LAST UPDATED: December 19, 2019
Best Car Seat Protector: Have a Clean and Neat Interior
Keep your vehicle looking new with these top three car seat protectors
The Review Team
How We Decided
The Drive and its partners may earn a commission if you purchase a product through one of our links. Read more.
PUBLISHED ON December 19, 2019
If you have kids, you know that keeping car seats clean is impossible. There will always be footprints and food leftovers, not to mention marks and dents from booster seats. The same applies to people who have pets and have to deal with carriers. If you want to protect the car's interior and keep it neat, you'll need a car seat protector. It's a useful cover that absorbs scratches and marks and keeps your car seats looking new. Here are our top three picks to help you find the best one for your vehicle.
If you need a protector for your leather seats, Lusso Gear is an excellent option. It prevents scratches, dirt, and spills from reaching the seats. Ideal for back and front seats. Stylish, efficient, and easy to clean.
Made from high-quality PVC leather. Adjustable straps for a secure fit. The anti-skid surface prevents slips and ensures a good grip. Waterproof. Thick padding for more comfort. Three built-in mesh pockets for essentials. One-year warranty.
It might slide against some seat types. Possible issues with the stitching. The odd smell lingers for some time.
This is another high-quality product from Munchkin. It features a unique one-piece design for heavy-duty protection. A great addition to the car’s interior. Covers the entire seat. Classy and easy to maintain.
It might leave a temporary print and have a strong smell straight from the box. The bottom raised edges are a little sharp.
Why Trust Us
All of our reviews are based on market research, expert input, or practical experience with most products we include. This way, we offer genuine, accurate guides to help you find the best picks.
Benefits of Car Seat Protectors
- Maintain the seat’s original condition. OEM car seats are okay. However, they can become a sore sight after a long period of use. A car seat protector is a great option when you want to maintain the original condition of an OEM seat. Using one might even improve your car’s resale value.
- Protect against the sun. Direct sunlight gradually damages your car seats, especially if they are made of leather. You may notice signs of cracking or discoloration. A car seat protector is an effective barrier as it absorbs most of the heat from the sun.
- Reduce damage caused by child seats. Child seats can damage your leather car seats. If they don’t ruin the upholstery, they might leave unsightly indentations on the seats. Car seat protectors offer an additional barrier and keep your car seats free from damage.
- Reduce cleaning time. If you have kids, you will most likely have dirty car seats from time to time. They may spill drinks on them or step on them. Cleaning the car seats may be tedious, especially if they are made from a hard-to-clean material. However, most car seat protectors are made from materials that are easy to clean.
- Provide convenient storage. Innovation has led to the improvement of car seat protectors over the years. Some modern ones have pockets in which you can store small items. These pockets come in handy when you are traveling with kids.
- Improve aesthetics. Car seat protectors are no longer a drab accessory. Some companies go the extra mile to ensure their protectors enhance a car’s interior. They make a car attractive and improve the longevity of the original seats.
Types of Car Seat Protectors
Bucket seat protectors are designed to fully cover the driver and passenger seats. They are specifically made according to the dimensions of the seats. Some are designed to enhance vehicles and blend in with the interior. Bucket car seat protectors are most suitable for cars that have bucket seats. Their key advantage is that they keep the user comfortable while protecting the car seat.
Not to be confused with back seat protectors, kick mats are designed to keep the backs of the front seats clean. Children get fussy when traveling and may kick and step on the seats in front of them. In wet weather, seats can quickly get dirty. Kick mats cover the back sections of the front seats and make it easy to clean up if there’s a mess. Some have storage features that can hold entertainment gadgets for the young ones.
Back (Bench) Seat
Also known as bench seat protectors, they entirely cover the back seats. They are made for cars that do not have sectioned back seats. They are similar to other seat protectors as they fasten to the headrests. The best bench seat protectors have openings that give access to seat belts. Due to their size, the protectors have non-skid features to keep them from slipping. However, they mostly don’t have storage features like individual car seat protectors.
Lebogner was incorporated in 2014 and is located in Brooklyn, New York. The company has a strong presence and offers car interior solutions like back seat organizers. One of its top-rated products is the Lebogner Car Seat Protector that comes with organizer pockets and kick guards.
Steven B. Dunn started Munchkin in 1991 with the aim of creating products that would cater to parents and their babies. Situated in Los Angeles, the company has an impressive catalog of baby products. The Munchkin Brica Booster Seat Guardian is one of its high-rated products designed specifically for booster seats.
Summer Infant is an American company that was founded in 1985. Its current headquarters is in Rhode Island. It has a solid reputation and develops innovative products meant to ease child care. The Summer Elite DuoMat Car Seat Protector is one of its best creations.
Car Seat Protector Pricing
- $15-$20: For a first-time buyer, this is a great place to start. A $17 car seat protector may have features such as an easy-to-clean, waterproof material and small storage pockets.
- $25-$30: In this range, expect to find a combination of superior construction and outstanding design. The car seat protectors here may have more storage compartments and kick mats.
- $35-$50: This category has premium car seat protectors you’ll most likely find in luxury vehicles. They may be made from high-end leather and have a lot of storage features.
When buying car seat protectors, look at the material carefully as it determines the comfort, functionality, and ease of cleaning. Pick a material that can be cleaned on-the-go, doesn’t damage the car seats, and enhances your level of comfort. A material like neoprene is easy to clean and water-resistant. It is a great option if you have kids or things that can spill.
Child Seat Friendly
If you’ll be installing a car seat over the car seat protector, make sure it can withstand the constant movements of kids in car seats. The car seat protector should also give access to safety belts. It should have a good grip and stay in place to keep the child safe.
It is very important to check whether the car seat protectors inhibit the deployment of side airbags. In the event of an accident, side airbags reduce the risk of injury. Most manufacturers are mindful of this fact and develop seat protectors that don’t prevent the deployment of side airbags.
- Storage: When you buy car seat protectors, get ones with extra features. Some of the best car seat protectors have pockets that can hold small items such as bottles and learning materials. When you’re traveling with kids, you can fill the spaces with educational materials.
- Durability: While some car seat protectors are more durable than others, how you care for them will determine how long they last. Clean them regularly the right way. It is also advisable to get seat protectors that can withstand all weather conditions.
Best Car Seat Protectors Reviews & Recommendations 2020
Our top pick is the padded car seat protector by Lusso Gear. It comes in a variety of colors, and its unique design makes it a great option for both front and back seats. It is sturdy, and its thickness makes it comfortable. It fits snugly, is stylish, and protects car seats from scratches, dirt, and spills.
The car seat protector is made from PVC leather and is water-resistant. The upper part latches onto the headrest, while the lower part has an anti-skid bottom to keep it in place. The standout features are the three mesh pockets you can use to store essentials for daily use.
However, when the protector is new, it has an odd lingering smell and must be aired out for a while. It also slides on some seats. However, if it sustains any damage, it is covered by a one-year warranty.
This seat protector is noticeable because of its unique design. It covers a wide area, which ensures the entire seat stays free of spills and dirt. It latches at the bottom and hooks at the top for a snug fit, especially in smaller cars.
The car seat protector has textured corners and a non-skid surface that keeps it in place, even during bumpy rides. There’s a large mesh pocket at the bottom where you can store those knickknacks you tend to forget to pack.
Cleaning the seat protector is a breeze. Simply wipe it with a moist cloth, and it will look as good as new. You can safely install a child’s car seat over it, and it has a waterproof material. However, you may have difficulty installing the LATCH. The protector also has one major design flaw: It hinders access to seat belts. It’s also not ideal for front seats, as the top part doesn't go very high.
If you’re looking for a universal car seat protector that works well with any vehicle interior, this one by Munchkin is worth checking out. Made from vinyl, it is big enough to cover an entire seat. It also comes with adjustable straps you can alter to make sure it’s secure.
Its one-piece design makes it easy to install. It can be installed on the back of a car seat to act as a kick mat for fussy kids. Dual-grip traction technology ensures it doesn’t move from its position. The car seat protector handles spills well, thanks to its raised edges.
The grime guard fabric will save you a lot of cleaning time. However, if you have a sensitive nose, it’s best to air out the seat protector as its smell may affect you. It may also be uncomfortable to sit on because of its raised edges at the bottom.
- Pick a vehicle seat protector that stays firmly in its place during the ride. It should be made of non-slip quality materials for more security, especially when combined with a baby car seat.
- For proper protection, you'll need a thick and sturdy car seat cover that is also water-resistant. You want to avoid liquids leaking through and reaching the upholstery.
- A good car seat protector will absorb all the scratches and spills instead of your car seat. Therefore, you'll need the one that is made of durable materials and easy to clean.
- It's also essential to have an aesthetically pleasing car seat protector. It will stay on your seat most of the time, so you want to choose one that complements the car's interior.
Q: Will these protectors ruin leather car seats?
A: No, they are perfectly safe. If you have leather seats, however, you might want to consider buying specific protectors. Leather seats tend to wear out faster than regular ones because of the high UV sensitivity. You can prevent that by buying car seat protectors with high sun resistance, such as neoprene material.
Q: Is it hard to install car seat protectors?
A: Not at all. Protectors have built-in bands. You only need to wrap them around your car seat. The entire installation shouldn't last more than a few seconds. Most of the covers offer a universal fit and install in different types of car seats, including SUVs.
Q: How do I clean car seat protectors?
A: It mostly depends on the material. Some of them can only be spot-cleaned, while others can be hand-washed. In both cases, it's safe to use lukewarm water and mild soap. Always check and follow the instructions provided by the manufacturer. Keep in mind that these covers are not machine-washable.
The Lusso Gear Car Seat Protector is our top pick. It’s one of the most popular car seat protectors that proves to be rather efficient.
Those who are on a limited budget should consider the Munchkin Auto Seat Protector. It’s an excellent alternative as long as you don’t need high back seat protection for infant car seats.