The Difference Between Leather vs. Vinyl vs. Faux Leather
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.