Car owners love the idea and feeling of stepping inside a toasty and warm car after being cold outdoors. For those of us with heated car seats, there’s no need to explain the feeling of relief they bring on a cold day.
Like most car owners, there is a considerable possibility of a car upgrade happening in the future to meet the family’s needs and personal preferences.
As a result, you would want to protect the resale value of your car. With this in mind, you wouldn’t mind entertaining the prospect of using car seat covers to ensure that your car seats are well-protected.
What about heated seats, though – can they be protected using car seat covers?
In most cases, seat covers can be placed on your heated car seats without any problems or complications. However, it can’t be just any standard car seat cover – it needs to be made of the right material.
As far as safety is concerned, seat covers don’t pose any threat of fire or injury, given that the cover materials are mainly intended for heated seats – read on for more details on which one to choose.
When picking a car seat cover, it’s important to choose one that matches the exact fit and specifications of your vehicle make and model. Not only will it ensure that it is a snug and tight fit, but it gives peace of mind that the side airbags and other car safety systems will not be disturbed because of incorrect seat covers, and work as designed.
To better understand the relationship between heated seats and the right materials to cover them, let’s learn a bit about how they work in the first place.
- How Do Heated Seats Work?
- The Relay
- The Resistor
- The Thermostat
- The Purpose of Seat Covers
- The Right Fabric Materials for Heated Seat Covers
- Spacer Mesh
- Rhino Hide
- Poly-cotton Drill
- How Much Do Seat Covers for Heated Seats Cost?
- Frequently Asked Questions
- Can I put a couple of pillows and blankets on my heated car seats?
- Do I always need to have a full set of car seats?
- Does the seat cover impact the effectiveness of heated seats?
How Do Heated Seats Work?
Heated car seats share the same concept and technology as an electric blanket. There is a mechanism integrated inside your car seat to warm your back, legs, and thighs while inside your car.
The best news is, you have total control over how warm you want it to be based on your preference. This impressively engineered mechanism is composed of three parts: the relay, resistor, and thermostat.
Also called the relay switch, this mechanical trigger allows the electricity to move from your car’s battery to the resistor of your car’s heated seats. When you turn on the relay switch, the heat also gets activated.
The heating coils get a small jolt of electricity for their initial circuit, and the magnetic field is formed. In turn, this field will eventually trigger the relay switch, thus activating the electricity’s flow.
This is where all the heat happens. The resistor is otherwise referred to as the heating coil. It is a long strip of wire through which the electric current flows.
This component derived its name from its resistance to electricity. This causes the coil to heat up over time.
More for safety, this prevents the system from overheating and from running indefinitely.
Its function includes monitoring the heat output and deactivating the system once a maximum set temperature has been achieved.
When the heated seats start to cool down, the thermostat sends the initial circuit a message so that the relay switch can go back on and the car battery can resume heating the seats.
It’s also interesting to note that while this tech debuted in the luxury car segment, it has now become a common feature in vehicles across the board – especially in cold regions of the world.
The Purpose of Seat Covers
Seat covers are designed to protect your car’s original interior. A great deal of research and effort goes into manufacturing quality upholstery for your vehicle, so keeping it in prime condition makes a lot of sense.
Although it would be nice to have it in full display, most car owners would opt to protect it from their kids’ dirty hands, accidental spills, crumbs, stains, mud, and dirt. Covers also protect a layer of protection against scratches and your upholstery from being directly exposed to the natural elements.
It protects and, at the same time, also becomes an easy way to conceal any existing damages and stains on your seats. It also gives your car a completely different look based on your car seats’ color, texture, and design.
The Right Fabric Materials for Heated Seat Covers
Using any available or general car seat covers is not recommended for heated seats. There are covers where the fabrics used are tested and proven to be fire-resistant for additional protection and are designed for heated seat covers.
Generally, the car covers for heated seats are made of breathable materials that will not absorb too much heat. It will allow the heat from the seats to make you warm and comfortable.
Below are the best materials to use as seat covers for your heated seats:
This is one of the sturdiest fabrics and also the most expensive choice for seat covers. Neoprene is comfortable, flexible, soft, and resilient to spills and stains. With its wetsuit-like texture and material, it is proven to be long-lasting.
It is also fire-resistant, making it the best choice for heated car seats. You can be assured that the warm toasty heat from your seats will still reach your back, bum, and legs.
Another option is this porous, knit-like fabric that promotes maximum air circulation. This will keep your heated seats comfortable, warm, and dry.
The spacer mesh is also referred to as the 3D or sandwich mesh. And it is composed of three different layers of fabric that are knitted together.
Made from durable polyvinyl chloride with an additional polyester backing, this has a leather-like appearance and feel. Aside from that, it works well with heated seats. It is also tear, abrasion, and puncture-resistant.
Cotton always feels good against the skin, and this is no exception. As seat covers, you can expect it to have the style and comfort of pure cotton while boasting the impressive durability of polyester.
This is a highly breathable fabric and can help you be more comfortable as your heated seats get you all warmed up.
How Much Do Seat Covers for Heated Seats Cost?
Prices will vary based on the material and design of the seat covers. You can order seat covers from an online retail shop or from Marketplaces, where you can compare the product before purchase.
You can also have the covers of your heated seats customized. A complete set of seat covers for heated seats of your car has a price range of $60 to $400, depending on the size, quality of materials used, and brand.
Frequently Asked Questions
Can I put a couple of pillows and blankets on my heated car seats?
Regardless of whether your heated car seats have seat covers or not, it is not recommended to put pillows, blankets, and even piles of clothes on top of them. You should not put anything on your seats that insulate against heat.
Again, seat covers designed for heated seats are generally fire-resistant while still maintaining a level of breathability so air can still circulate – through over insulation can damage the internal components over time.
Do I always need to have a full set of car seats?
No, you don’t. You can cover the seats at the back and leave the front seats on their authentic leather interiors or vice versa. It all depends on your preference.
Does the seat cover impact the effectiveness of heated seats?
It does have minimal impact on the effectiveness of heated seats because it slightly reduces the warmth that your seats can provide. The percentage of decrease, though, is very minimal and can barely be noticed.
When you put seat covers over your car seats, expect that the total warmth that your heated seats provide would be reduced.
It is an excellent recommendation to use seat covers during the summer but remove them during the winter season so you can get the most heat transfer.
You can always use seat covers for your heated seats. Just be conscious of the seat cover materials and make sure that it is 100% designed for your specific car model.
Your heated seats should still function without any issues, even with a seat cover on them. As shown above, neoprene makes for a good, safe, and reliable material to look for when finding covers for heated seats.
You should not worry about it catching fire or your heated seats being damaged because your seats deal with more heat when parked at the grocery’s parking lot during summer than it will be with a protective covering.
If you are still doubtful, don’t be afraid to consult your owners manual or contact your vehicle dealership for more information.