Best Kid and Pet friendly Fabrics for Furniture

Simple Guide for Upholstery Fabrics for Families and Pets

In this poolside indoor lounge area, a custom bench upholstered in a Sunbrella fabric makes for the perfect spot to rest – all without worrying about water damage. (Interior Design: Carla Bast | Carla Bast Design)

For the pet and kid-free home, choosing durable, stain-resistant fabric for your furniture is easy. Aside from concerns surrounding coffee or wine spills, pretty much anything goes. It generally comes down to the aesthetics. BUT, when you’re looking at options for furniture like pet-friendly sofas, kid-friendly sofas, chairs, and kitchen stools, reality quickly sets in.

Ensuring you have durable fabrics that can hold up to the nonstop barrage of mess is essential. In fact, it’s one of the most sought-after requests I get from clients. If you’re a pet owner or have young children, read on. My simple pros & cons guide to choosing the best option for kid and pet-friendly fabric for your furniture will make it easy!

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Smart Kid and Pet-Friendly Fabric for Furniture


When choosing a fabric for a kid and pet-friendly environment, it’s essential to look for options with high durability, stain resistance, ease of cleaning, comfort, as well as fit in your budget. Each type of fabric has its own set of advantages and drawbacks, so it’s important to weigh these factors based on your specific needs and preferences.

A gray microfiber sofa will stand up to almost anything pets and kids can dish up. / Source

Microfiber Fabric/Synthetic Fibers:

Pros: Microfiber is typically stain-resistant, durable, and an easy-to-clean fabric. Many have a soft feel, making them comfortable for lounging. They can also be budget-friendly.

Cons: Some synthetic fabrics may not breathe as well as natural fibers, so that is something to consider for warmer climates. They can also be prone to pilling over time.

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Pros: Velvet has a tight weave, stands up to everyday use, and adds a touch of elegance! Velvet doesn’t have “loops” in the weave which prevents snagging from paws and sharp claws. 
Cons: Velvet is more susceptible to attracting pet hair and dust. If exposed to direct sunlight, the fiber can weaken so be sure to have a window shade if placing velvet in front of large sunny window. 
HOT TIP: A squeegee works wonders on fabric like velvet, just give it a quick once-over!

The good news… you aren’t stuck with dark colors when choosing kid and pet-friendly fabric for furniture!

Indoor / Outdoor Fabrics

Want a nice creamy white sofa or a bold blue armchair? With a variety of colors and patterns it’s easy to find a fabric that fits your home’s style – all while being (nearly) impossible to ruin.  Outdoor fabrics are one of the best kid and pet-friendly fabrics for your furniture.

Over the last few decades, companies like Sunbrella have developed fabrics specifically designed for worry-free use on outdoor furnitureindoor furniturewindow treatments, and more.

RELATED: Patio Decorating Ideas to Stand Out from the Crowd

Crypton Fabric:

Pros: Crypton fabric is known for its exceptional stain resistance and durability. It’s also resistant to odors and bacteria, making it an excellent choice for homes with kids and pets. Additionally, Crypton fabric is easy to clean with just soap and water.

Cons: Crypton fabric tends to be more expensive than other types of performance fabrics. Additionally, while it’s highly resistant to stains, some spills may still require immediate attention to prevent staining.

Light fabrics are okay for pets and kids! A beautiful Crypton-upholstered sofa sectional is both functional and ultra stylish with its inviting cream color. / Source

RELATED: Simply White vs Chantilly Lace by Benjamin Moore

Sunbrella Fabric:

Pros: Sunbrella fabric is renowned for its fade resistance and durability, making it ideal for outdoor use as well as indoor spaces with high traffic. It’s also easy to clean and resistant to mold and mildew.

Cons: Some Sunbrella fabric can be more stiff than other performance fabrics, which may affect comfort. It also tends to be more expensive that other performance fabrics. If UV protection is important to you, Sunbrella is the way to go.

Crypton, Sunbrella, and most other “outdoor furniture” fabrics could easily be the best choice on the market for pet and kid-friendly fabric. These durable options are made to resist just about anything that comes their way. Virtually waterproof, stain resistant, and claw-proof, these are a good choice if you want the toughest fabrics for the job. Kid and pet friendly fabrics aren’t always necessarily stiff, many are engineered to be just as cozy as their less durable counterparts.

gray-canvas-bar-stools-at-kitchen island-kid-friendly-fabrics
Canvas counter stools are a great choice for busy families. Design by Carla Bast

Canvas Fabric:

Pros: Canvas fabric is sturdy and durable, making it a great option for households with kids and pets. It’s also relatively easy to clean and can withstand frequent use.

Cons: While canvas fabric is durable, it may not be as stain-resistant as other performance fabrics. Additionally, it can be prone to wrinkling and may require ironing to maintain its appearance.

Polyester Blend Fabric:

Pros: Polyester blend fabrics often combine the durability and easy maintenance of polyester with the softness and breathability of natural fibers like cotton. They’re generally more affordable than pure natural materials.

Cons: Depending on the blend, polyester fabrics may not be as breathable or comfortable as pure natural fibers. They can also be prone to static cling and may attract pet hair.

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Leather or Faux Leather:

Pros: Leather and faux leather are highly durable and resistant to stains and spills. They’re also easy to wipe clean, making them ideal for households with kids and pets.

Cons: Leather can be expensive and requires regular maintenance to prevent drying and cracking. Faux leather may not have the same luxurious feel as genuine leather and can be less breathable.

A leather sofa is an excellent kid and pet-friendly furniture piece and pairs beautifully with any color palette. / Source

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Is Leather Furniture Kid and Pet-Friendly? 

Leather is a cinch to wipe spills off of but beware of the type of leather you choose. A treated leather fabric will feel less supple but will hold up better to scratches and claw marks over time. Untreated leather will have that quintessential softness but is much more likely to show wear and “character” as you use it.  Depending on their coating or materials, they are pretty darn great for repelling stains and pet destruction. Faux leather is ALWAYS a great choice for kid and pet-friendly furniture!

Upholstered in faux leather, these kitchen island barstools are the ultimate in durability and quality; food or drink spills easily wipe up, and the soft grey blends in seamlessly with the overall room design. A great choice for the kid and pet-friendly home! (Interior Design: Carla Bast | Carla Bast Design)


FULL-GRAIN LEATHER: Unsplit leather with natural grain, durable yet prone to scratching.

Pros: Highly durable, maintains natural characteristics.

Cons: Expensive, may scratch easily.

TOP-GRAIN LEATHER: Upper layer sanded for smoothness, easier to clean but less durable.

Pros: Smooth finish, easier to clean.

Cons: Less durable, may show scratches.

SPLIT-GRAIN LEATHER: Bottom layer often suede, flexible yet vulnerable to moisture.

Pros: Flexible, often hides scratches well.

Cons: Prone to damage from moisture, requires gentle cleaning.

GENUINE LEATHER: Real leather, moderately durable.

Pros: Real leather, relatively durable.

Cons: Lower quality, may show wear over time.

BONDED LEATHER: Mixture of leather scraps and synthetic materials, affordable but prone to damage.

Pros: Inexpensive.

Cons: Prone to breaking and peeling, not as durable for active households.

Are Linen and Silk Kid and Pet-Friendly Fabrics for Furniture?

Linen, silk, and any loose-weave fabrics are undoubtedly beautiful within a space. We recommend using these only if you have older kids, an adult-only home, or a totally pet-free space. Linen is the hardiest AND easiest to clean. You’ll probably be okay with the occasional spill if it’s cleaned up in time. 

Linen-upholstered furniture is fairly straightforward to clean and visually stunning, but it doesn’t take heavy wear and tear as well as Cryton or Sunbrella do. / Source

Silk and other loose-weave fabrics can be tricky and not typically kid and pet-friendly fabrics for furniture! They are generally more delicate materials that are prone to snagging or tearing if you’re not careful. So, use these in less-frequented spaces in your home (versus the TV sectional or often-used reading chair). 

While tweed is beautiful on a sofa, it is easily damaged by pet claws, so it’s best to use it in a pet-free home. / Source

Upholstery Cleaning Tips for Kid and Pet-Friendly Fabrics:

  • For everyday maintenance, simply blot spills with a clean, damp cloth as soon as they occur.
  • For deeper cleaning, most performance fabrics can be spot cleaned with a mild detergent and water solution.
  • Some performance fabrics are even machine washable, making cleaning a breeze. Just be sure to follow the manufacturer’s instructions for best results.
  • For tougher stains, consider using a fabric cleaner specifically designed for the type of performance fabric you have.
  • Regular vacuuming can help remove dirt and debris, keeping your furniture looking fresh and inviting.
  • For quick touch-ups, use a lint brush or lint roller to keep fur at bay.

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I hope this post has made it a lot easier for you to choose kid and pet-friendly fabrics for your home! By making informed decisions, you can create a space that’s both stylish AND practical! With the right fabrics, you can relax knowing that your furniture can handle whatever your little ones and furry babies dish out!

Hi, I’m Carla


I’m glad you’re here! You are in the right place if you are feeling overwhelmed at the thought of embarking on a remodeling or interior design project. Living with an outdated home and don’t know where to start? I’ve helped families like yours update their home and create spaces that reflect what’s important to them for over 25 years.

I’ve been honored to be featured in:

Real Homes

The Spruce

Apartment Therapy / Cubby

Twin Cities Luxury + Fashion

MSP Magazine

Minneapolis Star Tribune


Home Crux



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