Differences Between Real, Bonded, and Faux Leather

You must have noticed various varieties of leather while purchasing your leather chair or any other furniture. Leather Chairs are good-looking, durable, and comfortable. But not all leather chairs are real and authentic. You must know how to differentiate between fake and real leather.

There are different varieties of leather, and each one has its features. It gets hard sometimes to differentiate between each one.

In this piece, we’ll look at the differences between real, bonded, and faux leather. We will discuss the factors and characteristics of each type of leather.

What is Real Leather?

This leather is also known as Full Grain Leather because it is the purest form of leather, and that is why it is costly. It is the best leather type because it is made up of a top layer of animal hide. This type of leather is also hard to manufacture as well.

The top layer is left on, and the remaining is sanded to create a smooth and even texture, then dyes are added to it. The quality of material used in this leather makes it the most durable form of leather.

What is Bonded Leather?

Bonded leather is made up of synthetic material as well as composite leather that’s why it is also called blended leather. It also contains animal hides. The reason why it is called composite leather is the manufacturing of this leather.

It starts with the leftover pieces of real leather. These leftover pieces are ground into small pieces in a mill. The trim pieces are glued to a synthetically made leather called Polyurethane leather, or PU leather.

If it is manufactured efficiently in the mill, it gets difficult to differentiate between real leather and bonded leather.

What is Faux Leather?

The third type, also known as Polyurethane leather, looks precisely like genuine leather. This type of leather is artificially manufactured, but it gives good value to your money. It is water-resistant and available at a lower price. It does not have genuine leather.

Because it is synthetic leather, it is also called Vegan leather. It is an excellent environment-friendly form of leather.

Differences Between Real, Bonded, and Faux Leather
Differences Between Real, Bonded, and Faux Leather

Differences Based on Different Factors-

It gets hard to find the difference between these leathers as the manufacturing process is getting updated. However, they can be differentiated based on their cost and quality.


The first and the significant difference between the different types of leather type is the durability of each one. Some types of the leather won’t crack or peel, while the others wear out quite quickly.

Real leather is considered the most durable because it creates a patina on its surface instead of wearing it out. Real leather is the most durable form of leather followed by faux leather and bonded leather.

The reason why Faux Leather is not much durable is that it is not breathable and can be punctured with time. Bonded leather is not very durable because it is made up of scrap leather and artificial material. Its texture is like paper, and that is why it can easily scratch or peel.

Cost Differences

The second differentiating factor is the cost. As real leather is made up of pure animal skin, therefore, it is the most expensive leather type.

Faux leather has a price in between bonded leather and real leather. Faux leather is commercially produced and the material used in its manufacturing is also synthetic therefore, it is less expensive than real leather.

Composite leather is made up of scrap material and artificial material; that’s why it is the most inexpensive one.

Color and texture difference

The most natural color is found in real leather. But it does not have many color options. As far as the texture is concerned, real leather is smooth and refined.

Faux leather is the synthetic form and may look the same, but the surface is fake. A complete color range is available for Faux leather. On the other hand, bonded leather has the most extensive range of colors and is thinner than the other two.

Leather Smell

It is another primary differentiating factor for leather. The smell is the biggest objection for real leather users. Real leather does not give any smell. The scent of artificial leather is aromatic as it is made up of chemicals. Bonded leather, although it is unnatural but can smell a bit similar to real leather.

Caring and Cleaning differences

Real leather is a bit difficult to clean compared to other leather types. It is because real leather can absorb liquid. It is estimated that real leather needs twice the amount of cleaning work than different types of leather.

The surface of faux leather repels water therefore, it is easier to clean. The surface of bonded leather can peel or wear away, but it is still not as hard to clean as real leather.


How can you tell the difference between real leather and faux leather?

The texture is the main distinguishing factor for all leather types. If it feels smooth and flexible, then it is really leather. Faux leather is also smooth, but it is not very flexible and soft. Real leather can be stretched way too much than faux leather.

Is faux leather more durable than real leather?

Real leather is the most durable leather type. Real leather, as it is made up of real animal skin, it is breathable and flexible. At the same time, faux leather is not very supple and can quickly wear away with time. However, faux leather is more durable than blended leather.

How can you tell if the leather is bonded?

It gets tricky to differentiate between leather types. A bonded leather is not openly shown on the label, whereas real leather is always proudly noted on the tags.

Real leather is also the thickest leather type, whereas the rest are hard and thin. The last difference is that bonded leather gives a specific smell whereas, real leather does not produce any odor.

Wrapping Up

To wrap up, when purchasing leather, the quality and durability matter and the relative cost of each time; therefore, it comes to individual preference. Real leather is excellent, but for a vegan, it is not the right choice. Faux leather is cheaper but is not durable. So, individual preference is the most critical factor in buying any leather.

Similar Posts

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *