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Are leather seat covers any good?

Are leather seat covers any good?

Yes, they are! But there's not always a black and white answer to that question.

There's an undeniable allure to the feel and look of leather, a material known for its comfort, premium status, and graceful aging. From its rich aroma to its smooth texture, leather has long been a favorite. So we can see why you’d want it.

At TigerTough, our expertise is creating seat covers from durable CORDURA®️ fabric, tougher than military-spec materials, and designed to withstand the demands of work trucks. Although leather seat covers are not within our product line, our extensive experience in the seat cover industry gives us a bit of knowledge on leather seat covers. (And fun fact: before we made seat covers exclusively, we made tack supplies, so we know a thing or two about leather.)

Let’s take a look at leather seat covers.

The Leather Seat Cover Spectrum

When you're eyeing leather seat covers, you're looking at a field with some real contenders and a few pretenders: genuine and faux leather. 

Genuine leather? That's the real deal – brings class, comfort, and that rich smell nothing else can match. But that rich smell ain’t cheap. 

Then there's faux leather. It's the cheaper option and still looks sharp from a distance. Great for folks wanting the leather look without the leather price tag or for anyone aiming to keep their ride vegan-friendly.

Pros and Cons of Genuine Leather Seat Covers

The Upside

Genuine leather seat covers are like that trusty pair of leather work boots—tough, look better with age, and scream quality. They bring a level of comfort and style to your ride that's hard to beat. Sitting down on a genuine leather seat cover feels like an upgrade whenever you get behind the wheel. Plus, they've got that signature leather scent that makes your truck's cabin feel more like a luxury retreat than a daily driver.

The Downside

But, just like those high-quality boots, genuine leather needs some TLC to keep it looking its best. If your truck's pulling double duty as a workhorse, those leather seat covers will see more than their fair share of sun, dirt, and the occasional coffee spill. Over time, without proper care, leather can dry out, crack, or even start to fade, especially if it's baking in the sun day on a job site.

And let's talk about the work truck life for a minute. Genuine leather, while tough, might not be the champion you need against the grind of daily use in a work environment. Tools, equipment, and the general rough-and-tumble can leave marks and scuffs that are hard to erase. Plus, genuine leather ain't cheap—so if you're outfitting a fleet, those costs can pile up quicker than overruns in a kitchen renovation gone sideways.

The Lowdown on Faux Leather Seat Covers

The Appeal

Faux leather (sometimes called leatherette) seat covers might catch your eye with their slick look and cheaper-than-genuine-leather price tag. They promise the luxe feel of leather making them a tempting option for dressing up your ride on a budget. Plus, they're a cinch to clean, a big win for anyone with a busy life or a car full of kids and pets.

The Reality Check

But here's the deal—faux leather's got its drawbacks. While it might look sharp out of the box, over time, it can tell a different story. Durability-wise, it's like comparing a heavyweight champ to a lightweight contender; faux leather might not always hold up in the long haul. With the wear and tear of daily use, especially in a work truck that sees all kinds of action, you might start to notice cracking, peeling, or even some fading. It's tough, sure, but it's not invincible.

And while faux leather is easier on the wallet now (it’s still more expensive than cloth seat covers), if it starts to show its age sooner, you could be looking at replacements more often than you'd like. That means more dough out of your pocket in the long run. Plus, those easy-to-clean surfaces? They're great until they start to break down, and then you're stuck with seat covers that don't quite live up to the dream.

We won’t ever recommend faux leather seat covers. We haven’t met one we loved that doesn’t make us sweat…literally.

Slip-On vs. Replacement Leather Seat Covers:

The Contenders

In one corner, we've got slip-on leather seat covers. They're the quick fix to spruce up your seats without breaking a sweat or the bank. Easy to install, they slide right over your existing upholstery, giving your interior a facelift in about an hour or so. They're the go-to for folks looking for a fast, cost-effective way to upgrade or protect their seats.

Then there’s replacement leather upholstery, the heavyweight option. This isn't just a cover; it's a total seat makeover. You know those Katzkin seat covers you’ve heard about? They’re legit, but it’s a full swap out for your existing upholstery. You're looking at stripping down to the bones and giving your seats a brand-new, skin-tight leather outfit. It’s a bigger commitment, both in time and cash (Katzkin starts at $1895), but the result is a custom-fit look that's hard to distinguish from factory-original. Take note that you might need a certified Katzkin installer to do the job for you.

The Long Haul

When it comes to longevity, both have their merits. Slip-on covers offer the flexibility of easy removal for cleaning or swapping out styles. However, they might not match the snug, seamless fit of a replacement, potentially shifting around and showing wear more quickly.

Replacement leather upholstery, on the other hand, is in it for the long haul. Tailored to fit your seats precisely, it eliminates the bag and sags common with slip-ons. But, it's a permanent change—once you go this route, there's no returning to your old seats without another significant investment.

The Verdict

Choosing between slip-on leather seat covers and full replacement upholstery depends on what you're after. Looking for an upgrade around $1000? Slip-ons might be your winner. But if you're all about that seamless, upscale finish and are ready to invest $1000-$2500 in your vehicle, replacement upholstery could be the way to go. 

Top Leather Seat Cover Brands We Recommend

We’re not against leather seat covers. We just don’t make them. So here are our favorite cover and replacement options if you decide you want to go that route.

Favorite Leather Seat Cover

Favorite Leather Upholstery Replacement

    • $1300
    • Real leather
    • Air-bag safe
    • 60+ color options
    • Really great configurator tool
    • Dozens of finishing options
    • Three-year/36,000-mile warranty
    • Made in Oklahoma City, OK

CORDURA®️ vs. Leather: The Work Truck Showdown

We won’t ever recommend a leather seat cover or leather upholstery replacement for your work truck. We just won’t do it. If you have a leather factory interior, that’s totally fine, we just wouldn’t want you to pay through the nose to add leather seats. And if you want to cover that leather and keep it looking new, it’s safe to add seat covers. 

When it's time to gear up your work truck, the choice of seat cover material is more than just about looks—it's about survival in the toughest conditions. 

Why CORDURA®️ Reigns Supreme in Work Trucks

CORDURA®️ is the undisputed durability champ in the work truck arena. It's not just fabric; it's a fortress. Designed to resist tears, scuffs, and abrasions, CORDURA®️ seat covers are built to take a beating and come out looking good as new. They're the kind of seat covers you put on when your daily grind involves dirt, tools, and the occasional "oops" moment that would send lesser materials into retirement.

We trust CORDURA®️ so much that we put it through torture tests. And we give our customers an unconditional two-year warranty on their covers.

Leather, with all its class and comfort, puts up a good fight. It’s tough in its own right and brings a level of sophistication that's hard to beat. But when push comes to shove (or spill comes to stain), leather isn’t always up to the task. It requires regular maintenance to keep it from drying out or cracking, and in the dust and grime of a work truck’s life, leather might just tap out sooner than you’d like.

CORDURA®️ in the Trenches

In the rough-and-tumble world of work trucks, CORDURA®️ shines. It laughs in the face of spills, scoffs at dirt, and brushes off wear and tear with ease. Whether it's hauling construction gear, navigating through farm fields, or surviving the daily demands of a plumber's needs, CORDURA®️ seat covers keep coming back for more, looking sharp and ready for action. And when they need it, you can toss them in the washing machine.

Leather, while it can stand up to a fair amount of use, often requires a gentle touch and a bit more care to maintain its integrity in such environments. It's at its best when it can be admired for its aesthetics and function.

The Bottom Line

Choosing seat covers is all about what you need them for. Leather's got class but demands care, especially in the rough-and-tumble life of a work truck. But if you’re not looking for work truck seat covers and have an extra $1000 to kick around, go for it! 

CORDURA®️? That's your go-to for unbeatable toughness and hassle-free upkeep. It's the workhorse that doesn't blink at dirt, spills, or daily wear and tear.

Think about what you want from your seat covers. If it's luxury and style, leather might be your pick. But for sheer durability and ease of care, CORDURA®️ stands out as the champion. It's tailor-made for anyone who needs their covers to be as hardworking as they are.

Looking for more options other than TigerTough? Check out the top work truck seat covers of 2024 to find a brand that meets your needs and budget.


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