Imagine it. You’re driving on the busy interstate, rushing off to a work meeting, a playdate, wherever, and you drop your phone, with its oh-so-crucial Google Maps. Now, you don’t know which exit to take, so you’re left fumbling around beneath your seat, cramming your hand between your seat and the center console, hoping your fingers might grasp your much-needed device.
Or, maybe you’re headed home after a long day, and the kids and maybe even the dog in the backseat are all raising a ruckus. You just want to get in the door and sit down on the couch as quickly as possible. But then you drop your house keys right into that cavernous spot where everything seems to disappear, right between your seat and the console, and you’re left attempting to hide your potty mouth from the kids as you deal with yet another little annoyance.
Despite the ever-enhanced designs of your favorite car models, there’s one area where auto design continues to fail us—there’s really no way to eliminate that gap between the driver or front passenger seat and the middle console. And it just so happens to be the perfect place to lose things at the most inopportune moments, leaving you scrambling to find what you lost, shoving your arm as best you can into the crevice.
Thankfully, thoughtful innovators are working to eliminate the seat gap, but not with the help of automobile manufacturers. Instead, they’ve created a handy device called a seat gap filler. Here are the eight best car seat gap fillers to consider adding to your vehicle as soon as humanly possible. It might just save your sanity.
Our Favorite Seat Gap Fillers:
The Drop Stop car seat gap filler brands itself as the OG seat gap filler and the first to be patented. As seen on Shark Tank, this device is uniquely designed to squeeze in around your seatbelt, with a snug fit that doesn’t allow nary a french fry to drop to your car’s floor. The device fits most standard vehicles, no matter how large or small, and even though it boasts a super-tight seal between your console and car seat, it’s still flexible enough to move back and forth as you adjust your driver’s seat for different drivers.
The Drop Stop only comes in black, though most users don’t find that this is an issue, as it fits so tightly into the car crevice that it doesn’t really stick out. It’s made with a neoprene case covering, which is easy to clean with just a little soap and water, and the interior is a hypoallergenic polyester fiberfill.
If, though, you prefer something that’s both budget-friendly and even more functional than the Drop Stop, you might want to check out this car seat organizer option, available on Amazon. In addition to being a gap filler, this Paffenery car organizer also features multiple slots and holders to keep your most-used items handy, including your car keys, phone, wallet and cash. Plus, you get two gap fillers, for both the driver’s seat and the passenger side, with one purchase.
Customer reviews say they love the extra storage space and accessibility the front seat gap filler provides, and some even go so far as to say it’s “the greatest thing since sliced bread.”
A similar automotive seat gap filler, also available on Amazon, this car accessories option from Beusoft is a little more aesthetically pleasing, as it comes in a sleek leather finish with red stitching and, beyond offering extra storage and organizing space, it’s also outfitted with an illuminated LED display and dual USB charging ports.
However, before choosing this particular gap filler for your car, you’ll want to do some measuring. The seller clarifies that, while it can fit most cars, it won’t fit every vehicle. It only provides an ideal fit when the console is “not at most two inches lower and 1.2 inches wider than the car seats.”
This car seat side pocket console organizer likewise fills the gap while allowing for some extra storage space. Two USB charging ports provide a space to charge your cell phone with ease while it’s stored in the organizer’s rectangular slots. Other slots and pockets are designated for particularly small items, like loose change and credit cards.
This organizer comes in two colors, beige and black, and is plastic with a non-slip foam bottom.
For a gap filler that’s a little more basic, go with this patented wedge that fits snugly between your seat and console, offering two simple spaces for you to store a range of items in varying sizes. Reviewers report this gap filler “works great,” and some even say they’ll be buying extras for their friends and family.
This unique option looks quite a bit different from the rest, as it’s not an organizer and not a lengthy wedge that shoves down into the gap beside your seat. Instead, the elongated, slim leather gap filler features a loop that you hook around your seat belt catch. It covers just the gap, all the way to your knees, and then offers a handy extra cup holder at the end.
If you like that the Supin car seat gap filler pad above provides you with an extra cup holder, you’ll love this option from IOKONE, which provides you with not one, but two extra cup holders. The larger, wider, leather-covered gap filler also features a rectangular storage area for your phone and other items.
Reviewers report the gap filler looks great on the driver’s side, even in luxury vehicles, and that the cupholders are nice and roomy, fitting even the largest sodas and water bottles.
If you’ve struggled in the past with seat gap fillers that seem to slip and slide around, no matter how tightly they’re wedged between your seat and the console, you may find that this seat gap filler catch caddy is a better fit for your vehicle. The set of two caddies comes with extra non-slip mats for further stability. The caddies are just one large pocket for holding wider items, though they don’t offer a ton of depth.
What to Look for When Shopping for a Seat Gap Filler
Whether you go with one of our above favorite seat gap fillers and organizers, or another option, there are a few key things you should look for as you shop.
This is the most important factor that should determine whether or not you drop cash on a seat filler. You need to ensure, before placing that order, that the seat gap filler you’ve chosen will actually fit your car. Read the manufacturer’s measurement recommendations and product information, break out your measuring tape and confirm the height and width of both your console and your seats are right for a particular filler.
While brands like Drop Stop claim that a black gap filler is the way to go, as it blends in with the natural shadows created between your console and car seats, you may prefer something that blends in with your car interior. If that’s the case, look out for gap fillers that come in beige, white and other hues.
It’s just a given that a plastic gap filler isn’t going to be as durable as a gap filler made from another material. However, plastic gap fillers are on the more affordable side and may be your preference if you’re not looking to invest in an accessory like this until you’re sure it works. If you want something a little more durable and high-end, you can find gap fillers made from leather and cloth-covered foam.
Some gap fillers are as basic as it gets — like the Drop Stop, which is literally just a filler for the gap, no frills or thrills. Others, however, provide extra functionality by doubling as an extra charging port for your devices or as a handy organizer, providing spaces for storing much-used items like keys or credit cards. If features like these are important to you, look for gap fillers that specifically offer them.
Do You Really Need a Seat Gap Filler?
So maybe you’re not often dealing with tense driving situations where you’ll feel pressed to dig around under your seat right that second for a lost item. Maybe you don’t even drop items into the dreaded gap all that often. So do you really need a seat gap filler? There are a few reasons why you might consider getting one regardless.
When you need it, you really need it
Seat gap fillers are one of those things that you might not use every day, but when you do actually need it, you’ll be glad you have it. Think of it like home insurance; no one wants to pay the monthly bill, but when a tree falls on the roof, you’re incredibly glad you’ve done so.
According to the Drop Stop brand, 80% of all car accidents and 93% of all rear-end car accidents occur because the driver took their eyes off the road for 3 seconds or less — or about the time that it took them to even just glance down to see where their dropped phone could’ve gone. So while you might not find a gap filler comes in handy all that often, when it does come in handy, it could prevent a costly and dangerous accident.
Safety aspects aside, there’s more a seat gap filler can do for you beyond just keeping you from rustling around underneath your car seat at a bad moment. How many french fries are lurking beneath your seat? How many crumbs from hastily-eaten cookies or chips that you’ve devoured while running errands? How many discarded straw wrappers?
A seat gap filler doesn’t just keep your devices or keys from falling into the gap. It also will help keep your car cleaner, longer, so there’s less mess to deal with when you do decide to give the upholstery a thorough vacuuming.
This is a very unexpected benefit of using a seat gap filler, but one worth mentioning. Did you know that sitting on your wallet — or anything in your back pockets — can cause poor posture? If you suffer from back pain or issues, you may be doing yourself more harm than you think by not removing items from your pockets before hopping into the car for a drive.
Having a seat gap filler and organizer ready and waiting for your items will make it more likely that you remove them, leaving you with better posture no matter how long the journey.
Make a DIY Seat Gap Filler
Don’t want to buy something that you really don’t know if you’ll use or benefit from? There’s nothing wrong with breaking out your DIY skills to make a seat gap filler from cheap materials you can buy at any hardware store.
This tutorial shows you how to make a DIY seat gap filler with just some scissors, a measuring tape and some foam plumbing pipe insulation (to make just one seat gap filler, you’ll want a length of insulation that’s one inch wide and six feet long). All you’ll need to do is cut the insulation to the correct length and width, cut a hole for your seatbelt and then install.
Stay Safe While Out on the Road
Distracted driving is unsafe driving. Stay safe while you’re out on the road by investing in products that will keep your eyes on traffic and your hands on the wheel. For less than $20, you could have just the tool you need to not only make your driving experience more convenient but safer, too.
Need more gear for keeping your family safe on the road? Check out these nine best booster seats currently on the market.
You might also be interested in: How To Plan A Family Vacation [In 11 Easy Steps]
The Best Seat Gap Fillers:
- The Drop Stop Seat Gap Filler
- Paffenery Car Seat Gap Filler Organizer
- Beusoft Car Seat Gap Filler
- Oneuda Car Pocket Organizer
- Sojoy Wedgee Car Seat Gap Filler
- Supin Car Seat Gap Filler Pad
- IOKONE Leather Car Cup Holder
- Seat Gap Filler Catch Caddy with Non-Slip Mat