As comfortable as car seats are, over time, they will eventually begin to wear out. It may cost you a few bucks to buy a seat cover, but in the long run, it will save your seats from slipping or damage. As car seat covers are declining these days, I have seen users ask in online forums, are car seat covers worth it?
Although we know seat covers are a simple but functional accessory, and they are very easy to install. Additionally, you can add custom seat covers to show off your style. Even then some car lovers want to know, are car seat covers worth it? So, in this article, I will try to answer this question in detail. Of course, this is a personal choice, but there are a few things you need to consider when making a decision. So, without further ado, let’s get started.
Are Car Seat Covers Worth It?
From a financial point of view, car seat covers are definitely worth the price you pay for them. They protect our seats from dirt, UV rays, pet hair, food spill, and the list of car seat cover benefits goes on and on. As you don’t have to worry about these damages, the car ride will be more comfortable and enjoyable.
Car Seat Covers: What and Why?
A car seat cover is a piece of accessories used to protect the car seats against any form of damage. Additionally, some people also use it as a part of interior styling. These covers keep the seat condition intact and help you maintain the resale value of your car.
Why Do People Buy Car Seat Covers?
There are several reasons people buy car seat covers. Here is a quick look at some of the key reasons:
Spillage: Spillage is the most common danger for any car seat. Whether it’s food, coffee, drinks or just water, they can easily ruin your polished factory seat in a matter of seconds.
Rip/ Cut Protection: As comfortable as car seats are, they are not very famous in terms of durability. Keyrings, pocket knives, or anything with sharp corners can scratch your seat.
Low Maintenance: Seat covers are pretty low maintenance stuff compared to the actual seat. You don’t have to clean them as often, and they don’t leave you with a seat replacement bill.
Choosing The Right Car Seat? [5 Important Things to Know]
If you have made up your mind about upgrading your seats with covers, there are a few things you should keep in mind to make the best out of your seat covers.
Water Spill: Water spill is one of the most common reasons that can ruin your precious leather seats. So, get a seat cover that will deflect water and be machine washable. Neoprene seat covers perform very well against water.
Cloth Seat Cover: We usually clean the inside of our car with a vacuum. Therefore, look for cloth seat covers with a higher thread count as they provide better protection against daily vacuum cleaning and accidental cuts.
Comfortability: Comfortability should be a key characteristic of any good seat cover. Choose a seat cover that has thick foam padding and good breathability.
Exact Size: Make sure the cover you are choosing fits well with your seat. Don’t go for loose-fitting as loose covers rub more against the seat, which can ruin your seat cover.
Trendy Design: Always remember that a seat cover can reflect your style. So if you are after the look, go for those color options that offer different materials and color choices.
Types of Car Seat Covers
In general, car seat covers can be divided into three groups. These types mainly vary in the fit, material, and how they are made. Let’s see a detailed breakdown.
Custom Seat Covers
This is the best and the costliest form of the seat cover. These custom ones are made targeting a particular model of car and fine-tuned according to the seat size and other seat features. They don’t mess with the seat belt or the side-mounted airbags either. Additionally, you can choose the material, color, and design you like for the custom seat covers. However, as these are manufactured exclusively for your car seat, they cost way more than regular seat covers.
Semi-Custom Seat Covers
This is another form of custom seat cover, but you don’t get to choose every aspect as you do for actual custom seat covers. The number of factors under your control is somewhat limited for semi-custom seat covers. Semi-custom seat covers are not as exclusive as the custom ones either. Instead, most semi-custom seat covers are manufactured to fit a particular lineup of cars from a specific brand.
Universal Seat Covers
The universal seat cover is just what the name indicates. This is an affordable option made in a specific way to cover a wide variety of seats. These are not as good as the last two categories in terms of quality. But their broad compatibility and affordability make this category arguably the most popular on the market today.
What Do You Need To Know About Car Seat Covers?
There are a few things you should know before buying a seat cover. These things will help you choose the best seat cover among hundreds of other options in the market.
Material: Choosing the right material will ensure your seat covers last longer. Besides the categorization I did above, some people also categorize the seat cover solely depending on materials. Different factors like durability, life expectancy, and comfortability depend on the material.
Look: If you have decided to get seat covers, pick one that suits the interior of your car. Choosing randomly will only make things look worse. Instead, choose a color and design that suits the overall aesthetic of your car.
Fitting: Fitting is important to give your seat a formal look. Most of the time, universal seat covers don’t offer a perfect fit. On the other hand, a custom one costs more but gives it the perfect fit that looks way better. They look more like an original part of the seat with a tight fit than an aftermarket accessory.
Compatibility: Every car is built differently with different types of seats. Mainly the seats differ from type to type. For example, a sports car’s seat won’t be compatible with a regular four-seater, even if it’s a universal cover. That’s why to choose a seat cover that’s compatible with features like a seatbelt and airbag.
Car Seat Covers: The Good, Bad and Ugly
Till now, I have discussed seat cover types and what they do. However, that doesn’t paint the complete picture here. So, in this part, I’ll take you through the whole story, and then you’ll decide whether you want it or not.
The Good: I have already mentioned tons of benefits of having a car seat cover. The main objective of a car seat cover is protecting the cover from damage, and in that regard, any seat cover is a better choice than no seat cover.
If you don’t want to use seat covers all year, you should use them in the daytime during summer. Additionally, a seat cover with a good fit will protect against pet hair, bad smell too.
The Bad: The bad side of the story is revealed once you fail to choose the right one. Among thousands of options on the market, it’s pretty easy to fall for cheap ones.
These seat covers tend to be less durable for the most part. Another matter of concern is its lack of waterproofing. So before you purchase a seat cover, do some research. There are quite a few good options, even at lower prices.
The Ugly: The ugly side of the story is related to the compatibility issue. If the seat cover isn’t compatible with your seat and suffocates the airbag installed in the seat, it can put your life in danger. So do your homework about the exact location of the seat bag and choose a seat cover accordingly.
Is It Worth It To Buy A Leather Seat Cover?
As I mentioned earlier, high-end seat covers are usually made of leather. The leather seat covers bring different benefits to the table.
Resale Value: If you decide to install leather seat covers, they can help you increase the car’s resale value. As leather car seats are costlier and last longer, they usually have their resale value.
Style: It’s no secret that leather seat covers look more premium than any other materials. Installing a leather seat cover can take your interior game to the next level.
Customization: As leather seat covers cost more, most manufacturers offer size customization. You can change the size as well as the design and color to fit your seat.
Better Protection: I suppose it’s an obvious advantage. Leather is considered the toughest among car seat materials and offers excellent protection against scratches and cuts.
Are Our Car Seat Covers Tacky?
The answer entirely depends on the seat cover you are getting. If you go for the cheaper seat covers that don’t fit well and go with the interior, then the answer is yes. But, on the other hand, if you choose a custom color, design, and fitting carefully to match the car interior, it’ll look great. Additionally, you can check out the washing machine compatibility of the seat cover.
Are Our Car Seat Covers Safe?
Different people have different opinions about the safety of car seat covers. Car manufacturers strictly prohibit using this product as it tends to compromise the security of your car. As airbag technology is improving every day, they are mostly installed at the side of the seats.
If the airbag fails to inflate because of the aftermarket cover, that can cause disaster. This aftermarket seat covers also mess with the entire seat and fail to meet the flammability standard. However, if you take my advice, you should go for a seat cover, most notably a well-fitted quality one.
Are Seat Covers Good For Leather Seats?
Seat covers can equally protect leather seats too. Though there can be some mishaps, you can easily avoid those if you are careful. Spilling on your precious leather seats can easily ruin your car’s interior. However, the bright side is that leather has the slowest liquid absorption rate.
If you wipe the liquid out quickly, it shouldn’t cause much damage. Additionally, there are issues like dye bleeding and slipperiness too. But if you choose a good seat cover with a good fit, these issues can be solved quite easily.
Are Baby Car Seat Covers Worth It?
Baby seat covers are worth it, and I have quite a few reasons to back my idea. Let’s have a quick look.
- We often wrap our little kids up with bulky clothing in winter. However, car manufacturers discourage doing this as it can result in poor harness fitting. In this case, a baby car seat cover can easily protect your baby from the low temperatures as well as excessive heat in summer.
- Covering your baby’s face and head with a pile of clothes or blanks can result in the insufficient fresh air. Instead, you can use the baby car seat cover, which will protect without blocking fresh air.
- With your newborn baby, it’s a hard job to keep people off from taking a peek. In these cases, the baby car seat will protect the kid from germs and sneezing.
- Putting your kid to sleep can be a challenge on a bright day. But, with the car seat cover, you can stop the light and quickly put your baby to sleep.
When Are Seat Covers Not A Good Fit For You?
At the end of the day, a seat cover is nothing but a protective measure we use, compromising the beauty of our car seat. We do that to protect the seats and maintain the resale value. However, there are a few instances where seat covers won’t be a good fit for you.
For example, if you are not worried about the resale value and love the worn-out look of your leather seats, car seat covers aren’t for you. Then, if you want to showcase the beautiful leather seats of your car, you are more than welcome to do it. Lastly, it’s very much possible to protect the seat without covers too. The only issue is that it’ll take a lot more care. If you can manage that, you won’t need a car seat cover.
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)
Q1. Are Car Seat Covers Necessary?
A) As per the points I mentioned above, a seat cover is necessary to protect your car seat in years to come. However, it's not something mandatory. Some people consider it a drawback. In some cases, it interferes with the airbag and covers the natural beauty of your actual seat. But if I have to compare the benefits and drawbacks a seat cover offers, then the benefits win by a large margin.
Q2. Are Car Seat Covers Bad For Your Car?
A) Not exactly, but the answer depends on individual perspectives. There are a few ways to look at this matter. A seat cover can be bad and uncomfortable if you are not careful while selecting them. The first complaint users commonly have is that they are covering the beautiful leather seats of their car. Now, whether you want to showcase it or cover it for protection is entirely up to you. Then comes dye bleeding. Some seat covers could lead to discoloration every time it rubs against the seat. In these instances, a car seat cover can be bad for your car.
Q3. Do car seat covers interfere with airbags?
A) It doesn't as long as you buy seat covers that are airbag compatible. Different cars have different types of airbags, e.g., side-mounted ones or built-in seat airbags. These days, in-built side airbags are the most popular ones. When a crash happens, the impact airbags burst through the seat and inflate. If you have an incompatible seat cover, the airbag will deploy inside the cover, therefore not protecting you in the end.
Q4. Are Sheepskin Car Seat Covers Worth It?
A) Leather is the best material for seat covers, which is apparent throughout my article. Still' if you ask me which leather I prefer, then the answer would be sheepskin. The key benefit of a sheepskin seat cover is its insulation capability. Additionally, sheepskin seat covers are pretty durable, comfortable, and an excellent option for people who suffer from allergies.
Q5. Do Kid's Car Seats Damage Leather Seats?
A) A kid's car seat is a must to carry your kid in your car. Unfortunately, installing a kid's car seat can be the leather seat of your car. These seats are usually installed on your main leather seat, and they are attached to the car's frame. The constant press and movement of the kid's car seat can cause scratches and cuts to your leather seats. However, you can easily stop messing up your car seats by using a mat or towel under the kid's car seat.
The car has different parts like tires, batteries, jump starter as well as different types of seat covers available for each car in the market. But, again, installing them in your seat is entirely a subjective matter. However, throughout the article, I have also mentioned quite a few benefits of using seat covers.
A seat cover does more than protect the factory seats; it minimizes the seat maintenance and saves you a hefty amount of seat replacement bills after every few years. Now that you know the answer to the question, are car seat covers worth it, I think you should decide yourself whether you want to use them or not.