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When you're choosing the best car seat for your baby or child, safety will be your main concern. Which? crash tests on brands including Maxi Cosi and Britax found big differences between the worst and best baby car seats. Which? Best Buys offer great protection and are easy to fit.
Looking for a car seat that will give your child the best protection in the event of a crash? This video guide to buying the best baby car seat shows you what to look for.
Not sure which type of car seat is best for your child? Confused about how to install it correctly? Watch the Which? baby car seat video buying guide for expert advice on choosing the best and safest car seat for your child.
Legally, you must use a child car seat until your child is 135cm tall. But the most important thing to consider when choosing the best baby car seat is your child's weight.
There are five main weight groups for baby car seats: group 0 and 0+ seats are for babies, group 1 for young children up to about four years, and group 2 and group 3 seats for older children. Which? reviews also help you compare car seats from each weight group (click on 'Type of car seat').
Once you know which sort of seat you're looking for, check out the Which? Best Buy baby car seats to see which performed best in our rigorous tests. Check that the seat will fit all the cars you're planning to use it in, and try the seat in your car with your child in it before you buy.
Our crash simulators show how the child car seat will behave in front-on and side-on collisions – Which? is the only place where you'll find such detailed, rigorous and independent tests of child car seats.
The best baby car seats score highly for both front and side impacts, but some perform poorly, and would expose your child to the risk of serious injury or even death – these are our Which? Don't Buy baby car seats.
To see for yourself how a Which? Best Buy baby car seat performs compared to one of the Which? Don't Buys, watch our child car seat crash test video. Be warned, it’s not easy viewing.
Car seats that aren't installed correctly won't give your child full protection in a crash. The legal standard for car seats doesn't cover ease of use, but Which? goes the extra mile to help you find the best car seat for your baby.
All the Which? Best Buy baby car seats are easy to use and fit, as well as doing well in our crash tests. Check our ratings for ease of installation (click on 'Which? ratings') before you buy. Which? scores only apply if you install that seat correctly, so watch our video guide to fitting a child car seat to make sure you get it right.
If you have an Isofix baby car seat and Isofix mounts in your car, you can forget about messing about with seat belts to secure your car seat.
Isofix is the standard system for all new cars and seat manufacturers, designed to make installing your child car seat quick and easy. You simply ‘plug in’ a compatible car seat to mounting points in your car. It’s more secure than the seat belt method, and all our Best Buy Isofix car seats offer great protection in a crash.
Carrycots may seem handy, but Which? baby car seat tests haven't found many carrycots and lie-flat car seats that protect children adequately (though one is a Which? Best Buy). For this reason, we don't generally recommend them.
If you already own one, we suggest you buy an alternative Which? Best Buy Group 0+ baby car seat (click on 'Type of car seat' to compare them) instead, though using a carrycot is better than nothing at all.
It costs around £10,000 per child car seat to carry out Which?'s independent baby car seat tests, so you can choose Which? Best Buys with confidence.
Which? baby car seat tests go above and beyond the minimum compulsory European test requirements. We throw a special side-impact crash test into the mix, as well as ease-of-use tests. We also check the clarity of the car seat instructions as baby car seats that aren't correctly fitted won't give full protection.