Leather or Upholstery sofa and allergies

rayb1September 9, 2012

Which sofa is better for a seasonal allergy sufferer? Leather or upholstery? Thank you.

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"Upholstery easily traps allergens and is much harder to clean."

Most allergists I've talked to recommend avoiding upholstery and carpet. There is a wealth of info on the topic if you google it.

    Bookmark   September 9, 2012 at 4:19PM
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Thank you. Designers are telling me that leather will limit the decorating choices.

    Bookmark   September 9, 2012 at 4:50PM
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We didn't find it limiting, but our decor lends itself to clean-lined, contemporary style leather sectionals (we have two, one in the LR and one in the FR).

DH has asthma. Doesn't have out and out asthma "attacks" but his breathing will become "tight" on occasion, and we do live with two cats. He wanted leather couches way back, before buying furniture was even on our radar (knowing that leather couches would be "better" for him than fabric covered ones).

    Bookmark   September 9, 2012 at 6:17PM
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I have no idea why they would say that it limits decorating choices. Leather sofas come in all colors and styles. I'd find a new decorator.

    Bookmark   September 9, 2012 at 9:19PM
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I don't think leather is any more limiting than upholstery. Both are available in neutral colors and styles ranging from modernist to traditional.

    Bookmark   September 10, 2012 at 11:42AM
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I have asthma like cat_mom's DH... and seasonal allergies. The asthma symptoms only started recently. Yes, you will be limited since you can't pick linen, cotton, etc.... but so what? :) I have only leather sofas and chairs because I want to minimize the situations where I can't breathe!

I would find a designer who understands the medical necessity of limiting allergens for you or the person with allergies. I don't know your specific situation, but making the home healthier for the allergy sufferer is more important than having some upholstered items. I do think this will challenge a designer..... ideally, rugs, curtains, carpets, etc. aren't ideal as they trap allergens.... yet those are the items that can warm up a space considerably.

    Bookmark   September 10, 2012 at 5:57PM
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Definitely go with the leather! My husband's allergies have worsened in the last few yrs & he says he can tell a definite difference when he comes into our Great Room. We not only have carpet, but also upholstered furniture. The leather can be wiped down periodically, but it's so difficult to eliminate the allergens in upholstered furniture.

    Bookmark   September 10, 2012 at 7:40PM
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My youngest DD and I both have indoor and seasonal allergies. She unfortunately does asthma. We decided to go with leather after she kept having constant issues while sitting on our upholstered furniture. Even though I vacuumed the furniture several times a week and washed the parts I could she and I both suffered. The leather was an immediate improvement and I doubt we'll go back to having all upholstered furnishings (a chair here or there is ok). All the fancy decorating in the world won't matter a hill of beans if you and your family can't enjoy it.

We do have curtains and throw pillows too. I just vacuum the curtains regularly and pop them in the dryer for a few minutes on high to remove dust. Every so often I will wash or dry clean them. Throw pillows are best with a removable insert that you can replace every so often.

    Bookmark   September 10, 2012 at 10:06PM
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Of course leather only would be "limiting". Anytime you remove a choice you have limited yourself. Life is full of choices, everyone you make limits you!! Get a new decorator!! The FEEL you want your home to have with in your upholstery constraints is doable by a competent designer!!

    Bookmark   September 11, 2012 at 7:03AM
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