• Car Seat Buying Guide

Choosing a car seat can be overwhelming. How do you figure out which one to buy? Start with your travel needs. How will you be using the car seat? Will it fit in your vehicle? We’ve got recommendations for all sorts of different needs! See here for a discussion of what to take into consideration when making a decision. 

Recommended Infant Seats

Recommended Infant Seats

Top Infant Seats

The most user-friendly seats with the most safety features, with a clear discussion of what each one does best.

Narrow Infant Seats

Perfect if you need to fit 2 car seats next to each other or 3 car seats across one row, or if you have a small vehicle

Recommended Convertible Car Seats

Recommended Convertible Car Seats

Best Seats for Extended Rear-facing

Convertibles with high height and weight limits, enabling rear-facing for as long as possible

Narrow Car Seats

Perfect if you need to fit 2 car seats next to each other or 3 car seats across one row, or if you just have a small vehicle

Recommended Boosters

Recommended Boosters

Narrow Boosters

If you need to fit 2 car seats next to each other, or 3 car seats across one row, these boosters are the seats for you.

Boosters for Wider Kids

The best booster seats for your bigger-than-average kiddo, with safety, comfort, and longevity in mind.

Recommended for Travel

Recommended for Travel

Airplane Travel

The best seats for travel by plane both within the USA and internationally

Taxis and City Life

The most portable and user-friendly options for frequent taxi, uber, and rental car use

Which car seat should you buy?

This is one of the most common questions we get asked. It might even be the most commonly asked question. There’s no easy answer, unfortunately. The safest and best car seat is the one that will install securely in your vehicle, that fits your child’s age, height, and weight, and that you can operate correctly every time. Looking at safety ratings is important but isn’t enough — if the seat rated “safest” doesn’t fit securely in your vehicle, or if you can’t figure out how to operate it, it is NOT the best seat for YOU. All car seats are safe and will protect your child if properly used. We’re here to help you find the best one for your specific needs.

Will it fit your lifestyle? Your car seat has to work for YOU. If you travel a lot and are constantly installing and uninstalling your seat, your seat should be easy to install. If you take taxis/uber or use rental cars frequently, buy a lightweight seat that’s optimized for frequent installation. If you walk everywhere, the car seat needs to fit on your stroller — but you should base your stroller purchase on the car seat, not vice versa, since the car seat and not the stroller may one day save your child’s life (see our Stroller Compatibility page). If you plan on having a second child soon, buy a car seat with a long lifespan, so that you can pass it down to the next child, and buy one that can be installed in multiple locations in your vehicle, since a second child may change your seating positions.

Will it fit in your car? Our guide lists the seats that we consider user-friendly, since the easier a seat is to install, the more likely you are to install it properly. Most of these seats have built-in ease-of use features that help out during installation. While we can’t make a specific recommendation about which specific car seat will work best in your particular vehicle without speaking with you, we’ve created some categories to help guide you towards the right seats for specific situations, like fitting a car seat in a tight space, or choosing one for the side seating position versus the center position.

Will the car seat fit your child? Car seats are expensive! Buy a seat that has high height and weight limits. This will allow you to use the seat for longer and will push off your next purchase for as long as possible. An infant or convertible car seat with high height and weight limits will allow you to keep your child rear-facing for longer, and since rear-facing is significantly safer than forward-facing, it’s the best way to keep your child safe in the car.