Products made from leather have their own appeal. They’re a status symbol and leather chairs are usually quite comfortable.
There are other options available in addition to leather for office chairs. How do they compare? You will want to know the differences between leather and the alternatives before you purchase your next office chair.
Office chairs are made from leather, faux leather or vinyl, and other materials.
Vinyl Office Chairs
Vinyl is a useful leather alternative. Often it can look like leather. There have been advancements in the creation of vinyl, so that it resembles leather closely. Vinyl chairs are used in biotech offices because they are resistant to bacteria, and are easy to clean.
Vinyl does not last as long as leather, and where leather becomes softer over time, vinyl may feel more like plastic as it ages. Vinyl is less expensive to buy than leather, and you can also buy chairs that utilize leather and vinyl both, which can be a good alternative.
Faux Leather Office Chairs
Faux leather is a type of fabric that is leather infused with a polymer, giving it durability and strength. They are broken down and then brought together to simulate leather’s softness. Some may be harder, and they are usually not as shiny as real leather.
Leather alternatives are cheaper, but they do not become more comfortable as they age, as leather will. Leather has longevity, where artificial materials do not. Choosing an office chair involves many other things to compare, but it’s also good to have alternatives in materials. If you want to save money up-front, it may be beneficial to choose vinyl or faux leather. If you want a chair that will stand the test of time, then leather is your best bet.
If you look at any office furniture website or go to any office furniture store you are guaranteed to find a wide selection of leather office chairs ranging in different colors and prices designed to suit any one person’s specific needs. It is safe to say that leather office chairs are one of the most popular chairs to purchase, whether online or in a store, and have been for many years. Whether you are searching for an executive leather office chair to spruce up your work office space or a traditional leather office chair for your home, you are guaranteed to find what you are looking for with all the leather chairs available from a vast array of manufacturers. While most are drawn to leather because it looks good and gives off an aura of prestige, there are many other additional reasons why leather is so appealing.
When someone purchases a genuine leather office chair, they can expect unmatched levels of style, comfort, and durability. The natural materials and unique manufacturing techniques provide superior quality to other upholstery products. Leather has properties which make it superior to other upholstery materials. One of those properties is the fact that it is unique in that it will not tear along the seam lines, or easily rip as some other fabrics do. Some leather alternatives’ quality decreases over time, allowing the material to get thin and brittle making it easier to rip and tear. Through the dyeing process, colors are absorbed by the leather so they will not rub off or fade.
Leather is one of the only materials that is fire resistant, and emits no toxic fumes, even when exposed to intense heat. Modern leather will not crack or peel; instead it stretches and retains its shape without sagging. Leather also offers aspects of pure comfort that far exceeds other fabrics, making it a practical and stylish material. Leather can also assume body temperature rapidly and become immediately comfortable.
One of the most appealing aspects of leather is that it is designed to age well, meaning over time it actually begins to look even better. If you ever need to clean your leather chair, it is very easy to maintain compared to chairs with a fabric or mesh material. Stains will come out much easier, with just a quick wipe with a damp cloth.
Each leather working is unique. Just like a fingerprint, every single piece of leather has its own individual characteristics. Each feature reflects the leather’s natural origins and path from its creation to your home. Markings such as scars, wrinkles, and grain variations, add character and individuality to your furniture and will show you that your leather is of the top quality level.
With so many benefits and features that come embedded in a leather office chair, it is no wonder why these chairs are so appealing.
There seems to be a certain appeal to products that are made of leather. Whether you are purchasing a leather jacket, leather jeans to take you back to the 80′s, a wallet, or in this case a leather office chair; people seem to love leather. It could be the status symbol already embedded in people’s minds, the comfort of sitting in a soft leather chair, or the fact that leather is what you are used to that keeps people coming back for more.
People seem to be most confused by what options are available as an alternative to leather and how do these alternatives compare to the real deal? The fact is there are many alternatives to leather, and each has its own separate aspects to be had. It is important to realize the differences and benefits of leather and alternatives, especially when contemplating purchasing a new chair. It is safe to say you want to know what options are available and what is going to be best to suit your wants and needs.
When shopping for a new or used leather office chair, you will encounter vinyl, imitation leather, LeatherPlus, Caressoft, Faux Leather and other terms in your quest to find your chair. It is important to consider and take all these different options into account when searching for a leather chair, because some of these could be good alternatives to leather and save you money in the process.
Vinyl is a close alternative to leather, looking nearly identical and most probably would not even know it was vinyl unless it was included in the specs/description of the chair you were purchasing. Over the years there have been an abundance of advancements in the way vinyl is created and textured, leading to a very close resemblance to leather. In the biotech industry, vinyl office chairs are the chair of choice because of its bacteria resistance and easy to clean surface. The main difference between leather and vinyl is the time wear since leather breaks down and becomes softer, unlike vinyl which is essentially plastic. Vinyl is more prone to feel like plastic over time. Vinyl is also less expensive in price than its leather counterpart. If value and saving money are what you are looking for in a chair, then a combination of leather or vinyl is not a bad alternative.
Imitation leather, LeatherPlus, Faux Leather, Caressoft, and other terms like that are generally referring to some sort of fabric which started out as leather, but ended up infused with some sort of polymer to give it strength and durability. Essentially a combination of leather and vinyl, the leather and polymer (usually a blend of vinyl and a softener) are broken down then molded back together to form a comfortable product with the softness of leather. Depending on the manufacturer of the chair, these infused leathers have a different feel to them. Some are soft, others are a bit more firm and hard. A LeatherPlus, for example, is going to be a softer, more subdued infused material. It will not be as shiny as leather, but close in softness.
Though leather alternatives do come at a cheaper price there are also downfalls to choosing them over leather. Leather office chairs get softer over time, meaning it is going to be even more comfortable as time goes unlike leather alternatives that basically stay the same and sometimes get uncomfortable as time goes by. Longevity is another key reason why people are willing to spend more on leather, it will look better over a longer period of time as well as comfort. The choice of leather and imitation leather is always a difficult decision to make, so be sure to consider what qualities and price point you require a chair to have and make your choice from there.
For years, the executive leather office chair has been depicted as the epitome of class, success, prestige, and wealth. Look at almost any TV show or movie that features an office figure that is looked up to and admired and take a look at what kind of chair they are sitting in. The vast majority of the time the chair they are sitting in is a leather office chair. Even just imagining a leather office chair, the first person that comes to my mind when I think who would be sitting in it would be some high powered executive. Although notoriously reputable and sought after, leather office chairs like any other kind of chair comes with both advantages and disadvantages.
One of the key advantages of owning a leather office chair over a chair with a fabric material is the ease of maintenance. Leather upholstery is generally easy to maintain and can be cleaned simply by wiping the chair with a clean damp cloth. Applying a special leather cleaner every six months or so also maintains the overall appearance of the leather chair. If carefully maintained, a good quality hide upholstered chair will develop its own patina to give your leather office chair a distinctive appearance as it matures and ages.
Along with being easy to maintain, leather office chairs also give off the aura of prestige and power. Not only do leather chairs give off an aura of power, but they also look very nice and are appropriate in any business setting, whether you are at work or at home. Some leather office chair manufacturers also provide a variety of custom colored upholstered choices so those that want a more unique chair can purchase that green leather office chair they have been dying to get. Although about 90% of leather office chairs produced typically come in the standard black color, with white and burgundy being close second and thirds as far as color popularity.
One problem some people seem to find with leather is the tendency for it to put a shine on your clothing, especially for those that wear expensive outfits or business suits to work. You may find that your clothes wear out more quickly than before if you were sitting in a fabric or mesh chair.
If you work in an office that does not have air conditioning or gets really hot in temperature, especially during the summer months, you may find that your leather office chair will cause you to sweat and perspire excessively. However, some top quality leathers do come with a breathable finish which will help reduce or even eliminate this problem.
A big disadvantage that is not necessarily the chairs fault, is that people get fooled into purchasing chairs that are advertised as cheap leather office chairs. People believe they are getting an unbelievable bargain price when in actuality really cheap chairs with leather upholstery will always be a compromise, frequently they are made from off cuts and scraps of very low quality leather that have been pieced together to cover the chair. This leather can be thin and brittle, meaning the chair will not last long and will begin to tear as time goes by.
As aforementioned, with any chair or in reality any product, there are pros and cons to purchasing a leather chair. Whether you can outweigh the positives for the negatives is ultimately your decision but most importantly as a rule of thumb, if a chair sounds too good to be true, it probably is.
When it comes to purchasing an office chair most people have one key feature in mind that they expect their chair to come with, and that is easy maintenance. Of course, maintaining an office chair is not always as easy as it sounds, especially if you sit in the chair for long hours everyday for several years. There is always that occasional accidental spill that occurs when you are eating your favorite snack before lunch or the time you spilled your pepsi on your chair. When spills and stains take place on chairs that are made from a fabric material, they are generally more difficult to clean and maintain than chairs made from other kinds of materials. That being said, if you are looking for a chair that is designed for its durability, comfort and low maintenance, then leather office chairs are a must have item for your office.
An ergonomic leather office chair finished in a high quality hide will give you many years of good service no matter if you are using the chair as an executive leather office chair that you sit in for a few hours a day during meetings or a leather office desk chair that you sit in for the whole duration of your work day. Reputable suppliers will be more than happy to tell you about the origin, quality and grade hide used in the manufacture of their office seating products to help you assess the difference between high and low quality leathers. High quality leathers are usually upholstered in a single piece of hide to maintain the appearance and the finish. Frequently cheap chairs with leather upholstery are made from off cuts and scraps of very low quality leather that have been pieced together to cover the chair. Typically this leather can be thin and brittle in texture which will cause the chair to rip and tear over time.
Generally speaking leather upholstery is easy to maintain and simply needs a regular wipe down with a damp cloth combined with a little bit of soap and possibly an application of a specialist hide cleaner every six months or so. Leather cleaner is relatively inexpensive and can be purchased at your local home appliance store such as a Home Depot or a Target. When you spill that drink you brought back from lunch on your chair, a damp rag will do the trick to get rid of the spill leaving virtually no remembrance. If leather is carefully maintained, a good quality hide upholstered chair will develop its own patina to give your leather office chair a distinctive appearance as it matures and ages.
Leather chairs in general are easier to maintain than fabric office chairs. Whether you have a black leather office chair or a brown leather office chair, maintenance will stay the same regardless of color or style. With leather fabric being easy to wipe down, spills and food remnants are easy to take care of and remove. High quality leather office chairs are also built to be durable, another distinguishing factor that will help your chair last longer. If you are looking for a chair that will need little maintenance and will still provide you with a touch of class and style, a leather office chair is the way to go.