How Long do Bonded Leather Couches Last?

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Do you plan to switch to leather couches, but you don’t know what to choose? Is it genuine leather or bonded leather? In this post, I’ll dive into the features of bonded leather while comparing it with genuine leather.

And I know that durability matters to you, so let me answer your query on how long bonded leather couches last.

It takes five years before a bonded leather couch deteriorates, but it goes faster without proper maintenance. It’s incomparable with a genuine leather couch that lasts for almost a century. Yet, even it’s a cheap alternative, five years is still long enough to serve you.

Are you convinced now that bonded leather is a perfect alternative for genuine leather? If you’re still undecided, spare an extra time learning its composition and durability.

I added some maintenance tips, so it can last longer. I also share important notes about the dilemma between opting for a repair kit and hiring a professional.

How long do bonded leather couches last?


Bonded leather couches last between three to five years. Due to its low-grade scrapped leather material, it cracks and peels faster than high-quality full-grain leather.

Everyday exposure to oils and dirt speeds up the deterioration of the low-quality type. Unfortunately, it can’t beat the full-grain leather in terms of lifespan because bonded leather has no patina that adds luster to an aged real leather.

Yet, you can’t ditch the bonded leather down the drain just because it has no patina. It’s a cheap alternative to cover couches, especially if you’re on a budget.

It features several pros that outweigh the cons, and I can vouch that it’s a decent investment.

Bonded leather contains between 10% to 20% shredded genuine leather. Through polyurethane treatment, most bonded leather obtains a glossy finish. It’s not cheap-looking, and it adds elegance to your home.

It also comes in various colors and styles that spice up a dull room.

Besides the bonded leather’s aesthetics, durability also matters. It may not beat genuine leather in terms of durability, but with proper care, it can last for years without issues.

You only need to find a good quality bonded leather made with high-grade polyurethane material, and you don’t need to worry for the next five years.

How do you stop bonded leather from peeling?

Preservation is the secret to keeping bonded leather couches in good shape. Applying leather conditioners often slows down the peeling and decreases the chance of cracking.

Treat bonded leather like genuine leather —  moisturize it.

Leather conditioner

A well-cared leather keeps its rich color and supple quality due to the regular application of leather conditioner. Although other maintenance tips contribute to retaining the quality of the leather, applying a conditioner makes the difference.

Conditioner prolongs the life of leather as it protects the material against water damage, cracking, and peeling. It brings back the lost moisture and oil, which nourishes and restores the leather’s flexibility.

Leather conditioners come in three types such as conditioning creams, conditioning oils, and wax conditioners. Creams add moisture to leather and keep it supple, while oil softens it. Moreover, wax conditioners serve as surface protection from liquid spills.

Use a leather conditioner at least twice a year, but you can apply every quarter depending on its exposure to sunlight. Never apply a conditioner directly onto the leather. Put it first in a lint-free cloth, then apply a small amount in a circular motion. Dry the leather before you use the conditioner.

Less exposure from sunlight

Due to its natural bleaching component, sunlight causes bonded leather to fade out fast. It draws the moisture out of the fiber and wilts the leather. The preservative added to the leather depletes prematurely as you expose it to heat or sunlight.

If you plan to place your couch outdoor, avoid using bonded leather, or you can use other materials fit for an outdoor set-up. If you place your couch in a sunny room, cover it with a blanket. Hanging draperies is an alternative solution as it blocks the sunlight entering your room. 

Regular cleaning

Clean a bonded leather using non-toxic cleaner and non-alcohol-based cleaner. Lukewarm water and a detergent are safe to use. Yet, in some cases, detergent picks up the bonded leather’s dye. To avoid it, wipe a small portion of the sofa to test.

Stop using the detergent if it collects dye. If you don’t encounter a problem, proceed using the detergent.

Soak a microfiber into the detergent mixture, then wring it out. Never wipe a soaking wet microfiber to a bonded leather. Then wipe down the surface using clean microfiber soak with water only to remove the soap residue.

Dry it with a towel.

Can bonded leather be repaired?

You can repair bonded leather if the cracks and peels are unnoticeable. Repair kits are available in the market today, which promises to repair your couches at a fraction of the cost.

Some manufacturers guarantee that it keeps the sheen up to three years.

Quick-fix solution

Repair kits come with an easy step-by-step guide perfect for home use. It includes a backing fabric and adhesive solution in inter-mixable colors.

To repair the damaged couch, clean it with rubbing alcohol. Then cut the backing fabric a bit bigger than the damaged spot. Insert the backing fabric behind the leather, and apply the adhesive solution. Use a Q-tip to even out the edges.

If you don’t want to spend on a repair kit, you can use a lighter, tissue paper, rubber cement, and spray paint. Take note that it’s only a quick fix for small spots.

For this DIY repair solution, you must pull the excess leather upward to smoothen the edges of the damaged portion. Pulling it downward can widen the spot. Then use a lighter to keep the edges intact.

Apply the rubber cement, and cover the area with thin tissue paper. After it dries up, spray the paint.

Unsalvageable couch

As much as I want to give you hope, unfortunately, the large damaged area on your bonded leather couch is irreparable. Calling a professional leather repair center is the next step for this type of problem.

It’s not worth restoring a damaged bonded leather couch for several reasons.

One of the reasons is the delaminating polyurethane that causes the peeling of the bonded leather. Repairing it has no guarantee because it doesn’t provide long-lasting results.

In addition, the manufacturing process of the bonded leather is not feasible in the repair process. So you can’t salvage damaged bonded leather.

Bonded leather to genuine leather

Repair companies may suggest that you switch using genuine leather to bonded leather. If it’s the case, don’t feel pressured. Consider your budget before you agree to the offer.

Genuine leather lasts longer than bonded leather, but it’s expensive. But I agree that it’s a better investment than bonded leather.

Yet, I just want to point out that bonded leather is eco-friendly. Because it comes from scrap material, the manufacturing doesn’t require additional farming.

It requires less energy and resource to produce it. You don’t even have to worry about wastage as the process helps to reduce the landfill.

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