In this article, we’ll cover everything you need to know about universal car seat covers, including:
- What are universal car seat covers?
- Benefits of using universal covers
- Features to look for when shopping
- Material and color options
- How to install universal covers
- Top brands and reviews
- Frequently asked questions
Let’s get started!
What Are Universal Car Seat Covers?
Universal car seat covers are designed to fit most car seats, regardless of the make and model. They come in a “one size fits most” style to stretch and conform to your existing car seats.
Universal covers are made of stretchy, elastic materials. This allows them to fit snugly over the seat without any gaps. The elastic also helps the covers stay in place once installed.
These covers are an easy, affordable way to:
- Protect your car seats from spills, stains, rips, and everyday wear and tear
- Keep your car interior clean and free of crumbs and debris
- Refresh old, worn car seats and give them a new look
Benefits of Using Universal Car Seat Covers
There are many benefits to using universal car seat covers:
- Protection – The covers protect your car seats from food crumbs, juice spills, dirt, pet hair, and more. Babies and kids can really do a number on your car seats! The covers keep your seats looking cleaner and newer.
- Easy to install – Universal seat covers easily stretch and slip over most car seats, without any special tools or hardware needed. Installation only takes a few minutes.
- Affordable – Buying a custom-fit seat cover for each of your car seats can get pricey. Universal covers offer protection and customization at a fraction of the price.
- Customization – Universal covers come in a wide variety of colors, patterns, and materials. You can choose covers to match your car’s interior or your personal style.
- Versatility – One set of universal covers can move from car to car as you upgrade vehicles. They can also be used on an older child’s booster seat when the time comes.
- Comfort – Some covers provide extra padding and cushioning for added comfort on long rides. Others are made with cooling materials to prevent seats from getting too hot.
Features to Look for When Shopping
When browsing for universal car seat covers, keep an eye out for these helpful features:
- Stretchy fabric – Covers made with spandex, Lycra, elastic, or other stretchy fabrics will fit most car seats snugly. Avoid loose or baggy covers that can shift around.
- Front and back coverage – Full coverage options that protect both the seat bottom and the seatback are best. Some covers only attach at the headrest.
- Pocket storage – Handy pockets sewn into the covers let you store small toys, snacks, electronics, and other items for easy access while driving.
- Machine washable – Check that the seat covers can be removed and tossed in the washing machine for easy cleaning.
- Seat belt slots – Covers with openings or slots for the seat belt buckles allow kids to stay buckled in safely. Make sure the slots align correctly.
- Non-slip backing – Grippier backings on the covers help keep them from slipping and sliding around on leather or vinyl seats.
- Headrest straps – Straps that attach around the headrests provide a more secure fit and keep the covers from sagging or gaping open.
Material and Color Options for Universal Covers
One benefit of universal seat covers is the wide range of available materials and colors. Here are some top options:
- Polyester – Lightweight, breathable, and affordable. Stands up well to washing.
- Faux leather – Has the high-end look of leather at a lower price point. Easy to wipe clean.
- Neoprene – Comfortable, insulating material that is waterproof and protective.
- Cotton – Natural fiber that is super soft against skin. Requires more frequent washing.
- Sheepskin – Plush covers that regulate temperature and add comfort. Need occasional professional cleaning.
- Black – Matches any car interior and hides dirt well.
- Gray – A versatile neutral that complements most interiors.
- Tan or beige – Great for light-colored interiors and darker accents.
- Bold patterns – Choose vibrant colors or fun patterns for a stylish look.
- Screen prints – Kids love covers with their favorite characters, animals or designs.
Pick materials and colors suited to your climate, car, and personal tastes. Mix and match to customize each seat!
How to Install Universal Car Seat Covers
Putting on universal car seat covers is a quick and simple process. Here are the basic installation steps:
- Remove any existing seat covers and thoroughly clean your car seats. Vacuum up any debris or crumbs.
- Lay the new seat cover over the seat bottom. Attach any elastic straps or buckles underneath the seat as marked.
- For the seat back, open up any velcro flaps and slip the cover over the top of the seat. Pull the cover smooth across the seat back.
- For covers with headrest straps, wrap the straps securely around the headrests. Tighten so the cover fits snugly.
- Thread the seat belt buckles through the appropriate slots or openings in the cover.
- Attach the elastic edging around the bottom and sides of the seat. The elastic should fit tightly with no gaps.
- Adjust the cover as needed so it lays flat and smooth. Check that no sharp seat springs or hardware poke through.
- Do a final safety check that seat belt openings align properly and straps are tight. Enjoy your fresh new seat covers!
With the right universal covers, installation is quick, easy, and tool-free. Follow any specific instructions from the manufacturer as well.
Top Brands and Reviews of Universal Covers
Many brands now offer their own take on universal car seat covers. Here are reviews of some top, well-rated options:
Brica Seat Guardian Car Seat Protector
- Price – $20
- Material – Dual-layer fabric with waterproof backing
- Ratings – 4.5 out of 5 stars with over 5,000 reviews on Amazon
- Review – Super easy installation and very sturdy construction. The dual-layer fabric stands up to heavy use by kids. Fits most seats well and really protects against spills and messes. Great quality for the low price.
Lebogner Car Seat Protector 2-Pack
- Price – $25
- Material – 600D polyester with waterproof coating
- Ratings – 4.6 out of 5 stars with over 2,500 reviews on Amazon
- Review – Fits perfectly on most seats and stays firmly in place. Very affordable 2-pack that offers full front and back seat protection. Machine washable and durable even after multiple washes. Excellent for families with kids.
Copap Universal Fit Seat Covers in Multiple Colors
- Price – $18-$25
- Material – Stretchy polyester and spandex blend
- Ratings – 4.3 out of 5 stars with over 4,000 reviews on Amazon
- Review – Super stretchy fabric hugs seats tightly and conforms to almost any size or shape. Available in 19+ color/pattern options. Very lightweight and breathable. A top pick for a basic but effective universal cover.
SHEEP LEATHERCO Extra Thick Sheepskin Seat Covers
- Price – $99
- Material – Genuine sheepskin shearling
- Ratings – 4.8 out of 5 stars with over 1,200 reviews on Amazon
- Review – For those looking for a serious luxury upgrade, these plush sheepskin covers provide amazing comfort and temperature control. Easy to install and they hold up extremely well over time. A worthwhile splurge.
Frequently Asked Questions About Universal Covers
Here are answers to some common questions about universal car seat covers:
Are car seat covers universal?
Can you just buy any cover and expect it to fit? No, they are not. Car seat covers are not designed to fit all car seats, they are designed to fit specific makes and models of vehicle seats.
Are universal car seat covers safe to use?
Yes, as long as you install them correctly leaving openings for the seat belt buckles to fit through properly. Avoid very thick or plush covers that make it hard to securely buckle kids into seats.
How well do universal covers really fit most car seats?
The stretchier the material, the better it will conform to different seats. Higher quality universal covers fit tightly with minimal gaps. Always check for secure straps and tight elastic edges for the safest fit.
Can I put universal covers in the washing machine?
Most universal covers can be removed and machine washed. Check labels for washing instructions. Avoid putting in the dryer, allow to air dry.
Are universal covers hard to put on and take off car seats?
No, universal covers are intentionally designed for quick and easy installation. Most just slip over the seat and attach with elastic straps or edges. Installation takes just a few minutes.
How often should I wash my universal car seat covers?
During potty training or with frequent spills, wash every 1-2 weeks. Otherwise, wash monthly or whenever they look dirty. Spot clean messes right away as needed with a damp cloth.
What’s the best material for car seat covers?
It depends on your needs. Polyester is affordable, easy to clean, and durable. Faux leather resists liquids. Cotton is very soft but harder to clean. Sheepskin offers luxury comfort and temperature control.
Should I get a seat cover or a seat protector mat?
Seat covers offer more complete protection for the entire seat. Mats just cover the bottom cushion. Get covers if you want to protect headrests, seat backs, and sides from damage too.
Give Your Car Seats Some TLC with Universal Covers
As you can see, universal car seat covers offer an easy and affordable way to refresh your car’s interior while protecting your seats.
The right covers keep spills and messes away from your upholstery, helping maintain your seats in like-new condition. They also give you the flexibility to customize the look and feel of your car’s seating.
We hope this overview helps you pick the perfect set of universal covers for your needs and budget! Protect your car seats and enjoy the ride with fresh, clean seat covers.