Seat Covers: Universal vs. Custom & Semi-Custom Fit

BY MICHAEL D.

So many vehicle upgrades are based on stylistic choice — from a new paint finish or a UV-resistant steering wheel cover to custom rims. You might think that finding the ideal seat covers for your interior would be the same, but there’s more to it than that. It’s great to have an idea as to the pattern and material you prefer, but you also need to know how your seating arrangement will dictate the final choice.

Recognizing the difference between bucket seats and bench seats is essential, as is understanding seatbelt placement and airbag compatibility. We have another article to help with that, but since you’re here, you might as well read up on the key differences between the three types of seat covers on our site — universal, custom and semi-custom fit.

custom-fit seat covers

Little explanation is needed here because little drama is likely to be encountered. Custom seat covers are the most popular style because every contour and curve is taken into account, including any ergonomic controls your seats may come with. To match their snug, smooth factory-grade fitment, custom covers are fashioned from materials of the highest quality.

Custom-fit covers are exemplified by Seat Designs Grand Tex Seat Covers, which are made from soft but durable poly-cotton and lined with foam for optimal comfort.

SEMI-CUSTOM FIT SEAT COVERS

Semi-custom seat covers are designed with a more general pattern for compatibility with your specific vehicle’s seats, but will also work with similarly sized and shaped arrangements in other cars, trucks and SUVs. Many of them are open-sided so they won’t obstruct side air bags.

Semi-custom covers are perhaps best represented by uber-luxurious Superlamb 3 Star Sheepskin Seat Covers. They come in a range of colors and boast double elastic trim so they won’t budge. Genuine Australian sheepskin stays cool and dry in the summer and warm in the winter.

UNIVERSAL SEAT COVERS

These covers are worth consideration if your backseat sees a lot of dirt, grime and dust. Transportation of heavy home equipment or gardening supplies comes to mind, but they’re also great for keeping your pet’s paws from causing too much damage. Made for a blanket fit on all high- and low-back bucket seats, they slip on and off in no time and store easily in your trunk when not in use.

Aries Seat Defender Canvas Seat Covers are a typical — but in every way atypical — example of universal seat covers. Their front is manufactured from 600D Terylene fabric to withstand spills, stains and scratches, while the underside is made with thermal plastic rubber for non-slip placement.

A WORD ABOUT MANUFACTURING

The majority of custom, semi-custom, and universal seat covers are not held in stock. Lead times can vary with manufacturing and availability. If your needs are time-sensitive, whether as a gift or for a planned vacation, please call AutoAnything’s Sales team at 1-800-874-8888. The experts there would be happy to help you locate the right seat cover for you in the time you need it.