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What Is Leather Match?

Leather match furniture is one of the most popular types of upholstery for sofas, sectionals and more. Learn what it is here.

What Is Leather Match Upholstery?

When choosing an upholstery option for your furniture, you may come across the term ‘leather match.’ Leather match, also sometimes referred to as L/M or Leather Seating, is the term used to refer to a piece which contains both 100% top grain leather as well as skillfully-matched polyurethane. All the areas of the seat with which you come into contact will be made of 100% top grain leather; the back and sides of the seat (where you don't touch) will be made of the skillfully-matched polyurethane. This type of design is often found in recliners and sofas.

What Is Leather Seating?

When a furniture piece is labeled as Leather Seating (Leather Match), this means that the part of the furniture that comes into contact with your skin will be made of real leather; all other parts – such as the outer sides and back, will be made of leather match. For example, in a recliner labeled as Leather Seating (Leather Match), only the recliner’s seat, backrest, armrests and footrest are made of genuine leather.

In a sectional with leather match, the connectors (or the pieces in-between the seats of the sectional) are made of leather match, while the seats themselves are made of real leather.

Why Choose Leather Match?

Leather seating furniture pieces are designed to feel luxurious to the touch – without the cost. Because of its economical use of real leather, a recliner or sofa with leather match (leather seating) is more affordable than one upholstered entirely of real leather.

While the outsides – the parts where your skin does not come into contact – of leather seating furniture will not be made of real leather, it is important to note that the leather match material is designed in such a way as to resemble real leather very closely. This helps to maintain a unified look across the entire piece.

Bonded Leather vs. Leather

In your sofa, recliner or sectional furniture search, you may occasionally happen upon the term bonded leather. While it sounds fancy, the term actually refers to a kind of material that is made with a mix of faux and real leather. Despite its “fancy” name, bonded is, in fact, a synonym for “combo” or “combination” leather – while not common, it is an option for those who want a unique feel that’s part leather, part synthetic material.

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Editorial Disclaimer: Articles featuring tips and advice are intended for educational purposes and only as general recommendations. Always practice personal discretion when using and caring for furniture, decor and related items.