The pros and cons of vinyl upholstery

Published on by A M Nikos

The advent of vinyl in the construction and interior decoration industry has seen its extensive applications in various aspects. Vinyl upholstery was first introduced as a durable and affordable alternative to other fabrics like leather. Several developments in vinyl manufacture have ensured improvements in quality. However, vinyl upholstery also has some limitations. Read further for information on pros and cons of vinyl upholstery.



Vinyl upholstery has a long life. It is not vulnerable to abrasions and damage by chemicals. It is inherently flame-resistant. Some upholstery may also be provided with vinyl protective finishes which prevent staining and reduce fading from exposure to the sun.

Easy cleaning

Vinyl upholstery can be cleaned far more easily than other materials. Since they are not as absorbent as other fabrics, most stains can be wiped by using a damp cloth. Unlike leather materials, vinyl upholstery is not of high maintenance in its requirements of specific cleaning agents. Most cleaning agents which are not abrasive and which will not cause the vinyl to dry up can be used.


High-end fabrics in vinyl are difficult to distinguish from real leather and are far less expensive. Simulations of natural tanned leather are popular choices. In addition, animal-lovers often think that vinyl upholstery is a better substitute for reasons other than affordability. The low-cost and the long term savings from the durability of vinyl material justifies the popularity of vinyl upholstery for new furniture or re-upholstering old pieces.


Vinyl upholstery fabric can be found in a variety of colours and textures. It is primarily the colour selection from a wide colour palette which can be used to compliment the décor of a room.



Vinyl upholstery does not lend itself to easy repair in case it gets damaged. In case of rips and tears, any patchwork done to seal the damage will show up conspicuously and affect the appearance of the furniture. Cracking in vinyl upholstery also poses a problem in repair.

Feel of vinyl

Most people complain of the unpleasant and synthetic feel of vinyl cloth against the skin. The

non-absorbent attributes of the material do not allow the skin to ventilate easily and they add to a sweaty feeling. Seating comfort depends on the ability of upholstery to conform to body contours while offering support. Poor quality vinyl upholstery will not feel supple.

Cheap appearance

Vinyl upholstery due to poor quality versions is often perceived as a cheaper substitute to leather.

Weigh the pros and cons of vinyl upholstery to see how it meets your personal preferences, budget and lifestyle.

CouchSOLD retro 1960's mid century sofaSOLD: Singer 1953 model 15-91 sewing table with benchVinyl diner couch in the Voodoo DoughnutscouchVinyl diner couch in the Voodoo Doughnuts

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