Pushchairs: How we test pushchairs
How Which? puts pushchairs to the test
We spend more than £70,000 each year testing pushchairs, to help you choose the best one for your lifestyle.
Which? pushchair testing is unique because...
- Our tests are based on years of experience, testing more than 300 pushchairs in five years
- We buy everything we lab-test
- We're completely independent of any manufacturers
- We don't accept adverts in our magazines or on our website
Try a £1 trial subscription to Which? today to find out which pushchairs we rate as Best Buys, or log in if you're already a member.
Our reviews - consistent, comparative, comprehensive
Every pushchair we've tested since 2007 has faced the same range of practical tests, which are based on the way parents use pushchairs in real life. Our extensive testing combines:
- Lab-based strength, safety and durability tests
- An expert assessment of the pushchairs' comfort and usability - for both parent and child
- Convenience ratings from parents pushing their own babies in real-life situations
We know what makes a good pushchair and how to look for the poor designs and features that will let you down. You can be sure we've tried and rated each pushchair in the same way, so you can use our test scores and ratings to compare how easy they are to use.
Video guide: What makes a Best Buy pushchair?
Watch our video to find out why choosing a Which? Best Buy pushchair won't just mean a comfortable and safe ride for your baby - but could also make your life much easier.
Testing pushchairs: safety and durability
Which? is the only pushchair review website to check that the pushchairs we test pass the safety and durability requirements they should.
The pushchairs are put through more than 30 tests according to British Standard BS EN 1888:2003 and 2012. These include:
- testing the strength and stability of the pushchair
- confirming how well built it is
- searching for choking hazards
- probing for arm, leg or finger traps
- straining the harness to make sure it will hold your baby
- checking the safety of brakes and locking mechanisms
The pushchairs are also wheeled for approximately 86km along a very bumpy treadmill track to test how they will stand up to a life of uneven pavements, potholes and kerbs.
Testing pushchairs: ease of use assessment
Our tests are based on the kind of real-life situationsyou'll encounter every day. We use experts in ergonomics (the science of how easy products are to use) to uncover the hidden problems that can turn a pushchair from a dream ride into an unwieldy shopping trolley with a hood.
Our experts tackle a range of tasks including:
- comparing the size of each seat and footrest with the size of children at different ages to see how soon they'll grow out of the pushchair
- attaching and removing accessories including car seats and carrycots
- cleaning beef stew and peach pudding from the fabric to see how much it stains
- balancing pushchairs on a simulation of a typical London Underground escalator to identify those that are particularly unwieldy
- wheeling pushchairs onto a simulation of a typical urban bus to see if you can get it on, parked and off again with ease
- loading the pushchair into the boot of a family car (VW Golf) to check whether you'll still have space for your shopping
Testing pushchairs: parent and baby panel
Parents with their children aged between six and 36 months put the pushchairs through their paces on on our obstacle test – they take the pushchairs on pavements, bumpy ground and stairs, and manoeuvre them around other obstacles.
They rate how easy the pushchairs are to push, steer, fold, carry and adjust to suit their child, and comment on aspects such as the pushchair's appearance and useful features.
Pushchairs are marked down if they have wobbly frames or handlebars, uncomfortable handles or inconvenient shopping baskets, or if they are difficult to fold, lift and carry.
How do we choose which pushchairs to test?
Which? members are most interested in the bestselling models by major manufacturers, particularly our reviews of the more expensive pushchairs and travel systems. We test more than 45 of these every year.
We don't test very cheap buggies, because we understand that parents rarely research these before they buy.
Pushchair test ratings explained
To become Which? Best Buys, single pushchairs must score at least 76% overall in our tests and double pushchairs must score at least 63% overall.
The pushchairs test score ignores price and includes:
- Day-to-day use 30% (includes getting child in and out, lifting and moving when folded, putting in car boot, using the brakes, cleaning the fabric, carrying on stairs, adjusting seat unit and accessories, comfort to push)
- Manoeuvrability 30%
- Folding and unfolding the pushchair 15%
- Storage 10%
- Reclining the seat 10%
- Using on public transport 5%
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