Do Leather Car Seats Last Longer Than Cloth?

Car shopping can be an exhausting process. There are so many features to choose from. One of the most challenging things to decide is what type of seats to get. Do you go with leather or cloth seats? Which one is going to last longer if you plan on keeping the vehicle for years to come? In this article, we have answered this question on your behalf!

When it comes to wear and tear, the cloth is going to hold up better. Leather can split and crack when exposed to hot and cold temperatures. In addition, leather will experience fading over time as it is exposed to the sun. Cloth may not be as luxurious, but it will hold up better over time.

There are many factors when choosing what type of material you choose for your car seats. However, it does come down to what you prefer. This article will take a closer look at the pros and cons of leather and cloth seats. In addition, we will take a look to see if you can add a leather seat package to any car, so read on!

photo of a brown leather car interior with headrests. Do Leather Car Seats Last Longer Than Cloth

Do Leather Car Seats Last Longer Than Cloth?

Many people shopping for new seats for their cars often wonder if the leather will last longer than cloth. Many people choose to buy leather seats because they want a luxurious look. But is it worth the extra money?

Well, the answer may surprise you. Cloth car seats might not be as glamorous as leather, but they do a better job of holding up over time. Here is a list of reasons why cloth car seats might be a smarter choice:

  • First, it will hold up longer in all types of climates.
  • Leather can split and crack with exposure to hot and cold temperatures. In addition, it will fade over time as it is exposed to the sun.
  • Leather seats can be very hot or cold to the touch.
  • It is easier to maintain by simply cleaning or vacuuming.

Leather seats may not be too bad if you live in a colder climate. However, even in these areas, there are always extremes. For example, there can be times when it is several degrees outside and then suddenly above 95 degrees with high humidity.

This causes the leather seats' material to expand and contract, which can weaken it over time. Cloth seats do not have this type of material, so they are more resistant to damage from weather changes.

In addition, cloth seats may be easier to clean as well. You can use a simple cleaning solution or even an upholstery cleaner for leather seats to help remove stains and other liquids that have spilled.

If you are still wondering whether the leather seat will hold up better than cloth, there is one more feature to consider. Leather also has a natural feel that many people enjoy when they drive. Unfortunately, this means that it can be cold in the winter and hot in the summer months.

It may not seem like a big deal, but driving for many hours in these conditions can be uncomfortable. Cloth seats are designed to have more breathability, making them much more comfortable on long road trips.

In addition, if you're a dog owner, then leather may not be a great choice. Dogs' sharp nails could potentially puncture and rip your excellent leather seats. If you do have leather seats, it is a good idea to get seat covers!

Cleaning the car seat using damp cloth with detergent

Are leather seats high maintenance?

Leather seats are going to require more maintenance than cloth seats. The leather itself is a material that doesn't do well when exposed to different temperatures or liquids. It can stretch, expand, rip, crack, and fade when exposed to these conditions.

One advantage leather does have to cloth is that it doesn't hold hair or stain as easily. If you spill something you can simply wipe them down, and they are instantly dry.

If you have leather seats, you will want to get leather protectants and leather conditions to put on regularly. However, leather is more expensive than cloth, so that it will take a toll on your wallet in the long run.

It's not to say that leather isn't a beautiful material and will make any car stand out. It depends on what you prefer and if you are willing to maintain the maintenance required to keep it in top shape.

Cloth seats typically can be maintenance by simple vacuuming. As mentioned above, leather requires protectants, and it should be kept out of the sunlight as much as possible. 

The sun is leather's worst enemy and can be one of the main reasons it will go from luxurious to trashy, which can hurt your car's resale value. On the other hand, when taken care of, leather will give your car a higher resale value. 

White leather car seats. car detailing with clean brown leather seats

Are leather or cloth seats more comfortable?

This also depends on what you prefer. Some people enjoy the luxurious feel of leather, while others may be more comfortable in a breathable cloth car seat. It will also depend on the quality of the leather.

For example, good-quality leather, such as NAPPA leather, can be soft and comfortable on long drives. However, cheap leather can be stiff and brittle, making it feel like you aged a few years on every drive.

In general, both materials will keep you warm or cool when necessary. In addition, if your seats have adjustable air bladders for lumbar support, they will likely work with either material. Leather seats may have a more natural feel that some people prefer, but cloth is just as comfortable for a long drive.

If you are not sure whether to choose leather over cloth, then there is another option. Of course, you can always get seat covers if you want to change up the look of your car.

You can get covers for cloth seats or leather seats, depending on how you want to update your car's interior design. But, no matter what you choose, an easy way to makeover your car is through seat covers!

woman holding steering wheel while driving car

Do leather car seats get softer over time?

Just like a pair of leather shoes, car seats made of leather will conform to the shape of your body and become more comfortable over time. This is one of the reasons why some people prefer these types of seats.

It is always best to check the quality of the leather used for your car seats. A good manufacturer uses aniline-dyed leather or full-grain leather that has been dyed all the way through. This will feel soft and conforming right away without losing its qualities over time.

A cheap alternative is corrected grain leather, which feels stiff at first but will break in over time. This type of leather is made by sanding off the outermost surface to cover imperfections but can cause cracking and peeling down the road.

You will also want to check the stitching on your seats because this could be what causes them to crack or peel after extended uses. Look for double-needle stitching, which is more durable than single-stitch work.

If you are still unsure whether your leather seats will soften over time, it might be best to stick with cloth car seats. These types of interiors require less maintenance and can be just as comfortable in the long run. But, again, this all comes down to personal preference.

car leather back seat

Can you get cloth seats changed to leather?

Yes, you can get cloth seats changed to leather but for a cost. Several upholstery companies can customize a leather kit for your vehicle. You can use various colors of leather and even stitching.

A lot of people do this if they want to buy a lower-trim package but add leather to save on overall costs. This is because to get leather in cars. You usually have to buy the more expensive trim packages.

You can also buy leather seat covers that will fit tightly over the seats. This option can be a cheaper option than doing a complete leather install onto the seats. However, according to Forbes, putting on leather seats is pretty straightforward and can be done in one day.

How much does it cost to change cloth seats to leather?

Typically, the pricing of changing cloth seats to leather will vary. In addition, it will vary depending on the type of leather you choose and how you customize the stitching colors. Nonetheless, expect to pay between $1,500-$2,000 for a leather upgrade.

Nonetheless, it may save you some money versus buying a higher trim package that already comes with leather. Why? Well, higher trim packages come with several other features besides leather that increase the costs. For example, higher trims packages will have more safety features such as blind-spot monitoring and more interior features such as DVD players or massaging seats.

In Closing

Overall, deciding between leather or cloth seats is a matter of preference. When taken care of, leather does give a better resale value. However, it takes a lot more work to keep it in tip-top shape. Cloth is a low-maintenance choice but isn't going to give that luxurious feel. The choice is all yours, but keep in mind you can always change the seat material for an additional cost!

If you like this article, then you should check out some of our other articles:

What SUVs Have Leather Seats?

How To Condition Leather Car Seats Naturally

How to Clean Leather Car Seats? [Step-By-Step Guide]

Do you prefer cloth or leather seats in a car? Leave us a comment below!

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