Buying a new or used car can be an exhilarating journey. But amidst the horsepower, sleek designs, and hi-tech dashboards, have you ever thought about the seats you’ll be sitting on? Choosing the right car seat can make a significant difference in your driving experience.
You might wonder, “Is the seat type really that important?” or “Which seat should I pick?” Trust me, it matters more than you might think!
In this guide, I’ll be breaking down why seat type matters, the three best types of car seats, and even some types you should avoid.
Why Does the Type of Car Seats Matter?
The car seats we choose are integral to our driving experience. They’re where we spend our journey, after all. While a smooth car suspension does wonders, it’s not the whole story. Without high-quality seats to match, your ride won’t be as comfortable as it could be.
Now, the “right” car seat varies depending on your driving style. Do you prefer a sporty feel or a relaxed, comfortable drive? Car seats play a huge role in shaping this experience. Imagine having a sports car, but the seats are too soft and not firm enough to support the dynamic driving experience. You’d be missing out on the true sporty essence.
Conversely, the same logic applies to comfort-focused cars. The seats need to align with the overall ethos of the car. Interestingly, the quality of your car seats can compensate to some extent for the car’s suspension.
For instance, a vehicle like the VW Passat, known not to have the softest suspension, could offer a better driving experience with well-designed, soft seats. So yes, the type of car seats you choose matters – a lot. They shape your driving experience, bringing the car’s characteristics to life.
3 Best Types of Car Seats
The top three types of car seats that can elevate your driving comfort to the next level are perforated leather seats, cloth and Alcantara combo seats, and cloth seats. Allow me to delve deeper into each of them for you.
Perforated Leather Seats
Perforated leather seats are, in my view, the best car seats you can get your hands on. These gems, however, aren’t commonplace because they come with a hefty price tag.
My father-in-law has these seats in his Audi A8, and it’s a remarkable experience every time I get a ride. On a similar note, a friend’s Honda Legend from 2008 has perforated leather seats that are even more comfortable than those in the A8.
One of the greatest perks of perforated leather seats is their ability to feature both cooling and heating functions, thanks to those tiny holes in the leather. These features can bring an unparalleled level of comfort during extreme weather conditions, especially when you pair it with a seat massage addon.
Cleaning perforated leather seats requires a tad bit more attention compared to regular leather seats due to those perforations. The key is ensuring all the dirt, dust, grime, and particles are removed from those tiny holes. But don’t worry, with a little practice, it won’t be an overwhelming task.
Leather & Alcantara Combo Seats
When it comes to marrying sportiness with luxury, leather & Alcantara combo seats fit the bill perfectly. I’ve experienced this first-hand with my VW Passat.
These seats may not be the pinnacle of comfort, but when it comes to sporty drives, especially zipping through winding countryside roads, they’re just what you need. Thanks to excellent side and lumbar support, they keep your body firm and steady even during brisk drives.
The combo is thoughtfully designed: Alcantara or real suede leather is typically placed in the center of the seat, right where your back and bottom rest. This ensures you don’t sweat excessively during your drive, adding to your comfort.
So, if you’re someone who enjoys a sportier driving experience or simply seeks a touch of luxury, I highly recommend opting for these combo seats. They offer a unique blend of firm support and opulence that’s hard to resist. The best thing is that you can find this combination in most cars, from cheaper ones to luxurious ones.
Now, let’s talk about cloth seats. These are pretty much the “standard” when it comes to car seats. You might be wondering, “Why list these as one of the best car seat types?” The answer lies in their simplicity and balance.
Cloth seats may not be the epitome of luxury, but they strike a fantastic balance between comfort and firmness. They don’t require as much maintenance as perforated leather or leather & Alcantara combo seats, making them an excellent choice for those who prefer low-maintenance options.
Another appealing feature of cloth seats is their affordability. They’re usually the cheapest option, making them a great choice if your budget doesn’t stretch to more luxurious seating.
However, not all cloth seats are created equal. There’s a wide range, from less comfortable to more premium and tailored offerings. So, always opt for the highest quality, most aesthetically pleasing, and most suited to your needs based on the type of car you’re purchasing. Remember, even within standard options, there’s room for customization and quality.
Types of Seats To Avoid
Now, while we’ve covered the best, it’s also essential to know which types of seats might not be the ideal choice for everyone.
Full Leather Seats
Full leather seats can indeed feel luxurious and are often exceptionally comfortable. However, if you reside in a region with scorching summers or biting winters, these might not be your best bet. Why? Full leather seats tend to become uncomfortably hot in summer and chillingly cold in winter, making the initial moments in your car less than pleasant.
Additionally, full leather seats can lead to excessive sweating due to the lack of airflow between your body and the seat. It’s not a deal-breaker, but it’s something to keep in mind.
However, if the comfort and luxury of full leather seats win you over despite these downsides, by all means, go for them! I just thought it’d be fair to share a few points for consideration before you make your decision.
Full Alcantara/Suede Seats
When we reach full Alcantara or suede seats, we’re entering the realm of ultimate luxury. But, unless you’re a millionaire cruising in a Bugatti, Ferrari, Pagani, or any other high-end car, I’d recommend steering clear of them.
Yes, full Alcantara or suede seats provide an incredible sporty ride, but the upkeep can be daunting. Maintaining these seats is a time-consuming task: you need to brush them after each drive and detail them weekly. Plus, the initial cost can be steep.
These seats aren’t common in everyday vehicles, so it’s unlikely you’ll face this dilemma often. But if you do, it’s essential to weigh their lavish feel against the demands of maintenance and cost. While they may add a touch of luxury, consider if that outweighs their practical disadvantages.
What If You Already Have Seats You Don’t Want
What happens if you already have a set of car seats that don’t quite meet your expectations or match your needs? Fear not because there are solutions. I’ll show you two solutions that you should think of.
Invest In High-Quality Seat Covers
One effective solution is to invest in high-quality seat covers. Now, when I say “seat covers,” I don’t mean those inexpensive, low-quality covers you can snag at Target for $19.99. Instead, I’m talking about professionally installed, customized, high-grade seat covers tailored to your car.
This option allows you to transform your car seats into precisely what you want. You get to pick your preferred materials, whether that’s cloth, leather, perforated leather, combinations with Alcantara or suede, faux leather, vegan leather, and more.
Yes, the initial cost may be higher, especially if you opt for luxurious materials. But consider this: these high-quality seat covers will last for years, probably outlasting your ownership of the car. Plus, they protect the original seats underneath. When it’s time to sell your car, simply remove the covers to reveal the like-new seats underneath – an excellent selling point for potential buyers.
Buy Used Car Seats That Fit Your Needs
Another approach I recommend is to buy used car seats that fit your needs. Begin by browsing platforms like Facebook Marketplace, Craigslist, eBay, or any other sites popular for automotive sales. Look specifically for the type of car seats you want for your car model.
Find seats that are still in good condition and show little to no signs of wear. Once you’ve purchased them, you can install them in your car.
Sure, the initial cost may seem high, but remember, you can offset it by selling your old seats on the same platforms. This way, you can recoup a significant portion of your expenditure, potentially reducing your costs by up to 80%. So, in the end, you’ll have the car seats you desire without breaking the bank.
As you can see above, choosing car seats is an integral part of your overall driving experience. This decision should be made with as much consideration as you give to other aspects of your car. Comfort, style, maintenance, and even the climate where you live are all factors that should play a role in your decision.
I hope that through this guide, you’ve gained a better understanding of the various types of car seats and their impacts on your driving comfort and style.