Pushchair reviews: FAQs
When you're out shopping for a pushchairs there are probably lots of questions you'll want to ask.
That's where the Which? pushchairs reviews can help.
Not only do we offer expert advice on choosing, buying and using pushchairs, we also recommend Best Buy pushchairs that score highly in our tests.
How much do I need to spend on a pushchair?
Pushchairs can cost as little as £25, to more than £1,000 for the most premium brands.
We've tested a wide range of different types of pushchair and can offer Best Buys at many different price points.
Our advice is to consider the value, rather than the price, of the pushchair when you are buying.
Spend your money on a robust pushchair that only has the features you know you'll use. Spending too much on features you don't use, or too little on one with tons of features and poor durability, are the most common mistakes.
Price will be affected by a number of factors including:
- the lightness and durability of the materials used - light but robust frames tend to be more expensive
- designer fabrics – limited-edition designer fabric pushchairs are more expensive than standard versions
- accessories provided – additional carrycots and car seats can all add to the price
- customisable options – some manufacturers sell the hoods, seat liners and aprons in a range of different colours, but excluded from the 'base' price of the pushchair
How do travel systems pushchairs work with child car seats?
In many travel systems, particularly those by Graco and Mothercare, the child car seat fits onto the pushchair above the normal seat, clipping onto the frame and bumper bar. Some use Velcro to secure the seat, which is more fussy.
In most modern travel systems, the direction of the main seat can be reversed, or a car seat attached on to the frame instead of the pushchair seat. This is often attached via adaptors.
Many travel systems offer pram body or carrycot options as well as the pushchair seat, which all fit on the same chassis.
Should I buy two pushchairs (lightweight and sturdier) if I can afford it?
Many first-time parents end up buying two pushchairs because the one that suits their baby while they're small isn't so good as they get older.
It's tempting to buy a travel system that appears to last from birth to three years, but you'll only use the carrycot or car seat for a short time, and may find the whole system rather bulky.
If you can afford it, it’s probably worth buying a solid pushchair with reversible seat and fully reclining seat and harness that adjusts to fit a small body.
At a later date, buy a buggy that features a wider seat and longer backrest, with one-handed folding to make transporting the pushchair easier.
If you want to buy only one pushchair which will take them from infant to toddler, your best bet is probably a good-quality stroller. It should be robust, offer good under-seat storage and come with a long guarantee.
If you go overboard in buying the biggest pushchair you can find to protect junior, you might begin to find it impractical when they start wanting to walk for part of your time out together.
Compare pushchairs using the Which? pushchair finder to find Best Buy pushchairs, buggies and strollers to suit you and your child.
My pushchair has developed a fault, what can I do?
Visit our Consumer Rights website to get help on this problem.
You will find advice on faulty pushchairs that is tailored depending on how long you've had your pushchair and how you paid for it.
There are also example letters to download to help you make your complaint effectively.
Will a pushchair fit in the boot of my car?
Before going to look at pushchairs, make sure you measure your boot opening and always check you can fit the pushchair (and all its accessories) in before you buy.
Most pushchairs are between 95cm and 115cm long when folded - but we find it hard to fit pushchairs longer than 105cm into a medium-sized car such as a VW Golf or Hyundai Accent.
Buggies tend to be less than 30cm wide and tall when folded. They'll usually take between 50 and 90 litres of space in your boot.
Travel systems often take up between 200 and 400 litres of boots space. Beware pushchairs with bumper bars that stick up out of the seat. You can often remove the seats of travel-system pushchairs to make them less bulky to store.
Compare pushchairs with the Which? product finder to find the size and style to suit you.
Are there any tips for using pushchairs safely?
- Always apply the brake when your baby is in the pushchair and it's stationary
- Strap the baby into the harness whenever they're in the pushchair, and don’t leave them unattended. Use both crotch and waist harnesses
- Apply the pushchair's brake before attaching a child car seat
- Keep the baby clear of the pushchair when you're folding or unfolding it to keep their limbs and fingers safe
- Check both locking mechanisms are engaged before allowing the child in the pushchair
- Remove your child and fold the pushchair before using an escalator.
- Don’t exceed the maximum weight for the chair, or allow a second child to ride in the pushchair unless it's designed for two.
Do you have any advice on looking after pushchairs?
It's always best to refer to the manufacturer’s instructions, but pushchairs generally have similar tips for care and maintenance.
Pushchairs: safety and maintenance
- Reduce the abuse your pushchair experiences – don't bump it up and down stairs with your baby in it.
- Regularly check all the pushchair's components for signs of wear and tear.
- Check that the brakes can still hold the pushchair stationary, and that the harness and connections are firmly attached and free from tears.
- Ensure the locking mechanisms are working properly, and check them for signs of damage.
- Some manufacturers suggest you should get pushchairs serviced every year.
- Clean the pushchair's frame with a damp cloth and mild detergent, and dry thoroughly. Don't use abrasive cleaners on the frame, or bleach near the covers.
- Sponge the hood and seats lightly with mild detergent, unless the seat covers can be removed for washing, which you should do according to the care label.
- Clean sand and salt water from the pushchair's chassis with fresh water.
- For pushchairs with squeaky wheels, lubricate the wheels with Teflon or silicone-based lubricant, not oil or grease which attract dust and clog the movement.
- Avoid mildew by allowing the pushchair to dry before you fold it, and never store it in a damp place.
- Avoid leaving pushchairs in direct sunlight which will fade the covers.
Is it safe to buy second-hand pushchairs?
Though many new parents want only the best for their first child, you can save a lot of money by buying children’s products, such as pushchairs, second-hand.
If you're considering a second-hand pushchair, a good place to start is a National Childbirth Trust (NCT) nearly new sale, where a huge range of products will be available.
The advantage of this kind of sale over online sources such as eBay is that you can check the pushchairs in person before you buy.
Checking second-hand pushchairs
Ensure pushchairs are labelled as complying with British Standard BS 7409:1996 or BS EN 1888:2003. Look for the original instructions, too, as these will tell you how to use it safely.
- Check the frame is rigid and sturdy, that there are no dents, broken parts, sharp edges, corrosion or wobbly wheels, and that it appears to be well maintained.
- Look for badly worn wheels, which can affect how well the brakes engage, and ensure the brakes operate easily and can hold the pushchair on a slope.
- Make sure the material on the pushchair's seat and all the seams are intact.
- Check there are two locking mechanisms to release before the pushchair will fold down – try the folding mechanism yourself and check for finger traps.
- Always check the pushchair's harness and its fixing points are intact, and only buy one with a five-point harness.
Do you need special jogging pushchairs to run with?
Although all-terrain pushchairs are descended from American jogging strollers, serious joggers would be best buying a jogging stroller designed specifically for this purpose.
These pushchairs feature three rust-resistant alloy wheels, distinctive frame designs, 20in, 16in or 12in wheels, shock absorbers, suspension and a fixed front wheel.
The large wheels make the ride smoother, and give better control and shock absorption in off-road conditions. These pushchairs are designed for running on pavements, rough and sandy surfaces.
If you're more of an occasional jogger or frequent stroller, an all-terrain pushchair may do. Choose one with 16in or 12in wheels. Look for a lockable swivel wheel, which will allow you to manoeuvre easily in the shopping centre but can be locked for stability – you don’t want a front wheel that swivels off as it hits bumps when you're running.
Don’t consider jogging with your baby until they're six months old and able to support their head and neck independently. A head support, such as a head hugger, will help to keep the baby’s head from bobbing.
Make sure the pushchair's harness fits your baby well and that it will hold him or her if you need to stop quickly.
Some of the latest pushchairs look tempting, but are they all style and no substance?
Buying the latest must-have pushchair can be a mistake. There are several types of pushchair, and each style is designed for a particular lifestyle. See our guide to pushchair features for more about the different types of pushchairs available. It’s almost impossible to buy a pushchair that will suit all eventualities – babies’ needs change as they grow.
Many new parents try to buy the pushchair that looks as if it will suit their child right from baby to toddler, hence the popularity of travel systems.
But most parents also end up buying a lighter stroller, for shopping and for holidays as their child grows. Lightweight buggies are handy for short strolls through busy places, while pushchairs are more sturdy and comfortable for both parent and baby.
Bulky travel systems with their matching car seats try to address all a baby’s needs. And massive all-terrain three-wheeler pushchairs are better suited to the open road than the urban bus.
Luckily, we can suggest a range of Best Buy pushchairs which are attractive, practical and good value for money.
Which pushchairs are ideal for disabled parents?
If you are disabled, see our sister charity Ricability's report for disabled parents on choosing pushchairs, as well as reports on other childcare products at the Ricability website.