Best Car Seat Covers

Updated July 2020
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BestReviews spends thousands of hours researching, analyzing, and testing products to recommend the best picks for most consumers. We only make money if you purchase a product through our links, and we never accept free products from manufacturers. Read more  
BestReviews spends thousands of hours researching, analyzing, and testing products to recommend the best picks for most consumers. We buy all products with our own funds, and we never accept free products from manufacturers.Read more 
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Why trust BestReviews?
BestReviews spends thousands of hours researching, analyzing, and testing products to recommend the best picks for most consumers. We only make money if you purchase a product through our links, and we never accept free products from manufacturers. Read more  
BestReviews spends thousands of hours researching, analyzing, and testing products to recommend the best picks for most consumers. We only make money if you purchase a product through our links, and we never accept free products from manufacturers. Read more  
BestReviews spends thousands of hours researching, analyzing, and testing products to recommend the best picks for most consumers. We buy all products with our own funds, and we never accept free products from manufacturers.Read more 
How we decided

We purchase every product we review with our own funds — we never accept anything from product manufacturers.

32 Models Considered
7 Hours Researched
1 Experts Interviewed
428 Consumers Consulted
Zero products received from manufacturers.

We purchase every product we review with our own funds — we never accept anything from product manufacturers.

Buying guide for best car seat covers

Protecting the seats in your car is one of the best ways to retain the vehicle’s resale value. Scratched, torn, stained, or ripped seats can decrease the value of your car by as much as 50%. Modern car seat covers have come a long way from those sold in years past, and many of them even look better than the original seats.

Car seat covers come in all colors, designs, and fabrics. Their main purpose, of course, is to protect the seats from the destructive effects of UV rays, water, stains, pet hair, mud, dirt, and sweat. But with so many to choose from, how do you decide?

Here at BestReviews, we’ve examined the available seat covers, analyzed their pros and cons, and evaluated their effectiveness. Much depends on the material they’re made of. This buying guide walks you through the information and offers a few of our favorites so you can make a well-informed decision.

When you’re getting in and out of the car, try not to slide across the seat covers because that will tend to pull them out of place.

Key considerations

Car model

Most seat covers are universal; that is, they’re designed to fit the widest possible range of car and truck seats. However, that means the covers need to have straps that are adjustable or elastic so you can tighten or loosen them to fit your particular car seats.

Some seat covers fit seats in only a certain range of car sizes or models. Double-check the fine print to verify the car makes and models the covers are designed for. A few manufacturers provide a sizing chart for that purpose.

Why use seat covers?

Wear and tear: Daily wear and tear is the most common reason people buy car seat covers. Every time you slide across the seats, you’re wearing away at the surface. Denim, in particular, is an especially abrasive fabric. Blue jeans can also stain some seats, such as light-colored leather. Protect your seats with covers, and replace the covers as needed.

UV: Prolonged exposure to the sun’s ultraviolet rays can fade and weaken almost any material, leaving leather or plastic dry and cracked and draining the color from fabric. Neoprene is one of the few materials that can stand up to UV rays, but many other materials can be chemically treated to be more resistant to UV damage. Car seat covers offer a simple way to protect seats from UV damage.

Pets: Our pets are members of the family, but their claws and teeth can wreak havoc on car seats. Dogs track mud and water into the car, as well as shed. Machine-washable car seat covers or protectors will help keep your seats from being stained, damaged, or destroyed by car-riding pets.

Water: A little water won’t harm fabric or even leather seats, but a lot of water could cause stains, mold, or mildew. If you like to surf, swim, fish, or enjoy other water-based activities, you’ll want to invest in some waterproof or water-resistant seat covers.

Temperature: Depending on the climate in your area, you might want some seat covers that can cool the seats or warm them up. One great thing about seat covers is that you can change them with the seasons.

EXPERT TIP

Cleaning your car seat covers often entails removing them and shaking them out. It’s like beating a rug to get the dust and dirt out of it.


Staff  | BestReviews

Features

The material in your seat covers will determine how long they last, how comfortable they are, and how expensive they are.

Fabric

Cotton: Cotton is light and breathable, which makes it ideal for warm or high-humidity climates. These seat covers are machine washable, which makes it easier to keep them in good condition.

Polyester: These seat covers are machine washable and usually inexpensive, but they may not last very long.

Microsuede: This is a soft polyester fabric that feels like suede, but it lacks the drawbacks of real suede. It is a cost-effective alternative to leather. The tight weave of the fabric naturally repels liquids, and it is relatively easy to clean.

Animal hide

Leather: Real leather is expensive, durable, beautiful, and relatively easy to maintain. However, it can get very hot in the summer months.

PU leather: This is split leather coated with polyurethane, also known as faux leather. It’s cheaper than genuine leather and can resemble real leather, but It doesn’t last as long.

Sheepskin: Natural sheepskin is warm, soft, comfortable, and very durable. It’s expensive, however.

Other materials

Neoprene: This synthetic rubber is used to make wetsuits, among many other products. It is  waterproof, stable in a wide range of temperatures, and durable. This is a good choice if you live in a rainy climate or enjoy water-related activities like surfing, swimming, or fishing.

Elastic: This stretchy material is often used around the edges of seat covers or on the straps that hold them in place.

Rubber: Rubber is often used as backing in seat covers to keep the seat cover from moving and slipping.

Sponge/foam: This is often used to provide extra padding in seat covers with multiple layers.

Colors

Some people buy car seat covers that match their car’s seats. Black and beige are popular neutral colors that fit well with most car interiors, but there’s nothing wrong with picking a contrasting color that will stand out in your car. There are many colors and designs available, everything from distinctive piping to patterns to embroidery. Go bold with a fluorescent color or choose a color that blends in so well you won’t even know you’ve got seat covers.

Straps

The straps on seat covers are important for fitting the covers to the seats and for making sure the covers don’t slip out of place. You don’t want to see the straps, but you want them to work without fail. Elastic straps are the weakest and least durable, but they’ll fit the greatest range of different car seats. There are also adjustable canvas straps and straps with buckles. The placement of the straps is also important. Take a close look at the associated pictures so you can see where the straps will be when the covers are on.

EXPERT TIP

Many car seat covers can be machine washed. If they’re stained, use a laundry stain remover before putting them in the washer.


Staff  | BestReviews

Accessories

Seat belt covers: Mosebears Car Seat Belt Cover Pads
If you’re going to get comfortable seat covers, why not get some matching seat belt covers, too? These cotton covers from Mosebears have a soft velvety feel that will protect your clothes and won’t scratch your neck.

Sweat towel: Leader Accessories Waterproof Sweat Towel
If you’re going to the gym, put one of these waterproof sweat towels over your new seat cover to protect it from sweat and body odor. Toss it in the washer to clean. This towel is available in five colors.

Headrest covers: Yupbizauto Universal Headrest Covers
These black headrest covers from Yupbizauto will protect your car headrest from sweat and spills. They’re made of a stretchable polyester with foam backing for maximum comfort.

EXPERT TIP

Leather and faux leather car seat covers should be cleaned with leather cleaner. Wash neoprene and rubber covers with warm water and car shampoo.


Staff  | BestReviews

Car seat cover prices

Inexpensive: You can find car seat covers for less than $20. These are simple fabric covers with elastic straps. They may not fit very well or last more than a couple of years.

Mid-range: Covers that cost $20 to $80 include faux leather with padding and stronger straps to hold the covers securely in place. Many of these are puncture and wear resistant.

Expensive: Spend from $80 to $260 and more and you can find form-fitting leather covers for front seats as well as back seats, buckled straps, separate covers for detachable headrests, front pockets, and extra padding. These covers may look better than the factory-installed seat covers that came with the vehicle.

Tips

  • Install seat covers correctly. Start at the back of the seat where it meets the bottom of the backrest, then gradually work your way toward the front of the seat and the top of the backrest.
  • Wash fabric car seat covers in cold water. If you wash them in hot water the elastic or fabric could shrink. For the same reason, never put car seat covers in the dryer. Always hang them up to air-dry.
  • Adjust the cover. Every time you get out of the car, take a moment to adjust the seat cover back to its correct position. This will help prevent stretching the straps and fabric out of shape. It also helps to smooth out wrinkles in the fabric.
If your dog likes to ride in the car, the seat covers can get covered with dog hair. Use a lint roller to remove pet hair before washing the covers.

FAQ

Q. How long should seat covers last?
A.
That depends on what they’re made of and how well you care for them. Leather should last the longest, several years or more. Cotton and polyester will wear out more quickly.
 

Q. If the straps come off the seat covers, can they be replaced?
A.
Manufacturers won’t replace them; they’ll try to sell you new seat covers instead. If you want to reattach straps, you’ll have to sew them back on yourself or pay someone to do it for you.
 

Q. How often should seat covers be cleaned?
A.
There’s no standard answer, but grime, food crumbs, spills, and lint can build up pretty quickly. As a general rule, clean your seat covers every time you wash your car.

Other Products We Considered
The BestReviews editorial team researches hundreds of products based on consumer reviews, brand quality, and value. We then choose a shorter list for in-depth research and testing before finalizing our top picks. These are the products we considered that ultimately didn't make our top 5.
The team that worked on this review
  • Andrew
    Andrew
    Writer
  • Bronwyn
    Bronwyn
    Editor
  • Ciera
    Ciera
    Digital Content Producer
  • Melinda
    Melinda
    Web Producer

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