Carbon Fiber vs. PVC Soft Rubber vs. Plastic, What’s the Best Car Door Sill Protector Material?

There are many small, inexpensive things you can do to help protect your vehicle. For example, you can get a universal bumper skid plate to protect your bumpers from scraping along the asphalt.

One area that is often overlooked but should be protected is your door jamb since it comes in constant contact with shoes, mud, and stones.

It only takes a couple of minutes browsing the internet for vehicle door sill protectors before realizing that there is great diversity, with many different types of vehicle door sill protectors available. Although the advantages of auto door jamb protectors are well known, it’s hard to find information on which type of material is best for your needs.

Vehicle door sill protectors are manufactured from many different materials including carbon fiber, PVC, soft rubber, and plastic, and choosing the right one is one of the quick tips to help you find the best door jamb protector.

Carbon Fiber

If you go through a trustworthy retailer, a vehicle door sill protector crafted from any of the available materials should adequately protect your door sill. This being said, there are still noteworthy differences between each type.

Carbon fiber car door sill protectors are made from crystalline filaments of carbon weaved together into strips that can be placed onto your vehicle’s door sill with adhesive.

Carbon fiber is very popular in the automobile industry because it can be molded into various different forms and shapes. Another reason that this material became popular in the automobile industry is that it’s incredibly strong, it is lightweight, and it can tolerate extreme temperatures without expanding.

Products made from this material are only available in black because of the nature of carbon fiber. If you are looking for a door sill protector that’s a different color or one that is transparent, this is not the door sill protector material for you. Additionally, if you find a door sill protector that claims to be crafted from carbon fiber but is not black, the retailer is dishonest, and you should be apprehensive about purchasing from them.  

PVC (Polyvinyl Chloride)

Another material used in making vehicle door sill protectors is PVC or Polyvinyl Chloride.  In fact, one of the leading providers of vehicle protection products, XPEL, uses PVC in their black 13 mil embossed universal door sill paint protection film.



Polyvinyl chloride is a synthetic plastic polymer that can be either hard and inflexible, or more flexible after plasticizers are added. The flexible version of PVC can be used to replace rubber in many instances and is both strong and durable.

This material is easy to make and mold into different shapes and sizes leading to lower prices and can be colored. If you are looking for a color other than black, you can likely find the color you are looking for with PVC. Additional benefits of this material for vehicle door sill protectors are that it is waterproof, scratch-resistant, and is both heat and cold resistant.

Soft Rubber

Sometimes, soft rubber is used in the creation of car door sill protectors. These door sill protectors are generally made from an artificial elastomer. Like carbon fiber, artificial elastomer is in widespread use in the automotive industry, with soft rubber being used in the making of tires, o rings, belts, and vehicle flooring.

Unlike natural rubber, artificial rubber has significantly more thermal stability and is resistant to oils. This is important when the application is vehicular. This material can be dyed to many different colors and is resistant to many of the things that can ruin your door jamb’s paint such as light impacts and contaminants.


Although artificial rubbers are less prone to oxidization, you will still run the risk of your door sill protector becoming aged and cracking. This type of vehicle door jamb protector may not last as long as your vehicle will which means that it may need to be replaced at some point in the future.


Plastics outside of PVC are also utilized to make vehicle door sill protectors. One of the common kinds of plastic used for this purpose is ABS plastic, also known as acrylonitrile butadiene styrene thermoplastic polymer. This type of plastic is useful for this for paint protection because it is impact-resistant, making it something to consider when looking for the best door sill protectors for pickup trucks.

Being made from the same material as Legos, a vehicle door sill protector made from ABS plastic will be rigid and will not conform to the shape of your vehicle. If you get a door sill protector made from this material, make sure it was manufactured for your vehicle’s specific make and model, since this type is not universal because of its rigidity.


On top of the materials already discussed, there are more options on the market. One of these options is polyurethane. Polyurethane is what is used when paint protection film is made, and just like paint protection film, vehicle door sill protectors made from polyurethane are transparent, making them virtually invisible.

This type of door sill protector, such as XPEL’s 8 mil clear universal door sill protector, can prevent the paint on your vehicle’s door jamb from chipping or getting scratched by your shoes, or anything else that comes in contact with it. Polyurethane door sill protectors are better at resisting against abrasions, cutting, and tearing than some other materials like soft rubber.

Which Vehicle Door Sill Protector Material is Best?

Every material has its high points and downsides. If your main concern is protection, carbon fiber or PVC vehicle door sill protectors are probably your best bet. These options are also good if you have existing damage to your paint and you want to cover it. On the other hand, if you want reliable paint protection for your vehicle’s door jamb that is nearly invisible, a polyurethane door jamb protector will do the job. 


For more info on the features, benefits, and pricing of door sill protectors, click here, alternatively, use our interactive map to find an authorized installer near you. If you enjoyed this article, check out our blog.