How Do I Choose the Best Car Seat Mat?

Dan Cavallari

A car seat mat is a great way to enhance the comfort and functionality of a car seat, especially for regular commuters or people who do long drives regularly. When choosing a car seat mat, it is important to look for one that is comfortable, affordable, breathable, and supportive. Think carefully about the types of materials used to make the mat, as well as the supportive qualities of the mat; some are ergonomically designed, while others feature massaging units that can enhance comfort on long drives. Think carefully, too, about the method by which the mat is secured to the seat.

Car seat mats are likely to get dirty, so it is recommended to get machine washable ones whenever possible.
Car seat mats are likely to get dirty, so it is recommended to get machine washable ones whenever possible.

One of the best investments one can make when choosing a car seat mat is an ergonomic design. These mats add extra support to the lumbar spine, and they put the spine in a neutral position that will prevent pain and fatigue, especially during long drives. These mats are usually made of a mesh material to allow for adequate ventilation and to prevent sweating and discomfort, especially on hot days. The mat itself secures to the seat with elastic straps, hook and loop straps, or buckle straps to prevent the unit from shifting or moving during use.

A car seat mat should feature a non-slip surface to prevent shifting during use. This should be used in conjunction with securing straps, not in place of them. Non-slip materials are often rubber or similar tacky substances that will not damage the seat's upholstery but will also keep the unit from moving, which ccould be uncomfortable and even dangerous. Regardless of the style of mat you choose, be sure it does not interfere with the regular functioning of the seat and seatbelt. The mat should not be bulky enough or large enough to interfere with normal belt function, and it should at no time obstruct your view to the rear of the car.

Some car seat mat designs are intended to protect the upholstery rather than to enhance comfort. Such mats are often designed for the back seat of the vehicle, as this is most often where children and pets are likely to sit. They can cover the entire back seat, and they should be easy to install and remove for maintenance and cleaning. These mats are likely to get dirty quickly, especially when pets frequent the back seat, so be sure the mat you choose is machine washable or can at least be sprayed off with a hose and dried quickly.

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