Microfiber vs. Micro-Suede vs. Ultrasuede

TLS Orson SofaWhen it comes to buying home furniture, you want your sofas, beds and pillows wrapped in material that feels soft, comfortable, and inviting.  During your search you’re bound to come across material names such as microfiber, micro-suede and Ultrasuede.  They all sound soothing, but what do they really mean? 


TLS_Blake Convertible SofaMicrofiber – an ultra-thin synthetic fiber

Microfiber is a category of synthetic fiber that’s spun extra thin, hence the use of the term “micro”.  It is technically any fiber less than 1 denier, the unit by which silk is measured, making it thinner than silk!  The fibers are made from a variety of synthetics like polyester and rayon and can be made to resemble natural products like leather or silk.  Because of its versatility, businesses use it for a wide array of products, including athletic clothing, cleaning supplies, insulation, tablecloths, and basketballs, as well as furniture.

There are so many benefits to choosing microfiber furniture:

  • Keeps Out Allergens – Microfibers can be weaved or knit very tightly allowing them to keep dust and other allergens from seeping inside furniture.
  • Stain-Resistant – Those same tight-knit properties also make microfiber furniture stain-resistant.  Spilled liquid initially forms into beads making it easy to wipe away (just don’t rub it in or let it sit too long)
  • Easy to Clean – All you need to do is wipe with a dry cloth or use a small vacuum.
  • Comfortable – It is soft to the touch and comfortable to sit on.
  • Durable – It holds up well to cleaning and usage and maintains its color for many years

When shopping for sofas, many people debate between leather and microfiber.  Often microfiber is a less expensive alternative and microfiber furniture is great for families with kids or pets who worry about the couch getting damaged.  If you’re looking for a contemporary microfiber sofa that can also convert into a bed, the Blake Convertible Sofa is an excellent choice.


TLS_Sofia JavaMicro-suede – a soft type of microfiber

Here’s a great analogy:  If microfiber is fish, then micro-suede is a trout or tuna.  Essentially micro-suede is a type of microfiber created with 100% polyester and is designed to look and feel like real suede.  Why would someone choose micro-suede over real suede?  For the same reasons anyone chooses microfiber – its qualities of stain-resistance, comfort, and durability, along with its expected cost-savings.

Micro-suede can be found everywhere in the home furnishings department.  There are cushy micro-suede couches like the Sophia Java and heavenly pillows like the TEMPUR-Rhapsody™ Pillow whose bottom half is wrapped in micro-suede goodness.


TLS_Orson 2Ultrasuede – a trademarked brand of micro-suede

Just like micro-suede is a type of microfiber, Ultrasuede is a brand name of micro-suede.  In fact, Ultrasuede is the original microsuede invented in Japan in the 1970s and it is still quite popular today.  The use of Ultrasuede in furniture is widespread and customers often recognize and seek out this specific material type.  While this material is the costliest of the bunch, it is also extremely durable, a breeze to clean, and oh-so-comfortable!


TLS_Metropolitan BedTaos Lifestyle has plenty of incredible Ultrasuede furniture options.  For bedding, we recommend the elegant Metropolitan Complete Bed with its stately structure and soft edges.  The Orson Sofa is another Ultrasuede option that combines dramatic design with unceasing comfort.  Sofas and beds aren’t the only Ultrasuede candidates.  Even the Jax Small Ottoman manages to merge Ultrasuede, color, and style.


Now that you understand the difference between microfiber, micro-suede, and Ultrasuede, you won’t be intimidated by these unfamiliar words and can truly enjoy your furniture shopping experience!

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