Leather Vs Fabric Office Chair – A Comprehensive Guide 2023

Reviewed By Chiropractic Specialist

When selecting the right office chair, there is a lot to consider. From ergonomic design to the material used, the right chair can mean the difference between a comfortable and productive workspace and a painful and inefficient workstation.

There are two primary materials to choose from when selecting an office chair- leather and fabric.

Leather office chairs have a classic look and feel and can be pretty luxurious, while fabric chairs can be more affordable and comfortable. 

Both materials have pros and cons, so it’s essential to consider your needs before deciding.

Whether you want a chair with a classic look or one that’s comfy and affordable, you’ll find one that fits your style.

What is a leather office chair?

What is a leather office chair?

A leather office chair is a chair that is upholstered in leather. Leather is a durable and flexible material ideal for upholstery due to its ability to breathe.

Leather office chairs have a sleek and sophisticated look and can be found in various colors and textures.

Though various types of leather can be used for upholstery, aniline leather is the most common option for office chairs.

Aniline leather is top-grain leather dyed throughout the entire surface of the hide and has a smooth, soft texture.

High-quality aniline leather office chairs can be very luxurious, but they tend to be more expensive than fabric chairs.

What is a fabric office chair?

What is a fabric office chair?

A best fabric office chair is a chair that is upholstered in fabric.

Many fabrics, such as polyester and cotton, can be used for office chairs.

Fabric chairs are often less expensive than leather chairs and come in various colors and patterns.

The primary benefit of fabric chairs is that they are usually more breathable than leather chairs, which can be beneficial for people who are more likely to sweat while sitting.

You can also get a fabric chair with a more casual look and feel if you want an affordable and functional chair.

Benefits of leather office chairs

Benefits of leather office chairs

Leather chairs can be very luxurious, and aniline leather has the added benefit of being breathable, which can be helpful for people who tend to sweat while sitting.

However, some people may be allergic to leather and unable to use a leather office chair. Leather office chairs are often more expensive than fabric office chairs.

Given the durability and longevity of leather, a leather office chair will likely last longer than a fabric chair, which can be an important consideration when making your purchasing decision.

Factors to consider when choosing between leather and fabric office chairs

Factors to consider when choosing between leather and fabric office chairs

If you’re wondering which type of office chair is best for you, there are a few things to keep in mind. First, think about how much time you spend sitting in your chair each day.

Do you spend most of your day sitting down? Or do you tend to move around more throughout the day? Next, consider what type of work you typically do while at your desk.

Is it mostly typing and computer-related work? Or do you mostly sit and talk on the phone or meet with clients? And finally, think about your body shape and size.

Do you have a specific type of chair in mind that might fit you better, or are you looking for something that can fit a variety of body types?

There are some factors that you should consider when choosing between different types of chairs:

Cost: The cost of the chair is one of the most important factors to consider. Depending on your budget, you can choose a cheaper fabric chair or a more expensive leather chair.
Comfort: Both fabric and leather chairs can be comfortable, but leather chairs tend to be cushier and thicker.
Durability: Fabric chairs are generally more durable than leather chairs, because they are less prone to wear and tear.
Maintenance: Both types of chairs require regular maintenance and cleaning, but fabric chairs are easier to take care of.

Cost comparison

Cost comparison

The cost of a leather office chair is usually more than that of a fabric office chair. Fabric chairs are more affordable if you’re on a budget.

However, the added durability of leather chairs can sometimes make up for the added upfront cost.

It’s essential to consider both chairs’ long-term cost and durability to make the best purchasing decision.


Aesthetic Options

Aesthetic Options

Leather office chairs are available in a wide variety of color and texture options, so it’s easy to find one that matches your aesthetics.

On the other hand, fabric chairs are available in various patterns, but the color options are more limited.

A fabric chair is a better choice if you want a specific color. Leather chairs may be your better choice if you prefer a classic look.




Leather chairs are typically more durable than fabric chairs and can last for years. Fabric chairs are generally more affordable than leather chairs, but they may only stay for a while.

The main benefit of fabric chairs is that they are often more breathable than leather chairs. If you sweat while sitting, a fabric chair is better for you as it will allow more airflow.

If you’re concerned about allergies, leather chairs are usually a better option as they aren’t made from synthetic materials like fabric chairs.




Leather chairs are typically more durable than fabric chairs. Fabric chairs are sometimes treated to increase their durability and lifespan, but they are less stable than leather chairs. A leather one might be a better choice if you want a chair that lasts.




Leather is a durable and flexible material less likely to cause injury than a fabric chair.

A leather chair may be a better option if you’re concerned about safety.

How to care for leather and fabric office chairs

Leather chairs will naturally break in overtime and develop a unique patina based on your usage. To maintain the quality of your leather chair, regularly clean and condition the leather with a leather conditioner to keep it supple and prevent it from drying out.

While leather is a durable material, it should be kept from extreme heat, such as near a radiator, to prevent it from drying out and cracking.

Fabric chairs should be routinely cleaned to keep them looking clean and fresh. Most fabrics should be cleaned at least once a month, except suede, which should be washed monthly.

While leather chairs are typically more durable than fabric chairs, it’s essential to take care of your office chair to extend its lifespan.

This includes keeping your chair out of direct sunlight, away from indoor heat sources, and regularly cleaning it with a fabric cleaner.


Is leather worth it in a office chair?

Leather is a material that can look great in a chair. But many people don’t know that not all leather is the same. Quality is very important when it comes to leather. If you are purchasing an office chair with leather, make sure you are getting high quality leather, that will last for years. Avoid buying cheap chairs with low quality leather that will crack and peel after a few months.

What material of office chair is best?

With so many selection of materials, its not easy to pick out a superior choice. It all comes down to your lifestyle and needs within your workplace. When selecting an office chair, there are a few things you need to think about:
Durability: Does the chair have the ability to last over time?
Comfort: Will you be able to sit in the chair for long periods without feeling discomfort?
Price: Are you willing to pay more for a quality chair that will last longer?
I recommend looking into a leather office chair. They are one of the most durable and comfortable materials in an office chair. If cared for properly, they can last for years with minimal upkeep. I would recommend looking into Herman Miller chairs. They have some of the highest quality available on the market.

Ron Mason
I, Ron Mason, am a retired forestry professional. My previous profession was that of an environmental educator, specifically as a Forester, with the USDA Forest Service. Additionally, I have worked as a contract forester in the private sector. With a strong background in science and engineering, my expertise lies in timber stand management, forest ecology, and wildlife biology. I am a dedicated woodworker and take pleasure in crafting furniture, tables, cabinets and other wooden items as a hobby.