Ventilated Seats Vs. Cooled Seats: Which One is the Winner’s Take?

Ventilated seats and cooled seats are the newest enhancements in modern vehicles. Along with a range of various benefits like enhanced comfort and durability, they may also provide better fuel efficiency depending on usage.

If your car does not have in-built ventilation or a cooling function, you can get them as an aftermarket addition. But how should you choose the right one between ventilated seats and cooled seats?

It all comes down to the subtle differences in the functionality of the two. To know more, read all about their internal functionality here.


Defining Ventilated Seats Vs. Cooled Seats

First of all, to purchase effectively, we have to look at what ventilated and cooled seats are. From the get-go, cooled seats and ventilated seats will look the same to you as they both come with perforations in the seat cushion.

In the case of cooled seats, the perforations are directed to an internal air conditioning system. The internal air conditioner refrigerates air and passes it through to perforations in the seat with the help of some ducts inside the seat cushion.

If the cooling element of the seat is turned on, a passenger will feel a cooling sensation from the seat. The coolness gives these seats a nice and luxurious cooling effect, making the passenger feel luxuriously at rest.

On the other side of the coin, ventilated seats have perforated upholstery on the seats, leading to fans and ducts inside the structure. Sure, using fans is a cost-effective process but the overall effectiveness of the system is what calls for high praise.

Ventilated seats provide a very even temperature to the passenger or chauffeur but it does so without using a cooling element.

Rather, taking from the simplest theories of science, these ventilated seats utilize air inside the cabin of the car to produce coolness for the occupant.

Air circulation and constant air flow redirection cause a cooling effect for the occupant and make him comfortable. For a topline idea, both cooled and ventilated seats help in regulating the body temperature utilizing the car’s seats.


Differences Between Ventilated Seats Vs. Heated Seats

Ventilated car seats and cooled car seats provide sitting comfort for long stretches of time. Although they use different systems, they have the same function – providing a pleasant experience to the passenger during hot and humid weather.

Operating Procedure

Cooled seats use the car’s built-in air conditioning system, and some require an additional cooling system that is designed to be operated separately.

Ventilated seats work by using fans and ducts to circulate hot air away from the seat and redirect cooler air toward it. These seats do not need any air conditioning or cooling system to provide an even temperature to the occupant.

Fuel Consumption Rates

Cooled seats work through fuel consumption. However, contrary to what you might think, this is actually a pro, not a con.

As cooled (air-conditioned) seat cushions provide an even temperature for the occupant of the seat, you can keep the main A/C of the car turned off when the cooled seats are functioning.

During long summer road trips, keeping the main A/C on for long stretches of time reduces the car’s mileage and spikes up fuel costs.

Since cooled seats require less power than the mainline A/C, these seats increase fuel efficiency and improve mileage. Ventilated seats are a different story altogether. They use fans to effectively pull hot air away from the seat occupant’s body.

The ducts maintain the direction of airflow and provide an effective solution to conditions that lead to the buildup of trapped heat, threatening the formation of sweat stains on leather upholstery. 

This reduces engine strain. Providing an even temperature through the seats means that passengers are less likely to lower the temperature of the main air conditioner inside the car.

The even temperature adjustment of the seats lets the passenger cool down while letting the engine capacity be directed towards pulling mileage rather than cooling down the car.


Factors that Determine Whether to Choose Cooled or Ventilated Seats

For an in-depth understanding of the best seat between cooled or ventilated seats, you have to know several other factors that warrant your line of reasoning.


Cost is actually a constant factor. So this is a point at which you do not need to make many comparisons between the two. Cooled seats and ventilated seats both cost fairly the same, as both can be found for $1000 in the market.


Well, ventilated seats drain less of your battery capacity to run air circulation through the fans.

Cooled seats use the car’s cooling system or an extra air conditioner of their own to produce coolness for occupants of the car while in the process, draining much more energy from the engine. 

Climate Conditions

During particularly hot climates, cooled seats work better. The refrigerated air provides much-needed relief during long journeys.

Their seat cushions are also better in terms of timely convenience, as the cooling procedure takes about a minute to take effect. However, if you live in a place that is generally cooler, then this luxury seat will not add much comfort to your journeys.

If you live in a place with cold weather, ventilated seats are better suited for you. The perforated upholstery in the ventilated seats does not blow refrigerated air.

They only circulate air throughout the interior of the car, which pretty well does the job of keeping you fresh and comfortable without making you feel even colder.


Frequently Asked Questions

Are ventilated seats necessary?

Yes, ventilated seats are a necessity for modern vehicles. Good ventilation provides airflow through the seat’s upholstery to keep it dry and fresh. As a result of this, ventilated seats can provide sustained durability.

Are cooled seats necessary?

Cool seats are sort of a luxury upgrade in your car. They are more of a necessity on very hot days when you do not want to sweat, suffer and risk leaving sweat stains on the seats.

Do ventilate seats come with a heating feature?

Some ventilated seats come with an in-built heating feature. If your seats do not have heating, you can easily buy a heating element and install it as an aftermarket addition to your car.

Can you turn off the function for ventilated and cooled seats?

Yes, the function for cooling and ventilation can be turned off for both ventilated and cooled seats. You can also control the airflow speed to suit your level of satisfaction.

Do ventilated seats and cooled seats increase fuel consumption?

Not really. Cooled seats use fuel to run an air conditioning system, so it doesn’t really help to cut down fuel consumption. Ventilated seats, on the other hand, do not need refrigerated air to operate. They use fans, which are great at providing an even temperature without using up fuel.



Most modern car models nowadays come with in-built features for ventilation or cooling.

If your car does not have these functions, then the good news is that you can add aftermarket cooled seats or ventilated seats according to your requirement.

These seats maximize the durability of leather and also help to keep the whole cabin of your car fresh. To summarise, the winner’s take between ventilated and cooled seats actually depends on a few factors.

It comes down to the fact that cooled seats are more suitable for hot climates, and ventilated seats are more suitable for moderate to cold climates. 




Last Updated on November 5, 2023 by Brian Beasley

Written by Linda Reid

Hey there, I'm Linda, a mom of three cool kids. I've tried so many car seats, you could call me a "Car Seat Detective." Searching for the perfect car seat can feel like finding a needle in a haystack, but don't worry! I've committed to researching and reviewing car seats that are super safe, cozy, and great for growing kids. Together, we'll find the perfect car seat that keeps your child safe and cozy, and makes you feel like a super-parent!