Full Grain vs. Top Grain Leather: Which Is Right for Your Home Theater Furniture?

top grain leather

The seats are one of the most important parts of your home theater setup.

Distance from the screen isn’t the only thing you need to consider when it comes to picking the right seats. You have to think about the material too. And when it comes to home theaters, leather is one of the best options.

But there are numerous different types of leather, so how do you choose the right one?

Take a look at this guide to learn the difference between full grain and top grain leather.

What’s the Difference Between Full Grain and Top Grain Leather?

Both types of leather, full grain leather, and top grain leather differ in many ways. They vary in many aspects, including appearance, quality, cost, and durability.

But the most important differences come down to the grade, the cut, and the texture.

Here’s a quick explanation of full grain and top grain leather.

Full Grain

Full grain leather doesn’t have any polish, finish, or other types of treatment. In other words, it looks more natural than any other kind of leather out there. As full grain leather ages, it forms patinas from use. This makes the leather richer and the appearance more genuine.

Full grain leather comes from the top layers of animal hide. You can find full grain leather in a number of different grains. The difference in grains shows the leather isn’t processed and is of good quality.

No matter what kind of grain pattern you prefer, you can find a full grain leather to meet your tastes.

Top Grain

While similar to full grain leather, top grain leather has had more processing. The top layer has been sanded down to rid the leather of any imperfections. Because of this, the leather appears neater and more consistent.

For people who don’t like the natural imperfections that come with full grain leather, top grain leather is another high-quality option. But remember, when it comes to leather, scars, and imperfections, they are a part of the beauty.

Every piece of leather will have a different grain pattern, no matter what type you choose. Think of them like different pieces of wood. All leather has its own amount of uniqueness.

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Which Leather Is Right for My Home Theater Furniture?

This decision depends on several things, but the most important things to consider are your budget and your personal preference. While both full grain and top grain leather are quality material, you have to pick the one that better suits your needs.

Here’s a list of considerations to keep in mind while shopping for leather furniture for your home theater.


As you might have guessed from the descriptions above, full grain leather is higher quality than top grain leather. In fact, full grain leather is the highest quality leather you can buy on the market.

But top grain leather is only second to full grain. Both are excellent types of material.

If the quality isn’t enough to help you make up your mind, the cost is another big deciding factor.


Full grain leather costs more money than top grain leather. Because it’s higher quality, it is thick and hard to work with. This coupled with its natural appearance and durable surface makes it expensive.

Top grain leather is thinner, which makes it easier for manufacturers to manipulate. It doesn’t take as much effort to make products out of top grain leather, so it doesn’t cost as much for consumers to buy this leather.

If you want high-quality leather but have a tight budget, you’ll want to choose top grain.


We’ve already gone over the appearance somewhat, but it’s worth another mention. After all, this is the part of the leather you’ll see and have to live with. So you want to make sure you pick a type of leather you enjoy.

Full grain leather looks natural. It comes with all the scars and imperfections found on the animal hide. If the hide had a branding mark on the surface, you’ll be able to see it on your leather.

Because the top layer of the hide is gone, top gain leather doesn’t have these same imperfections. Many manufacturers imprint their top grain leather with an imitation grain to make it look more uniform.

Before you pick either of these leathers, you have to ask yourself if you prefer leather that looks more natural or more consistent.


The top layer of the hide is the strongest part of it. Because top grain leather has had this portion sanded off, it isn’t as durable as full grain leather. This means top grain will wear out quicker.

Full grain leather still has this portion of the hide intact. Though it is thicker and more durable than top grain leather, it’s also breathable. This prevents the leather from sucking up too much moisture during periods of lengthy contact.

Buying full grain leather will give you furniture that lasts a long time, so you don’t have to worry about replacing it.


The more you use your full grain leather, the better it looks. As it ages, the leather begins to burnish. The older your full grain leather becomes, the more beautiful it gets.

This isn’t true with top grain leather.

While the imitation grain on the surface protects the leather from stains and spills, it keeps the leather from developing over time. When you buy top grain leather, it will look the same in several years as it did when you bought it.

Choosing the Best Leather for Your Home Theater

Picking between full grain and top grain leather comes down to your budget, your preference, and how you plan to use it. Remember, just because full grain leather looks better with time doesn’t mean you don’t have to maintain it. If you’re looking for furniture you can buy and never think about again, you shouldn’t choose leather seats.

But if you take care of it, leather furniture can make a beautiful addition to your home theater.

Still setting up your home theater? Make sure you take a look at these 10 accessories you can’t go without.

Contact Us or Stop By Our Downtown St. Petersburg FL Showroom For a Demo.

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