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How to Choose the Best Car Seat Protector

How to Choose the Best Car Seat Protector

Are you looking to get a new car seat protector? If so, we’ve got you COVERED!

There’s lots to think about when choosing the best seat protector for your vehicle, so check out this guide and learn about the different types of car seat protectors available, and how to choose one that’s right for you.

But first, ask yourself these questions...

Do I Need a Car Seat Protector?

why you need a car seat protector

There’s lots of reasons to buy a car seat’s just a few:

  • Protect your car from sweat, grime and odors after a workout
  • Keep your car or truck seat dry and clean so you can retain its resale value
  • Avoid spills and stains from your child
  • Keep odors out of your car
  • Protect your vehicle from grass, mud, and other nastiness after outdoor activities

Most people buy seat protectors because they have a young child, a pet (usually a dog) or they get messy, dirty or sweaty themselves, and there are different types of products for each of these.

What Kind of Car Seat Protectors are There?

Car Seat Protectors for Children, Infants and Babies

Seat protectors that are built for kids car seats are designed to be spill-proof, durable, and stable. You need all of these so that milk, juice or other liquids don’t get through the seat protector and onto your seat. Who wants to pull cereal crumbs out of their car seat or floor board at the end of a long day???

Durability is important because a child’s car seat can be tough on the seats of your vehicle. Having a rubber or other tough material can protect your seat from the car seat itself.

Stability is important so that the protector doesn’t move around at all. Kids can be squirmy at the most unexpected times, especially during a long drive, so getting a stable seat protector should be a requirement if you’re going to use it with a child.

Here’s an example of a car seat protector built for child car seats:

Car Seat Protectors for Pets and Dogs

Traveling with your best friend is a requirement for most dog lovers, but the hair and other gunk left in your vehicle can be a pain.

It doesn’t have to be this way.

There are lots of car seat protectors built for dogs and other pets that can keep your vehicle clean, no matter how hairy your pet is.

What should you look for when choosing a pet seat protector for your vehicle?

seat protectors for pets

Easy to clean

We all know that even the cleanest of animals can leave behind hair, slobber or other nastiness, especially when they’re puppies or get older.

You’ll want a seat protector that is easy to clean so you can get the hair and any other stains out of it. Machine washable is best, but if nothing else make sure you can spot clean it with a fabric cleaner.

Just remember that unless it’s machine washable, getting smells and odors out of the product is going to be tough.


Does your dog get in the back seat, lay down, and stay there the entire road trip? If so, you’re lucky!

Most pups like to move around, look out the window and check in on their human parents. All of that movement can disrupt a seat protector unless it’s on their tight and is super stable.

Non-slip backing + straps to keep it in place are good things to look for when reviewing pet seat protectors.

Water resistant/proof

Do you give your pets a drink while they’re in the car? If so, you can be sure some of that water is going to spill onto your seat.

Even if you don’t give your dog a drink in the car, slobber and other bodily fluids are likely to get onto your car seat unless it’s protected properly, so make sure any product you buy is going to repel and/or prevent liquid from seeping through to your car seat.

An old blanket or towel just isn’t going to cut it when it comes to fully protecting your vehicle from liquids and other funky stuff.

Stain resistant/proof

Accidents happen to the best of us (and our furry friends) and even without the typical “spill” dogs, cats and other pets can leave behind unwanted stains.

That’s why you’ll want to make sure you get a stain resistant (or even better, stain-proof) seat protector so that you can remove the nastiness whenever you need to.

Here's a video showing one car seat protector for dogs and pets:

Car Seat Protectors for Adults and Older Children

Seat protectors for adults and older kids are perfect for people who work out, enjoy the outdoors, play sports, go to the beach, work in a messy job, or just want to keep their car or truck clean fresh and clean for whatever life throws at them.

Depending on your lifestyle, you’ll want to consider these features of any seat protector for your vehicle:

How do you clean it?

If you compete in Spartan Races throughout the summer and go hunting and fishing during the winter, you’re gonna be hauling some dirt and mud into your vehicle. Because of this, you’ll want to make have a machine washable car seat cover. Otherwise those trips down to the river to wash and scrub your seat cover is gonna take up more time than your training.

If you’re a soccer Mom or Dad who has kids getting in your vehicle with grass stains and dirt all of them, throwing a seat protector in the washing machine is much easier than trying to hand wash it or spot clean it yourself.

Universal vs Custom fit

Do you want a seat protector that is a perfect fit for your vehicle, or are you happy with something that is meant to fit most cars and trucks?

Custom fit seat protectors will cost more money, and take a much longer time to install and remove, but they will fit very snug.

Just know that if you’re getting a seat protector and intend to wash it every few weeks or even every couple months, most custom fit seat protectors will require lots of time to uninstall and reinstall each time.

Universal fit car seat covers are typically easy to install, quick to remove, and fit most cars and trucks.

How long do car seat protectors last?

If you’re looking for a seat protector to keep your vehicle clean after the one and only outdoor adventure you’re ever going to have in your life, you may want to look into a disposable seat cover, or a garbage bag that you can repurpose.

For most of us, though, living an active lifestyle means that you’ll be using your seat protector throughout the year, so you’ll want to purchase a product that is built to last.

When researching the seat protector that is right for you, inspect the materials and the build of it to ensure the quality is what you’re looking for. After all, it doesn’t make sense to buy the cheapest seat protector you can find if you have to replace it every few months because it falls apart.

This is where online reviews can help you understand if the product you’re planning to purchase is worth the money.

What to Look For in a Car Seat Protector?

what to look for in a car seat protector

Like anything you buy, you’ll want to find a car seat protector that is tailored to your lifestyle. Here’s how you can find the right one:

  • Durability. Is it built to last, or are you looking for a product that only needs to make it through a season?
  • Washability. Can you get away with spot-cleaning your seat protector, or do you want to be able to throw it in the washing machine and have it come up good as new?
  • Styling. There’s a seat protector that can fit most any lifestyle. Make sure you’re buying something that you’re happy to keep in your vehicle, otherwise you’ll hesitate to use it and that will defeat the whole purpose. It makes sense to invest more for a product you’ll be proud to use.
  • Price. Car seat protectors vary a ton in price. Seat protectors for kids range from $20 to $50, for pets between $30 and $150, and for people between $30 and $150. Remember that you get what you pay for, and lots of inexpensive seat protectors are lower in quality than more expensive ones.
  • Universal vs custom fit vs semi-universal. Some seat protectors are custom fit to your vehicle. These products are usually more expensive than universal fit, and can take a long time to install. Universal fit car seat protectors are easier to install but won’t fit as perfectly as custom. Semi-universal seat protectors are meant to fit specific styles of car or truck seats, for example bucket seat or bench seats.

Where Can I Buy a Car Seat Protector?

Car seat protectors can be found in traditional brick and mortar stores, online marketplaces like, and directly through brand store websites.

Choosing the best place to purchase your seat protector depends on a few things:

where to buy a car seat protector


If you need a seat protector today, then you’ll want to drive to brick and mortar store to purchase your product in person. If you can wait a couple days, Amazon offers 2 day shipping for Prime members, and many online retailers offer shipping within a few business days as well.

For seat protectors for children, you can try stores that cater to parents, for example Bed Bath and Beyond and Buy Buy Baby.

For pets, Petco and Petsmart usually have a couple seat protectors in store.

For adults, Autozone, Walmart and Target usually have a few products to choose from. Just remember that the selection won’t be anything close to what you find online, and it’s harder to see reviews of products that you can buy in the store.


Brick and mortar stores like Walmart usually offer the best pricing, but that means the products they sell aren’t of the highest caliber. Buying from a brand directly online can get you the best deal at the best price, and you’ll know that you’re supporting a smaller business that way.

Customer service

Online reviews are one of the best ways to see how a company treats their customers. Before you buy any product, make sure to visit the company’s website and see what people are saying about the products. The best way to know how you can expect to be treated as a customer is to see what other customers have said about their experience with that brand.

Best Car Seat Protectors

We wanted to save you some of the legwork of doing all the research yourself, so we’re bringing you some of the best car seat covers for adults, children and pets. Check these out.

For Kids

Brica Car Seat Protector

The Brica Car Seat protector is a top-rated seat protector for children's car seats. It features non-slip grips to keep it in place, a rear facing kick mat, and a durable "grime guard" that protects your car's fabric. 

brica car seat protector for kids


Car Seat Protector by Baby Caboodle

The Baby Caboodle car seat protector features an easy-to-tighten strap attaches to the head-rest, and rubber backing grips the seat to hold it in place. The seat protector also includes pockets to hold some of your child's favorite items - a water bottle, snacks or tissues can all be stored in them. 

car seat protector for kids - under car seat

Car Seat Protector by Lusso Gear

The Lusso Gear car seat protector for children car seats won't slide or slip because of the adjustable safety straps that will tie the cover securely to the headrest. Made from PVC leather, the Lusso car seat cover prevents damage from beverages or food spills thanks to its water-resistant nature. 

car seat protector for children - thick padding

For Pets

Orvis Windowed Hammock Seat Protector $159

The Orvis Windowed Hammock seat protector features a centered mesh panel on this microfiber hammock to a viewing window between you and your dog, and allows for the passage of cool air and heat between the front dash and the backseat.

The protector is water resistant and breathable, and stays securely in place (even as your dog gets in and out of the vehicle). 

orvis dog car seat protector

Orvis Field Collection Hammock Seat Protector $149

The Orvis Field Collection hammock seat protector is made of durable cotton twill and features a cotton corduroy sleep surface that keeps your dog comfortable on the way home from a long day on the hunt.

The full-coverage hammock keeps the entire backseat area clean and dry—trapping dog hair, dirt, mud, and moisture and keeping it off of your car seats and floor (while protecting your car's upholstery from sharp toenails).

The streamlined design makes this protector incredibly easy to install and remove as needed—it attaches quickly and easily to the front and rear headrests with adjustable nylon straps and side-release buckles. 

orvis dog - brown car seat protector


4Knine Truck Bench Seat Protector: $139.99

The 4Knine seat protector for dogs was designed with the truck owner in mind, specifically for Ford F-series, Chevy Silverado, GMC Sierra, and Toyota Tundra crew cab trucks. This cover allows you to use all the features of your crew cab's rear seat while keeping the cover in place.

The non-slip backing and deep seat pockets ensure the cover stays in place. Our colorfast, high-temp rated materials will not damage your seat.

4knines dog car seat protector for pets

For Adults and Older Kids

Dry Rub Mild 

The Dry Rub® Mild car seat protector was designed for athletes and active people. It provides a breathable, sweat-proof barrier between you and your seat so you can avoid post-workout stank and keep your car or truck smelling fresh and clean.

Dry Rub products are different than most seat covers because of the quality, styling and comfort. 

It's machine washable, a universal fit, and installs in seconds.  

car seat protector - dry rub mild

Dry Rub Medium 

Runners, CrossFitters, Obstacle Course Racers and Surfers all agree - the Dry Rub® Medium waterproof car seat cover is the ULTIMATE in sweat, stain and moisture protection for your car or truck seat. Featuring an extended seat skirt for extra protection and seat anchor for additional stability, Dry Rub Medium will keep your vehicle fresh and clean, even after the toughest workout or race.

When your Dry Rub Medium gets funky, just throw it in the washing machine and it will be ready for your next adventure or workout in no time. 

car seat protector - dry rub medium black blue

Dry Rub Spicy 

Along with protecting your car or truck seat from sweat and post-workout stank (finally your friends can stop wondering what died in your car), the Dry Rub Spicy Trigger Point Massage System comes with 4 Trigger Point Balls designed to release trigger points, increase blood flow and relax tight muscles while you drive.

Spicy is easy to use - simply insert the Trigger Point Massage Ball into the Pocket System wherever you're tight, and let the pressure melt away any aches and pains.  

car seat protector - dry rub spicy black red

What Now?

Now you know why it's important to protect your car or truck seat.

You also know the different types of car seat protectors available. Choose the product that's best for you, because investing in seat protection can save you lots of headaches, spills, stains, smells and money down the road. 

If you want to check out other products available, you can see our guide to the best car seat covers with a review of 10 popular seat covers. 


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