The Best Sofa Fabrics for Dog Owners


What are the best (and worst) couch fabrics for dog owners?

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What are the best (and worst) couch fabrics for dog owners? It’s a question I get all the time – so here are some handy tips for picking out the best sofa fabrics for pet owners. There are plenty of options available to both show off your style and keep your pup happy! Of course, some strategies will help you avoid scratches, stains, or even fur on everything else in the house! So read on if you’re ready to learn more about which couch fabric is best for your furry friend.

Because let’s be honest. As pretty as my dogs are, they don’t always leave my house looking as shiny as they do.

The Best Sofa Fabrics for Dog Owners

You love your dog, but you also love your home and don’t want to see your furniture destroyed by your lovable fur-baby. Even if your pet isn’t trying to damage your furniture, the simple act of jumping up on the sofa can leave unwanted scratch marks, not to mention it can be hard to keep your sofa free of the fur, oils, and dirt that accumulate over time. Whether you’re a firm “no dogs on the sofa household” or you allow your pup to cuddle up to you during your Netflix binge, I know it can be hard to keep your sofa free of dog hair, scratches, and stains.

So, how do you save your home and furniture from being destroyed by your lovable fur-baby? Luckily, there are several durable fabric options available that are pet-friendly and don’t sacrifice style! Just because you have a pet, that doesn’t mean you should cover the entire furniture or rugs with plastic.

The Best Couch Fabrics for Dog Owners


My personal favorite is leather. Leather is a great sofa fabric for pet owners because it is durable, and pets are less likely to scratch or chew on this material.

Leather couches are easy to clean and come in a variety of colors and styles. For example, distressed leather hides claw marks. Our sofa is from the West Elm Leather Collection, and we absolutely love its durability and aesthetic. Not to mention that the pet hair and dirt paw prints wipe right off.

Leather is one of the best options for a pet-friendly sofa, and I highly recommend it! Leather couches are easy to clean and come in a variety of colors. You can go with distressed leather, which hides claw marks better than smooth leather, but if distressed leather isn’t your style, smooth leather is an excellent option as long as you keep your pet’s nails trimmed. As I said, our Leather Couch is from West Elm, and we have been so happy with our purchase. It is the second couch that we have bought from West Elm.

That said, leather can be expensive, which might make you think twice about choosing it. However, the cost of leather is worth it because you won’t need to replace it as often due to scratches or stains. Way Fair & CB2 have a wide selection of quality Leather Couches.

Pictured above: West Elm Haven Loft Vegan Leather

How to Care for a Leather Couch

Leather couches are expensive pieces of furniture that should not be neglected when it comes to cleaning. Whether you have a brown, tan, or black leather sofa, the below methods will help you keep them looking their best. It is recommended to vacuum your couch once a week or more if necessary to get rid of dust, pet hair, and other particles that accumulate on the furniture. This will also help prevent dirt from becoming embedded in the material. I recommend using a microfiber cloth to spot clean stains and spills with diluted dish soap and water. Please make sure this is damp enough so that it doesn’t leave behind dry spots. You can dip it in water for easier wringing out before wiping down the area with the cloth.

west elm living room

Tight Weave Fabrics

While leather is a great choice, it can be a bit pricier than other types of fabrics. If leather is not in your budget (or you’re aesthetic), but you still want a stylish and durable sofa, stick with fabrics that have a tight weave. A tighter weave will reduce the likelihood of hair or fur being caught in the fibers and will also hold up longer to your dog’s claws. Microfiber, canvas, and even denim are great choices for pet-friendly fabrics.
A microfiber couch is a great option for your next pet-friendly sofa because it has a very close-knit weave that makes the fabric more water-resistant and easy to clean. In addition, it has a soft finish and a slight texturing that looks chic and modern, and since it is a synthetic fabric, it comes in a wider range of colors. Canvas is an excellent option since it holds up better to cleaning solutions than other types of fabrics.

Performance Fabrics

While typically, you would want to avoid open-weave fabrics, such as tweed, or more absorbent fabrics like velvet, many furniture retailers offer premium or performance fabrics that are designed to be water-repellent and abrasion-resistant. West Elm has several high-performance velvet options (as well as performance-washed canvas fabrics) that come in various posh colors. Almost all of their collections have the option to select one of their high-performance fabrics. Our first couch from West Elm was the Andes. Since purchasing our Sedona Leather Couch, we’ve taken the Twill Andes Sectional couch to my photography studio.
andes west elm couch

A General Rule

In general, darker colors and fabrics with patterns or textures are better at hiding dirt and stains, so even if you fall in love with a sofa with an open-weave fabric, you can still maintain its beauty by choosing a darker color or pattern. However, if you still aren’t sure which fabric is best for your lifestyle, West Elm has an amazing sofa guide. Not only does it give you a variety of fabric choices and colors, but it also has a size guide, advice for arm and cushion details, inspiration, and more resources.
west elm leather couch

FAQS: Choosing the Best Dog-Friendly Couch

Should I let my dogs sit on my couch?

Many owners had no problems except for vacuuming up pet hair and cleaning up pet oil stains. The cuddling privileges are often well worth the risks, particularly for the owners of the couch privileges. However, some dogs with a couch advantage can be considered equal to the home’s human inhabitants, which may lead to disobedience.


Join the Conversation

  1. I wish I would have read this post sooner!! I bought a new couch from a local store a few months ago, and I’ve already had to get an upholstery cleaning twice because of all the pet stains and hair. Next time I’m doing more research and going with a darker, more durable couch!

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