12 Tips To Choose The Best Genuine Leather Office Chair

If you are looking for a genuine leather office chair and you don’t have enough knowledge about genuine leather office chairs, there is no need to worry. 

Sometimes you may find it overwhelming when searching for genuine leather chairs. It’s not as difficult as some would have you think, and in this article, I’m going to share some of my tips, which I found very useful in picking a genuine leather office chair.

Here are a few tips for buying genuine leather office chairs:

1. Know about Different Types of Leather: 

There are a few types of leather manufacturers use for their top-class leather chairs. Before choosing a leather chair, you should know the difference between the types of leather.

Faux Leather:

Faux leather is an artificial or synthetic leather made of thermoplastic polymer. There are two primary types of Faux leather construction: polyurethane (“PU”) and polyvinyl chloride (PVC – “Vinyl”). 

Faux leather doesn’t contain animal hides. Both PU and Vinyl leathers are used in making different types of products, but each is better for certain applications than others.

PU fabric is softer, more flexible, and breathable, so it’s more commonly used for making high-wear products like office chairs, and Vinyl leather is not as soft or breathable as PU leather.

Bonded Leather:

Bonded leather, also called reconstituted leather or blended leather. It contains animal hide components.

Bonded leather is made by shredding leather scraps and leather fiber, then mixing it with bonding materials. It uses the fibers that are leftover from manufacturing genuine leather.

Bonded leather only contains 10 to 20 percent of genuine leather materials. Bonded leathers are budget-friendly but very costly to repair. If you are on a budget to furnish your office, you might go with the bonded leather furniture.

Source: Quora

Genuine Leather:

Genuine leather is made from the skin of an animal instead of being synthetic. It is also known as top-grain or full-grain leather. 

Full-grain is the highest grade of leather and the most expensive one (and supposedly the most desirable) because it requires the least synthetic materials. The reason is that full-grain is the closest to the outer skin of the animal.

The deeper it goes, the less dense the texture is and the more synthetic materials needed to make leather.

The deepest level of the layer is genuine leather, which also connects to the flesh of the animal. This is the cheapest one because it has the least dense texture, which requires the most synthetic materials to make real leather.

The top grain is in the middle between those two. So the order goes like this (from most expensive/closest to outer surface) :

Full grain > Top grain > Genuine leather

However, all of them are real leathers that come from animal skin.

2. Start with Recognizing the Genuine Leather: 

You can not distinguish a leather just by looking at them. So there are some tricks you can apply.

  • To easily recognize a genuine leather, drop a small amount of water to the leather chair. Check if it absorbs the water or not. If it absorbs the water, then you get genuine leather.
  • You can smell the leather. Genuine leather will smell natural instead of plastic-like or chemically. To understand it better, you should go into a store that sells genuine leather then smell the genuine leather and synthetic leather as well. You will understand better.
  • Do a fire test if you are allowed to. Hold a flame up to leather for 5-10 seconds; genuine leather will char slightly and smell a bit like burnt hair. But synthetic leather will actually catch flame and smells like burning plastic.
  • Genuine leather will have rough edges rather than perfect edges, which can be found on faux leather. Real leather is made of many strands, which naturally fray around the edges. Faux leather made from plastic has no such strands, meaning the edges are cleanly cut.
  • Finally, You can recognize a genuine leather chair by its texture and smell of the leather material that is used to build the chair. It should be soft and warm to the touch. It should have a distinctive aroma that is rich and appealing, unlike faux or bonded leather, which emits unpleasant chemical smells.

3. Check if Genuine Leather Used all over the Chair:

When you are choosing a genuine leather chair, check if the chair has the genuine leather in the back as well. Most of the chairs you will find has genuine leather on the seats and the tops of the armrest but not on the back or the sides of the chair.

To decrease the price of the chair, sometimes manufacturers build a chair with bonded or faux leather. You might think that well why would I need the real leather to my chair’s back or side? As I won’t be using them.

Well, genuine leather and artificial leather aren’t the same. Genuine leather lasts a lot longer than artificial leather. After a few years of use, you might see the color difference to the different parts of the chair, and artificial leather might peel off. You should be careful while choosing the genuine leather chairs.

4. General Price Range of Genuine Leather Office Chair:

Cost is the main concern while choosing a leather chair. Leather chairs usually cost more than the mesh or fabric chairs. Genuine leather costs higher than the bonded and faux leather because it’s hard to manufacture.

Genuine leather chairs usually cost more than $400, where you will find bonded leather chairs as low as $100 because bonded leather is the cheapest one as it’s easier to manufacture compared to other leather chairs.

However, prices vary depending on chair functionality, brands, and other aspects. Just keep this in mind that genuine leather always costs higher than the other leather chairs.

5. Best Place to Buy Genuine Leather Office Chair

Genuine leather office chairs are sometimes hard to find even if it’s labeled as genuine leather chairs; you should not always believe that. I will first suggest checking out your nearest stores and check if it is genuine leather or not. 

You can also check out amazon, Wayfair, staples, and dozens of other online stores where you will get the genuine leather chairs. I think those three stores are an excellent place to find some genuine leather chairs. Check the reviews before buying. Make sure to check out my recommended list of genuine leather chairs below.

6. Know About The Durability:

In terms of durability, genuine leathers are extremely Durable and Strong – With proper maintenance and caring, genuine leather chairs can last for 15-20 years easily. Genuine leather outlives every other type of leather. 

If you have made it this far, you already know about Bonded leather, faux leather, and other types of leather. The durability of those leather chairs is nowhere near the durability of a genuine leather office chair. If you can take good care of your Genuine leather, it might last for more than 20 years. 

But if you buy a Bonded or Faux leather office chair, you will notice peeling and other damages just after using it for 1-2 years. So, Genuine leather chairs are the clear winner among all types of leather chairs.

7. Check How Extended is the Warranty:

Before you decide to buy a particular genuine leather office chair, you must know about the warranty. On average, most genuine leather office chairs have a five-year limited manufacturer warranty. In contrast, bonded or faux leather office chairs mostly have less than two years’ warranty. There are some popular brands like Zuri.

They make some of the best durable leather chairs, and they also give only five years of warranty for their genuine leather office chairs. So, if you buy genuine leather, you must check the warranty policy, duration, and most importantly, what parts of the lounge are covered.

8. Find Your Style:

People mostly buy Genuine leather office chairs or any type of Leather chair, mostly for their style, looks, and aesthetics. They are designed to look and feel premium. Some people prefer modern, stylish looking leather chairs, whereas others prefer traditional looking wood built Leather chairs. 

If you are looking for Genuine leather office chairs, you have to decide on aesthetics or style based on your choices and needs. So, maybe you prefer Modern, contemporary, or traditional-looking leather chairs, you will find lots of options and designs in the market right now. Pick the one that goes with your design choice.

9. Check for The Ergonomic Features:

Ergonomic features are really necessary if you are sitting in your office chair for long hours. Adjustable ergonomic features help you to reduce physical issues like back pain, bad postures, etc. 

Leather office chairs do not have all the adjustable ergonomic features, but most genuine leathers these days come with High back design to support your full-back, adjustable Height, built in lumbar support, and also 360 swivel seat features. 

These features are essential for people who have issues with back pain. So, look for these ergonomic features in the genuine leather chair before buying one.

10. Read the Reviews Online:

There are lots of online stores like amazon from where you can find good quality Genuine leather office chairs. But you have to be aware as some of the chairs do not have good customer reviews.

So, I suggest it is better for you to check the customer reviews of any chair, whether its a leather chair or not. If you check the reviews, you will get ideas about the leather material’s durability and other parts of the chair.

Also, you will find out if the chair is comfortable or not. If you see so many positive reviews of a chair. And if people say the chair is durable, build quality is good, the sitting experience is better, and most importantly, good customer service is better in the reviews, then you can assume that this chair is a safe choice for you.

11. Check if it Facilitates Good Posture:

Before you pick a leather office chair, you have to check if it facilitates good posture or not. Many people sit at the front part of their chairs, even though I used to do the same in the past. Doing these, people end up hunching forward while working or looking at the screen of a computer.

This causes problems with your posture, and you must sit all the way back and take advantage of Lumber support to sit in the correct posture. So the chair you are going to buy must have lumbar support, which will ensure good sitting posture when you sit for longer periods.

12. Don’t Compromise on Comfortability:

When you are going to buy a genuine leather office chair, never compromise on comfortability. People sit for long hours on their office chairs. 

So the office chair must be comfortable to sit on. Usually, genuine leather office chairs are built for great comfortability and style. 

Genuine leather chairs are always soft. Also, they soften up more and become more comfortable with time. So before buying any leather office chair, you must check if the chair feels comfortable to you or not.

Pros and Cons Of Genuine Leather Office Chair:


  • Image: A Genuine leather office chair is a major investment that any firm, and it creates a better look and feels in the office environment. The distinction that a genuine leather office chair can offer is a great class and image which cannot be achieved with any other type of office chair.
  • High Comfortability: Genuine Leather office chairs are very comfortable. They are also soft, and they also tend to soften further with time.
  • Durable: If maintained properly, they last for many years.
  • Color Durability: Genuine leather’s color palette is very long-lasting. The true leather color does not fade away easily, like the color of fabric office chairs does.


  • Less Availability: It is very much difficult to find genuine leather office chairs. Most of the leather office chairs available in the market are either bonded leather or faux leather office chairs.
  • Difficulty in Identifying Genuine Leather: Some manufacturers market bonded or faux leather chairs as genuine leather chairs and it confuses people and most of the time people face difficulty in distinguishing pure leather chairs from others.
  • High Cost: The price of Genuine leather chairs are usually higher than office chairs of other types of materials.
  • High Maintenance: Genuine Leather has to be maintained and cared properly to increase the durability of the chair. People always take great care of genuine leather office chairs because the leather material lasts longer if it is taken care of properly. 


You can check some of my recommended genuine leather chairs, which are from Amazon. I picked these chairs depending on the price, product details, and customer review. 

Some of the manufacturers labels their chairs as genuine chairs, but when you see the product details of the chair, you will see that it’s a Faux or bonded leather chair. Be careful about that.

Thanks for reading! Before you go, take a minute out and check out my top recommendations for Leather Office Chairs.

Asif Iqbal

Hi, I’m the co-owner of officechairtrends.com. I had spend hundreds of hours researching on Office Chairs. This is the site where I share everything I’ve learned about office chairs.

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