couple in a car with brown leather seats

How do leather and cloth compare in cars?

Should you get cloth or leather seats in your car?

If you are looking for a new or used vehicle, then you may be wondering about the seating materials. Leather is one of the most advertised features of a car but is it worth it? Should you get cloth or leather seats in your car? We’ll explore your options.

vacuuming cloth seats of a carAdvantages of cloth seats

The number one advantage to a cloth seat is its price. Typically cloth is offered on the entry-level trims for cars so not only is the cloth option more affordable, but typically the entire car is more affordable. That’s not the only advantage though.

Another advantage of cloth seats is that they tend to handle temperature better. If you’ve ever sat on leather on a hot or a cold day, you’ll know what we mean. This can be mitigated by heated or cooled seats, but with cloth, you’ll feel it much less. Of course, if your car is always garaged or if you live in a fairly consistent climate, then this may matter less to you.


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cleaning the leather seats of a carAdvantages of leather seats

The primary advantage to leather seats comes down to aesthetics. People love the feel, smell, and the look of leather. It’s a richer material, and typically carries a heftier price tag, but some of its advantages may offset that a bit.

Read More: Is depreciation a problem when buying used luxury cars?

Leather is very resistant to staining, and though cloth interiors are certainly better at resisting stains then they were in previous decades, leather will maintain its luster for longer, especially if properly maintained with leather conditioner.

black leather back seats in a carCloth and leather alternatives

There are alternatives to cloth and leather. The biggest alternative is perhaps leatherette which is a synthetic leather. It still gives you the look and feel of leather and it is often even more resilient, but it comes with a lower price tag.

Other materials that you may have heard of like Sem-Aniline and Nappa leather are both still leather. These materials typically come with an even higher premium than regular leather and also may require more maintenance. Alcantara and Ultra-Suede are both premium leatherette style synthetic materials designed to replicate suede and also have their own maintenance associated with them.