There are so many different types of leathers that it can be confusing when shopping for leather furniture. There is a range from faux leathers, faux and genuine mixed, to genuine leathers. Bonded leather is frequently used for making products such as clothing or furniture. But is bonded leather real or fake? What exactly is bonded leather?
Need help? Get our Free Office Chair Buying Guide!
Full Disclaimer: We are an office furniture dealer and sell some of the products we review. To learn more about the products we sell, our review process and why you can trust us, please visit: Why we’re different. Who is BTOD.com and The Breakroom Blog?
What is Bonded Leather Video
What is Bonded Leather?
Bonded leather is actually a mix of both real and fake leather. It is made from the leftover scraps and fibers made from processing genuine leather mixed with a polyurethane binder. These fibers are then rolled together using adhesives to bond them onto a paper backing. Some manufacturers may add an additional coating of polyurethane to the bonded leather and emboss it so it has the texture of real leather. Most bonded leather is comprised of only 10-20% genuine leather. Some manufacturers market bonded leather as real leather, when it in fact only contains a small percentage of genuine leather.
Bonded leather is also known by a few additional names. When looking at the tag on your furniture or clothing, look for:
- Bonded Leather
- Faux Leather
Pros & Cons of Bonded Leather
Before you choose bonded leather, it is best to look at the pros and cons so you know what to expect when you get your furniture or clothing.
- Bonded leather is cheaper than genuine leather because it contains less than 20% real leather.
- It has a smooth, consistent texture, unlike genuine leather, which has imperfections in the overall appearance.
- You can get bonded leather in a variety of colors and styles.
- Bonded leather can smell more like genuine leather than artificial.
- Bonded leather is not as durable as genuine leather and has a short lifespan.
- Bonded leather wears away over time and can easily scratch, peel, and flake, unlike genuine leather.
- The color can fade in the sunlight.
- It is not a vegan product. If you’re looking for a vegan leather alternative, look for 100% PU Leather.
- Over time, bonded leather can release some of the chemicals that were used when the fibers were bonded together.
- Bonded leather can be hard to clean. Some cleaners can be abrasive and strip away the leather over time.
How to Tell If It Is Bonded Leather
There are many people who think bonded leather is genuine leather, and manufacturers sometimes label bonded leather as real. Being able to tell the difference between bonded leather and genuine leather will be helpful when shopping for furniture.
The main difference between bonded leather and genuine leather is the cost. Bonded leather will be significantly cheaper because it is not made of real leather. The cost of genuine leather will always be greater than fake leathers.
Bonded leather is going to be thinner than genuine leather and can feel synthetic.
Bonded leather can sometimes feel and smell like real leather, but the difference is going to come with how they look. Bonded leather will have a consistent texture, while genuine leather will have some imperfections.
Bonded leather is made up of scrap leather and polyurethane, which makes it a cheap, fake leather. When it comes to bonded leather, the cons really outweigh the pros. Because of the way bonded leather is made, it is not durable and can easily scratch, peel, and flake over time. If you’re looking for a genuine leather alternative, bonded leather may not be the best option, especially if you want your furniture or clothing to last a long time. PU leather will be a great genuine leather alternative if you’re looking for a good artificial leather.
Additional Office Chair Resources
- 5 Best Ergonomic Office Chairs For Back Support
- 7 Best Big and Tall Office Chairs For 2019
- 21 Best Office Chairs For 2019 (Reviews / Pricing)
- Humanscale Freedom Headrest Ergonomic Chair Review
- Herman Miller Aeron vs. Herman Miller Embody: Which is best?
- Herman Miller Aeron Mesh Office Chair (Review / Rating / Pricing)