Are PU Leather Work Chairs worth it?

Updated: Nov 20, 2023

The question that baffles most interior designers and project managers executing commercial office furniture projects for workspaces or office furniture and office chair store owners, distributors, and resellers is whether it’s worth looking into PU leather work chairs or going for modern mesh chairs or fabric chairs, so here’s a perspective about PU work chairs or office chair as an option?

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Adding PU leather upholstery can instantly add warmth and texture to your office chair and give it a feeling of luxury and class.

However, PU office chairs are relatively more expensive and need a bit more care and attention than their mesh or plastic/nylon counterparts.

So whether PU Leather work chairs are worth it or not depends on a number of factors including Cost, Durability, Appearance, Maintenance, Usage, and Sustainability.

But before we begin to weigh the factors, let’s first learn what PU Leather:

PU leather, also sometimes referred to as synthetic leather, is not a naturally occurring material. It is created using polyurethane, a plastic with a similar look and feel to leather. Polyurethane leather or PU Leather has been gaining a lot of popularity over the past two decades. It is a durable, extra-durable & flexible polymer. This man-made leather is widely used in diverse industries.

It has evolved in terms of quality in recent years and has become the most promising substitute for leather. It is way more economical than genuine leather, smoother and far easier to clean. In the earlier days, PU leather was meant majorly for the growing global shoe industry, later adapted by the furniture industry for the making of PU leather work chairs, table tops, dining chairs, armchairs, and more.

How is PU Leather different from Genuine Leather?

Genuine leather comes from animals, especially cows. At the same time, PU leather is entirely man-made. So it is kinder and more sustainable than actual leather although it resembles leather and works as efficiently. However, both have their pros and cons. Let’s first discuss in detail the factors that will help you decide whether PU work chairs are the right fit for you.

Are PU leather Executive chairs worth it?

Cost: When it comes to purchasing something as regularly used or significant as executive revolving chairs or visitor chairs, the one thing that we all consider is the cost. While there are many who prefer to choose quality over cost, most people still look for affordability and rightly so. So PU leather office chairs are far more affordable as compared to genuine leather but they are slightly more expensive than mesh chairs.

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– Durability: If you compare the durability of PU leather with genuine animal leather, you will be disappointed. Because genuine leather is far more durable and ages like fine wine. But of course, actual leather is cruel and takes animal lives to create. This is grossly off-putting to many people and naturally, actual leather comes with a much heavier price tag. It doesn’t dry out or peel like the cheap quality of fake leathers, which are often confused as PU leather. It has an additional layer of coating for industrial & heavy-duty applications, which further strengthens and adds durability to it. But when compared to mesh chairs, you may have PU chairs at an equal or a slight disadvantage, as they are more durable and have lesser maintenance needs.

– Appearance: All types of leather, whether PU or genuine, have a distinct look and feel. However, from afar, PU leather and genuine leather almost look the same. The only way to tell the difference is if you come close and notice the grain. The look is very different from a mesh chair so it will not appeal to everyone but some people definitely like only real leather chairs while others prefer PU and still others will only go for mesh or fabric.

– Maintenance: PU leather work chairs are easy to maintain compared to genuine leather or other upholstered office chairs. For cleaning, all you need is a dry lint-free cloth to remove dust from collecting over it. PU leather is also spill-proof as it is not breathable. In case of spillage, all you need is a damp cloth to wipe the spill off. But when we say it’s easy to maintain, people often think a PU office chair can endure all. While easy on maintenance you still need to clean it with a lint-free cloth every 2 or 3 days, depending on how often it gets dirty. And in case of a spill, wipe it off immediately. PU leather may not absorb the contents in case of a spill, but if kept for long, the range of spillage can affect the top layer of the PU leather work chair, drastically reducing its age.

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– Usage: PU leather is both comfortable and easy to use. The need for minor maintenance makes it an easy-to-use material for workspaces, while the soft and almost leather-like feel makes it comfortable and classy. But PU leather is impermeable, which means that it’s not airy and can heat up your body temperature if you are sitting in it for too long. So unless you live in the middle of a desert, or have no source of ventilation or air conditioning, office chairs made with PU leather are a great choice for your office/home office.

– Sustainability: PU leather is considered environmentally friendly. To add to that list, no animals were harmed in the making of it. These two are reasons enough for most buyers to opt for PU leather instead of actual leather. With the growing trend and awareness of creating a sustainable and cruelty-free world, people are more often than not purchasing things that promise not to hurt the environment in any way.

Here is a quick list of the pros and cons of PU leather:


What are the Pros of PU Leather work chairs?

– PU leather costs less than genuine leather and the manufacturing process is much easier.

– Since PU leather doesn’t absorb water, it is easier to clean.

– PU leather is 100% vegan.

– PU leather is available in a range of styles & colors.

– Unlike genuine leather, PU leather doesn’t dry with time.

– PU leather is most preferred as it is sustainable.

What are the Cons of PU Leather?

– PU Leather sometimes may look synthetic and fake.

– It may have a chemical infused smell, especially if it is of cheap quality.

Simply put, If you have a large office and rigorous use, PU leather sounds like the best material for sturdy long-lasting office chairs, especially if you want both style and ease of use. As it can hold up to years of damage without costing you a fortune, not to forget the easy cleanup!

That’s all you need to know about the factors that make or break the use of PU material in work chairs. Still, need more help to decide whether PU leather is right for your office or furniture store? Contact us to get in touch with an expert office chair manufacturer from China, Stellar. We’d love to understand your business goals and how we can be your partners in progress.

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