Are Suede Steering Wheels Good? (9 Pros And Cons)

Are Suede Steering Wheels Good

The steering wheel in your car is often one of the most used parts of your car. It’s also one of the most overlooked when it comes to picking out the material, upgrading, or improving it. One option that you might not have thought about is getting a suede steering wheel for your vehicle. But are they really good? Let’s find out…

Suede steering wheels are good because they are grippy, comfortable, budget-friendly, and adapt very well to temperature changes – meaning they stay cool in the summer and warm in the winter while giving you the best grip from maneuverability.

Some of the main downsides of the suede steering wheel are that they wear out rapidly, become dirty very quickly, and completely lose their grip and nap at about 5000 miles.

Well, as you can see, there are a lot of things that make suede steering wheels good and there are a few things that make them suck!

In the rest of this article, I’m going to go over the numerous pros and the few cons of suede steering wheels. Stick around!

The Pros Of Suede Steering Wheel

Here are some of the main benefits that make suede steering wheels a great choice:

1. Suede Steering Wheels Are Very Soft And Comfortable

The feel of suede steering wheels is really nice. It’s soft and very comfortable to hold onto for long periods of time, which is important when you’re driving a vehicle.

This is one of the first benefits of the suede steering wheel you’re going to notice – so much so that you even forget about the associating downsides that come with it.

Indeed suede steering wheels have a rich and luxurious feel that is not only comfortable but would also make the interior of your car look like a million bucks.

This is one of the main reasons why you would often find suede steering wheels in high-end vehicles.

Suede steering wheels are good if you’re looking for something that is soft and comfortable, especially for cars you would drive for long hours but not very frequently.

2. Suede Steering Wheels Adapts Better To Temperature Changes

Another benefit of suede steering wheels is that they are very resistant to temperature changes because of how porous and breathable the suede leather material is.

This means when you go into your car on a cold winter morning, the suede material will not be freezing cool or too hard or uncomfortable to hold onto like rubber materials would be.

Also, when it is very sunny during the sunny season, suede steering wheels can adapt better to the heat and not feel hot and uncomfortable. All of these are possible due to the porous and breathable nature of the suede leather material.

This is one of the most important benefits you need to consider when buying suede steering wheels because they would be used all year round – so comfortability does matter.

Suede steering wheels are good if you live in a region that has very extreme temperatures, or if your car is going to be left outside most of the time.

So all in all, the suede steering wheel helps reduce the amount of heat that your steering wheel absorbs during those hot summer days or freezing cold winter months. This keeps it from getting too warm in your hands while you drive around town.

3. Suede Steering Wheels Has A Natural-Looking Nap Finish

Suede steering wheels come in a matte or napa finish. The feel and look of suede steering wheels are iconic.

This one is obviously subjective, but I think suede steering wheels look awesome as they add a bit of luxury and style to any car.

There are synthetic suede materials, Alcantara, often used for steering wheels but the nap or rich velvet of suede leather is what makes it stand out.

Suede steering wheels are good if you want to give your car a more unique look and luxury feel, but not everyone might agree with me on this one.

4. Suede Steering Wheels Are Grippy

The nap finish on suede steering wheels also makes it grippy. This is because the fibrous nature of the nap help to keep your hands in place while you’re driving, which is especially important when making turns or maneuvering your car.

In some instances, suede steering wheels can be a lot grippier than leather steering wheels.

Due to how grippy suede steering wheels are, that is why you will find them being used for formula 1 cars and other high-end racing cars.

This quality has such a huge impact as far as reducing hand fatigue goes. It greatly reduces the need to re-grip your steering wheel from time to time as you drive – ultimately reducing hand fatigue when driving.

Suede steering wheels are good if you want a more secure grip on your steering wheel, especially if you’re someone who drives often.

5. Suede Steering Wheels Are Budget Friendly

This is a big plus for suede steering wheels. They are definitely less expensive than leather steering wheels and can be just as comfortable in some cases.

This is mainly because suede leather is sourced from the splits of leather hides, which are separate pieces of leather that were left over after the main part (the grain split) of a hide has been cut.

These “leftover” pieces can be sold at cheaper prices because they need not come from hides from a first-world country.

This is because suede can be made from any type of animal hide whether blemished or not and regardless of where the hide is sourced.

This generally makes this type of material relatively cheaper when compared to other types of leather like full-grain, bicast, or buffed leather.

Suede steering wheels are good if you’re looking to save money while still getting a decent product that won’t cause discomfort when driving.

So those are some of the main benefits to consider when deciding whether suede steering wheels are right for you!

The Cons Of Suede Steering Wheels

While there are some interesting upsides to suede steering wheels, there are also some cons to consider before going for this type of material.

1. Suede Steering Wheels Become Very Dirty And Stained Easily

The first con to suede steering wheels is that they become very dirty and stained easily. This is because the napped finish on suede steering wheels traps all sorts of dirt, dust, and debris – making it difficult to clean.

In fact, if you don’t clean your suede steering wheel regularly, then it will start to look very dirty and stained.

This is probably one of the most obvious downsides of the suede steering wheel. This means you will require frequent maintenance almost every time you drive your car.

2. Suede Steering Wheels Are Very Absorbent

The second downside to suede steering wheels is that they are very absorbent. Suede is a highly porous material mainly because, as mentioned before, the material is almost entirely flesh or fibers.

This means that any type of liquid, whether it be water or body oil, will get absorbed into the suede and can be difficult to remove.

This could lead to staining on your suede steering wheel as well so you’ll need to take extra care when cleaning the material.

One way to avoid this from happening is wearing gloves whenever you’re driving – this will help to reduce the amount of body oils transferred onto the suede steering wheel.

3. Suede Steering Wheels Are Hard To Care For And Maintain

As hinted before, suede can be very hard to clean and maintain. This is mainly due to the napped finish that makes it difficult to remove any type of dirt, dust, and debris from getting trapped in between all the fibers on suede steering wheels.

Due to their porous nature, stains, dirt, and body oils seep deep down into the suede and are often difficult to remove without abrading the suede material.

This means that you’ll need to be very diligent when it comes to cleaning your suede steering wheel – otherwise, it will quickly become stained and look unsightly.

Due to this quality alone, you will find yourself having a hard time maintaining your suede steering wheel so it stays clean and looks good.

4. Suede Steering Wheels Wear Out Very Quickly

The final downside to suede steering wheels is that they wear out very quickly. This is because suede leather is a type of material that’s not as strong as other types of leather, such as full-grain.

This means that the fibers on suede steering wheels are more prone to being damaged and can wear out quickly.

Since the fibers are so thin with no grain protection, the constant friction that occur between your palm and the steering wheel wears them very easily – which will result in an unsightly look for your suede steering wheel.

This makes the suede steering wheel, not the ideal material for everyday driving since it will wear out very easily.

Final Thoughts

All in all, you can see the advantages of suede steering wheels sightly outweigh the disadvantages. If you can put up with the extra maintenance and care required, then suede steering wheels are an interesting choice for your next car.

So in conclusion, suede steering wheels are good but they do come with a few downsides that we need to be aware of before making our purchase decision – such as the fact they can easily get dirty and stained if not taken care of properly.

However, the benefits mentioned above definitely outweigh the negatives when it comes to suede steering wheels. Thanks for reading!


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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