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Discuss | Leather or Cloth. Which is the premium seat?

Jake Redman June 28, 2013 5

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Leather seats are almost always touted as a premium feature in airplanes and cars. But why? What is it about the impenetrable layer of glossy animal skin between you and what little foam or material lies underneath? Or are you more comfortable on top of a more breathable fabric?  Ignoring other factors; Which is your premium seat?

Cloth economy seat - airberlin
Like a warm blanket for our backside, cloth seats remind us of home. – Cloth seat aboard an airberlin A330.
Leather seats - Swiss Avro RJ100
Slick, smooth and less likely to retain the odor of the passenger before you. – Leather seats aboard a Swiss Avro RJ100









I remember a time when I preferred the cushy cloth seats of Northwest Airlines. Somehow they felt more cozy than Delta’s slick leather (clearly from blue cows). But since the two have merged and glossy blue is my new normal, I wonder what it was that I liked better about those occasionally-washed fabric NWA chairs.

We know that there’s more to a seats comfort than it’s fabric but want to know: Fabric or leather seats. Which do you like better?

Discuss freely in the comments. We’re betting on leather, but  curious to see why.06

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Jake Redman

Jake Redman

Modhop Host & Founder Jake Redman brings years of global exploration and travel tips to the podcast and our videos at Modhop. Jake is also a Producer and Host for SiriusXM.

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This post currently has 5 comments.
  1. modhop on June 28, 2013

    I’ll start. Leather. Simply because it’s doesn’t as easily absorb coffee spills and odor. Also the leather being made for airplane seats today is made to look newer for longer.

  2. Nicolas Bril on June 28, 2013

    Old american Airlines Flagship suites have a nice mix of leather and fabric. For short flights I prefer leather.long flights it’s nice to have fabric because it feels more like a bed…

  3. Karl Mitchell on June 28, 2013

    Cloth. There are some amazing cloth seat materials out there, especially if the airline spends as much on them as they do on the premium leather ones.

    Also note the large fraction of vegetarians in the world, most of whom dislike the use of leather but have to tolerate it.

  4. modhop on June 28, 2013

    Adding the comments from twitter and our Facebook page, cloth seats are winning (if this were a vote) by a fraction.

  5. Anthony on June 30, 2013

    I prefer leather but do they really use
    leather? The only bad thing about it is that when you sweat you stick to the seat.

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