price, there are other differences:
- In general, real leather is more durable and less susceptible to breakage than artificial leather when it is used heavily. The plastic layer on the surface of artificial leather can become brittle after some time due to the loss of plasticizers, especially on stressed edges and surfaces.
- Artificial leather, on the other hand, is much less sensitive to dirt and its cleaning. In contrast to real leather, stains cannot penetrate the surface and can simply be wiped off. Real leather is also covered with a protective layer of color, but it is not resistant to cleaning agents and a lot of moisture.
- One area in which artificial leather definitely cannot compete with real leather is breathability. The effect of a leather sofa is well known: after a while, when it comes into contact with the skin, artificial leather “sticks” to it, while real leather is permeable to water vapor and thus prevents sticky moisture.
Which leather is more ethical and ecological?
This question is also very controversial in specialist circles and ultimately cannot be answered satisfactorily. Since the animal hides used are a by-product of meat production and are then processed for the furniture industry, the use of real leather is ethically justifiable. As far as ecological harmlessness is concerned, both types of leather are not a blank slate: While known environmental problems arise in animal husbandry and various chemicals are used for the tanning process, the manufacturing process for artificial leather is based on pure petrochemicals.
Should I choose synthetic or real leather?
Of course, you ultimately have to make this decision yourself. However, there are a few questions that can be helpful here:
- Is a lower price decisive for me (✓ artificial leather)
or a longer durability (✓ real leather)?
- Is the leather cover only on rigid surfaces, e.g. an unpadded bed frame or headboard (✓ artificial leather)
or on a soft, adaptable surface, e.g. on the side of a box spring mattress or a softly padded bed frame or headboard (✓ real leather)?
- Is the headboard more of a pure look for me (✓ artificial leather)
or do I intend to use it often as a backrest (✓ real leather)?
- Is the leather bed used daily (✓ real leather)
or is it more intended for the guest area (✓ artificial leather)?
You can find a large selection of leather beds in our online shop. We hope that we were able to advise you well when deciding between synthetic and real leather! If you have any further questions, please do not hesitate to contact us by phone.