There are many purposes that car seat covers serve, from increasing comfort for you and your passengers to improving the look of your interior. The most important function car seat covers have is protecting your seats from damage, wear, weathering, and stains from accidental spills and mishaps. This protection can keep the value of your vehicle up and save money on repairs that you would have to spend on unprotected seats. We spent a lot of time researching the dozens of automobile seat covers and have determined that the FH Group Universal Fabric Car Seat Cover is our overall pick out of all the different seat covers we researched. In addition to our top overall pick we have added two more quality car seat cover choices for your consideration.
Automobile Seat Cover Buying Guide
No one wants to have interior seats that are worn and dirty. It can make the entire vehicle look old and worn out. There are some benefits that car seat covers provide for car owners. We have listed them below.
Easy interior maintenance – Even if you are a known clean freak, accidents can happen in your vehicle that can result in spills and stains on your vehicle’s seats. A spill on a seat that is left overnight can result in the vehicle smelling musty. These things can make the interior very difficult to get clean. A set of quality auto seat covers is a great, easy way to save money on potential upholstery cleaning or repairing jobs.
Superior Comfort – Quality car seat covers provide you with an improved driving and riding experience. The right covers can keep you cool in the summer and warm in the winter. Some seats even come with temperature insulating features that work really well in super harsh conditions.
Easy Care – Most seat covers are durable and dirt resistant as well. Many resist liquid so it doesn’t get absorbed. This makes them very easy to care for and keep clean.
Good for Car Owners with Children – Food stains and spilled drinks are almost a given when it comes to having children in the car. Even regular cleaning may not be enough to keep the seat covers looking good. Auto seat covers can prevent the original seats from getting stained and messed up and are easy to clean since you can take them out and toss them into the washing machine. Most seat covers should not be dried in the dryer but can be line dried.
Information about Auto Seat Covers
Role of the seat covers – Why do you want to get car seat covers? Is it to add some style to an otherwise boring interior? Do you want to protect the seats of your new car or hide stains or wear on old seats? New seat covers can transform the look of your vehicle while preventing further damage. It is a great way to get a big change without spending a ton of money on reupholstering. Whatever your reasons are for getting seat covers, you want to be sure that you get the best quality you can afford while ensuring that the ones you purchase fit your existing seats properly.
Types of Seat Covers – There are two different types of set covers. The most common type is the slip on seat cover. The other style is the tie-on seat cover. Slip on seat covers can be installed super easy and literally just slip over the existing seat. They are designed like a tube of fabric and have an elastic bottom that keeps them from sliding off when you are getting in and out of the vehicle. Tie on seat covers are more open and have several bands that wrap over the existing seat and get tied at the bottom.
Colors and Patterns – There are tons of different colors and patterns of seat covers available. They can range from bold animal prints to strips, bright neon colors, famous characters, and much more. When looking for the right design for your seat covers, think about the fact that you will be seeing these seat covers every day in most cases. Look for something that is pleasing and that matches your personality as well as the rest of the interior of the vehicle. Bright colors and patterns are fine but if you want it to look good make sure the bright color match the color of your vehicle’s interior.
Materials – When it comes to choose the right auto seat covers, don’t forget to consider the material the seat covers are made of. This is a very important consideration to keep in mind because you want to get something that is durable and long lasting as well as something that is comfortable to sit on. Common materials used for seat covers include: faux sheepskin, vinyl, faux leather, genuine leather, neoprene, man-made fur and microfiber.
Universal or Custom – The difference between custom-fit seat covers and universal is that custom seat covers are designed for your specific vehicle make and model and universal is designed to fit many different types of vehicles. Universal seat covers are less expensive than customized ones which is another reason they are so popular.
Automobile Seat Cover Materials
There are many different materials that are used to make seat covers for your vehicle. The best material for your car seats is dependent upon the weather conditions where you live, your lifestyle, and your budget. Below are some of the common materials that you can choose from.
Velour – This plush fabric is made from polyester or cotton. It has a velvety feel and provides plenty of comfort for everyone in the vehicle. There is not much water resistance with this fabric but if you are looking for a material that is good for added comfort and you don’t have pets or kids, velour could be the perfect choice for you.
Neoprene – Neoprene is most known for its waterproof capability. It is the same material that is used to create scuba diving suits. Neoprene seat covers offer the vehicle owner complete protection against water damage. It is perfect for off-roaders who like to get out there and get messy. Many Jeep seat covers are made from neoprene. If you have a lot of occasions where you are getting into your vehicle with wet clothing or you do a lot of four wheeling, neoprene is an excellent choice.
Leather – Leather doesn’t absorb spills which make it a relatively easy material to clean up should there be a spill. They do offer protection against water damage but can be a problem on hot days and may not be as comfortable for those who live in super-hot climates. Genuine leather seat covers will be more expensive than some of the other material choices but it smells wonderful and adds a touch of luxury to your vehicle. Leather seat covers last a long time as well with the proper care.
Tweed – Tweed seats are a lot like velour when it comes to comfort. They are relatively soft, albeit scratchy at times, but are very resistant to stains and wear. It is a durable fabric that offers texture as well.
Ballistic Nylon – This is not the most comfortable type of seat cover but they provide plenty of protection against water damage and damage from UV rays. This tough, long lasting material can handle spilled drinks, muddy pet and people footprints and other types of messes with no problem. Ballistic nylon was used back in WW 2 for the flak jackets for fighter pilots.
Saddle blanket – This western looking durable material provides lots of protection for your vehicle seats. It is heavy-duty and easy to clean as well. They are comfortable to sit on and typically have a lot of color, patterns, and style. Saddle blanket car seat covers will give you plenty of protection against tears and stains making it a good choice for those with kids or pets that often ride in the vehicle.
Suede – Suede is a good alternative to genuine leather that is less expensive. Suede seat covers are less likely to show wear and are very tough. It is not a material that is naturally resistant to water damage or UV rays so it is a good idea to get your seat covers treated with water resistant products.
Choosing the Right Color
The color you choose for your seat covers is very important to the look it gives your vehicle. You can choose understated colors that add class to your vehicle’s interior or you can go for bright, bold patterns and colors that illustrate your personality.
When choosing colors you want to take into consideration the exterior color of your vehicle as well as the interior colors for the carpeting and dash. You can choose something with a lot of color but you don’t want it to clash with the rest of the vehicle; then it just looks tacky.
Some car seat covers are two-toned, which is a great way to add a little bit of color to the interior without going overboard. You can even choose brighter colors as long as you look at the overall look of the vehicle. Choose something that offers you the chance to show your style without going over the top and clashing.
With all of the color choices and combinations, finding something that is appealing to you is going to be easy. Narrowing it down to one choice will be the hard part!
Automobile Seat Covers by Lifestyle
Below we have listed several different lifestyles and the type of car seat covers that lend themselves to that lifestyle the best. These are suggestions and not written in stone, but it gives you some direction in terms of what type of seat covers work the best if your lifestyle matches one of these listed.
Construction – If you do a lot of physical work such as construction, painting, welding, etc. you’re going to get really dirty at work. Since most people don’t have the opportunity to shower and change clothes before they head home from work, you’ll be getting into your vehicle dirty. This can make a real mess of your vehicle’s sets. Looking for a tough, durable material will be your best bet. Saddle blanket, cordura ballistic nylon, or even neoprene are all good choices that will protect your seats from becoming filthy and will be easy to clean.
Athlete or Fitness Enthusiast – If you are a work out lover and work out every day you need to find seat covers that will protect against sweat. You don’t want your vehicle to smell like the inside of a locker room. Look for seat covers that are made from high-quality mesh material that offers plenty of breathability and moisture wicking ability. This will keep your seats cool and will also prevent odors from getting into the fabric and causing a constant odor problem.
Outdoor Enthusiast or Hunter – There are plenty of seat covers on the market that offer camo designs that fit right in with a hunter or outdoor enthusiast. These camo seat covers are durable and resistant to water and other problems and they look great in the field. Some seat covers even offer extra pockets for gear.
Water Enthusiast – If you are a swimmer or beach enthusiast and spend a ton of time on the water, you will more than likely be getting into your vehicle with damp clothing fairly often. The same applies if your kids are involved in water activities like surfing, swimming, etc. Neoprene seat covers are an excellent choice for people that have a lot of water activities. They are comfortable, water resistant, and can be spot cleaned easily as well.
Kids/Families – If you and the kids are in the vehicle on a daily basis you will want to get some protection for your seats. Leatherette style seat covers are an excellent choice because they are easy to clean and are resistant to stains, spills, and other problems. They are also resistant to fading and cracking. Another choice is canvas style set covers which are machine washable.
Pets – Pets love to ride in the car but they can wreak havoc on nice seats with their dirty paws, claws and teeth. Look for seat covers that are made from durable material that is rip resistant and resistant to spills, water, stains and chewing that pets can do. There are special canvas pet seat covers on the market that offer machine wash-ability, softness, and resistance to a number of problems that pets can cause.
Luxury – If you are looking for seat covers that provide plenty of luxury and you don’t have to worry about pets and kids, genuine leather seat covers are the way to go. They are breathable, soften with extended use, and have that fantastic leather smell that people love so much. Sheepskin seat covers are another choice you might consider when luxury is the aim. Sheepskin seat covers are strong, soft, and offer durability and climate control so you are cool in the summer and warm in the winter.
There are so many choices on the market for automobile seat covers that it can be really overwhelming to choose which ones you actually want. If you don’t mind taking the time to change them out occasionally you can choose a couple of different styles or materials and just change them once or twice a year.
Whatever you choose, there are tons of options available. The objective when purchasing seat covers is to choose the ones that match your lifestyle, complement the interior and exterior of your vehicle, and provide the protection you are looking for. There are so many different styles, patterns, colors, and materials that you should not have a problem finding a set of seat covers that offer you exactly what you’re looking for.
If you’re not sure what you’re looking for, take a close look at the three top rated seat covers we have reviewed above as well as the list of additional quality seat covers and see if you like them. If they are not quite what you want, read the buying guide so you understand the materials available and how to sort through all of these options.
Set a budget for yourself and keep your lifestyle and objective in mind when you start looking around. If you don’t have kids or pets in your vehicle, you have more options to choose from than if you are looking for something “bomb proof”.
The information we have provided in this buying guide will help you make a confident decision on which seat covers will be the best purchase for you. You can always choose a couple of different kinds and switch them out during the year or during the different seasons. Now that you know what to look for, your research will be much easier.