Cars are an expensive purchase. For some people, their car is their pride and joy (especially anyone going through a midlife crisis), so the last thing you want to do is spill something on your seats which could then leave a stain.
While car seat covers aren’t the most fashionable addition to your car, they’re a great way to protect your seats from the everyday damage they face. From muddy clothes to UV rays that shine through the window, there’s lots of potential for accidental stains or discoloration.
Even if you have a strict no-tolerance policy when it comes to food and drinks, pets, or wet towels for anyone who steps foot in your car, wear and tear are normal over time and can result in your seats starting to look slightly shabby.
It’s therefore not just prevention that car seat covers can help with; they’re perfect for covering up a multitude of sins after the fact, and these days, they come in a variety of different colors and designs.
But with hundreds of available options that vary in size, material, and design, how do you begin to decide which car seat covers to choose? We’ve researched what makes an effective car seat cover and compiled this information in our buyer’s guide for your perusal.
We’ve also reviewed 5 of the best options currently available and chosen our favorite as our top pick, which is featured below if you’re in a hurry.
Top 5 Best Car Seat Covers
OUR TOP PICK
We chose the Gorla premium car seat cover as our top pick because it ticks every box for an incredibly affordable price. It’s the perfect choice for anyone who wants to keep their car seat upholstery in good condition.
The black neoprene material features contrast edging and it’s comfortable to sit on, as well as being 100% waterproof and sweatproof for maximum protection. It won’t stick to your skin either, which is great for particularly hot days.
It has a non-slip backing which reduces the chance of the material bunching up, and integrated straps prevent the seat covers from slipping as you’re driving. Additionally, the contoured fit helps to reduce movement so your covers stay in place.
They’re designed for occasional use rather than being a permanent fixture in your car, so they’re great for anyone who occasionally needs a little extra protection but wants to show off their car’s seat upholstery the rest of the time.
You can remove these seat covers with ease to clean them as they easily slip over your headrest and buckle up so you can put them on and remove them as and when you need them. You also get a bonus seat belt protector with the covers!
- Sweat and odor resistant
- Excellent value for money
- Protects against all kinds of damage
- Not the best option for
Next up on our list is this Big Ant car seat cushion cover which is a great choice for anyone who wants a little extra padding to sit on. The high-elasticity sponge interior provides added comfort which will definitely be appreciated during long car journeys.
The exterior is made with breathable PU leather material that is highly effective at protecting your seats from wear and tear. However, as good as it is at protecting the bottom of your seat, it doesn't offer any coverage for the back which you might want to consider.
Its beige color will show up dirt more than a darker color would, but it’s easy to wipe down and clean. You don’t have to worry about spills because the fabric is waterproof as well as being fire and scratch-resistant.
Compatible with all cars, SUV, trucks, and vans, the chuck design and metal hooks mean this seat cushion cover is easy to fit in your car and it’ll remain securely in place while you’re driving.
- Easy to wipe down
- Fire and scratch-resistant
- Cushioned for extra comfort
- Doesn’t protect the back of your seats
- Its beige color will show up dirt
Our next product is the Oasis Auto Store car seat covers come as a full set and offer a custom fit for your car. They’re available in 6 stylish colors to give your vehicle an interior makeover, and the quality of the material gives these seat covers a luxurious feel.
Although the front covers are well-fitting, the rear covers are less suitable for larger cars and the bottom cushion must be less than 57-inches. Installation can be difficult if you haven’t watched the instructional video provided and it can take up to 30-40 minutes to correctly install them.
Luckily, the seat covers can be cleaned just where they are by using a cloth and wiping them down to remove any spills or stains, so you won’t have to worry about going through that again in a hurry as there’s no need to remove them.
Their attractive faux-leather design offers full coverage for your seats to protect them from wear and tear as well as potential stains or damage. They’re a more expensive option than some of the other seat covers on this list, but this is reflected in the quality.
- Attractive design
- Full coverage seat protection
- Easy to wipe down
- Tricky to install
- Backseat covers offer a poorer fit on larger cars
Another light-colored seat cover we’ve included in this list is this product from Leader Accessories, an increasingly popular brand in the automotive sports and outdoor industry. As such, this is a car seat cover that’s ideal for anyone with an active lifestyle who’s on the go.
Its waterproof properties mean it’s great for protecting your seats and the soft towel material is much more comfortable than other towel-based car seat covers. It’s great if you’re coming home from the beach or for sweat absorption after an intense gym session.
Even though it’s more prone to showing up dirt or stains, this seat cover can be easily removed for cleaning. It’s also suitable for machine washing for further convenience.
The anti-slip backing means this seat cover won’t slide around too much while you’re on the move to further protect your seats from general wear and tear.
If you’re looking for car seat covers to upgrade your interior then this might not be the most suitable option, as it’s designed to be used whilst your seats need extra protection rather than permanently remaining on your seats.
When not in use, the car seat cover easily rolls up for practical storage and an elastic strap tie will keep it from unraveling which takes up more space in your vehicle.
- A great choice for athletes
- Universal fit for the front and rear seats
- Anti-slip backing
- Easily removable and machine washable for convenient cleaning
- The light color will show up dirt more quickly than darker colors
- Not designed to be kept on permanently
The final car seat cover we reviewed is this product from Black Panther. The name alone evokes a cool, stylish feel which is backed up by the sleek, all-over black design with its unique surface technology.
The crisscrossed perforations provide breathable comfort, and it’s incredibly durable thanks to the built-in non-woven fabric and sponge interior. The exterior is made from PU leather with a rubber granule fabric backing to prevent the seat from slipping.
Two front pockets provide added convenience as you can store your phone, keys, or other similarly sized items close by, so there’ll be no more searching for your things only to realize you were sat on them the whole time.
It will fit the seats of up to 95% of cars, including sedans, SUVs, trucks, and plenty of other car models. It’s effortless to install with a quick-release buckle and an elastic band at the top, and it's effectively kept in place thanks to two durable plastic buckles and two metal hooks.
- Innovative surface technology
- Full coverage for maximum seat protection
- Guaranteed not to damage your car seats
- Universal fit
- Only a single car seat cover
- Better instructions could be provided.
Best Car Seat Covers Buying Guide
When it comes to purchasing new car seat covers, there are quite a few factors to consider. The main things you’ll need to look out for are the materials used in the car seat covers, how well they fit your vehicle’s seats, and how easy they are to clean.
Keep in mind what you’re going to be using the seat covers for as you decide - are you trying to protect your seats, or cover existing wear and tear?
Quality of Materials
To get the longest use out of your car seat covers, choose ones that are made with durable materials. Velour, leather, neoprene, and canvas are all common options you’ll find available.
- Velour: This is typically made to look like your original car seats so that it’s not obvious you’re using covers.
- Leather: Easy to wipe down, leather (or faux leather) provides a vinyl barrier that best protects your car seats from stains or damage.
- Neoprene: A versatile fabric that is highly waterproof whilst also providing maximum comfort for you to sit on.
- Canvas: Highly protective, but not particularly comfortable, canvas car seat covers are a great choice for anyone who’s car faces heavy-duty use.
Neoprene is probably the most popular option available as it’s incredibly durable, so you’ll be able to use it for a long time before they need replacing. It’s also a highly breathable material, which is great for eliminating sweat and other unpleasant odors.
Will It Fit?
One of the main issues you can find with some car seat covers is that they don’t provide a good fit for your car seats. If your covers are too big, the material could bunch under your skin or it could slip and move around as you’re driving.
This can be uncomfortable as well as potentially causing damage to the seats underneath from the friction of the fabric moving against them, and this can cause discoloration.
Many car seats are universal fitting which may sound like a great idea in theory, but in practice, it means the fit might be less appropriate for certain types of car seats. The wide range of different car interiors and seat styles means that even the best universal covers can’t guarantee an exact fit with every vehicle.
Unfortunately, you can’t try before you buy. The best way to avoid disappointment when you go to install your car seat covers is to purchase custom-made seat covers.
These are designed to be perfectly compatible with the seats of your vehicle for an effective, streamlined fit. Custom car seat covers tend to be more expensive than universal fitting covers, but they’re worth it for a more convincing look.
Easy To Clean?
If your car is often taken on the school run, where muddy kits and boots are thrown in without a car in the rush to get home, then you’re going to want to choose a car seat cover that is easy to wash.
The first step is to see how easy it is to remove the car seat covers. If you’re likely to be washing your car seat covers regularly having covers that are easy to remove and put back on afterward is going to save you a lot of hassle.
Next, check to see if your covers are machine washable. You’ll need to be careful not to wash them on a cycle that’s too hot, as this could shrink them. Similarly, if it’s too cold it won’t be able to effectively remove dirt and stains which will do a poorer job of cleaning them.
Alternatively, car seat covers that are easy to wipe down make cleaning simple. All you need is a cloth and some warm water and you can clean them right where they are!
Car seat covers can range from budget to high-quality, and how much you spend depends on what you’re looking to get out of it.
Some options provide a single seat cover, whereas others come in a set or can cover the whole back seat area, so you’ll have to factor this in when comparing product prices.
Even if you choose to purchase a higher-end product and end up spending more on it to ensure great quality, you’ll end up retaining more value on your vehicle by keeping the car seat upholstery in top-notch condition, so you’ll save money in the long run.
How Do You Decide?
Just like with most decisions, choosing the product that’s right for you depends on what the motivation behind the purchase is.
If your car seats are already worn or stained and you think your interior needs to be freshened up, car seat covers are an easy way to give your car seats a new lease of life. In this instance, you’ll probably favor design over protective capabilities.
However, if your goal is to prevent your car seat upholstery from being damaged in the first place, opt for car seat covers that are going to minimize the amount of wear and tear. If you’re often on the go with dirty equipment in tow, our top pick is a perfect choice.
Frequently Asked Questions
How do you wash your car seat covers?
Check the label first to see if your covers are machine washable. If they are, go ahead!
If you’re not sure or the label says they aren’t suitable for machine washing, wash them by hand using warm water and some mild detergent.
Can you use seat covers on heated seats?
Yes, but only if they’re made from fire-resistant materials so be sure to check this before you make a purchase.
You don’t want to see your car go up in flames!
Is it okay to use seat covers for leather car seats?
Leather seats are a luxury in their own right, so it seems a shame to cover them unless you truly think they’ll sustain damage from passenger use.
Be aware that the dye from cheaper seat colors may bleed through onto your leather seats, and the seams from the cover can cause wear where they rub against the upholstery.