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How to Keep Your Leather Car Seats Cool (7 Useful Tips)

If your car has leather seats, I’m sure you’re familiar with the agony that arises from the burnt backsides and the impossible-to-sit-in seating situation that the leather creates. And since you have zero control over how hot the sun can get, focusing on cooling your leather car seats instead is the only way to make sitting in a hot car with leather seats manageable.

Here are 7 ways to keep your leather car seats cool:

  1. Buy seat covers.
  2. Use windshield sun shades.
  3. Keep your windows slightly open.
  4. Park in the shade.
  5. Buy tinted windows.
  6. Ensure your air conditioner works.
  7. Cover your seat with fabric (if you can’t get a proper cover).

Alright, let’s dive right in and discuss the best methods of lowering the temperature of your leather car interior:

Method 1: Buy seat covers.

Covering your seats is one of the surest ways to keep your leather car seats cool.

If you prefer a car interior that exudes sophistication, you may want to show off your genuine leather seats; that’s completely understandable.

However, the aesthetic appeal of the leather isn’t worth the pain and suffering the seats will cause in the hot summer weather. Therefore, even the most fashion-minded car owners should think about covering their seats when it gets hot out.

If you’re looking for an affordable set of aesthetically appealing seat covers that are cool in summer, warm in winter, and are gentle on the skin, I recommend using this set of Suninbox Car Sear Covers (available on Amazon).

With a natural cotton and linen exterior and a flexible buckwheat hull, these covers are breathable and moisture-proof. And to add to their cooling benefits, the structure can relieve hip pain and make long drives much more bearable.

If you’re looking for a quick fix to your hot leather seat problem, these Suninbox seat covers are your best bet.

How to Keep Your Leather Car Seats Cool

Method 2: Use windshield sun shades.

If you don’t want to cover your leather seats, you’ll need to keep the sun from getting to them. And the best way to do that is with a windshield sun shade.

Ideally, you should use reflective sun shades, as these redirect all rays from the sun away from your car and into the surrounding space.

If you’re looking for an affordable set of quality reflective sun shades, I recommend the Shade-It Car Windshield Sun Shade (available on Amazon).

Shade-It Car Windshield Sun Shade + Free Product Durable 210T Nylon Polyester Heat Block & UV Protection Sunshades – Sunlight Blocker – Reflective Coating, Easy Storage Sunshade (Large 63.5″ x 33.75″)

f the sturdiest, tear-proof sun shades you can buy. It also comes in four sizes, so you’ll be able to protect your seats no matter what size of car you have.

Method 3: Use a zero-cost heat reduction strategy.

Seat covers and windshield sun shades are incredibly effective at keeping your leather seats cool, but you can still maintain a safe temperature in your car without them.

Here are a few ways to keep your seats cool without spending any money:

Keep your windows slightly open

Leaving your car windows slightly open will provide an escape route for trapped heat and, conversely, allow some cooler air inside. You can also turn on your air conditioner to maximize the cooling potential, though this isn’t feasible if your car is parked and off.

However, if you do decide to keep your windows open, make sure that the area your car is parked in is safe and relatively crime-free. An open window can double as an invitation to thieves, and cooler seats aren’t worth the loss of your valuables – or your car.

You should also double-check that there won’t be any rain that day. While a downpour will certainly cool your seats down, it will also ruin your car’s interior.

How to Keep Your Leather Car Seats Cool

Park in the shade

If you have the option, a simple way to keep your leather car seats cool is to park in the shade. As direct sunlight is the primary cause of hot seats, hiding in the shade is an easy and free way to avoid them.

If you have a garage at home, try to park your car inside whenever the temperature is expected to rise dramatically. If you don’t have a garage, a carport constructed in your driveway is another way to get the shade you’re looking for.

When you’re out and about, try to find a parking garage or a parking spot close to some tall sun-blocking buildings. If you have to park in an open lot, look for large, leafy trees that give shade to parking spaces.

Is heat exposure harmful to leather car seats?

By now, you’re well aware that hot leather seats are harmful to you – but is the prolonged sun exposure harmful to your seats as well?

The answer is yes. Excessive heat and sun exposure accelerate the breakdown of your seats. The longer your leather car seats are exposed to the sun, the more discoloration, cracking, and aging they will show.

Excess heat and UV ray exposure cause the natural oils found in leather to evaporate, leaving behind dry and unappealing upholstery.

The first issue you’ll see is discoloration, which will appear after 4-6 months of consistent exposure. After that, a cracked, aged look will slowly appear – completely destroying the nice aesthetic that made you want to buy a car with leather seats in the first place.

Fortunately, most car manufacturers are aware of this fact. The type of leather used to make car seats is usually more highly resistant and likely to hold up quite well, as long as you do your part to prevent the sun from hitting them.

Other ways to keep your car cool

Keeping your leather seats cool is probably the most urgent car-related cooling issue you’ll face, but it’s not the only one you need to worry about.

How to Keep Your Leather Car Seats Cool

Other parts of your car can also get hot and become damaged from excess sunlight exposure. Here are a few extra tips for keeping your car cool and preventing sunlight from damaging the interior:

  • If allowed in your area, you can buy tinted windows.
  • As you buy covers for your leather seats, get one to cover your steering wheel too.
  • Always ensure your air conditioner works perfectly for optimum cooling of your car interior.
  • Purchase a dash-cover to prevent your dashboard from heating up and cracking.
  • Install solar-powered fans in your car to help redistribute any accumulated heat.


Leather car seats look great, but they don’t feel great when left in the hot summer sun for a prolonged period.

To keep your leather car seats warm and mitigate the damage the sun causes to them, use the following tips:

  • Buy seat covers.
  • Use a reflective windshield sun shade.
  • Keep your windows slightly open.
  • Park in the shade.
  • Install tinted windows.
  • Ensure your air conditioner works perfectly.
  • Install solar-powered fans to redistribute accumulated heat.


  • Steve Rajeckas

    Steve Rajeckas is an HVAC hobbyist with an avid interest in learning innovative ways to keep rooms, buildings, and everything else at the optimal temperature. When he's not working on new posts for Temperature Master, he can be found reading books or exploring the outdoors.

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