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Parenting

11+ Best Car Seats of 2024

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When I found out I was pregnant, I was so excited to do all the baby research. I was ready to find the essentials for my newborn, and finding the best car seat was at the top of my list—along with the best diapers, a fantastic stroller, and a super cute baby bathtub. But not long after starting, I became super overwhelmed with all the choices out there (best infant car seat, best convertible car seat, you get it!). I found it tough to focus on my car seat quest what with all the peeing, the napping, and all the avoiding of the soft cheeses. Searching out car seats (along with all the things) became a stressful process instead of one that brought me joy while carrying my little bundle of, well…joy. So, this is why we’ve put together an easy-to-follow list of the best car seats for you, complete with wonderful recommendations from our Bobbie Moms, so can you choose a car seat that works best for your little one totally stress-free.

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Types of car seats

Car seats for kids were invented as far back as the 1930s, and today they’ve evolved to keep your newborn, toddler, and grade schooler safe while riding in the car. Each car seat is created to support different ages, weights, and heights so your child can remain comfortable and safe while you explore the world together. Here’s a list of the different types of car seats available.

Infant Car Seat or Rear-facing Car Seat

This type of car seat has your little one watching the world go by facing backward in your backseat. Rear-facing seats are designed to offer more support to a developing baby’s head, neck, and spine. The American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) recommends all infants ride in a rear-facing seat for as long as they can until they reach the highest weight (or height) set by the car safety seat manufacturer. Then the kiddo will move onto their next car seat. Rear-facing seats can be portable as well. 

Forward-facing Car Seat

When your kiddo has grown up faster than you can say “I love Bluey!” check to see if they’ve outgrown the height and weight limits for their rear-facing car seat. That’s when it’s time to look forward to a forward-facing car seat. This seat faces forward in your back seat and uses a harness to keep your child safe while you run errands and singing your favorite songs. Typically when your little one weighs around 40-50 pounds you’ll be switching car seats in the back seat, but be sure to read the instructions for your seat as each one varies. 

Convertible Car Seat

If you’re wanting a one-stop-shopping kind of car seat, a convertible car seat is just the ticket. These convertible seats are aptly named because they’re installed rear-facing in the beginning and then adjust to the forward-facing position as your child grows. This seat can be used over a longer time period, and you should know they also run a little bigger since they’re designed to cover a wider height and weight span. 

Booster Car Seat

Your kiddo’s booster seat is designed to give them the safety boost they need in your backseat. The AAP says all kids who have exceeded the weight and high limit for their forward-facing car seat should move into a booster seat. This is usually between 8 and 12 years of age. Booster seats raise your child in their seat so that your car’s seat belt is correctly positioned over their body protecting children from serious injury

11+ Best Car Seats of 2024

1. Best car seat for all stages: Maxi-Cosi Pria All-in-1 Convertible Car Seat

11 of the best car seats

Not even your kiddo’s favorite Lovey will hold up as well as this convertible car seat. Easy to install, the Maxi-Cosi Pria works from birth all the way up to 10 years old. Three is indeed a magic number with this seat, because it starts rear-facing with your newborn, moves into the forward-facing position when your child is ready, and then converts to a booster. With its 3 reclining positions, 5 headrest heights, and “QuickFit” shoulder harness, the Maxi-Cosi Pria keeps your kiddo safe at all ages. This seat holds children rear-facing from 4-40 lbs.; forward-facing to 65 lbs.; and up to 100 lbs. when used as a booster.

2. Best car seat for multiples: Britax Poplar S Convertible Car Seat

Best slim car seat

It’s not often you hear the word slim attached to car seat, but trust us, this is SLIM. The Poplar S Convertible Car Seat is a win in so many ways. It’s a 2-in-1 so your kids grow with it, it features the Britax patented ClickTight® installation (life-saver for parents!) and has a slim SpaceSaver™ design. Space-saving may not sound that exciting, but once you have more than one kid in a car seat, it’s essential. We hear you can even do THREE across with these. THREE!

3. Easiest to install car seat: Babyark Convertible Car Seat

Easiest to install car seat

Created by engineers and parents (the designer has worked with BMW, MINI, Ferrari, Maserati and McLaren), this car seat was designed for the one element of performance that matters above all else—safety.

Stand-out features include:

  • SmrtGide™ installation system ensures the seat is properly installed. The smart base is equipped with 14 sensors and an LED-light system to provide visual confirmation that the seat is installed correctly.
  • With the babyark mobile app, the sensor system ensures that the seat is properly installed and the baby is buckled up each and every ride. The sensors can also identity if your baby is still in the seat and will notify you immediately if a child is left behind.
  • CrbnEgg™ frame considered to be the most shock-resilient frame in the market because of its powerful, impact-diffusing shape and its makeup of carbon fiber, which Is 7 times stronger than steel.
  • Magnetic straps for easy placement of the child. Easy straps— brilliant!

4. Best rear-facing car seat: Doona Infant Car Seat & Latch Base

11 of the best car seats

While relaxing in this rear-facing only car seat, your little one will feel like they’re being safely held in your arms. Oh, and another cool fun fact: Medical experts assisted in this design so that your baby can relax in the perfect ergonomic position. The Doona converts easily to a stroller, too, so you never have to wake your sleeping baby when taking them out of the car. And wait for the best part— it does this in seconds, so your sleeping baby won’t even notice the transition. The Doona comes with a 5-point harness and “3 Layer Sided Protection.” It works with babies from 4 lbs. to 35 lbs., with a maximum of 32in height. It’s also FAA Aircraft Approved for travel, so feel free to bring it along with you on your family vacays. 

5. Best convertible car seat: Safety 1st Grow and Go All-in-One Convertible Car Seat

11 of the best car seats

You’re getting both a rear-facing position and a forward-facing car seat with this one, um, and yeah, and…a booster seat, too. Wait to be super impressed by the ease of installation this car seat provides when you put it in your car for the first time and then convert it as your child grows. With side impact protection and an easy-to-work harness, this “3-in-1” seat is rear-facing from 5 to 40 lbs., and then forward-facing from 22 to 65 lbs. It turns into a booster seat for 40 to 100 lbs. 

6. Best toddler car seat: Britax Grow with You ClickTight

 11 of the best car seats

Transitioning from one activity to another can be tough for your toddler, but you can breathe a sigh of relief because transitions are easy for this car seat. The Britax seamlessly converts from a forward-facing car seat to a booster when your child is ready to make that big back-seat change. Bobbie Mom, Jenny, says, “I love the Britax! We got at least 6 years out of this seat!” And Bobbie Mom, Frances, agrees adding, “I love our Britax ClickTight!” The fabric is breathable so your kiddo will stay cool and the headrest is comfy enough to encourage some car ride nap times. There are 2 layers of side impact protection and the harness and buckle are super easy to use. Weights for the Britax are: forward-facing minimum 25 lbs, forward-facing maximum 120 lbs.

7. Best infant car seat: Chicco KeyFit 35 Zip ClearTex Infant Car Seat

11 best car seats 2023

When it comes to keeping your infant safe, Chicco has been working since 1958 to create “better solutions” for parents. This top-rated, rear-facing infant seat has a minimum weight of 4 pounds and a max weight of 35 pounds. It sports more headrest height and legroom so your little one can stay rear-facing longer. Huzzah! The canopy has a privacy shield to cover your baby from the bright sun or if they just need a moment to themselves. For your newborn, this car seat comes with an ergonomic head and body support, too. Plus— compatible Chicco strollers make this easy to move from the car to your great out-of-door car adventures.  

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8. Best rotating car seat: Graco® Turn2Me™ 3-in-1 Car Seat

11 of the best car seats

Want to save your lower back when picking your baby up and out of their car seat? This seat rotates so you don’t have to play Twister (and lose) with your car seat. Bobbie mom, Frances says this car seat saves her back because it swivels, has two cupholders, and has been essential for her daughter’s low muscle tone. And Bobbie Mom, Dani adds, “we bought this one for my parents and they LOVE it because it’s so easy for them to get the kids in and out, especially if they’re in a tight parking spot”. Just turn the seat to face you, buckle your child in, and turn it back to its rear-facing position. Done and done! This seat grows with your child so it converts to forward-facing and a booster seat. It’s good for kiddos weighing 4 lbs all the way up to 100 lbs. 

9. Best all-in-one car seat: Chicco OneFit ClearTex All-in-One Car Seat

11 best car seats 2023

When you only want to invest in one car seat for the many phases of your child’s life, Chicco’s OneFit is here for you. This car seat is designed to take up less space in your car but still give your child all the space they need to grow and stay comfortable and safe. The OneFit has extra rear-facing legroom, a wide range of height and headrest adjustments, and comes with a removable head and body support insert for your newborn. The weight for this seat goes as follows: rear-facing is 5–40 lbs, forward-facing is 25–65 lbs, and the booster seat is 40–100 lbs. 

10. Best side-by-side car seat: Diono Radian 3R All-in-One Convertible Car Seat

11 of the best car seats

This slim-fit car seat is ready to be installed with more than one car seat already in your back seat. Bobbie Mom, Jennifer, says the Diona is good for tight spaces and for captain seats. The Diona will fit 3 across in most vehicles and can stay rear-racing with children up to 50 lbs. This seat will also convert to forward-facing in a flash and then to a booster seat, so get ready for up to 10 years of safe traveling with this seat. The other perk to the Diono is how portable it is. “We went with the Diono Radian 3RX and we like it because it’s very narrow and also FAA-approved for travel,” says Bobbie Mom Ashely. Oh, and this one comes with a removable machine-washable cover for those spills and diaper accidents that just might happen. 

11. Best budget booster car seat: Cosco Topside Backless Booster Car Seat 

11 of the best car seats

This backless booster seat is made to give your kid the extra height boost they need to keep their seatbelt in the correct position. This seat holds kids from 40 to 100 lbs and 43 to 57 inches in height and won’t leave marks on your seat when you’re ready to take it out of your car— although we can’t guarantee you won’t find some cracker crumbs under there. This budget car seat is easy to move from one car to another making it great for grandparents’ cars, too. 

12. Best luxury car seat: CYBEX Sirona S Convertible Car Seat

11 of the best car seats

Luxury and safety combine in a car seat with the CYBEX. This is the first seat of its kind in the U.S. to feature a 360° rotatable seat, and the Sirona S makes it super simple to switch between rear-facing and forward-facing— which is always appreciated. This car seat comes with the Sensor Safe clip alert that sends app alerts if your child unbuckles the clip, if the backseat is too warm or cold, or if your child is accidentally left. You have 12 different headrest positions and the harness adjusts without rethreading. The rear-facing minimum weight is 4 lbs., the forward-facing maximum weight is 65 lbs., and height requirements start at a minimum of 17 inches and a max out at 49 inches.

13. Best travel car seat: Cosco Mighty Fit 65 DX Convertible Car Seat 

11 best car seats 2023

If you and your family are ready to leave on that jet plane for some memory-making destinations, you’re going to need a car seat for your kiddo. The Cosco Mighty is mighty in safety and top in Amazon reviews. Certified for use on an aircraft, your child will be traveling safe and cozy during their flight. This car seat is super light which makes it easy to carry on your trip but still has all the safety features like a 5-point harness and 3 buckle locations. This seat is made so that it takes up less room in your car or on the plane ride to Disney. And its compact design makes it so much easier to manage when going through security checks at the airport. Rear-facing is from 5 pounds up to toddlers weighing 40 pounds, and kids up to 65 pounds for forward-facing. 

14. Best one and done car seat: Maxi-Cosi Emme 360 Rotating All-in-One Convertible Car Seat

Best rotating car seat

“The Emme carseat is such a game changer!” says Bobbie mom Angeline. “We just switched out of a different infant car seat that didn’t convert or swivel, and we are thrilled to have this easier setup. Convertible carseats are known to be bulky, but we actually now have more room behind the passenger seat than we did before. The swivel makes it super easy to get our son in and out, and he overall seems more comfortable with the fabric and cushioning.”

What is the number one safest car seat? 

When it comes to choosing the safest car seat for your child, there are many seats that can serve this purpose. Graco and Britax are names that are recognized and respected, and the Diona is giving us all the safety features we love but in a slim fit. 

How do I choose the best car seat for my baby? 

There are certain factors to look for when choosing a car seat that will be the best fit for your little one. Make sure to check the manufacturer’s age, weight, and height suggestions while also keeping in mind that the longer your child stays rear-facing, the safer it is for them. 

What is the best infant car seat and stroller?

Investing in a combination car seat and stroller is a wonderful way to transfer your sleeping baby from the car to your stroller. It’s also just super awesome for when you have to run errands or you’re ready for that trip to the playground. The Doona and Chicco are top-rated seats on the market and quickly and easily transition from your car to its compatible stroller base. 

Buying a car seat

In our parenting journey, we encounter stressful moments. And while that stress comes and goes like those sleepless nights, searching for a car seat shouldn’t be one of those on your list parenting worries. Choosing a seat from the list above will help make it that much easier to take the plunge and get a great car seat for your little one!

Shop Bobbie Organic

Shop Bobbie Organic Infant Formula

Bobbie Organic Infant Formula is a USDA Organic, EU-style infant formula that meets all FDA requirements. It is a complete nutrition milk-based powder modeled after breast milk and is easy on tummies. It is non-GMO and doesn't have corn syrup, palm oil, or maltodextrin. Learn more about Bobbie.

Shop Bobbie

Featured image courtesy of Safety 1st Grow n’Go Car Seat

The content on this site is for informational purposes only and not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. Discuss any health or feeding concerns with your infant's pediatrician. Never disregard professional medical advice or delay it based on the content on this page.
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The content on this site is for informational purposes only and not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. Discuss any health or feeding concerns with your infant’s pediatrician. Never disregard professional medical advice or delay it based on the content on this page.

Producer Jenny Altman

Jenny is the head of content at Milk Drunk and a writer for all of her favorite wellness and mom sites including Well+Good, Peanut, Motherly and Scary Mommy. Mom to Luisa, she can be found talking bras and beauty with the moms at school and on instagram.