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Best Ceramic Coating for Cars: Protect Your Car With a Glossy Finish

Read about the best ceramic coating for cars and how they protect your vehicle.

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BY/ LAST UPDATED ON January 26, 2022

If you’re tired of your car wax because it breaks down every so often, ceramic coating might be what you need. The liquid polymer or quartz bonds with your vehicle's paint and gives it a lasting shine. It’s also easy to maintain, doesn’t require many trips to the car wash, and gives your vehicle better protection. What is the best ceramic coating? Check out some options below.

Best Overall

Chemical Guys HydroSlick SiO2 Ceramic Coating HyperWax

Summary

You’ll get maximum shine and protection with this first-ever hyperwax. It combines the depth and shine of a high-quality wax with the durability, beading, and slickness of a ceramic coating.

Pros
  • SiO2 gel suspension technology creates a user-friendly, easy-to-apply ceramic coating
  • Nanotechnology creates a waterproof seal
  • Helps protect against road grime and tar, water spots, bird droppings, tree sap, brake dust, salt spray, and more
Cons
  • Doesn’t last as long as some others on the market
  • Users say it's difficult to apply the coating evenly
Best Value

Mothers CMX Ceramic Spray Coating

Summary

This fits as our value pick because it’s budget-friendly and still offers some of the great features you can expect in a top-quality ceramic coating product. You don’t need much experience to apply this coating, yet the resulting finish has clarity, shine, and protection.

Pros
  • Easy to use spray and wipe application
  • Works well without other sealants and detailing product 
  • It provides fairly long protection against water beading
Cons
  • May leave white beads on some parts of the vehicle 
  • Some reviewers say it's not so smooth to the touch 
Honorable Mention

Ethos Ceramic Wax 9H

Summary

This is a great replacement for waxes and sealants since it leaves ten times more shine and protection in comparison. It’s an instant buff formula that protects the paint body from environmental damage and leaves a smooth finish. 

Pros
  • It has a relatively low tag price and contains 30 percent silica 
  • Once applied, it can last for a year with proper maintenance 
  • Leaves an appealing wet-look shine 
Cons
  • Under pressure, the coating can crack, leaving a white residue 
Best Ceramic Coating for Cars: Protect Your Car With a Glossy Finish

Our Methodology 

Ceramic coatings are all the rage today. Unless you've been living under a rock for the past few years, you at least know that ceramic coatings do a lot of things better than traditional waxes. While it's true that ceramic coatings are generally more durable than wax, saying that all products in this category are universally superior isn't exactly true. You can bet that many companies pop up overnight to cash in on the latest trend without putting much time into developing a ceramic coating that's actually worth its salt. That's why we made sure to stick to the usual routine of researching until our heads spin. That means we did the homework to research any product we considered featuring and, more importantly, read consumer reviews to see how the products hold up in the real world. 

Why Trust Us

Our reviews are driven by a combination of hands-on testing, expert input, “wisdom of the crowd” assessments from actual buyers, and our own expertise. We always aim to offer genuine, accurate guides to help you find the best picks.

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Best Ceramic Coating for Cars Reviews & Recommendations 2021

For the best overall ceramic coating for your car, in terms of performance, ease of application, and durability, it’s tough to beat Chemical Guys HydroSlick SiO2 Ceramic Coating HyperWax. You’ll get maximum shine and protection with this first-ever hyperwax. It combines the depth and shine of a high-quality wax with the durability, beading, and slickness of a ceramic coating. 


This particular ceramic coating formula uses SiO2 gel suspension technology to create one of the most user-friendly, easy-to-apply ceramic coatings on the market. The nanotechnology creates a waterproof seal that causes water to rapidly bead and run off any treated surface. It also helps protect against road grime and tar, water spots, bird droppings, tree sap, brake dust, salt spray, and more.


Some issues to note include multiple users reporting that the coating doesn’t hold up as long as it’s supposed to. Another issue is that the initial coating is difficult to apply evenly and takes a lot of elbow grease to really rub in properly without leaving streaks.

Mothers CMX Ceramic Spray Coating follows the same basic design philosophy as many affordable spray-on waxes: quick and simple application. Coming in a small bottle with a contained spray pattern, this ceramic coating reduces a lot of the time and work normally required to apply a ceramic coating to your vehicle. If you're familiar with how to apply a spray-on wax, the process will be largely the same with this product. 


For the most part, the best quality of the finished layer from Mothers CMX is that it does a good job with water beading, thanks to a combination of silicon dioxide and titanium dioxide in its formulation. This also creates a protective barrier against the elements. CMX works fairly well on its own; however, you may need to reapply it after a few months if you use it as a stand-alone product. We recommend using it as a booster of an existing sealant, for longer-lasting results. 


Finish results can be somewhat varied depending on the application process. For example, the coating can leave little white beads on the flat surfaces and in the crevices of the vehicle that can be hard to remove if you don't deal with them quickly. Wiping it off in segments (once to a haze and a second time after the haze disappears) helps. 

When you’re looking for a top-quality ceramic coating for your car but aren’t willing to pay top dollar, Ethos Ceramic Wax 9H is the answer. Besides its relatively low price, it gives a sleek, shiny finish that combines the two worlds of ceramic coating and wax in an easy-to-use package. 


No general DIY knowledge or prior experience in applying coatings is necessary. The coating is non-stick and water-repellent, which makes cleaning the car a breeze. You can also use it on motorcycles, fiberglass, stainless steel, and windows with good results.


Durability is one of the drawbacks of Ethos Ceramic Wax 9H. At best, the coating will only last 12 months before you would have to apply another layer. Also, some users note that plastic or rubber surfaces that get in contact with the product can turn white, like they’ve aged overnight.

For a top-quality, high-performance ceramic kit that won’t disappoint, check out  CarPro CQ UK 3.0 Kit. This improved formula provides even better protection against UV rays, road grime, tar, tree sap, bug splatters, bird droppings, and more. It utilizes a high silica-quartz content to create a truly hard and glassy layer that protects your vehicle’s paint job. This updated formula also features a greater temperature range for added protection in temps from as low as 40 degrees Fahrenheit to as high as 100 degrees. It’s ideal for paint, metal, and plastic surfaces, making it one of the most versatile products on our list. 


This comprehensive kit includes a 30-ml bottle of ceramic coating, a foam applicator block, four suede applicators, a reload bottle, and an orange suede leveling towel. While this kit does come with everything you need to get started, you may want to order extra suede applicators ahead of time to ensure that you have enough to complete the job in a single go, as many users report using more than the original amount supplied.

Don’t let the high price tag of the Nasiol ZR53 Nano Ceramic Coating kit deter you. This coating tightly bonds to all types of car paints and can last for up to three years, making it one of the longest-lasting ceramic coating products around. Even better, it goes on in one time-saving coat.


This formula features a super durable multi-layer technology that enables the coating to create a pristine and ultra tough bonding with a 9H hardness level. You’ll get an incredible high-gloss finish and top-of-the-line hydrophobicity.


This kit includes 50ml Nasiol ZR53 ceramic coating, application pads, gloves, two microfiber cloths, and other accessories. The coating is resistant to PH12 detergents, allowing it to last much longer than many other coatings. You can also use it on plastic trim, headlights, rims, bumpers, and piano blacks.


One thing to note is that with this coating, you need to act fast. It needs to be wiped off almost immediately to avoid damaging your car’s paint job. Application of this product needs to be thin and even, and that can be difficult for newbies. If you’re new to ceramic coatings, maybe steer clear of this one until you’re a little more adept at applications.

For a ceramic coating that is all about extreme durability without the extreme price tag, check out the Hocossy Super Ceramic Coating. Creative descriptors like “diamond hardness” aren’t actually too far off the mark in conveying what the ceramic coating actually offers. In general, the finish coat does a good job of repelling water, resisting scratches, and combating UV damage even more than popular waxes alone. Like many ceramic coating solutions, patience is key with this one. 


For the best results, be prepared to spend time going through the whole washing, polishing, and waxing process to add the extra protective and shiny layers needed. The curing time of the ceramic coat is also pretty lengthy, so don't expect to notice results right away. As it dries, however, you should begin to see a high-gloss shine, even in dim light.

Nano Bond makes a lot of claims with its ceramic coating, like a 9H hardness level, two to three years of durability, and heat resistance up to 760 degrees—all of this from a simple kit that sits firmly in the budget range of ceramic coatings. As usual with most company claims, actual results are a bit more mixed than the marketing jargon suggests. With that said, the product actually is a great contender for a decent ceramic coating that delivers pretty good results. 


First and foremost, this isn't the easiest ceramic coating to apply on the market. In fact, it benefits from a controlled environment, ideally in the garage away from direct sunlight and high temperatures. Proper preparation is also key, like thorough car washing and drying. If done correctly, it's easy to expect a high-quality shine that delivers the traditional wet look many car owners seek.

Are you an off-roading warrior struggling to maintain the professional look of your car after passing it through a car wash? Then you should try out Drexler Ceramic Coating, which is estimated to leave a glossy shine for about three to five years. That’s because it comes in a two-in-one package of a base coat and topcoat that’s highly hydrophobic and holds up against extreme water pressure. This two-stage coating is also weather-, UV-, and chemical-resistant. Both coats are formulated with 9H hardness, which forms a protective barrier against scratches and prevents swirls. 


The product is fairly easy to apply with a cloth rag, and the topcoat comes with a spray applicator. However, it’s best to follow an online tutorial or go to the company’s main website to get the application instructions.

The Weiruixin 10H Ceramic Coating 3.0 is an updated and improved formula that creates a superior ceramic coating with a hardness level of 10H, whereas many others only offer 9H. This allows the ceramic coating to last up to two years. 


It will protect your vehicle against salt, sea spray, corrosion, tree sap, bird droppings, bug splatter, UV damage, and can even prevent light scratches and stone chips. Outstanding chemical technology causes water to bead up before it’s barely even touched your paint. It protects easily against dirty water and many chemical contaminants. This kit includes 50 ml of ceramic coating, an applicator sponge, wiping towel, protective gloves, microfiber cloths, and instructions. 


This coating is not ideal for newer users who may be unfamiliar with ceramic coatings. Be sure to avoid touching your vehicle with anything for up to 24 hours and the manufacturer recommends avoiding contact with rain, water, or washing products for at least seven days following initial application.

Our Verdict

We truly feel that Chemical Guys HydroSlick SiO2 Ceramic Coating HyperWax is hard to beat in this division. Years of serving the detailing crowd show in this product. However, Mothers CMX Ceramic Spray Coating is a great product to get your feet wet with thanks to the price, but its performance may make it a go-to for many.  

What to Consider When Buying Ceramic Coatings

We want you to make an informed decision, not just take our word for it. This section is here to help you find out what makes a ceramic coating better than others so you can nail down the perfect option for your situation. 

Types of Ceramic Coating for Cars

Polymer

Epoxy or polymer is a widely used type of ceramic coating that bonds with the factory paint coating of the car. That bond is permanent as the paint and the polymer become one layer that is tougher and more resistant to damage. It’s the reason why you can’t just wash away a layer of ceramic coating. The only way to remove the polymer coating is by polishing.

Quartz

Quartz coatings are, by design, harder than other types. Quartz or silicon dioxide coatings reach high levels of hardness that aim to armor the vehicle against debris and scratches. They preserve their fresh appearance and shiny look even after years of use and abuse.

Hybrid

Hybrid coatings are a combination of quartz and polymer. That type, which claims to have the best of both worlds, is supposedly harder and creates a protective shell around the vehicle. However, there’s no evidence that hybrid coatings offer any extra protection than other types of coating.

Key Features of Ceramic Coatings for Cars

Durability

Durability describes how long you can expect the ceramic coating to keep protecting the car’s body and looking as new as the day it was applied. Some high-end ceramic coatings have a durability that can last as long as the car’s lifetime. A good-quality product will give you anywhere from two to five years of good service. Even the most affordable ceramic coatings should last at least a year.

Ease of Use

Since not all car owners are DIY gurus, one thing to look for in the ceramic coating product is easy application. Even if you have no prior experience with coatings or special skills beyond knowing how to wash your car, you should still be able to use the coating with relative ease. A good product shouldn’t require extra tools or equipment to use it.

Level of Hardness

The coating industry describes paint hardness as the ability to resist damage and scratching. As such, the harder the coating, the better it is at doing its job protecting the car and its exterior. A ceramic coating with ‘9H’ in the name means it has diamond-level hardness.

Price

For under $40, you can get a product with decent quality but little durability. Most products that sell for less than $40 will not last more than a year. Moving to the $50-$100 range gives you the ability to pick a good-quality 9H ceramic coating with a professional finish at this price range. Durability won’t be an issue as some coatings can stay around for up to five years. If you’re looking for a ceramic coating that will last the lifetime of the car, be ready to pay at least $100, but professionally applied products can cost much, much more. 

Tips and Tricks

  • When using spray, it’s a good idea to cover the windows and panels. If you spill it, make sure to clean it before it gets dry.
  • After you’re done spraying, clean the nozzle to prevent it from getting sealed shut with the dry product.
  • Keep a steady hand when applying the coat. Thick spots are not easy to buff away.
  • Ensure you have good ventilation. The coating is made of chemicals and the fumes are hazardous.
  • Let the car dry naturally for 48 hours to get good results.

FAQs

Q: How do I maintain a ceramic-coated car?

You still need to wash the car regularly, but avoid using strong chemicals as they may interact with the coating. You don’t need a strong car wash thanks to the dust-repellent features of the ceramic coating.

Q: Do I need to wax my ceramic-coated car?

No. The ceramic coating does away with the need to wax altogether. You get all the benefits of waxing plus durability and a glossy finish.

Q: How long does ceramic coating last?

With proper care and maintenance, a layer of ceramic coating will keep your car looking new for two to five years. Some professional ceramic coatings can last the lifetime of the car.

Q. Is ceramic coating expensive?

Not necessarily. Plenty of affordable and mid-range products are on the market. As with anything else, you get what you pay for. 

Q. Is ceramic coating easy to apply?

It depends on the product. There are many with easy, spray-on/wipe-off applications, while others require special applicators and specific conditions. Like with applying car wax, you get better with practice. If you're new to ceramic coatings, we highly recommend trying a more affordable product with easy application first. 

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