Picture this—it’s a hot summer day, so you decide to treat your kid to a special ice cream treat. You pull into the nearest drive-through to grab an ice cream cone and pass it to your giddy child in the back seat. After a few licks, they suddenly cry in defeat. You quickly turn around and realize they’ve dropped the entire cone, and the sticky ice cream has created a glossy sheen all over the seat.
This example is one of the many reasons why investing in car seat covers is a good idea. Instead of feverishly scrubbing your seats to remove the ice cream residue, you can simply remove the cover and throw it in the washing machine. With minimal effort, your car will look as good as new.
Now that you understand the value seat covers can add to your vehicle’s interior, you may be wondering how to choose the right ones for your car and lifestyle. Continue reading to learn more about the factors to consider when choosing seat covers.
Car seat covers are made from several different types of material. The most common options include leather, fabric, and mesh. But if you really want your vehicle to stand out, you can have covers made from denim, neoprene, canvas, or another fun fabric.
When choosing the material, it’s important to consider how the covers will complement the interior of your vehicle, as well as their durability, breathability, and feel. At the end of the day, a seat cover won’t be a worthwhile investment if it’s not comfortable to sit on or you don’t like how the material feels. Since you spend so much time in your vehicle, you want to choose a material that meets your standards. Let’s explore what to expect from both fabric and leather seat covers.
Fabric Seat Covers
There are several advantages and a few disadvantages to be aware of if you choose a fabric option. Fabric covers are generally less expensive than leather because fabric is easier to manufacture. They also do a better job of resisting temperature changes, so you won’t be burning your legs when you first sit in your car on a hot summer day.
Fabric seat covers are also easy to install since they usually just slip on and off your existing seat. And although they are not as durable as leather, fabric covers can withstand a fair amount of wear and tear.
In terms of disadvantages, fabric is a porous material, meaning your covers can easily trap odors and keep dirt residue between the fibers. Fabric can easily stain and be difficult to spot clean if you don’t address a spill right away. They’re also typically machine washable, but the fabric may fade over time with repeated cleaning.
Leather Seat Covers
Leather seat covers can be either genuine or synthetic leather. Many drivers opt for synthetic leather since it has the same look and feel as genuine leather without the high price tag. Not to mention, synthetic leather is highly durable; if you’re constantly getting in and out of your car, leather is designed to hold up over time. You can also easily clean your leather covers when spills and messes occur. Although you won’t be able to machine wash the covers, most grime should only require a simple swipe with soap and water.
Leather seat covers have a luxurious look and feel. If you’re looking for a way to instantly upgrade the interior of your vehicle, leather is a no-brainer. Plus, with so many patterns and colors to choose from, you can easily pick a style that best fits the overall aesthetic of your car.
One of the most notable disadvantages of leather seat covers is the higher price point. Even if you choose the synthetic option, the covers will most likely be pricier than fabric. You’ll also need to pay more if you ever need to replace a cover. Lastly, leather retains heat and is not a breathable material, so you’ll need to be careful when entering your vehicle on warm days.
Ease of Cleaning
One of the biggest benefits of car seat covers is their ability to keep your vehicle clean. However, not all seat covers are created equal because they come in a wide variety of materials. To simplify your life, you’ll want to choose covers made from an easy-to-clean material.
If you choose a fabric cover, you can use a handheld vacuum to easily remove any dust or crumbs. Once all the debris is removed, simply use an upholstery cleaner and a soft-bristled brush to scrub any stubborn stains. You may also be able to remove the cover and wash it in the washing machine, but be sure to check the care instructions first.
If your seat covers are made from genuine or synthetic leather, simply use a soft rag with warm water and soap to clear away any residue. You’ll want to avoid using ammonia-based cleaners or bleach, as they can damage the leather. Lastly, don’t scrub your simulated leather covers with a rough brush since the bristles can leave scratches.
Car seat covers come in both universal and custom-fit options, so another factor to consider when choosing seat covers is their compatibility with your vehicle. Universal seat covers are designed to fit almost any type of vehicle, which means they’re not guaranteed to fit exactly. Since they’re ready-made, non-custom covers are often more budget friendly. But keep in mind that you won’t be able to personalize a universal option, so any upgrades will be an extra cost.
Conversely, custom-fit seat covers are made specifically for your vehicle’s make and model. As such, you know the covers will fit perfectly. Since they’re tailored to your car, custom covers will cost more, but you’ll be able to choose the specific color, pattern, and design.
The decision between universal and custom-fit covers ultimately comes down to overall value. You want to choose covers that offer the most features for your price range. Like any purchase, it’s important to choose the option that provides the most even balance between quality and pricing.
You should also consider both the initial and long-term costs of your investment to determine what type of car seat cover is right for you. For example, synthetic leather seats will most likely cost more at the outset, but their durable nature means they’ll last longer with little upkeep. Thus, you’ll save time and money in the long run.
At Fia, our custom-made seat covers are designed to keep your vehicle protected and looking its best. Our products are available in many different styles and colors, so you can find the perfect solution for your vehicle’s interior. View our selection to find the car seat covers that best suit your preferences today!