Let’s talk protective mats for vehicle seats. There’s no escaping it: some car seats have sharp edges. When you tightly install these seats, they can sometimes damage your vehicle’s interior—leaving dents or marks on the seat.
Even if your car seat doesn’t have sharp edges, kids and cars can be a messy combo—muddy feet get seat backs dirty and juice boxes can spill. Protective mats help protect against the worst dirt and grime.
So, it’s simple—just get a protective mat, right? Well, no. As with any accessory you might use with a car seat, you should always consult your car seat maker’s instruction manual first.
That’s where things get tricky. Some car seat makers (Chicco, Cybex, Peg Perego) do not allow ANY mats to be used under their seats. Other car seat makers (Britax, Diono) only allow their own brand of mats. Good news: some popular seat makers like Graco actually give you the green light on vehicle seat protectors.
Before you purchase any of these mats, however, check your car seat’s instruction manual to determine if the mat is allowed! While these recommendations were valid and correct as of publishing time, things can change.
So let’s start with Graco—for these seats, we like Lusso Gear’s Car Seat Protector. Here’s why:
What We Liked
• Easy to install and clean. In our testing, we found the adjustable straps easy to use to attach this protector to the headrest.
• Mesh storage pockets.
• Protects both the seat and seat back. Not all protectors do this!
• Affordable. This was among the more padded seat protectors we tested, despite the affordable price!
• Front apron offers good coverage to keep muddy feet off the seat.
What Needs Work
• Can slide on some leather seats. We didn’t see this in our testing, but other users reported this problem.
• Strong smell when removed from the package. Give this seat protector a few days to air out before installing.