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Family and Pet-Friendly Fabric Solutions for Living Room Seating

Everyday life can take a toll on our favorite pieces of furniture—especially with an active family or energetic pets in the house. When it comes to finding a new sofa, chair or sectional, we have to consider a balance between fashion and function. Not only should the new seating blend with our distinct style, but also stand the test of enthusiastic family members and furry pets. The last thing you want is to invest in high-quality furniture just to have it quickly stained, scratched or scuffed. Choosing the right family-friendly fabric or leather keeps furniture looking just as fresh and clean as it was on the day it was purchased.
Consider these pet- and family-friendly upholstery options that create both a stylish aesthetic while remaining tough against unwanted scratches and accidental spills.

Mixed Manmade Fabrics

Blended fabrics, natural fibers mixed with polyester, are much easier to clean in the event of a sudden movie-night spill or muddy puppy paws. Some fabric blends are even made to specifically resist stains—making this a great option if you find yourself cleaning up frequent messes. Microsuede, for example, maintains the same soft and delicate feel of natural suede, but is much easier to wash, spot-clean and keep fur-free.

Choosing darker tones, or even fabrics that match your pet’s hair, can help ease any change in appearance as well. The Naoki and Vancour fabric collections range in natural hues from rich blues to fresh tans, grays and creams. Younger & Co. also features a plethora of industrial-strength, heavy-duty fabrics that offer plush comfort along with resilient durability.


By investing a bit more in leather upholstery, sofas and chairs stand the test of time and wear far better than most fabrics. Its natural sheen keeps it free from fur. With just a quick vacuum and wipe, the cat’s favorite sleeping spot looks new again. Leather that includes an additional layer of wax or oil adds extra protection.
Although leather is prone to scratch marks, some don’t mind the slight wear and tear in a worn leather look. As it naturally ages and improves over time, leather is less likely to fade after frequent cleanings or wear. Overall, it holds up far stronger than other fabric upholstery, making this an excellent go-to for the main seating area of your home.

Washable Natural Fabrics

In addition to leather, you can also choose from a range of washable, natural fabrics for optimal pet-friendly furniture protection. Cotton and linen covers are easy to clean in a pinch, whether spot-cleaning or—when working with a slipcover—simply placing in the washing machine. Our 100% linen slipcovers are machine-washable, and actually become more plush and silky with time and wear. Other natural fabrics with either a tight weave or low pile make for easy vacuuming and hair removal as well. Outside of these choices, avoid fabrics such as velvet at wool, which can be difficult to clean and act as a magnet for fur.

Outdoor Fabric

For the toughest protection, outdoor upholstery fights against spills and rips with the endurance needed for a porch or patio. While remaining soft and comfortable to the touch, outdoor fabrics are built to withstand the natural elements, and in this case, that also means protection against stains from family gatherings or pets.

Sunbrella fabrics, for example, feature all the necessary protections of outdoor furniture while remaining soft and elegant for indoor design. Their textiles are waterproof, mildew-resistant and easy to clean, even when bleach or similarly strong cleaners are required.

Additionally, the Bellevie Sofa by Fermob has the sleek look appropriate for both porch or living room, while featuring a durable frame and stain-resistant upholstery. Its cushions’ solution-dyed acrylic thread retains all the strength and protection of other outdoor fabrics without losing its breathability and comfort.
For extra protection, outdoor fabrics also make for strong slipcovers as well. These help transition sofas through the years of having toddlers in the house or when you’re worried about pet scratching.

Extra Things to Consider

Furniture structure and the material’s texture can also ease cleanup and long-term maintenance in a dynamic home. No matter which type of upholstery or slipcover you choose, these additional tips will keep your furniture looking newer longer.

Patterned Material

Consider patterned linen in stripes or other tightly knit combinations to hide little imperfections or changes in the texture of the cushion.

Detachable Cushions

Set yourself up for success to catch kitty or dog hair as well as any fallen crumbs by chooses seating with removable cushions and pillows. As they wear and change shape, this also makes them easy to flip and adjust.

Never Sacrifice Comfort

Just because you want to protect your seating from wear and tear, doesn’t mean you need to give up a comfortable place to lounge. All of our sofas, sectionals, and loveseats come in a range of family-friendly fabrics while featuring the comfort fit for an evening of rest and rejuvenation.

Whether you have a beloved pet, an enthusiastic young family, or both, it’s common to feel anxiety when choosing a new sofa. After all, it’s the central focus of relaxation in the home for the whole gang. No matter the style you choose, select a material that stands every bump, scratch or spill, and revel in the peace of mind that family-friendly material ensures.

  • Ali Qari

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