Best child car seats
Top 10 child car seats for 2019
By Alison Potter
Article 2 of 2
Which? baby and child experts round up the best Isofix and belted child car seats from Group 0+/1 to Group 2/3.
Whether you’re looking for an Isofix or belted child car seat, our reviews and crash test results show you the safest models for transporting your little one.
In the table below we've rounded up 10 of the best car seats. They've been picked from the top-scoring models in our most recent tests.
We’ve also picked out three of the worst Don't Buy child car seats, so you know which ones may not provide a suitable level of protection in a crash.
Or you can head straight to all of our child car seats reviews to see the full range we've tested.
Only logged-in Which? members can view our recommendations in the table below. If you’re not yet a member, you can get instant access by joining Which?.
Top 10 best child car seats
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 it, 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.
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.
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.
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.
This egg-shaped baby car seat is approved for use with babies from birth up to 13kg or around 15 months old. It certainly looks the part with its distinctive chrome detailing. But looks won't protect your baby in a crash. To read more on how this stylish seat fared in our tough crash test, read our full review, before you buy.
This baby car seat boasts an impressive array of features, including side-impact protection, a sun canopy, a 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. Read our full review to find out how it protected during tough crash tests.
This basic baby car seat can be found in John Lewis and the seat itself won't cost you the earth. You need to pay extra for the Isofix base, so if you're on a tight baby-budget this could be a good option to consider - especially given the good crash test results. It's approved to the latest i-Size car seat regulations, and it can be used as part of a travel system on a pushchair, too. Rear-facing, Isofix or belt-installation.
If you want a baby car seat that will keep your baby in a flatter position while you travel, this could be the car seat for you. It gets a good overall safety rating, with excellent side-impact protection and good protection from front-impact crashes. It's easy to use and the seat can be adjusted to creates a flatter position for your baby in the seat. It's approved to the latest i-Size car seat regulations and it's rearward-facing installation only with an Isofix base.
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.
This adjustable high-backed booster seat is designed to grow with your child. If you're on a budget, but need a Group 2/3 child car seat with Isofix connectors to securely attach it to your car, then this is a great option. It has extra-side impact protection and can be adjusted to fit your child comfortably, and it's really easy to install and use.
Pricing, recommendations and test scores correct as of June 2018.
Want to see more? Browse all our best car seat reviews.
Three child car seats to avoid in 2018
As well as recommending the best, we think it’s also important to highlight the car seats you need to avoid. Below are three Don't Buy car seats that aren’t as safe as they should be. In our recent tests we detected serious safety issues with them, and they may not provide adequate protection in a crash.
Three child car seats to avoid
Joie Every Stage FX
Test score %
This child car seat has passed the regulatory tests required by ECE R44/04 to be sold as suitable for children from birth to 36kg. But in our own tests, which are conducted at higher speeds and forces than the standard requires, this seat scores poorly for frontal-impact results when used as a forward-facing Group 1 toddler car seat. The overall test score is limited to 42% for this reason. Any car seat scoring 45% or less is a Don't Buy car seat. Read the safety alert for more information.
Kids Embrace Friendship Turtles
Test score %
This Group 1/2/3 car seat has passed the regulatory tests required by the ECE R44/04 standard to be sold as suitable for children from 9kg to 36kg, that's from around 12 months up to 12 years old.
However, in our own more stringent tests, which include a tough side-impact crash test (something not included in R44.04), it scored so poorly in Group 3 mode (backless booster seat) that the score is automatically downgraded to just 20%. Any car seat scoring 45% or less is a Don't Buy car seat. Read the safety alert for more information.
Concord Ultimax i-Size
Test score %
This child car seat and Isofix base has passed the regulatory tests required by ECE R129 to be sold as suitable for children from 40cm to 105cm. However, in our tests, which are conducted at higher speeds and forces than the standard requires, our crash tests found weaknesses in frontal-impact safety. The car seat shell broke during frontal-impact crash tests when used forward-facing. Due to this, the overall score is automatically downgraded to 19%. Any car seat that scores 45% or less will become a Which? Don't Buy. A good result in any of our other tests cannot compensate for this poor result. Read the safety alert for more information.
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 or R129 standard. This simulates a low-speed crash at around 30mph. Car seats approved to the R44 regulation do not need to pass a side-impact cash test, and there's no ease-of-use assessment for child car seats.
Our experts have specially designed the crash tests we use, making them more demanding than the legal minimum standards require. Each car seat endures a front crash, at around 40mph, and a side-impact crash, equivalent to two cars crashing into each other at 30mph, repeated again and again, with the seat installed in the different ways it can be used.
Crash test dummies are wired up to record forces on the key parts of the body, including the head, neck, chest and pelvis, which allow our experts to predict the risk of injury a child could sustain in a crash.
To find out more, read how Which? tests child car seats.