The 5 Standard Leather Furniture Grades

Leather furniture is categorized by grades which are typically reserved for special applications. These grades are what determine quality as well as durability. Here’s an overview of the five standard leather grades that you may find on the market today.

Bonded Leather

Bonded leather is the bottom of the barrel when it comes to leather grades mainly because it isn’t 100% real leather. It is made with the scrap pieces of other leather and is bonded using a synthetic material, and often glazed over with polyurethane or latex. It is impossible to tell how much of these products is truly made with genuine leather. Many buyers choose to purchase bonded leather furniture because it is more cost efficient.

Genuine Leather

Genuine leather is made with 100% real leather, but is often stained or dyed, and then impressed with a grain-like stamping to give it a more natural appearance. It is made up of a number of layers of real leather and held together with adhesives. It is often used for non-designer handbags, shoes, or other moderately priced items.


Suede has a signature napped leather finish to it. It is soft to the touch, since the leather has been split. Instead of the tanned hides that we’re used to thinking of when we hear the word “leather,” suede has undergone a sort up stripping process. The top grain of the hide has been removed, exposing the softer fibers below.

Top Grain

Top grain leather furniture is the second-tier quality, and is used for most luxury handbags and shoes. Since the split layer has been removed, the material is far thinner, making it easier for the manufacturer to manipulate. The surface of top grain is worn down to create a uniformly smooth surface and is often treated to produce a singular color, as well as protect the material and help it repel any potential staining liquids.

Full Grain

Full grain leather is the highest quality leather on the market. It has not been sanded or buffed out to reduce imperfections. Instead, it shows the natural grain of the hide. Some prefer leather Italian sofas that have been stripped of these markings, but by doing so the material becomes thinner and less durable. This full grain leather is great for leather upholstery, since it can withstand a lot of pressure. The average person sits on their couch for four hours every day, meaning that the leather upholstery withstands a lot of weight over a long period of time.

Mebel leather furniture retailer offers a number of different grade options for its designs to match the individual wants and needs of our clients. For a piece of Italian furniture that is totally unique, contact us today.