Purchasing a sofa is a big investment, and deciding on your big ticket piece should not be taken lightly. Of the many considerations you need to take into account (size, shape, and color, to name a few), material is one of the most important decisions to make.

Having too much information and too many materials to choose from – performance velvet, cotton, leather, doesn’t help either. They all claim to be the most durable option. But what is the best sofa material for longevity? Whatever you do, test the waters first. “Order a bunch of samples and live with the look and feel of it before committing to it,” advises designer Jonathan Adler. “Consider your lifestyle versus the cleanability of your dream fabric—think kids, pets, and your messy other half!” We spoke to designers and discussed these five best materials for your living room.

And the winner is… Performance Velvet

(Image credit: Michael Richter. Design: White Arrow)

You may not think so, but performance velvet is the best fabric you can get for the family. The best velvet sofas have a luxurious look, but they are actually one of the most durable fabrics you can get for your sofa. Spills and scratches are no match for high-performance velvet, which cleans easily thanks to its matte finish and short pile of evenly cut fibers. Since velvet is not flat woven, it will not tumble but may bruise over time.

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