If you’re in the market for a new baby car seat, we’ve just tested 21 child car seats, including a large range of infant carriers suitable for your baby in the first year of his or her life.
Read on to find out about the child car seats we’ve reviewed and key advice on shopping for and fitting a new car seat during lockdown.
Or head straight to our car seat reviews to discover results for the whole batch.
Joie i-Snug + i-Base Advance, £215
The Joie i-Snug is, as the name suggests, an i-Size car seat. That means it’s compliant to the latest car seat regulations (R129). It fits into your car via the i-Base Advance or you can strap it in using the adult 3-point seat belt.
The seat has a Tri-Protect headrest, with three extra layers of protection inside the side wings and an infant pillow designed to help cushion your baby in a side impact collision.
Read our full review of the Joie i-Snug + i-Base Advance to find out how it scored during our tough tests, which include a side-impact collision that mimics two cars crashing into each other at 30mph.
Maxi-Cosi Coral + FamilyFix3 Base, £438
There was plenty of buzz around the Maxi-Cosi Coral when it launched at the end of last year, as it was dubbed the world’s first i-Size approved ‘modular car seat’.
This means it comes in two parts; the inner carrier, which weighs just 1.7kg and has built-in fabric handles so you can lift your child up easily, and the plastic shell of the car seat which remains installed in the car.
It’s designed to make it easier for parents to carry their newborn to and from the car and reduce the risk of incorrect installation.
Read our full review of the Maxi-Cosi Coral + FamilyFix3 Base to find out if it’s safe and easy to install.
Nuna Pipa Next + Pipa Next Base, £325
The Nuna Pipa Next is an i-Size car seat that’s approved for use with babies measuring 40 to 83cm, which is birth until they’re aged about 15 months.
The Pipa Next has a no re-thread, 3-point harness which should make it easy to buckle your little one in, plus a green indicator on the base to demonstrate the seat has been fitted properly.
Read the full review of the Nuna Pipa Next + Pipa Next Base to find out if it’s also easy to install the base and car seat into your vehicle, as well as providing great protection in a crash.
Silver Cross Dream + Dream i-Size Base, £375
Last year Silver Cross expanded its car seat range, adding to the ever-popular Simplicity car seat, with four additional models, including the Silver Cross Dream, the brand’s first i-Size baby car seat.
It can be installed into your car with the Dream i-Size Base or via the vehicle’s adult seat belt. Silver Cross promises it will provide ‘the best in safety, comfort and ease of use’, all things we check in our own child car seat testing.
Read the full Silver Cross Dream + Dream i-Size base review to find out if it can deliver.
BeSafe iZi Twist B, £520
This baby car seat is slightly different from the models above, because while it’s suitable to be used from birth, it will last your child much longer, as it’s an i-Size seat approved for use up to 105cm, which is around four years of age.
It’s an extended rear-facing car seat, and your child will remain facing backwards for this whole period (some seats have the option of turning forward if you wish). It has a ‘twist’ function to turn the seat to face the open car door to help you get your baby strapped into the seat more easily.
Extended rear-facing child car seats often provide good protection in a crash, but some seats we’ve tested have been difficult to install. Read the full review of the Besafe iZi Twist B to find out how it scored.
How to shop for a car seat during lockdown
We’d normally advise parents to purchase their car seat from a high street retailer in person, so they can receive professional advice about the right kind of seat for their child, and get it installed correctly.
However, due to the Covid-19 pandemic, most people will not only buy their car seat online, but also have it delivered to their home to install into their car themselves. If your child is in need of a car seat (or you’re buying your first one for a soon-to-arrive newborn), we’d advise the following:
Read our Which? car seat guides
Pick a Best Buy car seat
Our highest-scoring car seats aren’t just safe, they’re also comfortable and, most importantly in the current climate, easy to install. Make sure you take a look at our Best Buy car seat reviews to ensure you pick a good model.
Check your car model
Once you’ve picked the seat you want to purchase, make sure you’ve also checked that it will fit in your car, particularly if it can only be installed via the Isofix anchor points in your vehicle. Many car seat manufacturers have online tools, information or instant chatbots that will let you know whether your chosen car seat is compatible with your car.
Visit the retailer or manufacturer website
Lots of retailers and car seat manufacturers are offering advice online at the moment, either via their website or social media pages. Visit our page on how to shop for a baby or child car seat during lockdown for more information.
How to fit your car seat safely
Follow our tips to ensure you’ve fitted your car seat correctly.
1. Read the instructions that come with the seat
This is the most important thing to do – even if you had a previous version or similar model from the same brand, look over the instructions in case there are any changes.
2. Watch fitting videos
Which? has some great car seat fitting videos to help provide guidance, but you should also check any provided by the manufacturer on their website or YouTube.
3. Carry out your own car seat checks
Use the Which? car seat checking pdf to help you look out for common fitting problems once your seat is installed, including twisted seat belts, loose harnesses and issues with Isofix connections.
For more tips on fitting your car seat safely, including examples of poorly fitted seats and dangerously strapped in children, visit our car seat fitting issues page.