keeping leather car seats cool

How to Keep Leather Car Seats Cool (The 5 Best Methods Revealed)

If you’ve ever slid into your car on a hot day, we’re sure you have been made to feel really uncomfortable by scorching hot leather seats. If you park your car under the sun for a long time, the leather interior of your vehicle is likelier to heat up to an unbearable level. 

Sitting in a car with hot leather seats can be extremely uncomfortable, especially if you might have any sort of skin condition. Therefore, you have to find ways to prevent leather car seats from heating up or to cool them down to a comfortable temperature before use. 

This article lists some of the easiest methods to keep your leather seats cool and comfortable. We’ve also included a section where we answer some frequently asked questions.

Method 1: Roll Your Car Windows Down Slightly

If you park your car on a hot day under the sun, you could consider rolling down your windows slightly to allow space for trapped heat to escape. Hot air rises and slightly rolled-down windows give the heat an avenue to dissipate.

winding down windows to keep leather seats cool

This will also allow for cooler air in the car and keep the vehicle’s temperature considerably lower. Nevertheless, you should only use this method if you are parking in a relatively crime-free and safe neighborhood.

A car with open windows can be an invitation to break in and steal your valuables. To make this solution even more effective, you can leave your car windows slightly open and start a solar-powered car fan to cool the interior.

The solar vehicle ventilator or solar-powered car fan uses the sun to generate low-voltage electricity that drives its small fan. It blows stale and hot air out of a car and draws fresh and cooler air in. It is a highly useful accessory that can reduce a car’s internal temperature significantly.

We do not recommend this solution if you are unable to respond to a sudden change in weather. Rolled-down windows are not ideal if it begins to rain. You will end up with wet interiors which are equally if not more so, an undesirable consequence.

Method 2: Use Your Car’s Remote to Activate Air Conditioning 

To reduce stuffiness and cool down your leather car seats before you enter and begin driving, you need a remote starter to turn on your vehicle’s air conditioning (AC) system.

If your key fob has the function to automatically start your car’s air conditioning system, you can easily control its setting even if you are not near it.

start ac with key to keep leather car seats cool

It is an excellent solution for removing frost from the glass in cold seasons and a viable solution for preventing internal heating in the summers to keep your leather car seats cool and comfortable. 

You can activate the AC at its coolest setting a few minutes before entering it so that you can enjoy a cool and relaxing driving experience. When you turn the AC on with the remote control, it automatically lets the hot air in your car escape and replaces it with cooler air.

Even starting the air conditioning system 3 to 4 minutes before entering can make a world of difference to the internal temperature of the car and its leather interior.

Once your vehicle is considerably cooler, you can turn off the AC and open your windows to save energy should you so choose.

Method 3: Use A Windshield Sun Shade

If you want to prevent your car from heating, you can consider opting for windshield sunshades. Car sunshades offer a barrier against the harsh sun rays and block them out protecting your leather car seats and keeping them cool.

use a windshield shade to keep leather car seats cool

These sun shades are either made of a light-absorbing material that keeps UV rays out or a reflective material that allows the sunlight to bounce back. If you want to use these sunshades in your car, place them as close to the windshields as possible.

You should also cover as much surface area as possible across the windows. This will prevent the sunlight and its heat from penetrating the leather interior and heating up the car’s internal temperature.

You can avoid the stuffy heat buildup with sun shades and prevent burning yourself when touching the seatbelt, steering wheel, or gear shifter.

Method 4: Tint Your Car Windows

Tinted windows can also be effective in protecting a car from heating up. There are different window tinting regulations in different states and countries that you should keep in mind at all times.

Therefore, carefully choose a tinting option that keeps ultraviolet (UV) rays from your car’s interior without landing yourself in any sort of legal trouble. We’ve written a comprehensive guide on how UV rays can affect leather, which you can read for more information on this topic.

tint your car windows to keep leather car seats cool

Most commonly, the reflective film of window tint is made of polyester or a colored dye with metal fragments. The film layers block the sun’s heat while letting some light enter the car.

Research has shown that tinted car windows can lower the car’s internal temperature by up to 8 degrees Celcius. Car window tints can also reduce the exposure your leather seats have to the sun’s UV rays, preventing premature aging, fading, and formation of cracks.

Aside from keeping the car cool, window tints can deter thieves and discourage them from tampering with your vehicle.

Method 5: Use Seat Covers & Cushions

The most uncomfortable part of driving your car on a sunny is the hot leather seats. The leather interior heats up quickly under the sun and continuously absorbs the sun’s UV rays.

To avoid burning yourself by sitting on an uncomfortable scorching seat, you may use cooling seat covers and cushions that keep you comfortable and relaxed even in sweltering summers.

These materials are structured to have cooling pads and fans that can absorb the car’s internal heat as well as your body’s heat. 

Cooling car seat cushions can prevent you from feeling like you are sitting in a sauna, and place a breathable layer of mesh and microfiber materials between you and your car’s leather upholstery. Most of these covers can fit onto vehicle leather seats, be it an SUV, truck, or even an RV.

Frequently Asked Questions

Below you’ll be able to find some of the most frequently asked questions about keeping your leather car seats cool that were sent in by our readers.

Am I Only Able To Use A Single Method At A Time?

You are welcome and recommended to use any combination of methods that work well for you and are accessible. Most of these methods we detailed on how you are able to keep your car seats cool are independent of one another.

Why Should I care About Keeping My Car Interiors Cool?

Apart from the obvious benefits you enjoy from a comfort perspective, prolonged and excessive exposure to heat and sunlight can cause your car’s leather interiors to be damaged over time.

While most high-end car makes apply protective layering over leather interiors, these can wear off over time and cause your leather interiors to be susceptible to long-term wear and damage.

What Other Methods Can I use to Keep My Leather Car Seats Cool?

While we’ve taken the time to share the 5 best methods, there are also other ways to ensure that your car seats remain comfortable and cool throughout the day. Below you’ll find a list of additional things you can do:

  • Keep your AC switched on while driving
  • Park your car in a garage
  • Make use of car covers
  • Avoid parking under the sun

About Matthew

Co-Founder, Editor-in-Chief & Writer At Leatherskill

I’m a leather enthusiast turned artisan. Apart from crafting leather products, I’m passionate about writing in-depth guides and reviews on all things leather!