When choosing between SofTex and real leather upholstery for your Toyota, there are several factors to consider. While genuine leather may have an upscale appeal, Toyota SofTex offers significant advantages, making it a better choice for many Toyota owners. 

One of the main reasons why SofTex is superior to real leather is its durability. Unlike genuine leather, which can be prone to cracking and fading over time, SofTex is designed to withstand wear and tear while maintaining its original appearance. This makes it an excellent option for those who lead an active lifestyle or have children or pets.

Another advantage of SofTex is its environmental friendliness. Unlike real leather, which requires animal hides, SofTex is made from synthetic materials that are both cruelty-free and more sustainable. By choosing this synthetic material, you can enjoy the luxurious look and feel of leather without contributing to environmental harm.

So, if you’ve ever wondered why Toyota’s SofTex is gaining popularity among car enthusiasts everywhere, read on as we unravel its secrets and reveal why it might just be better than the real deal.

WHAT IS Toyota SofTex?


SofTex, the synthetic leather material used in Toyota vehicles, offers numerous advantages over traditional leather upholstery. Not only is it easier to clean and virtually maintenance-free, but it also resists spills and remains soft to the touch while being half the weight of real leather.

What truly sets SofTex apart is its positive environmental impact. This innovative fabric reduces carbon footprint by producing about 85% less CO2 emissions than conventional materials used in car interiors. 

Due to its environmental benefits, SofTex is also a healthier option for passengers and animals. Rated at 99% fewer Volatile Organic Compounds (VOCs) than traditional synthetic leathers, it provides a cleaner breathing space within the vehicle cabin. For those with allergies or furry companions, SofTex proves advantageous as pet hair and dander are less likely to accumulate compared to cloth seats. Pets can enjoy a comfortable grip on the fabric without slipping during rides—a win-win situation.

While SofTex offers many benefits over traditional upholstery options like cloth or leather seats, it does have some limitations. The material is susceptible to pet damage, such as bite marks and clawing—something pet owners should keep in mind if they share their rides with furry friends. Nevertheless, considering its durable nature when properly maintained, SofTex can easily last ten years or more—a testament to its longevity and value for money.


When comparing SofTex vs. leather, one must consider durability. While both materials offer softness and comfort, leather tends to have the upper hand in this department. Leather seats are known for their resilience and ability to withstand years of use without showing signs of wear and tear.

On the other hand, SofTex may hold up less over time, particularly in high-traffic areas such as the driver’s seat. So, if longevity is your priority, leather might be the better choice. 

Another factor to take into account is the overall aesthetic appeal. Leather exudes a luxury that is hard to replicate with any other material. It can instantly elevate the look and feel of your car’s interior, giving it a refined and elegant touch that SofTex might struggle to achieve. If creating a luxurious environment inside your vehicle is at the top of your list, leather should be your go-to option.

Is soft to the touchVery soft and luxurious
Easier to clean and protectMore cleaning and care required
Much less likely to crack and fadeSusceptible to cracks and fading over several years
Prevents most stainsSusceptible to stains if not cleaned immediately
Better temperature regulationCan feel very hot or cold depending on the weather
No influence on resale valueCan increase resale value if cared for properly
More color optionsLimited color options



Between Toyota SofTex and cloth seats, there are a few key differences to consider. While cloth seats may be the more affordable option, consider the benefits of investing in SofTex. Not only does it provide a luxurious appearance, but it also offers a touch of upscale style without breaking the bank. 

One of the standout features of SofTex is its soft-to-the-touch texture. Unlike cloth seats that can feel rough or scratchy, SofTex provides a premium feel that adds extra comfort to your driving experience. This synthetic material is known for its excellent stain resistance. So if you’re prone to accidents or have messy passengers, SofTex will be able to withstand spills and resist stains far better than cloth upholstery.

It’s important to note that while SofTex may come at a higher upfront cost compared to cloth seats, its durability makes it worth every penny in the long run. With proper care and maintenance, SofTex upholstery lasts longer than traditional cloth seating options. This means you won’t have to worry about replacing or repairing your seat covers as frequently as with cloth seats.

More expensive than clothCheaper than SofTex
More luxurious lookDoes not provide an impressive appearance
Soft to the touchMore rough feeling, but not uncomfortable
Less susceptible to stainsStains easily
Can feel hot/cold to the touch depending on the weatherRegulates temperature very well


The durability of Toyota SofTex is remarkable, and it is a favorite among Toyota owners for good reason. Not only does this synthetic material last for years, but it also requires minimal maintenance to keep it looking as good as new.

Unlike traditional leather seats, SofTex remains stain-resistant and resistant to fade even under direct sunlight. This makes it an ideal choice for families who desire an upscale interior without worrying about wear and tear that often comes with leather. 

What sets SofTex apart from other materials is its exceptional strength. It is less likely to tear or get damaged easily compared to other options available in the market. This feature ensures that your vehicle’s interior remains in top shape regardless of daily usage or accidental spills.

Another noteworthy aspect of SofTex’s durability is its hassle-free nature. Unlike leather seats that require frequent conditioning and protection, there is no need for expensive conditioners or protectants with SofTex. This saves money, time, and effort, making it a practical choice for those who value convenience.

While pets may pose a challenge to any interior material, including SofTex, it is important to note that no option guarantees complete resistance against claws and pet teeth. Considering the overall durability of SofTex compared to other materials on the market, it still holds up remarkably well, even in the presence of furry friends.



Despite the widespread praise for the upholstery in Toyota SofTex, there are a few problems that deserve attention. One common complaint is that the material tends to get uncomfortably hot during summer months, making long drives or extended periods of sitting quite uncomfortable.

These are the statements that are most frequently heard among the top complaints.

  • Looking at leather, it could be more abundant.
  • not as plentiful as leather in feel
  • Compared to clothing, it becomes hot or cold more quickly in harsh temperatures.
  • doesn’t breathe as well as upholstery made of cotton

 It’s important to remember that not all customers prioritize extreme luxury when it comes to their car seats. Many people are simply looking for a comfortable and durable option that will stand the test of time. In this regard, SofTex seats have proven to be a reliable choice. 

The downscaled version of leather used in SofTex seats offers some unique advantages. It is more resistant to stains and spills than traditional leather, making it ideal for families or individuals who often find themselves dealing with accidental spills or messes in their cars.

The material also tends to retain its shape and appearance better over time compared to genuine leather, which can develop creases and wrinkles with regular use.



  • Use a vacuum cleaner to remove loose dirt, crumbs, hair, etc. Get into crevices to remove built-up debris.
  • Pre-treat any stained areas with a mild soap and warm water. Let sit for a few minutes.
  • Spray a high-quality interior detailer evenly over the entire seat surface. Avoid oil-based cleaners.
  • Gently scrub seats with a microfiber cloth. Apply moderate pressure to lift dirt.
  • Repeat the spray and scrub steps until the seats are clean. It may require 2-3 repetitions.
  • Wipe down seats with a clean, dry microfiber cloth to remove any excess moisture.
  • Allow seats to fully air dry before using them again.

The key steps are vacuuming thoroughly, pre-treating stains, using a specialized interior detailer, scrubbing with microfiber, and drying completely. Avoid oil-based cleaners on SofTex. Proper cleaning keeps the seats looking new.



Meguiar’s has earned a reputation as a top manufacturer of car care products, and for good reason. One look at the glowing customer reviews is proof that they know how to make high-quality automotive products.

I’ve been using Meguiar’s products for years as my go-to for cleaning my car. Their Gold Class Rich Leather Cleaner, in particular, works great on SofTex upholstery. It cleans and conditions the material, leaves behind a nice satin finish without any greasy residue, and provides UV protection against fading.

You can use it not only on the seats but also on the steering wheel, center console, door panels, and more. It’s even safe for sensitive surfaces like navigation screens and stereo displays.

The key to getting the best results is to apply it with high-quality microfiber towels. This prevents any streaking and lets you really work the product into the material.

I recommend this 10-pack of microfiber cloth from Amazon. With multiple towels, you’ll have enough to tackle the entire interior in one go – polishing, scrubbing, and drying. Trust me, having the right tools makes all the difference here.


While Toyota SofTex has advantages like durability and easy maintenance, real leather remains superior in many ways. Synthetics cannot replicate the natural, luxurious feel and aged patina of real leather upholstery. With responsible and sustainable sourcing, real leather can also be an ethical and hypoallergenic choice.

For its beauty, character, and heritage, real leather is still the true premium option that showcases quality and luxury. Although SofTex has merits, it cannot match the timeless elegance that high-quality, ethically sourced real leather brings to vehicle interiors. Real leather upholstery retains its superiority over Toyota’s SofTex and other synthetics.


Can I use a leather conditioner on SofTex?

Yes, you can use leather conditioner on SofTex upholstery. Leather conditioners are typically safe to use on a variety of materials, including synthetic leathers like SofTex.

Is SofTex more durable than leather?

SofTex is more durable than leather. It is an artificial leather material that is designed to be long-lasting and resistant to wear and tear. Unlike natural leather, Softex does not crack or fade over time, making it a more durable option for car interiors.

By Muhammad Saeed

I am Muhammad Saeed, an automotive enthusiast with a specialized focus on Toyota vehicles. With a genuine passion for the automotive industry, Muhammad brings a wealth of experience and expertise to our website. As an authority in the world of Toyota vehicles, Muhammad Saeed combines a deep understanding of automotive mechanics with a hands-on approach to deliver content that aligns with the highest standards of Experience, Expertise, Authoritativeness, and Trustworthiness (EEAT). Muhammad's journey in the automotive field has equipped him with insights into the intricacies of Toyota vehicles, making him a reliable source for enthusiasts and car owners alike. His commitment to staying abreast of the latest trends and technologies ensures that the content provided is not only accurate but also reflects the cutting edge of the automotive world. Explore our automotive content with confidence, knowing that Muhammad Saeed's dedication to EEAT principles ensures the reliability and trustworthiness of the information you receive. Muhammad is excited to share his wealth of knowledge and contribute to your understanding of Toyota vehicles and the automotive industry as a whole.