You’ve always gotten your car’s exterior detailed like it was headed to a pageant. In fact, if it were possible, your ride would win Miss Automotive 2019. But beauty also comes from the inside. And your original car seat fabric can only be vacuumed so many times before it starts to show wear and tear. Outfitting your vehicle in some of the best car seat covers out there keeps it looking younger than it has any right to.
But which car seat covers are right for families? Throw a couple of juice boxes and ground Cheerios into the mix, and suddenly you need stronger seat protection. Let’s talk about the fabric and design options for SUV seat covers, baby car seat covers, and more.
What to Look For in Car Seat Covers
First things first: what do you look for in a car seat cover? A few keywords will reveal that a car seat cover is meant to handle the heat your toddler can throw at it. Smooth as silk is, it cowers in the face of apple juice. And a thin cotton cover will last about five minutes against your kiddos’ daily battle for their favorite book.
It’s important to look for car seat covers that are designed for durability, and not just a good aesthetic. As someone who drives their family around daily, you want kid-proof car seat covers that boast:
- Dark color options. Navy and black car seat covers hide stains better than white and tan. As your kids age, a durable tan seat cover may do the trick. If you have super young kids or often pick up the family from muddy soccer practices — a dark fabric is often the best option.
- Washability. Trust us, your life will be four times easier if you can throw your car seat covers in your washing machine. Or if you can wipe it down and let it air dry. Otherwise you’re probably looking at dry cleaning your seat covers — and explaining toddler barf to your dry cleaner gets awkward after a while. Any baby-friendly car seat covers come with a machine-wash option.
- Water resistance. Try as you might, there is no way your backseat is staying dry forever. First there’s water spills, and then come the exploded juice boxes, and finally comes your spilled Starbucks just as you’re pulling up to school. Waterproof and water resistant seat covers won’t let liquids penetrate to your original seats and they dry quickly.
- UV resistance. Since you’re looking for kid-proof options, you’re probably already leaning toward black car seat covers – or at least dark ones. That means you can also expect your seats to get hot quickly if you’re not careful. UV resistance not only stops your seats from soaking up the sun, but it will keep major fading at bay so you’re not constantly replacing your seat covers.
- Tear resistance. Angry kids pull at anything they can get their hands on — including the nearest seat cover. And football cleats aren’t pulling any punches, either. The best seat cover will offer quality and durability – meaning it won’t easily tear or rip. Even when it’s up against an anger two-year-old. Look for a fabric with a thick weave and extra padding so your covers won’t get shredded.
Car seat covers are never one-size fits all, especially for families. But choosing covers that features these key properties will help you find a set that lasts. And don’t forget about fit. Oversized seat covers won’t be comfortable, while covers that are too small will constantly be coming up at the corners.
Best Fabrics for Busy Families
We should also mention that fabric matters a lot when it comes to seat cover sets for SUVs, trucks, and other family vehicles. The type of fabric you choose informs everything else about the seats (those hypothetical silk covers would never be easily washable, for instance).
Here are some of the most common fabrics used for the best of car seat covers. Based on your budget and usage needs, one of them is bound to earn your perfect 10.
Neoprene Seat Covers
This is the stuff wetsuits are made of. So that should give you an idea about its potential for water resistance. If it doesn’t, let us spell it out: Your kids can spill stuff on it. Neoprene is also used for other swimwear, cycling shoe covers, and laptop covers. It’s not only waterproof, but also very durable in general and quite flexible. It can also handle a wide temperature range. If you’re a spill-prone clan, or just love your family days at the beach, neoprene seat covers are probably your best bet.
Canvas Seat Covers
Canvas is used for everything from tents and tarps to boat sails and awnings. It’s known for being very durable — your kids won’t puncture it with a single hangnail or pointy toy. The heavy-duty weave can stand up to almost any lifestyle and yet many models are fit to be thrown in the wash with regular detergent. If your family has torn through other car seat covers in the past, give canvas seat covers a try.
Synthetic Leather Seat Covers
Yes, leather is known as a high maintenance fabric. No, you won’t have to tippy-toe around these seat covers. The synthetic leather seat covers from AutoAnything look just as sleek as the real deal but you can spill coffee or juice on them without having an aneurysm. We like to call them teen and infant car seat covers, because they’ll stand up against anything your kids throw their way.
Those black car seat covers have never looked so luxurious while standing up to Father Time and your kids’ dirty shoes. This is a good option if you have a new car that deserves a sleek interior but you don’t want to spend the money or frustration on real leather.
Vinyl Seat Covers
Vinyl is not a one-trick pony, so don’t call it that. It’s been used for astronaut gear, firefighter uniforms, industrial tarps, air bags, hot air balloons, lifejackets, and… well, you get the idea. It can do a lot of stuff. Including covering your car’s seats with a protective layer that is hard to puncture and rarely tears. It can usually be cleaned by wiping the seats down with a damp cloth. If easy cleaning — like, really easy cleaning — is your top priority, you’ll love vinyl seat covers.
Sheepskin Seat Covers
Are you tired of fielding constant cries of “I’m cooooold” from the backseat? The answer may live in a new set of set covers that serve as constant insulation. While it’s obvious the plush material keeps passengers warm in the winter, you may be surprised to learn that it also keeps people pretty cool in warm weather. For families where temperature control is a big point of contention on roadtrips long and short, sheepskin seat covers may be just the answer to driving more comfortably while protecting your original seats.
7 Car and SUV Seat Covers for Families
We carry all sorts of car and truck seat covers at AutoAnything. And we’re not saying we have favorites — they’re all superstars in our eyes — but we do have a few bestsellers to recommend for our mothers and fathers out there. Enjoy this product round-up of our most popular seat covers for busy families who are no stranger to spilled OJ and (we’re just gonna say it) dog pee. And, if your only kids are those of the four legged variety, you can check out our picks for the best dog car seat covers.
Regular Price: $169.99
Color Options: Black, Blue/Black, Charcoal/Black, Red/Black, Wine/Black
These seat covers mimic the look and properties of real neoprene at a lower price point. They’re popular for family car drivers because they can be custom fit for any SUV – almost any vehicle, really. And they’re simple to clean — just spot clean and air dry. The covers are crafted from a durable polyester and cotton blend and they won’t interfere with your airbags. We know you put you put safety first! They’re great for families who live in wet weather climates or year round sunny weather (did we mention they’re UV resistant?).
Regular Price: $249.99
Color Options: Black, Blue/Black, Grey/Black, Red/Black, Tan/Black
Made from real neoprene, these seats can withstand literally any stain from your mini-me’s. On top of that, they are preferred by many families because they’re machine washable and drip dry quickly. If you spend a lot of time at the pool or beach, they’re a perfect fit for your family’s lifestyle. Even better, these particular seat covers are made to order. They’ll always hug your car seats just the right way, never slipping or sliding.
Regular Price: $169.99
Color Options: Black, Blue, Charcoal, Grey, Tan, Blue/Black, Charcoal/Black, Grey/Black, Tan/Black
These seat covers are 100% cotton and machine washable, so they’re great for families with infants and small kids. They’re custom fit to cover arm rests, head rests, and your entire seat row. People also love them because they’re breathable and won’t get super hot when the temp goes up inside your vehicle. The contractor-grade Ballistic fabric can take a lickin’ (or melted candy) and keep on tickin’ (protecting your OE seats).
Regular Price: $220 – $297
Color Options: Black, Blue/Black, Red/Black, Grey/Black
These seats look chic and upscale — just the way mom and dad like it — and won’t cry in the face of spilled milk, which makes them kid-proof. Fewer morning fights equals more daily harmony. They’re great for families because they can handle a little stain here and there, but also because of their non-slip fit. That’s right, these covers can hold up to tiny kicking legs without budging. Leave the other carpool parents wondering how you keep your leather seats in such pristine condition.
Regular Price: $199.99
Color Options: Black, Black/Blue Stitching, Black/Red Stitching, Black/Silver Stitching, Charcoal/Silver Stitching, Sand
For parents that don’t want to give up their leather seats, leatherette makes for the best seat covers. It upgrades the look of your car and these are padded to increase comfort. They can be cleaned with most standard fabric cleaners and a damp cloth, and the fabric doesn’t fade. For families that need a little extra cushion on their seats, this set will be both durable and fashionable (spilled Kool-Aid not withstanding).
Regular Price: $249.99
Color Options: Black, Chestnut, Sand, Steel
Sold on vinyl covers? These PVC seat covers simulate the look of leather but they are also water, abrasion, and puncture-proof. Record scratch. Yeah, that’s a tall order, and these vinyl covers deliver. If the military-grade polyester and cotton blend can stand up to warfare, we think it can probably live to tell the tale of the great Cheerio debacle of 2019.
Regular Price: $269.99
Color Options: Black, Gray
These furry seat covers are plush, cloud-like, and keep your complaining passengers warm all winter long. They are easy to install and maintain, so they’re great seat covers for the family SUV or car. The durable microfiber will repel most stains and they can stand the test of time. They’re also backed with a thick foam to make your rides more comfortable.
The Bottom Line on Car Seat Covers for Families
Looking for an abbreviated guide on car seat covers for families? The bottom line is that you should look for something waterproof, tearproof, and easy to secure. With so many little hands grabbing everything in sight and spilling snacks, the two most important factors may well be fit and resistance to moisture.
When in doubt, ask yourself these three key questions:
- Will this seat cover hold up to spills?
- Are the seat covers custom fit for my vehicle?
- Is the fabric tear and puncture resistant?
If you can answer yes to all three queries, you officially have the green light from us to purchase your new seat covers.
At AutoAnything, we offer vehicle seat covers at all price points. Whether you’re ready to splurge or on a tight budget, we can hook you up with a full set of seat covers that protect your car against all threats, foreign and dairy-based. So, check out our selection of car seat covers today!
When you buy your covers from AutoAnything, you’re always protected by our lowest price guarantee. If you find the same car seat covers cheaper somewhere else within a year of your purchase, we will beat it by $1. Some of our seat covers are also covered by a 60-day free return and exchange policy. Not that you’ll need it — these seat covers can withstand anything but the apocalypse.