Differences Between Full Grain Leather vs Top Grain Leather

August 2, 2023



If you want furniture made from genuine leather, you’re likely considering full-grain or top-grain leather. Both of these options are high-quality and can provide the timeless look and durability you desire in your home.


But there is a difference between them—aside from the price tag. Full-grain leather is considered the highest in quality. This leather is not split or sanded, allowing it to retain all of the natural inconsistencies from the animal hide. It’s thick and durable—and while it’s more expensive, it will last.


Top-grain leather is created by buffing that top layer to remove those unique blemishes, giving it a smooth and even finish. This makes it a little thinner, but also slightly more vulnerable than full-grain leather.


If you want the best quality leather furniture, you will want to choose one of these options. However, understanding their differences will help you find your match.


Different Appearances

With full-grain leather, you will see all the natural blemishes from the animal’s hide because that top layer is not removed. Any scars, pores, and marks may be visible, but that only makes it more beautiful. It also gives it more of a unique look. That means if you just bought a full-grain leather couch, no one else in the world could have the same exact design.


Top-grain leather gets sanded down to remove the unique factors from the hide. You may prefer a more uniform look to fit your style or enjoy the slightly lower price tag of having your leather sofa look consistent.


Differences in Durability

Since full-grain leather is thicker, it is more durable compared to top-grain leather. It is easier to stain, though. If you’re more prone to spills, you may want to choose top-grain leather because it is treated to protect from stains. However, both of these leathers are easy to maintain with proper care and can last for 15 to 20 years—or more.


Pricing Differences

As mentioned, full-grain leather is the highest quality leather you can buy, which will command a higher price tag. Top-grain leather isn’t cheap, but it will be priced a little lower than full-grain.


How to Care for Your Leather Furniture Items

Regardless of whether you choose full-grain or top-grain leather, they both need to be cleaned and conditioned regularly. This will prevent dirt and stains from accumulating and keep the leather moisturized to prevent cracking.


When you buy from a leather furniture store, the salespeople will all be trained to understand each of these types of leather and how to care for them. They can help you find the right one for your lifestyle and show you an array of beautiful styles to suit your home.


Ultimately, if you want the best leather furniture, you should decide between full-grain or top-grain leather. These two types have the enduring power and elegance that can make your home décor complete.



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