We are converting a living area into the kids playzone (aiming to reduce the spread of toys to this room and the bedrooms instead of the entire house). We have decided on buying a 2 and 3 seater couch to help ‘zone’ the space but can’t decide on the material for the couches. I know fabric is a higher risk of stains, but it can be cheaper. Leather may be easier to clean, but comes at an extra cost. We have a 3 year old and 7month old. Does anyone have any recommendations? Thanks.

Posted by Narlina, 2nd June 2015

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  • I would go for fabric ones, looking for seats with removable covers, so they are easy to wash in the washing machine.

  • It really does depend on how everyone will treat the couch too. Get everyone to test drive the couch at the store-sit on it, lie on it……:)

  • You know your own children and may be able to predict how the lounges will be looked after. But if this is a dedicated children’s area, do you know how your children’s friends will look after them? We were tempted with fabric because of price but am so glad we went leather. If a drink gets spilt or a nappy leaks or a crayon gets sat on, leather is much easier to clean up, and looks much better in the long run. When my nephew visits, I still throw a sheet over one of the chairs to protect it, but my kids know our house rules and (generally) we have no problems.

  • I would try a product that is compacted leather, good quality but a lot cheaper, not sure what it’s called but it’s great.

  • Leather because it’s easy to wipe down… or cheap fabric so that you can update regularly

  • We have a black leather couch and it’s one of the best purchases we have made. It wipes clean so easily, doesn’t tear or rip easily, and should last us a long time. Definitely worth the extra money!

  • Like you said leathet is more expensive it also requires occasional cleaning with leather cleaner and a softening agent to make sure the leather doesn’t crack. The plus side is it won’t stain and liquids run off it. The cheaper leather or PU leather is a fake top on a leather base. My opinion is its cheap and nasty – you get what you pay for. If you go for leather check what type of leather it is, anything bonded is basically sections of leather glued together. There are cheaper options…
    Fabric is cheaper, looks more homey and gives you a wider range of fabric/design choices. You can buy lounges already Scotch guarded with built in stain resistance.
    You know your children best – will they be climbing and eating on the furniture? If so I’d go the cheaper option and think you mighr be replacing it in a couple of years when they are older. Fantastic furniture ikea etc have cheap lounges that look nice in the short term. Or there’s always 2nd hand on gumtree. You can get lounge covers too… hope this helps

  • We have a dark brown leather couch. Worth the extra cost as it wipes clean and no stains.

  • Fabric-I have found it easy to clean as long as it has been protected.

  • We have fabric and we regret it there are so many marks, I’m constantly cleaning it. With leather you can just get a good leather spray protection or wipes and wipe it down, so much easier.

  • ok with fabric you can steam clean it when you clean the floors in your house. or give it the once a week wipe over for stains. Leather is a good option but can get scratches from buckles on shoes etc. Also its really hard to get the smell of milk out of it if the kids spill milk on it and you dont know straight away to clean it up.

  • I would definitely go leather. So much easier and will last heaps longer

  • Absolutely go the leather. Yes more expensive initially but saves you $$ in the long run as you won’t need to go replacing. It won’t take long to get stains all over it with little ones…especially if it’s going in the playroom.

  • it is up to you but i only buy things that can be wiped down. PU Leather is a lot cheaper than real leather and can be cleaned easily. Clean it with the right products and it will last longer. Leather is more prone to getting wear and cracks but i would rather deal with this than trying to wash cushions or having to throw out a couch. A fabric couch can still be covered with proper covers or old sheets. Maybe buy a 2nd hand couch set for now.

  • Leather is more expensive but it is wipe clean! However you can get some good scotch guards on fabrics which are stain resistant now, but you will get spills on it. You can also damage leather with a sharp object like a shoe buckle which is then expensive to repair!

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