You’ve heard of PU leather, faux leather, and leatherette. Well, now there’s a new kid in town. Enter air leather. All of them are great – and vegan – alternatives to real leather. But what makes air leather stand out from the crowd? What is air leather used for, and why should you consider it for your next sofa?
Journey with us as we explore the question ‘What is air leather?’
Table of Contents
What Is Air Leather?
Air leather is a man-made alternative to real leather that has a key advantage. Unlike real leather and faux leather, it breathes. Micro-perforations allow air to flow through it, making it much more comfortable for furniture.
Air leather is also marketed as leathaire. The key selling point is that it’s a woven fabric but feels like leather.
The weave allows the air leather to breathe. We all know how gross it can be to sit on real leather or, even worse, on faux leather, on hot days. Air leather promises to provide a much more cool and comfortable experience.
The answer to ‘What is air leather?’ Faux leather that won’t make you sweat.
How Is It Made?
It is made from polyurethane. This comes from petroleum and is a completely synthetic product. During the manufacturing process, they weave lots of tiny holes into the fabric.
Unlike faux leather or even real leather, it allows air to pass through it.
The manufacturing process allows for many different styles, colors, and patterns to be applied to air leather. It is then used to make furniture, clothing, and accessories.
Air Leather vs Real Leather vs Fake Leather
Let’s start by comparing air leather with its close cousin – fake leather.
Both start life in a factory and come from petroleum. There are lots of types of fake leather. Some boost their eco-credentials by including plant fibers, like pineapple leather.
It cannot compete on the eco front, but it has one major advantage over fake leather. It’s a breathable, more comfortable material. However, both wear out relatively quickly and in unattractive ways.
Air Leather vs Real Leather
In terms of comfort, real leather is usually considered the top choice. It has a luxurious natural feel and is comfortable to sit on. However, in hot weather, it can get sticky.
It does not feel as luxurious as real leather. However, its micro-perforations make it more comfortable on hot days.
Real leather wears well – air leather, not so much. Many people actually appreciate the appearance of aged leather. They like the patina it develops after years of use.
Real leather is also very durable. With regular conditioning, it can stay in good condition for decades.
It tends to wear poorly and lose its looks within a few years. You may find yourself looking for a replacement couch more quickly than you would like.
The verdict? If you can afford it, real leather is the winner. But take care – not all real leather is the same! Bonded leather is real leather, but it’s a cheaper, less durable form.
If you can’t stretch to real leather, then air leather is a more comfortable alternative to straight fake leather.
Pros and Cons
No product is totally flawless. What are the benefits of air leather – and the drawbacks?
Air leather is a great choice for people who avoid animal products.
No animals are involved in the production of air leather, giving you a clean conscience. Although there isn’t a complete consensus on what makes a product vegan, many people would classify air leather as a vegan product.
Air leather is also very easy to clean.
Ever spent an afternoon attempting to clean a leather couch with a bottle of leather cleaner? You know the struggle is real. Air leather just needs a simple wipe down with a damp cloth.
Air leather fabric is also a lot more comfortable than faux leather. It breathes all year round, helping you avoid discomfort in summer.
Price is also a serious factor in air leather’s favor. It is significantly cheaper than real leather.
It is also highly customizable, unlike real leather which only comes in a few shades.
It can’t be denied that air leather is kinder to animals. But the sad fact is that real leather is possibly a more sustainable choice.
Air leather is made from polyurethane. The manufacturing process is harmful to the planet – including animals.
Another related con is the fact that air leather is not as durable as real leather. It is prone to peeling over time.
Once it starts to deteriorate, it’s very hard to repair. It then takes a long time to biodegrade.
That means air leather is not the best choice for high-use furniture. If you have young children or pets that climb your furniture, other fabrics are probably a better choice.
When Is It the Right Choice?
If you’re looking for a breathable material that is fairly comfortable and moderately priced, air leather is a great choice.
It’s also great for those who care about animals. You can rest assured that air leather does not involve any animal products.
Also remember, that not all air leather is the same. Just like real leather, there are different levels of quality.
The price will give you an indication. Beware of really cheap air leather products – this usually indicates poor quality. Higher grade air leather fabric will be more durable and keep its looks and function for much longer.
Should You Choose It for Your Next Sofa?
Hopefully now your feel more confident about answering the question, ‘What is air leather?’ But should you choose air leather for your next sofa?
That will come down to your personal preference. If you’re not comfortable with real leather, then air leather is probably the most comfortable of all the fake leathers out there. Get a high-quality air leather fabric, and you can enjoy it for many years to come.
Are you ready to start your sofa search? Before you do, make sure you read our guide to getting the perfect sofa for your room!