Are Neoprene Seat Covers Bad For Leather Seats? 16 Pros & Cons

Are Neoprene Seat Covers Bad For Leather Seats?

We’ve all seen those ads for neoprene seat covers, and they can be tempting. If you have leather seats in your car or truck, are these a good idea? Should you use them to protect your investment? In this article, I’ll compare the benefits of using neoprene seat covers with the drawbacks that may come along with it. You might be surprised by what I found!

Are neoprene seat covers bad for leather seats? Neoprene seat covers are great for leather because they are waterproof, non-slip, non-flammable, and protect leather car seats from scratches, dirt, and stains. Neoprene seat covers also come with some downsides with the most common one being that it traps heat on the leather which can lead to mold and discoloration on the leather seat.

Many people are not aware that neoprene seat covers can be harmful to leather seats. So, is it a good idea to use them? Or do they just cause more problems than they solve? This article investigates if these types of seat protectors will help or hurt your car’s upholstery.

Neoprene Seat Covers

Neoprene was designed in the late 1800s as an insulator and cushioning material for garments worn by scuba divers who needed something that could take on water but still provide warmth and comfort when wet.

In recent years, this synthetic rubber has been used as stuffing for furniture cushions and mattress pads because of its ability to withstand high temperatures while remaining soft enough even after extended exposure.

Some car manufacturers now use neoprene in the seats and seatbacks to create a more comfortable ride.

Neoprene is also used for upholstery because it can withstand high temperatures, making it an ideal material for hot climates with intense sunlight or heat sources such as ovens or furnaces.

In recent years, car owners have begun to use neoprene inserts under their automobile’s regular leather upholstery covers when they are parked outside on days that reach over 90 degrees Fahrenheit (32 degrees Celsius).

This is so that the vehicle will not overheat while unattended. This preventative measure extends the life of expensive leather upholstery by keeping them from overheating and cracking prematurely due to sun exposure.

A few decades ago, neoprene was used as a replacement for leather in car seats. The drawback to this material is that it doesn’t stretch well when drivers make sudden movements such as slamming on their brakes or turning quickly at an intersection.

When these materials are stretched, they lose their ability to snap back into place and the fabric becomes permanently misshapen.

This can lead to more serious problems like wear-through because of friction against other fabrics and surfaces inside the vehicle’s seat covers.

Leather is much better than neoprene for absorbing impact from driver movement during potentially dangerous driving situations.”

Neoprene has been found beneficial by some people who have discovered its benefits while living in hot climates with intense sunlight or heat sources.

Now let’s dive into the meat of this article and take a lot at the pros and cons of installing neoprene seat covers on leather seats.

The Pros Of Neoprene Seat Covers On Leather

1. Adapts To Weather Conditions

Neoprene seat covers help prevent your leather seats from being too cold in winter and sweaty or sticky during summer’s hypoallergenic so it’s not a problem for people who have skin sensitivities.

This can be pretty useful because typically during winter, leather seats can get cold or slushy which is pretty uncomfortable for us drivers.

Installing neoprene seat covers on leather could potentially be helpful because it will make the car a lot cooler in summer so you won’t feel like your sweating on hot days.

The material of neoprene seat covers actually absorbs some heat as well as moisture and helps to dissipate this energy so that there’s not quite as much sweat buildup on your skin (or at least less than without them).

I’ve found from my experience with these types of materials that they are beneficial when living in harsh weather conditions such as those found in colder climates.

The reason being they do help keep things more comfortable by insulating against outside forces and low temperatures.

One major advantage neoprene has over sheepskin is that it does not get stiff and brittle in cold weather like sheepskin does which makes it easier to maintain its elasticity (and therefore comfort) throughout the winter months.

2. Neoprene Seat Covers Are Non-Slip

Neoprene seat covers when installed on leather car seats do not slip off as sheepskin seat covers can. This means that you won’t skid around on your driving seat whenever you make a turn.

Neoprene seat covers provide excellent protection against friction. Without such an awesome feature, your leather seats will wear down over time due to friction from the seat cover constantly rubbing against your leather seat as you get in and out of your car.

Neoprene seat covers have a textured underside or made with an anti-slip fabric that helps to safely grip the underlying leather seats (as if they have been glued into position) and prevents any sort of movement or rubbing as you drive your car.

3. Neoprene Seat Covers Are Waterproof

Neoprene is made up of polymers and synthetic rubber. It has been found to be one hundred percent waterproof in testing with the neoprene losing just 0.006% of its weight through evaporating water during their tests conducted by DuPont.

This makes neoprene seat covers perfect for use on leather seats that are constantly exposed to moisture. This means neoprene seat covers are super waterproof so you can safely have a wet pet on your car seats without worrying about any kind of damage.

Neoprene is waterproof and will not soak up any liquid as sheepskin does. This makes it an excellent choice for people who are looking for seat covers to protect the leather in their cars from pets, spills, or accidents.

A neoprene cover will also help prevent moisture buildup inside your car during the winter months when humidity levels are high.

For example, those with harsh winters such as Michigan where temperatures regularly drop below freezing throughout December, January, and February could find comfort in neoprene seat covers.

This is also important because moisture trapped within a vehicle leads to corrosion of metal parts, mold/fungi growth which can warp plastic dashboard components, and more importantly lead to health issues.

4. Offer The Best Protection From Pets

Another awesome reason why neoprene seat covers are great for leather is that they are very good at protecting your leather seats from pets.

Leather car seat covers are not nearly as effective in this regard because they tend to slip off, thereby exposing the bare leather seats underneath them to damage by pet claws or teeth.

Neoprene seat covers have a far better chance of staying put on the surface of your leather-covered seats and offer an extra layer of protection against scratches from furry friends.

Meaning it won’t get holes from your dog or cat clawing at it. Neoprene is also waterproof which means that droll from our furry friends cannot penetrate through the fabric to the leather.

All in all, if you have a pet but want to keep their claws away from your expensive leather or suede car seats, then these are perfect!

5. Neoprene Seat Covers Come In A Wide Variety Of Colors And Designs

Neoprene seat covers come in all sorts of designs, and customizations that make them perfect for giving your car interior a personalized touch.

The neoprene also comes in many different colors that make your seats look more presentable for a longer period of time before they need replacing again.

Neoprene seat covers are available in many different colors and designs that can be customized to suit your needs.

You will be absolutely blown away by the assortment of colors neoprene seat covers come in that can match any style preference.

Some people even use these covers as an alternative to carpeting their cars, if you want something that looks nicer than just old wool mats but doesn’t cost much either.

Customers who buy these find comfort with the design as well because they know that they won’t need to worry about cleaning up any messes when they go out for a drive.

6. Keeps Dirt Away From Leather Seats

Neoprene seat covers help to keep dirt and stains away from your leather seats. The neoprene material has some great benefits for leather seats because it soaks up any liquids and spills that might happen while you’re out driving around town.

This prevents water or soda from ruining your new car’s interior carpeting which is helpful when considering resale value as well!

What’s even more, neoprene seat covers are good not only because they protect against heat which dries out your leather upholstery quicker but also protects from outside dirt coming into contact with them too.

This is probably one of the most important benefits of the neoprene seat covers for leather seats.

And much more importantly, while some people might find a wet feeling soothing when sitting down on leather car seats (due to the supple nature of the material), others may prefer their cars to be as dry as possible.

This to them comes with less risk for developing mold or other unwanted contaminants due to excessive moisture build-up from sweat.

For those who don’t want anything making contact with their leather seats other than themselves, the neoprene seat covers are a great solution.

7. Neoprene Seat Covers Are Easy To Clean

The neoprene seat covers for leather seats are not only easy to install, but they’re also very easy to clean. To take them off and wash them simply unzip the cover from your car’s headrests all the way down, then zip it back up after you put it in the washing machine or hand-wash it with soap and water.

As far as handwashing goes, all you do is just wipe them down with mild soap and water using soft cloths followed by a thorough drying process. You can do this anytime you want rain or shine.

The best thing about this is that because of how thin they can be made (they’re usually just a millimeter thick), there is plenty of room for air circulation so any small spills won’t go directly into the material itself.

This means that unlike other fabrics like cotton which would soak up whatever spill happens on it until you finally get around to cleaning it; neoprene will have already dried by time you get around to cleaning it.

This is another good thing about installing neoprene covers onto your car’s leather seats.

8. Neoprene Seat Covers Are Cheaper

The biggest reason that people usually buy neoprene seat covers for their leather seats is the price. A typical neoprene cover set will cost about $60-$75, while similarly-designed fabric sets are more expensive and can be as much as $200 or even higher in some cases.

Some may say it’s worth paying a little extra to get something nicer, but others might disagree because they want to keep costs low so they can purchase other things with their money instead of spending it on car accessories like these.

For those who don’t really care what kind of material they have covering their seats (as long as it protects them), then this isn’t an issue at all–they’re just looking for function over form when it comes to car accessories.

9. Neoprene Seat Covers Are Non-Flammable

Have you ever go a used car and found burnt marks on the once beautiful leather seats? This can be such a bummer! Neoprene seat covers could have been installed to prevent this in the first place.

One of the benefits of neoprene seat covers is that they are non-flammable. While this doesn’t mean they’re immune to fire (the heat could still damage them), it does help put some worry at ease for those who want to protect their seats from scorcing and unnecessary wear and tear caused by everyday use.

10. Neoprene Seat Covers Acts As A Soothing Buffer

It acts as a buffer between the driver’s skin, the fabric of their clothes, or any other material and contact with the actual leather seat.

This could be very helpful for people who have sensitive skin that is prone to rashes after sitting on hot surfaces like leather.

11. Neoprene Seat Covers Are Excellent For Heat Retention

Neoprene seat covers are excellent for heat retention. They can help keep the air conditioning inside your car to stay in and not escape as much. It is especially ideal for those living in colder climates where cars remain outside overnight.

They are also great for those who live in warmer climates where the AC is used more often and there’s a higher risk of keeping your car cool.

This is because neoprene seat covers have thermal insulation properties that help to keep heat inside longer than if you were just sitting on the leather without any protection at all.

Neoprene seat covers can be ideal especially during hot weather when the use of the A/C may not be enough, as well as cold days or nights when heated seats don’t work so well either.

As long as they’re properly taken care of, this type of cover doesn’t worsen wear and tear on an expensive piece like leather upholstery but rather helps preserve it.

The Cons Of Neoprene Seat Covers On Leather

1. Covers Up The Leather

When you put a neoprene cover over leather, it does in fact hide the expensive upholstery. However, this is not necessarily bad because sometimes people do choose to use these covers on purpose as they’re trying to protect their car seats from wear and tear.

2. Neoprene Covers Can Feel Bulky And Uncomfortable

Some neoprene seat covers can be quite bulky, adding more weight and thickness that could make your driving experience less comfortable if you spend a lot of time in the driver’s seat.

3. Leather Seat Damage from Dye Bleed-Through

Leather seat may damage from dye bleed-through and this can occur as a result of using cheap neoprene seat covers.

Every time you get in and out of the car, you rub against the seats which could lead to discoloration on the leather due to a chemical reaction with some types of dyes used for making these seat covers.

4. Neoprene Can Make The Car’s Temperature Warm

The neoprene seat cover may make the car’s temperature quite warm, which can be uncomfortable for you and your passengers.

The neoprene seat covers trap heat inside which will increase your temperature as well as anyone else’s nearby. This could lead to sweating or feeling tired during your drive home from work because you were sitting still too long without any fresh air circulation.

What’s more important, this can be bad for your leather car seats. When heat could get trapped underneath the seat covers it can lead to the leather cracking and splitting over time.

Tip: it is recommended that you ventilate seat covers with air holes to help keep the car cooler especially if provision has not been made for it.

This is not to say neoprene seat covers will always increase your car’s temperature. Under normal circumstances, your neoprene seat covers will regulate the internal temperatures of your car without any issues.

5. May Feel Hard For Long Distance Travels

If you are someone who likes to travel for long distances, then neoprene seat covers may not be the best choice.

A major concern with a car that is covered in neoprene is that it can feel like sitting on a hard plastic which can be super uncomfortable for long-distance travelers.

However, this might just depend on how sensitive one’s skin or body is. So while this may not be a downside for most people, you want to test it out before buying.


Neoprene seat covers are perfect for those who want to protect their leather seats from wear and tear. They also help prevent contamination of the car’s interior, which is a great thing!

However, neoprene can trap heat on the leather, making it more susceptible to mold or discoloration. If this isn’t something you’re concerned about then go ahead and buy a set of neoprene seat covers; if not then choose another option like our cotton/polyester cover that is water-resistant but doesn’t trap heat so it can be used in all temperatures.


Hi! I’m Kwabena, the owner and founder of Favored Leather. I’m a huge Leathercraft enthusiast and I’ve been that for almost 13 years now. I'm excited to share my experiences and all the new stuff I learn each day about leather craft, leather cleaning & care, and everything in-between!

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