For parents looking to buy a new couch, thoughts immediately turn to their little one dumping a glass of red juice all over the cushions.
Some parents I've spoken to often think that leather is not suitable for small children.
However, leather is the most durable material in the couch world, and thus some leathers make for fantastic couches for young families.
So, what are the best leather couches for parents with young children?
Full grain, semi aniline leather couches are the best leather couches for families with children. Semi-aniline refers to the dyeing process in which some corrections are made to the hide to fix surface markings, adding pigments and extra protection. It has a bit of a stiffer feel, but much better stain protection and requires lower maintenance. Not only are these couches good for kids, but also for pets that like to lounge on furniture.
Hides that aren't good enough to fit into the aniline category are sanded down and finished with a protective coating.
These finished leathers (often called pigmented or protected) are the most common leathers used in the furniture industry. Finished leathers tend to look less natural in appearance versus aniline leathers, yet are considered to be much more durable and also good for families.
The problem nowadays is that most furniture stores use varying terminology to describe their leather couches, so it can get super confusing when trying to shop for a new couch.
So What Leather Sofa Should I Choose?
If you have kids that are basically playing ninja warrior on your sofas, then any sofa, whether leather or fabric, is going to get some obvious wear and tear.
If you know that the kids are likely to cause destruction, then protected leather is probably the way to go.
Let's say, however, that the sofa isn't in a high traffic zone-under the attack of juice boxes and slime. If your child is fairly responsible, I'd opt for a full grain, semi-aniline leather.
For me, when I purchased new furniture for our sofa, I went with a dark brown unprotected hide and it has taken a licking even with two kids, a dog and a cat. I love the real leather feel and any spills have been quick to correct, not leaving any stains.
What If My Kids Stain The New Leather Sofa?
Typically, with any type of unprotected leather, if you are quick enough to blot it with a water soaked microfiber towel, the stain will correct itself over time.
What happens is that the spilled liquid will dissipate into the leather and over a period of a few hours soak into the hide. Sure you might have to be more proactive with hardcore spills, but usually that stain will be gone in a matter of a few weeks.
I panicked the first few weeks we had our unprotected leather sofa. If was me, not my kids that had the first spill! I was enjoying a glass of red wine, sitting on our brand new leather chair and I bumped the glass spilling a healthy amount of wine on the leather.
I quickly went into action and wiped it off with water, and although I could see the stain for a while, over time it just blended right into the leather. Note, I would also probably opt for a darker leather if anyone has plans to spill food or drinks (including wine) on the sofa.
Let Your Kids Know The Rules For The New Leather Sofa
Like any investment, you need to take action steps to ensure that your investment is protected. When we got our new leather furniture, we tried to steer the kids away from it at first.
But over time this was impossible-what use is buying expensive new furniture if you can't use it?
Here's a quick list of no-no's around the new leather sofa:
No Knifes And No Scissors
No Nail Polish Remover
I used to strictly prohibit food and drinks, but ultimately with kids that is nearly impossible. They are going to watch TV and they want to sit and eat their breakfast while watching morning cartoons. Most leathers, protected or not are fairly durable in terms of stain penetration.
However, if you know your kid will just be dumping fruit juice all over your unprotected leather, than I'd limit any food or beverage from around the leather couch.
I recommend visiting local furniture stores in person to get a feel for the look that you like. There you can discuss with the salesperson the type of leather the couch is made of and what sorts of protection the leather offers.
Whatever sofa you end up buying, be sure to also follow the manufacturer's guidance for maintaining the sofa.
Good luck in your search, feel free to get in touch with any questions at firstname.lastname@example.org