How to Buy a Used Leather Suite

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How to Buy a Used Leather Suite

A leather suite is a matching set of seats, usually comprised of a sofa and chairs. This type of furniture is a major purchase for the home, and careful consideration needs to be taken when making a purchase. Leather is a popular material for lounge seating as it is easy to maintain and lasts for many years. Another advantage of a leather suite is that it will complement existing lounge furniture and has a timeless appeal. Making an informed choice when purchasing a used leather suite involves investigating all of the options available and looking closely at the items on offer before making a decision.

Used Leather Suites

Leather suites can be expensive to buy new, so buying a used suite can be a good way to afford a quality set of furniture for the home. There are many different types of leather suite available, so it is important to be aware of the differences in the range of suites available, as quality can vary depending on the types of materials used in manufacture.

Leather Types

Analine Leather: The highest quality leather available. This type of leather is coloured with soluble dye, which results in the leather retaining its natural grain. Analine leather is very soft, but also susceptible to tears and scratches. Full Grain Leather: This leather undergoes minimal processing, resulting in a breathable product which improves with age. Bonded Leather: Bonded leather is made from scraps of leather and fibres, which are bonded together to form a roll of material which looks similar to real leather. It is significantly cheaper than Analine leather. Bicast Leather: Bicast leather is very similar to bonded leather, but has a polyurethane coating. This type of leather has a more uniform appearance than genuine leather.

Frame Type

Another important factor in the quality of a leather suite is the type of frame used in construction. Hard Wood: Hard wood, such as oak or maple is used to create a strong framework and is the preferred material for suite manufacture. Soft Wood: Pine and other softer wood types may be used to make frames and are more economical and sustainable. Metal: Some manufacturers use metal frames in suite construction. If the frame is cushioned sufficiently, it is not possible to detect the metal frame underneath. Metal is also a durable and cost-effective option.

Practical Considerations

When purchasing a leather suite, it is important to consider the room in which the suite will be situated. Will the colour and style of the suite match the current decor in the room? Would it complement the wallpaper, carpets and any existing furniture? Does it fit in with the theme of the room, whether it is modern and minimalist or more traditional in style?

Everyday Use

Another practical consideration is the day to day use of the suite. In a family home where there are children, seats may be grouped around a focal point such as a fireplace or the television. Will the shape and size of the room allow for this? Are there enough seats for each member of the family? Do guests visit regularly? Will the placement of the seats allow family members and guests to face each other and converse freely without obstruction? It would be a good idea to consider the dimensions of the room when considering the suite layout. It is also vital to measure all of the door frames in the home to ensure that the suite can be easily manoeuvred into its final position without too much difficulty. Buyers may wish to consider how they will be using the seating when deciding if a particular suite is right for them personally. Some people may like to sit upright on a chair with firm support, whereas others like to lounge across the length of the sofa with their feet up. The suite chosen should reflect the buyer's personal seating preferences. With this in mind, the buyer needs to think about the height of the seats, the leg length, support offered by the frame and how soft or firm the seating would be during day to day use.


Leather suites are popular because they are considered easy to maintain. It is important for a prospective buyer to familiarise themselves with the types of cleaning and maintenance products required when owning a leather suite. It is suggested that leather should be treated as gently as one's own skin. Most people like to rub vaseline,, lanolin or olive oil into the leather occasionally to keep it supple. There are also a variety of commercial products available that serve the same purpose.

Things to Check When Buying a Leather Suite

If possible, it is a good idea to make a physical inspection of a used leather suite before purchase to ensure that it is fit for the purpose required.

Visual Inspection

Leather can easily become damaged. Check the suite over for any signs of tears, scratches, or cigarette burns. These can be very difficult and costly to repair. Check for spills, which can seep into the leather and permanently discolour it. Also look out for any signs of mould or damp patches. Pale leather can often have ingrained dirt. The cleanliness of a suite will indicate how well it has been cared for. Does the suite come from a smoke or pet free home? Examine any labels to ensure that it is a genuine leather sofa and not an imitation. Genuine leather should have a distinctive leather smell. Fake leather has a more uniform appearance than genuine leather, which may have variations and imperfections in the grain. Some types of leather suite are only partially made from genuine leather and may have a back panel made from vinyl or fake leather.

Physical Inspection

Feel the frame and make sure it is solid with no cracks or weak points. Check the seams on the underside of the sofa and chairs, which can be a good indicator of whether the leather is fake or genuine. Genuine leather should be breathable, comfortable and strong. Remove the cushions and check the coils underneath. Push down on the coils with a flat palm. Do they offer sufficient support, or have they started to sag over time? Sit on the chairs and sofa and feel how comfortable they are and whether they offer the right level of support.


A used leather suite is an investment. This type of furniture is designed to last for many years and can even improve with age. A leather suite offers a comfortable seating option that is easy to maintain and matches most types of decor. Leather seating is a good choice for families, the elderly, or busy professionals as it can be cleaned easily. Leather is a strong material and is generally resistant to everyday spills and stains. Another advantage of a genuine leather suite is that each piece of furniture is unique. As each piece of leather has its own distinct pattern, like a fingerprint, no two suites are the same. Therefore, each leather suite is unique and individual. With the correct care, a used leather suite can be a valuable addition to a living space that will last for many years of service.

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