Does Leather Sofa Make You Sweat?

Does Leather Sofa Make You Sweat?

Leather is the ideal choice of upholstery fabric for several reasons, but there is one issue that every owner suffers is the feeling of sweating.

This condition not only irritates but also deteriorates or damages the furniture if not taken care of properly.

Does Leather Sofa Make You Sweat? Sweating while sitting on the leather sofa is more often in hot weather due to increased humidity. In addition, the cheaper and fake leather is more problematic than the real ones in this perspective. This happens due to the use of thick and dark color leather.

You should maintain and clean it timely to prevent peeling, scratching, and discoloration on the couch.

Leather sofas are a great choice for any space either, home or office, public places or malls, workstations, and gyms because of their unique yet classy appearance and durability.

It is 50 times easier to keep them safe from several mishaps because of their natural resistance towards clumsiness and mess.

A reason for their extensive use in the USA and worldwide is their hypoallergenic nature because there are no hairs, furs, and other allergenic components in them.

However, the impression of moisture on the body when seated on these is frustrating, leading to the increased use of other fabric materials for upholstery.

Why does a leather sofa make you sweat?

Besides all these advantages, 90% of owners complain about the sweat issue with these sofas due to multiple convincing factors.

However, you can not correct the issue to 100% because the damping property is in leather’s nature, and you can not change that, but slight precautions are a good approach.

Temperature effect

Usually, you feel your sofa makes you sweat, but it is not the actual reason and the element responsible is the surrounding temperature.

Have you ever noticed and thought why they become much cold in the winters and hot in the summers.

The reason is that it reflects and impersonates the changing temperature of the room and also imitates your body temperature.

Its texture and surface react quickly to even slighter changes and descend or ascend in temperature absorbing the heat or cold.

These conditions make to release more water from the body because you are absorbing heat from three sources, the room, the leather, and your body’s heat.

It also varies with the person’s body perspiration rate, which means some can feel more sweating while some can feel less moisture.

You can say that its high thermal conductivity and less thermal regulatory mechanisms create the issue, typical in hot weather when talking scientifically.

Cheaper quality fabric

Usually, fake leather passes through several processes and modifications to make them suitable for the upholstery.

Also, various chemical and technical steps are necessary to mask their original condition and make them look real after the finishing touches.

It is necessary to produce a low-budget product that seems high quality because the original fabric is extremely high in cost.

These leather-like substances or pleather consist of polyurethane, polyvinyl chloride, and only vinyl, and all these are low quality and fake.

They do not have the properties of the original fabric but are water-resistant, giving the seated person a feeling of dampness.

There is no breathability, no space for the moisture to escape because of the buffing, burnishing, and surface smoothing treatments.

The tightly pressed surface gives the feeling of rubber materials that have no way to breathe.

These synthetic components do not allow the passing of air, which can work to release the heat, and the condensation-like phenomenon starts.

The tanning and other chemicals like chrome block the spaces by seeping into the fiber networks and forming bonds.

This step is essential for giving appropriate color to the material, but it does not allow soaking body grease.

All these processing and properties make your skin more sweating when sitting on the furniture.

Nonporous material

Usually, genuine material has openings for absorbing moisture or water released from the human body.

It is only possible when it has not undergone any processes, but these characteristics make it sensitive and start degrading early due to stains.

However, manufacturers coat protective finishing on the surface for waterproofing it and prevent splashes and liquid absorption.

It creates a sensation of suffocation and congestion on the surface interacting with the body and starts perspiration.

Meanwhile, the quality is not degraded after these changes, and you should not doubt your genuine fabric.

You can identify this property by adding a drop of water on it and notice the behavior if it absorbs the fabric is porous, and vise versa.

Concisely, you will feel sweating on these sofas whether you have an original or fake fabric, but the extent of released secretion and moisture varies in both materials.

Unclean leather sofa

Unclean does not mean dark stains, dirt, and spills that are prominent from a mile away, but it includes your body oils and grease as well.

Usually, the biggest fault is not in the furniture, but your ignorance and poor practices create the issue.

It happens more when you have pets and children that use the sofa for watching TV, having meals, and other activities.

Also, the dirt, oils, and residue stick in the hairs of your pet because most people do not shower them daily, and this contamination converts to the couch without being much visible.

The kids playing outside bring impurities in their hands and clothes, which penetrate the surface.

In addition, one common practice that I observed in many people is that they use an extra amount of the product while polishing or moisturizing their furniture.

These products are designed to smoothen the surface to prevent scratches and peels. However, they clog the pores, resulting in exhausting body skin, which starts producing excessive sweat.

For this reason, it is necessary to wipe off an extra amount after cleaning and polishing the leather and keep an eye on the kids when they return from the outdoor.

The thick and dark color leather

It happens not only to upholstered fabric but to the clothes, and you can 100% relate to it.

Imagine you have dark color walls in the room and observe the room’s atmosphere. 

In addition to the highly packed surface, the dark color absorbs extra heat rather than the light color ones.

This effect is more severe when you do not have a temperature-regulation system such as AC or heater in the room.

Besides heat, the light also affects these, and dark shades absorb more light which means your sofa will cause more sweating when you place it in the room having more lighting.

The yellow light is warmer than the white light, and the couch gets more affected when your chandelier above it has orange lights.

On the other hand, the more leather is thick, the more it will cause perspiration because it is more guff and warmer from inside.

Usually, the material for upholstery of the furniture is around 0.5 to 1.3mm thick which is acceptable to some extent, but the more thickness fabric is annoying.

I have seen some people demanding more thick material for their sofas, so they do not tear or scratch easily and live long, but it can never be comfortable, so keep this in mind.

What damages does the sweat cause to the leather sofa?

No doubt leather is a strengthened and long-lasting material, especially when high quality but the contamination, body grease, and oils have a damaging effect.

Sweat contains body moisture and has a significant quantity of salts and enzymes that release from the body for homeostasis.

It means sitting on it will cause the transfer of all these components on the surface that begins to degrade when not taken care of.

Change in pH

The biggest damage is the change in the pH that results in weakening and tearing the fibers in the internal structures.

These broken fibers began to destroy the strength of the fabric, and the bond-breaking leads to cracking, peeling, and dislodging of the tied threads.

It does not happen immediately and usually takes several months, depending on the sweat it absorbs and retains.

Stain on the sofa

You observe flaking or darkening spots start appearing after few months, which are not due to dirt but sweat.

Typically, it is the first indication that you are not taking care of your furniture and not following the required cleaning schedule.

Sometimes, the white patches look like dust or powder but do not get off easy because they are not typical moisture. 


Reduction in saturation and intensity of the color occurs in different patches on the leather couch, which is common. Many people complain that they see the color coming off their sofa.

The reason is the same, and the tannin and artificial coloring begin to fade due to the fatty acid content in the sweat, resulting in discoloration.

How to get rid of sweat stains on the leather sofa?

Usually, the damage is irreversible, and you have to reupholster or refinish the fabric when you do not clean them soon and they intensity more.

However, you can restore the existing fabric with timely curing of the spots before they become permanently soaked into the material.

Firstly, look for the most exposed areas like armrests, headrests, or at the location where you sit mostly.

The products or supplies you can use for staining out sweat include a non-abrasive cloth, a mild dish wash or soap, lukewarm water, a sponge, or any commercial leather-safe cleaning product.

Make water-dish wash mix and dip the sponge, and rub the surface with soft hands in a circular motion.

Never apply much force to drag the sponge onto the material, or it will result in fissures.

Once cleaned, wipe off the remaining soap-water from the surface using a dry cloth to make sure no residues remain on it.

Use cornstarch and talcum powder, spread it, and leave it on the stains overnight.

The next day, wipe off the mixture with a damp cloth, repeat the process if necessary and allow to dry.

The last step is to apply a good quality leather conditioner or moisturizer to the surface in the appropriate quantity and let it dry.

How to protect your leather sofa from sweat damage?

Every furniture item demands care and protection from daily hazards, and it is an essential practice to increase the longevity of a product.

These luxurious items are expensive, which means they contain a sufficient amount, so work hard to prevent the loss.

Make sure you switch location on the sofa and do not always sit on a single spot all the time.

Avoid sitting on it when you arrive from outside on a sunny day or from a workout and sweating hard.

Preferably, use throw blankets on the couches so they will soak the moisture rather than the leather.

Seat covers are another better option, but you have to compromise on the beauty of your furniture in this case.

Always purchase a genuine and high-quality fabric for the sofas, and do not run behind money.

Apply a polisher, sealant, or protective spray to prevent it from damage caused by regular use.

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