Heated car seats are very comfortable and functional, but they can be pretty expensive. Fortunately, there is a fairly decent alternative to heated seats – heated car seat covers.
Although heated seat covers aren’t as functional as heated seats and often do not look good, they are very pocket-friendly, which matters to the average car owner more than design and function.
If this applies to you and if you are looking for a heated seat cover, then our roundup of the 5 best heated car seat covers may be able to help you. We’ll have an in-depth look at what each of the car seat heaters offers, and we’ll also glance over a few key things that you should be mindful of with heated seat covers.
5 Best Heated Car Seat Covers
This car seat heater by Relief Expert seems like a good option for areas with harsher winters.
The temperature range in this heated car seat cover is 107-120 degrees Fahrenheit, which is pretty hot. These temperatures would probably work well if your car gets cold, but if it’s just chilly, you may want to instead get a heated cover that allows the temps to go lower.
The Relief Expert car seat heater has 3 heat settings, which isn’t too many, but it’s enough for the allowed temperature range. The warmup here is quick as well – just 1-2 minutes.
What’s remarkable about this heated car seat cover is that it has separate seat and back heating zones, and each of these zones has 3 heating settings. This feature will make this car seat heater a little more flexible when it comes to temperature control.
Aside from that, the Relief Expert seat heater has timed auto-shutoff, and you can adjust the amount of time after which the heating elements turn off – 30, 60, or 90 minutes. And like many car seat heaters, this model has an overheating safety shutoff.
One last thing that you may like about this car seat heater is that it’s very thin and narrow. It should thus fit a lot of car seat shapes and sizes, and it won’t add too much cushioning to your seat.
- Heats the seat and back separately.
- 3 heat settings.
- Fast warmup.
- 30/60/90-minute shutoff.
- Overheating safety shutoff.
- Very thin and narrow.
If you’d like a little more cushioned car seat heater, then this car seat cushion by COMFIER may be a good option.
This heated car seat cushion has a little bit of padding in it, so it may make your car seat a little more comfortable. Besides, it’s designed to occupy the entire width of your seat, which should allow for added comfort and perhaps better heat distribution across your entire back and bottom.
The temperatures here are on the higher end – 114 degrees on the low and 131 degrees on the high setting. This thing is also claimed to heat up in just 1 minute.
With this in mind, the COMFIER heated car seat cover should be a very good option for very harsh climates.
In terms of safety, the COMFIER heated car seat cover has a 30-minute auto-shutoff, as well as a high-temperature shutoff. These are typical but necessary things in heated car seat covers. Aside from that, COMFIER claims that this heated car seat cover is compliant with UL standards.
The main downside of this car seat heater is the limited temperature settings – you are just getting two settings, the ones which we mentioned above. The temperatures here get pretty warm as well, which is why we think that the COMFIER seat heater is best for use in very cold areas where the cover’s temperatures won’t be too hot.
- Adds some additional cushioning to your seat.
- Occupies the entire seat width.
- Quick heat-up.
- 30-minute auto-shutoff.
- Built to meet UL standards.
- High-temperature shutoff.
- May get too warm for some people’s liking.
- Limited temperature adjustment.
If you want something a little fancier, then this heated car seat cover by Fochutech may be a pretty interesting option.
Remarkably, this car seat cover is able to not only warm you in winter but also cool you in summer. The back and bottom portions of this cover have 4 fans each, and thanks to the breathable fabric, the built-in fans could make driving in summer a little more comfortable.
In terms of heating, the Fochutech seat cover is decent, but it definitely could be better. This thing only has one heat setting, but the temperature range here is claimed to be from 86 to 140 degrees Fahrenheit.
Since you can’t control the temperature directly, we assume that you could lower the temperatures by running the built-in fans, which have 3 settings. Or, you’ll have to turn the seat off once it gets too hot.
So it seems that this seat has been designed primarily for summer and that heating is kind of secondary in it. With that said, it should still work well for winter, especially if it’s very cold in your area.
Interestingly, the Fochutech heated car seat cover also has 2 vibration motors to massage your lumbar and bottom areas. We can’t claim that this feature will make long rides more comfortable, but it’s probably worth a try.
For safety, this car seat heater shuts off once it reaches 140 degrees Fahrenheit. Once the temperatures go down to 86 degrees, the heater will turn back on.
The seat material here is claimed to be fireproof as well. As for timed auto-shutoff, we’re not sure whether this seat cover has it or not.
Fochutech also offers this heated cover in a double-seated configuration where two seats are powered via a single cigarette plug. With the double variant, you could heat the driver and front passenger seats simultaneously.
And last but not least, the Fochutech car seat heater looks pretty nice. If you pick the color right, it may not even be noticeable that you are using a car seat cover.
- 8 built-in fans for cooling.
- 2 vibrating motors for massage.
- Available in a double-seated configuration.
- Fireproof material.
- High-temp shutoff.
- Looks pretty nice.
- Only 1 heat setting.
If you want to have more control over your cover’s temperatures, then ELUTO’s heated car seat cushion seems like an excellent choice.
The temperature range here is from 70 to 150 degrees Fahrenheit, which should allow for comfortable heating both in mild and harsh colds. What’s even better is that you can control the temperature in this entire range via the + and – buttons on the remote control.
Remarkably, the seat fabric here is also breathable, so you shouldn’t get too hot in your seat while driving.
What may also add to the comfort of this car seat heater is that it’s pretty thin. It’s lightly cushioned, so it shouldn’t change the comfort of your seat too much. This seat cover is narrow as well, so it should work with most car seats out there.
You are also allowed to adjust the auto-shutoff – you may set it to either 30 or 60 minutes. For extra safety, you are also getting overheating protection, as well as flame-retardant seat fabric.
ELUTO also claims that this seat heater is compliant with CE ROHS standards, which may matter to those living in the EU.
What we dislike about this car seat heater is that it takes 3-5 minutes to heat up to the selected temperature, probably depending on the selected heat setting. With that said, ELUTO claims that you’ll feel the heat in about a minute after turning this thing on.
- Very wide temperature range.
- 30/60-minute auto-shutoff.
- Overheating protection.
- Breathable and flame-retardant seat fabric.
- Pretty thin and narrow.
- Somewhat long warmup.
Finally, we have this heated car seat cushion by YANWEN. This seat heater is very similar to the COMFIER heater pad we’ve overviewed earlier.
Both car seat heaters have 2 temperature settings, which should make both covers decent choices for cold winters. The temperature range here is a pretty wide 80-140 degrees Fahrenheit though, so you’re getting little control relative to the temperatures you are getting.
Like the COMFIER cushion, the YANWEN car seat heater provides some additional cushioning to your seat. It is also designed to occupy the entire width of your seat, which should allow for more even heating and increased comfort.
Interestingly, this car seat heater is claimed to have pressure-activated shutoff – once you get out of the seat, it turns off automatically. On the other hand, YANWEN doesn’t mention overheating protection, so we can’t say how it is in this thing.
Aside from the relatively limited temperature control, what we don’t really like about this seat is that it has a 3-5-minute warmup time. It probably gets warm enough in just about a minute, but you may have to wait a bit longer for it to get desirably warm.
- Occupies the entire width of the seat.
- Provides some additional cushioning to your seat.
- Stops heating when you get out of the seat.
- Fairly limited temperature adjustment.
- Relatively long heat-up time.
Why Buy A Heated Car Seat Cover?
When it comes to car seat heaters, you have two main options – heated covers and integrated heaters that go under the seat trim.
Generally, built-in heaters are much more functional than seat covers. Aside from that, they alter the appearance of the car interior minimally, which may matter to some people.
However, for many people, a heated car seat cover is going to be a more reasonable option. Most importantly, heated seat covers are much easier to install and do not cost as much as built-in heaters.
Before buying anything, we strongly suggest that you research built-in heaters as well. Then, consider buying a heated seat cover only if you do not need the functional benefits offered by built-in heaters.
Things To Look For In A Heated Car Seat Cover
If you want to spend your money right, then you should be very careful when picking a car seat heater.
When it comes to comfort, every detail is important in heated car seat covers. Besides, when dealing with heat, you will also need to think about safety.
With this in mind, we’d like to talk about the important features of car seat heaters in more detail.
The most important thing to consider in a heated car seat cover is the temperature adjustment range. This is actually not only a matter of comfort but also a matter of safety.
But let’s start with comfort.
Less functional car seat heaters will only have 2 or even just one heating setting to choose from. Depending on how wide the temperature range is, a car seat heater with so few settings could get uncomfortably hot or cold.
This doesn’t mean that you can’t make such seat heaters work – you could temporarily turn on the hottest setting and turn it off when you feel that the cover has gotten too hot for your liking.
More advanced car seat heaters will have more heat settings to choose from, or maybe will even allow you to choose any temperature from the supported temperature range. If you find such a seat cover and if you like its features, then it would be an ideal choice.
Aside from comfort, you’ll also have to think about safety. Burns are fairly likely if you allow your car seat heater to get too hot. Even though car seat heaters do usually have overheating shutoff, they get uncomfortably warm long before reaching the max temperature.
With this in mind, you have two options – you should either get a car seat heater with precise temperature adjustment and set the right temperature, or you get a more limited car seat and turn the heating off as soon as you feel uncomfortably warm.
Heated car seat covers usually have pretty adequate warmup time. Of course, the quicker your heated cover warms up, the better. But if you do not need your heated cover to warm up your seat nearly instantly, then you may ignore this feature – there’s no need to overpay for it.
However, if every minute is important to you or if you don’t want to wait for the seat heater to warm up during harsh winter cold, then pay attention to the warmup time of the desired heated seat cover.
Car seat heaters typically have just one heating zone – that is, they don’t allow you to separately adjust the seat and the back. For most people, seat heaters with a single heating zone will be adequate.
If you want a little more flexible temperature adjustment and increased comfort, then consider looking for a seat cover with two or more heating zones, like the Relief Expert car seat heater.
The primary purpose of a heated car seat cover is to keep you warm in winter. Cushioning and padding usually aren’t the most important things to look for in a car seat heater. However, if you are unsatisfied with the cushioning of your car seat, you may give cushioned car seat heaters a shot.
If your seat’s cushioning seems okay, then you may want to get a thinner car seat heater with minimal cushioning. Any additional cushioning could negatively impact the comfort of your seat, and though some people prefer to have more padding, if your seat is perfectly okay, don’t get a seat heater with too much cushioning.
Your car seat heater should fit your car seat well. Otherwise, it will simply be uncomfortable.
As you could have noticed from our reviews, car seat heaters can be pretty narrow, and they can also be designed to fit the entire width of the car seat. Which one to go for will depend on the shape of your seat and the design of the seat heater.
If your car seat has a flat design, then it should be able to work with a car seat heater of any width. However, if your car seat is deep, then you would want to get a narrower heating pad. Usually, wide car seat heaters aren’t designed for deep seats, so they will not be comfortable with them.
Massaging isn’t essential in heated seat covers – it doesn’t add anything to the heating capability of the cover. However, if you don’t feel comfortable in your car seat during long rides, then you may want to get a heated cover that can do massage – massage may be able to relieve your aches.
When shopping for a heated with massage capabilities, pay attention to where the vibrating motors are located and how many settings the massaging feature has.
Since you are dealing with heat, safety is exceptionally important in car seat heaters.
There are two safety features that you should be looking for in a heated car seat cover:
- Timed auto-shutoff. This feature will automatically turn the heating off after some time. Typically, it’s 30 minutes.
- If your rides will be longer, then pick a heated seat cover that has a longer shutoff time, or a cover that allows you to adjust the shutoff period. You don’t want the heater to turn off while you are on the road.
- More advanced seat heaters may even turn off when they sense no pressure.
- Overheating protection. This feature will shut off the heating elements if the temperature gets too high.
These two safety features will be very useful especially for first-time users – not used to turning off a car seat heater every time when getting out of the car, you may occasionally forget to do so during the first few days or weeks of use.
Car seat heaters are traditionally powered via the car cigarette lighter port. For most people, this power option will be convenient enough, and they won’t need to look for anything else.
If you have any special needs, then be sure that the desired car seat heater has what you need. E.g. if you need a USB-powered seat heater, then check whether the desired model has a USB connector or whether you can buy one separately.
Or if you want to buy two car seat heaters, then you may want to look for a combo of two seat covers that are powered via a single cigarette lighter plug, just like it is in the Fochutech Heated Car Seat Cover.
Can Car Seat Heaters Be Dangerous?
Although heated car seat covers are pretty safe to use, there are some safety hazards that you will need to keep in mind. More precisely, there are two major safety hazards in car seat heaters:
When it comes to electricity, upon receiving and periodically while using the product, you should check the condition of its wiring. No wires should be frayed or miss insulation. Insulation is particularly sensitive to cold, so throughout harsh winters, inspect it before turning your car seat heater on.
Heat is also a problem. In fact, it can be a problem even in intact car seat heaters. Specifically, if your car seat heater has limited temperature adjustment, it may get too hot for your comfort and safety.
If your car seat heater doesn’t allow for much control over the temperature, then you may want to turn it off occasionally to prevent it from getting too hot. But ideally, your car seat heater should allow you to flexibly adjust the temperature to avoid any issues and ensure better comfort.
Make an effort to buy the best heated car seat cover you can. If this means that you’ll have to wait a bit to save money for a better heater, then do so if your situation allows.
Deeply research each of the overviewed heated seat covers – there may be a few things important to you that we missed. And finally, don’t scrimp on a heated seat cover – a good heater will not only keep you comfy but will also ensure your safety.