Which? Best Buy child car seats
Best Buy car seats perform the best in our crash tests, and are easy to use and install. Find out how our tests separate the safest in our tests 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. Why risk it?
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 protection and a comfortable ride.
- Our crash tests have been designed to accurately reflect what happens in real-life crashes. Each car seat tested endures a front crash, equivalent to a head-on collision at around 40mph, and a side 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.
- 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
Over the 50 years we’ve been testing child car seats, we’ve seen 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. We carry out all these checks so that you can be sure your Best Buy child car seat has made it through the toughest of crash tests.
- 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.
- 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 travel. 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 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 from our tests. 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.
Try a £1 Which? trial and you'll receive access to all our online content, plus get Which? magazine delivered to your door. You can also phone our Which? Legal Service and personal finance experts for one-to-one help, plus you'll get access to Which? Local, where members share recommendations for the best services in your area.