A good way to make yourself comfortable inside the car during the cold season is to employ a car seat warmer cushion. These cushions are designed to quickly warm up to a comfortable temperature so that you won’t have to experience any discomfort while the AC heats up the rest of the car.
For such a seemingly simple concept, you wouldn’t expect there to be much difference between different models, but as we are about to find out, a lot can go wrong with a car seat warmer if it isn’t up to par in every way. To give you a better idea of what to look for, we put together a list of the ten best car seat warmers money can buy for you to look at.
Best Car Seat Warmers of 2017
10Zento Deals Car Heated Seat Cover Cushion Hot Warmer
What makes this cushion perfect for cold weather and winter driving is the universal fit it provides, a feature only high-end car seat warmers boast. To power the cushion you connect it to your car’s 12-volt cigarette plug, so no additional setup required there. Interestingly enough, this cushion comes with a temperature control feature that consists of heat levels for you to choose from.
9Wagan IN2282 Deluxe Heated Seat Cushion
Ideal for winter driving, the IN2282 from Wagan will surely meet anyone’s need in terms of both heat and comfort. Seemingly slim yet highly spacious and comfortable, this seat cushion can be plugged into the cigarette lighter and can be expected to heat up in just a couple of minutes. Also worth mentioning is that this cushion comes equipped with an optional AC adapter so that you will be able to use it with any chair or couch outside the car.
8OxGord Auto Seat Warmer
This heated seat cushion comes with added lumbar support and velour cushioning, features not many car seat warmers have these days. It also features high and low heating options to choose from, with a maximum temperature reach of 114 degrees. Like most car seat warmers, this one also operates via a 12-volt cigarette lighter outlet, which can be expected from most high-quality car seat warmers/cushions on the market today.
7AUDEW Universal 12V Heated Car Seat Cushion Warmer
Equipped with sturdy straps and hooks, you can rest assured that this particular car seat warmer will safely and securely fit your car seat with no limitations to speak of. What’s interesting is that it has a maximum temperature reach of up to 60 degrees Celsius. At the same time, this cushion features a temperature control system that prevents overheating, which is quite useful considering how quickly it heats up.
6Zone Tech Car Heated Seat Cover Cushion Hot Warmer
With this particular car seat warmer, you don’t get just warmth but exquisite comfort as well. The reason behind this is an accommodating cover that stretches all over your back and bottom to not only provide comfort but to stimulate a good blood circulation. Its flexible elastic straps ensure that this cushion will fit any car seat with no limitations whatsoever. Not only that but it also fits RV seats if needed, which is always a big plus.
5Relaxzen 60-2926 Massage Seat Cushion with Heat
As the name would suggest, this ingenious car seat warmer boasts massaging features for added comfort. To be more precise, this seat cushion is equipped with six invigorating massage motors for the lower back, upper back, and tighs areas. It also lets you choose between three massage modes along with a soothing heat treatment in the middle back for good measure. As for the seat itself, let us point out that it is quite thick and comfortable.
4Zone Tech Heated Car Seat Cushion
With the added benefit of secured straps, this heated car seat cushion from Zone Tech stands out as one of the easiest to set up. It also benefits from a temperature control function which is bound to come in useful in the long run. Thanks to the Far-infrared heating built into the fabric, you won’t have to deal with any lumpy wires or bumps to inconvenience you if you plan on using the cushion on a regular basis.
3Wagan IN9738 Heated Seat Cushion
If you’re looking for an affordable car seat warmer that can maintain a seat temperature between 110 and 120 degrees, look no further than Wagan’s IN9738 Heated Seat Cushion. This cushion measures 36x17x1 inches and fits most car seats without any issues to speak of. All you need to get it up and running is to plug it into your car’s 12V cigarette lighter. If not, there is always the possibility to use it outside the car thanks to the AC adapter it comes equipped with.
2Relaxzen 60-2910 Massage Seat Cushion with Heat
Having the option to get a massage while driving is always nice, even more so when it’s part of a car heating system. The great thing about this seat massager/heater is that it features 10 invigorating vibration massage motors with variable speeds and independent massage zones. At the same time, it benefits greatly from a memory foam construction with a neck rest and lumbar support pads for good measure.
1Wagan IN9438 Heated Seat Cushion with Lumbar Support
There is perhaps no better car seat warmer on the market today than Wagan’s IN9438 Heated Seat Cushion with Lumbar Support. This super soft velour and polyester seat warmer feels luxurious and comfortable at any temperature, even though you want it heated up to 114 degrees for maximum comfort.
It also benefits from a universal fit construction that allows it to fit any car seat out there without any issues to speak of. Last but not least, we should point out that it is also one of the most affordable car seat warmers out there, which may explain its tremendous popularity.
Types of Car Seat Warmers
Top of the seat warmers – These are by far the most popular car seat warmers out there and for good reasons as well. They are inexpensive, lightweight, flexible, and very easy to set up without the use of any additional tools. Not only that but they are also quite versatile when it comes to installing them, regardless of what type of car you’re driving. The only real issue with these warmers is that they will eventually show signs of wearing and tearing after a while, as do all car seat upholstery.
Under the seat warmers – It is also possible to get warmers that you install underneath the car seat upholstery. Although longer-lasting than top of the seat warmers, these particular warmers are usually high-maintenance and difficult to install. They also suffer from the probability of having a negative effect on whatever car seat cover you’re using with them because not all covers react well to sudden changes in temperature.
Internal car seat heaters – Depending on your budget, you could also get an internal car seat heater for your car. Even though it’s a bit more expensive, it is extremely efficient when it comes to heating up the seat quickly, much faster than any other methods out there. These car seat warmers are installed inside the seat and back, which involves stripping the upholstery to facilitate the installation of said heaters, a labor intensive task that is both tiresome and expensive.
What To Look For In A Car Seat Warmer
Temperature control – It is very important for a car seat warmer to have a temperature control feature that lets you choose just how hot the seat can get.
You want to be able to choose the heat intensity that best suits your situation based on how cold the inside of the car is. At the same time, it couldn’t hurt for the car seat warmer to also have an inbuilt safety feature that protects the device against overheating.
Massaging features – As we already pointed out earlier, some car seat warmers are equipped with massaging features. With the added benefit of heat being distributed evenly throughout the car seat, a massaging feature will vastly increase your comfort levels and stimulate a good blood circulation. Depending on how much money you have to spend, these massaging car seat warmers can boast only a handful or a multitude of presets to choose from.
Air distribution – It is also possible to use the car seat warmer in tandem with an air ventilation unit, be it packed with the warmer or improvised by those of you with crafty hands. If the heated seat unit contains a fan or an AC unit, it might also come equipped with an air filter. The point of this air filter is to pick up particles inside the car and to help facilitate a good airflow.
Construction – When it comes to choosing a car seat warmer, you want one that is guaranteed to last you for years regardless of how often you use it. For this purpose, try to pay attention to the materials used in its making, like whether or not it features cloth or leather. In this respect, always choose a car seat warmer made from materials that are better suited to withstand the intensity of its heated coils for added durability.
Dangers Of Using Car Seat Warmers
Although most car seat warmers do not pose any life-threatening danger, you have to remember that they are electronic devices after all. As such, you should ensure that they meet the same safety standards you would expect from any other electronic device. We’re mostly talking here about wiring and insulation, but you should also look for a car seat warmer that is not only waterproof but also built with a strong enough stitching to withstand any potential tearing.
Last but not least, one must always be aware of ‘toasted skin syndrome’ which means exactly what you think it means. You see, prolonged contact with the high temperature most of these warmers provide will most likely lead to skin discoloration over time. Given how most of these warmers can get quite hot, you don’t really want to expose your skin to too much heat unless you absolutely have to. To avoid this, remember to shut off the device as soon as the temperature inside the car no longer warrants its usage.