Best baby car seats: What car seat should you buy?

Getting the right car seat is important.
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  • Looking to buy a car seat for your new arrival? Not sure where to begin or which car seat is best for you and your little one? We’re here to help.

    Baby car seats are a must-have baby essential (even if the only journey you do is from the hospital to your home) and is the one item you should really buy new.

    So, it’s important to buy a car seat that comes from a reputable seller, and it’s something worth investing some money in. But once you’ve read through our handy guide, buying a car seat really won’t be as daunting as it seems.

    We’ve put together a list of bestselling car seats that can be ordered from the comfort of your sofa.

    Best car seats to buy online

    Amazon’s bestselling car seat

    Key features Key reasons to buy
    • Rear facing car seat.
    • Ready to use from birth.
    • Inlay offers laying position for newborns.
    • Available in six different colours.
    • It’s an Amazon’s Choice product.
    • Compatible with Maxi-Cosi and Quinny pushchairs.

    SHOP NOW: Maxi-Cosi Pebble Plus Baby Car Seat, £177.70, Amazon

    Age range: Suitable from birth to approximately 1 year.

    Features: The Maxi-Cosi Pebble Plus includes i-Size for enhanced safety and optimal protection against side impacts, and is compatible with their pushchairs for easy travel on the go. It’s an Amazon’s Choice product and has an average rating of 4.5/5 from customer reviews. The car seat is ready to use from birth, so it’s a great choice to bring baby home from hospital.

    There’s also six different colours to choose from, if you’d prefer a different style to the traditional black car seat. Amazon has grey, sand, sky blue, nomad grey or sparkling grey. It can be bought in five monthly payments if you would prefer that option.

    GoodtoKnow: Its baby hugg inlay offers a better fit and laying position for newborns.

    John Lewis & Partners’ bestselling car seat

    John Lewis car seat

    Key features Key reasons to buy
    • 360° rotating seat
    • Additional summer seat.
    • Built in ventilation.
    • Converts to forward facing.
    • Spinning seat for accessible child harnessing.
    • Side impact protection provides added security.

    SHOP NOW: Joie Baby Spin 360 Group 0+/1 Car Seat, £199.99, John Lewis & Partners

    Age range: Birth up to 18kg/40lbs or approx birth to 4 years.

    Features: The Joie Baby Spin car seat has a 360 degree rotation that spins in every direction at just the touch of a button and locks securely in place for effortless travel. It’s designed to make travelling easier, due to its easy to maneuver design. It’s suitable for children from birth to four years old, due to the fact it can convert to a forward facing seat for when they’re older.

    It’s also got built in ventilation and an additional summer seat for the warmer months, ensuring your child is cool and comfortable on those long journeys with the family.

    GoodtoKnow: Built-in side ventilation keeps baby cool on those warm days.

    Boots’ bestselling car seat

    Boots car seat

     

    Key features Key reasons to buy
    • Adjustable headrest and harness.
    • Advanced Side Impact Protection.
    • Performance Chest Pads.
    • Recline position for all ages.
    • Wide age range.
    • Popular with parents for over 10 years.

    SHOP NOW: Britax Römer EVOLVA 1-2-3 SL SICT Car Seat, £132.95, Boots

    Age range: 9 months – 12 years (9 – 36 kg)

    Features: The Britax Römer EVOLVA is designed for children between 9 months to 12 years, so it’s a great option if you’re looking for a longterm car seat for use throughout your child’s development. It offers advanced safety performance and a premium look.

    In addition, the improved Side Impact Cushion Technology (SICT) minimises the force of an impact in a side collision, and the Soft-Latch ISOFIX installation connects the seat direct to the car.

    GoodtoKnow: Flexible installation that’s compatible with most cars.

    Argos’ bestselling car seat

    Argos best selling car seat

     

    Key features Key reasons to buy
    • Forward facing.
    • Adjustable head support.
    • Suitable for a wide age range.
    • Intuitive red markers indicate exactly where the seatbelt should go.
    • Two retractable cup holders.

    SHOP NOW: Graco Junior Maxi Group 2/3 Car Seat, £34.99, Argos

    Age range: 4 years to 12 years (15kg to 36kg)

    Features: The Graco Junior Maxi Group seat is forward facing, and suitable for children between 4 and 12 years. It comes with two retractable cup holders that are ideal for long journeys and keeping your child hydrated.  The seat has an adjustable head support to keep them comfortable and secure throughout the journey.

    It’s easy to use and has intuitive red markers that indicate exactly where the seatbelt should go, as well as a removable washable cover.

    GoodtoKnow: Two cup holders make it ideal for those long journeys.

    Mama’s & Papa’s bestselling car seat

    Mama's and Papa's car seat

    Key features Key reasons to buy
    • Removable padded full-body insert
    • Multi-height headrest.
    • Side Impact Protection.
    • 4 recline positions.
    • Can be used from birth until 7 years old.

    SHOP NOW: Joie Stages Adjustable Baby to Child Car Seat, £130, Mama’s & Papa’s

    Age range: Rearward-facing travel from birth to 4 years (18kg) and forward facing until 7 years (9kg -25kg)

    Features: The Joie Stages Adjustable Baby to Child Car Seat has four recline positions, so you can adjust and ensure baby is comfortable. It can be converted to a forward facing seat that’s ideal for older children, and can be used up until the age of 7. The car seat comes with a removable padded full-body insert with foam lift support, and a handy visual installation confirmation for quick, easy fitting.

    GoodtoKnow: Multi-height headrest and harness system that grows with baby.

    How to buy a reliable yet cheap car seat

    We’re all about saving money here at GoodtoKnow – especially when it comes to expensive products, so we’re sharing some of our top tips for buying a car seat on the cheap.

    • Online vs in store: Make sure you view the car seat and try it out – even in your car, before you buy in store or online. Some stores have exclusive discount deals that are only available online or the other way round, only in store, so its always worth doing your research before buying.
    • Sales: If you want to save a lot of money in one go, holding off until there are sales on is a great idea. Some of the most popular include Black Friday, Boxing Day sales, January sales and end of season sales are great for bagging yourself a bargain!
    • Vouchers and discount codes: It’s always worth having a look on Google to find out if there’s any recent discount codes for the store you’re buying from – even if its free delivery, it’ll make a difference to your overall budget.

    Car seat safety: what to remember

    When buying a car seat, you need to look out for either the ECE R44/04 approval or the ECE R129 approval label, both of which are current approval standards for children’s car seats in the UK.

    Our car seat safety guide has all the info you need to know about keeping your little one safe in the car, as well the key things to look out for when buying a new one.

    Is a second hand car seat okay?

    If you do use a second-hand car seat, you must be certain of its history. Test it in your car as car seat sizes vary based on your baby’s age and weight. It must be properly installed, tightly secured with very little movement. Group 0 rear-facing infant carriers (for better head and neck support) are for newborns up to 9 months (up to 10kg/22lb) and Group 0+ for newborns to five to 18 months (up to 13kg/29lb).

    MORE: Car seat safety tips: What every parent needs to know

    Leading mum blogger at themumblog.com Liz Jarvis says, ‘There are some things you should avoid getting second-hand for safety reasons: Your baby’s mattress and their car seat, for example. It’s very important these items are bought brand new, particularly in the case of mattresses, and car seats should only be second-hand if you’re absolutely sure about their previous history.’

    For safety reasons and regulations we’d recommend you opt for a brand new car seat.