If you live in a region that gets lots of sun during the summer, you’d appreciate a nice set of ventilated seats. You can either buy a car that comes with ventilated seats from the factory, but this option usually costs the most because you need to bundle lots of options even before you can opt for seat ventilation.
As such, there are a few different ways how one can add an aftermarket set of ventilated seats either through ventilated covers or by modifying the seats, or by getting brand new seats altogether. All three of these usually cost less than opting for ventilated seats from the factory, especially if you opt for a system that uses refrigerated air.
Seat warmers can also be added to your car in the same way. While you are choosing between different types of seat ventilation systems, it is better to opt for a more thorough system that includes refrigerated air. Systems that just push cabin air through your seats are not nearly as effective.
Nevertheless, aftermarket kits such as these vary by cost significantly depending on the car in question, how many seats you wish to ventilate, and the sophistication of the system. On the other hand, if you are primarily interested in ventilated seat covers, these should set you back for around $50-$100.
Installing ventilated seat covers – Easy install, can be removed later
Opting for a set of ventilated seat covers has its upsides and downsides. It costs less than buying a set of brand new seats, but it does not offer the same level of sophistication. Compared to modifying your existing seats, a set of seat covers keeps your seats intact which is something you’d want if you plan on selling your car eventually.
You can buy a set of ventilated seat covers online for less than $100, but it’s better to opt for a more expensive system if you truly want to maximize the cooling potential. Ventilated seat cover brands like SNAILAX offer you a comprehensive seat ventilated system which also comes equipped with a set of high-quality massagers.
Be sure to opt for an organic and breathable fabric to minimize sweat no matter how often you actually use the ventilating feature. Systems such as these are usually powered through the 12V socket, so be sure that your car has one nearby.
Buying a set of ventilated seats – Costly, yet superiorly effective
If you want superior cooling properties, you should opt for a set of brand new aftermarket seats that are specifically designed with seat ventilation in mind. Seats such as these are usually superior even to OEM systems because they revolve around the ventilating function.
The approach to seat design between a seat ventilation company and a regular consumer car brand is way different. A seat ventilation company prioritizes ventilation above many other systems such as massage, while a consumer car brand needs to balance out way more variables which means that the ventilation system is not a priority.
That’s why so many manufacturers offer unrefrigerated ventilation systems which are considered to be a bit gimmicky because they are not all that effective. A seat ventilation company knows how to maximize the cooling effectiveness, plus you are also able to retrofit your OEM seats when it comes time to sell the car.
Modifying OEM seats to include ventilation – Retains the OEM look, but can be expensive
The third option and probably the cleanest-looking option is to modify your existing seats to include a seat ventilation system. To even be able to do this, you need a specific type of seat which means that a full-leather seat is unlikely going to be eligible for such a modification.
Most automakers use perforated leather seats which come with tiny holes from where the air blows out. However, fabric seats can also be modified to include seat ventilation. You will need an experienced leatherworker in order to make the integration as smooth as possible.
Be careful though as some manufacturers will deem this as an extensive modification that voids the warranty. This usually can not be removed without extensive work, so be sure to opt for a cohesive installation even if it costs a bit more money.
Are ventilated seats worth it?
It depends on the system and how often you tend to use it. If the system in question uses refrigerated air, then it’s way more effective thus worthwhile. On the other hand, if the system only uses cabin air, it’s not really all that effective nor useful.
It also depends on where you live, if you get many hot days during the summer, then this system is going to be useful. If you live in colder climate regions and you rarely get significant heat, it’s better to skip the system or go for a simple ventilated seat cover.
Read more about if it is worth it.
Are ventilated seats more useful than heated seats?
A set of heated seats is way more useful because the system is always that bit more effective compared to seat ventilation. This means that even the cheapest, most basic cars that come with heated seats offer extensive heating properties while ventilated seats can be significantly less effective.
Most brands these days offer heated seats as standard, if not, the system usually costs not all that much money. On the other hand, if you want ventilated seats, you are likely going to have to upgrade to at least a mid-level spec or go through the aftermarket route.
Are massaging seats worth it?
Massaging seats are probably the least effective system of them all because they are never as good as you expect them to be. Seat massaging usually includes a set of inflatable air pockets in your seat which inflate and deflate to mimic a massaging effect, but these are rudimental, to say the least.
However, as the industry keeps progressing the massaging seat function is also becoming better and better. This means that there are cars out there that do offer worthwhile massaging systems, but they usually cost a lot of money.