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All You Need to Know bout Bonded vs Faux vs Genuine Leather

15 February 2023

When you go to buy any leather product, you'll see a contrasting difference between the quality of leather, and with that, a difference between the prices, too. You may think the quality makes leather varieties different from one another, but there's so much more than just the quality. There are various types of leather that don't differ based on quality but on composition. You read that right; not all types of leather are 100% genuine.

While it's comparatively easy to tell good and bad-quality leather bags apart, it gets really challenging to tell whether the leather used is real or not when you're buying an office chair. Since the quantity of leather in an office chair is lesser, and you can't really hold the leather to evaluate the quality like you can when buying a leather bag, you're at a higher risk of being scammed. You might end up paying a premium price for an office chair that isn't even made using the finest quality, genuine leather.

There are primarily 2 types of leather, namely genuine leather, bonded leather, and faux leather. To help you identify each type, we've put together a detailed bonded versus faux versus genuine leather comparison.

Why Choose a Leather Office Chair?

You might wonder why even choose a leather office chair when there's so much to worry about. Why not settle for a regular mesh office chair, buying which is simpler and more straightforward? Well, your question is quite valid, but we've got the answer that'll tell you just why a leather office chair is the best option for your office!

Higher Level of Comfort

Most office chairs are uncomfortable. The seat is too stiff, or the back is too straight. But if you've got a leather office chair, you can enjoy a higher level of comfort at work. A leather chair helps your body get in the position that's the most comfortable as leather is quite soft and even stretchable. Not only that, leather chairs absorb sweat and keep you feeling cool in the summer, In fact, they also absorb body heat and keep you feeling warm in winter, all of which means superior comfort!

Enhanced Productivity

With more comfort comes more productivity. Will you be able to function better when you're uncomfortable and in pain or when you're comfortable and relaxed? Of course, the latter. Leather chairs offer greater comfort, and therefore, users can focus more on their work and deliver higher quality work.

Bonded vs Faux vs Genuine Leather - All You Need to Know

Now that you know why you've got to consider investing in leather office chairs, let's move on to the more crucial part of the discussion – how can you tell bonded, faux, and genuine leather apart? That's what we're here to help you with!

Understanding Each Type

Bonded Leather

Bonded leather isn't entirely genuine or artificial. 20% of the composition of bonded leather is the leftovers from the processing of genuine leather, and 80% is chemicals and binders. The scarps from the manufacturing process of genuine leather are rolled and bound together using adhesives onto a paper backing. A coat of polyurethane is added to give the bonded leather a texture similar to genuine leather.

Faux Leather

This type of leather is entirely artificial, with no traces of genuine leather. This vegan leather variety is made using thermoplastic polymer. Also known as PU leather, it's one of the most common types of leather used in making office chairs. Faux leather has a very close resemblance to genuine leather, and not many can tell the two apart. You've got to be very careful because sellers can easily make you believe a faux leather chair is a genuine leather chair and make you pay accordingly.

Genuine Leather

As you can tell by the name, this is real leather that's made from animal hide. This full-grain leather is the most durable. One way to identify genuine leather is by the irregularity in the texture. You'll notice natural imperfections, and that's what makes genuine leather so attractive – and expensive. It's also the thickest of all leather types. For this reason, it's extremely hard for manufacturers to work with genuine leather, and using it to make products like office chairs, bags, and shoes is an extremely complicated process.

Differences Between Real vs. Bonded vs. Faux Leather

Bonded, faux, and genuine leather don't only differ in composition. They also differ in numerous other aspects like cost, durability, texture, and maintenance. Let's have a look at some of the biggest differences between the 3 types of leather.


Genuine leather is the most expensive of the 3 types. It's because all of it is made from real animal hides. It's thick, which is why making it into products is a very complicated process. All of these factors add to the cost of genuine leather. When it comes to price, faux leather comes second after genuine leather, with bonded leather being the cheapest. Although manufacturing faux leather is the easiest because it's quite popular among customers, it's costlier than bonded leather. Bonded leather is the cheapest and also the least popular.


Leather office chairs come at a premium price, and you would want to be certain that the office chair is durable and offers the highest value for money. Genuine leather is the most durable of all three leather types. Faux leather and bonded leather don't even come to genuine leather when it comes to durability. Although genuine leather is quite durable, it develops a brown-colored film over the top surface over time that ruins the actual leather appearance. If you look at it the other way, the same layer that's affecting its appearance is also serving the purpose of protecting the leather beneath from damage.

Bonded leather stands the lowest on the list when it comes to durability. Since it's made from scraps from the manufacturing and processing of genuine leather products, you really can't expect it to be durable. The scarps and leftovers from genuine leather processing are mixed with polyurethane and bound together using adhesives. It's the joints (between scarps of pure leather and polyurethane) that make bonded leather the least durable. It can wear out quite easily. The color will also fade.

Faux leather isn't as durable as genuine leather, but its quality isn't as poor as bonded leather. It's somewhere in between the two. However, since it's entirely artificial, the problem of cracking at the joints and irregularities in appearance isn't an issue here. But because it's synthetic, it's not breathable and, therefore, not the best choice for office chairs.


If you look closely, all 3 types of leather differ in texture. If you know just what type of texture each leather type has, you might be able to save yourself from getting fooled and looted. The texture of genuine leather is the most natural since it's made from animal hide entirely. The texture won't be consistent. It'll be soft and smooth in some areas and rough and hard in others. Genuine leather comes in very few colors since you can't add any dye to it. As for the faux leather, the texture will be consistent and smooth throughout as it's fully synthetic. It also comes in a massive variety of colors. You can easily tell genuine and faux leather apart by looking at the texture. Bonded leather is also quite easy to identify. It's thinner than both genuine and faux leather.


One of the most important factors that you've got to factor in when buying chairs for the office is maintained. Since there are numerous chairs in an office space, you can't manage high-maintenance furniture well. Although genuine leather is the most attractive and durable, it gets dirty quite easily. It also absorbs moisture, and if you're living in a humid region, real leather chairs might not be the best option.

Faux leather doesn't get dirty easily and doesn't absorb moisture, so it won't stink sweat. Faux leather chairs don't need to be cleaned as often as genuine leather chairs.

Bonded leather, on the other hand, can be dangerous for you. It's known to release harmful chemicals. Cleaning it is quite a challenge because it can break joints.

If you ask us which type of leather you should opt for when buying office chairs, we would say genuine leather if you can afford it. Genuine leather office chairs are quite an investment, but they're every bit worth it. If you're tight on a budget, faux leather chairs are a good option too. Bonded leather chairs shouldn't be an option because they're simply not worth it.