Furniture Buyers Beware: Bonded Leather Isn’t Actually Leather

What's Hot


5 Reasons to Shop for a Home in DecemberFamily

Shoppers Boycott Businesses Selling Trump-Branded ProductsBusiness

15 Things You Should Always Buy at a Dollar StoreMore

Giving Thanks: Why Foreigners Find America AmazingAround The House

New Email Phishing Scam Targets Amazon ShoppersMore

50 Best Gifts Under $25 for Everyone on Your ListFamily

Why Washing Your Turkey Can Make You IllFamily

Pay $2 and Get Unlimited Wendy’s Frosty Treats in 2017Family

The 7 Worst Things to Buy at a Dollar StoreMore

What the Richest 1 Percent Earns in Every StateFamily

10 Ways to Retire Earlier Than Friends on the Same SalaryGrow

The 10 Best Ways to Blow Your MoneyCredit & Debt

The 50 Hottest Toys of the Past 50 YearsFamily

30 Awesome Things to Do in RetirementCollege

Bonded leather furniture may look and even smell like real leather at a fraction of the price — but it may have very little real leather in it.

You probably know the difference between particleboard and wood, but what about bonded leather and leather?

MousePrint.org wrote about a recent run-in with bonded leather furniture, which Furniture Today says started appearing in 2007.

The writer spotted what seemed like a great deal on a desk chair made of the stuff, and he assumed bonded “referred to the fact that parts of the chair were leather and parts were vinyl, or maybe that pieces were put together.”

He did things in the wrong order — he bought the chair before doing his homework. While he managed to save $100 on the model, when he got home and looked up the material, he was disappointed to learn that the Leather Research Laboratory described it as “vinyl, or a polyurethane laminate or a composite, but it’s not leather.”

He called the manufacturer’s customer service line and was assured it was real leather, with the durability of real leather — just made from scraps. But the product didn’t include an explanation of the leather-to-plastic ratio, which can vary widely. The Federal Trade Commission expects manufacturers to do that so consumers know what they’re getting:

 A material in an industry product that contains ground, pulverized, shredded, reconstituted, or bonded leather and thus is not wholly the hide of an animal should not be represented, directly or by implication, as being leather. This provision does not preclude an accurate representation as to the ground, pulverized, shredded, reconstituted, or bonded leather content of the material. However, if the material appears to be leather, it should be accompanied by … a disclosure of the percentage of leather fibers and the percentage of non-leather substances contained in the material.

Furniture Today said in 2011 that up to half of the leather furniture market may be bonded leather. There’s nothing inherently wrong with it — as long as it’s properly represented and priced accordingly.

Do you have any experience with bonded leather furniture? Did you know what it was when you bought it? Has it held up well? Let us know on our Facebook page.

Stacy Johnson

It's not the usual blah, blah, blah

I know... every site you visit wants you to subscribe to their newsletter. But our news and advice is actually worth reading! For 25 years, I've been making people richer without making their eyes glaze over. You'll be glad you did. I guarantee it!

💰🗣📰

Read Next: Ask Stacy: Why Is My Bond Fund Losing Money?

Check Out Our Hottest Deals!

We're always adding new deals and coupons that'll save you big bucks. See the deals to the right and hundreds more in our Deals section.

Click here to explore 1,745 more deals!