You can never be too picky when it comes to something that has an undeniable impact on your driving experience—the very thing you are sitting on. Your seat covers, other than adding comfort to your ride, protect your seats and do much to define the interior look of your vehicle. While your engine's components are subjected to intense heat, pressure, and friction, your vehicle's seats are subjected to stains, spilled drinks, dirty pet paws, wet bathing suits, heavy bags, UV rays, and the near-constant scraping passengers' backsides. Eventually, your ride's interior will sustain damage and look old and dilapidated. This is definitely not a problem you should take sitting down! These tips should make it easy to pick new seat covers.
Types of seat cover materials
- Neoprene - Made from the same material used in scuba suits, seat covers made from neoprene are completely waterproof. They have a nice, cushioning effect, and are very easy to install and to clean.
- Leather - These seat covers are good for that classic look. They are easy to clean since they don't absorb liquids and are resistant to UV rays. However they can get sticky on hot days and are quite vulnerable to wear.
- Suede - Seat covers made from this material are a good alternative to leather since they are more resistant to wear. However, they are more vulnerable to UV rays and water.
- Ballistic nylon - Made from the same material used to make flak jackets for WWII pilots, these seat covers are the toughest ones out there. They can withstand virtually anything. However, they are not as comfortable as other materials and, in some cases, also show more wrinkles.
- Poly-cotton - Seat covers made from pure cotton and have the added durability of polyester offer superior comfort and are easy to install and maintain. However, these are not waterproof and won't protect from heavy dirt or moisture.
- Velour - Also made from cotton or polyester, these seat covers offer the best in terms of comfort and luxury. However, they are not waterproof and thus offer little protection. They can also be difficult to install since velour does not stretch.
Universal/generic fit or custom-made
- Universal seat covers - These are made to fit a wide variety of vehicle seats. If you're not very particular about the look of your interior, these can be a good choice since they are much cheaper than custom-made seats. However, the lack of a perfect fit can cause problems. Loose seat covers will give you a lot of wrinkles while tight ones are susceptible to tear. These seat covers may also interfere with air bag deployment.
- Custom-made seats - These are designed for the specific make and model of your vehicle. They may be more expensive, but they give your seats a better look. You also won't have to worry about your seat covers getting in way of your side-impact air bags.