Which? Best Buy child car seats
Best Buy car seats perform the best in crash tests, and are easy to use and install. Find out how our tests separate the safest from the worst.
If a car seat isn't up to the job of protecting your baby, you may not find out until it's too late. Our independent reviews are based on crash test data – we crash test each car seat multiple times – combining this with expert ease of use and comfort assessments, so you can choose the best car seat for your precious bundle. Why risk it?
Which? car seat tests go further - we crash test child car seats in two specially designed crash scenarios. Our crash tests are severe and our experts feel they more accurately reflect what happens in real crashes more than the legal minimum standards. We combine this with expert assessments on comfort, ease of use and ease of installation to discover Best Buy car seats.
- Every car seat review is based on crash test data results, from two different crash set-ups, which indicate how well a car seat will protect your baby or child a real-life crash situation.
- Our car seat experts assess the comfort and support each car seat provides, right from the newborn stage through to when your child no longer needs to use a seat, to make sure the seat will fit them as well as it should.
- Installing a car seat properly is vital. Any car seat, even a Best Buy, would be unsafe if it’s installed the wrong way. Our experts get hands-on, as do parents and children, to see which ones are the easiest for you to fit.
How we uncover the best child car seats
Our thorough car seat testing has uncovered seats where the forces of a crash have ripped the harness out of the seat, sending our test dummies flying. We've seen Isofix bases with connectors that break under the strain, slamming our test dummies straight into the passenger seat in front, and seat belt routing that's so poor it pulls violently up into the neck of our test dummies, or straight into their abdomens.
- Safety Our experts have specially designed our crash tests, making them more demanding that the legal minimum standard requires. They’re derived from Euro NCAP (New Car Assessment Programme) – it carries out crash testing on cars to show how well cars protect occupants in severe accidents – we do a similar thing for car seats and feel this more accurately reflects what could happen if your child was in a real crash.
- Your baby's comfort Our testing includes an ergonomic assessment of each seat to make sure your child will be in the best position when they travels. Our checks include the position your baby will be held in while travelling (especially important for small babies) the support for the head and legs, how roomy the seat is for your child and how much space there is for them to grow.
- Installing in your car It's vital to ensure any car seat you use is fitted correctly. If it's not installed correctly it won't work properly in a crash. Our experts, along with parents and children, try out each seat to highlight which bits could be missed or forgotten.
- Fitting in your car How much space a car seat takes up in your car is important, too. If it's too big, you may not be able to safely transport your other children, or won't be able to use the front passenger seat. Each seat we test is tried in three different makes and models of cars to see how easy it is to fit. Experts consider both Isofix and seat-belt modes.
Reviews you can trust
Which? has always been a leading voice in child car seat safety. We’ve been testing child car seats for almost 50 years, advising you on Best Buy child car seats as well as those that are unsafe, including those we rate as Don't Buy child car seats.
Since 1967, when we first tested child car seats, our experts have been working hard to challenge the standards and bring about change to make car seats safer. We've crash tested hundreds of car seats to see how well they'd protect in a crash situation, discovering the best and worst. We test the most popular brands, including Britax, Maxi-Cosi and Recaro, and cover all groups and types. From Isofix car seats to rear facing car seats.
Which? is independent – we work for you, the consumer, so you can be sure that our product recommendations are influenced only by our test results. We don't take advertising and we buy all the products that we test ourselves, so our advice helps you to make the right choice first time and avoid costly mistakes.
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