There are a few criteria to consider when choosing the right gaming chair. Not only do you have to choose the style and functions, but also the cover material. There are various options to choose from: chair covers made of fabric, synthetic leather, or genuine leather. Fabric upholstery is very common and always feels warm when you sit down, but real leather or synthetic leather also has points for them. What are the special features of these materials and what are their advantages and disadvantages?
Chairs with fabric cover
Most common because very affordable and versatile are chairs with fabric cover. That is at least the case with the office desk chairs. However, synthetic leather seems to be so much more popular in chairs for gamers. That’s strange because chairs that are upholstered in fine fabrics undoubtedly have a number of advantages.
Fabrics used for upholstering chairs are often a mixed spun of natural fibers and synthetic fibers to combine the qualities of both.
There are many fibers that can be made into chair fabrics of artificial or natural origin. Natural material includes cotton, wool, linen. Synthetics used are polyester, polyacrylate, polyamide, polypropylene, viscose, etc.,
Broadly speaking, fabrics of natural origin are more pliable but less resistant, while synthetic fabrics last longer but are sometimes less skin-friendly. Mixed spun fabrics combine the best of both: the skin-friendly properties of natural fibers and the durability of the synthetic material.
Fabric covers attract dust and dirt particles over time and are not as easy to clean as synthetic leather. So that fabric covers look tidy, use a vacuum cleaner regularly to remove dust and dirt. After a while, it can be necessary to use furniture shampoo so that the covers look new again. In general, fabric covers offer a high degree of seating comfort, as they always feel pleasantly tempered when you sit down and are also extremely breathable.
Their breathability is an advantage over synthetic leather. When the skin touches the seat or backrest of a leather or imitation leather chair, the body begins to sweat quickly and sticks to the chair. Mesh fabric covers are a popular material used on backrests providing a great degree of breathability. Especially in summer one may appreciate not being stuck to the chair with a sweaty back.
Advantages of fabric covers/upholstery
- Textil fabrics are comparatively cheaper than other material
- Breathable and permeable to water vapor
- Skin-friendly and its texture are felt by many to be more comfortable than artificial leather.
- Feels always “warm” when sitting down
- It is easier to process and can be manufactured as a continuous material.
- Fabric covers are easy to replace when worn out.
- Easy care
Synthetic leather is an imitation leather made of a composite of textile fabric and a plastic layer. The textile fabric can be a natural fiber such as cotton, a synthetic fiber such as polyester, or mixed woven fabric. The top coating of modern artificial leather usually consists of polyurethane (PU). The chemical manufacturing process creates a smooth but slightly structured surface that makes the synthetic leather look very much like real leather. Often only experts can tell the difference between artificial leather and real leather.
Polyurethan artificial leathers are widely used in the furniture industry. It is easily available in many style qualities and chair manufacturers are not bound to the market availability as with real leather. Artificial leather is always available in the same quality and production is less expensive than leather. PU leather is robust, it is easy to care for, washable, and dries without hardening.
Premium synthetic leather also makes very classy and high-quality chair covers. A disadvantage, however, is the breathability, which cannot compete with that of fabric or real leather.
Synthetic leather advantages
- Synthetic leather is much cheaper than real leather
- Easier to manufacture and very durable
- Imitations leather is much less sensitive to stains
- Very easy and cheap to replace upholstery when necessary
- Not an animal product
High-quality executive chairs or gaming chairs in the upper price segment are often covered with genuine leather. It gives the chairs an unmistakable and elegant look that represents taste, style, and luxury.
Genuine leather offers many other advantages. Real leather is a tough, strong, very durable material that does not easily tear, and is almost abrasion-resistant. The real leather gamer chairs are also quite breathable. The material can absorb moisture without feeling wet and allows the moisture to evaporate into the air.
Nevertheless, in summer or on days when it is very hot and you sweat more often, it can be uncomfortable to come into contact with real leather or synthetic leather covers. In strong sunlight, a leather surface can also get very hot and might make you literally jump up if you sit not thinking of it. In practice, these disadvantages are not often a problem since most offices or rooms are air-conditioned.
The drawback of genuine leather is that it is an animal product. This may not be acceptable to the conscience of some consumers.
Another drawback is the high price. Genuine leather is an animal skin that has been tanned. In the furniture industry mostly cowhide has been used. The whole manufacturing process requires a complex production chain with many elaborate steps including sourcing of raw materials, tanning, drying, dying, etc.
Advantages of genuine leather
- Tough material, tear-resistant, robust, and the abrasion-resistant
- Leather’s big advantage is its longevity. With good care, leather products last for decades
- The longevity sets off the initial higher cost in the long run
- Leather is breathable and permeable to water vapor
- The high breathability allows moisture to be transported away and to evaporate
- Besides, it is hardly inflammable.
- Skin-friendly, the texture is felt to be much more comfortable than artificial leather.
- Genuine leather is considered high-quality material
Conclusion: Fabric, Synthetic Leather or Genuine Leather covers
Of course, by the end of the day, you have to decide what’s in your budget and what kind of chair you prefer. Each chair cover/upholstery has its advantages and disadvantages. In any case, the genuine leather upholstery belongs to the highest quality but it is also the most expensive one and the longest lasting one and is mainly used in high-end executive chairs. There are lots of good gaming chairs on the market that come with quality PU synthetic leather or fabric cover.