When I drove my 1990 Ford Festiva for 14 years, I somewhat trashed the cheap seats. They were a combination fabric/vinyl, & the vinyl looked bad. I used seat covers to mask it.
I prefer what I am doing now. I am using custom made neoprene seat covers up front on my Mirage. I didn't wait until the seats starting looking bad. As far as side air bags go, there are no concerns there. Custom seat covers are designed for them.
WeatherTech floor mat are expensive, but I bought them to protect my newer Mirage & cover up my more trashed (worn hole in the carpet) Forester front floors at the same time.
If a bought a new vehicle today, I would be ordering new WeatherTech floor mats tomorrow. I like seat covers on my daily driver vehicles like my Mirage. I haven't bothered doing that with my Forester. My Forester is 10 years old. I hope to keep another 10+ years. By that time, the condition of the seats aren't going to matter to anyone.