Leather Vs. Fabric Gaming Chairs: What’s Right for You?

There are so many options for gaming chairs available at the market it can be quite difficult for you to pick the chair that best suits your needs. And the most confusing part about the whole ordeal is choosing the material that the chair’s is made out of.

More than 99% of gaming chairs in the market right now are made of either fabric or leather material. Although leather gaming chairs are more popular, you might be wondering which one is the best material for a gaming chair.

The most obvious difference between leather gaming chairs and fabric gaming chairs is the fact that leather chairs trap heat while fabric chairs promote better airflow. On the other hand leather chairs are durable and look more premium, the fabric chairs are more breathable than leather gaming chairs. 

Suffice to say, each of these two types of chairs have their own advantages and disadvantages that make the choice pretty hard for a lot of the gamers. That’s why in this article I’ll discuss each and every thing you need to know about these two types of gaming chairs. 

So, if you want to know what’s the right choice for you, just continue to keep reading! 

Introduction to Leather Gaming Chairs 

First of all, you need to understand that when we’re referring to leather gaming chairs we’re referring to PU leather. That’s because, although some gaming chairs do use some sort of leather materials, usually they use a type of faux leather such as PU or PVC leather. 

PU/Polyurethane leather is a type of artificially made leather. It’s made out of thermoplastic polymer. This material is entirely synthetic and it’s become quite popular in the apparel and furniture industry. 

Since this material mimics real leather, it’s widely used to make the upholstery of gaming chairs. As you’re already aware, gaming chairs are quite expensive and giving the chair a premium leather look will make it easy to sell it at a higher price. 

This material is stylish, and aesthetically pleasing. Furthermore, it’s quite comfortable as it has a smooth and textured surface. And the best part is that it can be made at a fraction of the cost of real leather. 

Introduction to Fabric Gaming Chairs 

Typically, fabric gaming chairs are made out of synthetic fabric. This material includes polyester, nylon and other similar materials. Although fabric gaming chairs weren’t that common or popular in the past, many companies have taken a keen interest in making new stylish fabric gaming chairs. 

The biggest selling point of fabric is that it’s extremely soft and breathable. That makes it highly comfortable as a chair material. This is the reason why the popularity of fabric gaming chairs is increasing exponentially. 

Although you can have fabric gaming chairs with a wide variety of prints and textures, it still doesn’t have the type of finish that PU leather has. Still, fabric gaming chairs are much more affordable as fabric is a much cheaper material than PU leather. 

What is the Difference between Leather and Fabric? 

As we’ve mentioned before, PU leather is an artificially made material that’s made of Polyurethane. It can imitate leather so well it’s hard to even distinguish them apart. 

Since it’s a synthetic material it can be made in a myriad of colors. That’s why many manufacturers opt to make gaming chairs with PU leather. 

On the other hand, when we’re referring to fabric gaming chairs we are talking about 100% synthetic fabric. Natural fabric is never used in the construction of gaming chairs. 

Leather Gaming Chair Offers Premium Look: The first and biggest difference between PU leather and fabric gaming used in gaming chairs is that leather gaming chairs have a premium look and feel to it but the fabric gaming chairs don’t. 

Fabric Gaming Chairs are Affordable: The second difference is that fabric gaming chairs are way more affordable than other types of chairs because fabric is an extremely cheap material. 

Fabric Gaming Chair offers a Variety of Colors: Moreover, fabric gaming chairs can come in a wide range of colors. But most of the time you won’t find fabric gaming chairs with a lot of color choices. 

Leather Gaming Chairs have Low Maintenance: PU Leather is impermeable, and that’s why cleaning leather gaming chairs is quite effortless. The dust particles can’t penetrate the surface of PU leather and you can easily clean it off just by one swipe of a cloth or a brush. 

Leather has Low Breathability: Since leather is impermeable, it traps heat and it doesn’t let it escape. That’s why you’ll sweat more. It would be a huge problem for you if you live in a warm area or if you sweat easily. 

Fabric is More Breathable: Fabric is breathable and so it doesn’t trap heat. It helps the heat to be dissipated. That’s why a fabric gaming chair would be the best choice for sweaty gamers. 

However, fabric gaming chairs can get bloated easily and  it won’t be able to keep its nice appearance after a few years of use.

In the case of both PU leather and fabric the quality of the material used plays a vital role in the performance and longevity of the chair. 

For instance, there are some PU gaming chairs made of low quality PU leather. They have a pungent plastic-y smell. Similarly, there are some low-cost fabric gaming chairs with horrible upholstery fabric. 

Pros of Using Leather Gaming Chairs 

Affordability   

PU leather is surprisingly affordable. This is especially true when you compare it to the premium full-grain leather gaming  chairs. Real leather is undoubtedly one of most expensive upholstery construction materials in existence. 

It’s the most desirable part of an animal and procuring leather has become way more difficult in recent times. But with the use of PU leather, gamers can get the aesthetics and feel of real leather without having to break the bank. 

Let’s have a look at different sizes of Lorell and Vitrazza Chair mats.

Aesthetics    

This is literally the biggest selling point of PU leather gaming chairs. They look almost identical to real leather. You can only notice the differences if you use a magnifying glass. 

Most people won’t even be able to tell the difference. Having a stylish gaming chair in the room that has a leather finish goes a long way in enhancing the aesthetics of your home decor. 

Durability     

In spite of being much cheaper than real leather, PU leather is still highly durable. It won’t get damaged or scratched that easily even after years of use. 

Even if you sit on it for multiple hours a day for several years, and even if you spill on it from time to time, it’ll still hold its own without sustaining damage.  

Impermeability 

PU leather has a smooth and glossy surface and that’s why it can easily fend off damage caused by liquid substances. 

Even if you spill some coffee or other types of substances on your chair, you can just swipe it off using a rag and get right back to gaming.

However, we do suggest you sprinkle or spray some water on it before swiping it down. Thanks to its smooth and impermeable surface, the surface of the chair is unlikely to sustain any stain in the first place.

If you were to be using real leather, then you’ll likely be on edge while using it. That doesn’t have to be the case while using PU leather. It can certainly take a beating. 

Cons of Using Leather Gaming Chairs 

Less Breathability   

Since PU leather is quite impermeable, it has to sacrifice on breathability. In fact, this material is virtually unbreathable. That’s why your body won’t breathe through the chair while you’re sitting on it. 

This causes a rise in the temperature as you play games sitting on your chair for long hours. It will cause you to sweat and feel uncomfortable. 

This material is notorious for trapping heat and thus you’ll notice a puddle of sweat on the chair after you get up from a long gaming session. 

Less Strength 

Despite being durable, PU leather isn’t as strong as you may have expected it to be. It will be able to fend off small spills and abrasions. However, it won’t hold up against major accidents. 

Some Models Look Cheap 

Although we’ve mentioned that some PU leather gaming chair models look like the genuine article, that’s only from afar. If you take a really closer look at some cheaper models, then you’ll probably think it’s a cheap knockoff. 

Pros of Using Fabric Gaming Chairs 

Affordability   

Just like PU leather gaming chairs, fabric gaming chairs are also remarkably affordable. In fact, these chairs are more budget-friendly than leather chairs. That’s because fabric is a generally cheaper material. 

Breathability    

Nothing can beat the breathability provided by fabric gaming chairs. As you’re already aware, fabric is woven and that leaves miniscule opening between the threads that makes it highly breathable. 

This lets air flow in and out of the material and thus lets you cool down when you sweat. 

Durability     

Although fabric is not as durable as PU leather because of the intrinsic differences in these two materials, fabric can still hold its own through long-term use. But, generally speaking, fabric is pretty durable. 

Depending on the quality of fabric used by the manufacturer, fabric gaming chairs can also take a few beatings and survive long term use with ease. 

Cons of Using Leather Gaming Chairs 

Spills and Stains 

As fabric is highly permeable, it doesn’t hold up well against spill and stains. If you spill any kind of liquid over it, then the fabric will soak it up and that will make it look unpleasant. 

And you’ll be in a world of trouble if you spill any kind of food on it. Sticky foods are particularly difficult to get rid of when it comes to fabric gaming chairs. 

High Maintenance 

As fabric is more susceptible to spills and stains, you’ll have to perform more maintenance on your chair when compared to PU leather chairs. Not just stains and spills; you’ll also have to deal with dust and debris that’ll get stuck on the chair. 

Which Material Should You Choose for a Gaming Chair?

If you want to know our opinion, then we’ll have to say that you should choose PU leather over fabric gaming chairs.

Although you’ll be paying more money if you choose a leather chair, the benefits associated with a leather chair are too great to pass over. 

Not only do PU leather chairs look aesthetically pleasing, they are also comfortable to use. Plus, these chairs are less likely to get damaged over time and they can easily fend off spills and dust. 

However, if you’re concerned about breathability, then you should definitely go with a fabric gaming chair. 

Related Questions 

What is the Best Material for a Gaming Chair? 

Most of the popular gaming chairs in the market are made out of PU leather. It’s much more affordable than real leather. However, it’s still quite durable, easy to clean and it has some cooling properties. 

But, PU leather is not for everybody. There are a lot of gamers who prefer the feel and breathability of fabric. Fabric gaming chairs have many advantages that make it a worthwhile purchase as well. 

Nevertheless, if you want to know which material is objectively the best one for gaming chairs, then we have to say it’s genuine leather. There’s nothing that can beat the genuine article. There are quite a few premium gaming chair models in the market that use real leather. 

Are Fabric Gaming Chairs Worth It? 

As mentioned before, fabric gaming chairs are gaining a lot of ground when it comes to popularity. This is largely because of the biggest advantage these chairs have over PU leather chairs. And that is breathability. 

This is a huge game changer for the people who live in the countries and areas with a warmer and more humid climate. If you sit down on a chair for hours on end in a place with a warmer climate, then you’re bound to sweat a lot. And the breathability of a fabric gaming chair can help  you a lot in that regard.  

Furthermore,  fabric  gaming chairs are more comfortable than faux leather gaming chairs especially while sitting down on the chair for multiple hours. Fabric upholsteries are softer and comfortable than those made of any other materials. 

Do Gaming Chairs Use Real Leather? 

Even though most of the gaming chairs in the market use PU or PVC leather to build their upholsteries, there’s definitely some premium, high-end gaming chairs in the market that use the real thing. 

For instance, the NobleChairs Hero and NobleChairs EPIC Series, and DXRacer Iron Series gaming chairs feature real leather. 

Final Thoughts  

At the end of the day, the choice boils down to your own personal preferences. No matter how many hours we stay here comparing and contrasting the pros and cons of leather and fabric chairs, there isn’t an objective right answer to the question, “leather vs. fabric gaming chair: which one is the best?”

Despite that, we’ve tried to provide you with an unbiased view at the similarities and differences between these two commonly used materials in the construction of gaming chair upholsteries. 

Now you’ve everything you need to make the right decision so that you can get the most comfortable gaming experience. 

Sifatul Shohan

Hi, I'm the co-owner of officechairtrends.com. A blogger and a freelance web developer.  As I work as developer, I have to work for prolonged hours at a desk that's where I developed back pain. I started researching on ergonomic chairs and gained knowledge throughout the process.  This is the site where I share everything I've learned about office chairs.