Leather Seats vs. Cloth Seats: Which is Better?
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In this article, we’re going to talk about leather seats versus cloth seats.

Leather Seats – Main Features

ProsCons
Luxurious looking Tend to be more expensive
Easy to clean from spills Most aren’t perforated
Tend to be more supple More prone to slide and stick
New car smell lasts longer Difficult to maintain
High resale value

Pros of Leather Seats

Leather seats, overall, tend to look a lot more luxurious as opposed to your cloth seats, and that’s usually the case most of the time. Leather seems to look a lot more luxurious and, if you will, high quality than your typical cloth seats.

Red Leather Seats

Advantage of choosing leather seats over cloth seats is that they’re easier to clean from spills. For example, let’s say you spill something on your leather seats. You can quickly grab a napkin and wipe it right on off.

Now, another advantage of having leather seats is that they are just a lot more soft and supple as opposed to your cloth seats, which tends to be a lot more of the scratchy side. Sitting inside of the leather seats feels a lot more supple, and just it feels like you went that extra mile and paid just a little more to get a little bit more comfort.

Car Leather Seats

Important pro of choosing leather seats as opposed to cloth seats is that they tend to carry that new car smell a lot longer.

Check Our Review: Best Leather Seat Covers

Another advantage of having leather seats is that they’re going to have a higher resale value. Cloth seats are cheaper or less expensive than leather seats, so if you do pick your leather seats over your cloth seats, the vehicle is going to tend to have a higher resale value due to you paying that extra money, and, in the long run. It’s also going to be worth ever so slightly more than your cloth seats.

Cons of Leather Seats

If you are to choose leather seats instead of cloth seats, you do have to recognize that you are going to most likely be paying more for your leather seats as opposed to your cloth seats.

Black Leather Seat

Another thing that you’re probably going to notice is that most of them aren’t perforated. As in perforated, It means that usually when seats are perforated, you have those little dots in the seat, so on a hot day, for example, you are going to sweat a lot more while you’re sitting inside of the leather seats. Also, you’re probably going to stick a lot more, as well, especially if you’re wearing shorts or something. Your thighs will stick to the leather seats as you sweat due to them not being perforated.

Damaged Leather Seat

Another problem that could occur if you’re going to slide around in the leather seats a lot more as opposed to your cloth seats since your clothes and the cloth will cause friction and hold you in place. While if you have the leather seats, your clothes and leather aren’t going to have as much friction with each other, so you are going to slide around a lot more while you are driving.

Another con of picking leather seats over your cloth seats can be they are harder to maintain, and one of the main reasons for that is because you need special wipes to clean leather. Because if you just clean leather with water and a napkin, you are going to stretch or expand those leather fibers, and as a result, you will get stretch marks. The leather will begin to stretch. Over time, leather isn’t really going to hold up as well as cloth seats.

How to Clean Leather Seats

The first step is vacuum the seats. Make sure you get in the stitching to get all the loose dirt out. Next, use car leather cleaner to remove the dirt, oil and grease that is causing the shine. Spray the cleaner onto the seat a section at a time and work it in with a firm sponge, a soft brush, or a cloth to lift the dirt. That dirt is now trapped in the foam.

Next, use a clean damp cloth to wipe over the seat. This removes the foam under leaving clean mat leather. Dry it off with microfiber, and you’re done.

Cloth Seats – Main Features

ProsCons
More affordable Stains and absorbs spills
More breathable/Perforated New car smell lasts less
More comfortable Less of luxurious look
Liitle to no maintenance Seating surface feel

Pros of Cloth Seats

Let’s first talk about the pros of cloth seats. The pros of cloth seats is that they are more affordable. When you’re looking at vehicles with cloth seats, most likely, they’re going to be less expensive than the car with leather seats. Now, another pro of cloth seats is that they’re overall more comfortable. With cloth seats, you don’t get any sticking, or the cloth doesn’t stick to your body. You don’t get any sliding since the friction between your clothes, and the seat will hold you in place, and you don’t get any burning either since these seats are pretty much perforated.

Gray Cloth Seat

That brings us to our next point, and that’s because cloth seats are more breathable and they are perforated. What that pretty much means is that they are going to remain at a stable temperature, so you aren’t going to end up burning yourself, and also cloth seats virtually need no maintenance whatsoever. Eventually, you will have to vacuum them to keep them looking tidy, and you could probably steam them every once in a while, but, overall, you don’t need as much maintenance with cloth seats compared to leather seats.

Cons of Cloth Seats

One of the cons of cloth seats is that they stain and absorb spills a lot easier than your leather seats. Let’s say, for example, you have a juice of some sort, and you spill it right onto your cloth seats. Your cloth will eventually absorb it, and then it will dry up in there, and it will leave behind a stain in the color of the juice.

Stain on cloth seat

Also, another con of having cloth seats is that the new car smell tends to wear off a lot easier, as well. You can smell it very faintly, but, overall, the new car smell is pretty much gone. If you had leather seats in a car, the new car smell will last a lot longer.

Another con of having these cloth seats is that they don’t really look as luxurious as, for example, leather seats. Obviously, some manufacturers do better than others with making their cloth seats look.

Cloth Car Seats

Cloth seats also tend to be scratchy. For example, if you had a cheaper cloth insert on your seats, they can feel a little scratchy.

Different vehicles can have a cloth that’s just overly soft, and it can tear very easily, as well. That could also be another con.

Then, another con of cloth seats can also be they’re lower resale value because cloth seats are a lot less expensive typically than leather seats count variance. If you do opt for cloth seats, you can expect your vehicle to have a lower resale value due to your choice of seats.

Comment and tell us what you will like to see in future articles.


Hello, my name is Steve and I’m an author of the blog “Leather Toolkits“. The beauty is in simplicity, so learn, train, and make your life maximally simple by creating things that will please people for many years. Let your hobby grow into something more and make this world brighter! Hope, in this blog you will find answers to all of your questions.

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