Best Dash Covers: Defend Against Sun Damage
Protect your dash from the sun with our picks for the best dash cover
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BY Rebecca Henderson / LAST UPDATED ON March 16, 2020
We all know that sun shades keep harmful UV rays off our upholstery and prevent it from fading. But did you know that your dashboard can fade just as quickly if you don’t protect it as well? If you’re looking to invest in a high-quality dash cover, use our helpful buying guide to assist you in finding the best dash cover for your vehicle.
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Benefits of Dash Covers
- Decrease the dashboard’s temperature. The expanding and contracting that occurs when an object rapidly heats up and cools down is a major cause of damage over the course of a vehicle’s lifetime. Prevent your dash from cracking by investing in a quality dash cover.
- Protect against fading. The sun’s rays do a lot of damage to the interior of your vehicle as well as the exterior paint. Help your interior stay newer looking with one of our picks for the best dash cover.
- Prevent damage. Accidents happen, and your dashboard can be damaged in a variety of ways. Invest in a dash cover to protect it from scratches and any other abuse that might cause blemishes.
- Remove them at any time. Unless you permanently install your dash cover, you can remove it at any time. This means you can clean underneath it, remove it if you sell the vehicle, or clean it and then replace it afterward.
Types of Dash Covers
While most carpeted dash covers are precut to fit specific makes and models, molded dash covers take that compatibility factor and step it up a notch. These molded covers tend to be a bit pricier—usually above $120—but will be a much tighter fit when it comes to protecting your dash from damage.
Most of the dash covers you’ll find in the aftermarket realm are made from durable carpet materials. These carpet dash covers are often pre-cut, so choosing the right one simply means ensuring the product you choose is compatible with the year, make, and model you own. A carpet dash cover typically installs onto your dash with Velcro tabs to keep it from sliding off and/or blowing away.
Based out of Oklahoma, Covercraft was founded in 1965. If you own a Chevrolet or GMC and aren’t satisfied with the products we’ve picked, check out the DashMat Original Cover in Black. It’s a sleek way to protect your dash against everyday wear and tear.
Founded in 2010, DashSkin is headquartered in Oklahoma. DashSkin laser cuts its dash covers in the United States of America. Its Molded Dash Cover for GM SUVs might be just what you’re looking for.
Dash Cover Pricing
- $20-$40: Most of the widely available dash covers will be priced around $30. These dash covers are typically made of carpet and attach to your vehicle’s dash with Velcro.
- $40-$70: If your vehicle isn’t a GMC or Chevrolet, you’ll likely pay a bit more for a dash cover that fits your car. Many of the less-popular colors will be priced a bit higher since they aren’t as in demand as colors such as black and grey.
- $100+: Carpet dash covers can be found for less than $100, but if you’re looking for the molded variety, you should budget around $120 or so. This type of dash cover is a bit pricier, but it typically features a tighter, cleaner fit when it comes to installation.
The best dash covers should be pre-cut with such precision that you don’t need to make any adjustments when you install one in your vehicle. Most manufacturers will list what years, makes, and models their dash covers will fit. All you have to do is make sure you find the corresponding dash cover to fit your vehicle without guessing the dimensions.
Our cars see a lot of wear and tear. The best dash covers will be made from durable materials that can be washed if necessary. These dash covers should also be able to withstand the sun’s hot rays, so you don’t have to worry about the material melting to your car’s dashboard or ruining any other part of your vehicle.
Like everything else we put in or on our car, the best dash covers should flow with the interior of the vehicle, whether it’s a standard interior color or a custom design. Most manufacturers will list a variety of colors that should match the color scheme of your vehicle, allowing the dash cover to blend in as if it had always been there.
As long as you can find a dash cover that’s pre-cut to custom fit your vehicle, the installation process should be easy. The best dash covers will only require installing Velcro tabs and then placing the cover itself over those tabs. Some installs might require a bit of tucking here and there, but overall you shouldn’t have to cut or do much to get the best dash covers to install correctly.
- Washable: Having a washable dash cover can be a big plus when things go awry. The best dash covers are those that can be popped into the washing machine and air-dried to fit back in your vehicle as nothing happened. If dash covers are not machine-washable, they should at least be able to be steam-cleaned for hygienic purposes.
Best Dash Cover Reviews & Recommendations 2020
- Clean your dash thoroughly before you install your new dash cover. Anything that remains beneath the dash cover will fester and may potentially damage the dash if left in the heat. It’s best to clean your dash when it’s room temperature or cooler, so that any debris will come off easier.
- Every time you clean your vehicle, remove your dash cover and clean it too. You might not notice debris or stains on the dash cover as you drive, but just like the rest of your vehicle, it can get dirty.
- Though a dash cover will go a long way in keeping your interior from heating up in the sun, you can also pair it with a sunshade. That will keep your car cooler in the summer and warmer in the winter by providing insulating layers to minimize temperature differences.
- If you’re the creative type and want to make your own dash cover, purchase one and use it as a template. That way you can be sure you have the right shape the first time without having to re-cut and potentially re-sew material.
- It’s always a good idea to make sure the openings in your dash are accounted for even if you are purchasing a pre-cut, custom-fit dash cover. These openings are there for a reason, and blocking them can cause adverse effects in some cases.
- Dash covers can be a great way to keep items on the dash without fear of them slipping off. The carpet fibers aren’t the most tactile when it comes to grabbing objects, but they can help objects such as phones and writing pads stay put temporarily.
- If you’re looking for a custom-fit dash cover and can’t find your make and model, contact the manufacturer and ask them directly. Sometimes they may not advertise your specific vehicle, whether it’s due to low demand or low inventory.
Q: Will installing a dash cover on my car mess up the dashboard?
A: As long as you install the Velcro strips correctly, there shouldn’t be any damage to your dash. Work gently as you install the dash cover to prevent any damage from happening. If something feels like it’s not right, pull it back and start again.
Q: Can I remove the dash cover from my vehicle after I install it?
A: Once you’ve installed the Velcro strips, you should be able to easily remove the dash cover. Simply pull up on the material around the Velcro, and it should pull free.
Q: What's the best material for dash covers?
A: There are a lot of materials out there, including suede and velour. Suede dash covers can be a bit harder to maintain if your vehicle sees a lot of traffic. However, most affordable dash covers will be made from polyester carpeting.
Q: Do all dash covers come as one piece?
A: Most car dash covers will come as a single piece that is installed on your dashboard. Depending on how the cover fits, there might be multiple pieces involved, but this isn’t often the case. Custom dash covers can be multiple pieces as well.
Q: What other brands offer dash covers?
A: Angry Elephant and Coverking are two other popular brands for dash covers. Though they didn’t make it into our top three picks this time, it’s worth taking a look at their products to see what they have to offer.
Q: Can I install a dash cover on all makes and models?
A: Theoretically, you can install a dash cover on any make and model, from Toyota, Nissan, and Honda to your Chevy Silverado. Custom dash fit covers typically cover most of the big-name brands. If you’re looking for something even more customs, such as camo print or your favorite cartoon, you may have to do some digging.
Our top pick for the best dash cover, the Wolf DashMat Original Carpet Dashboard Cover for Chevrolet and GMC, comes in a variety of colors and is custom fit to your vehicle.
If you’re looking to cover your dash and stay within budget, take a look at our value pick, the Big Ant Carpet Dashboard Cover for 1998-2001 Dodge Ram Pickups.