Pushchair reviews: FAQs
When you're out shopping for 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 compare pushchairs from popular brands including Quinny, Graco and Mothercare, and recommend Best Buy pushchairs that score highly in our tests.
Will a pushchair fit in the boot of my car?
Nobody looks cool struggling with a baby and a reluctant pushchair.
Most pushchairs are between 95 and 115 cm long when folded – but we find it hard to fit pushchairs longer than 105 cm into a medium-sized car such as a VW Golf or Hyundai Accent.
Buggies tend to be less than 30 cm wide and tall when folded, and don't have many additional accessories to fit in the car – these pushchairs usually take between 50 and 90 litres of space in your boot.
Most strollers when folded are between 30 and 40 cm high and wide, although the most robust can be more than 50 cm. The majority take up less than 150 litres in a car boot, but three-wheeled versions can take up as much as 330 litres.
The largest all-terrain pushchairs we’ve tested are huge. You’ll need a vast car boot for all of them, but if you want one of these, you'll probably have a 4x4 or MPV already.
Compare pushchairs with the Which? product finder to find the size and style to suit you.
How do travel systems and combination pushchairs work with child car seats?
In most cases the child seat clicks on to the frame easily, but some of these pushchairs use Velcro to secure the seat, which is more fussy.
In some more expensive travel systems, the car seat is clipped on to the frame instead of the pushchair seat.
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.
While it's tempting to buy a travel system that appears to suit the baby from birth to 15 kg, you may only get limited use from any travel cot or car seat component, and may find the whole system rather bulky.
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 which has all the features listed above. 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.
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
- 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 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 movemen.
- 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 secondhand 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 secondhand.
If you considering secondhand pushchairs, 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 over before you buy.
Checking second-hand pushchairs
Pushchairs can be a bargain, but you need to be check them carefully.
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 is 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.
I want to go jogging - do you need special pushchairs to run with, and is it a good idea?
Although all-terrain pushchairs are the descendents of the original American jogging strollers, if you're a serious jogger it would be best to look for a jogging stroller designed specifically for this purpose.
These pushchairs feature three rust-resistant alloy wheels, distinctive frame designs, 20, 16 or 12 inch 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 16 or 12 inch wheels. Compare pushchairs with the Which? product finder to find the best all-terrain pushchairs for you, including Best Buy pushchairs.
Look for a lockable swivel wheel which will allow you to manoeuvre easily in the shopping centre but which can be locked for stability – you don’t want a front wheel that swivels off as it hits bumps when you're running.
A reclining seat is always useful to have in a stroller, but don’t even 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 section on 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 strollers 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.