The best heated car seat cover
If you've ever climbed into a frigid car on a winter morning for a long commute, you likely understand the appeal of a heated car seat cover. The cover works in conjunction with a vehicle heater to quickly warm a car so cold-weather trips are more comfortable.
When buying a heated car seat cover, there are a number of design factors and features to consider. This guide will help to steer you toward the right car seat cover for your needs, whether it's a reliable, inexpensive model or a top-of-the-line option like the Kingleting Heated Car Cushion, which we're endorsing as the very best.
Considerations when choosing heated car seat covers
How quickly it heats up: Quick heating is obviously preferable here, and the standard heating time is between two and three minutes. Anything more than this, and you'll likely feel like you're waiting around for too long.
Padding: Does the seat cover have a fair amount of padding? Some are made from velour or breathable mesh, which can increase your comfort. If lumbar support is a priority, look for a seat cover that features this.
Ease of installation: With the wide variety of car seat types available, fit is a concern. Some heated car seat covers have a larger profile to fit a greater range of seats. Others go the extra mile with a "universal" fit that should work with the majority of car seats.
Cooling capabilities: While not a standard feature, a few car seat covers can cool as well as heat. This feature extends the usefulness of a seat cover considerably.
Temperature controls: Some heated car seat covers have set temperature ranges. Others feature a dial, so you have more control over exact temperatures. Find out the temperature range of any product you're considering; some covers do not go high enough to provide much comfort in colder climates.
Auto power-off: Some heated car seat covers have an auto power-off feature that remembers to shut off the cover so you don't have to. If you like the sound of this but want more flexibility, search for one with variable timing options.
Overheating protection: A thermostat to keep the cover from overheating should be standard on any reputable heated car seat cover.
Heated car seat covers start out around $20 and can reach up to $50 or a little higher. At a higher price point, expect to find covers with a better build and advanced features, such as cooling or massage, in addition to better control over temperatures.
Q. How does a heated car seat cover secure to the seat?
A. The cover should ship with a number of straps that you can use to secure it to the car seat. The cover should be secure enough that it doesn't slip or move around easily when being used.
Q. How many car seats will these heat?
A. While this varies depending on the model you buy, the standard here is that the cover will fit one front seat. Some ship two to an order, so you can heat both front seats. If you are buying a package of two, be sure that the temperature of each cover can be separately controlled.
Heated car seat covers we recommend
Best of the best: Kingleting Heated Car Cushion
Our take: A premium heated car seat cover that will fit the majority of seats and heats up in just a minute.
What we like: Features a timed power-off switch. Temperature range of between 86°F and 140°F. Heats up within a minute. Power cord has two interfaces in case you want to buy one for the passenger seat, too. Universal fit.
What we dislike: The cover is thin, so it won't contribute much to your car seat except heat.
Best bang for your buck: Wagan Heated Car Cushion
Our take: Affordable and comfortable, this option has adapters for use in your home or office in addition to your vehicle.
What we like: Soft velour cover that offers lumbar support. Can heat up to 114°F. Inexpensive and easy to use for car, home, or office.
What we dislike: Cover can move around quite a bit on surfaces like leather.
Choice 3: Snailax Seat Cushion
Our take: Heats and cools for four-season use in car, home, or office.
What we like: Made from breathable 3D mesh. Has both heating and cooling capabilities. Adapters for both car and home use. Universal fit with a non-slip design.
What we dislike: Cooling elements are raised, which can be painful for extended car or home use.
Rich Gray is a writer for BestReviews. BestReviews is a product review company with a singular mission: to help simplify your purchasing decisions and save you time and money. BestReviews never accepts free products from manufacturers and purchases every product it reviews with its own funds.
BestReviews spends thousands of hours researching, analyzing and testing products to recommend the best picks for most consumers. BestReviews and its newspaper partners may earn a commission if you purchase a product through one of our links.
Distributed by Tribune Content Agency, LLC.