Choosing Car Seat Material: Which kind of material is the best?

Jun 18, 2018 | Same topic: Handy maintenance tips
Guide to choosing the best car seat material for you.

Car sear material: Comfort or Style?

After years of saving up, you have finally gathered enough funds to buy your own vehicle. You’re giddy and excited, especially because nowadays, there are a lot of payment options being offered to you, with a very low down payment. This indeed a good time to buy a car and maximize your savings.

Pretty red four-door sedan. Sleek and sexy, just like Angeline Jolie in the movie Gone in Sixty Seconds. You are satisfied with its overall appearance. You take her home, and upon getting off, you feel your upper legs soaking in sweat. You then have to wipe the sweat off your legs and off your car seat.

So now you realize that not only the outside look matters but also what makes up a part of the car.

Fabric and leather car seats

Fabric or leather?

One of the most used parts of the car is the car seat. We sit on it every single driving day and it holds us through the fastest highways and slowest traffic jams. We may never notice it, but we are actually spending so much time sitting in our car. Therefore, besides the car color and mag wheels, another important thing to consider is the material used for your car seat.

Now, the questions are: Which should you choose? Leather or Fabric? Let’s Philkotse.com dig deeper into this and look into the pros and cons of each material so we could choose the perfect one that fits us.

Leather Seats vs. Cloth Seats | Did You Know?

>>> Related post: How to choose car seat cover in the Philippines: Essential Tips for Pinoy drivers

1. Car seat material: Leather

1.1. Pros of using leather upholstery

Value

Whenever we hear ‘leather’, even not in car seats, say in bags or shoes, it means luxury, top of the line, expensive material. Indeed, it is. One of its advantages is it definitely adds value to your car. Since real leather truly costs a lot of money, not all car companies offer it as part of their standard car. Sometimes, the leather option is given as an add-on, making your purchase more expensive.

Style

Using leather as your car seat gives your ride a sexy, elite and sleek look. It makes your car look inviting, especially if you’re using it for a first date or first group night out with your newly bought car. It gives a distinct impression.

A gir in a car

Using leather as your car seat gives your ride a sexy, elite and sleek look  

Breathability

Another thing about leather is it is breathable. According to the Leather Dictionary website, leather has properties that enable it to absorb moisture and release it as gas or vapor. This characteristic can also be seen in other leather products such as shoes and clothes.

Leather can actually breathe 

Durability

Comes with its price is also its durability. This simply means that leather can stand the test of time, and doesn’t break easily. In fact, the longer the leather is being used, it becomes softer and more comfortable.

That Leather-y Smell

You know that smell when you enter your car with leather seats? Leather smell is unique and incomparable with other types of materials. Leather smells more of a natural worked out animal skin rather than plastic or synthetic smell.

Easy to Dust off and Wipe

Since leather has a different texture, it can be cleaned easily. You can use a simple paint brush to dust them off and an absorbent towel to wipe unnecessary liquid from it.

Easy to tidy up since stains don't stick to leather 

1.2. Cons of using leather upholstery

Of course, it’s not always sunshine and daisies for leather in car seats. There are also some disadvantages, which include the following:

Expensive

As mentioned, leather is costly because it is made from animal skin that needs to go through a thorough and intricate process.

A man and a money bag

Leather is costly because it is made from animal skin

High Maintenance

As it is expensive, you also need to make sure that it is maintained properly. You always have to have a good leather cleaner handy. With great look and cost comes great responsibilities.

Problems with Extreme Weather Conditions

Leather can easily adapt to weather. It can adapt to summer and absorb and retain heat very quickly; leather can also do the same during winter, absorbing cold temperatures. This implies that we cannot sit on it right away during extreme weather conditions due to the harmful effects such as burn or frost on our skin.

Wearing Out

If leather is exposed to extremities, and not taken cared of properly, it could result in the material fading away earlier than expected. As for leather, it is possible to peel off if not moisturized or if neglected.

Worn-out Leather seat

If leather wears out, it can be seen easily 

Sliding Away

Another no for leather is the tendency for the passengers to slide through the seats as it doesn’t offer much friction because of its smoothness.

If you really fancy leather but cannot afford it, your option is to use faux leather or leatherette. It can give similar look and sleek at a more affordable price, however, don’t expect it to be as durable and breathable as the genuine one.

2. Car seat material: Cloth/Fabric

Now we look into leather’s rival – fabric. The fabric is the most common material used for car seats. Most of the cars being sold in the market have car seats made out of fabric. Why does it seem that fabric is the favorite? Let’s take a look.

Fabric seats

The fabric is the most common material used for car seats

2.1. Pros of using cloth/fabric upholstery

Price and Availability

Fabric’s price is definitely way cheaper compared to leather. Besides the low costs of fabric, it is also much more available and accessible. Cheaper costs mean more affordable car price.

Saving money

Not that much pain in the purse!

Standing Strong in Weather Conditions

If leather can cause problems every summer, rainy and winter seasons in some countries, the fabric is the opposite. Yes, the fabric also adapts to temperature but it doesn’t absorb and retain hotness or coldness. It doesn’t get affected so you don’t really need to wait for the car to cool down or warm up whenever you need to use it in extreme weather conditions.

Signs of weather

Offers comfort in any season

Breathable

If leather is already breathable, then fabric is even more so.

Fabric structure

Fabric is more breathable than leather

Non-sticking and Non-Sliding

You can never slide down if you are using a fabric or cloth car seat. This is due to fabric having the ability to cause friction between itself and your skin. Also, you won’t find your legs sticking loudly to the fabric.

2.2. Cons of using cloth/fabric upholstery

Cleaning can be quite difficult

Since fabric is very absorbent, it could easily gather dust and stains, and it will take more of your effort in cleaning compared to having leather seats where you can just wipe the stains and dust off easily. In these situations, it is recommended to select a car seat cover for your vehicle. 

Cleaning up fabric seats

Vacuum, spray and wipe, vacuum again

>>> See also: Making Peace with Your Car Seats

Style isn’t the priority

Unlike in leather where you can give a WOW impression due to its stylish and classy nature, fabric is more on the normal, standard style. It’s not as stunning as leather, as you would see fabric in almost every car. Plain and ordinary.

Smell

If you are after the smell, you won’t really find it by having a fabric car seat. It doesn’t exude a distinct smell like that of a leather seat. Although, it may exude the smell of uncleaned stains and dirt in your car, which is a good reminder for us to send our car for vacuum and car wash. So make sure that we also be extra careful when eating or drinking inside the car if we have fabric seats.

a child in a car

Just make sure you keep your fabric car seat clean to avoid foul smell

Low Maintenance Compared to Leather

All you need to maintain is the fabric car seat’s cleanliness and you’re good to go. Just be sure to vacuum it and clean stain spots, nothing too fancy.

Health Bumps

Given that fabric is more prone to dust, it can also cause allergic reactions to people who are easy to sneeze and has sensitive sinus, and or skin. 

3. Car seat material: Who’s the Winner?

For me, being practical and more on the comfort rather than style type, fabric is over leather. It is more affordable, low maintenance, easy to manage and more comfortable for me and my family. Hope that our article on Philkotse.com today can bring you helpful car tips and advice in terms of choosing the best seats for yourself and your beloved passengers. 

Source: Ivy Kristia Padura