New Leather Sofa too Firm and Stiff? (Soften like THIS)

If you just got a new leather sofa, you’ve probably tried sitting, lying, or even sleeping on it, but it just feels too uncomfortable. Is it supposed to be like that or do you need to do something about it?

Well, if your new leather sofa is too firm or stiff, it needs to be broken in so that it can soften and become more pliable.

In this article, we’ll look at a few things you can do to help soften up your new leather sofa and make it comfortable.

New Leather Sofa too Firm and Stiff (how to soften it)

How to soften a leather sofa that is too firm 

Conditioning your firm and stiff leather sofa regularly using a leather conditioner will help to break in and make it more comfortable. You can also oil the couch using mink oil, lanolin, or Vaseline to soften it or add a few throw pillows. Additionally, you can change the cushions or sit on them often.

1. Condition regularly

New leather tends to squeak or make noise when used for the first time. So conditioning the sofa is important as it helps the leather to soften and break in, making it more comfortable to sit on.

There are a few different ways to condition leather.

  • Use a leather conditioner: Try using a leather conditioner on the sofa regularly to moisturize and keep the leather hydrated making it more flexible.
  • Clean with saddle soap: You can use saddle soap when cleaning and conditioning new leather sofas because it will help to soften the leather and prevent it from becoming dry or stiff.
  • Apply a thin layer of petroleum jelly (Vaseline): You can do this by gently rubbing a thin film of Vaseline on the leather furniture using a soft cloth. Wait 1-2 hours and then wipe off any excess. This will help the leather stay supple.
  • Use lanolin or mink oil: Put on some gloves or use a soft cloth to rub the oil into the furniture with your hands. Let it soak in for 30 minutes before wiping off the excess. Doing this regularly will moisturize and soften the leather sofa over time.

2. Add throw pillows

New leather is relatively stiff and inflexible so your sofa can take some time to break in and become comfortable.

Adding throw pillows can provide some extra cushioning and support, which can help make the sofa more comfortable to sit on.

Additionally, adding some color and pattern with throw pillows can help make a new leather sofa feel more welcoming and cozy.

3. Sit on it often

Sitting on your new leather sofa more often can help to break in quickly and make it more comfortable.

Leather furniture can take some time to get used to, so the more you use it, the better it will feel as it softens and conforms to your body.

However, avoid putting leather furniture near direct sunlight or heat sources as this can cause the leather to harden.

softening leather sofa that is too stiff

4. Put pressure on the cushions

Another option that will not cost you money is to walk on the cushions or let your kids jump on them a few times a day.

All you need to do is simply place the cushions on the floor and protect them with a cover and then start walking on them.

The weight of your body will help compress the foam inside, which will make them feel softer and cushiony. If you do this at least once you twice a day, the hard foam will soften over time.

5. Change or alter the cushions

This final option should only be considered if so far you have not been able to soften your sofa and if returning it is not an option.

If the cushions on the sofa are removable and have a zipper or opening, you can remove the stiff foam stuffing and replace it with down or polyfill batting. These are softer and more comfortable alternatives to high-density foam.

Also, you can wrap the foam using down or add cushion inserts to make the cushions softer. The inserts make the sofa more comfortable and help to prevent the sagging of the leather sofa cushions over time.


  • Most leather sofa cushions have a break-in period of about 1 to 3 months
  • Your cushions should not continue to soften after the break-in period. If they do, they will flatten within a year or two and this would mean your sofa is poor quality.
  • Leather should be conditioned at least twice a year or every 6 to 12 months.


If you find that your new leather sofa is too firm and stiff, it needs to be broken in to soften it. This can be achieved by conditioning the sofa regularly, adding throw pillows, sitting on it often, putting pressure on the cushions, and changing or altering the cushions.

However, you need to be patient because a new leather couch takes about 1 to 3 months to break in.

Have you tried any of these tricks or do you have any other tips for making a brand-new leather sofa more comfortable? Feel free to leave a comment below.


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