Fred Wolf Hey there! I am Fred Wolf, I love working on EV motors and I own a Toyota Prius. EV motors are sustainable and I want to help you fix any issues you might be having with yours in this blog. I have been working on EV motors for over 10 years. I have worked as an EV mechanic at several shops across the country including California, Pennsylvania, Texas, and Oregon. My passion for working on these amazing machines comes from how clean they are and what they can do for our environment.

Tesla White vs. Black Interior: Make the Right Decision

8 min read

Tesla White vs. Black Interior

The most common difference between Tesla’s white and black interiors is personal preference and lifestyle. White interiors provide a modern and spacious look but are vulnerable to stains, while black interiors offer a sleek and sophisticated appearance but can absorb heat. Consider your daily habits and level of upkeep when deciding.

As a Tesla owner who has owned a Black Model 3 and a white Model Y interior, I can tell you that the choice is difficult. The following were the questions I asked myself to help me decide between the white and black interior Teslas:

  • Do the materials of both interior colors feel different?
  • Is the black interior more practical long-term compared to the white?
  • Which is the best choice overall for comfort and maintenance?

Most Tesla buyers must make this difficult decision, so you are not alone.

I’ve had my Model Y with a white interior for almost two years. At the time of purchase, one of our local Tesla showroom representatives convinced me and my wife to go with white.

But after using the Model S with a black interior for about a year, I’ve been able to place the experience of both color options side-by-side and pinpoint a few significant comparison metrics that would ultimately influence your decision on which one to go for.

First and foremost, a spoiler alert: the materials used in the Tesla’s white and black interiors are identical. This explains why most factors influencing your decision will be related to aesthetic preferences.

In the rest of this post, I will walk you through an in-depth comparison between the black and white interior color options of Tesla models to arrive at a final verdict on which one is best for you.

Tesla White Interior

Tesla black Interior

Tesla White Or Black Interior Comparison

Here’s a comparison table between Tesla’s white and black interiors:

FactorWhite InteriorBlack Interior
MaintenanceProne to stains and discolouration. Requires frequent cleaning.Prone to stains and discoloration. Requires frequent cleaning.
AestheticsModern and spacious feel. Brightens up the interior.Sleek and sophisticated look. Absorbs heat more easily.
Heat Retentiontends to stay cooler in hot weather.Resistant to stains and dirt. Requires less frequent cleaning. It can show dust and scratches more easily.
Resale Valuemay have a lower resale value due to wear and tear.Tends to absorb more heat in hot weather.
Resistant to stains and dirt. Requires less frequent cleaning. It can show dust and scratches more easily.It may have a higher resale value due to durability.It may have a higher cost due to being an optional upgrade.
Visibility of Dirtshows dirt and stains more easily.It may give the perception of durability and practicality.
Interior Lightingmay reflect more light and create glare.Shows dust and scratches more easily.
ClimateIt may give the impression of durability and practicality.It may absorb more light and create a darker ambience.
It is cooler in hot climates but may feel colder in cold climates.It can be harder to find aftermarket seat covers or floor mats that match.It may have more options for aftermarket customization.
Perceived Valuemay give the perception of luxury and premium quality.May absorb more light and create a darker ambience.

Now, we will look at which of these two interior options is better. I will also chip in some of my experience working with both interior colour options, mainly based on ease of maintenance, heat reflection, wear after extended usage, and price differences.

Dirt and maintenance

According to Tesla, the seats are made from vegan leather, a plastic kind. The EV automaker has said that the seats are stain-resistant. But the white interior seats are more susceptible to getting dirty compared to the black. So, if you get a Tesla with a white interior, be ready to practice careful cleaning more often.

Some users have also complained that the dye from their clothes transfers to the white seats since they soak up dyes.

The white interior is more demanding on seat maintenance than the black interior, as you’ve probably thought about.

But again, Tesla has ensured you can eliminate it with the most straightforward cleaning tips.

But if it’s only dirt and maintenance making you steer away from the Tesla White interior, I want you to think of it this way: White things don’t get darker quicker than black things. As my mom would tell me when I was young, “It’s just that you can’t see the dirt easily on a black surface.”

So you have to think about either driving in a dirty car in total ignorance or keeping up with the cleaning demands of white interior Tesla cars.

Heat absorption 

As part of my driving experience in a Model Y with white interiors, I noticed that white seats don’t get as hot as black ones.

This is one crucial consideration point before making a final call.

The black upholstery is more heat-absorbing than the white.

But you may never feel this difference since you can precondition your car’s temperature so you don’t get hot.

wearing after a few years of ownership

Another important thing that I think most reviewers don’t touch on when comparing the black and white interior color options for Tesla is the quickness of wear after an extended period of usage or ownership.

Sadly, you’ll have to use the interior for months before finding how quickly they wear.

For my Model Y with a white interior, I notice that the rear seats, where the seat belts rub on the top of the seats, have darkened. This is after about 7 months of usage.

Even simple cleaning tips like wipes or mild soap did not remove the dark gray stain on the left and right of the seat backs.

So the whole point is that Tesla boasts durability and easy-to-clean white upholstery, but the real verdict hinges on how it will wear after a few years of usage.


The white-themed interior of the Tesla costs an extra $1,000 (£1,100 in the United Kingdom) above the base price. This interior comes with white seats, mixed black and white door trim, and a black central armrest, which is why it’s called the “black and white” interior.

So Tesla recommends you get the white interior option. They get an extra $1000 from your purse. But with such a steep price, we would hope for something more than a mere color difference. Don’t you think?

Tesla Black Interior Offerings

There is no massive difference between the elements of the interior in the black and white options for the Tesla vehicle.

If you pick the Model 3 or Y with a black interior, you will get the following features:

  • black leather seats
  • black steering wheel
  • black console and doors
  • Dashboard with wooden details that extend to the door

Tesla White Interiors offerings

In Tesla cars with white interiors, you get the following features:

white leather seats

white dash accents that extend to the door

Every other thing in the black interior

Please note that the white interior is called the “black and white” interior option because in what we all call the “white interior option,” Tesla incorporates a sleek blend of black and white colors around the components for improved stylishness. 

Whereas the black interior is all-black themed.

Why Is Tesla White Interior More Expensive

Tesla’s white interior is more expensive compared to other interior color options due to several reasons:

  1. Premium Material: The white interior uses premium materials like synthetic leather, known as Tesla’s vegan-friendly Ultra White material, which offers a luxurious and environmentally-friendly alternative.
  2. Manufacturing Costs: The production and manufacturing process of the white interior may be more complex or require special care to maintain its pristine appearance.
  3. Limited Availability: White interior options may be limited, making them more exclusive and desirable to some customers.
  4. Enhanced Aesthetics: Many customers perceive the white interior as more elegant and sophisticated, contributing to its higher demand.
  5. Brand Differentiation: By offering a higher-priced white interior option, Tesla can differentiate the market and cater to customers willing to pay for a premium experience.

How to Clean White Tesla Seats

To clean white Tesla seats effectively, follow these steps:

  1. Remove Loose Debris: Use a soft brush or vacuum cleaner with a brush attachment to remove any loose dirt, dust, or debris from the seats.
  2. Spot Cleaning: Address any stains or spills promptly to prevent them from setting. Use a clean, damp microfiber cloth to blot the stain gently. Avoid rubbing vigorously, as it may spread the stain further.
  3. Gentle Cleaning Solution: Mix a mild cleaning solution using warm water and a small amount of gentle soap or upholstery cleaner. Test the solution on a small, inconspicuous area first to ensure it doesn’t damage the material.
  4. Cleaning Process: Dampen a clean microfiber cloth with the cleaning solution and gently wipe the seats in a circular motion. Avoid using excessive water, as it may saturate the material.
  5. Rinse and Dry: After cleaning, wipe the seats with a damp cloth to remove any soap residue. Then, use a dry microfiber cloth to absorb excess moisture. Let the seat air dry completely before using the car again.
  6. Preventive Measures: To keep your white Tesla seats looking pristine, consider using seat covers or towels to protect them from spills, stains, and excessive wear.

How to Clean Tesla Black Seats

Here are some tips on how to clean Tesla black seats:

  1. Vacuum regularly. This will help to remove dirt, dust, and debris that can build up and cause stains.
  2. Use a mild soap and water solution. This is the best way to clean leather seats without damaging them.
  3. Test the solution in an inconspicuous area first. This will help ensure the solution does not discolor the leather.
  4. Apply the solution to a clean cloth. Do not spray the solution directly onto the seats.
  5. Wipe the seats clean in a circular motion. Be sure to wipe up any excess solution.
  6. Allow the seats to air dry completely. Do not use a hair dryer or other heat source to dry the seats.

You can use a commercial leather cleaner if you have any stubborn stains. However, test the cleaner in an inconspicuous area first to ensure it does not damage the leather.

Here are some additional tips for cleaning Tesla black seats:

  • Avoid using harsh chemicals. Harsh chemicals can damage the leather and cause it to fade.
  • Do not use bleach. Bleach can discolor the leather and make it brittle.
  • Do not use abrasive cleaners. Abrasive cleaners can scratch the leather.
  • Be careful with water. Too much water can damage the leather and cause it to warp.

Following these tips, you can keep your Tesla black seats looking their best for years.

Here are some additional products that you may find helpful for cleaning Tesla black seats:

  • Lexol Leather Cleaner and Conditioner. This is a popular leather cleaner that is gentle on the leather and helps to protect it from damage.
  • Chemical Guys Leather Wipes. These wipes are convenient for cleaning minor spills or spots.
  • Mother VLR Leather Cleaner and Conditioner. This high-quality leather cleaner effectively removes dirt, dust, and stains.

Remember to follow Tesla’s recommended care guidelines for the specific material used in your seats, as some models may have different upholstery materials. Proper and regular cleaning will help maintain the beauty of your white Tesla seats for years to come.

Why is Tesla’s White Interior More Expensive?

The Tesla white interior, even if not always explicitly called “premium,” generally carries an additional cost compared to the standard black interior for several reasons:

Manufacturing costs:

  • Material cost: White leather (especially higher quality vegan leather) can be slightly more expensive than black due to the dyeing process and potential challenges in maintaining color purity.
  • Production complexities: Maintaining precise whiteness across the materials can require additional quality control procedures and specialized cleaning during production.
  • Inventory management: Having two separate production lines or managing inventories for both color options can add logistical complexities and increase costs.

Marketing and perception:

  • Premium positioning: White interiors are often associated with luxury and are perceived as a more upscale option, justifying a higher price tag.
  • Customization and exclusivity: Offering a contrasting colour option gives buyers a sense of customization and makes the car feel more unique, potentially commanding a premium.
  • Supply and demand: If the white interior is perceived as more desirable and demand outstrips supply, Tesla can further justify a higher price point.

Additional factors:

  • Model availability: In some models, the white interior might be offered as part of a premium package containing other features, leading to a bundled price higher than the base black interior.
  • Regional variations: Pricing can vary depending on the region and market factors.

It’s important to note that Tesla doesn’t publicly disclose the exact cost breakdown for different interior options. However, the factors mentioned above generally contribute to the price difference between the white and black interiors in Tesla models.

My Final verdict 

If you comb through the Tesla Forum online, you will notice that more Tesla owners recommend the white interior options than there are black-themed interior supporters.

It is compelling when you pair the white interior with the dark exterior colors of Model Y, like Deep Blue Metallic.

I would have joined the party, but the particular occurrence that changed the trajectory of my judgment was when the white interior of my Model Y began to show dye transfer from the clothes I wore.

It’s also discouraging to see that my wife stresses out about doing things that may stain the seats (despite Elon’s red wine challenge that proves the effectiveness of the white seats’ stain resistance).

Going for the black interior would be best so you don’t have to worry about these issues.

Also, the $1,000 upcharge isn’t worth it if I worry about these factors. So I wouldn’t repeat the white interior order for my Model Y if presented with the opportunity.

So, my friend, if you can’t decide which interior color options for your Tesla, I say the black interior is the next best thing after sliced bread.

Fred Wolf Hey there! I am Fred Wolf, I love working on EV motors and I own a Toyota Prius. EV motors are sustainable and I want to help you fix any issues you might be having with yours in this blog. I have been working on EV motors for over 10 years. I have worked as an EV mechanic at several shops across the country including California, Pennsylvania, Texas, and Oregon. My passion for working on these amazing machines comes from how clean they are and what they can do for our environment.