What’s the Difference Between Leather and Leatherette?

Continuing the Seating Debate

What’s the Difference Between Leather and Leatherette?

The age-old debate continues between leather and cloth seating in cars. You probably already know the difference between them and have your own preference regarding which is better. There’s another option out there not many people know about: leatherette. It sounds like leather and looks like leather, so what’s the difference between leather and leatherette? Take a look at the following pros and cons of each.

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What’s the Difference Between Leather and Leatherette?What are the Pros and Cons of Each?

Some cars will offer leatherette, which is more or less a synthetic leather. The material is made from vinyl to resemble leather, but since the material isn’t porous, it’s much easier to clean. Leather advertises itself as easy to clean but it can still absorb dirt and liquid spills. Another advantage of leatherette is that it doesn’t scratch as easily as leather does. This can be a big problem if you’re driving around pets a lot, as their claws can tear up the seating very quickly.

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However, because leatherette is made from plastic-based products, it will heat up quicker in the warm weather and will get much stickier than leather. While leatherette provides a much cheaper alternative than its genuine counterpart, when it comes to reselling the car later on you’ll find that having real leather will increase your car’s value. This is really a give-and-take comparison though, as you’ll have to pay more for the leather material when you purchase the car in the first place.

It all comes down to preference between these two, as they each offer a pretty balanced attack of advantages and disadvantages. If the material isn’t all that important to you and you plan on keeping the vehicle for a long time, it might make more sense to just save some money and go with leatherette or cloth.