We get asked this question a lot - what is the difference between Full Grain and Top-grain leather, and which is better? In a nutshell, both are phenomenal and durable, but it comes down to appearance, durability, and price.
Two Main Types of Real Leather
Leather furniture is one of the most sophisticated and classic elements of your home decor. Real leather has a timeless appeal that makes it a popular choice for contemporary and classic styles alike.
What is a Full-Grain Leather
Appearance – Full-grain is the most natural, thickest, and mostly unaltered leather type. A much-simplified way to look at this is the hair is removed from the hide, and the rest is unaltered. After hair is removed, the leather reveals natural markings such as scars, pores, bug bites, and natural folds and wrinkles.
Durability – Because full-grain isn't altered or sanded, it doesn't always stand up to life's little messes. Stains can soak right into the untreated leather and stay there. Unaltered hide absorbs quickly and makes it hard to remove stains.
Price – Full-grain is the most expensive leather. It's not as flexible or easy to work with, so it's more costly to the manufacturer and, subsequently, the consumer.
What is a Top-Grain Leather
Appearance – Top-grain leather is made by sanding away the topmost part of the leather hide and imprinting it with a uniform imitation grain. Top-grain leather is considered to be the best for furniture because it allows for a uniform look that's still natural and authentic.
Durability – Top-grain is more durable than bonded and corrected leather. It can last for several years and the added top layer can withstand large amounts of pressure, stains, and natural wear and tear.
Price: Top-grain leather is more expensive than "genuine" leather or "100 percent" leather, but it's the leather to choose if you want a high-quality leather sofa that will withstand everyday use and last a long time.
If you're trying to decide which is a better fit for you when choosing your next leather sofa, consider the usage/traffic the sofa will endure. If you're a family with pets and children, top-grain leather furniture is your best bet; you will get excellent quality and durability without compromising affordability.