Despite being so lovable, dogs can often create unexpected messes on your seats, including tearing them or staining them with their drool, vomit, pee, or poop. Therefore, seat covers can come in handy for all dog owners. However, many of you might be asking: “What’s the better option between leather and fabric seat covers?”
Leather seat covers are better than fabric covers for stain resistance and durability. However, they’re very costly and prone to temperature fluctuations. On the other hand, fabric covers are budget-friendly and can bear temperature changes. However, they’re porous and stain easily.
Are you still unsure what type of car seat cover to go for? This article will break down leather and fabric seat covers’ features, pros, and cons. So, read on to discover which type suits your needs and preferences best.
What’s the Difference Between Leather and Fabric Seat Covers?
Leather and fabric seat covers are commonly used for car seats and other furniture upholstery. Both types can be must-have items, especially when you have pets or kids around. But, despite serving the same purpose, the types of seat covers have distinct differences.
The main difference between leather and fabric seat covers is their material. Leather covers are made from processed animal hides, while fabric ones comprise different types of cloth. Moreover, leather seat covers can come with pretty hefty price tags, while fabric covers are more budget-friendly.
Now, let’s take a closer look at each type of seat cover, including their characteristics, advantages, and disadvantages.
Leather Seat Covers
As mentioned earlier, leather seat covers are made from treated animal hides. The production process of leather is lengthy, time-consuming, labor and cost-intensive. Therefore, these seat covers will cost you a lot of money.
However, as long as budget isn’t an issue and you love a touch of luxury in your car, leather seat covers are an ideal choice. They’re not only sleek but also are durable, making them a good investment overall. Their durability is unparalleled due to the leather’s resistance to UV damage, mildew, and stains.
Now, not all “leather” seat covers are natural leather. Some manufacturers have perfected ‘mimicking’ the animal-based material to produce more sustainable alternatives. These include:
- Artificial leather covers
- Bonded leather covers
Artificial leather covers closely resemble their genuine counterparts due to their elegant look. However, they’re not as durable as natural leather because they’re prone to UV ray damage and staining. Therefore, these seat covers are more affordable than animal-based leather alternatives.
Artificial leather comprises leatherette, PU leather, and high-grade vinyl. However, despite their drawbacks, they come in a wide selection of colors or designs, and they’re easy to install and maintain.
On the other hand, bonded leather covers refer to recycled leather made from scraps (or remains) of genuine leather. These leftover leather pieces are joined to a fibrous backing sheet and coated with polyurethane sealant. Therefore, bonded leather closely resembles natural leather, both in appearance and features.
However, bonded leather seat covers aren’t resistant to UV ray damage. Nonetheless, they’re more durable than artificial leather covers, making them costlier than the latter.
Pros of Leather Seat Covers
- Last longer than fabric seat covers when well-maintained.
- Have an elegant (luxurious) appearance.
- Are stain-resistant and easy to clean – in case of a mess, you only have to wipe it off using a damp cloth.
- Several types of leather seat covers that don’t contain animal products are available.
- Don’t absorb or keep other odors – leather has a distinct smell.
- Don’t trap dust or pet hair – better for pet owners with allergies.
Cons of Leather Seat Covers
- They are costlier than fabric covers.
- Not resistant to temperature changes – become too hot when temperatures are high and too cold when temperatures drop.
- They aren’t always breathable.
- Require more maintenance than cloth seat covers – need to be treated to prevent aging.
- Have fewer color and design varieties – most leather seat covers are black, chestnut, or white.
- It’s not easy to distinguish high-quality leather seat covers from poor-quality ones.
Fabric Seat Covers
Many car owners prefer fabric seat covers, as they’re readily accessible and cost-effective. They’re also available in a vast range of materials, colors, and designs. But despite their attractive qualities, cloth seat covers have several shortcomings.
There’s a wide selection of cloth seat cover materials, including:
- Canvas – is a good quality fabric that’s water-resistant and lasts long. But, it’s not as comfortable as other cloth materials.
- Vinyl – is the most preferred material for car seats due to its high quality and durability. It’s also available in several colors and is compatible with all types of car seats. However, vinyl isn’t very comfortable, especially when temperatures change, as they can feel too hot or cold.
- Neoprene – is a thick and durable rubber-based material. It’s non-porous (waterproof) and one of the most foam-fitting fabrics for car seats. Neoprene blends are also available, including chloroprene, which is a combination between neoprene and knit polyester.
- Velour – resembles velvet because it’s soft to touch. But, unlike velvet, velour has a knit construction, making it flexible and stretchable; therefore, it’s comfortable and durable.
- Polyester – is one of the most common fabric materials for car seats. It gives your car a suede look; therefore, it’s mostly referred to as ‘micro suede.’ Though it looks attractive, it’s not ideal for family cars, as it gets stained fast, absorbs odors, and isn’t easy to clean.
- Nylon – is one of the most commonly used materials to cover car seats due to its affordability. Nylon seat covers are more stain-resistant than polyester. The fabric is also sturdier than other cloth materials. However, it’s not the best quality, as it stains easily and absorbs odors.
Here are the advantages and disadvantages of fabric seat covers:
Pros of Fabric Seat Covers
- They’re budget-friendly – many car owners can afford them.
- Have a wider variety of materials, colors, designs, and patterns than leather seat covers.
- Are washable – you can slip them off quickly and clean them.
- They are scratch-resistant.
- Most fabrics are biodegradable.
- They are resistant to temperature variations – they’ll not scorch your furry friend when hot or freeze them when it’s too cold.
Cons of Fabric Seat Covers
- They become and appear dirty pretty fast – they easily absorb dust and trap pet hairs.
- They are more porous than leather seat covers – they easily absorb liquids and stains.
- They are less durable than leather seat covers – prone to damage by harsh weather conditions.
- Aren’t resistant to UV damage – dyed fabrics fade or become dull with time when exposed to sunlight.
- They are hard to clean immediately, as they’re more prone to staining – you can’t wipe off the dirt from fabric covers using a damp cloth.
- Don’t appear as elegant (or stylish) as leather seat covers.
Are Leather Seat Covers Costlier Than Fabric Covers?
Leather seat covers are usually costlier than their fabric counterparts because they have very high production costs. However, imitation leather covers are much cheaper than genuine alternatives.
The manufacturing of leather covers is time-consuming, expensive, and labor-intensive. Therefore, the output cost is also higher. Moreover, genuine leather is considered a premium item; hence, its price is always steeper.
Therefore, leather seat covers are ideal for pet owners whose topmost priority is maintaining the aesthetic look of their car interiors. Moreover, leather covers are a good investment when it comes to a car’s resale value.
Are Fabric Seat Covers Better for Dogs Than Leather Covers?
Fabric seat covers aren’t always better than leather covers for dogs. Although they’re pocket-friendly and come in various colors and patterns, most of them aren’t stain, odor, dirt, or water-resistant.
Therefore, you’ll have to change your fabric cover immediately in instances when your furry friend pees, poops or vomits on it.
Although fabric seat covers are easy to slip on the car seat, most aren’t ideal for pet lovers. Moreover, if you’re allergic to dust or pet fur, having cloth seat covers isn’t a good idea. However, some manufacturers have used a combination of fabrics to seal these loopholes, producing high-quality fabric seat covers.
Factors To Consider When Choosing Between Leather and Fabric Seat Covers
Leather and fabric seat covers could both be your preferred choice depending on your taste, preference, and especially how much money you’re able and willing to spend.
But if you’ve not decided on the type of seat cover you want to go for yet, you might have to consider several factors. Here are some of the elements you’ll want to consider before buying leather or fabric seat covers:
Comfort and Safety
Carrying your dog along during trips can be fun and exciting. On the other hand, simply visiting the vet for your dog’s checkup can make taking your pup along feel a bit more mandatory. In both scenarios, you’ll have to consider your pet’s safety and comfort first. For this reason, you should go for a seat cover that keeps your furry friend comfortable and is non-slip.
We all know how messy our pets can be, especially when they’ve been playing in the park. And if your dog is feeling unwell, then you can just imagine the accidents that can occur in the car. So, you’d want a seat cover that doesn’t stain or show dirt easily. Moreover, you’d prefer one that you can easily wipe off without having to give it a thorough clean.
If you’re on a strict budget, a pricey seat cover can ‘hurt’ your pockets. So, it’s advisable to consider an affordable seat cover. However, sometimes cheap can turn out to be more expensive, and you’ll have to think of how much value the seat cover will offer in the long run. Therefore, while still considering affordability, a high-quality seat cover is always a good investment.
You don’t want to find yourself frequently replacing your seat covers. Not only can it get annoying, but buying new seat covers so frequently will eventually become too costly. For this reason, it’s recommendable to go for a long-lasting cover that’ll serve you for years. Moreover, consider one that’ll have minimal damage from your furry friend’s sharp claws.
Care and Maintenance Requirements
Different seat cover materials have varying care or maintenance needs. Therefore, when selecting a cover for your car seats, always check what kind of care it requires to keep it in good shape for a long time. Moreover, make sure that these requirements are processes you can keep up with, as to not deal with any unnecessary stress or frustration later on.
Style and Aesthetics
Apart from protecting your car seat from dirt, stains, and odors, seat covers can also contribute to the aesthetic look of your car’s interior. Therefore, you’ll want to go for a car seat that matches your taste and leaves your car looking glam. However, a more luxurious look will come with a heftier price tag, so be prepared to spend some extra bucks.
The Best Car Seat Covers for Pet Owners
Pet lovers shouldn’t settle for anything less than ideal when it comes to their pups, even when looking for seat covers. Ideally, you’d want to have the best-quality seat covers that match your car’s elegant interior.
Here are some of the best car seat covers on the market today:
This is a high-quality seat cover for pet owners, featuring an infused Oxford fabric and a silicone backing. It’s waterproof, breathable, and non-porous. Moreover, the silicone backing and plastic grounding anchors make it non-slip and stable.
This Bucket Seat Cover is budget-friendly, chemical-free, easy to install, and durable.
Made from a quilted blend of Oxford and cotton, this pet seat cover guarantees your pet’s comfort. Additionally, it’s waterproof, breathable, and chemical-free. Just like the previous option, it also comes with the non-slip silicone backing and anchors that keep your furry friend safe.
The Premium Rear Seat Cover is available in four sizes, depending on your car type. Moreover, it comprises reinforced pressure points, protecting it from wear and tear. Those who are still skeptical might be glad to hear that the seat cover comes with a lifetime warranty.
This premium seat cover features a liquid block layer and comprises a velvet, cotton, and silicone combination. Apart from providing comfort, the seat cover also enhances the aesthetic look of your car’s interior. Additionally, it’ll keep your car seats free from stains, odors, and dirt.
The Velvet Convertible Rear Seat Cover is available in two sizes for perfect fitting. It also has a detachable hammock for bigger pets. Now, this luxurious seat cover isn’t only lush, soft, and breathable but is also tear-resistant and long-lasting.
Choosing between leather and fabric seat covers can be more challenging than you’d think, especially if you’re a pet owner. Generally speaking, an ideal seat cover should match your needs, taste, and budget.
By browsing our collection of premium quality seat covers, you’re bound to find an option tailored to your specific requirements.