Cloth vs. Leather Seats: The Great Debate

It’s one of the bigger decisions you’ll have to make when you’re buying a car, and with good reason. In the year 2017, what is better? Cloth or leather seats? Which is the absolute best option you can make?

The answer: it depends on your preferences.

Both sides have some enormous positives, as well as some negatives that you might not want to deal with. Luckily for you, I’ve compiled a list here of everything you should consider when picking the upholstery for your car. So read on, and make sure you remember not to leave a box of crayons on your seat on a hot day.

I’m definitely speaking from experience there. If you’re wondering, yes, it was painful.

leather car seats


If you want the more cost-effective option, cloth seats are the clear winner. Depending on the type of leather you purchase for your car’s interior, you could be spending thousands (or more!) of extra dollars. If that’s not something you can afford to do, it might be a better idea to go with cloth. If you absolutely do want leather, though, consider faux options – you’ll get the look without worrying so much about your wallet.

car leather seats


Unfortunately, cloth seats do collect dust, pet dander, and various other allergens more than leather seats do. If you’re someone who has terrible allergies to animals, dust, or pollen, leather would probably be a better choice for you. You’ll still have to worry about your car’s carpeted floors, though, so even leather isn’t perfect in this case. Bottom line? If you’re not someone who suffers from severe allergies and you want to save money, cloth seats won’t hurt. If not, bet on leather and you can avoid feeling miserable while driving.

cloth car seats


Generally, it’s much harder to remove stains from cloth seats, especially if, say, something has melted down into the fabric. I’m looking at you, box of crayons. If you don’t want to spend the day nearly in tears, trying to gouge out hardened wax from your passenger seat, go with leather. Another problem with cloth: if you spill something that could develop an odor, you’ll have more difficulty removing it from cloth seats. You might have to suffer through driving in a car that always smells like spoiled food. Realistically, I can’t promise leather will protect you from crayon wax, but it’ll probably be a little easier to clear up coffee stains. After all, you can usually just wipe the seats clean.

interior car seats


Leather seats, while classy, are not as fun in sweltering weather. On especially hot days, the interior of your car could heat up to almost 200 degrees. If you live somewhere that gets hot in the summer, and you don’t want to be burned by your leather seats, choose cloth. It doesn’t retain enormous amounts of heat like leather does, and you won’t sweat as much from sitting on it.

Personally, I love the leather look and feel; so for me leather wins every time. For others, leather isn’t always the easiest pick. There are many variables involved when deciding on the perfect car seat. Everyone would like to have an idea about what the exact seats they prefer, but until you actually physically get in the car and feel it out there’s no way to know what you will like.

At the end of the day, it comes down to personal preference. If you’re a leather kind of person, and you like your car to look sleek and refined, go for it. If you’d rather have the more practical cloth and save some money, you can go that route. Whatever you choose, though, for the love of all that is holy, be careful with your boxes of crayons.

old cloth car seats