What is the best sofa material for a dog?

Picking the right sofa can be a difficult process, but which material should you consider if you own a dog?

We’ve taken a look at all the different materials out there, and leather is still the best when it comes to picking a sofa suitable for a dog.

Microfibre can also be pretty suitable, but leather takes the number one spot when it comes to a dog-friendly sofa.

Don’t just take our word for it, join us as we take a look at some of the most common materials used for sofas and how useful they are if you own a dog.



If you’ve ever considered buying a sofa and happen to own a dog there is no doubt your friends and family will have suggested getting a leather sofa, but why exactly is this?

Leather is well renowned for being suitable for dogs for many reasons:

  • Leather is very tightly woven, which means your dog’s claws stand no chance of getting caught in the material, unlike some other materials such as some natural fabrics.
  • If your dog makes a mess on leather it is very easy to clean. You can check out our review on the best leather cleaning products to see which ones are most suited for the job.
  • It is only natural for a dog’s claws to scratch any surface they come into contact with. Leather is particularly suited for this as the scratches can actually add to the aesthetic of the leather, just make sure you don’t spend a fortune on the sofa if you don’t like the look.

According to an Alaskan Malamute expert, leather as a material is perfect for even the largest of dogs!


Leather sounds great and all, but does it have any disadvantages?

Like any good thing in life there is unfortunately a downside to having a leather sofa with a dog. The majority of dog breeds will shed their hair quite a lot, which means they will eventually end up on your sofa.

Unlike many fabric sofas leather as a material does not hide dog hairs particularly well, and that means you’ll have to regularly clean your sofa. For most dog owners though this is not an issue at all and comes part and parcel of owning a dog. The good part of this is that the hairs are easy to remove, unlike some fabric sofas where they can get caught within the fabric itself.


Two grey velvet chairs with a hat on one


Velvet sofas definitely have their advantages, but what about when it comes to dogs?

The first thing to consider is what type of material you actually have, as the term ‘velvet’ when it comes to sofas refers to the weave. Generally speaking, however, velvet material doesn’t have any loose weaves similarly to leather and therefore doesn’t cause an issue with your dog’s claws.


The reason we don’t suggest velvet as the number one material is because it can be very difficult to clean and generally doesn’t cope well if your dog makes a mess on it.

Another factor is that velvet is known to be bad with any kind of hairs, especially dog hairs. Given velvet sofas are generally more expensive, it could be a risk to buy one if you own a dog.

Although you can definitely get away with it, its probably best to look into a more durable and manageable material than velvet.


close up of a grey suede sofa


Whilst suede is technically a type of leather, it is made from the underside of the animals skin which makes it softer but much less durable than leather.

You might not think suede would be suited for a dog, and we would have to agree with you. The only benefit we can think of when it comes to the suede material is that there are many different colours available that could potentially hide the presence of dog hair, but that’s about it.


So, why would we advise other materials over suede?

The main problem with suede is that it can become dirty very easily and is not resistant to spillages or dog mess. Another factor to consider is that although some colours of suede might hide dog hair well, this doesn’t mean that suede handles dog hair well. You will find suede almost attracts dog hair, making it difficult to remove and increasing the need for regular cleaning.

Microfibre Fabric Blends


Microfibre is usually made from polyester or polyamides, products of petroleum refining.

The benefit of using microfibre is that the individual fibres of the material are very small, hence the name, which allows for a much tighter weave. But how exactly does a tight weave benefit a dog owner?

A tight weave means there is less chance for dog hairs to become caught in the material and also that any spillage or mess is more likely to pool at the surface rather than be absorbed.


Although spillages or mess is more likely to pool at the surface, if you are not able to clean it in time it will still lead to stains. Thus, microfibre blends are more resistant to stains than a suede sofa for example, they do not have the added resistance of a leather sofa.

Final Thoughts

We hope we’ve covered the majority of materials out there used to make sofas, you can contact us here if there’s any other material you would like to see added to this list.