There’s nothing like the look and feel (and smell!) of real leather to bring warmth and texture to the home, whether you’re furnishing your open-plan kitchen with a classic Chesterfield, or kitting out your living room with a clean-cut, contemporary settee.
Leather sofas are rarely cheap but if you’re after the real thing, there are a few workarounds. Consider a two-seater as an accent piece, or look for products with a mix of materials: a buttery soft tan leather flanked with rustic wood can work beautifully. We’ve even found a few sofas that cleverly mix real and faux skins – a shrewd way to keep prices down.
As an upholstery fabric, leather typically falls into two camps: aniline and top grain. Look for aniline, which is made from high quality skins and coloured using soluble dyes if you’re after that soft and supple feel.
Top grain is generally considered inferior due its production processes, which include sanding down the top layer of the material, hence its loss of durability.
We put our best purse-friendly leather sofas to the test, looking for style and comfort as well as affordability. Some of these are surprisingly affordable without skimping on style.
You can trust our independent reviews. We may earn commission from some of the retailers, but we never allow this to influence selections, which are formed from real-world testing and expert advice. This revenue helps to fund journalism across The Independent.
Habitat Salisbury 2 seater leather sofa
Dimensions: H 90cm x W 158cm x D 94cm
If you like a leather sofa with a charmingly battered look, Habitat’s offering promises to age beautifully over time. The Salisbury’s boxy, contemporary design belies its distressed, vintage-like finish. It’s upholstered in a semi-aniline leather and boasts comfy deep seating with a plush but supportive seat back. Sitting half way between slouchy and upright, its scroll arms and chunky wooden feet award it a more formal structure, while the cushioning is satisfyingly squidgy. Whether you choose the two-seater in black, chocolate or tan, at just £550, it offers serious bang for your buck.
Buy now £550.00, Argos.co.uk
George Oliver cuvier 2 seater sofa
Dimensions: H 80.5cm x W 119cm x D 73cm
Mid-century design lovers will appreciate the Cuvier for its fuss-free shaping and its angular wooden frame. This one is made with a top grain leather and while the material is economic in coverage its decent quality is clear to see. The leather seat, whether in brown or green, boasts an attractive mottled patina. Its variations in tone give it a really inviting visual texture while its ash wood frame is equally texture-rich with a mid-toned and rustic finish. A stylish addition to any living space.
Buy now £729.99, Wayfair.co.uk
Metro Lane pickford standard sofa
Dimensions: H 80cm x W 150cm x D 88cm
With its strong masculine lines, this is one handsome black leather sofa, recalling laid-back Seventies style. Its deep buttoning on the cushions, seat backs and outer arms proves shrewd attention to detail – this is a sofa that looks great at every angle. We loved the taller than usual legs, which elevate the settee whilst giving the illusion of extra floor space in the living room. Foam and feather filled seats ensure a comfy sit and the angled back and low arm rests make it impossible not to relax in. Perfect for movie night.
Buy now £999.99, Wayfair.co.uk
DFS marlo 3 seater sofa
Dimensions: H 93cm x W 209cm x D 98cm
Cleverly, this stylish settee is upholstered in genuine soft leather in all the areas that count while the undersides are finished in a matching faux, keeping the price invitingly low. The low-sitting marlo is invitingly comfy, too, with its puffy seat back and its deep, wide cushions. Another mid-century inspired piece, the sofa features chic angled wooden legs and slouchy arm rests straight from the Seventies. We love the comprehensive choice of rich and earthy tones, from denim to chestnut to brandy. And in mustard, this one looks even more retro.
Buy now £599.00, Dfs.co.uk
Furniture Village serento 3 seater pure luxury leather sofa
Dimensions: H 94cm x W 199cm x D 92cm
Furniture Village’s offering is all about modern glamour with its streamlined silhouette and its boxy but gently curved form. Upholstered all over in genuine leather – save for the chunky dark wood feet – it feels as luxurious as it looks. This one comes in four neutral shades from anthracite to smoke, and boasts intricate stitch detailing for a super smart finish. The Serento is a great choice if you like a sofa with proper back support – the only slouchiness here is on the arm rests.
Buy now £799.00, Furniturevillage.co.uk
Sofology Fellini 3 seat sofa
Dimensions: H 92cm x W 166cm x D 94cm
This is a stylish leather sofa that recalls the best of 20th century Italian design. With its angled arm rests and reclined seat back, it cradles the sitter wonderfully, while offering ergonomic support. Its tapered wooden legs are another nod to mid-century style and in a soft buttery aniline leather, this one’s all about affordable luxury. We loved the extra cushioning on the arm rests as well as the neat stitch detailing that celebrates this settee’s craftsmanship. This handsome piece comes in a huge range of dyed leathers – from “hampshire espresso” to “Texas Bordeaux.”
Buy now £899.00, Sofology.co.uk
New Houston leather 2 seater sofa
Dimensions: H 84cm x W 163cm x D 101cm
Timeless in design, this is a practical sofa guaranteed to fit into contemporary and traditional living rooms alike. It’s also a great choice if you want a future-proof piece that won’t be going out of style anytime soon. What we loved most about the New Houston sofa was its curved armrests, which invite you to sit back and relax. Add to that luxuriously deep cushioning and a soft but supportive high back rest and you have one seriously cosy sofa ideal for curling up in. Impressively, this one comes in a choice of 27 leathers.
Buy now £949.00, Barkerandstonehouse.co.uk
Oak Furnitureland linden leather 3 seater sofa
Dimensions: H 99cm x W 216cm x D 94cm
With its high back and mid-height armrests, this is a really striking modern settee, designed for comfort but also the freedom to stretch out. Upholstered in a smooth and supple leather with intricate stitching, its quality is clear to see. What’s not immediately apparent, however, is the three-seater’s hardwood interior frame – this is a brand that specialises in traditional craftsmanship and top-notch woodwork. Upright but with a nod to slouchy styles, this one’s got your back.
Buy now £879.99, Oakfurnitureland.co.uk
The verdict: Affordable leather sofas
Habitat’s Salisbury two seater is a snip at just £550, and it doesn’t skimp on quality. We loved its distressed look, which awards the otherwise contemporary sofa a charming vintage-like aesthetic. We also loved Sofolgy’s Fellini for its chic mid-century style and its soft buttery leather. As a generously sized three-seater, this one offers great value for money, too.
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