Albo logo
Phone icon
car seat material

By Irene Vanina


Irina Vanina, a dedicated professional with over 20 years of expertise, established her company driven by a profound love for her craft. Specializing in handmade leather shoes and artisanal products, she leads a family-owned business that embodies meticulous attention to detail and a joyful approach.

Upholstery Advice

5 Car Seat Material Types

Table of Content

Likely the area that gets the most use in your car and contributes most significantly to the style and comfort of your vehicle is the car seats. From clean beige interiors to sleek black and pops of red, your car seat material does a lot for your car's experience, but with that daily love comes a bit of wear and tear.

For many, the material of car seats can be a make or break factor when choosing a vehicle. From the texture and comfort, to how easy it is to clean with kids or pets, the various car seat material types are essential to your car's overall feel.

From leather and vinyl to faux leather, polyester, and Alcantara, there's a wide range of types of car seat materials to choose from. Whether you want to make your car's interior more "you", or your seats are in need of repair, our team at Albo Restoration is proud to offer our services to restore your auto upholstery to its initial or preferred look.

To better understand the various types of car seat materials for your car upholstery, we are breaking down the pros and cons of each below.

1. Leather

car seat material types

When it comes to the car seat material most commonly used in a premium or luxury vehicle, leather car seats are the go-to.

Leather seats are one of the most common car seat materials for a reason. The leather look is perfect for luxury vehicles, with a versatile finish that suits a wide range of car seat types and styles. Common in both everyday and luxury cars, leather upholstery offers a luxurious feel, with major durability benefits. Equipped to handle the wear and tear of everyday use, real leather seats have all the durability, style, and comfort many drivers want.


  • A leather seat gives your car a luxurious look.
  • Leather car seats are visually appealing.
  • A leather seat is durable.
  • The leather material is easy to maintain with the right cleaning products.


  • Leather materials require routine maintenance to last longer.
  • In the case of wear and tear, repairing leather is more challenging.
  • A leather car seat can absorb heat in the summer.

2. Vinyl

Another common material used for car upholstery is vinyl. A popular car seat material, vinyl is an ideal option for car owners as it is easy to clean and maintain. Typically, vinyl seats come in a number of different colors, making them a great option for a range of different vehicles, whether for commercial or private use. Vinyl car seats are very durable and offer a unique fabric finish that stands out from other car seat materials.


  • Vinyl car seats are an attention grabber.
  • This seat material is cheaper, saving money while offering a leathery look.
  • Vinyl seat materials are stain resistant and easy to maintain.
  • Some are made of recycled plastic for an environmentally-friendly option.


  • Vinyl car seats may look similar to leather, but they do not hold up as well.
  • A vinyl car seat can absorb heat, so in the summer, the car seat material feels quite hot.

3. Faux Leather

types of car seat materials

Another of the top contenders for best car seat material is faux leather. This faux seat material, also referred to as "leatherette", is a synthetic material made to look and feel like leather, but at a lower price.

Faux leather is a common material used as it offers good durability, is easy to clean, and is resistant to wear. That being said, faux leather is not very breathable, so it will feel hot when it's hot and cold when it's cold.

With a beautiful and comfortable finish, leatherette is a budget-friendly choice for those that want a cost-effective yet durable car seat that has better cushioning than vinyl seats. Plus, it's free of harsh chemicals that can be irritants to the skin.


  • Faux leather is one of the more durable fabric options.
  • It's dust resistant, preventing dust mites and making it easier to clean than real leather.
  • Faux leather is water resistant.


  • It's not breathable compared to genuine leather, which can make the car hotter on warm days.
  • Easier to puncture than other materials.

4. Polyester

different types of car seat materials

Polyester is another of the best material options and is one of the most commonly used materials on the market. This synthetic fiber is processed into a number of different fabrics and is commonly found woven or knit into different textures. This fabric upholstery comes in quite a few colors, too, perfect for a range of types of car seat styles.

It is popular as it is a very durable fabric that is easy to clean. Resistant to daily wear and tear, and with a stain-resistant, waterproof, and breathable finish, these fabric car seats are great for those anticipating a few accidents and spills in their car.


  • Polyester cloth seats are a cheap material.
  • The material is lightweight.
  • It's a good alternative to leather.
  • A polyester vehicle's interior is waterproof.


  • It absorbs odors.
  • It can be stained easily.

5. Alcantara (Ultrasuede)

what material are car seats made of

Alcantara, or ultrasuede, is a type of polyester fabric that is soft to the touch and offers a plush seat for passenger comfort. Of the different types of car seat fabrics, Alcantara comes in one of the widest ranges of colors, and also offers both a smooth or textured style depending on your preference. The smooth option feels like suede on the skin, and won't harbor bacteria as leather does. Textured fabrics, on the other hand, are ideal for those looking for a rugged look.

In addition, Alcantara is known for its durability and easy maintenance. It can be cleaned with just soap and water for everyday spills and maintenance.


  • It stays cleaner longer than other material options.
  • It doesn't have a smell.
  • It lasts long and is ideal for luxury cars.


  • It can be pricier.
  • It dries slowly after cleaning.

What Factors to Consider When Choosing Car Seat Material?

denim car seat materials

Navigating the different types of car seat materials and trying to figure out what is best for your car can feel daunting, but there are a few factors to consider when making your choice. Before committing to a material, here are some considerations to keep in mind.


Likely at the top of many car owners' minds is cost. The cost of a seat depends largely on the material itself, with some materials costing much more than others. Keep in mind, while some material options will cost more, they may also be known to last longer, saving you money in the long run.


The finest car seats will be made with strong materials designed to withstand daily use and hold up against unwanted accidents. For instance, higher quality options, such as leather seats, will last for years when properly cared for. However, cloth seats are likely to get worn out easily.

Keep in mind that some fabrics are better than others based on your unique needs and preferences. Consider your situation and what your vehicle is being used for to make a better decision.


To maintain fabric and leather, all you need is a damp cloth or a vacuum cleaner. However, the further cleaning needs you have will depend on your situation. Today, many modern-day fabrics are more resistant to stains, making them easier to maintain. However, materials like leather do need special care when cleaning, which is mostly due to the fact that they can get very worn when using harsh cleaning products or brushes.


When deciding on seat material, think about what features. are most important to you and match your style most. Additionally, no matter what appearance goals you have, check that the material is waterproof. This is crucial when buying a seat material to ensure it can last through the years.


No matter what fabric you choose, there are quite a few colors to choose from. Typically, the most popular car seat colors are black, gray, tan, and brown, but there are louder colors available if you choose.

What Car Seat Material Is Right for You?

Ultimately, choosing the best fabric for your vehicle depends on your preferences and needs so you can get the most out of your new seats. No matter if you love faux vinyl or denim car seat materials, there are benefits to each of the seat materials available on the market today.

From what material are car seats made of, to the top choices of car seat material and who they are best for, our team at Albo Restoration is happy to assist you in finding the best fabric for your car's interior. To begin, get a free quote online today.


Does a dark-colored car seat material make your car hotter?

Great question! While darker seat colors can make your seats hotter to the touch, some materials are less breathable and can cause your car to feel hotter. For instance, faux leather is less breathable and thus hotter.

What type of car seat material is most comfortable?

Likely the most comfortable seat material depends on your personal preferences. That being said, Alcantara offers one of the smoother, more plush options for a comfortable car seat finish.

What type of car seat material is better?

There isn't one single material that is better than the rest. In fact, the best material for your car depends on what you are using it for and what kind of wear and tear it will endure. For some, the luxurious finish of leather is the best option, while the durability of Alcantara is preferred by others.

Transform Your Ride, Boat, or Furniture with Expert Custom Upholstery!

Chicago's trusted Auto, Marine & Furniture Custom Upholstery Shop. 10,000+ cars upholstered & repaired. 1-year warranty. Elevate your ride, boat, or furniture with our expert upholstery services. Call us now!

Revamp Your Auto, Marine, and Furniture with Custom Upholstery!

Discover Chicago's premier Custom Upholstery Shop for Auto, Marine, and Furniture. With 10,000+ cars upholstered and repaired, we have the expertise to transform your vehicle. Upgrade your ride, boat, or furniture with our top-quality custom upholstery services with us!

Get a Free Estimate


Background design