Love Letter to the Little Things: Car Seat Warmers


Shira Nathan

The car seat warmer button

Dear Car Seat Warmers,


You make winter drives bearable, and remind me that life can be simple and good even when things are stressful and cold. For that, I’m writing you this love letter.


If your car doesn’t have seat warmers, you are MAJORLY missing out. I drive a beat up 2010 Prius that constantly amazes me with its innovative forms of collapse. But, I love it for one major reason: seat warmers. I have been in many newer cars that have all kinds of enviable features, but many lack this essential. 

With the push of a button, the two front seats will warm up, on either a high or low setting. The warmers often kick in before the air conditioning does.  When the seat warmers kick in, it gives me jussst enough mental juice to turn down the road. Without the comfort provided by a warm seat, I might not have made it to school some mornings due to lack of motivation. The warmers basically create the car equivalent of the Baymax-Robot-Heater (1:21) scene in Big Hero 6, which is infinitely better than driving a 4-wheeled ice cube. 

Winter driving is stressful. The elevated risks that come from snow, ice, and tourists driving in unfamiliar conditions also serve to elevate anxiety. As someone who is already somewhat of an anxious driver, I’ve found that winter driving can be really daunting. But with the seat warmers, my anxiety level goes down. I mean, it’s hard to be anxious when your butt is so toasty. You’re practically a human marshmallow (and it’s probably impossible for marshmallow’s to feel anxious).

In general, anything heated is A Really Great Thing. Heated water bottles? Fantastic. Tea? Wonderful. Soup? Dazzling. Heated blankets? Stunning.

It’s amazing that human technology has evolved so much, but still revolves around the same concepts (in this case, warmth and comfort). We’ve gone from “rub sticks, make fire” to “press this button and this fabric will become perfectly warm.” 

The New York Times Magazine has an entire article dedicated to the wonder of car seat warmers . It’s maybe more poetic than this one, but we agree on the fundamental truth: car seat warmers are fantastic and express a deeper human need to make life a little more enjoyable. 

I think it’s beautiful that this function was invented specifically to add joy. Most other car features have some functional or safety-enhancing capabilities, because cars are a functional invention; we needed to get places faster, and thus we invented the car. And cars certainly increase the speed of the world. With that increased speed comes decreased time to think, for the small pleasures, for simply appreciating a little warmth. Sitting around a fire for hours used to be an integral part of the human experience; now, it’s just an occasional recreational activity. In the fast paced life of a high school student, it’s so important to have these small things that are there purely to increase enjoyment and ease. I may not have time to sit around a fire for hours, but car seat warmers allow me to still have the pleasure of being warm on a cold morning. 


No matter how fast or how much technology changes, we always know this: life is better when you’re cozy. And car seat warmers bring us closer to that ultimate cozy goal.