Why Buy Leather Car Interiors?

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Buying a new car is a major purchase for most consumers and can be overwhelming to many. There are seemingly endless purchasing decisions to make ranging from make and model to all the little features that are available. Often times, a high priority is placed on aesthetics such as the color of the car, but yet one of the most important considerations the interior (comfort) may be overlooked. This article will explore just some of the reasons why many consumers prefer leather seats over alternative seating options.

Leather Seats

To start, we will examine leather seating options and the pros and cons that are associated with buying leather seats. Two of the most common criticisms against leather seats are:

  1. Leather is often perceived as unsustainable or unethical
  2. Leather is usually more expensive than cloth or alternative seating options

With regards to the first criticism of sustainability and ethics, many consumers are completely unaware that leather is a secondary product of the meat and dairy industries. Without leather, leftover hides would otherwise go to waste in landfills. This process of using leftover hides to make leather has been used for generations as a great way to maximize the utilization of the animal. With this being said, the main question for debate becomes “Are leather seats worth the extra cost for the added comfort and luxury that many consumers associate with leather?” A strong argument can be made that “Yes, leather is worth the higher price.”

When discussing the benefits of buying leather, one of the primary bonuses is that leather’s value is long lasting. Leather that is high quality and well taken care of can last for decades with resistance to wear and tear. Additionally, leather often adds significant resale value to your car and can make your car easier to sell in the future. This long lasting value that leather provides may help lift some of the hesitation about spending more for leather as it can be seen as a better long term investment for your car. Leather is also viewed by many as the most luxurious and most comfortable seating option. Although comfort is ultimately up to personal preference, many consumers agree that the buttery soft feel of high-quality leather is unmatched by alternative seating options. If you happen to be a consumer that prefers the luxurious and comfortable feel of leather, the importance of comfort should not be overlooked in your decision-making process. This is especially true considering the amount of time people spend driving. According to Wanada.org, the average American spends an average of 17,600 minutes per year (Greater than 48 minutes per day) in the car. In addition to providing comfort and added resale value, leather is also recyclable, maintainable, durable/long lasting, and luxurious.

Alternative Seating Options

On the contrary to leather seats, it is worth mentioning some of the alternatives to leather, cloth seats and fake leather seats. Some of the main reasons consumers would consider purchasing cloth or synthetic leather seats may include lower price points, negative perceptions about leather and animals (which we addressed above – leather is a secondary product of the food industry), or simply that these alternative seating options are often more readily available at dealerships and retailers. Whatever the reason may be, we recognize that there are certain situations where consumers may prefer one of these more inexpensive seating options. However, it is worth keeping in mind the many benefits that leather offers consumers through its long-lasting quality, durability, and value. Whatever route you decide to go, we respect and encourage consumers freedom to make an informed purchase decision. We simply ask that retailers clearly label and disclose the seating material used. It has become unfortunately common for consumers to be confused by fake leather seats due to unclear labeling and a lack of transparency in the marketplace. 


When deciding on whether to buy a car with leather or an alternative interior material, leather is the luxury seating option. Each consumer ultimately has different preferences in what they prioritize. If you prioritize a comfortable and luxurious experience each and every time you get into your car, it is tough to beat real leather. If you prioritize a lower cost option, then cloth may be a suitable alternative.


U.S. drivers spend average 17,600 minutes driving each year. (n.d.). WANADA.

Meryl Siegman is a published author based in New York who has written numerous articles for trade magazines. With a B.A. in English Literature from Middlebury College and a certificate from the University of Cincinnati Leather Research Laboratory for completing its leather orientation course, Meryl brings a unique blend of education and experience to her work in the leather industry. Currently, she consults and writes content for clients in various sectors of the leather industry, including furniture and accessories. As the former owner of Cortina Leathers for over 30 years, Meryl gained extensive knowledge of leather making in Arzignano, Italy, where she lived for three years as a leather purchaser. During her tenure at Cortina Leathers, she taught sales reps and clients about leather technology as a certified Continuing Education Unit (CEU) instructor. She served as a guest lecturer at New York City’s Fashion Institute of Technology. Website: https://www.merylsiegman.com/
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