5 Types Of Car Seat Materials

So you've decided to spice things up in the vehicle! While the outside can give others a good impression, the inside is equally as important. There are several types of car seat materials that you might want to take a look at. Of course, since we all don't live the same lives, some might be better for your situation. So, if you'd like to look at your options, let's explore what we've discovered they have to offer.

There are five types of material that you will have to compare. Some tend to lean on the expensive side. Others are budget-friendly but manage to look good. Each type of material also requires specific maintenance. Your options for car seat materials are: 

  1. Nylon
  2. Polyester
  3. Vinyl
  4. Faux Leather
  5. Leather

With five types of materials to pick from, it might be tiresome comparing them by yourself. So, what if we compiled what they have to offer for you? Are looks equally important as their performance? We can also give you ideas on what color looks best on the interior. If you'd like to know this and more, keep reading ahead.

Front leather seats of a modern passenger car, 5 Types Of Car Seat Materials


The Five Different Types of Material 

1. Nylon

We'll start with budget-friendly options. Modern cars usually come with fabric car seats. One of the materials you'll encounter is nylon. It's one of the more popular options. 

There's no price set in stone. But, you can expect nylon to cost you anywhere around $10-$80 per yard. Of course, you'll get a better idea by contacting an auto upholstery service. 

Nevertheless, nylon is well-liked for a reason. It's a very durable fabric that can handle tough situations. In terms of comfort, it doesn't get too hot in the summer as other materials can. The reason is that it is porous and breathable. 

The Cons

Of course, nylon does have its bad side. As mentioned above, nylon is a porous material. So, if your car sees frequent activities like eating, drinking, and more, you can ruin the looks quickly. Nylon is prone to stains. Additionally, it does tend to hold onto odors more than other materials. 

2. Polyester

If you desire a luxurious look on a budget, look no further than polyester car seating. It will usually come in a name called microsuede. It's not the best you can get. But, it's a good in-between. 

Microsuede is not actual suede. Instead, it gives the look and feel of real suede leather. On the upside, it costs less and holds up better. If you're wondering how it feels, the fibers are similar in makeup to microfiber towels. 

The Cons

While the texture might feel nice, it makes it susceptible to collecting dirt and stains. Though, blemishes might hold a tight grip on this type of material. As some suggest, even too much water can end up staining the seats. 

3. Vinyl

If you want to get closer to a leather look, vinyl car seats might be an attention grabber. It's a cheaper material but manages to capture the appeal of leather.

Not only that, but vinyl is also easy to maintain and stain-resistant. This type of material can also come off as environmentally friendly because some are made from recycled plastic.

The Cons

As you might expect, vinyl also comes with its downsides. It might have a similar look to leather, but it doesn't hold up as well. Any item with sharp edges can easily scratch vinyl.

Additionally, in the summer, it can absorb heat. Since it's not as breathable as leather, it can give you quite an uncomfortable ride. 

4. Faux Leather (Leatherette) 

As we move up to the pricier choices, we'll run into a material known as faux leather. It's an artificial fabric that looks and feels like leather. But, it contains no animal parts. And, unlike vinyl-based faux leather, it's breathable! So, it won't get as uncomfortable in the summers.

The Cons

It holds nearly the same benefits as vinyl in that it can be water-resistant. However, the difference lies in how well they imitate leather. Leatherette will tend to be softer than vinyl. Vinyl, on the other hand, tends to stay hard and isn't as porous as leatherette. 

5. Leather

Last but not least, leather comes into the fray as the more expensive option of the bunch. It adds a lot of style to the inside. But, it comes at a cost. Leather requires a lot of care. 

The Cons

You'll need routine maintenance to let the leather hold up for longer. But, if you don't know how to use the products for leather care, it will show in your seating in the form of stains. Though, it's still easier to clean than fabric material. 

How To Choose Car Seat Material

Now that we've gone over what each car seat material offers, how can we choose one? Fabric seating might be the cheapest but, they don't seem to hold well with stains and odors.

The more expensive options like leatherette and leather might look great. But, will the discomfort in the summer be too much for the appeal? 

Before you choose one, you have to ask yourself what you do regularly. Do you have children who tend to lean on the messier side? If so, fabric car seating won't seem like the best choice. Kids will spill their drinks or food. And, if you don't act quickly to remove them, it can leave some nasty stains and odors on the seats. 

In this case, leatherette might be the best choice for you. It's highly durable, water-resistant, and easy to maintain. However, if you don't have kids and don't care about appearances, nylon and polyester seating could be better for your situation. 

All in all, picking a car seat material will depend on your circumstances. Additionally, you'll also want to make sure you're up for the challenge of upkeeping expensive materials like leather. 

What Color Interior Is Best for Cars?

Studio shot modern car interior

Deciding on the best color interior for cars will always come with disagreements. Some people will prefer lighter colors. Others enjoy the look darker colors can display. Since there isn't a definite answer for this question, let's go over what both spectrums offer. 

Bright Colors

Going with bright colors is a choice to consider if you want a car that appears spacious and lively. It makes dust less apparent and gives off an elegant feeling.

However, the downside of rocking bright colors is that stains will tend to stick out like a sore thumb. So, if you want to go with light colors, cleanliness should be a priority. 

Dark Colors

Dark colors give a different kind of feeling. To some, it might be dull and unimaginative. Others might think it's a good look for any situation.

Regardless, you can still make it feel lively by adding some bright accents. Still, you have the advantage of being able to hide stains and dirt with dark colors.  

Do Black Seats Make Cars Hotter?

Leather car seats close up

One concern about the color of the interior is heat. Will dark seats and a dark interior make the car hotter? As some suggest, yes, it will! Though, how much of a difference it will make depends on the person. Some claim there's a negligible difference in heat between light and dark-colored interiors. 

A car will get hot regardless of the color of the inside. If you want to reduce the heat, cooled seating might be an option to consider.

Other options include tinting your windows to reduce the amount of sunlight coming in. Reflective windshield blockers can also help. 

What Color Interior Shows the Least Dirt?

If you want a color that hides the most dirt, black or white are two that you should avoid. Some recommend choosing an in-between color. So, colors that are tan, brown, silver, or grayish are better in hiding dirt. 

Do Vinyl or Cloth Seats Last Longer?

Durable seats are a concern that anyone will have. When it comes time to choose, some might have narrowed their choice down to vinyl and cloth. And, if you want a material that lasts long, vinyl seems to hold the edge.

It holds its own with stains and liquids. Additionally, it's made from plastic. So, it'll be able to resist tearing too! Cloth doesn't hold the same benefits. 

Depending on how messy it can get in your car, you might have to replace cloth material sooner than vinyl. 

Which Is More Comfortable, Leather or Cloth Seats?

Close up of a modern car seat

In addition to durability, comfort is another crucial aspect of car seating. When leather and cloth come head to head, it's safe to say that cloth seats hold the edge for a reason. That reason being, temperature. In the summers, leather can quickly go from a heavenly feeling to a sticky and burning mess. 

You won't have the same problems leather does in the summer since cloth seats are more breathable. Some describe cloth seats as similar to a soft cotton t-shirt. 

Final Takeaway

The material of the car seats can make or break a driving experience. While leather might seem like the best choice, it might not make sense for your situation. We hope you found the information above helpful! 

Before you go, do you have other car seat concerns? Are you wondering what it's like to clean a cloth car seat? We can show you how in five easy steps! To find out more, check our post here.

Are you wondering what it takes to maintain leather seats? We go over some ways to condition leather seats naturally in our post here. Until next time!

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