It’s winter time, and the living is… really freaking cold. You have your snow boots, your gloves, your back-up gloves, and your embarrassing-but-warm hat ready to go. Your body will be covered from head to toe and ready to tackle whatever frigid tantrum Mother Nature throws. But what about your car?
Getting your vehicle ready for the winter season involves a tire check, new windshield wipers, and an upgraded ice scraper to throw in the trunk. And, if you care about your comfort, winterizing your car also includes getting some winter car seat covers.
The best car seat covers for winter will be able to handle wind and snow and won’t tear in extreme temperatures. Not every fabric is up to the challenge. Here is how to pick out the best winter car seat covers for your car.
Before Getting Seat Covers Consider What Your Car is Up Against
In order to find the right car seat covers for your chariot, you need to take an honest look at what you’re asking the seats to contend with. As much as that smooth suede is calling to you… you might want to think twice before you buy it.
Winter conditions range from the wet and cold to the downright apocalyptic. And you want to make sure your car interiors will arrive in spring in one piece. Consider these common elements when you’re selecting your next set of car seat covers.
- Snow. Ah, the old winter weather go-to. If you live in a northern state and experience snowfall for six months out of the year, you might be surprised at how much damage it can do to the wrong set of seat covers. Leather, suede, and other more delicate fabrics may crack after becoming wet and drying frequently. If you’re going with leather, make sure it’s designed to be all-weather and water resistant.
- Salt. Sidewalks and roads are often treated with salt in order to melt ice and keep surfaces safe for pedestrians and drivers. And thank goodness they are! However, that also means you’re trekking salt into your car. While most of it will end up on your floor mats, any remnants that blow onto your coat will end up on your seat covers. This is just one of the reasons you’ll want winter seat covers that are easy to wash.
- Sand. Sand is another tool used on roads during winter time. Your tires thank you for the traction, but your car’s interior says “Really? I thought beach season was over.” Sand flies everywhere, so it’s bound to end up on your seats. Covers that can’t withstand a little exfoliation won’t make it all winter.
- Dirt. Once snow begins to melt, the ground gets slushy and the mud lets loose. It’s been trapped under a snowbank all winter, after all, so it’s ready to party. The problem is: Dirt and mud love to become enmeshed into the crevices of your car. And that includes seat covers. You want covers that can be washed on the fly without leaving a watermark.
- Frigid Temperatures. Some seat covers wilt in the summer heat and some crack under freezing temps. You want tougher seat covers. Make sure the covers you choose are specifically made to handle a wide range of temperature and are tear-resistant (these covers tend to stand up better to super cold conditions).
Weigh Your Fabric Options (Hint: Silk is Not the Answer)
The best winter car seat covers for you may be a material you’ve never considered before. Keep an open mind! Some of the best fabrics for winter conditions are water-resistant, puncture proof, and can be thrown in the washing machine.
Here are some of our favorite fabrics for winter car seat covers, and some recommendations straight from our customer reviews and ratings.
Neoprene Car Seat Covers
It seems counterintuitive that the material used for wetsuits during the summer would be a good winter fabric. But oh, it is. Neoprene seat covers are made from a soft fabric blend that wicks water away from the seats and dries very quickly. You won’t have to sit in a soggy seat when the snow from your jacket melts en route. This fabric is usually pretty easy to clean too, as long as you have some gentle soap and a damp rag on hand.
Our Pick: Coverking Neosupreme Seat Covers
These seat covers are stylish, comfortable, and can be spot cleaned in just a few moments. They are also UV resistant, so they won’t fade on one of those rare sunny days come wintertime. The covers are available for first, second, and third row seats.
Canvas Seat Covers
Canvas seat covers are super heavy-duty. The material will handle your spills (who can resist hot cider on a cold morning?), and it takes a lot to tear it. Canvas is also good at standing up to freezing temps, and it won’t flinch when you hop in the car after a long walk on a salty sidewalk. The material is also used for outdoor tents and boat sails, so you know it means business. Canvas car seat covers are available in a ton of different color and pattern options to match any car interior.
Our Pick: Fia Oe Semi Custom Seat Covers
Price: Starts at $108.90/row
These covers stay warm in the winter and cool in the summer. They are semi-custom, so they usually fit your seats like a glove. You’ll also benefit from a padded back that makes long-haul trips a little (or a lot) more bearable — you’re already dealing with icy conditions, you don’t need a back spasm to boot.
Sheepskin Seat Covers
Your car is so cold in the morning that you want to wrap yourself in an area rug and wear it until your heater kicks in. And you could do that. Or you could just get some sheepskin seat covers. This material feels like a warm hug. Most sheepskin car seat covers are also treated to repel stains. Despite their fluffy and unassuming appearance, they are actually pretty durable and won’t disappoint when weather gets tough.
Talk about cozy. These ideal winter car seat covers are made from microfibers that not only repel water and other stains, but also feel really great on your skin. The fur-like fabric is ideal for chilly winter mornings when you have to leave the driveway before you can turn on the heater.
Velour Seat Covers
A new set of velour seat covers will feel like buttah if you’ve been dealing with old, ripped seats — or just factory seats that weren’t made for comfort. Remember how comfy velour suits were in the 90s? These winter car seat covers will feel just as good against your skin. But the smooth feel isn’t the only selling point. Velour seat covers can also be machine washable, so when you track in a bunch of sand and salt you don’t have to sweat it.
Our Pick: Saddleman Windsor Velour Seat Covers
Soft, luxurious, and foam-backed… how is that for the perfect combo? These velour seat covers are machine washable and made from 100% breathable cotton. They’re also available in three colors, so you can complement your interior.
Pet Seat Covers
If you have a four-legged friend who often travels without in the car, you can’t go driving willy-nilly in the winter without extra seat protection. That’s where pet seat covers fit in. They keep your backseat protected from wet paws and all the other stuff your dog’s underbelly picks up as she walks down the sidewalk in melting snow. Because try as you may, you can’t always keep your pooch from wandering off the path and chasing a squirrel into a snowy park.
Our Pick: Northwest Pet Seat Covers
Price: Starts at $118.99
Machine Washable and compatible with almost any backseat, this pet seat cover is a best seller. It’s also easy to take on and off — so you can remove it to make room for human passengers in just a few seconds. It even fastens to the back of your front seat to secure it in place.
Camo Seat Covers
Winter camo seat covers are a pretty classic look, especially if you live in an area where hunting season is practically a state holiday. These covers are available in a variety of fabrics, including neoprene and canvas, but they have such a unique look and purpose that they deserve their own shout-out. When you shop at AutoAnything, you can choose from camo in a variety of patterns and colors.
Our Pick: Saddleman True Timber Camo Seat Covers
These seat covers are made from contractor-grade Ballistic fabric that features a tight weave. That means you can throw all of your winter habits that them and they won’t shrink, tear, or get uncomfortable beneath your backside. The covers are also foam backed and built to resist mildew — even if a ton of snow melts on them every day.
Ensure the Right Fit for Total Coverage
A final word on choosing winter car seat covers: make sure they fit! Snow, salt, and dirt are sneaky. They will look for any crevice or crack to sneak into and infiltrate your original seats. When you’re tracking in extra moisture and other debris, it’s vital to find a wrap-around seat cover that fits your vehicle the right way.
You have two primary choices when it comes to car seat cover fit: custom covers and universal covers. Each have their own pros and cons. Here is what to consider about each type:
- Custom Seat Covers: On the bright side, these seat covers are made for your exact make and model. They will also cover arm rests, head rests, and other special features for your vehicle. If you want to ensure a glove-like fit, custom is the way to go. One potential downside: You can’t necessarily transfer these covers between cars if you trade your vehicle in come spring.
- Universal Seat Covers: These covers are designed to fit most vehicles in your car’s class, such as sedans or SUVs. If you want something more versatile that can be moved from vehicle to vehicle, these car seats might be appealing. Plus, they can be more affordable. If you go with universal seat covers, just make sure they still stretch all the way under the seats for total coverage.
The Bottom Line on Winter Car Seat Covers
If you need a shorter checklist for how to find the right car seat covers, here’s a TL;DR version:
- Find a car seat cover that is water resistant, so melted snow won’t leave its mark.
- Look for seat covers that dry quickly — because windy rain and melted ice are unavoidable.
- Machine washability is best, but spot cleaning will do in a pinch.
- Look for a stain resistant design that won’t react to salt or sand so your covers will look brand new until spring
- Dark colors can hide a lot of dirt and sand, but light colors are also available for tan interiors.
Are you ready to upgrade the look of your vehicle interior? Time to go shopping for some winter car seat covers! Not only do new seat covers breathe fresh air into your car’s appearance, but they better protect your car’s value when the weather gets nasty.
Not only does AutoAnything offer a huge variety of seat covers to choose from, but we have you covered with our Price Match Guarantee. That means if you find the same seat covers at a better price point within a year of your purchase, we’ll always beat it by $1. And that’s anything but cold.