Clambering into a cold car on a dark winter morning is never enjoyable. Wouldn’t it be nice to get into your car and feel instantaneous warmth? If you muttered yes, well then you’ll most likely want to consider a heated car seat cover (aka heated car seat cushion). This can heat your body directly, while your vehicle heater heats the air around you. The concentrated heat of a heated car seat cover will make heating up easier and provide more comfort than purely relying on your car’s heater. Your commute or road trip will be much more enjoyable. 

When purchasing your heated car seat cover you’ll want to consider some different features, and take different factors into account. We have created a guide to help buyers understand what to look for in a heated car seat cover. Let’s find you the perfect heated car seat for your needs or desires! So take a seat, and we’ll warm it up in a bit.

The benefits of heated car seat covers


Keeping you and your passengers toasty!

Driving in the cold months can be awful, heated car seats are made to keep you and your passengers warm. It allows for each device to have its own heat settings, so every passenger can enjoy their own temperature desires.


Protecting your car seats!

Constantly getting in and out of your vehicle can eventually cause your seats to become damaged (rips, discolored, etc.). If you purchase a heated car seat cover it will help protect your car seats from wear and tear, and maintain your car seats integrity.


Increasing resale price!

Like above, protecting your car seats can be important for resale value down the road, no one wants to buy a car with a damaged interior. You will save any money spent on heated car seat covers on the eventual resale of your car (plus you can keep the covers after, woo!).


Improving the look of your car!

Many car interiors are boring, or if you have an older or used car then you might already have stained or damaged car seats. A way to spruce up the interior is to get a quality set of heated car seat covers. They come in a variety of designs and colors, you can let your personality shine through your heated seat cushions.


Maintaining your back health!

Sitting in your car for extended periods of time can cause added stress to your back. To enhance lumbar (lower back) support, many heated car seats come with added support for your lower back. This will help keep your back in proper alignment, and help ease any back pain you may have. Heating your back will also soothe muscles or slipped discs.

Let’s talk about features!

Now we have covered the benefits of heated car seats, let’s look at ideal features.

Heating time: We want speed! Quick heating for seat covers is preferential. The standard heating time is generally between 1 to 3 minutes. Aim for something in this region, or you’ll be waiting too long for you seat cover to warm up.

Padding: This may boil down to personal preference, some people prefer more padding, some less and just want the heat. Materials will be different, some are made of velour, others of mesh (breathable), which can increase comfort. If you need lumbar support, look for products that have this in their product descriptions. 

Easy installation: When buying a heated car seat size can matter, there are many varieties of styles and designs available. Some have a larger profile, which will fit more seats. Look for companies/products that are universal in their fit, which will eliminate the need to return based on an unsuitable fit.

Cooling: Wait…what? You’re looking for a heated car seat cover, why would you want cooling? Well a cool feature some covers have is the ability to heat and cool, which changes a car seat into a winter luxury, to a year round luxury! Keeping you cool in summers, no more sweaty back and bum!

Temperature control: Heated car seat covers will either have set temperature ranges, or a dial where you have more control of the exact temperature. Check out the temperature range and controls of the products you are looking at. Generally you will pay more for temperature settings and control. Some cheaper covers will also not warm high enough to provide relief from the cold in extreme winter temperatures.

Auto shut-off: You can get a heated cover with an auto shut-off, which saves you from having to remember to shut off your cover. There are also models where you can adjust the auto shut-off timer settings. Keep this in mind when browsing.

Protection from overheating: Having an inbuilt thermostat should be standard on any reputable brand of heated car seat covers. This is to prevent any safety concerns or overheating. 

Indicator light: There are some heated car seat cushions that come with an indicator light, which lets you know the power status (on/off). This is handy for telling if your cover is on or off without physically touching it.Power type: The vast majority of heated car seat covers will use 12-volt power sockets (cigarette lighter socket). They can be used to power different electronic devices, and most cars have at least one, and newer vehicles feature multiple sockets.

Price of heated car seat covers

Heated car seat covers should not break the bank. Basic models should start at around $20, and move up in price with quality to about $70. There are some higher priced models than this, but these are generally outliers with enhanced features. 

Enhanced features of higher end models can include:

  • Cooling
  • Massage
  • Precise temperature control (more settings)

Consider customer reviews!

It’s a great idea to look at customer reviews when considering a purchase or comparing products. If you don’t want to waste money, then look at the reviews of a heated car seat cover product you are seriously considering. It can be worth the extra money paying for a product with more positive reviews than one with bad reviews. Bad reviews are usually there for a reason (bad product).

Additional considerations

Number of heated car seat covers: Consider how many heated car seat covers you may want to purchase for your vehicle. Take into account how many 12V outlets you have in your car. Even if you only have one you could purchase 2 and alternate power between the two front seats.

Length of cord: 12V heated covers usually come with a few feet of power cord, which enables you to reach the from a power source to either the front or back seats of your car. You may need an extension cord if you plan on using your heating car seat cover in a tractor trailer, longer car, or truck.

Tips for caring for a heated car seat cover

  • Cleaning may vary depending on manufacturer instructions, however most car seat covers should not be washed or dried in machines. They should be spot cleaned, and should never get soaking wet.

  • Unplug your car seat cover and make sure it is not warm before you spot clean it using soap and water by hand.

  • Air dry by opening car windows or hanging it up in a dry place. Ensure it is dry before using it.

  • If you notice any damage (frayed/exposed wires), safely dispose of your heated car seat cover and purchase a new one.

  • When you are not using your heated car seat cover, turn it off and unplug it. Do not leave your car seat cover on without supervision (for safety reasons).

Can a heated car seat cover be dangerous?

Like any electrical consumer product there can be dangers associated. However, these are mitigated when used correctly. Make sure they are following manufacturer directions, have plugged your cover in correctly, and there are no liquids around it. It may be sensible to look for waterproof items, made from neoprene, which can protect against short circuits in water damage emergencies. 

If you use your heated car seat cover incorrectly or for very prolonged periods of time, it can cause thermal burns (toasted skin syndrome). To avoid this, make sure that you do not use heated car seats if you have reduced sensitivity, and if you are experiencing any discomfort, turn off the heated car seat cover and remove yourself from the seat cover.

To reduce any negative side effects of heated devices, choose a heated car seat cover with an auto shut-off, which won’t let you overheat (if you forget to tun it off). If this is not an option on the device you buy, then do not set your temperature too high, and turn off the device after you are adequately warmed.

When your heated car seat cover arrives!

No more cold drives for you! But it’s important to test it out before you start to drive with it. If the temperature is too high, it’s better to find out sitting in your driveway then it is going 50 mph on the interstate. 

Check out the exterior of your heated seat cover when you get it, and from time to time. Do this during the first couple weeks of use especially, to check for any signs of structural compromise/damage. After you have used your heated car seat cover for a while, you won’t need to check as much.

To extend the life of your heated car seat cover make sure that it is turned off at regular intervals using the auto shut-off feature (if applicable), or turn it off yourself. This will extend the life of the heating elements, and keep you from overheating. If you don’t treat your heated car seat cushion with care, it can wear out quicker than desired. A good rule to follow is to shut off the heated pad every 30-45 minutes, and allow it to cool for 20 minutes before turning it on again. This will greatly extend the life of the heating element.


When/if you need to put your heated car seat cover away for the summer, don’t roll it too tightly, or store it under heavy objects. The internal wiring can be damaged by extreme bending or pressure. So you don’t want to damage you cover just from storing it.

You may wonder “can I just keep it on my car seats all year round?” Some covers have heating and cooling, and for these you can. But for purely heating versions you should store it ina cold dry place during excessively hot summer months. If the temperature reaches 80 degrees and above, it can wear down the integrity of your heated car seat cover. Try to not let it get damp or dustry when storing it.

Enjoying the Warmth

Enjoy your new heated car seat cover, there’s a reason you bought it! Follow manufacturer directions, we recommend to not leave it on when your car is turned off, and purchase one with an auto shut-off feature. But beyond that they are great to use for winter driving months. 

There is no single end all and be all heated car seat cover, we can provide some recommendations to help get you through the cold. Considering the money you are saving when some people get new cars with heated seat options costing upwards of $1500.

In Nordic countries, they have embraced the concept of Hygge, which is a word that encapsulates finding warmth and coziness in warming experiences, making cold seasons more pleasant. Perhaps you’ll find some Hygge in your new heated car seat cover.


The heated cover should come with straps, which are used to secure the heated car seat cover in place. You will want your cover to be secure and not move/slip around easily.

It depends on how many you purchase. You can buy a singular heated seat cover which will fit one front seat. Or you can purchase packs of two for both front seats. If ordering a two-pack, check that each comes with it’s own controller, otherwise they might be controlled by one remote, making both the same temperature.

They will retain their internal what for 15-30 minutes, it will eventually cool, and act as a regular (non-heated) seat cover.