6 of the Best Stain-Resistant Fabrics for Sofas

6 of the Best Stain-Resistant Fabrics for Sofas

A sofa is usually the central piece in your living space, where your family and friends gather to relax, celebrate, and share memories for years to come. With such frequent use, spills and stains on sofas are unfortunately inevitable. Luckily, there is a range of upholstery fabrics available that resist stains, making cleaning up messes quick and easy. Even better, there is also a range of high-quality stain and odor removers created specifically for upholstery fabrics.

Below, we break down some of the most stain-resistant fabrics for sofas as well as the products you can use on your own sofas to keep them looking as good as new.

1. Leather

Leather is a luxurious, durable, and stain-resistant surface type. The natural texture and patina of quality leather develop character over time, so you don’t have to worry about it aging poorly. Though leather and water don’t mix incredibly well, leather does have some natural water-repellant properties. As such, small amounts of liquid tend to bead up and can be easily wiped away.

Leather is a very smart choice for busy homes with kids and pets, as it holds up well to heavy use. Leather also gets better with age, developing a rich, supple feel. There are many styles of leather sofas to suit both traditional and modern decors. For the most durable and best-looking leather, opt for full grain over other types. Quality leather furniture should last 20 years or more with proper care.

While resistant to stains, leather does require some maintenance. Make sure to dust it regularly with a soft cloth to remove abrasive dirt and grit. Condition it periodically with leather conditioning products to prevent drying and cracking. Use only cleaners designed specifically for leather, like Guardsman’s® Renew and Protect, which removes everyday dirt, grime, and soil and maintains your leather’s soft, supple feel. Using a proper leather cleaner avoids discoloration or damage to the finish. 

With routine care, a leather sofa will provide many years of luxurious comfort and style.

2. Microfiber

Microfiber is affordably priced, comfortable, and resilient against spills and stains. It is made from extremely fine synthetic fibers that are woven tightly together. The compact weave prevents liquids from fully saturating the fabric. Instead, they tend to roll off microfiber sofas. Even dried-on stains can often be brushed away–a win for any household with children or messy family members who like to snack in the living room!

Microfiber isn’t just durable, but it’s also very comfortable. Known for its soft, suede-like feel, it breathes well, making it a great choice for warmer, humid climates. Microfiber comes in a wide range of colors and patterns to suit any decor and can mimic natural fibers like cotton and linen while providing more stain protection than them. With kids and pets around, microfiber is a practical and budget-friendly sofa fabric choice.

Keep in mind that the main downside of microfiber is that the tight weave can show more wear over time than leather or cotton fabric. Fuzzing and pilling can develop with heavy use. Just like other upholstery, microfiber needs to be vacuumed regularly to preserve its appearance and performance.


A dog laying on stain-resistant fabric.


3. Crypton Fabrics

For the ultimate liquid protection, you can look for sofas treated with Crypton fabric protection. Crypton is a patented process that permeates fabric at the molecular level to make it impervious to spills and stains. This way, liquids don't absorb into Crypton fabrics at all. Instead, they just sit on the surface until wiped away with a cloth.

Crypton protection also resists odors, mildew, and bacteria growth, which makes it ideal for medical facilities and other high-traffic environments. The Crypton-treated fabric simply needs to be wiped clean, even for tough stains like permanent marker, blood, or wine. The barrier lasts for the life of the upholstery, so you can count on long-lasting protection against messy accidents.

In the past, Crypton fabrics were limited to vinyl and other non-breathable fibers suitable for commercial use. But today, Crypton treatment is available on many beautiful, comfortable fabrics for residential sofas.

4. Outdoor Fabric

It might be no surprise that fabrics that withstand sun, rain, and the elements outdoors also make excellent upholstery indoors. Outdoor fabric like Sunbrella are crafted from solution-dyed acrylic yarns, so the color is ingrained all the way through each fiber. This way, liquids don't soak in; they simply roll off the fabric. The heavy-duty construction prevents sagging and stands up well to heavy use.

Outdoor fabric is best for covered patios and sunrooms, but it can work beautifully in main living spaces too. Their performance translates well from patio furniture to sofas and other upholstery pieces. Durable outdoor fabric now comes in soft textures and fashionable patterns suitable for any room, so they won’t stand out from the rest of your interior design choices. 

Just make sure to choose fabric also intended for indoor use, as some outdoor fabric may not meet indoor flammability standards. With proper upholstery construction, outdoor fabric offers years of worry-free comfort.

5. Natural Fibers with Treatments

Cotton, linen, wool, and other natural fibers have inherent soil and stain-resistant properties and develop character over time. But coatings can enhance their ability to repel spills.

Natural fiber fabric treated with stain repellents combines the best of comfort, beauty, and performance to offer the cozy, casual feel people love about cotton, linen, and wool, along with enhanced protection from life's messes. You can’t go wrong with tried and true stain-resistant fabric like natural fibers.

6. Slipcovers

When in doubt, use a slipcover. These portable solutions provide a removable layer of protection for your sofa or chair upholstery. Consider a slipcover made of durable, washable fabric to defend against stains and keep cleanup easy. The ability to launder slipcovers allows you to easily keep them fresh and clean.

Opt for slipcovers made of stain-resistant fabric like polyester-cotton blends or even outdoor fabric. Alternatively, you can use a protective fabric treatment like Scotchgard on a natural fiber slipcover. Machine washing regularly will eliminate odors, pet hair, and allergens for a healthy indoor environment. An added bonus of slipcovers is that they allow you to instantly change the look of your furniture by changing your slipcover.

Caring for Stain-Resistant Sofa Fabrics

No fabric is 100% impervious to stains. To get the longest life from upholstery, here are a few tips to keep in mind:

  • Vacuum frequently using the proper attachments to remove abrasive dirt and dust.
  • Rotate cushions and pillows to evenly distribute wear.
  • Immediately treat spills and stains by blotting with a clean, absorbent cloth. Avoid aggressive rubbing.
  • Use cleaners made specifically for the type of fabric. Always test on an inconspicuous spot first. (Like Guardsman’s® Stain & Odor Eliminator!)
  • Professionally clean upholstery every 1-2 years as needed to remove embedded dirt and oils.
  • Steam clean microfiber regularly to remove body oils that degrade the fibers.
  • Re-apply fabric protectants after cleaning such as Guardsman’s Fabric Defense


For fresh stains, use an effective cleaner like Guardsman’s Stain & Odor Eliminator. The formula instantly removes many types of stains, including grease, coffee, wine, blood, urine, pet stains, and more from your upholstery, carpeting, rugs, and auto interiors. The laundry-fresh scent also works to eliminate odors. 

Made in the USA, our versatile stain remover can help you safely clean up life's daily messes on water-safe fabrics and surfaces. Just spray it on, allow it to work for one minute, then blot with a clean absorbent cloth until the stain transfers. 

Note: Before using, always test on an inconspicuous area first. Just spray it on, allow it to work for one minute, then blot with a clean absorbent cloth until the stain transfers. The laundry-fresh scent eliminates odors too. Before using any cleaner, test on an inconspicuous area to ensure it does not discolor or damage the fabric. 

Protect Your Furniture With Guardsman®

You can also try a stain repellent to prevent future damage and keep your fabrics looking fresh and new. Fabric Defense from Guardsman® doesn’t change or damage the appearance or feel of your fabric, but it helps extend the life of your furniture, saving you time and money in the long run.

With a bit of care, your sofa will stay stain-resistant and beautiful for many years of family memories! Visit the Granite Gold blog to learn more about protecting and preserving your home!


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