Best Upholstery for Kids, Pets, and Summer Homes

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08 Jun 2020

Having pets, kids, or a combination of both may lead to a bit of concern when it comes to your upholstered furniture. The key is to be prepared and choose a fabric that will hold up to claws, stains, and general wear and tear.


So, what upholstery is best in these scenarios? There are multiple factors, and it depends on what you're looking for, but high-performing, stain-resistant fabrics are a great place to start.


The best upholstery


dog sitting on blue couch


For pets:

  • In general, you'll want a fabric with a tight weave. The best and most luxurious example of this is Ultrasuede, which is perfect for cats as their claws will not penetrate the fabric. It's unique in that it's a non-woven fabric that's extremely dense. Odor doesn't penetrate it, and it's resistant to pilling and fading. Do be aware that it can attract pet hair. Ultrasuede comes with a 10 year warranty.

  • Microfiber also has a tight weave, but it's a more affordable option that's highly cleanable and durable.

  • You may even choose leather as it's aesthetically beautiful, durable, and easy to clean. A protected leather will be more durable. If you choose a distressed leather, it will be easier to hide scratches and marks.


For kids:

  • Ultrasuede and microfiber are great options for kids and general wear and tear.

  • If you're concerned about spills and stains, Crypton will be your best bet. It's an antimicrobial fabric with a liquid barrier that repels stains.

  • Leather is also a great option in terms of cleanability and durability.


Additional options for both pets and kids include Revolution fabrics, which are made from polypropylene and are stain-resistant, as well InsideOut Performance Fabrics from Materialworks, also stain-resistant and ideal for everyday use.


child coloring in coloring book on coffee table in front of a blue and white stripped couch


For second homes / summer homes:

  • If you have a second home that's by the beach with an abundance of sunlight coming in, you might consider Sunbrella. It's widely recognized as the best anti-fade fabric, plus it's easy to clean and perfect for window seats and patio furniture.

  • Revolution fabrics are also ideal for beach homes because they’re fade resistant.

  • Another option for a beach home is linen. It's a beautiful, natural fabric that breathes easily and, like leather, gets better with age. Please note that linen doesn’t have any inherent stain protective properties, so you may want to get a furniture protection plan if you opt for linen.

  • Leather is a great choice for a cabin. It's easily cleanable, looks beautiful, and gets better with age. Do be aware that if you have a wood stove near a leather sofa, it's important to keep the leather moisturized.


Read more: Tips for Buying Furniture for a Second Home


Of course, many performance fabrics can be used in multiple scenarios. It really comes down to what's important to you, and whether you're looking for anti-fade, anti-stain, or durability. Or perhaps a combination of all three! For an in-depth review of the performance fabrics we carry, read more here.


fully furnished living room with light pastel colors


Additional tips

We recommend getting a protection plan for your upholstered furniture, especially if you have pets, kids, or just don't want to worry about stains and spills. Our 5-year UNITERSPure Protection Plan will relieve you from worry if there's damage done to your upholstery.


It's also important to know basic furniture care. Regular vacuuming and cleaning will extend the longevity of your upholstery. Learn more here about how to care for your leather furniture.


While the fabric you choose is important, it may also be worth considering the style of upholstery. A tight back sofa or chair is a great option for a second home because it gives a neater appearance and means you don't have to fluff cushions.


open concept living room and kitchen


Final thoughts

The goal when choosing fabric for kids, pets, or summer homes is to be worry-free. Taking time to choose the fabric carefully and/or protect it with a warranty will take a lot of the weight off your shoulders.

We carry a large selection of performance fabrics including Ultrasuede, Sunbrella, Crypton, Revolution, and InsideOut that are easy to clean and hold up to spills and stains to ensure the longevity of your furniture. 

Come into one of our showrooms and chat with a Design Consultant to weigh your options. They'll guide you through the process of choosing the right upholstery for your home.


Fabric Care Guide

Author: Guest Author