The two most important considerations when looking for a leather rocking chair are construction and style. The leather rocking chair you choose should not only look good in the room in which you place it, but it should also be strong enough to support regular use for a long period of time. The look and style of the chair will depend entirely on your preferences, but the strength and durability of the chair should be examined carefully, regardless of the style of leather rocking chair you choose. Be sure to check for high quality materials, such as real leather — as opposed to faux leather that can tear or wear out easily — and hardwoods.
A real leather rocking chair will feature high quality leather that has been upholstered properly. Check all seams, and be sure to check underneath the seat of the chair to make sure the leather is secured to the chair properly. If the leather is stapled, it may pull apart easily. If it is tacked with nails, be sure they are secured properly and evenly. The leather itself should be of a high grade, comfortable, and attractive. It will be stained in most cases, so check for consistency and comfort throughout all upholstered parts of the leather rocking chair.
The rocking mechanism will also require some attention. Check the method by which each chair rocks; some chairs will simply feature curved legs, while others may feature a solid base that is connected to the chair itself by springs and hinges. Be sure to check the joints of a curved leg design; if the legs are metal, make sure the welds are solid and clean looking. For spring and hinge models, be sure the base of the chair is solid and sturdy. Some models swivel, and others even recline with a foot rest. Be sure to check all features thoroughly for ease of use and for sturdiness.
Aside from aesthetics and solid construction, comfort is, of course, very important. Sit in each chair for a few minutes and note how the upholstery shifts or sinks the longer you sit in it. This will have an effect on the comfort level of the chair. Try out all features, such as foot rests, reclining chairs, swivels, and so on. Note the ease of use, the comfort level, and the noise level, if any. Some spring-loaded chairs may squeak or squeal during use; this does not necessarily mean the chair is bad, but you should keep in mind that you may need to oil the springs in the future.