Some people watch movies on road trips. Other people dig crossword puzzles. Your passengers? They’re playing Guess the Stain. We hate to say it, but… ew.
But seriously, it’s OK if your upholstery has seen better days—that’s why they invented car seat covers. Seat covers can protect pristine seats, make old and grimy interiors look new, make cleaning easier, take your car’s style up a notch, and protect your vehicle’s value. But those are just a few reasons to invest in them.
Here are nine reasons you should consider upgrading your factory seats with the addition of some new seat covers.
1. You Just Adopted a Puppy
As cute as dogs are, they claw, pee, slobber, and leave puppy paw marks all over the place. And don’t get us started on the shedding. The bottom line: if you are adopting a puppy soon, you should get a new set of car seat covers to protect your original seating now.
What to Look For: You want seat covers that are tear-resistant, machine washable, and the same color as your pet’s fur.
Good Seat Covers for Puppy Owners: Canvas seat covers are ideal for pet owners. They have a thick weave that can withstand claws and lots of movement. Try a set of Saddleman Canvas Seat Covers (machine washable and abrasion resistant) on for size. You should also check out pet seat covers that can be easily put down only when the puppy is in the car.
2. You’re Tired of Burning Your Butt
It’s summertime, you’re wearing those shorts that turn heads. As you should. But the second you get in the car, the back of your thighs are going to sizzle like an over-easy egg. A set of car seat covers can protect your skin as well as your original seats.
If you want to keep your seats cool, look for covers in light colors. Shades like tan and stone can reflect the sun better than black or charcoal seats. And, some fabrics are more forgiving in the heat than others. You may love those leather bucket seats, but covering them during the hottest months may pay off big time (you can cut your aloe budget in half, for one).
What to Look For: You’ll want seat covers that are light, soft, and UV resistant. Look for neoprene/neosupreme, mesh, canvas, and other cloth. Just say no to leather/leatherette or vinyl.
Good Seat Covers for Sensitive Skin: Start by browsing seat covers available in tan, then think about which material is most comfortable against the skin. Seat Designs Neosupreme Custom Fit Seat Covers, for instance, are made in over 10 vibrant color combinations to match or complement your interior .
3. You’re Considering a Trade-In
You can Google for tips on how to protect leather car seats until the end of time: No amount of vacuuming, leather cleaner or brushing will stop your leather from eventually looking worn. The bottom line is this: nothing protects the value of your interior better than covering your original seats.
If you’re someone who loves the luxury of leather or other high-quality seats but also trades in your vehicle every three years, seat covers are your friend. Seats that look as good as new can garner a higher trade-in price than seats that have seen better days. It may be superficial, but it’s true.
What to Look For: If your primary concern is maintaining trade-in value, you’ll want seat covers that shield your original seats from moisture. A custom fit is also important: Leave no corner vulnerable!
Good Seat Covers for Preserving Vehicle Value: Leather seat covers look high-end and will either protect your original leather seats or give your fabric ones and upgrade. Also consider Fia Leatherette Seat Covers, which are water-repellent and have super grip technology.
4. You Drive a Work Truck
When you’re in and out of job sites, it seems impossible to figure out how to get your seats clean. Seat covers make the process a lot faster and easier. Some covers can be spot cleaned, while others are totally machine washable with drip-dry suggestions. Still others can even be tumbled dried on low.
If you drive a truck at work, there’s no way to avoid mud, dust, and other residue following you home from work. With some quality floor mats and upgraded seat covers, you can easily wash out your car every weekend.
What to Look For: For a work vehicle, washable seat covers that hide dirt are an optimal choice. You should also consider breatheability, to keep your back dry during long hours on the road.
Good Seat Covers for Work Vehicles: Mesh seat covers could be the right choice for your work truck or car. They keep you cool and have heavy-duty cushioning for long drives. Check out NorthWest OEM Seat Covers, which are oil-resistant and available in black to hide dirt. When you need your covers to pull double-duty and never flinch in the face of dirt, canvas covers are another good option.
5. You Live in 4-Season Weather
Live a place that gets hot and sweaty one week and snowy the next? You need a car interior that can hold up to whipping wind, intense sun, and sudden storms. Car seat covers that dry quickly will keep you comfortable in all four seasons.
If you’re wondering how to clean leather car seats in the middle of winter, try this on for size: get some leatherette seat covers you can clean inside your house. You know, where it’s warm. Or, switch to another waterproof cover in the wettest months so you don’t have to think about cleaning the seats at all.
What to Look For: Waterproofing is super important for living in all types of weather. Summer rain and melting snow all require the same thing: protection against mildew, water stains, and soggy seating.
Good Seat Covers for All-Season Living: Neoprene seat covers are made from the same stuff as surf suits. They dry fast, can be quickly cleaned, and guard against all types of moisture. Coverking Genuine Neoprene Seat Covers might be the right fit for you.
6. Your Current Seats Look Like an Art Project Gone Wrong
You have three kids, a dog, and a serious caffeine habit. If you have rips, stains, and protruding foam all over the place, you need especially tough seat covers in your life.
Durable seat covers will disguise every imperfection in just a few minutes, so you can stop being embarrassed to give friends a ride. New covers also make it more comfortable for you — no more ripped fabric rubbing against your leg.
What to Look For: You’ll want tough fabric with a high thread count to cover torn upholstery. A thick layer of foam will also help restore your seats to their former comfort.
Good Seat Covers for Shredded Seats: In addition to leather seats with added cushion, you may want to consider vinyl seat covers for your battle-worn seats. For instance, Coverking Rhinohide Seat Covers have super thick foam on the bottom and are water- and puncture- resistant.
7. You’re on Carpool Duty this Year
On any given day, you’ve got six sticky, dirty, juice-box-drinking kids in the back seat. You need one of the best car seat covers for families. Well, what you actually need is the stuff they use inside military tanks—but you’ll take what you can get.
When you’re driving home with a dozen dirty soccer cleats or little humans covered in glitter, washable car seat covers are your friend. If you want your car to feel all grown-up when you’re driving solo, opt for car seat covers that you can easily pop in and out.
What to Look For: Seat covers that are easy to install and remove are crucial here. You may want a special seat cover just for when the backseat is filled with your carpool passengers. Durability is a no-brainer, too.
Good Car Seat Covers for Carpool Drivers: Universal car seat covers are a good option when you drive carpool. They deflect pet hair, spilled snacks, and whatever dirty shoes are carrying around. Give WeatherTech Seat Covers a spin in your backseat.
8. You Want to Makeover Your Car Style
You want to live your best life—and so does your car. You may not be able to afford a foreign car with all the bells and whistles, but that doesn’t mean you can’t recreate the look of an Uber Black for a few hundred bucks.
Upgraded car seat covers can turn a blah interior into a slick and cushy space. Dust off your dash, vacuum the floors, and add some new car seat covers to transform your regular ride into a seriously stylish place to be.
What to Look For: You want quality materials that are smooth to the touch and recreate the interior of a super-expensive car. If your car was a head of hair, you’d go for the Brazilian blow-out.
Good Car Seat Covers for Stylish Drivers: Leather and leatherette covers are the most obvious option. Nothing can compare to the smooth feeling of leather against your skin. Try these CoverKing Precision Fit covers and see if you don’t feel like a million bucks. If you’re open to alternatives, Suede seat covers also fit the bill of stylish and comfortable.
9. You’re Starting a New Life as a Beach Bum
Going to be spending a lot of time near the water this summer? You definitely need to protect your original seats from saltwater and sand. We probably don’t have to tell you that sand can end up in places you didn’t know existed. This applies equally to your body and your car.
Cars that frequently go to and from the water also end up with wet butts in their seats. New covers help you preserve the integrity of your original seats without giving up your beach lifestyle.
What to Look For: You’ll want washable fabrics that dry quickly and deflect water. A wet swimsuit shouldn’t send your car seat covers into a tizzy. You’ll also be vacuuming your car a lot, so fabrics with a high thread count are your friend.
Good Seat Covers for Beach Dwellers: Neoprene and neosupreme fabrics are great for beachy car seat covers, and so are vinyl seats. Try out these Saddleman Neoprene Seat Covers that are super waterproof and custom fit for armrests and headrests, leaving no surface vulnerable to your post-beach dirt.
When you’re ready to give your car the makeover treatment, you don’t need to reupholster the seats. Just give them a quick change with some new seat covers, and they’re good as new. You don’t even have to spend a lot to reinvent your car’s look. We call that a win-win.