Polyester vs MicroFiber vs Velvet Couches (Which Should You Choose?)

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With countless couches to pick and choose from, selecting the perfect one can be challenging. Your specific needs, budget, and preferences all determine what the ideal couch will look like for you. 

Pastel abstract painting on beige wall behind velvet pink settee in simple living room

A Quick Couch Material Comparison

 Microfibre CouchVelvet CouchPolyester Couch
Cleaning DifficultyEasy (watermarks/stains)Medium (Moisture sensitive, specialized cleaning) Easy 
ComfortMedium to HighMedium to High (summer discomfort)Medium (winter discomfort)
AppearanceModern, smoothLuxurious, timelessRelaxed (piling prone/unnatural)
AffordabilityBudget-friendlyExpensive luxury materialBudget-friendly
Color FadingHigh resistanceLow resistanceHigh resistance
Pet FriendlySemi (static)No (attracts dust and hair)Yes (it can be static)
Eco FriendlyNo (synthetically derived)Lower enviro impact No (non-renewable, not biodegradable)

Related: Comparing Leather vs Polyester couches

Polyester vs. microfiber vs. velvet couches: In-Depth Breakdown

All couch materials come with their unique pros and cons. Here is a quick guide to help you better understand the differences and which should work best for you, your family, and your home. 


Polyester, microfiber, and velvet are popular couch materials for their high durability. 

While all three couches are long-lasting (with the proper care and maintenance), velvet couches are typically considered the most durable. 

Still, polyester and microfibre couches fare less well over time. 

Ease of cleaning

If your home is action-packed, with kids and pets skurrying about – the ability to clean your couch effortlessly and speedily will be a top priority. 

Polyester or microfibre for busy homes

I strongly recommend opting for a microfibre or polyester couch instead of velvet. 

Due to their synthetic materials, both polyester and microfibre couches are simpler to clean. Their materials are also a great deal more tolerant of staining and spilling. 

It’s not all picture-perfect. Polyester couches can be tricky when considering deep stains; specific cleaning solutions can affect the material. Microfibre couches can also develop watermarks if wet. 

However, these issues are still considerably easier to cope with than cleaning and maintaining a velvet couch. 

Velvet requires some effort

Even though velvet couches can come treated with stain-resistant coatings, they still require specialized cleaning products and regular vacuuming to keep them looking good. 

Velvet’s sensitivity to moisture can also make spills more of a challenge. 

Comfort level

Couch comfort is vital. Of course, it also depends on what you intend to use your couch for and your personal preferences. 

Velvet couches and microfibre couches are more comfortable than polyester couches. 

Polyester is not the cozy option

Although polyester couches can be comfortable, their fabric could be more breathable. Unfortunately, this can make them less comfortable in the summer months. 

Polyester is also not naturally soft or plush and has been described as feeling stiff to the touch. 

Hypoallergenic and soft microfibre

Microfibre couches typically have a soft, almost velvety feel to them. 

If you prefer more natural textures, you may not enjoy the synthetic feel microfibre sometimes has. 

On the other hand, if any of your family members suffer from allergies, you will be happy to know that microfibre is hypoallergenic and should not irritate sensitive skin. 

Velvet offers the ultimate comfort

Velvet couches offer a high comfort level due to their soft, plush texture. Nothing is more satisfying than falling into a velvety seat with your magazine for the afternoon. 

On winter days, the velvet will retain heat and keep you feeling snug. But, of course, in summer, you may feel less impressed. 

Looks and appearance

Does your room need more style and sophistication, or are you looking for a modern or laid-back design? Couch materials can drastically change the character and aesthetics of a room. 

Velvet sophistication

If you want a timeless look that brings elegance and a welcoming aesthetic to a room, velvet is the obvious choice. 

Velvet is wonderfully versatile and will complement most room styles (it comes in various colors and patterns).  

Polyester can turn natty

Polyester couches are also available in a variety of colors and patterns. In addition, they can be smooth or textured, depending on their material blend. 

Some polyester couches can appear cheap or plasticky compared to other, more organic natural materials. They also tend to wear out and look untidy with time. 

Since polyester is prone to piling, your couch may not retain its former glory for too long if you have a household full of pets and kids. 

Versatile and contemporary microfibre

Microfibre couches are also available in numerous shades of color. 

Many microfibre designs have a modern, contemporary look, and their suede-like appearance allows them to work well in many different settings. 

Microfibre couches are great for pet and child-friendly homes and work brilliantly with bold accessories. 


Quality of the fabric, size, style, and brand of couch all play a role in a couch’s overall price tag. 

In general, microfibre and polyester couches are more affordable than velvet couches. 

Polyester and microfibre couches are similarly priced, but occasionally high-end polyester couches can be more expensive. 

For the budget-friendly homeowner

If you are on a budget, a polyester couch is an affordable choice. 

Polyester couches, made from synthetic fibers, are cheaper than those made with natural fibers. In addition, couches with synthetic fibers are far less expensive to produce. 

Expensive velvet 

Velvet couches, on the other hand, are expensive. Velvet is typically made from high-quality natural fibers such as silk or cotton. 

What’s more, producing velvet couches is far more labor-intensive than producing polyester or microfibre couches, which pushes the price up significantly. 

Color fading resistance

Does your room radiate with natural sunlight? If so, you need to consider couch materials more seriously. 

Sunlight-resistant couch options

Microfibre and polyester couches are a lot more sunlight resistant than velvet couches

Microfibre is relatively good in direct sunlight and should enjoy years of usage before showing any signs of fading.  

Fade-resistant polyester

Polyester couches are by far the most fade-resistant of all couch materials. 

Even in direct sunlight, the fabric retains its color brilliantly. In addition, polyester couches are UV resistant, making them even more suitable for the outdoors. 

Stay away from velvet

Velvet is known for fading and is better placed in an area away from direct sunlight. 

Look for more light-resistant couch materials, or find a new spot for your velvet couch. Avoid spending money on a couch you can only enjoy for a few years. 

Pet friendly? 

We all love our furry friends! However, if you own pets, you will recognize the need to consider them before making expensive upholstery decisions.  

A thumbs down for velvet

Velvet couches are a no-go for pet owners – unless, of course, you wish to spend your life professionally cleaning your couch. 

Velvet couches require extra maintenance and are not resilient to stains or kitty scratches. 

Velvet efficiently traps pet hair and is a hair removal nightmare. It is also not the ideal couch option for allergy sufferers.  

Microfibre can work well

Microfibre couches are a good option for pet owners since they are relatively resistant to stains and scratches. 

On the other hand, microfibres can accumulate static electricity, allowing hair and dust to stick more easily (this may mean a few extra couch cleans).

One drawcard is that cats don’t usually enjoy the feeling of smooth microfibre surfaces and are less likely to scratch them. 

Pet-friendly polyester

Polyester is the best couch material option for pet owners – durable, easy to clean, and stain resistant. 

A polyester couch may not be your pet’s first choice. It won’t be as snug and soft as other couch options, but that’s nothing a throw or cushion can’t fix.  

Polyester is also known to generate static electricity (which can attract pet hairs), but fortunately, it is relatively easy to clean.  

How eco-friendly is your couch?

Those not purchasing unsustainable, non-environmentally friendly products may want to consider their couch’s environmental footprint. 

How eco-friendly a couch is, depends on a variety of factors. For example, materials, manufacturing, construction, and how couches are disposed of at the end of their lifespan affect their eco-friendly status.

Consider how these three couch material options fair.

Polyester couches and the earth

Polyester couches are not your most eco-friendly option. 

Polyester is a non-renewable resource and is also not biodegradable. In addition, the couches manufacturing process contributes to environmental damage, and the process of recycling polyester is complex and requires much energy. 

Microfibre couches and the earth

A microfibre couch is also not an earth-loving choice. 

Microfibre is synthetically derived, and its manufacturing processes contribute to pollution and environmental damage. Microfibre is also not biodegradable; recycling them is also a complex process. 

Velvet is the better choice

When considering the three couch material options and their effect on the environment, velvet comes out tops. 

Velvet materials are made from more natural fibers, making them more eco-friendly with a lower environmental impact. 

The degree of velvet couch eco-friendliness will, of course, vary depending on the manufacturer. The key is to look for couches that are made from sustainable materials and that use eco-friendly processes. 

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