PU Leather VS Fabric : Which One To Choose For A Gaming Chair?

If you are looking for a gaming chair you probably wonder, which type of cover material you should take: PU Leather or fabric. Don’t worry, I have tested both types of material and I will give the pro and cons of each type.

So, PU Leather or fabric for a gaming chair? PU Leather gives a premium look to the chair. Depending on the quality it can mimic quite well real leather. Also, it is impermeable which makes it easy to clean but it can make you sweat more easily as it traps the heat. Fabric, on the other hand, is breathable but it is not as durable as PU Leather, and it is not available on most chairs. 

So this is the basic answer. However, the choice of the cover material is a little bit more complicated than that. I have a list of pro and cons for each type of cover material. If you want to know exactly which type is the best for you and why. Just continue to read.

So what is the difference between PU Leather and Fabric

The PU Leather is the most common cover material that you will find. You may ask what is PU Leather? It is simply an artificial leather made with Polyurethane (which is why we call it PU).

The main reason why PU leather is popular among gaming chair is the look. As I said, it can mimic the look and feel of real leather but for much cheaper. Also, has it is synthetic, it is easy to create a wide variety of colors. This is a key factor for manufacturers as they need to create colorful lineups.

Moreover, PU Leather is impermeable, which facilitate the cleaning as dust and other particles stay on the surface. Usually one wipe and you are good to go. This is also why when you sit on a PU Leather seat, you tend to sweat more at the contact points. This is due to the fact that it traps heat which makes you sweat.

This can be a huge problem if you leave in a warm area, or if you are someone who sweats easily.

Keep in mind that all these proprieties depends also on the quality of PU leather. Not all PU leather are the same, and cheap PU leather can have a very unpleasant plastic-y smell. The quality is going to impact the durability of the cover material, cheap chairs may have a thinner and less robust PU leather than a premium chair.

Pros of PU Leather:

  • Look like real leather
  • Cheaper than real leather
  • Easy to clean
  • A wide variety of colors


  • Traps heat
  • Easy to damages (especially if you animal with claws like cats).

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Gaming chairs made with fabric are rarer than PU Leather chair. That being said, more and more brand create products with fabric in it. Or with a combination of fabric and PU Leather.

The fabric used in gaming chairs is 100% of the time synthetic.  I’ve never heard of natural fabric in gaming chairs, but maybe it will come.

So, the first major difference is the look, you won’t have the same premium and luxurious feel of PU Leather. The fabric is also the cheapest cover material you can have on a gaming chair. Therefore, gaming chairs with fabric tend to be less expensive.

You can have a wide variety of color with fabric, but manufacturers are more focused on PU leather chair, so don’t find many colors for fabric gaming chairs.

Contrary to PU Leather, the fabric is breathable. So the heat is no longer trap and it can dissipate. This is great for warm areas or for sweaty gamers like me. On the other hand, this makes it very vulnerable to blot. You will have to be careful if you have a gaming chair in fabric, otherwise, it might not very look good in a couple of years.

This is why it might not be as durable as PU leather. That being said, if you are careful enough, you should be OK.

The quality of fabric it going to have a huge impact on the durability of the cover material. That being said, fabric is quite cheap, so even on low-cost chairs, the quality can be very decent. That is because switching from PU leather to fabric is a way to cut cost for the manufacturer.

Pros of fabric:

  • Breathable
  • The cheapest


  • Less durable than PU leather
  • Require more maintenance

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Which one is the best

It depends on what you are looking for. If you live in a cold area, where sometimes it be can warm, and you don’t want to think about cleaning your chair or being careful, you probably should take a PU leather chair.

On the other hand, if you are the sweaty guy who lives in Florida, a fabric gaming chair is certainly a better idea than a PU leather chair.

I have tested both, and I prefer to choose fabric if this is possible.

However, some PU Leather have micro-perforations which makes them more breathable. So if you sweat easily but you still want a PU leather gaming chair for the look, try to get one like that. I don’t have a list of chairs which have that feature (yet), but you can easily look at the image of the product to see if this is the case.

That being said, the best thing you could get is a gaming chair with real leather.

What about real leather?

Real leather will give you an outstanding look to your gaming chair while being more durable than PU Leather. Real leather can last for a long time maybe 10 years if you take care of it.

It is very easy to clean like PU leather, while still being breathable (because this is a real skin). You won’t be bothered by the heat of your body anymore. Also, real leather is hypoallergenic, which is great for people who have chronic allergic. And the final benefit, you won’t have plastic-y smell coming from your chair.

However, this is not something that you will find easily, and it is very very expensive. You only find that type of cover material in high-end brand like Noblechairs or SecretLab.

But if you can afford it, this is the best cover material for a gaming chair by far.

Are there other types of material?

You might find a gaming chair which has PVC leather instead of PU leather. They are both faux leather, but the difference is just in the manufacturing process. PVC leather is made of Polyvinyl Chloride. PU leather is usually softer than PVC leather.

From what I have seen so far no. You can find more exotic one like the coffer fiber that you have on PL4500. But in the end, this is just fabric with some tweaks in it.

Another type of “cover” are meshes. You can find them ergonomic chairs, but the Vertagear Trigger Line features the same type of material for the backrest.

This is the only one that I can think of.

Anyway, if you don’t which gaming chair to choose, I’ve listed the 26 best gaming chairs you can find here. I am sure you will be able to find the gaming chair you need in 5 min or less.

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Carl Chamoiseau

Founder of Topgamingchair.com and PC Gaming enthusiast, I review gaming chairs (and office chairs) since 2018. I have worked with some of the biggest brands in the industry: Secretlab, Noblechairs, Vertagear, DXRacer, AndaSeat to test new products and provide feedback.

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