Leather vs Cloth seats (PROS & CONS)

If you are in the market for a new car, one of the numerous choices you’ll have to make is whether to opt for cloth seats or leather seats.

Although leather seats have long been considered a premium option for cars, you may wonder if the additional cost is worth it.

In this article, we’ll look at the pros and cons of leather seats to help you determine whether they are an investment you should make.

Are leather seats worth it compared to cloth seats?

Are leather seats worth it?

Leather seats are worth it because they are more durable and long-lasting than cloth seats and also add a premium look and feel to your vehicle. However, they tend to be more expensive than cloth seats and may require more maintenance.

Below, we look at the main differences between these two types of seats in order to help you make an informed decision.

Leather vs cloth seats (Pros and Cons)

Whether or not leather seats are worth it depends on several factors like personal preference, budget, comfort level, durability, weather, maintenance, and appearance.

  • Durability

Durability is one of the reasons why most people go for leather car seats as opposed to cloth.

Although leather seats can scratch if they come into contact with sharp objects, leather is known to be very resilient and does not tear or puncture easily. Also, it does not stain since spills and dirt can be wiped off easily with a cloth.

So, choose leather if you have pets or small children because, with proper care and maintenance, your vehicle seats can last for years and years.

On the other hand, cloth car seats are prone to stains and wear. The material tends to wear down more quickly, especially when subjected to heavy use so it does not hold up well over time.

  • Budget

A leather car interior is often associated with luxury and is considered a premium feature so you will mainly find leather seats in higher-end vehicles.

This increases the cost of the car since leather is more expensive than cloth and also costs more to upholster the seats.

However, the price may vary depending on the model of the car and the unique features included such as the trim level.

This means that you may find some cars with cloth seats that are slightly more expensive than those with leather seats due to certain features.

  • Comfort level

I understand that comfort is subject and tends to vary from one person to another. But generally, cloth seats are considered to be more comfortable than leather seats.

This could be attributed to the fact cloth seats are more breathable and may feel warmer in cold weather or cooler in warm weather.

During the hot season, leather seats may feel slippery and sticky and thus not comfortable.

Additionally, leather seats may feel too stiff and firm especially when new compared to cloth seats so they may not provide good lumbar support or cushioning.

  • Maintenance and cleaning

Both leather and cloth or fabric car seats are easy to clean and maintain depending on the type of stains and dirt they come into contact with.

However, since leather seats do not stain easily, they are easier to clean than cloth seats. Simply wiping down the leather surface with a damp soft cloth helps to get rid of spills and dirt.

Cloth seats absorb liquids so they stain easily, which makes them difficult to clean. Additionally, dirt and grime tend to get stuck within the cloth fibers necessitating more thorough cleaning techniques.

  • Appearance

If you want to enhance the appearance of your car’s interior, consider having leather seats. They make the interior have a luxurious and upscale look compared to cloth seats.

However, whether leather or cloth seats appeal to you depends on your personal preferences.

While you may prefer the look of the leather seats for your car, someone else may find the cloth seats more appealing since they are available in a variety of styles and colors that match their car’s interior.

  • Weather

One of the drawbacks of having leather seats in your car is that they are affected by the weather.

In the summer, for instance, the leather may feel sticky and become slippery when you sit and sweat on them.

On the other hand, during cold weather, the seats become cold and stiff. Although you may buy a car with climate-controlled leather seats, this premium feature will undoubtedly increase the price of the car.

With cloth car seats, you don’t have to worry about the weather because they are breathable so they remain comfortable throughout the seasons.

  • Smell of leather

If you are sensitive to smells, you might not like the smell of leather when new.

During the first few weeks, your car interior will have a distinct smell due to the leather seats.

The smell is due to the chemicals used to tan leather during processing but it does dissipate over time. However, it may take a few weeks or even months for the smell to go away completely.

Cloth or fabric car seats don’t have a distinct smell when new but they may absorb odors over time, especially from pet urine and spills. They also tend to become damp and develop a musty or moldy smell if not allowed to dry properly after cleaning.


To conclude, there is no doubt that leather adds a touch of style and luxury to the interior of your car.

Also, although they tend to be more expensive than cloth seats, they are easier to maintain and clean.

However, leather car seats may not be very comfortable in certain weather conditions as they may become too cold and stiff or too hot and sticky. So if you live in hot areas, go for cloth seats since they remain comfortable in all conditions.

That said, whether leather seats are worth it or not comes down to your personal preferences and your needs. If you are willing to pay extra for the luxurious look and feel of leather seats, go for it.

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