PU Leather vs Real Leather: What’s the difference?

You can see many leather products whenever you go out to explore the market for shopping, be it shoes, bags, or jackets. Most people think that all these items are made of the same leather and there is no difference in the material.

I am here to burst the bubble that all leather items are made with a different material which the common man cannot differentiate in. Read this article to know the basic difference between PU leather and real leather so you can identify correctly while buying. I hope this article will help buy your favorite items in the right leather material.

PU Leather vs Real Leather – Detailed Comparison

PU Leather Vs Real Leather

Polyurethane Leather

As clear by the name, PU leather or polyurethane leather is artificial leather made with plastics/trees. It is used as an alternative to real leather and is comparatively less expensive. This is one of the different kinds of artificial leather available in the market.

You all might be aware of the fact that genuine or real leather is made with animal skin, the PU leather is made with kelp, plastics, and trees. Basically, it is manufactured with the leftovers after the real leather is manufactured.

Polyurethane or PU Leather

If I am honest, a common man cannot differentiate between PU and genuine leather because the feel of both of these is the same. The PU or artificial leather looks exactly the same but is lighter in weight.

When it comes to durability or life, PU leather tends to crack, tear or peel within a year or two after use. The pollution produced by the manufacturing of PU leather is not the same as genuine leather as it does not need tanning or sulfate coating.

This is not the only factor that should be taken into account because PU disappoints when it comes to decomposition and biodegradability. Although it does not contribute to air or environmental pollution, it does add to land pollution.

One thing that is important to know before purchasing anything made with PU leather is that it is not breathable like real leather. Keep on reading to know some of the pros and cons so you can have a much clear idea.

Pros of PU Leather

  • As PU leather is artificially made, you can get it made in many colors and designs depending upon the use and preference.
  • It is used as an alternative because of its lower price.
  • PU leather does not need tanning as a result of which it does not contribute to air pollution.
  • It is manufactured with the help of leftovers and trees.

Cons of PU Leather

  • The durability or life of PU is less when compared with real leather.
  • It tends to crack or tear down and is not breathable.
  • PU leather does not improve with use like genuine leather.

Real Leather

Real or genuine leather is made with the real skin of different animals. This is the reason that it is heavy and the quality improves with time. Although it is expensive but is considered a lifelong investment as it looks the same even after years.

It is heavy because it is manufactured with cow or horse skin but allows breathability. This is why people like investing in items made with real leather even after they are almost three times the price of the PU or artificial leather products available in the market.

Real Leather

One of the major disadvantages of using real leather is that it goes through a tanning process that adds to the pollution. The real skin of the animals needs to be tanned to get the desired color and finish.

Although this process is considered to be very quick and efficient, it uses sulfate which is extremely harmful when mixed into the air. As mentioned above, genuine leather will stay in the same condition for years but in fact, it will get better with use if maintained properly.

When compared with PU leather, it almost has the same appearance and finishes but people who are pro can identify the difference between them. You can notice that real leather is used in the manufacturing of different items from clothes to shoes, bags, and even furniture. Continue reading the article on the pros and cons of real leather so you can invest your money wisely in any of its products.

Pros of Real Leather

  • One of the advantages of using real leather is that it does not crack and stays in the same condition for decades.
  • It is breathable and comfortable which is why people use it.
  • Real leather has a smooth finish and appearance.
  • It is safe for use because animal skin is used in manufacturing.

Cons of Real Leather

  • Real leather is expensive and adds to air pollution.
  • It needs to be maintained properly so you can use it for years.
  • Unlike PU leather, this is available in limited colors because animal skin is used in the making.
  • When exposed to the Sun, this can get discolored.

Difference between PU Leather and Real Leather

When we compare PU leather vs real leather, the first thing we can notice is that both of these look the same. There is hardly any difference between them which confuses people who have limited knowledge about the material. As PU leather does not go through the tanning process, the manufacturers sometimes make them in color and style that look the same as the real leather to create ambiguity for the customers.

Even if you have no knowledge and you use your common sense, you would see some imperfection in the items made with real leather because the animal skin cannot be altered when it comes to texture. PU leather is artificially made which is why it is smooth and looks very soft when touched. Hence these are the common differences and similarities that can help you choose the right kind of leather items for yourself.

Frequently Asked Questions

Is PU leather high quality?

Yes, PU leather is high quality as materials like trees, leftovers of animal skin, and kelp are used in production. As it is artificially made, it does not mean that the quality is compromised.

Does PU leather mean fake?

PU leather is an alternate and affordable version of real leather and is considered to be vegan. It is not fake and serves the same purpose just like genuine leather.

Which quality leather is best?

In my opinion, real leather or full-grain leather is the best because they last for decades and are safe for use as well.

Concluding Real vs PU Leather Comparison

Hence a brief but informative article on the differences and similarities between PU and real leather is written for some help when you go out to shop for your favorite items. This will help you identify different kinds of leather so you can invest your money in the items that are actually needed. Items made with both of these leather types are widely used by people according to their preferences.

We participate in affiliate programs to help us fund Homeoure. Some of the links in Homeoure are affiliate links, which means that if you purchase a product using our link, we will earn a small commission. Don’t worry! This comes at no additional cost to you, and we will never base our reviews on whether or not we earn a commission off of a product. With that said, if you find our review helpful and are willing to purchase it, we would be very appreciative if you use Homeoure links to do so. It will help us bring you more helpful content in the future!

Leave a Comment