Sitting in your vehicle during the winter months waiting for the engine to heat up in the morning, or even during your daily commute can be a miserable experience. Using the best heated car seat covers can easily solve this problem and keep you comfortably warm during your morning commute. Not only will these heated covers keep you warm, but they’ll also protect your seats. I’ve created an in-depth buyer’s guide that will go over the most important features to look for when you’re shopping around for a new set of seat covers for your vehicle, how these seat covers work, and how to choose the perfect covers that are reliable, versatile, and highly adjustable. I’ve also tested out several sets of seat covers on the market, narrowing it down to just six that can keep you warm and comfortable in harsh winter weather. Below, you’ll find a comparison chart that includes six of the best-selling models on the market.
Heated Car Seat Covers Comparison Chart
WARMITORY Heated Car Seat Cover
This heated car seat cover by Warmitory offers an ultra-fast heat up time of just one minute. The cover is equipped with NiCr heating wire that conducts heat significantly faster than standard resistance wires. Users can choose from a total of three heat settings. The lowest setting offers 114 degrees, while the highest heat setting tops out at 131 degrees. The cover will take five minutes to achieve the max heat setting temperature. The cover’s heat panel is fully insulated and flame retardant. For safety, the cover comes with an overheat protection thermostat. This model also features an automatic shutoff time of fifty minutes, so you’ll never have to worry about forgetting to switch the cover off. Additionally, the cover is made out of high-quality genuine leather and is combined with a high-density foam padding for ultimate comfort.
- Three heat setting options
- Automatic shutoff
- High-density foam padding
- Ultra-fast heat up time
- Placement of the controls can make the seat cover difficult to adjust
This seat cover comes loaded with some great features, offers a faster than average heat up time, and includes two important safety features that all buyers are looking for. The cover itself is incredibly comfortable, thanks to the high-density foam padding and soft leather. Overall, this is the best heated seat cover to use for those cold winter mornings and evenings, when a car’s heater just can’t provide enough heat to keep freezing temperatures at bay.
KINGLETING Heated Seat Cushion
This cover will provide cozy warmth for the entire back, thighs, and hips. The cover can reach a max temperature of 140 degrees, with a one-minute heat up time. This model also comes with intelligent temperature control, which allows the user to choose between temperatures ranging from 86 degrees up to 140 degrees, in three-degree increments. The timing power off protection feature will automatically switch off the heat based on user preference. Automatic shut off can be set to 30, 60, or 90 minutes. This helps to prevent draining the battery. The included protection thermostat will prevent the seat from overheating. When the temperature reaches the desired level, the temperature remains stable and will not continue to increase. Should the temperature drop, the cover’s heating elements will automatically kick back on to increase the heat to the temperature settings.
- 18 temperature setting options
- Automatic shut off
- Thermostat protection
- Universal fit
- Three color options
- Hooks easily come undone
It’s not often that you’ll come across a model that’s this adjustable and versatile. It comes with all the features most buyers are looking for and it’s available in three color options, so you can choose a shade that will best match the interior of your vehicle.
This model offers an impressive 18 temperature settings, in addition to thermostat protection, a faster than average heat up time, and a universal fit that ensures the cover will work for most standard RV, SUV, and car seats. This is one of the safest and most reliable heated car seat covers on the market and it’s available at a reasonable price.
SNAILAX Massage Car Seat Cover
This latest car seat cover by Snailax features both heat and vibrations, for a more comfortable ride. After a long day at the office, this seat cover is exactly what you need. Users can choose from six vibrations that help to relieve soreness, muscle tension, and fatigue. The heated portion of the cover includes three heating pads that target full seat and back heat, which is perfect for colder weather. The heat will automatically shut off, thanks to the built-in overheat protection that also keeps the temperature stable. The seat cover remains securely in place thanks to the non-slip bottom, complete with straps. The straps are adjustable, so the cover will work with most types of SUV, truck, and car seats.
- Six vibrations to choose from
- Three heating options
- Non-slip bottom
- Universal fit
This heated car seat and massager is just what you need for that long commute home. The heat settings and vibration settings give you several options so you can adjust the settings based on preference. The universal design will work for most types of RV, truck, SUV, and car seats. Overall the seat does an excellent job of both heating the bottom area and back area, while providing soothing vibration that works to loosen up those tight muscles after a long day at work.
SEG Direct 3-in-1 Car Smart Seat
This is a multifunctional seat that provides both warmth and cooling capabilities. The cover features eight low-noise fans with five levels of ventilation to choose from. The fans are designed to circulate air throughout the cushion. The manufacturer recommends using the fan feature along with air conditioning for the best results. For heating, users can choose from five heat options. The seat has a heat up time of three minutes with a max temperature setting of 134 degrees, which is about average. The heating elements found throughout the cover are designed to keep the user nice and toasty during colder weather. The included two vibration modes will help to reduce muscle tension, reduce soreness and fatigue, and promote improved circulation. As you can see, this is one multitasking seat cover and one that you’ll want to use year-round.
- Five heating options
- Seat equipped with five fans
- Includes two vibration modes
- Overheat thermal protection
- Long heat up time
This seat cover can do it all. It includes two vibration modes, five heat settings, five fans that will promote air circulation and a universal fit that will work for most types of seats found in cars, trucks, and SUVs. This is a seat cover that you can rely on year-round, unlike other covers that only offer one or two functions.
ELUTO Heated Seat Cover
This Eluto heated seat cover features a three to five-minute heat up time and is made out of polyurethane leather, which offers excellent heat distribution. The included padding consists of flame retardant CA117 sponge, which further improves heat distribution. The controls allow you to finetune the temperature in one-degree increments ranging from 70 to 150 degrees. This cover will also remain securely in place, thanks to the many attachments including the elastic webbing and buckle on the head, the back side that’s coated with non-slip plastic and the bottom which is equipped with a hook. The included non-slip anchors are inserted into the seat gap. As you can see, this cover isn’t going anywhere, unlike competing seat covers, which constantly move out of place whenever the driver gets in and out of the vehicle.
- Precise temperature adjustment
- Offers excellent heat distribution
- Several attachment points prevent the cover from moving out of place
- Low price
- Does not feature automatic shut off
Unlike other models in my product lineup, this seat cover allows you to precisely adjust the heat in one-degree increments, which is pretty impressive. However, it does have a slower heat up time in comparison. While higher priced models feature a one-minute heat up time, this cover has a three to five-minute heat up time. Additionally, this seat doesn’t have an automatic shut off feature, which may be a deal breaker for some shoppers. All in all, this seat is highly adjustable, made out of high-quality PU leather, and comes loaded with some great attachment options that will prevent the seat cover from constantly moving out of place whenever you get in or out of your vehicle.
Health Mate IN9438 Heated Seat Cover
This heat seat cover offers a max temperature of 114 degrees, which is pretty low compared to higher priced car seat covers that offer a max temp of 130-150. The seat also only offers two heat options of low and high, which can be pretty limiting for some users. The seat is made out of a plush velour material that’s soft to the touch and easy to clean. The seat uses two secure strapping systems that are designed to prevent the cover from moving out of place when you get in and out of your vehicle. This strap system consists of four cinch straps located around the bottom of the cover, two elastic straps and four clips. The seat is also padded with thick polyurethane foam, for added comfort.
- Two color options to choose from
- Thick polyurethane foam padding
- Made out of velour material
- Fits most SUV, car, and truck seats
- No automatic shutoff
- Only includes two heat options
- Low max temperature
This low-priced heated seat cover doesn’t come with many bells and whistles. In fact, it lacks many of the safety features that drivers are looking for such as automatic shut off and overheat protection. Additionally, it has a low max temperature and only two setting options to choose from. However, if you’re on a tight budget and looking for a very basic seat cover that will keep you moderately warm during the winter months, this model is a great buy and one that won’t hit your wallet too hard.
Heated Car Seat Covers Buyer’s Guide
In parts of the country that remain comfortably warm during the winter months, buying heated seat covers may seem like overkill, but anyone who spends ten to fifteen minutes every morning shivering and waiting in their vehicle for the engine to warm up, or for those people who have vehicles with inadequate heaters, a heated seat cover is not a luxury, it’s a necessity.
These covers are designed to heat up quickly and can be a lifesaver for older people, those who are sensitive to colder temperatures, vehicles that have low-powered heaters, or anyone who wants to stay comfortably warm during their daily commute.
However, not all heated seat covers are created equal, which is why I decided to create this buyer’s guide and discuss many of the important features to look for that can help you quickly identify which seat covers have what it takes to keep you warm when the temperature drops and which ones don’t. But first, I’ll go over several of the benefits car owners will enjoy when they invest in a set of high-quality heated seat covers.
Benefits of Heated Car Seat Covers
- Of course, the most important feature these seat covers have to offer is their ability to keep both you and your passenger warm. Driving around when it’s freezing outside can be very unpleasant. Covers that are highly adjustable will allow each user to adjust the temperature based on their personal preference.
- These seat covers also do a great job of protecting your car’s interior. When you’re constantly getting in and out of your vehicle your tracking in dirt, debris, and allergens. Using a set of durable heated seat covers can lengthen the lifespan of your vehicle’s interior and protect your seats from excessive wear-and-tear.
- Many manufacturers produce seat covers that are available in a wide variety of styles so you can add a more custom look to your vehicle’s interior, or you can match the seat covers to the existing interior.
- Since many heated seat covers come with extra padding they can also provide much-needed lumbar support. This will help to keep your spine aligned for added user comfort.
- If you or someone in the car is always complaining about still being cold, even when other passengers in the car claim to be comfortably warm, then a seat cover can easily solve this problem, allowing the user to crank up the heat, without disturbing other passengers in the vehicle.
- If your car seats are damaged from wear and tear, these seat covers can also instantly improve the appearance of your car’s interior. Many sets are available in a variety of colors and styles.
How a heated seat cover works is similar to how an electric blanket works. The built-in mechanism inside the cover will keep the legs, thighs, and back warm, with some models equipped with controls that will allow you to precisely adjust the temperature.
The heating mechanism in the cover consists of three parts:
The resistor, also referred to as the heating coil, is a thin strip of wire that the electricity flows through. This wire’s resistance to heat creates friction that’s released in order to create heat.
The relay switch is a type of trigger that will allow the electricity to flow from the vehicle’s battery to the resistor. After a cover is switched on, the resistor receives electricity from an initial circuit, which results in the formation of a magnetic field. This field is what triggers the relay switch, which activates the flow of electricity from the battery.
The thermostat prevents the cover from overheating by limiting the amount of electricity the resistor receives. Basically, the thermostat is designed to regulate the temperature, based on the temperature the user has it set to. When the seat begins to cool down, it will trigger the initial circuit, and set the heating process in motion once again.
Now that you know more about the basics of how these seats work, it’s time to learn about the different features they have to offer, which will help you to choose a seat cover that can last season after season.
Most heated seat covers for SUVs, trucks, and cars will operate using a 12-volt power source that’s usually plugged into an auxiliary power output or cigarette lighter. Most seat covers will come equipped with an automatic shut-off feature or timer for added safety. Inside most heated seat covers you’ll find electric coils or wiring that runs throughout the padded cushions, operating in much the same way as an electric blanket does.
Some models will come with an automatic shut-off feature that will switch the seats off automatically once the fabric gets too hot. This feature will kick in once the seat has been on for a determined amount of time or the temperature reaches a high level. On average, the automatic shut off feature will switch the covers off after twenty to thirty minutes. With this feature, you won’t have to worry about forgetting to shut off the seat covers, which can result in a drained battery.
Higher priced sets will feature individual heating options. This can include a few heat setting options ranging from low to high, or some seats will allow you to choose a specific temperature setting based on degrees. Heat controls are available in either dial or button form.
An indicator light will simply show you whether or not the seat is functioning. It can also change color depending on whether the cover is still heating up and will alert you when it’s reached the desired temperature setting.
Number of Covers
Seat covers can be sold individually, just for the driver’s side, in a set of two, or you may even find a set that includes two covers for the front seats and a bench cover for the backseat.
Most covers will come with a cord that’s two to three feet in length. This allows you to reach the nearest power outlet and use the cover for the front or backseat.
Heat up Time
A seat cover that heats up quickly is always preferable. On average, most covers will take two to three minutes to heat up to the ideal temperature. Higher priced covers boast a sixty second heat up time.
A heavily padded cover will be more comfortable to use. Extra padding in the lumbar area can also provide support and will promote user comfort.
Cooling capabilities are not a standard feature, but you may come across some covers that can heat and cool, adding more value and functionality so a seat cover can be used year-round.
One of the most important features is the size. Before you buy, take a look at the cover’s dimensions. Some car manufacturers may also list what types of vehicles the covers are compatible with. Fortunately, many manufacturers will make universal sizes, however, it’s still important to check out the measurements before buying.
A timer is a great way to avoid leaving your seat cover on all day. The timer will cause the seat cover to switch off after a determined length of use. This will minimize the chances of the cover overheating.
Sets with a dual interface are designed to power more than one seat. Since vehicles only come with one 12-volt outlet, a dual interface will allow the single outlet to power both the driver and the passenger seat covers.
With most models, the wires or coils will be placed in a few key areas such as the upper back, lower back, and bottom. Higher end covers may include internal heating or cooling pads for the legs, shoulders, and neck area. Essentially, the more heating coverage a cover provides, the higher the price tag.
Most covers will be made out of high-grade polyester which is light, durable, and breathable. You can also find covers that are made out of faux suede or velour.
Anti-Slip Straps and Bottom
Covers with an anti-slip rubber bottom will prevent the cover from moving out of place each time you get in and out of your vehicle. Elastic straps may also be used to keep the cover securely in place. Micro-beaded patches strategically placed throughout the cover’s design can be used instead of a rubber non-slip bottom, but they don’t do as good of a job of preventing the cover from moving.
If you’re looking for a multipurpose car seat cover, then search for one that also comes with a vibration/massage feature. This type of gentle vibration is designed to relax the muscles in the back and help to loosen tense, tight muscles and improve circulation.
The cost of heated seat covers can depend on the brand, heating capability, adjustability, and the type of materials it’s made out of. Higher priced models often offer more options in terms of temperature control and safety features. On average, you can expect to pay anywhere from $35 to $100 per cover. Of course, models that are loaded with extra features such as massaging or cooling will cost more, but these added features will allow you to use your seat covers all year long.
Warranties for this type of seat cover can protect against faulty heating elements, so they’re a must. However, most companies will only offer warranties that range from thirty to ninety days. Higher priced covers can include a guarantee or warranty for six to twelve months.
Care and Maintenance
Because of the internal wiring, most covers cannot be placed in a washing machine or submerged in water. Instead, the covers must be spot cleaned by hand using a mix of warm water and a gentle cleanser. Before cleaning, make sure the cover is unplugged and has had adequate time to cool down. These covers cannot go in a dryer. They must be air dried.
When the warm weather hits, most drivers will not have any use for their heat car seat covers. Fortunately, many models are easy to store. However, you should avoid storing the cover under any heavy items and avoid rolling the cover if possible. This is because some models have fragile coils and wiring that can break or become damaged if not stored correctly.
Frequently Asked Questions
What Happens if You Leave A Heated Car Seat Cover on for too Long?
When you invest in a new set of seat covers, it’s important to find a single cover or set that comes with built-in safety features. But why? Accidentally leaving a cover on can cause the seats to overheat, burn out, drain the battery, or in rare cases, it can damage the car seat itself. Because of this, many high-quality models now come with automatic shut off features, but for those covers that don’t you’ll need to be extra careful and make sure you shut the cover off once you’ve reached your destination.
Do Heated Seat Covers Also Cool?
The covers are usually made out of a type of porous material which allows for air to flow through them. This type of porous material will allow the body to breath, which will make you feel cooler and less sweaty. Additionally, you can also find heated car seat covers with built-in fans designed to keep you cool in hotter climates.
Are Heated Seats bad for Your Back?
No. In general, heat is good for the back. However, the amount of heat that these seats generate cannot penetrate deep into the muscle tissue, especially when the driver is bundled up in winter clothing.
How Long do Heated Seats Take to Warm Up
This can vary from set to set. On average, it will take approximately two to three minutes for the seats to reach the desired temperature. However, in some cases it may take longer. This will ultimately depend on the quality of the seat.
Are Heated Seat Covers Necessary?
For some people they will be. It ultimately depends on whether the driver feels that their vehicle’s heater is inadequate, there are other passengers in the vehicle that prefer a higher temperature, or the driver simply prefers the added warmth. For some, a car’s heater will be sufficient. But for those who live in a part of the country that experiences harsh winters, a heated car seat cover can be essential.
Are Heated Seat Covers Worth it?
For many, they are. They’re a great added luxury that can keep the driver nice and warm during their commute. They can also be used for the passenger seat or in some cases, the backseats.
Using the best heated car seat covers will allow you to say goodbye to cold nights or freezing mornings, sitting inside your vehicle and waiting for your engine to heat up or shivering on your way to and from work. These seats can be a great choice for vehicles with faulty heaters, people who are more sensitive to the cold than other passengers in the vehicle, or anyone who lives in a part of the country that experiences freezing temperatures in the winter. The models I’ve included in my top six list each have something special to offer, whether it’s a faster heat up time, more temperature options, or a heavily padded design that will reduce driver or passenger discomfort. By using this buyer’s guide and paying close attention to the extra features, measurements, and heating options each top-selling set has to offer, you should have no trouble finding a set of heated seat covers that will keep you nice and toasty during even the coldest winter.