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Home / Peripherals / Fabric vs. Leather Gaming Chair: Which One Is Better?

Fabric vs. Leather Gaming Chair: Which One Is Better?

As gamers, we’re planted on our chairs for hours upon hours on end. An old and worn-out gaming chair can cause back pain, neck soreness, and overall discomfort. 

Over the past few years, premium gaming chairs have risen in popularity due to their comfort benefits and ergonomic designs. High-quality gaming chairs are specifically designed to prevent back pain and to promote proper posture.

However, the growth in popularity has also increased the number of available options. The biggest differentiator in gaming chairs is the material it’s covered by: leather or fabric.

Leather-wrapped gaming chairs invoke a sense of luxury and are easy to clean based on their impermeable nature. Yet, they also cause you to sweat more easily as leather traps heat. Fabric-coated gaming chairs are often softer and more breathable but are not as durable. Overall, the best gaming chair depends on your preferences and what features you need. 

For this reason, I’ll fully explain what fabric and leather gaming chairs offer as well as their advantages and disadvantages.

Fabric Gaming Chairs

The type of fabric that’s used in gaming chairs varies from a slew of different materials. Typically, fabric gaming chairs are made with a combination of cotton, linen, polyester, and mesh.

Fabric is much less common than leather gaming chairs but is growing in popularity as gamers are starting to see the benefit in added breathability.  

Advantages of Fabric Gaming Chairs

Let’s discuss the key advantages that fabric gaming chairs offer.

Breathability

The biggest benefit of fabric gaming chairs is the breathability they offer. If you live in a humid environment or tend to sweat a lot while gaming, a fabric gaming chair is a perfect option for you.  

Sitting in a fabric gaming chair will feel much cooler temperature-wise than a gaming chair during long sessions. Furthermore, you won’t stick to the chair if you’re sweating with a fabric gaming chair.

It’s not uncommon for hardcore gamers to play shirtless in the comfort of their own room. If you’ve ever done this on a leather chair, you’ve probably experienced the sweat puddles that develop over time on your back.

Fabric gaming chairs prevent this from happening.

Affordability

Similar to PU leather, the fabric used in fabric gaming chairs is usually inexpensive. For this reason, you can always find a good selection of fabric chairs for great prices.

Durability

Gaming chair brands are now offering premium weaves that are guaranteed to last longer than certain leather materials. Even in low-quality fabrics, they tend to be moderately durable and are able to provide several years of daily comfort.

Disadvantages of Fabric Gaming Chairs

There’s typically only one major disadvantage of gaming chairs in which they are difficult to clean.

Difficult to Clean

The biggest flaw of fabric gaming chairs is how difficult they are to clean. Liquids will soak directly through the permeable fabric material and cause stains if not immediately cleaned. Furthermore, food crumbs are more difficult to get rid of because they will stick to the fibers of the fabric.

The overall ease of cleaning your fabric chair depends on the specific fabric material your chair is equipped with. Nevertheless, leather chairs are much easier to clean.

Leather Gaming Chairs 

Leather gaming chairs are typically made with PU leather. PU leather, or polyurethane leather, is an artificial type of leather that’s also the most common material used on gaming chairs. 

Although it’s of less quality compared to real leather, PU leather presents a more affordable option that is very similar to the real thing.

Advantages of Leather Gaming Chairs

PU leather chairs offer several advantages that allow them to stand out. 

Affordability

Although there are high-end leather gaming chairs that range up to $600, there are also many affordable options. Since leather dominates the gaming chair ecosystem, you’ll be able to find a leather gaming chair at any price point.

Design

In terms of aesthetics, PU leather gaming chairs look extremely similar to normal leather. For this reason, leather gaming chairs offer a sense of luxury and class.

Easy to Maintain and Clean

The smooth glossy surface of leather gaming chairs allows any type of liquid or stain to be removed easily. Usually, you’ll be able to wipe the substance right off without any damage dealt to the material. 

This is highly beneficial for gamers who drink soda or eat chips as they’re playing games. Anything that falls onto the chair is easily cleanable.

Durability

Despite being a synthetic form of leather, leather gaming chairs are still moderately durable. It should last several years of heavy-duty usage. Although it may start showing signs of age as the years go by, it may be even more comfortable than before as it’s broken in.

Customization

Due to the synthetic nature of PU leather, it can easily be dyed to form a variety of designs. For this reason, you’ll be able to find whichever color you prefer in a gaming chair. Furthermore, the dye doesn’t damage the material whatsoever because polyurethane will still be used to coat it. Some gaming chair brands also offer the option of adding your own custom designs.

Availability

No matter where you look, you’ll always be able to find a wide variety of different leather gaming chairs. I suggest you walk into a store and personally test a chair before committing to a purchase. Customer reviews can only do so much in terms of explaining how good a gaming chair is.

Disadvantages of Leather Gaming Chairs

Although lack of breathability is the biggest flaw in leather gaming chairs, there are also other disadvantages.

Lack of Breathability

Since the synthetic leather material is impermeable and so easy to clean, it also means that leather gaming chairs are basically unbreathable. 

This lack of breathability can cause your body temperature to rise the longer you’re gaming for. As a result, your body will start sticking to the chair due to sweat and heat. If you are prone to sweating while gaming, it’s recommended to place a fan by your side. Furthermore, you should also wipe away any sweat with a moist toilette after an intense gaming session to reduce future odor.

Can Look Cheap

Although leather gaming chairs look beautiful from afar, they can potentially look cheap when examined closely. However, most people won’t be able to tell the difference between synthetic leather and real leather. 

Strength Limitations

Even though leather chairs are durable, they aren’t able to handle significant damage such as pet nails and other sharp objects.

Usually, there’s no easy way to repair torn leather chairs other than having them completely reupholstered. 

Fabric vs Leather Gaming Chair: Which One Is Better?

Like most things in life, there’s no direct answer for which type of chair is better. It all comes down to personal preference, which features you prefer, and what you feel more comfortable sitting on for long gaming sessions.

Our goal is to provide you with enough information so you can pick the chair that best suits your needs. 

However, we have a few guidelines to help make your decision easier.

Lazy gamers who eat and drink often at their gaming chair should consider a leather gaming chair. Since they are so low maintenance, leather gaming chairs allow you to be as inactive as you want in terms of cleaning. You can simply wipe off any crumbs directly into a trash can with your hands.

If you live in a humid region and are prone to sweating all the time, a fabric gaming chair would be the better option. Leather gaming chairs will induce more heat, sweat, and overall discomfort in hot environments. Fabric gaming chairs will be more comfortable and airy, providing an improved gaming experience.

Furthermore, gamers who live in cold regions may also prefer fabric gaming chairs. Leather chairs tend to get stiff in cold temperatures which makes them uncomfortable to sit on at first. Fabric tends to stay more temperature neutral and is great to sit on in any situation.

Overall, we recommend fabric gaming chairs for hardcore gamers because of their comfort and breathability. 

Our Final Take

Well, there you have. A complete summary of fabric vs leather gaming chairs. We hope that we’ve informed you enough to make your next gaming chair purchase as easy as possible.

Related Questions

How Long Do Fabric Chairs Last?

Synthetic nylon fabric is the most durable material for gaming chairs and can easily last over five years. This type of fabric won’t stretch or degrade even after years of consistent usage. However, not every fabric gaming chair is made with synthetic nylon fabric, so make sure you research the exact material the chair you intend on purchasing uses. 

How Long Do Faux Leather Chairs Last?

PU leather gaming chairs are made to last up to three to five years. However, the chair’s build quality, usage, and maintenance all impact the duration of the leather gaming chair’s life span. High-quality leather gaming chairs that are regularly cleaned every three months can last over five years without any cracking or peeling.

How Do You Clean Leather and Fabric Gaming Chairs?

For leather gaming chairs, most stains are removable with water and a microfiber towel. Furthermore, you can use rubbing alcohol to remove ink stains and all-purpose spray to remove liquids. You can then use PVC moisturizers for reconditioning and polishing the leather to prevent cracking and peeling.

Fabric gaming chairs can be deep cleaned using a water-based detergent with a steam vacuum or a dry cleaning detergent. Make sure the detergent is mild and that you don’t soak the fabric too much.

About Isaac Atia

Isaac AtiaAs an avid gamer for 20+ years, I spend hours researching custom PC builds and parts. I review various CPUs, motherboards, RAM, and gaming peripherals. I often test parts in my home office in New York City. To ensure the highest level of accuracy, I often consult with other experts and industry professionals.

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