Covering Your (Dining) Assets

Protect Upholstery From Grubby Handssmartseat-covers-1

  • What: SmartSeat Dining Chair Cover
  • Why: Fits a wide variety of chairs, easy to use, easy to clean
  • Where: Amazon

Remember that towel trick for saving your dining room chair upholstery? As it turns out, towels don’t look very fashionable on all your dining room chairs. And once your little bundle of joy can climb into a regular dining chair, all bets are off. My oldest, at age six, despite having immediate access to a napkin at every eating opportunity, still likes to surreptitiously wipe his hands underneath the table. If I’m lucky, that means he’s wiping them on his pants. Those I will be washing anyway, so it hardly bothers me anymore. But the nice cloth seat of his chair serves as his alternative napkin ninety percent of the time. My six year old can make a bigger mess eating than either of his younger siblings, so although I’m still hopeful we reach a magic age where napkins do more than collect dust, I’m not holding my breath.

In the meantime, I invested in these. You can buy them singly or in pairs, in five different color choices, and once I tried out two to make sure I liked the color and the fit, I ordered four more. One lives in the linen closet because we still have a toddler in a booster seat with the aforementioned towel underneath. The other five adorn my dining room chairs. Full disclosure: my chairs are upholstered in what’s essentially white, which I knew was a terrible choice when we bought them, but we didn’t quibble over details on an exceptionally well-priced floor model dining set. Ultimately, I plan to replace all the fabric once my kids get done using them as napkins. So far, though, nothing has made it through the protective layer of the cover and we’ve had plenty of attempts.


Would you rather have this mess on your upholstery or a removable, washable cover?

These look better than towels and can be tossed straight into the washing machine before company comes over. If I get the load done in time, my chairs look fabulous. If I don’t manage to complete the load of laundry, I still win. The moderately clean upholstery (it took me a year or two to catch on) still looks ten times better than the dirty covers do. I can still tell with only a glance which seat my oldest child uses most because of the unbelievable grub all over it, but until he grows into napkins or leaves for college, these will do.

One word of warning: much like the Velcro on cloth diapers, you should attach the Velcro on the seat covers to each other before laundering. Otherwise you have a big Velcro mess to sort out once they come out of the washer or dryer or both.

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