The 7 Best Car Seat Protectors to Buy in 2021

The 7 Best Car Seat Protectors to Buy in 2021

Things can get messy really fast with kids, so it’s great to have products that help limit the wear and tear they leave behind. After all, kids will be kids.

Car seat covers are a valuable product to have in your parenting arsenal: they prevent mud, dirt, crumbs, and spills from caking into your car’s upholstery, which in turn keeps your car clean and looking new for longer. Sound good to you? Keep reading!

Key Considerations When Buying a Car Seat Protector

There are many different options out there for you to choose from when it comes to car seat protectors. In the following section, we’ll discuss those options and the most important features for you to look for.

Types of Car Seat Protectors

There are three main types of car seat protectors available. The type you end up choosing will depend on the design of your car seats, the age of your child, and how much they travel with you in the car. Read the section below to find out which type will best suit your specific needs.

Bench Seat Protectors

If your backseat is traditional (meaning, there is no separation between the windows and middle seat), you will want to buy a bench seat protector. They are usually made as a one-piece cover, which you secure in place by hooking it onto the headrests. This ensures full coverage, and because they are larger in size, they will usually have a non-skip feature to prevent slipping.

Bench seat protectors are also made for people who travel with animals, so check to see that it comes with buckle access. If you have split-bench seats, this type of car seat protector is not the right choice for you.

Bucket Seat Protectors

A bucket seat is made for a single person. It’s also called a captain’s seat. There are protectors made specifically for bucket seats, which can be molded into the shape of your car seat and will cover as much of the seat as possible. You may even be able to find one that is made specifically for the make/model of your vehicle.

These will not fully cover your car seats, so be prepared for some spills to get onto the upholstery. They are not compatible with middle seats.

Kick Mats

No matter how well-behaved your kid is, they’re going to wiggle if they have to sit for long periods of time. And kicking feet is one way to get out their energy! Kick mats (also known as back seat protectors) cover the backs of the front driver’s seat and the front passenger’s seat.

If you like exploring the outdoors with your kids on a regular basis, kick mats are an essential purchase. They protect the backs of your front seats from dust, dirt, mud, snow, and any other debris those little feet pick up when they run around outside.

Some even have additional storage pockets to help stay organized.

The Most Important Factors to Consider in Car Seat Protectors

In addition to the seat type, here are the most important factors in car seat protectors that should form a key part of your buying decision.

Seat Material

The most common materials used to make car seat protectors are vinyl and nylon. While vinyl looks more high-end, nylon is more durable in comparison. However, vinyl car seat protectors are easier to clean. You could also choose a protector made with a material like neoprene, which is water-resistant, making it even easier to clean spills.

If your child is still using a car seat, you’ll want to buy a car seat protector that is tough, non-slip, and durable. If, however, your child has outgrown their car seat and will be sitting directly on the mat, you’ll want to choose a material with thick, comfortable padding instead.

Fit

Make sure you measure your back seat very carefully and/or check your owner’s manual for the specific dimensions of your backseat. This will ensure that you buy a car seat protector that will easily fit into your backseat. The best car seat protectors will be adjustable and made to work with most makes and models.

Age of Your Child(ren)

Babies and toddlers have different needs when it comes to car seat protectors. It is important to consider their age and developmental needs as well as the type (and size) of the child booster car seat they use.

Will your child be in a rear-facing seat? If so, you’ll want to buy a protector that attaches to the seat. Otherwise, it can be awkward for your child when they’re strapped into their car seat.

Does your child like to swing their feet? Are they sitting in a front-facing car seat? If so, you’ll want to consider buying kick mats in addition to car seat protectors. It’ll be an additional cost, yes, but it’ll also help maintain the resale value of your car.

Has your child learned how to buckle their own seat belt? You’ll want to buy a car seat protector with slots for the seat belts, so your child can buckle in with ease.

LATCH System Compatibility

Car seats using the LATCH System will need to connect its built-in straps and hooks to your car’s anchor system in the backseat. This makes it possible for you to install your child’s car seat without using the seat belts. You will need to make sure that the car seat protector you choose is compatible with LATCHing.

Safety

Look over your owner’s manual to check if there are side airbags installed in the backseat of your car. If they are, you will need to check that the car seat protectors you want to purchase will not stop the airbags from working properly.

Most companies that make car seat protectors are aware of this possible issue and make seat protectors that do not deter this safety feature in cars.

Top 7 Best Car Seat Protectors 2021

1. Best Overall Car Seat Protector: Lusso Gear

Lusso Gear

Why we like it: Lusso Gear car seat protectors are built to last! They are waterproof, dirt- and heat-resistant and odor-free. If that isn’t enough, they’re also made with extra-thick padding that keeps bottoms nice and comfy on long drives.

Editor’s Rating:

Quick Facts:

  • Material: PVC Leather
  • Type of Protector: Bucket
  • Dimensions: 18.75” (Width), 49” (Height), 17” (Length)
  • Color Options: Black, Tan, Red, Gray, Brown

Product Review

Lusso Gear car seat protectors are made with extra-thick padding that helps keep your child comfortable. They should fit in most cars and will keep your child’s car seat from leaving dents in your upholstery. They will work on bench and bucket seats that have headrests.

The top of the protector is waterproof and dirt-resistant, so you won’t have to worry about spills and other accidents taking loads of time to clean up or leaving behind excessive damage. Not only that, but the material on the seat protector is odor-free, environmentally friendly, and comes with three built-in pockets. The only downside is that they can’t be purchased in bundled sets.

If your car seats heat up, you won’t have to worry about damaging the seat protectors because they are heat-resistant and non-slip. The bottoms of the seat protectors will grab the seat to secure it into place, but they won’t melt, leave marks/residue or discolor your car’s upholstery.

Lusso seat protectors are compatible with the LATCH system and have adjustable safety straps that tie firmly to headrests. Unfortunately, the headrest straps can come loose, causing the protector to slide around more loosely on the seat. Additionally, they do not fit as well on smaller vehicles.

Your purchase comes with a 1-year money-back guarantee in the case that you are unhappy with your seat protectors for any reason. The customer service team is quick to address your issues, responding to your complaints in 24-hours or less. If you somehow got a defective car seat, they’ll send you replacements, no questions asked.

Pros

  • Compatible with most cars
  • Compatible with LATCH systems
  • Comes with 3 built-in pockets
  • Non-slip design with adjustable straps
  • Waterproof, dirt-resistant, heat-resistant and odor-free

Cons

  • May not fit well on smaller vehicles

2. Best Premium Car Seat Protector: VIEWPETS

VIEWPETS

Why we like it: If you’re traveling with pets and with kids, the VIEWPETS car seat protector is the best choice for you. Compatible with bench seats, you’ll get full coverage across your backseat without having to sacrifice access to the safety belts.

Editor’s Rating:

Quick Facts:

  • Material: Quilted Cloth (Top), Rubber (Bottom)
  • Type of Protector: Bench
  • Dimensions: 49″ (Length), 56″ (Width)
  • Color Options: Black, Gray, Sage Green, Tan

Product Review

If you need to travel with dogs and kids, this is the car seat protector for you. Not only will it cover the window seats, but it will also cover the middle seat that is often left uncovered if you use bucket seat protectors.

They are compatible with the LATCH system and have openings for your car’s seat belts to slot through. It’s non-slip with its elastic straps that secure the cover into place on the headrests and with additional flaps that help prevent sliding.

Though VIEWPETS does claim that its seat protectors are heavy-duty, scratch-resistant, and waterproof, it does have its limits. If you have to deal with extreme accidents (like unexpected poops), the waterproofing may not hold up quite as well as is claimed.

Fortunately, this car seat protector is made with a quilted fabric that is machine washable for such instances when a quick wipe down won’t do the trick! In less extreme cases, you can easily clean the protector off with a damp cloth and/or with a few runs of a vacuum.

Pros

  • Great for families who travel with kids and pets
  • Compatible with LATCH system
  • Have openings for safety belt access
  • Heavy-duty, scratch-resistant and machine-washable

Cons

  • May not be waterproof against accidental number twos

3. Best Budget Car Seat Protector: Enovoe Kick Mats

Enovoe Kick Mats

Why we like it: If you’ve got kids who love to let their feet do the talking in the backseat, Enovoe Kick Mats are a must-have. They are made with waterproof, dual-layer material that can stand up well to hard use.

Editor’s Rating:

Quick Facts:

  • Material: Nylon
  • Type of Protector: Kick Mat (aka Back of Seat Protector)
  • Dimensions: 18” (Width), 24” (Length)
  • Color Options: Black

Product Review

Enovoe kick mats fit onto the backs of the front seats by strapping onto the headrests. There is also a lower strap that secures the mats firmly into place, keeping them from moving around. They are compatible with most vehicles.

The mats look super sleek, come in packs of two or four and cover the entire backs of the seats to keep dirt, mud, and scuff marks from damaging your car’s interior. They don’t have built-in pockets, and they will, unfortunately, cover-up access to any pockets you may have on the backs of the driver and passenger seats.

Enovoe kick mats clean off very easily and can stand up to constant kicking. This is because they are made with dual-layered and waterproof material. You can clean away scuffs from little feet, dirt, and debris with a damp cloth. If that’s not enough, purchasing these kick mats comes with a lifetime, money-back guarantee with no questions asked.

Pros

  • Compatible with most vehicles
  • Can buy in packs of two or four
  • Easy to clean scuffs and dirt patches away
  • Made with dual-layer, waterproof material
  • Secures firmly in place with headrest and lower straps

Cons

  • Does not have pockets
  • Will cover back of seat pockets

4. Best Backless Protector: Munchkin Auto

Munchkin Auto

Why we like it: Munchkin Auto car seat protectors are the best choice for parents seeking a quick and easy solution to keep their upholstery safe from dents that front-facing car seats can leave behind.

Editor’s Rating:

Quick Facts:

  • Material: Vinyl
  • Type of Protector: Bucket
  • Dimensions: 2” (Length), 9.7” (Width), 2.5” (Back Flap Height)
  • Color Options: Black

Product Review

If your child is already facing forward in their car seat, you might not need a protector that covers the entire backseat. That’s where Munchkin Auto car seat protectors come in! Once kids reach this milestone, the biggest concern you’ll most likely have is protecting your interior from dents and marks that car seats can leave behind.

This backless, extra-large, and thick protector will keep your child securely in place and protect the interior all at the same time. They may slip more on leather interiors, though.

Munchkin Auto car seat protectors are made with heavy-duty, water-resistant material. It fits underneath your child’s seat and has a small black flap to keep the seat protector in place. A front flap hangs down over the seat’s edge to protect the interior from dirt and debris collected on the bottoms of your child’s shoes.

You can spot clean it as needed. Unfortunately though, because it does not cover the entire back seat, it will not protect all of your car’s interior from accidents and spills.

There is a large pocket on the front flap where you can store your child’s most important items for easy access and organization. Like the Lusso Gear car seats, it is also compatible with the LATCH system. It can also be used with your car’s regular seat belts.

Pros

  • Protects car interior from dents and marks
  • Extra-thick material keeps baby seats secure
  • Compatible with the LATCH system
  • Comes with a large pocket

Cons

  • May slip on leather
  • Does not offer full coverage and protection from spills

5. Best Protector for Rear-Facing Child Seats: Munchkin Brica Elite

Munchkin Brica Elite

Why we like it: Like the Lusso Gear car seat protectors, the Munchkin Brica Elite protectors will work on both bucket and bench seats.

Editor’s Rating:

Quick Facts:

  • Material: Vinyl
  • Type of Protector: Bucket
  • Dimensions: 45” (Length), 20” (Width)
  • Color Options: Dark Grey

Product Review

Munchkin Brica Elite car seat protectors are designed to work with bench and bucket seats as long as you have headrests. Not only that, but they are also compatible with both the LATCH system and your car’s seat belts. The adjustable strap secures the back panel of the seat protector and makes it easy for you to strap in and remove your child’s car seat with ease. Additionally, the extra large back panel on this protector is made to fit larger car seats.

There is an anti-slip design on the top and bottom of the car seat protector. This dual grip action grips the child seat and the car seat itself, providing extra security and making it less likely for anything to move when in motion.

The heavy-duty vinyl material stands up well to hard use. So if your child’s feet are constantly kicking, you won’t have to worry about scuff marks or dirt being left behind. However, if you do find dirty spots on the mat, simply clean it all off with a damp cloth.

Though the material is made with a color-safe construction that guarantees that no color will transfer onto your car, the blue rubber inserts can leave behind marks on your car’s interior after prolonged use.

Pros

  • Compatible with the LATCH system
  • Maintains access to car’s seat belts
  • Anti-slip design on bottom and top of protector
  • Compatible with bench and buckets seats (with headrests)

Cons

  • Color-safe construction may not be as effective after prolonged use

6. Best Protector for Infants: Summer ELITE DuoMat

Summer ELITE DuoMat

Why we like it: Summer ELITE DuoMat car seat protectors take safety seriously. Not only are they designed with a non-skid backing and textured surfaces to keep car seats secure, but they also underwent extensive safety-testing.

Editor’s Rating:

Quick Facts:

  • Material: Vinyl
  • Type of Protector: Bucket
  • Dimensions: 5″ (Length), 19.25″ (Width)
  • Color Options: Black

Product Review

Designed especially for kids’ seats, the Summer ELITE DuoMat protector is made with non-skid backing material and has a textured surface that can hold on firmly to a car seat. ELITE DuoMat protectors have also been crash-tested to see how securely they stay in place by Graco SnugRide, Chicco KeyFit, and the Evenflo Tribute.

These car seat protectors are compatible with the LATCH system and your regular seat belts. There is also a pocket on the front of the protector that hangs over the edge where you can store your child’s most essential items for easy access. You can be sure that they will leave no indentations or marks behind after prolonged use.

However, the color may fade under constant exposure to heat and harsh sunlight. Under extreme heat, they may even start to melt.

Pros

  • Compatible with LATCH system
  • Comes with a pocket for storage
  • Does not leave behind indentations or marks
  • Non-skid material and textured surface keeps car seats secure

Cons

  • Color may fade and material may melt under extreme heat/sun exposure

7. Best Protector for Long Drives: Helteko

Helteko

Why we like it: Unlike other products on the market, Helteko can be purchased in packs of two with a car seat protector and a back seat protector. The storage pockets also make them perfect for long road trips.

Editor’s Rating:

Quick Facts:

  • Material: 600D Oxford
  • Type of Protector: Bucket and Kick Mat
  • Dimensions: 49” (Length), 19” (Width)
  • Color Options: Black

Product Review

If you have kids in front-facing car seats, you’ll love that Helteko car seat protectors are sold in packs of two: a bucket seat to install underneath the car seat and a kick mat to install on the back of the front seat. This offers a wide range of protection where your child will be sitting and where they will definitely be kicking!

Not only that, but both protectors come with storage pockets for you to organize and easily access your child’s most essential items for the trip. If that’s not enough, one of the pockets on the kick mat can hold a small tablet, so you can put on your child’s favorite cartoons (and keep them calmer) while you’re on the move.

The protectors are made with an eco-friendly, waterproof material that is easy to clean with quick wipe downs as and when you need. It is also extremely stain-resistant. They are extra-thick, making them comfortable for anyone who needs to sit directly on them.

However, though they are made to be durable, those with particularly active kids may find that the material peels away after prolonged use. Thankfully, your purchase comes with a lifetime warranty. Customer service will help you fix any damage done to your car seat protectors.

Pros

  • Can purchase in packs of two (1 seat protector; 1 kick mat)
  • Lots of pocket storage with one pocket for tablets
  • Made with eco-friendly, waterproof material that is easy to clean
  • Extra thick material is comfortable to sit directly on
  • Comes with a lifetime warranty

Cons

  • Material may peel after hard, prolonged use

Guide to Buying the Best Car Seat Protector

Thankfully, there are plenty of different options out there for parents when it comes to car seat protectors. You’ll want to read carefully and consider your child’s specific needs before buying them. In the following section, we’ll review previous talking points about car seat protectors and share some more information on how to find the best one for you!

Benefits of Using Car Seat Protectors

Any parent can tell you how easy it is for kids to turn something clean into something incredibly messy and unorganized. A back seat without protectors and with children in tow will definitely result in all sorts of mess: food spills, glitter, sand, dirt, and everything in between.

There’s no time to spend your days constantly cleaning out the back seat of your car. That’s where car seat protectors come in to save the day!

Keeps Your Car Seats in Good Condition

Car seat protectors keep your car’s upholstery in great condition, ensuring that your resale value stays high. Kids’ car seats can leave deep indentations behind after prolonged use. If you have a car with a leather interior, there’s the added risk of tearing.

Car seat protectors provide a much-needed barrier between your child’s seat and the upholstery to keep them looking good.

Protects Upholstery from Sun Damage

If you don’t have tinted windows, you will find that direct sunlight will damage your car seats over time. They can cause fabrics to lighten in color and may contribute to drying out and cracking leather seats. Car seat protectors will absorb most of this damaging sunlight, keeping your seats safe from long-term damage.

You may just end up keeping them installed long after your children grow out of their car seats because of how effective they are at protecting your upholstery from sun damage.

Reduces Cleaning Time

It’s an undeniable fact that kids get messy, and car seats can be a headache to clean. There are so many nooks and crannies that spills can get into, and not all fabrics are easy to clean. Car seat protectors, on the other hand, are made to not only handle and hold in messes, but they are also made to be super easy to clean. A great example of this is the Enovoe Kick Mats.

Types of Car Seat Protectors

The three most common car seat protectors are bench seat protectors, bucket seat protectors, and kick mats.

Bench Seat

Bench seat protectors are made as a one-piece cover that you can hook behind the headrest to secure it in place. This will ensure full coverage of your backseat, and because they are larger in size, they will usually have a non-skip feature to prevent slipping.

These work great if you travel with animals too, but you will need to make sure it has buckle access for your child’s car seat.

Bucket Seat

Bucket seat protectors are made for a single-person seat. They can be molded into the shape of your car seat and will cover as much of the seat as possible. You might even find ones that are specifically made for the make/model of your car. However, they won’t protect your seat from all spills.

Kick Mats or Back Seat Protectors

Kids are going to wiggle and swing their feet when sitting for long periods of time in the back seat. Kick mat seat protectors cover the backs of the front driver’s and passenger’s seats. If you like to go on hikes, visit parks or run around in the playground with your kids, you’ll need these car seat protectors to protect the upholstery from damage. Some even have additional pockets for storage!

The Most Important Factors to Consider When Buying Car Seat Protectors

Seat Material

If you’ve got kids in car seats, it is important that you choose a protector that is durable and non-slip. If your kid will be sitting directly on the mat, it is more important to choose one made with a thick, comfortable padding.

Vinyl and nylon are the most common materials used to make car seat protectors. Many people like vinyl because it looks more high-end and is easier to clean, but it may be more prudent to choose one made with nylon as it is more durable. A material like neoprene is also something to look out for: it’s water-resistant and easier to clean.

Fit

Although most companies will make car seat protectors that are adjustable, you will need to refer to your owner’s manual or measure the back seat of your car directly to get its specific dimensions. There’s nothing worse than buying something that won’t fit and having to go through the process of returning it back to the store!

Your Child’s Age

Your child’s needs will change as they grow and develop. It is important to consider these changes and differences when choosing the best car seat protector for you. If your child is in a rear-facing seat, you should purchase a car seat protector that attaches to the back seat so that your child is comfortable when they are strapped in.

If your child is in a front-facing seat, however, you will need to also consider buying kick mats in addition to car seat protectors. This will ensure that both the back seat and the backs of the front seats are properly protected.

If your child is now buckling their seat on their own (yay), make sure that the car seat protector you buy has slots for seat belts to make buckling up quick and easy.

LATCH

Some parents prefer using car seats for their child that do not require using seat belts. Instead, they use their car’s anchor system in the back seat with the built-in straps and hooks underneath the child’s seat.

If you prefer this system for securing your child’s seat into the car, you’ll want to buy a car seat protector that is compatible with the LATCH system.

Overall Safety

Check your owner’s manual to see if your car has side airbags. If it does, you need to look for car seat protectors that won’t hinder them from working safely and properly. Don’t fret! Most companies keep this car safety feature in mind when they make their protectors, so there are many safe options out there for you. Just make sure to double-check.

Added Special Features

In addition to the most key features explored above, there are also some additional features that should be explored as part of your buying decision. Here’s what you need to know.

Water-Resistant/Waterproof

Car seat protectors that are waterproof or water-resistant make cleaning up relatively easy. Sometimes your little ones will need to eat or drink while in the car. Sometimes they’ll get dirty before having to get back into the car. Whatever the reason, car seat protectors with this additional feature will not only protect the upholstery from staining and damage, but they will also reduce the amount of time you need to clean up messes.

Pockets/Storage

Some car seat protectors are straightforward in design: they are made solely to protect your car’s interior. More modern car seat protectors, however, have added features like pockets for you to store small toys, blankets, snacks, etc. This added feature comes in handy when you’re traveling with children.

How to Install a Bench Seat Car Seat Protector

Watch the following video to see how to install a bench seat car protector with hooks that latch onto the headrest.

Additional Tips about Car Seat Protectors

  • Does your car have a heating feature for the seats? Make sure that the seat protector you want to buy is compatible with this.
  • Does your bench seat split for access to a third row? You’ll need a car seat protector that allows the seat to function and move normally for third-row access.
  • Be sure to pick a car seat protector that you don’t mind looking at every day. It’ll go a long way in making the interior of your car feel comfortable and pleasing to the eye.

Final Thoughts

Car seat protectors are a great choice for keeping the interior of your car safe from the many spills and accidents you’re sure to have when traveling with kids. Now that you know what to look for in a car seat protector, you’ll be sure to find the best one for you and your family!