Discover The Best Leather Office Chairs Online With Our 2024 Guide

Leather Office Chair Buyer's Guide


  • Introduction
  • How to tell manmade leather from real leather when shopping online
  • Manmade VS real leather compared - which is best?
  • 5 stylish leather desk chairs from the 2024 Fenstone® range
  • Leather and foam warranties
  • Conclusion


When it comes to selecting the best leather office chair, the choices can be overwhelming, especially when shopping online. Confusing technical language and a lack of transparency about the type of leather the chair is made from makes online buying a challenge and can lead to unexpected purchases that are difficult and costly to return. In this comprehensive buyer’s guide, we’ll explain the key details that will help you make an informed decision, the pros and cons of manmade versus real leather chairs and the importance of a leather warranty that offers peace of mind against damage and underlines the manufacturer’s confidence in the quality of their product.

How to tell manmade leather from real leather when shopping online

Leather Chair Types Explained

Search online for "leather chair for office" and you'll quickly be presented with hundreds of pages of chairs that are difficult to tell apart and also vary wildly in price. The vast majority of these products are manmade leather and online retailers tend not to make the distinction between synthetic and genuine leather particularly clear. Understanding the technical descriptions and characteristics of the various types of leather can help you make an informed decision about the chair's inherent value, so be sure to check the product's technical information for the following definitions:

Real Leather

  • A real leather desk chair is made from the hide of animals, typically cows. The process involves tanning the hide to create a durable, flexible material. Known for its strength and longevity, genuine leather can last for many years with proper care.

Bonded Leather

  • Bonded leather is made from leftover leather scraps that are ground together and bonded with polyurethane or latex onto a fibre sheet. It contains some real leather content but is mostly synthetic.

Vegan Leather

  • Vegan leather is a broad term for synthetic leather made from various materials, such as polyurethane (PU), polyvinyl chloride (PVC), or innovative plant-based options like cork or apple peels. It is entirely free from animal products.

PU Leather (Synthetic polyurethane)

PU leather is a type of synthetic leather made from a split leather base coated with polyurethane. This process gives it a consistent and smooth finish and it is one of the most common materials for leather chairs sold on the internet.

Manmade VS real leather compared - which is best?

Manmade Versus Genuine Leather Chairs Compared

Among the myriad of options that can be found on the internet, leather office desk chairs often stand out for their elegance and perception of luxury. However, the choice between real leather and manmade leather is not straightforward. Each material comes with its own set of advantages and disadvantages and both can look fantastic in a wide range of settings. Let's compare the pros and cons of real leather versus manmade leather chairs: 

Real Leather Office Chairs


Durability and Longevity:

  • Real leather is renowned for its strength and resilience. It can withstand years of use if well maintained, making it a worthwhile investment for those seeking longevity.

Aesthetic Appeal:

  • High quality leather chairs have a rich texture and natural variations that exude luxury and sophistication, enhancing the overall look of your office space.

Comfort and Breathability:

  • Real leather is naturally breathable, which means it adapts to the temperature and provides a comfortable seating experience even during prolonged use.

Ages Gracefully:

  • Over time, a real leather computer chair develops a unique patina that adds character and charm, often making the chair look even better as it ages.


High Cost:

  • The primary downside of real leather is its price. High-quality leather office chairs can be expensive, making them less accessible for budget-conscious buyers.  

Maintenance Requirements:

  • Real leather requires regular care, including cleaning and conditioning, to maintain its appearance and prevent drying and cracking.

Environmental Impact:

  • The production of real leather involves significant environmental costs, including resource-intensive animal husbandry and chemical-laden tanning processes.

Manmade Leather Office Chairs



  • Manmade leather, such as PU leather and bonded leather, is generally much more affordable than real leather, offering a similar look at a fraction of the cost.

Ease of Maintenance:

  • Synthetic leathers are easier to clean and maintain. A simple wipe with a damp cloth is usually enough to keep them looking good, reducing the time and effort required for upkeep.

Consistent Appearance:

  • Manmade leather provides a uniform look without the natural imperfections found in real leather, ensuring a sleek and consistent appearance.

Eco-Friendly Options:

  • Some manmade leathers, especially vegan leather, are produced using environmentally friendly methods and materials, making them a more sustainable choice.



  • Manmade leathers are generally less durable than real leather (if well maintained). They are more prone to cracking, peeling, and wear over time, which can shorten the chair's lifespan versus a real leather alternative.

Non Breathable Material:

  • Synthetic leathers are often less breathable than real leather, potentially leading to discomfort during long periods of sitting due to heat build-up.

Aging shows sign of wear:

  • Unlike real leather, manmade leather does not develop a patina. Instead, it tends to deteriorate in appearance as it ages, requiring more frequent replacements.


When deciding between real leather and PU leather office chairs, it ultimately comes down to your personal preferences and budget. Real leather offers greater durability, comfort, and a timeless aesthetic that improves with age. However, it comes at a far higher cost and requires more maintenance. 

On the other hand, manmade leather provides a more cost-effective and low-maintenance option while still delivering comfort, style and a modern look. It’s a practical choice for those seeking to balance budget and aesthetics, though it may lack the longevity of a real leather alternative.

By carefully considering these factors, you can choose the office chair that best suits your needs, ensuring both comfort and style in your workspace.

5 Stylish leather chairs from the 2024 Fenstone® range

Fenstone supply both synthetic and real leather chairs for the office, with both stocked and made to order options that offer a unique range of colours and finishes. Below are 5 examples from our 2024 range.

Symphony Executive Leather Chair

Introducing the Symphony executive chair, a perfect blend of deeply padded comfort and robust durability for discerning professionals. This high-back leather office chair offers generous padding for optimal support during long workdays, featuring a reinforced seat and back panel to support users up to 35 stone. The Symphony's heavy-duty, contoured seat and back cradle your body in luxurious comfort, with soft bonded leather upholstery adding sophistication to any workspace. It includes a locking tilt mechanism and weight tilt tension control for customizable tilt and resistance, while the matching chrome 5-star base and arm frame enhance its aesthetic appeal. Fixed padded arms provide additional support, making the Symphony executive leather office chair an ideal addition to any workspace or home office where durability, comfort, and style are paramount.

Ellipse Black Leather Desk Chair

The Ellipse luxury leather desk chair combines comfort and sophistication, making it a standout addition to any workspace. Crafted from designer vegan leather, its sleek, modern design features striking aluminium arms that exude elegance and provide additional lumbar support. Suitable for users up to 150KG, this leather swivel chair boasts an aluminium 5-star base for maximum stability and smooth movement. Its height is easily adjustable, and the seat can be tilted and locked in place for customised comfort. With its meticulous attention to detail, the Ellipse chair offers unparalleled comfort and style, perfect for both desk work and conference room meetings.

Allow Me Real Leather Office Chair

The AllowMe genuine leather office chair is a versatile, agile seating solution designed for contemporary workspaces, seamlessly adapting to various work scenarios, from executive meetings to dynamic sit-stand environments. Featuring a sleek design and an intuitive interface, AllowMe offers style, comfort, and convenience for both office and home use. Its innovative back support system, with a patented dual coiled helix mechanism, provides responsive, ergonomic support, adapting to natural movements. Fixed-height arms function as elbow rests and allow for greater freedom of movement, with optional soft touch gel arm pads for added comfort. The chair’s design, without a bulky reclining mechanism, allows for a longer gas lift, accommodating a wide seat height range, ideal for height-adjustable desks. Available with a 5-star wheeled base or a 4-star base with fixed glider feet, AllowMe is a real leather desk chair that epitomises design innovation on every level.

Available finishes: Black leather, grey leather, brown leather, tan leather, red leather, blue leather, green leather and more on request. This is a made to order product with a 4-6 week leadtime.

Embrace Leather Ergonomic Office Chair

Introducing the Embrace ergonomic leather office chair, a chiropractor-approved solution designed to support your spine and enhance well-being throughout the workday. Combining ergonomic excellence with innovative features, the Embrace offers gas height adjustment for customised seating, a synchronised reclining back and seat mechanism for natural movement, and tilt lock with recline tension adjustment for stability. It also features adjustable seat depth for proper pelvis alignment and user-adjustable lumbar support to alleviate discomfort. With a height-adjustable backrest and headrest, the Embrace leather ergonomic chair ensures comprehensive upper body support. Ideal for both home and professional offices, the Embrace promises unmatched comfort and support, investing in your well-being.

Astor Brown Leather Office Chair

Introducing the Astor contemporary leather office chair, a perfect blend of timeless design and modern flair, crafted for discerning professionals. Meticulously detailed with integrated wood effect accents, this high back leather chair combines classic features with innovative design. The Astor's high-density poured foam cushioning, wrapped in sophisticated brown PU vegan leather, ensures both durability and elegance. Ergonomically designed, it offers excellent lumbar support to promote proper posture and alleviate discomfort. Versatile and adaptable, the Astor luxury leather desk chair seamlessly fits into both traditional and contemporary office settings. Its refined tilt with tension adjustment, adjustable seat height, and fixed armrests guarantee optimal comfort and support, enhancing productivity throughout the workday.

Leather and foam warranties

Avoid any leather office chair that does not include a leather and foam warranty. A well looked after leather chair should last many years but a warranty provides peace of mind by protecting against unexpected damage. It typically covers defects in materials and craftsmanship, ensuring that if the leather cracks, fades, or peels prematurely, you won’t face costly repairs or replacements. This warranty safeguards both the chair’s appearance and its functionality.

Additionally, a leather warranty often indicates the manufacturer’s confidence in their product. Companies that offer leather warranties usually use superior materials and stringent quality control, making the warranty a mark of quality.


Both manmade and real leather office chairs look fantastic in the right setting, with high quality examples difficult to tell apart from a short distance. Real leather offers greater durability if well maintained, a more supple material that offers a comfort advantage and a luxurious aesthetic that can enhance any home office or professional workspace. Its natural breathability and aging grace add to its appeal, making it a worthwhile long-term investment despite its higher cost and maintenance requirements.

On the other hand, manmade contemporary leather chairs present a more cost-effective option while still providing a sleek and modern look that can be indistinguishable from real leather at a short distance. It's easier to maintain, still provides ample comfort and can be more environmentally friendly by utilising recycled materials. However, it may not offer the same level of durability as genuine leather and its appearance can degrade more quickly over time.

We hope you have enjoyed our 2024 guide to buying a leather office chair and as always, we welcome your feedback in the comments section below.


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