Best Heated Car Seat Covers: Protect Your Seats and Keep Yourself Warm
Get super toasty fast while driving with an efficient and powerful heated seat cover.
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BY Norah Tarichia / LAST UPDATED ON March 19, 2021
When it comes to heating up a cold vehicle, it seems like it can never happen quickly enough. If you frequently drive in colder temps, you know what we’re talking about. If you drive a classic or late model car, chances are it’s not equipped with an efficient heating system.
And chances are even higher that you don’t have built-in seat heaters, either. That’s when getting a reliable and efficient heated car seat cover can be a game changer. They’re economical and a simple way to solve the problem of your chattering teeth and shivering muscles.
As an added bonus, a heated seat cover can also protect your vehicle’s upholstery from spills, stains, and unsightly tears. When it comes to selecting the best heated seat cover to suit your needs, there are plenty of options. To help you weed through them and ensure you’re getting a top-of-the-line product, we’ve put together this handy buying guide.
This heated car seat cover gets top marks for being an efficient and economical option that produces warmth in as little as one minute. It delivers fast heat to your entire back, hips and thighs
- Comes with durable and secure elastics and non-slip rubberized grips to keep it securely in place
- Customizable temperature range between 86-140 degrees Fahrenheit in 3-degree increments
- Universal fit for most cars, trucks, RVs, and boat seats
- Cord for the controller is short and limits where you can put the controller to keep it out of the way while driving
- Controller and its buttons are too small to easily select options without having to look at them while driving
This heated car seat cover’s universal fit is built to strap to almost any vehicle and plugs into a 12-volt power socket. Its non-slip design helps it hold tight to any seat surface to give you the most comfortable driving experience.
- Comes with breathable and soft polyester fabric for added comfort and warmth
- Heats up to 140 degrees Fahrenheit in a short time
- Can be adjusted to a high or low setting so you can control the warmth
- Highest heat setting can be uncomfortably warm
- Might slide around the seat and require a little adjustment from time to time
This cushion is a portable massager that uses a combination of heating and vibration to help alleviate stress, fatigue, and muscle aches from your hip, thighs, upper, and lower back. It also offers full support to your back and neck area.
- Provides warmth on your back as it relieves tension
- Has a large massage area that covers your entire back, shoulders, hips, and thighs
- Includes a spot-massage function that lets you focus on massaging one area
- Includes an overheat protection system to prevent accidental fire
- Doesn’t have massaging balls on the neck pad
- Spot function is somewhat slow and almost ineffective for pain relief
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Benefits of Heated Car Seat Covers
- Provides an additional and fast-acting heat source for you and your passengers. No one likes driving while they’re freezing cold. It makes it hard to focus and can be very distracting. A good quality heated car seat cover will heat up much quicker than your car’s built-in heat system, getting you warmer and more comfortable fast. It’s especially helpful if you have a short commute and reach your destination before your car’s heater really even gets ramped up.
- Protects your car’s interior. You are constantly getting in and out of your car, and this could scratch or tear your car seats. Using durable heated car seat covers can help increase the life of your vehicle’s seats and protect them from excessive wear and tear. It will also save them from unsightly stains and spills if you frequently eat or drink while driving.
- Adds a unique look to your ride. If you’re not a fan of the way your standard seats look, having a set of the best car seat covers is a good way to make them stand out. Since heated seat covers come in many different colors and designs, you’ll be able to personalize your vehicle’s appearance. They’re also great for hiding damaged or stained seats and making them look fresh and new.
- Lumbar support. Many car seat covers come with an added bonus of support for your body. This is a way to keep your spine straight and aligned while also helping to alleviate annoying back pain.
- Relax your muscles. Some heated seats double as massage seats that are fitted with soft gel balls or vibrating motors to help relieve muscle tension and keep you comfortable as you drive.
- Heat can be controlled individually. At times, the passenger may be warm while the driver is cold and vice versa. A heated seat cover lets each individual adjust the heat to their liking, and you don’t need to heat up the entire vehicle if only one person needs the warmth.
Types of Heated Seat Covers
Standard Seat Cover
Standard seat covers are a no-frills type that plugs into the car’s 12-volt power socket, otherwise known as a 12-volt auxiliary power outlet or cigarette lighter. They contain heating elements typically fitted in the back and sitting area, which warms up in minutes and comes with a wired remote control so you can adjust the heat setting. Most don’t pose a fire hazard; they are designed with auto-shut-off systems to prevent overheating.
Car Seat Massager
Car seat massagers are a thicker type of cover, since they are fitted with massage rollers, vibrating motors, or nodes in the neck, shoulder, and back. You can either get a full cover for your seat or simply a back or seat cover. Most come with a heater to keep your body warm and help reduce muscle soreness. Most plug into the vehicle’s 12-volt socket but you can also find a portable option that comes with a rechargeable battery.
Wagan Corporation was founded in 1984 and specializes in designing high-tech automotive accessories. Some of them include heated seat covers, seat cushions, roadside emergency lights, and car chargers. It’s headquartered in Hayward, Calif., and has other international offices around the world to help meet the demands of its global market.
Sojoy was founded in 1990 and has its headquarters in Chicago, Ill. The company creates and designs heated, cooled, and massaging seat cushions for cars. One of its top products is the Sojoy Winter Car Seat Cushion.
Heated Car Seat Covers Pricing
- $20-$60: Heated car seat covers range in pricing but generally won’t be too expensive. Typically, they won’t be more than $60, unless they are fitted with more power options and settings.
- $60 and up: Expect to find a plethora of massage seat covers that are also integrated with heating elements within this price range. Most are well padded around the neck, shoulder, and seat area for enhanced comfort. Many of these are designed to not just produce heat, but also offer some therapeutic benefits, which can be great if you suffer from stiff muscles, back pain, or arthritis.
Many heated car seat covers come with their own automatic shut-off feature. This helps the cover to maintain a constant temperature without overheating. The auto shut-off kicks in when the temperature reaches a high level or after a specified temperature. With automatic shut-off, you also don’t have to worry about draining your vehicle’s battery because you forgot to turn off the seat heater when you left the car.
Number of Temperature Settings
Some heated car seat covers have their own heating options. These include controlling the temperature by choosing how hot you want the cover to reach. This feature could be a specific temperature; for example, 74 degrees Fahrenheit, or it could be as simple as a few buttons that offer you low, medium, or high temperature options. Consider purchasing a heated car seat cover that has a few options or controls for temperature settings.
Some heated car seat covers have an indicator on the cord or seat itself that lets you know when it is functioning. The indicator lights up when the cover is on and turns off when the cover is off, or it may also show a green or red light. This will allow you to look at the indicator to determine if the cover is on without having to touch it.
Another helpful option that many users like is a programmable timer. This is great if you want to just set it and forget it. Many heated car seat covers come with timers that will automatically shut the heater off after 15, 30, 60, or even 90 minutes of continual use. This also helps prevent you from draining your car’s battery if you want to use the heater while the car isn’t running.
- Quantity. You’ll need to think about the number of seats in your vehicle to know how many heated seat covers to purchase.
- Cord Length. Twelve-volt heated seat covers have a cord that is a few feet in length. This will enable you to reach the nearest power outlet and use the product in either the back seat or the front seat. If you have a longer car, such as a truck or tractor-trailer, you may need to use an extension cord.
- Non-slip grips. While most heated car seat covers come with straps to secure it to your car seat, some are just cheap elastics that can stretch and break over time. This leads to the seat cover annoyingly slipping or sliding around when you’re trying to drive. Look for car seat covers that offer adjustable straps that can be tightened as they begin to loosen. Also look for rubberized or silicone non-slip grips on the bottom of the cover that will further help it to stay put.
Best Heated Car Seat Covers Reviews & Recommendations 2021
- Due to their internal wiring, the majority of heated car seat covers should not be cleaned in a washing machine. You should also never get them soaking wet.
- It’s recommended to wash your heated seat cover by hand using a mix of soap and water. Be sure to unplug the cover first and make sure it is completely cool to the touch before cleaning it.
- Do not dry heated seat covers in a dryer. Instead, let them air dry by opening the windows of the vehicle or setting it outside or in the garage. Ensure that it is completely dry before plugging it in again.
- Replace your heated seat cover if you notice frayed wires. They can be dangerous and lead to improper functioning.
- When you are not using the heated car seat cover, make sure to turn it off and unplug it. For safety reasons, it is not advisable to leave the cover on without supervision.
- Unplug your heated seat cover immediately if you notice any excess heat in the cord that goes to your 12-volt outlet or the cord that goes to the controller in order to avoid a fire hazard.
Q: How long does a heated car seat cover take to heat up?
This really all depends on the cover. While some heated car seat covers will begin to warm up shortly after you plug them into a power source, others can take several minutes before reaching the desired temperature. Most high-quality heated car seat covers will begin heating up in as little as one minute. Some only take three minutes to reach their set high temperature.
Q: How long do heated car seat covers retain heat after they’re turned off?
Heated car seat covers can retain heat for a short time after they're powered off. Some may remain warm for between 15 to 30 minutes.
Q: Are heated car seat covers safe?
Yes. Most good-quality heated car seat covers come equipped with an automatic shut-off timer to prevent them from reaching dangerously hot temperatures, or from running continuously and draining your car’s battery. Most heated car seat covers are only able to reach limited levels of heat to prevent burning you or damaging your upholstery. Most heated car seat covers can’t get hotter than 140 degrees Fahrenheit.
Q: Will a heated car seat cover stay on when the vehicle is off?
Most reliable and well-designed heated car seat covers will not stay on when the vehicle is turned completely off. This serves two purposes: to limit the risk of accidental fire or overheating because you forgot to shut off your seat heater, and to prevent unnecessary drain on your car’s battery. Depending on your vehicle set-up, some heated car seat covers will also function when the car is placed in accessory mode. If the 12-volt outlet works without the engine running, the cover will stay on while the vehicle is turned off.
When the temperature plummets and you don’t want to freeze any longer than absolutely necessary while driving, a heated car seat cover can be a proverbial life saver. Whether you choose the Kingleting Warmer Seat Cushion with Intelligent Temperature Controller, the Sojoy SJ154A Universal 12V Heated Car Seat Heater, or one of our other stellar options, you’ll wonder why you didn’t invest in a heated car seat cover much sooner.
Do you have a favorite heated car seat cover that didn’t make our list? Hit us up in the comments and let us know what it is and why you love it.