Do Leather Steering Wheels Get Hot?

Do Leather Steering Wheels Get Hot

Leather is one of the most common materials for steering wheels. Not only are they durable and look good, but they also feel great in your hands. But do leather steering wheels get hot?

Leather is a porous material that is breathable. Although real leather steering wheels can get hot, their heat-resistant properties will not allow the leather steering wheel to get extremely hot. This means leather steering wheels do get hot but not so much that they will burn your hands.

Synthetic leather steering wheels on the other hand will get extremely hot and will also retain the heat for a longer period of time making it scorching hot to touch.

There are, however, better alternatives to leather steering wheels that will not get as hot as the leather steering wheel. Some of those alternatives include cotton-polyester, cotton, Neoprene, etc.

There are, however, a few best practices that will help to prevent your leather steering wheel from getting hot – which is to park your car in the shade or use a sunshade. If you have to park in the sun, make sure that you roll down your windows slightly and leave room for air circulating through the car.

Details On Why Leather Steering Wheels Do Not Get Too Hot

Let’s get into the meat of the topic and talk into details about why leather steering wheels do not get too hot.

Leather is a porous material that can allow air to flow through while still providing some protection for the hands holding it. This means that any heat, no matter the source will not be retained by the leather steering wheel.

So the heat from both your hand, sunlight, and the car itself will not build up to dangerous temperatures that can cause a burn.

In addition, leather is a heat-resistant material that can properly dissipate heat. This means that even if the leather steering wheel does get hot, it will not reach dangerous levels for your hands.

The breathable nature of leather is the main reason why the leather steering wheel on your car does not get too hot.

Synthetic leather steering wheels, on the other hand, are made of materials that are not as heat-resistant. In addition, these steering wheels do not breathe as well as the real leather steering wheel.

This means that the synthetic leather steering wheel will not only get extremely hot, it will also hold or retain the heat for a longer period of time and make it scorching hot to touch.

This is why real leather steering wheels are considered to be heat-resistant while synthetic ones will definitely retain the heat making them dangerously scorching.

What Are The Alternatives To Leather Steering Wheels?

If you want a material that can handle both high and low temperatures, then there are a few alternatives out there you can count on.


Cotton-polyester steering wheels are a great alternative to leather steering wheels. They are made of natural materials that can handle both high and low temperatures without any problems.

It’s also considered to be one of the most eco-friendly steering wheels on the market because it’s made from recycled materials.

In addition, the cotton-polyester steering wheel will not get as hot as the synthetic or real leather steering wheel in direct sunlight.


A popular material used in steering wheels is cotton. This type of material can handle both high and low temperatures but not as well as Neoprene or Cotton-polyester.

Also, the fabric will absorb water so you have to make sure that your car’s air conditioning system is working properly before using this alternative.


Another alternative to leather steering wheels is Neoprene. Just like cotton-polyester, it can handle both high and low temperatures without any difficulties.

Neoprene, another popular material for steering wheels is found in wet suits and can handle very high temperatures but will not retain them for a long time like synthetic leathers.

Tips On How To Prevent Leather Steering Wheels From Getting Hot

At this point, we know leather steering wheels can get hot but not to the point where they are dangerous to the touch due to how breathable the leather material is.

There are a few tips that can help even make your leather steering wheel more comfortable and not getting too hot. Let’s look into those tips now:

Park in the Shade

I do not mean to sound captain obvious here but it is very important to park your car in the shade whenever possible.

Not only does parking in the shade keep your car’s interior cooler, but it also prevents the steering wheel and other parts from getting too hot to the touch.

If you have no choice but to park in direct sunlight, then try to find a spot that has some type of cover, tree, or nearby building.

If you’re not going to be driving your car for an extended period of time, park it in the shade. This will help keep the temperature down inside and out.

Regulating The Temperature Of Your Car

Another way to help keep the temperature down in your car, and leather steering wheel, is by regulating the temperature.

This can be done by using the AC or heating system in your car but make sure it’s not set too high or low.

If you’re going to be driving for a long period of time, try to find a comfortable temperature for the car and keep it there.

Switching the car interior temperature too frequently can also affect the leather.

Use A Steering Wheel Cover

If your steering wheel is still getting too hot, you can buy or make a steering wheel cover to help regulate the temperature.

There are many different types of covers on the market that come in various shapes, sizes, and materials.

The type of steering wheel cover you pick out will play a crucial role in its comfort and performance.

Just like anything else, make sure to test out the cover before taking it on a long road trip.

If you’re not happy with the results, then try another type or material of steering wheel cover until you find the perfect one for you.

Leave Your Car Windows Slightly Cracked

If it’s safe, leave your car windows slightly cracked when driving or when parked directly in the sun.

This trick will help keep the car cooler while also allowing some air to circulate through your leather steering wheel and inside of your car.

Just make sure you don’t leave too much room for thieves to get into your car.

Final Thoughts

In conclusion, leather steering wheels can get hot in direct sunlight but it is not a cause for alarm. This is because they will not get too hot that they can cause a fire or burn you.

There are ways to prevent the steering wheel from getting too hot and make your driving experience more comfortable.

Leather steering wheels are still the best option for most drivers out there due to how breathable they are.

Lastly, make sure you park your car in the shade while using AC or heating system to regulate temperature.


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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