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Top Grain Leather vs. Bond Leather Furniture

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Top grain leather furniture fits any kind and style of a room. Regardless of the time, it never goes out of style, and it’s a great way to add some warm elements into a home.

If you are yet to decide what furniture you should buy, this article is perfect for your home style planning. You’ll benefit from the discussion about top grain leather and bond leather furniture. I will share essential thoughts that will help you decide and make sure that your hard-earned money will not go to waste.

Table of Contents

What is Bonded Leather?

Bonded leather is a mixture of both real and fake leather. This furniture is made of left-over scraps and fibers from the processing of genuine leather while mixing a polyurethane binder.

The makers simply roll them with the use of adhesives to bond in a paper backing. Some manufacturers trick you by adding some coating or polyurethane and embossing to make the texture appear like real leather.

Some stores and salespeople market this furniture as real leathers because of the misleading looks. To be fair to some degree they are not lying since bonded leather is composed of 10-20% of the scraps from genuine leather.

Pros & Cons of Bonded Leather

You might be thinking that buying a bond leather is not a good idea. My answer to this is it depends on your needs and conditions.

Case and point, we had purchased a beautifully bonded leather chair from Pier 1 imports, which “lived” in three of our homes over the years. In two of the properties, the chair was placed next to our fireplaces, which will be used heavily during the winter seasons.

When we relocated to Southern Florida, the bonded leather bubbled and peeled with the first year. The chair was not exposed to indirect sunlight, so we believe the main corporate was the humidity in the air. In general, the life span of bonded leather in the state of Florida is five years.

Here are the pros and cons that can help you:


  • It is way cheaper than a genuine leather
  • Unlike the natural leather, it has a smooth and consistent texture with the imperfect surface appearance that will look good if you love to see some styling
  • You can choose several colors and designs
  • It smells like a genuine leather rather than an artificial leather


  • It has a short lifespan. So, it is not as durable as top genuine leather
  • It wears away quickly over time. You also need to be careful because a simple scratch will soon lead to peeling and flaking.
  • If exposed to sunlight, it will quickly fade its color
  • Over time, a bonded leather exhumes the chemicals that the manufacturer uses when they try to bond the fibers together
  • Bond leather furniture is not easy to clean because if you are not aware and careful, the cleaning solution you are using can be abrasive and strips the leather over time.
Bonded leather sofa vs top grain leather
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How To Know If You Are Looking At A Bonded Leather?

There many homeowners that experience being deceived from buying bonded leather instead of genuine leather. Most of them are tricked by the low prices and the looks of a bonded leather furniture.

Consequently, you must educate yourself so that you can spot the difference between a Top Grain Leather versus Bond Leather furniture.

How To Tell Real From Faux
If the price is meager, then you are probably facing a bonded leather couch. The reality is top-grain leathers are generally higher in price depending on the brand.
A bond leather is thinner, and you can feel the synthetic material.
Do not be deceived by the smell because a top grain leather and bond leather have almost the same scent.
A bond leather furniture has a consistent texture, while genuine leather has an imperfect surface.

Is Top Grain Leather Durable?

Top grain leather is taken from the outermost layer of cowhide. It is considered the highest quality part of the hide that does not contain the split or the fibrous layer.

The fiber layer is the one that makes the material more soft, pliable, and breaks easily over time. The best thing that I love about top grain leather is its resistance to stains and easy to wipe when cleaning.

Furthermore, you must know the two grades of top grain leather. The Semi-aniline leather has a protective coat that makes the material resistant to any stains. On the other hand, the Aniline grade does not have a protective coating and more natural. Many of the buyers are looking for the Semi-aniline because of the stain protection feature.

Does Top Grain Leather Peel Easily?

The straightforward answer is no. That is why I am mentioning to choose top grain leather furniture because of the following points to ponder:

  • Generally, top grain leather is the highest quality and the best choice of large pieces of furniture.
  • The process uses tanning, in which the top grain layer is buffed and sanded, making the whole product durable and resistant to stains.
  • If a pigment is added during the design of the leather, the resistance to stain becomes greater
  • Top grain leather furniture is resilient to accidental damage. If you have like me who loves to jump around the soft couch, then buy a high grain leather seat.
  • Take note that top grain leather is made of 12-14 percent of water. This feature allows the furniture to quickly adapt to the temperature of your body, which helps your skin to breathe. You can compare this during summer when you sit in a faux leather seat versus a top grain leather couch, and you can say the difference.

What Is The Best Leather To Buy?

A bonded leather is made of scrap leather and polyurethane. That is why you can always buy this furniture at lower prices. However, I cannot say that it is not good to buy bonded leather furniture because it will depend on your needs.

If you are seeking for a piece of low-cost leather furniture, then a bonded leather one can be suitable for you. Hence, some prefer to see the soft and imperfect surface, and durability is not an issue.

Maybe you are sent in the renting phase or still figuring out your design style?

Obviously, when it comes to finding high-quality leather furniture, the top grain leather is the best way for you to choose. The amount you pay is the value of the comfort you will enjoy for an extended period of time.

In fact, choosing a lower price can be costly compared to buying a piece of more durable furniture. The price can be lower, but in a short period of time, when it experiences some scratch and peels, you will surely spend a lot on repair and maintenance. It can cost you effort, money, and time.

Does Top Grain Leather Peel?

There is no definitive answer to this question because it depends on the type of leather, how it was treated, and how you care for it. Generally speaking, top grain leather is more durable and less likely to peel than other types of leather, but it’s still important to follow the specific instructions for care and maintenance that come with your purchase.

If you do experience peeling or other problems with your top grain leather furniture or accessories, contact the manufacturer for advice on how to fix the issue. In most cases, they will be able to provide a solution or tell you where you can find one.

However, no need to worry because here are some tips that will help you to avoid problems:

1. Use suitable cleaning supplies

I recommend that you should use a cream based cleaner and conditioner that suits the top grain leather.  You the solution at least once a year to maintain the quality of your leather furniture. 

Avoid using oil, saddle soap, furniture polish, varnish, and products that contain ammonia. You do not need to stress the top grain leather furniture with toxic solution because, during the development process, it already went tanning to make sure it’s durability.

2. Monthly cleaning is the best practice

You need to remove debris that is accidentally settling between your couch like coins, small objects, toys, and more. They could cause damage if you left them in the furniture. Use a vacuum cleaner with a soft brush. Wipe the leather furniture with warm water and microfiber cloth.

If your furniture has organic debris like soil or grimy substances, use a small amount of leather soap. Wipe gently and take away the soil or grime. Never scrub because it can damage the material.

Also, avoid the use of solvents because it can damage the leather. Do not use too much water or never soak the furniture in water. If it seems the dirt is not removed, you buy cleaning solutions that are appropriate for top grain leather.

3. Maintain the condition of your leather furniture every once a year

To prevent drying out and cracking that will lead to peeling, use products that can restore the shine and luster of your furniture. By doing this every year, you can avoid the leather from experiencing the dehydration that causes the breakage of the leather surface

You can purchase a leather conditioner in any store. Do not forget to use soft and lint-free cloth. Beware that several leather conditioners are offered in the market. Make sure to ask the assistance of the manufacturer or store to make sure that you are buying the right conditioner solution for your leather furniture.

4. Proper cleaning of spills, spots, and stains

Spills, spots, and stains usually are happening at home. If you have pets and kids, these events will be inevitable.

For minor spills, you can quickly blot up the excess liquid immediately with a clean and fast-absorbing cloth or sponge. Avoid rubbing the spilled substance so it will not seep more profoundly on the surface to make the stain worse.

However, if the spillage is sticky (oil, butter), immediately wipe the spill with a dry cloth and let the spilled portion sit for a while. If the spot will dissipate, use warm water in a damp cloth and wipe gently. If stain is still visible and hard to remove, you can call professional help.

On Average How Long Does Top Grain Leather Furniture Last?

Good quality top grain leather furniture can last for decades with proper care. However, it is important to note that not all top grain leather is created equal – some is thicker and more durable than others.

Leather furniture should be dusted and vacuumed regularly to keep it clean, and it should also be treated with a leather conditioner every 6-12 months. If the furniture is ever subjected to water or any other liquid, it should be dried immediately using a soft cloth.

In Conclusion

Investing for your cozy home for a high-quality leather furniture is not a loss. With proper care, the investment will last and indeed be a great legacy. Lastly, remember that conditioning leather will ensure your furniture stays looking beautiful for years to come.

Remember that both Top Grain Leather and Bonded Leather furniture are created using “real leather.” It’s important to educate yourself prior to your purchase so as not to get duped into purchasing a lesser quality product or faux leather.

Further, bonded leather maybe the right decision for your circumstances. However, the bonded leather does not hold up well under humid conditions and has a shorter life span.

If you’re currently decorating your living room you will benefit from reading Ways To Decorate A Large Living Room Wall or What is the right size area rug for a living room? For more home styling tips and tricks drop by anytime. Hey, we’re always up for company.

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Die-hard DIYer, home enthusiast and sometimes I cook :-)

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