7 Types of Car Seats Material: Choosing the Best for You

Types of car seats materials vary, depending on the composition and quality of the substance used to make them. However, choosing the best car seat material will depend on your goals and budget.

Types of Car Seats Material ~ Ran When Parked

In this article, we’ll uncover 9 types of materials for car seats and weigh their pros against their cons to help you decide which one is best for your needs. Also, we’ll answer frequently asked questions on the subject matter; thus, be sure to read to the end.

The List of the Finest Types of Car Seats Material

Note that this list is utterly subjective because consumer taste differs from one person to another. Rather, our intention is to give you a fair idea of what each seat type offers and the setbacks to expect when you make your choice.

Also, as much as we’ll try to cover all the popular seat types, we might not cover everything.

1. Car Seats Made from Leather

Price Point Expensive
Distinguished Characteristics
  • Comfortable
  • Beautiful finish
  • Easy to maintain
  • Can be cleaned with cloth
  • Pricey
  • Develops cracks easily


Leather car seats are commonly used in luxury vehicles because they exude class and prestige. Their physical appeal sets them apart from the rest, with a beautiful finish that fits all types of car seats. Many people prefer it for its durability and its low maintenance, but its expensive nature can be off-putting.

Car Seats Made from Leather ~ Ran When Parked

High-quality leather seats can stand the test of time and weather if they are properly maintained. They don’t easily wear or tear and are less likely to develop signs of aging compared to seats made from fabric.

Fortunately, they are easy to maintain as all you have to do is clean the surface regularly with a specialized cleaning agent. They also provide comfort due to their soft texture, which is especially good for people who spend long hours on the road.

However, leather seats are pretty expensive, which ultimately affects the upfront cost of the vehicle. Their temperature-sensitive characteristic means that they can be unbearable during very hot or very cold days.

Though maintaining it is easy, the cost involved is quite expensive as you’ll need to condition and protect it from wear and tear. Leather seat color options are limited and are less eco-friendly compared to the other types of car seats.

2. Car Seats Made from Leatherette

Pricepoint Economical
Distinguished characteristics
  • Mimics leather perfectly
  • Shiny
  • Easy to clean
  • Cheap to maintain
  • Uncomfortable in hot weather
  • Not durable


Also known as Faux Leather (false leather), leatherette is a synthetic material made from PVC and other materials. It is designed to have the look and feel of real leather, but it is a cheaper option. Leatherettes come in different varieties depending on the quality of the material and are used in some luxury vehicle brands.

Car Seats Made from Leatherette ~ Ran When Parked

Leatherettes are cheaper than leather; thus, cars with leatherette upholstery have lower prices upfront. People seeking leather-trimmed car seats but can’t afford their exorbitant prices can settle for seats designed with faux leather. Also, leatherettes are easy to clean and maintain compared to seats made from fabric.

Moreover, leatherettes are durable and have a consistent appearance, contrary to the natural variations found in pure leather seats.

However, faux leather is quite uncomfortable, especially in the hot weather, due to the PVC and other materials used in making it. Though it does its best to imitate pure leather, it falls short in terms of durability, look and feel.

Just like real leather, leatherettes have limited color options and, therefore, are less customizable. They are also less eco-friendly due to the method of production and disposal of the materials used in making them.

3. Seats Made With Vinyl

Price Point Economical
Distinguished characteristic
  • Mimics leather
  • Doesn’t absorb liquid
  • Can be cleaned
  • Easty to maintain
  • Less durable
  • Feels more slippery


Another type of car seat made to look and feel like leather is Vinyl. However, unlike leather and leatherette, Vinyl is less durable and cheaper because it’s made from plastic. It also offers a strong finish that fabric car seats cannot mimic and is a great option for leather-trim seats.

Car Seats Made With Vinyl ~ Ran When Parked

Vinyl car seats are easy to clean because they don’t absorb liquid or dirt, and maintenance is cost-effective as well. You can easily clean them with a damp cloth, and they’ll be sparkling clean. They are also durable compared with fabric, are environmentally friendly and can withstand harsh weather conditions.

Vinyl car seats also offer a consistent appearance across all seats, just like leatherettes.

However, vinyl feels more rubbery and slippery, lacking the tactile tension feel of the leather seats. They are temperature-sensitive, making them very uncomfortable during extreme weather conditions.

These temperatures make vinyl car seats expand and contract frequently, making them vulnerable to cracks and tears. They also have limited colors, which means there’s little room for customization if you want a variety of colors to choose from.

4. Seats Manufactured With Alcantara

Price Point Expensive
Distinguished characteristics
  • Mimics the appearance of suede
  • Comfortable
  • Difficult to clean
  • Cheap to maintain
  • Pricey
  • Prone to fading


Alcantara is a car seat material made from polyester and polyurethane, and it comes in two types: rugged and smooth. The rugged type gives your vehicle a robust look, while the smooth type is soft and clean.

Car Seats Manufactured With Alcantara ~ Ran When Parked

Both types come in a wide variety of colors, giving you more customization options than the leather and leatherette material. Alcantara car seat materials are designed to mimic the appearance of suede; thus, they are sometimes referred to as ultra suede.

One advantage of Alcantara materials is that it gives the semblance of luxury and comfort, improving the car’s aesthetics. Not only does it give off comfort vibes, but it is actually comfortable regardless of the weather.

Its temperature-neutral characteristic means that it is you can trust it to keep you warm, even on cold winter nights. The fabric is low-maintenance, meaning it’s stain-resistant and easier to clean.

However, it is expensive, more expensive than leatherette and leather; therefore, be prepared to pay more upfront for your vehicle. Though it is stain-resistant, Alcantara is vulnerable to liquid and oil, especially when they stay on its surface for a long time.

Despite its low-maintenance characteristic, the material requires frequent cleaning to keep it shining. Moreover, it is more prone to fading than leather and leatherette and less eco-friendly.

5.Car Seats Made from Polyester

Price Point Economical
Distinguished characteristics
  • Comfortable
  • Breathable
  • Difficult to clean
  • Easy to maintain
  • Easily absorbs water and odors
  • Attracts dust


Polyester is another synthetic material that is commonly used in car upholstery. It is cheaper than the materials mentioned above and has a wide variety of colors to choose from.

Car Seats Made from Polyester ~ Ran When Parked

They are usually interwoven with suede to give the car a more luxurious appearance and feel. However, other materials, aside from suede, can be added, depending on the manufacturer’s taste.

Polyester car seats are inexpensive and generally easy to clean and maintain due to their waterproof nature. They are also durable when properly maintained and are less susceptible to tears and cracks.

They are also quick to dry, which is very beneficial in instances when you spill drinks or water on the seats. Polyester materials are breathable, making them comfortable on hot sunny days.

Though they are stain-resistant, polyester materials easily absorb and spread odors in and around the car. Thus, be prepared to smell a particular odor for days unless you clean the entire car interior or use air fresheners.

Aside from that, Polyester also attracts dust and debris, and its ability to generate static electricity means that you could get shocks. The weak nature of the fabric means that it is susceptible to wear and tear over time.

6. Car Seat Materials Made from Nylon

Pricepoint Economical
Distinguished characteristics
  • Durable
  • Resistant to crack
  • Easy to maintain
  • Dries quickly
  • Less breathable
  • Looks cheap


Nylon car seat materials are much more common due to their durability and easy maintenance. It is safer for passengers as it can absorb energy on impact and is easier to produce compared to the other types. Nylon is very affordable; therefore, don’t expect to pay too much for vehicles that use Nylon for upholstery.

Car Seat Materials Made from Nylon ~ Ran When Parked

Nylon seat covers can withstand frequent use and are resistant to wear and cracks, making them more durable. Moreover, they can endure all types of harsh weather conditions and still remain unaffected.

Families with children will find them convenient as they are easy to clean and maintain due to their stain resistant nature. They are also affordable and come in a wide range of colors, including beige, black and brown.

However, nylon-covered seats are less breathable, which means that they are likely to cause passengers to sweat on warmer days. This can cause discomfort, especially on a long drive or when stuck in traffic.

Nylon doesn’t exude luxury or comfort, giving the vehicle a cheap appearance, but it doesn’t matter if it is less expensive and more durable. It can also generate static electricity and cause electrical shocks, though it is a rare phenomenon.

7. PVC Car Seat Covers

Price Point Economical
Distinguished characteristics
  • Stain-resistant
  • Can withstand all weather conditions
  • Easy to clean
  • Easy to maintain
  • Uncomfortable on sunny days
  • Deteriorates quickly


These are car seats made from polyvinyl chloride (PVC), a synthetic plastic material that is affordable. It is also durable and can combat all kinds of environmental conditions without tearing or cracking. It is stain-resistant, which means that it doesn’t readily absorb liquid or dirt and can easily be cleaned.

PVC Car Seat Covers ~ Ran When Parked

Maintenance isn’t a huge problem either; just use a damp cloth or water with a mild soap and your car seat will be shining again.

However, PVC car seats are not breathable; therefore, you should expect to sweat on warmer days. Its cheap price, compared to other materials, may be attractive, but be prepared to sacrifice your comfort.

Also, the PVC material gives your car a less luxurious look and feel and is more susceptible to UV rays. Thus, don’t be surprised to see your car seats deteriorate quickly, even though you bought them not long ago.

Frequently Asked Questions

What is the Best Material for Car Seats?

The best car seat cover material is leather because it is durable. It is soft to the touch and provides a high level of luxury and comfort for drivers and passengers. It is also eye-pleasing, giving the vehicle a luxurious look and feel and quite easy to maintain.


In summary, car seat covers come in different types and colors designed to satisfy consumer preferences. Here is a recap of all that we’ve covered in this blog post:

  • There are many types of car seat materials, but the most common are leather, leatherette, vinyl, polyester, PVC, nylon, and Alcantara.
  • Each type has specific characteristics that come with their advantages and disadvantages.
  • For example, leather car seats are more comfortable and give a luxurious appeal but are more expensive and don’t have a consistent look
  • Leatherette car seats are easy to maintain and have that consistent look but are less comfortable during certain weather conditions.
  • Nylon and Polyester car seat covers are cheaper and easy to clean but don’t possess the luxurious qualities of leather.

However, the best of the lot is leather upholstery due to its durability, soft texture, and ability to withstand tough weather conditions. That said, consider your budget and goals before choosing car seat cover for your vehicle.


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