In an ideal world, our vehicles would look like the day we first rolled them off the lot forever. Nowadays, a lot of drivers desire hyper-cleanliness and can’t stand the thought of getting into a vehicle that they feel is dirty or contaminated. If you want to retain that new car look longer or simply feel it is time to freshen up the factory interior of your aging auto, seat covers offer you the answer. But, with the abundant number of materials and styles, how do you decide what material is right for you?
The first major concern is compatibility. Before we even start talking about options and materials, you want to ensure that your seat covers are compatible with your airbag and safety systems. Next, you want to make sure that the seat covers are compatible with your model. There should be some sort of reference chart in the product description to help you verify the fit before you buy. Some people are happy with a front set of seat covers if they don’t carry a lot of occupants or possessions in the back seats.
There are several factors to consider when considering the quality of new seat covers. A better seat cover will have quality stitching reinforced around the edges and a more custom fit for your specific make and model. Seats that offer foam inserts or padding are generally more desirable. Some sets try hard to sell the whole enchilada motif deal by throwing in steering wheel covers, floor mats, and other stylized accessories. That is all a question of taste that probably works better in an Asian tuner car.
Seat covers come in a wide variety of materials, colors, and prints. These days, you can find seat covers made of bamboo, rattan, polyester, faux leather, heavy duty canvas, cotton, flannel, breathable mesh, suede, neoprene, and leather. Bamboo fabric has been making a strong marketing campaign based on the fact that it is naturally antimicrobial, light, and strong. The angle of the marketing appears to sell it as something similar to Merino wool. It is great at wicking away and absorbing moisture. It keeps you cool in the summer and warmer in the winter, with the added bonus of keeping consumers odor free from its antimicrobial properties.
Bamboo sounds great. However, Neoprene seat covers are probably at the top of the list. Neoprene not only keeps you warm in the winter and cooler in the summer, it is waterproof and will repel any liquids. This is because neoprene is the same material that they use to make diver wetsuits. It is also fireproof and won’t be faded by the sun nor damaged by cigarette burns or ashes. Neoprene has a very futuristic look to it that can add to the overall value of your vehicle.
Premium leather can feel regal and fresh. It is easy to wipe clean like its Neoprene competitor. The biggest problem with leather is that it is sensitive to the extreme temperatures in autos. It has a tendency to crack and fade if proper care is not taken. When you climb into that leather seat on a hot day, it can be scalding hot.
Nonetheless, supple leather is more organic and anthropomorphic like our own skin when it is heated to body temperature. It did come from an animal with flesh that many humans consume and convert into new human cells. It can provide a level of sensuality and comfort that synthetic materials can’t compete against when you are talking bare skin to seat cover contact. In many cases, it would probably be cheaper to replace all of your seats with the interior from a wrecked auto with the full leather interior option than to buy quality leather seat covers.
In conclusion, new automakers are still offering luxury cars loaded with leather for a reason. Genuine leather is by far the most comfortable, clean, and stylish interior material. Neoprene is functional and ideal for many rigorous applications that require a more industrial material. If you live in a hot climate or simply want to ride out the summer season, some soft bamboo or rattan seat covers over the leather may provide enough cooling defense to offset the scalding flesh syndrome.