Best Upholstery Fabric for Pets

Pets–what’s not to love? Furry or feathery, fuzzy or leathery, pets always manage to put a smile on our faces when we come back from a long day of life. That is, of course, until you’ve seen what they’ve done to the couch! Even if there aren’t any huge issues, over time furniture can definitely show its age when you have pets. So what is the best upholstery fabric for pets?

When it comes to selecting upholstery fabric for households with pets, there are several factors to consider, including cleaning pet hair, durability, appearance, and feel. You’ll want to go for fabrics that are known for their durability and resistance to stains. Some popular choices include microfiber, leather, synthetic blends, and certain tightly woven fabrics like canvas or denim.

Of course, no fabric is completely immune to pet-related wear and tear, so regular maintenance and cleaning are still essential. Additionally, providing your pets with their own designated spaces and using protective covers or throws can help preserve the condition of your upholstery.

Best Upholstery Fabric for Pets

It’s recommended to visit local upholstery stores or consult with professionals who can guide you further based on your specific needs and preferences. But here are some pet-friendly fabrics for you to consider.

  • Microfiber
  • Leather
  • Synthetic Blends
  • Tightly Woven Fabrics


Microfiber is often considered a good choice for chair, loveseat, or couch upholstery for pet owners due to its durability, stain and pet hair resistance, appearance, and more. It can withstand the scratching and clawing of pets without getting easily damaged (although a determined pooch will still make its mark).

But the tightly woven fibers create a barrier that prevents spills and accidents from seeping into the fabric quickly. This allows for easier cleaning and reduces the likelihood of permanent stains, so it is relatively easy to clean and maintain. Most spills and stains can be easily wiped away with a damp cloth or sponge. For more stubborn stains, mild soap and water can be used without causing damage to the fabric.

The smooth texture of microfiber also repels pet hair: instead of adhering to the fabric, pet hair tends to sit on the surface, making it easier to remove with a vacuum cleaner or a lint roller. For the same reason, microfiber repels allergens, such as dust mites or pet dander, which can provide some relief for those with allergies or asthma.

It’s important to note that while microfiber offers many advantages for pet owners, regular maintenance and cleaning are still necessary to keep it looking its best. Additionally, the quality of the material can vary, so choose high-quality microfiber upholstery for your furniture.


Leather is known for its durability and resistance to scratches and tears. It can withstand the rough play and clawing of pets better than many other upholstery materials. Leather is also relatively easy to clean and maintain. Most pet hair can be easily wiped away, and spills or accidents can be quickly wiped off the surface. Leather also tends to be resistant to stains, making it a convenient option for pet owners.

And unlike some fabrics that can absorb and retain odors, leather tends to be more resistant to absorbing pet odors. This can help keep your furniture smelling fresher, especially in homes with pets. It’s also less likely to trap allergens like pet dander or dust mites, making it a good option for individuals with allergies or asthma.

But while leather is generally more resistant to scratches compared to other materials, it is not entirely scratch-proof. Sharp claws or intense scratching can still leave marks on the leather surface. Leather furniture also requires regular maintenance to keep it in good condition. It may need occasional conditioning or treatment to prevent drying, cracking, or fading.

Some people appreciate the natural patina that develops on leather over time, while others may not prefer the appearance of aging or worn-out leather furniture. Failure to properly maintain leather can result in its deterioration over time and can be costly to rehabilitate. It already tends to be more expensive compared to other upholstery options. The cost of genuine leather can be a big investment, especially for larger living room pieces or full sets of furniture.

Synthetic Blends

Synthetic blends are often designed to be durable and resistant to wear and tear. They can withstand the rough play, jumping, and scratching that our furry friends may engage in without easily getting damaged. They can also be treated with stain-resistant finishes or have inherent stain-resistant properties.

This helps prevent spills, accidents, and pet-related messes from quickly absorbing into the fabric, making it easier to clean and maintain. With a tight weave or smooth texture, some synthetics also prevent pet hair from becoming embedded, making it easier to remove with a vacuum cleaner or a lint roller.

Synthetic blends offer a wide range of color and pattern choices, allowing pet owners to find options that match their decor preferences. This can help camouflage any minor stains or fur that may accumulate over time. And they are often more affordable compared to genuine leather or high-end upholstery materials, making them a budget-friendly choice for pet owners.

While synthetic blends can be durable, their longevity may not match that of genuine leather or high-quality natural fabrics. Over time, synthetic blends may show signs of wear, fading, or pilling, particularly in high-use areas. Also, If you have allergies to certain synthetic materials or finishes, you’ll want to consider the composition of the specific synthetic blend.

Tightly Woven Fabrics

Tightly woven fabrics like canvas or denim can be a good choice for furniture if you have pets. Canvas and denim are known for their durability and strength and have a tight weave that can withstand the scratching, clawing, and general wear and tear that pets may cause. These fabrics are less likely to get easily damaged compared to more delicate materials.

The tight weave of these materials makes it difficult for pet hair to penetrate and become stuck in the fabric. Canvas and denim fabrics are often treated to enhance their stain resistance or come with inherent stain-resistant properties. This helps prevent spills and accidents from quickly seeping into the fabric, giving you more time to clean up and minimize potential staining.

They can often withstand regular spot cleaning or even be machine-washed, depending on the specific fabric and upholstery guidelines. This makes them convenient options for pet owners who want easy maintenance. Canvas and denim fabrics offer a casual and versatile aesthetic that can complement various interior styles.

However, it’s important to note that tightly woven fabrics like canvas or denim may not be as soft compared to materials like microfiber or velvet. Additionally, they may not be as resistant to certain types of stains or spills as synthetic blends with stain-resistant finishes.

Some Final Considerations When it Comes to Best Upholstery for Pets

No type of upholstery fabric will be completely pet-proof, especially if your leather sofa is (unfortunately) used as a cat scratch post. The best defense is a good offense when it comes to cats and dogs and your furniture. Training them to stay off the furniture or correcting harmful behavior is just as important as maintaining the material itself.

But if man’s best friend happens to track in clumps of snow, mud, and other debris and leaves it behind on your favorite couch, the key is to get it cleaned up as soon as possible. Age will also do a number on natural materials, but there are ways to bring back the freshness of certain upholstery.

Heaven’s Best has the experience and know-how to clean almost any type of upholstery. We understand the different cleaning methods each upholstery requires and inspect each piece of furniture on a case-by-case basis. With a professional cleaning from Heaven’s Best, we can make your old furniture look brand new.

Related Posts
Image of a person sneezing into a tissue to illustrate how to remove allergens from carpet.lady vacumming carpet