Best Steering Wheel Covers of 2019
Steering wheel covers are hugely popular car accessories. It’s not hard to see why. They help keep your hands comfortable and reduce driving fatigue.
They are also a quick way to spruce up the look and feel of your interior at a very affordable price.
Add in the fact that the best steering wheel covers are available in every design imaginable, from classy, sophisticated leather to rhinestones and faux wool, and there is truly something for everyone.
Our best overall is the faux leather Elantrip Sport Steering Wheel Cover (detailed review later in the article). It offers great looks, great reviews and a great price.
Our other choice for best overall is made out of real leather. The Vitodeco Odorless Steering Wheel Cover exudes the luxury feel that only real leather can provide. Customers give it rave reviews.
Faux Leather Steering Wheel Cover Reviews
With their good looks and great prices, synthetic steering wheel covers are easily the biggest sellers in the segment.
Editor’s Choice Faux Leather: Elantrip Sport Steering Wheel Cover
Material: Leather like synthetic. Installation: Slip on. Sizes: 14.5 to 15 inches. Colors: 3 choices (Red, beige, black/grey). Model #: SWC003-GY.
What We Like. The Elantrip Sport offers a true two-tone look. This combined with the intricate stitching makes for a very elegant design. The faux leather material is very soft and gets high marks for comfort. Also does a good job of moderating temperatures, i.e. cool in the summer and warm in the winter. Like our other top picks, the Elantrip is designed to be odorless. It also comes with an excellent 12 month warranty.
What We Don’t Like. Color choices are somewhat limited, although the colors they do offer look great. Higher price than average for a faux leather cover. Lots of stitching means more places for unraveling over time.
Stylish with an assertive, modern look, the Elantrip is a very easy pick among our reviews for the Editor’s Choice.
Best Seller Faux Leather: SEG Direct Steering Wheel Cover
Material: Microfiber. Installation: Slip on. Sizes: 14.5 to 15 inches. Colors: 8 choices. Model #: B01GLMEK60.
What We Like. The SEG Direct Steering Wheel Cover may just be the best selling steering wheel cover on the planet. It comes in an excellent 8 color choices including 3 single color and 5 two-tone options. Many drivers comment on the premium feel. As one person said, “it doesn’t scream aftermarket.” That is high praise for a synthetic product. It has all of the expected features that a best seller should have: soft grip, temperature moderation and odorless.
What We Don’t Like. The single color options are very basic looking. Even the stitching is the same color. Like a lot of other products in our review, it can be challenging to fit on larger steering wheels and may require heating first.
The SEG Direct is an excellent product for the money, and thousands of customers agree.
Best Value Faux Leather: Rueesh Steering Wheel Cover
Material: Microfiber. Installation: Slip on. Sizes: 14.5 to 15 inches. Colors: Black. Model #: 5823957287.
What We Like. Good quality at an unbeatable price. That’s what we like best about the Rueesh Steering Wheel Cover. 3-4 ounces heavier than similar quality competitors, it has a solid “grippy” feel. Beyond that it comes with all the expected features as well. It is padded, breathable, odorless and anti-slip. The warranty is truly outstanding. Rueesh promises a 2 year, hassle free warranty should problems arise.
What We Don’t Like. The look is very basic. That can either be a plus or minus depending on your point of view. The cross hatch embossing is about the only visible design element on the Rueesh.
Aggressive Look: BOKIN Steering Wheel Cover
Material: Microfiber and viscose. Installation: Slip on. Sizes: Universal 15 inch. Colors: 7 choices. Model #: B-K0026A.
What We Like. The BOKIN Steering Wheel Cover provides a unique look that stands out from competitors. A smooth microfiber leather contrasts with highly textured viscose fabric for a very dramatic look. Four leather bands on the viscose just adds to the look. Color choices are fantastic and include black, gray, red, purple, blue, tan and brown. The Bokin comes with an 18 month warranty, which, while not best in class, is still very good.
What We Don’t Like. It does make the steering wheel feel larger, which may be an issue for drivers with smaller hands. Like other products with complicated stitching and designs, there may durability issues, such as stitching coming loose, in a small number of cases.
Faux Leather Product Comparison Table
Leather Steering Wheel Cover Reviews
Like with most car accessories, products made out of leather are considered to be the top of the line.
Editor’s Choice: Vitodeco Steering Wheel Cover
Material: Real leather. Installation: Slip on. Sizes: 3 available. Colors: 4 (black, grey, beige, brown). Model #: SWC-301
What We Like. The Vitodeco Odorless Steering Wheel Cover has a dramatic dragon scale design that is really eye popping when installed. Materials are top notch. It is made out of one piece of real leather. Most drivers describe it as very comfortable. The white rubber inner lining is designed to be odorless (no rubber tire smell like with some cheaper models). The Vitodeco gets consistently great feedback for a solid, non-slip grip thanks to the dragon scale design. It will prevent “hot hands” when parked outdoors in really sunny climates. Comes in 4 different colors: black, grey, beige and brown.
What We Don’t Like. Takes a few days to break in and can be slightly slippery for a while (also for the new smell to wain). The dragon scale look is a bit love it or hate it. Slightly premium priced compared to other steering wheel covers. Can require heating before it becomes “stretchy” enough to install on larger steering wheels.
Overall, the Vitodeco is a top notch leather steering wheel cover. If you like the look, you will love the product.
Editor’s Choice: Valleycomfy Steering Wheel Covers
Material: Real leather. Installation: Slip on. Sizes: 15 inch universal. Colors: 9 choices. Model #: FXCF01.
What We Like. The Valleycomfy Steering Wheel Cover offers a wide range of colors and textures. It uses quality materials that are both soft and breathable. This allows for a comfortable grip that helps prevent hand fatigue when driving. Like the Vitodeco, it has a white rubber inner lining that is odorless (may take a couple of days). Craftsmanship, including all seams and stitching, is excellent. In terms of embossing styles, Valleycomfy offers two options: mesh and cross hatch (see above photo). As a tried and true best seller with hundreds of reviews, it is a low risk purchase. You know exactly what you’re getting with a Valleycomfy.
What We Don’t Like. It comes folded and vacuum pressed. Valleycomfy claims this reduces carbon emissions by allowing fuller shipping loads. While this is undoubtedly true, it can take a day to regain shape after unboxing. The textured ridges bother a small percentage of people that are highly touch sensitive.
The Valleycomfy is a great steering wheel cover with a ton of positive customer reviews. It is a solid Editor’s Choice.
Best High End: Wheelskins One Color Steering Wheel Cover
Material: Real leather. Installation: Lace up. Sizes: 14.5 to 15.5 inches; 3.6 to 3.9 inches grip circumference. Colors: 12 choices. Model #: AXX.
What We Like. The Wheelskins Universal One Color is a true high end product. They’ve been making leather steering wheel covers in California since 1977. The material is very high quality, and you will notice the supple feel as soon as you touch it. The Wheelskins also wears very well and will last a long time. Much longer than cheaper synthetics. Because of the “lace up” application, no gaps are visible, so Wheelskins look more professional and more like an original accessory.
What We Don’t Like. As a lace up model, the Wheelskins takes much longer to install versus a slip on. Plan for approximately 1 hour vs. 5 minutes or less for a slip on. The “dummy stitches” over the steering wheel spokes may take some practice. See the video later in the article for instructions. Lastly, you do pay extra for an ultra-premium product. While steering wheel covers are affordable on a total $ basis, the price on this one is ~ 2X.
If you enjoy piddling with cars and don’t mind the installation process, Wheelskins are an excellent choice that will last a long time.
Best Value: QianBao Genuine Soft Leather Car Steering Wheel Cover
Material: Real leather. Installation: Slip on. Sizes: Small (13.5 to 14.5 inches). Colors: 2 choices (Black/black, red/black). Model #: QB43042.
What We Like. The QianBao Soft Steering Wheel Cover is a solid performer at an excellent price. It is very smooth and soft to the touch which helps keep your hands comfortable while driving. It has a white rubber inner lining that is considered “odorless,” meaning it won’t smell like a new tire. Has a high end look and feel that is unusual for this price point. The stitching and seams are very intricate, giving the QianBao a sophisticated modern look.
What We Don’t Like. The QianBao only offers two color choices, and those are for the seams, not the base color itself. Can be harder to install because of its small size. You may need to heat with a hair dryer before installing to make it stretchier.
Good product, good reviews, great price. If you like one of the two color choices offered, the QianBao is an excellent value.
Leather Product Comparison Table
Carbon Fiber Steering Wheel Cover Reviews
For those that want a more aggressive, modern look, carbon fiber covers may be just the ticket. Our reviews include three of the best.
Editor’s Choice Carbon Fiber: AmeriLuck Steering Wheel Cover
Material: Carbon fiber and breathable fabric. Installation: Slip on. Sizes: 14.5 to 15.5 inches. Colors: 5 choices. Model #: AM-SWC-18.
What We Like. The AmeriLuck Carbon Fiber Steering Wheel Cover comes in 5 great colors. The carbon fiber part of the wheel really pops with a realistic glossy 3D effect. Overall, it may be the sportiest looking offering in our roundup. The complementary synthetic fabric provides a comfortable grip and is highly breathable. It has an odor free lining similar to other top brands. The AmeriLuck comes with a 1 year “no questions asked” guaranteed warranty.
What We Don’t Like. The carbon fiber material is less durable than real leather (note: at half the price, you can buy two for every one leather). A few people (1-2%) report the fabric portion will wrinkle.
Best High End Carbon Fiber: Yanda Suede Steering Wheel Cover
Material: Carbon fiber and bonded cashmere leather. Installation: Slip on. Sizes: 14.3 to 15.1 inches. Colors: 2 choices (black and red).
What We Like. The Yanda Carbon Fiber Cover is unique both in terms of materials and appearance. A rich suede body with a carbon fiber cap at the top. We love the design, especially how the suede texture provides provides a subtle contrast to leather car interiors. The suede feels really good to the touch. To top things off, the Yanda is breathable and cold resistant.
What We Don’t Like. Again, synthetic carbon fiber materials are not as durable as genuine leather. For example, some report that the D stripe at the top will eventually show wear.
The Yanda is a super stylish steering wheel cover with a unique look.
Best Value Car Carbon Fiber: Elantrip Steering Wheel Cover
Material: Carbon fiber and synthetic leather. Installation: Slip on. Sizes: 14.5 to 15.5 inches. Colors: Basic black. Model #: SWC007.
What We Like. The Elantrip Carbon Fiber Steering Wheel Cover offers the rare combination of a low price and outstanding customer reviews. It has synthetic leather on both sides of the steering wheel for a comfortable grip and carbon fiber at both the top and bottom. This also allows it to breathe right at the point where your hands hold the steering wheel. Comes with a 12 month guarantee.
What We Don’t Like. As Henry Ford once said, “you can have any color you want as long as it’s black.” The materials are black, and the stitching is black. The bright shininess and 3D effect of the carbon fiber does break up the monotony however.
The Elantrip offers a lot of value for around $15.
Carbon Fiber Product Comparison Table
Novelty Steering Wheel Cover (Blingy, Fuzzy, Cute) Reviews
We like basic black, but then again, we’re boring people. For those of you with more personality and style than us, here are some of the best novelty and cute steering wheel covers available.
Novelty steering wheel covers are all about the style. It is true that faux wool and plush models will keep your hands warm in the winter, but that is not the main reason most people buy them.
If you prefer a little bling bling, the Sino Banyan Diamond Bling Steering Wheel Cover is perfect. It absolutely sparkles. A nice touch is that extra stones are included in case you ever need to make repairs.
The QIMEI Universal Car Steering Wheel Cover offers a whopping 14 different fluffy options. They include red, pink, purple, and pink/black two tone just to name a few. If cute steering wheel covers are what you want, you’re sure to find one with QIEMI.
The Best-Shops Winter Warm Faux Wool Car Steering Wheel Cover is soft, fuzzy and warm in the winter. It comes in 9 color options (wine red pictured below). The Best-Shops is not a heated steering wheel cover in the sense that it is battery operated, but it’s the next best thing. A nice added touch is that it comes with matching hand brake and gear shift covers.
Novelty Product Comparison Table
Steering Wheel Cover Buying Guide
Why You Should Use a Car Steering Wheel Cover
Provides Better Grip. Some steering wheels are slick and/or difficult to grip from the factory. While this is not an issue with most leather steering wheels, it can be a problem with hard plastic and vinyl options, as well as those with small grip circumferences. A good steering wheel cover allows you to tailor the grip to exactly meet your preferences.
Provides a More Comfortable Grip. Most leading products offer a cushion grip and often have grooves or pads to rest your hand or thumbs. These ergonomic touches not only great styling, they also help prevent driver fatigue and keep your hands comfortable on long drives.
Prevents Wear. Other than perhaps the driver’s seat and floor mat, a steering wheel gets more wear than any other interior car part. Scratches are common especially if you wear jewelry. Most people drive without washing their hands. The buildup of dirt and grime can greatly discolor steering wheels. A good steering wheel cover keeps everything looking showroom shiny which helps preserve resale and trade in value.
Moderates Temperatures. Depending on the material you choose, steering wheel covers can help keep things cool or warm. Plastic and leather steering wheels can get very hot in direct sunlight. If this is an issue for you, fabric and certain synthetic model will keep things cooler and help prevent burning your hands (like in Houston and Phoenix in the summer). If on the other hand, you live in very cold climates, fuzzy covers are marketed as “heated steering wheel covers.”
Allows Your Sense of Style to Show. Steering wheel covers come in every style from boring black to bright pink and leopard print to fuzzy wool. If you can imagine a style, a steering wheel cover almost certainly exists for you. Animal prints, fuzzy faux wool, cartoon characters, rhinestones, team logos, bright colors, et cetera, are all available. Some of the more stylish options come with matching accessories like gear shift and hand brake covers.
Changes the Driving Dynamic. After a while, driving becomes automatic. That new car that you fretted about every time it got even a little dirty becomes invisible over time. Steering wheel covers are a nice and affordable way to change things up. Given that you touch the steering wheel every time you drive, a new “toy” can help break up the monotony.
How to Determine the Right Size
Most steering wheel covers are measured across the face. This is known as the “outer diameter.“
A secondary measurement is the distance around where one of your hand grips the steering wheel. This is called the “circumference of the grip.”
Steering wheels on most cars and SUVs range from 14 to 18 inches with 14.5 to 15.5 inches being by far the most common. Grip circumference is usually between 3 and 5 inches.
A common mistake is not paying attention to the circumference of the grip. Many people buy the right size diameter (usually 15 inches) only to find out that their steering wheel is much thicker than average.
For example, the diameter and grip circumference on a Jeep Grand Cherokee Overland are 15 and 5 inches respectively. A 15 x 2.5 inch leather steering wheel cover would not work. Note: this would not be an issue for a stretchy synthetic steering wheel cover.
What to Consider When Buying
Local Environment. So many car purchases are dependent upon the weather where you live. If you live in a hot, humid climate AND park outdoors, fabric or synthetic options will do a much better job of keeping your hands cool. For drivers who sweat a lot, some of the newer silicone products would work well. For winter, almost anything is better than a hard plastic steering wheel. Several manufacturers offer faux wool varieties specifically designed for winter.
Tactile Comfort. Drivers are constantly touching the steering wheel (we hope!) when driving. If you don’t like the feel of the texture in your hand, you won’t enjoy the experience and likely won’t use the steering wheel cover. Most people know if they prefer leather, synthetics or fabric from experience with other products. Take this into consideration before purchasing.
Material. Related to the above point, steering wheel covers are made out of several different materials:
- Genuine leather
- Synthetic leather (usually microfiber or PU)
- Carbon fiber
- Fabric (e.g., cotton)
- Faux wool
- Combinations of the above (e.g., carbon fiber and synthetic leather).
Synthetics are by far the biggest sellers. Regardless, customers have a lot of choices in this segment.
Fit. The material determines the importance of fit. For stretchy silicone steering wheel covers, fit barely matters. They usually sell one universal size. For real leather steering wheel covers, you better get the fit exactly right, both the diameter and grip circumference. Synthetics fall in between. They are more forgiving than leather, but you still need to get both measurements right.
Durability. A good quality steering wheel cover should last several years. Leather, when properly maintained, should last the longest. Also examine the construction. Products with perforations, multiple seams and complicated designs are more likely to tear.
Style. There are a few dimensions to consider here: color, texture and material. Every color imaginable is available from the classic black, brown and grey to hot pink and lime. Another element is texture. Some steering wheel covers are aggressively designed with multiple fabrics and non-traditional shapes (e.g., added thumb rests). We talked about materials options earlier. Mix and match all you want.
How to Install
By far the most common application type is the slip-on variety. Depending on the product you buy and the size of your steering wheel, covers can go on easily or be a very tight fit.
Most manufacturers provide instructions on what to do in case of a tight fit. Usually, they recommend heating the steering wheel cover with something like a hair dryer to make it easier to stretch.
Outlined below are the instructions you should follow assuming no additional stretching is required. As always, read the included instructions.
- Make sure your steering wheel is clean first. Wipe down with a material appropriate cleaner for your steering wheel.
- Remove any packaging or stickers.
- Place the cut side of the steering wheel cover over the top of the steering wheel. Work your way down the sides pressing the material over the steering wheel.
- Pull the cover over the bottom of the steering wheel so that it is fully installed. You may have to use a fair amount of force.
- Make sure it is aligned correctly. For example, ensure any seams are aligned evenly on the left and right.
This process should take less than 5 minutes if no heating and additional stretching are required. Here is an illustration.
Lace up steering wheel covers are a different story. While the best ones are ultra-premium, they can take around an hour to install.
Probably the most famous brand of leather steering wheel covers is Wheelskins. Their instructions are excellent. You can find the illustrated instructions (PDF) here or watch the official installation video below.
The best steering wheel covers are a great way to quickly change the look of your car or SUV for not a lot of money. Every conceivable design, material and color are available, so there truly is something for everyone.
Our reviews focused extensively on the practical benefits as well: more comfortable grip, cooler steering wheels and reduced driver fatigue.
For real leather, the Vitodeco is our top choice for its great looks and affordable price. In terms of faux leather, we prefer the Elantrip Sport. It is simply one of the best steering wheel covers available for the money.
For the sportier among us, the AmeriLuck Carbon Fiber is a great value and has a more aggressive style than basic leather.
All of these provide a lot of bang for less than $30. Give your hands a treat and buy one!
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)
What are the biggest complaints about steering wheel covers?
Overall, they get great reviews as a product category. Fit is by far the biggest complaint. Why? “Universal” 15 inch products fit about 90% of the 15 inch steering wheels out there. There is just too much variation in size and thickness to fit 100%. The second biggest issue is durability. Some of the cheaper products that have a lot of stitches (read pressure points) that can tear or loosen over time.
How do I ensure that anything I buy doesn’t look like a cheap aftermarket accessory?
First, make sure the materials on any product that you are considering have a premium look and feel. Secondly, make sure whatever you purchase either out right matches OR blends in very well with your existing car interior. If it clashes, it doesn’t matter how nice of a steering wheel cover you buy. Lastly, if you buy a slip on model, make sure the gap between the hems is not too visibly noticeable. The good news is there are tons of pictures and customer comments available, so you should have a very good idea before you make a purchase.
Are there heated steering wheel covers?
Yes, a few manufacturers offer 12 volt heated steering wheel covers that plug into a cigarette lighter socket. These products almost universally get poor reviews. If cold steering wheels are an issue for you, we would recommend either the faux wool steering wheel covers discussed earlier or driving gloves.
Do steering wheel covers smell?
You will see manufacturers advertise “odorless” as a key feature. Smell is really only an issue with cheaper products. Why? Synthetic steering wheel covers have a rubber inner lining. That rubber can be made from white, odorless rubber or a cheaper variation that smells like a tire. Most of the best brands only offer odorless, and we have noted this in our individual reviews.
What does “breathable” mean?
Breathability is important with any cover product…car cover, seat cover, steering wheel cover, etc. If water or perspiration gets trapped underneath and cannot evaporate, the result is often mold or mildew. Breathable just means that any moisture underneath can evaporate.
Are the best steering wheel covers worth the money?
In our opinion, the answer is yes. High-end steering wheel covers feel better to the touch and last much longer. The extra few dollars are worth it to us.