The Big Dilemma
How what about the alternatives to leather? There are many, and each has its own separate aspects to be had. The experts at Sitbetter have sat in many a chair, and thus we felt it was time to impart our insight on the differences and benefits of leather and its alternatives.
As you shop for a leather office chairs, you will encounter vinyl, imitation leather, LeatherPlus, Caressoft, Faux Leather and other terms in your quest to find your chair. It is important you consider these in your search for a leather chairs, because some of these could be good alternatives to leather, and save you a few bucks in the process. Of course, if you are set on cow hide, then you can find many good leather chairs at SitBetter.
So you see all these different terms for alternatives to leathers, and this leaves you thinking-
What the HECK are all those? From real leather office chairs to Vinyl, with LeatherPlus, Caressoft and others mixed in between, we will go through them to give you more insight into what they are...
Well, let's see. Vinyl is sort of easy to understand, but it's not necessarily that vinyl you remember. The vinyl used in old school diners or kitchens covering those chairs which was cold and slippery and, and yep, UGLY! (Although we do think they look great in diners, just not on an office chair!)
Today's vinyl is almost like leather-textured, warmer and the colors are so much better. There have been lots of advancements in the way vinyl is created, and textured, leading to a very close resemblance to leather. In biotech fields, vinyl is the choice because of its bacteria resistance and easy to clean surface. It is plastic, after all. The main difference between leather and vinyl is the time wear since leather breaks down and becomes softer, unlike vinyl. It is more prone to feel like the plastic it is over time. The price difference between the two leads to many people choosing the plastic polymer as their cow hide replacement.
Imitation leather, LeatherPlus, Faux Leather,Caressoft Vinyl, etc-
Imitation leather, LeatherPlus, Faux Leather 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 said 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 different feel to them. Some are soft, others a bit more firm and hard. A LeatherPlus, for example, is going to be a softer, more subdued infused material - not as shiny as leather, but close in softness.
Why choose leather then, if these imitations resemble leather so much?
Simply said, you cannot replace a good quality leather chair. Combine the breath-ability (a SitBetter word, like Budweiser's Drinkability) that leather provides versus any material infused with some sort of polymer with the way leather gets softer over time, and the comfort benefits are clear. With the alternatives looking more like their role model every day, longevity comfort is one reason why people still pay a little more for leather.
Leather will look better over a longer period of time. But again, you have to weigh your options carefully - if you are looking for a value, or looking to save money, then combination leather or vinyl is not a bad alternative at all. As far as comfort and looks are concerned, you aren't seeing much of a drop off from leather to an alternative in the short term anymore. And they will save you money.
Let us know if you have any questions on any leather chairs, faux or not. We are happy to help!