Thursday, March 31, 2016

Tips on Buying Leather Furniture with Bernhardt Furniture

A leather sofa is a beautiful, durable option that can add appealing style and comfort to any room in your house. However, before you run out and buy the first leather couch you fall in love with, it is important that you know what to look for, so that you get the most comfort and durability for your investment. Use this guide to decide whether leather furniture, such as the top-grain, aniline leather Grandview 5 Piece Traditional Sectional Sofa is perfect for you and your family’s lifestyle.

Grandview leather sectional at Baer's Furniture

Why Choose Leather?

Durable, cleanable, and stylish, leather is different from other materials used to upholstered furniture. In addition, natural look of leather furniture adds unparalleled richness to any room. These features make purchasing leather furniture a great investment. If cared for properly, your leather couch could last more than 20 years. Compare that to the four or five year average lifespan of other materials and the advantage is clear.

Guide for Buying Leather Furniture

Before you start shopping for any type of furniture, measure the space where you will put the furniture. This will save you a great deal of time since you don’t want to bring your new sofa home and realize that it doesn’t fit in your house. Then, consider the type of leather grain—the surface material you will actually sit upon. There are many grades of leather grain, to ensure you are buying the best grain, choose a leather that has been allowed to keep the original animal grain. Below is a list of the different types of leather on leather sofas.

Bonded Leather

Bonded leather is a cheap way to get the look and feel of leather, but in reality it is barely leather at all. By definition, bonded leather is required to be only 17% leather. It is made of scraps of leather with a polyurethane coating. Although significantly cheaper, bonded leather is closer to plastic than leather, and unlike actual top grain leather, it will never acclimate to your body temperature and get more comfortable with age.


Bicast, bycast, bi-cast, leather, or PU leather is the next level up in quality. During the leather production process, a hide is cut into horizontal layers: top grain, which is the actual surface of the hide where you can see evidence of pores and hair follicles, and additional layers split below that. Bicast leather consists of a layer of split too thin or flawed for normal use. Like bonded leather, it is sealed with a layer of polyurethane, and there is no actual point of contact between the leather and your skin. In addition, bicast cracks and peels if exposed to too much friction, understand that when you bycast furniture with you are not purchasing real leather.

Split Grain

Once the top grain is removed from the hide, split leather is made from what remains of the hide. It is harder and cheaper than top grain leather, is more fragile, and can be easily damaged. While it is still 100% leather, it lacks the characteristics of top-grain leather due to differences in processing.

leather couch at baer's furniture

Top Grain

Also known as corrected grain or full grain pigmented, this leather is made from the hide’s outer layers. It is the toughest type of leather and is usually buffed to remove imperfections. Furniture upholstered in top grain is often more expensive, but is incredibly soft and long lasting.

Full Grain

Full-grain leather furniture retains the pattern created by the pores and hair follicles of the animal it was taken from. The entire hide is used, not just some of the layers. It retains all imperfections created by the original texture, and it will look and feel better as it ages. Furniture made with top-grain leather is usually the most expensive available.

Now that you have a guide to the different types of leather furniture, you can make an informed decision. You’ll know what to look for, and what questions to ask. Visit Baer’s Furniture to check out their selection of top-grain leather furniture from brand names such as Bernhardt and more.

Curious about Baer’s Furniture? Learn more about our company executives and founding on Bloomberg’s Baer’s Furniture company profile!


  1. Personally I think leather is best reserved for things like recliners. Leather sofas are certainly beautiful but when it comes to sofa I prefer to opt for comfort over beauty. When my child is sick and needs to lie on the couch I want it to be comfortable; I'm not going to sacrifice their comfort so I can have a fancy looking couch and try to pretend my living room is going to be featured in Good Housekeeping.

    Sarah |

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