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Best child car seats

Top 10 best child car seats

By Anna Studman

Article 2 of 2

Which? experts round up the best child car seats from Group 0+/1 to Group 2/3. 

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Whether you’re looking for an Isofix or belted child car seat, our reviews and crash test results show you the safest models.

We’ve rounded up 10 of the latest Best Buy child car seats in the table below. These are selected from the top-scorers of the most recently tested models. We’ve also picked out three of the worst child car seats we’ve tested recently, so you know to avoid them. Or you can head straight to all of our child car seats reviews

Only logged-in Which? members can view our recommendations in the table. If you’re not yet a member, get instant access by taking a £1 trial to Which?.

Top 10 best child car seats

Typical price £360.00
Which? score 82%
Reviewed May 2016
Best Buy
Performance:
5 out of 5
Fitting in car:
5 out of 5
Avoiding misuse and instructions:
4 out of 5

We rated this seat highly because of its excellent crash test results and the position your baby is held in in the seat when it’s in the car. The seat can actually recline while it’s in the car with your baby in it, and it also doesn’t take up the entire back seat, as some lie-flat types do. It did so well in our crash tests that it achieved an excellent five-star rating across the board for overall safety, as well as for frontal and side-impact protection. Rearward-facing, Isofix installation only.

Typical price £120.00
Which? score 80%
Reviewed May 2017
Best Buy
Performance:
5 out of 5
Fitting in car:
5 out of 5
Avoiding misuse and instructions:
4 out of 5

The latest version of this ever-popular Group 0+ baby car seat looks smart and can be used from birth up to 13kg. You have a choice between using the seatbelt or a base to install, and it's suitable for cars with or without Isofix connectors. We've crash tested all modes. Find out the overall safety rating in our test review.

Typical price £370.00
Which? score 79%
Reviewed May 2016
Best Buy
Performance:
5 out of 5
Fitting in car:
4 out of 5
Avoiding misuse and instructions:
4 out of 5

Our experts struggled to fault this i-Size seat: it gets an excellent five-star overall rating for safety based on the results of our unique crash testing. It’s fairly easy to install and use, and will keep your child rearward-facing until they’re around four years old. One thing to note is that it’s very heavy, but this helps keep it stable in the car. Rearward-facing, Isofix installation only.

Typical price £285.00
Which? score 79%
Reviewed Aug 2016
Best Buy
Performance:
5 out of 5
Fitting in car:
4 out of 5
Avoiding misuse and instructions:
4 out of 5

This car seat scores an excellent five stars for overall safety, which equates to a very low injury risk in a front or side-impact crash. There’s also a low risk of installing this car seat incorrectly. It has a range of features, including added side-impact protection, a removable seat insert for newborns and very young babies, an extra-large sun canopy and an eight-position height-adjustable headrest. Rearward-facing, Isofix and belt installation possible.

Typical price £117.00
Which? score 78%
Reviewed May 2016
Best Buy
Performance:
5 out of 5
Fitting in car:
4 out of 5
Avoiding misuse and instructions:
4 out of 5

An excellent car seat that protects well enough to be a Best Buy whether it’s used on a base or just strapped straight into your car. The seat doesn’t take up much space so won’t restrict the use of other seats, and it weighs less than 5kg so is easily portable. There’s a good amount of space for your child, and the headrest and harness can be adjusted easily as your baby grows by pulling up on the headrest. Rearward-facing, Isofix and belt installation possible.

Typical price £260.00
Which? score 78%
Reviewed May 2017
Performance:
5 out of 5
Fitting in car:
5 out of 5
Avoiding misuse and instructions:
3 out of 5

This egg-shaped baby car seat certainly gets top marks for looks with its distinctive chrome detailing. But looks won't protect your baby in a crash. This seat is approved for use with babies from birth up to 13kg or around 15 months old. To find out how this stylish seat fared in our tough crash test, read our full review.

Typical price £249.00
Which? score 78%
Reviewed May 2017
Performance:
4 out of 5
Fitting in car:
5 out of 5
Avoiding misuse and instructions:
3 out of 5

This baby car seat boasts an impressive array of features, including side impact protection, a sun canopy, height-adjustable headrest that moves the harness too, plus a seat liner which should hold your baby in a better position when out and about in the car. We've tested the latest version of this popular child car seat, so read our full review to find out how it performed in crash tests.

Typical price £210.00
Which? score 77%
Reviewed May 2017
Best Buy
Performance:
5 out of 5
Fitting in car:
4 out of 5
Avoiding misuse and instructions:
4 out of 5

This i-Size approved baby car seat can be used on popular pushchairs as part of a travel system. It's suitable to use from birth (40cm) up to 75cm in height, at which point you'll need to buy and swap to a toddler seat. Is this the perfect travel partner for you and will it protect your little one? Read our full crash test results to find out if this baby car seat is a good buy.

Typical price £200.00
Which? score 76%
Reviewed May 2017
Best Buy
Performance:
4 out of 5
Fitting in car:
4 out of 5
Avoiding misuse and instructions:
5 out of 5

This Group 2/3 high-backed booster seat is approved for use with children from 15-36kg - that's around three or four years old up to 12 years of age. It's been updated with added side-impact protection plus updates to the Isofix connectors and new fabrics for 2017. And our crash tests reveal a good overall safety rating. Plus it has some great features to help fit the seat to your child perfectly.

Typical price £338.00
Which? score 76%
Reviewed May 2017
Performance:
5 out of 5
Fitting in car:
4 out of 5
Avoiding misuse and instructions:
4 out of 5

This innovative i-Size baby car seat has some genuinely useful features that help solve some common problems parents face and contribute towards its overall safety rating, which is excellent. The seat and base are approved to the latest car seat rules for use with newborns up to 83cm tall or 15 months. We found it easy to install too.

Want to see more? Browse all our Best Buy car seats.

Three child car seats to avoid in 2017

As well as recommending the best, we think it’s also important to highlight the car seats you need to avoid. Below are three car seats that aren’t as safe as they should be. Our recent testing has found them to be Don’t Buys, which means we’ve detected serious safety issues with them, and they may not provide adequate protection in a crash situation.

Three child car seats to avoid

Typical price £188.00
Which? score 39%
Reviewed May 2017
Performance:
2 out of 5
Fitting in car:
3 out of 5
Avoiding misuse and instructions:
2 out of 5

This is another multigroup seat that doesn't work well in all the groups it's designed for. This child car seat has passed the regulatory tests required by ECE R44/04 to be sold as suitable for children from 9-36kg. However, in our own tests, which are conducted at higher speeds and forces than the standard requires, this seat scored poorly for frontal-impact results when used as a Group 1 toddler seat.

Typical price £150.00
Which? score 37%
Reviewed May 2017
Performance:
2 out of 5
Fitting in car:
3 out of 5
Avoiding misuse and instructions:
3 out of 5

While this seat can be used for a very long time, there are some limitations on how easy it is to use. Also, as we sometimes see with child car seats that try to spread themselves across multiple groups, it doesn't work well in all groups.

This child car seat has passed the regulatory tests required by ECE R44/04 to be sold as suitable for children from 9-36kg. But in our own tests, which are conducted at higher speeds and forces than the standard requires, this seat scored poorly for frontal-impact results when used as a Group 1 toddler seat.

Typical price £225.00
Which? score 20%
Reviewed Aug 2016
Performance:
2 out of 5
Fitting in car:
2 out of 5
Avoiding misuse and instructions:
1 out of 5

This seat will appeal to parents who are keen to keep their children rearward-facing for as long as possible, and will take the time and effort to learn to install it properly. But in our tests, a combination of poor frontal crash-test results and complicated installation means this Group 123 seat has a poor score of 20%. This means it falls below our Don’t Buy threshold of 40%.

See the rest of our Don’t Buy child car seats.

How Which? tests child car seats

All child car seats sold in the UK must meet the test requirements of the compulsory ECE R44/04 standard. This simulates a low-speed crash at around 30mph. But the test doesn’t use a realistic car, just a mock-up of a car’s back seat. There’s also no side-impact test or ease-of-use assessment for child car seats.

When we test child car seats, we use a real car body. The speeds at which we conduct our crash tests are also far more realistic. Front-crash tests are conducted at 40mph and side-impact crash tests at 17.5mph. The dummies we use are wired up to record forces on the head, neck, chest and pelvis, which allows us to accurately predict how likely a child would be to sustain an injury in a crash.

To find out more, read how Which? tests child car seats.

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