Blog/Are Leather Sofas Cold in Winter?

Are Leather Sofas Cold in Winter?

Castlery   |   May 5, 2022

Leather is a beautiful natural material that can add a touch of elegance and style to any living space. Sofa sets and armchairs, occasional chairs and ottomans can all be covered in leather of all shades and types, providing a natural and hard-wearing furniture material. It’s this that makes it such a popular choice for furniture. However, people do have some reservations about choosing leather for their sofas. One of the key concerns is that leather can feel cold, especially when the temperature is colder during the winter months. So, is this true and if so, what can be done about it?

Mid-century modern leather sofa styled with warm throws and cushions The Isaac Leather Reversible Sectional Sofa is a mid-century stunner that allows versatility. Switch up between the left and right chaise easily, depending on your lounge preferences.

Are leather sofas cold?

If you sit on a leather sofa or chair on a cold day, the leather can immediately feel cold on the skin. However, the leather itself is no colder or warmer than the air around it. So, if the room is cold then then leather will be cold, and if the room is hot then you’ve guessed it, so is the leather. However, it’s all to do with how certain materials conduct and store heat.

For example, an air temperature of 18 degrees would feel mild, but if you jumped into water that was 18 degrees it would feel very cold indeed. That’s because water conducts heat in a different way to air. The thermometer readings are the same, but the feel is very different. It’s the same with leather and fabric sofas. They can both be in the same room but feel very different to the touch. The leather is no colder, but it stores and conducts heat slightly differently.

Is cold leather unpleasant?

If you do sit down on a leather sofa in a cold room it might feel cold to begin with, especially if you are touching it with bare skin. But of course, you are more likely to be wearing long sleeves and trousers in colder periods. So, this does mitigate the feeling of cold. Plus, as a natural material, leather responds very quickly to its surroundings, which means it warms up fast.

To add on, another benefit of a leather sofa is that it feels cooler on hot days, making it much more pleasant than some other fabrics during warmer periods. So, it’s a question of balance too.

Brown leather sofa styled in a modern contemporary living room The Mateo Leather Sofa is low to the ground with a sumptuous form. Its deep seats invite you to unwind in comfort.

Can you make leather feel warmer?

If you want to keep your fuel bills down and don’t want to unnecessarily heat a space just so your leather furniture feels warmer, simply add cushions or throws of varying fabrics. This will provide a warm touch while allowing you to keep the glamourous look and feel of leather sofas in your living space.

You can also create the feel of warmth in your room through a clever use of color and lighting. All of this can help to ‘trick’ the mind into feeling warmer, reducing the impact of the cold sensation of leather.

Minimalist, boxy brown leather sofa in a modern living room Boxy with a clean silhouette, the Jonathan Leather Sofa is a minimalist option that looks good from all angles.

Is leather a good choice for winter?

Leather, like our skin, is a porous and breathable material that adapts to the temperature of its surroundings. While it may look or feel cold in the winter due to the cool air, it can adapt quickly to the temperature of the user. In addition, if the room heater is turned on, the leather will warm up according to the room temperature. Using some throws and cushions on the sofa when needed can help make it look warm and cozy too. So, in short, don’t let the slightly cooler feel of leather put you off. It’s only really a very small variation and one for which there are plenty of workable solutions.

Mid-century modern leather armchair styled with an earthy jute rug With classic biscuit tufting and bolster cushions for comfort, the Madison Leather Armchair is an inviting piece that’s perfect for some quiet me-time.

Is a leather sofa good for cold weather?

Leather can feel colder when the ambient temperature is lower, but it is no colder than any other fabric. It’s all about how we experience hot and cold and how a natural material like leather responds to our touch. Leather can feel colder but will soon warm up and feel just as comfortable as any other fabric. However, the cooler feel of leather definitely brings much more comfort on hot days in the summer.

How do I keep my leather couch warm?

If you want to keep your leather couch warm, then you need to increase the ambient temperature, as leather responds to its direct environment. You can also add cushions and throws in very cold periods or if you want to keep your fuel bills down.

Does cold weather affect leather furniture?

The cold does not affect leather any differently to any other material. However, as leather is a natural material it will feel slightly different to some other fabrics, especially those that are synthetic. The reality is that leather reflects the ambient temperature, so it is all to do with how warm or cold your living space is.