What Are The Best Pet-friendly Sofa Fabrics For Your Home?

A Few Words to Bare in Mind

As a caring pet owner, you probably know that selecting the right type of upholstery fabric for your sofa or bed can be tricky. Since the material must comply with your furry pal’s constant attention, there are things you have to look for when choosing a pet-friendly fabric for your home.

Other than animal fur and shedding, your sofa should be able to resist the wear and tear delivered directly from your pets through an act of love, of course. Their claws, nails, and odour are vile enemies to your furnishing and what you should do is carefully consider what type of fabric you will have to deal with when purchasing a brand new sofa.

Some of the most common problems for upholstered sofas and pets:

  • Claw streaks and scratches;
  • Pet hairs on top of or clinged within the upholstery fabric;
  • Dirt and mud marks;
  • Accidental stains or spills from throwing up.
  • Nasty odour from poo or pinky accidents.

If the fabric is not pet-friendly, your new astonishing sofa can look like a mess in just a few weeks, especially for dog couches, beds or even car seats. Since you’ve probably had to cut your budget in order to get that one piece of furnishing, it is well-worth doing a thorough research for a more aware choice of the best sofa fabric to suit both you and your pet.

Without further ado, below you will find what are the best pet-friendly fabrics for you dedicated pet sofa:

What Sofa Fabrics Should Pet Owners Look Into?

Some time ago, pet owners who were trying to pet-proof their home were always advised to go for patterned or textured fabrics when choosing furnishing. As for the color, dark and muddy hues were the top choices simply because they were (and still are) good at hiding dirt particles and hairs, and generally easier to clean.

Today, you can find a variety of synthetic and natural fibres, mixed in various proportions and materials in order to deliver a truly stylish appearance. The right type of fabric can brighten your lounge area without compromising the comfort of your pet, regardless if cat, dog, bunny or any other furry companion.

Here are the most durable fabrics that successfully resist the extra wear and tear coming from pets.

Leather And Pets - It Can Happen!

Leather Sofa

The leather is a popular material that can withstand significant amounts of wear and tear. Sofas made from leather are durable, stain-resistant and freaking stylish! Cat and dog hairs can be easily brushed off and, as for the billions of muddy footprints, a simple wipe with a damp cloth is enough to erase them. Same applies to dirt, slobber, and fur. This makes leather the best pet-friendly sofa material you could bet on.

Leather furnishing stands firm against pet claw punctures, yet scratches are a common sight. If your pet’s odor is something that is bothering you, you can rely on the leather fabric as it is relatively unaffected by unpleasant pet smells. For most of the other options, you could always go for the best pet odor neutralizers ( check out extensive review to get rid of any stinky smell).

For pet-friendly homes, however, leather with a distressed pattern is better than a one that is coated, simply because scratch marks will blend with its looks. Go for a finish of full-aniline dyed leather with a high color density, which will absorb scratches easily, rather than a painted-on finish which performs worse when it comes to handling pet damage.

While choosing leather as a pet-friendly fabric can be indeed a bit expensive, it definitely comes with great value for your money, simply because it will last you in the long term. Style always comes at a certain price and leather is no exception.

Synthetic Fibres And Pets

Synthetic Fibres and Pets

Synthetic fibers are durable, versatile and you get to choose from a wide range of colors that are available on the market. Ultrasuede and microfiber fabrics are great for households with pets -- they are easy to maintain, and since the fibers are man-made, cleaning up fur is not as overwhelming as it usually is. To tackle pet stains on synthetic fabrics, all you need is a sponge, soap, and water.

Man-made fabrics are more tightly woven than natural fibres like cotton or tweed. This makes synthetic materials more resilient to claw marks, and help protect your pet’s claws from sticking into the upholstery.

Crypton is Great for Claws!

Crypton is great for claws!

Crypton is an extremely durable material and it is nearly impossible to destroy. It is stain- and odor-resistant, and can withstand the effects of severe moisture and bacteria fairly well. Crypton is designed from the ground up to resist solid wear and tear, which is why it is widely used in hospitals and industrial premises. 

This quality makes it perfect for pet households as well. The biggest advantage that the Crypton fabric has is that it is extremely easy to clean -- a damp sponge and a quick wipe will be enough to maintain it in a neat condition that will please both the pet and their owner.

Protect The Exterior of The Fabric

Besides getting a pet-friendly fabric, there are other ways for you as a conscientious pet carer to protect your precious furniture pieces:

Consider Scotchgard Stain Protection 

“Scotchgard acts like a shield to your upholstered furniture. If applied properly, it protects the fabric against stains and spills without harming its breathability at all.” - says Dean Davies, upholstery cleaning professional at Fantastic Services (London).

Slipcovers Always Come in Handy!

Slipcovers always come in handy!

Slipcovers come in a great variety of colors, patterns, and fabrics. You can literally transform an old sofa and make it look like a brand new by simply laying a slipcover on top of it. A transformation that even your beloved pet will surely approve. 

Unfortunately, slipcovers are prone to shrinkage if washed too frequently, and it makes sense to choose one with a wider fit if you know it will be washed each week.

Fleece Throw

Option #3 is a temporary solution but still goes a long way for pet owners. Use a fleece throw or other covering for extra protection. This can come in handy if your sofa furnishing was present prior to your beloved pet joined your family and home.

Quality Leather Distressed Leather Synthetic Fibers (e.g., Ultrasuede, microfibers) Crypton
Dirt can be easily wiped away Yes Yes Yes Yes
Fur can be easily removed Yes Yes Yes Yes
Able to resist claw holes and scratch marks No No Yes Yes
Is Odor-proof Yes Yes No Yes
Tightly woven to resist wear and tear No No Yes Yes
Patterns may better hide if material is impaired No Yes No No

What Are The Non Pet-friendly Fabrics You Should AVOID?

So far we covered the best and top-recommended pet-friendly fabrics for sofas but there are some that pet owners should simply avoid. If you plan to have a pet or you already have one, consider the types of fabric you should definitely stay away from.

Chenille Finish is Gentle

Famous among homeowners due to its soft and textured qualities. Sadly, the finish can be easily pulled out. Once this happens, it can get soiled and become very hard, if not impossible, to repair.

Velvet Has A Hard Time With Stains.

Velvet was pretty close to making it into the above mentioned list of recommended fabrics due to its soft and sturdy pile, and the ability of dark-colored velvet to hide dirt from sight. Hair, dust and dirt can be easily removed from the fabric with a roller, pretty much the same way you would clean up carpeting. Yet, the sole reason for this type of fabric to stay outside our list of pet-friendly upholstery recommendations is mainly because stains on velvet fabric are hard to remove and (as we all know) stains are an inevitable consequence of having a pet at home.

Silk is Delicate

Yes, silk is beautiful and feels great! But unfortunately, that’s as far as it goes. Silk is extremely difficult to both maintain and clean, and pet stains are stubborn to get rid of. If by any chance, it it can be easily torn apart and furthermore - silk is not water resistant at all!

Tweed is Not Meant for Paws!

Although tweed fabric is far easier to clean, it tends to hold pet hair, making it difficult to remove. And as with chenille, if your pet damages the fabric surface, you are going to have a hard time repairing it.

Wool And Linen are Great.. But Not for Pets.

Wool and linen fabrics do not take surface damage very well and are hard to clean. They are both great options for sofas in their own right, just not in a pet-friendly household.

Conclusions And Takeaways

Having a cat or a dog is certainly something that brings a lot of positive energy, decreases stress, and has other proven health benefits for their owners. Yet, not all homes are ready to accommodate these friendly pets. To make sure your furry friend is safe, you need to apply some level of protection and make the pest-proof the home environment.


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