One of the most important items you’ll ever buy for your child is a car seat. Although they may be irritating to wrestle inside your vehicle, this metal and plastic contraption could save your child’s life. However, with so many brands and products related to car seats, the responsibility to find the safest one for your baby can feel overwhelming.
Every brand promises something different, and it’s almost impossible to know which companies take your baby’s safety as seriously as you do.
Fortunately, you don’t need to bear this responsibility alone. We realize how important it is to find a dependable seat that will keep your child secure, and we’re here to tell you which car seat brands are at the top of the ranks.
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Best Baby Car Seat Brands
For over 60 years, Graco has been designing baby products and car seats that center around safety and durability. It all started when one of the company’s engineers, Rex Thomas, realized the importance of safe, convenient baby products in his own family. Although their original focus was on baby swings, Graco quickly expanded into travel systems and car seats.
One way that Graco has stayed committed to safety is through the use of their own crash test facility. Once they start developing a new product, Graco can run crash tests in their own facility to ensure that every one of their products meets or exceeds Federal safety standards.
Anytime you purchase a car seat from Graco, you can trust that it’s been thoroughly tested and improved by Graco safety technicians.
Since installing your car seat can be a tricky and frustrating process, Graco always includes step-by-step instructions that are easy to follow. As far as durability goes, Graco is committed to making long-lasting products.
Many of their car seats are designed to last parents for ten years, but if you’re still not sure, each product will always come with an expiration date, so you know when it’s time to purchase a new one.
One of their top-selling items is the 4EVER DLX 4-in-1 Car Seat. This product is meant to last you a decade, and support children from 4 to 120 pounds. Special protection features will help protect your child in rear, frontal, side, and rollover crashes. The SimplySafe Adjust Harness system allows the headrest and harnesses to easily adjust together.
As a well-established company, Graco doesn’t just want to provide products that meet Safety Standards—they want to develop new protection features that go beyond what’s required of them. Purchasing from Graco doesn’t just mean a safe car seat, but a durable one too. See all Graco Car Seats.
The 3 Best Sellers:
A European-based company that launched in the US in 1996, Britax has worked hard to earn the trust of families across the globe. They’re focused on innovation and new technology, but what Britax really prides itself on is their open-line of communication with parents.
If even one family is dissatisfied with a product or has a suggestion for improvement, Britax is ready to listen.
Their first priority is safety: the security of the child is the basis for all of Britax’s car seat designs. One of the most important features is their Side-Impact protection. 1 in 3 car crashes are side-on collisions, which mean that protecting the sides of your baby’s car seat is paramount.
Many of their products also include SafeCell Impact protection. In the event of a crash, the SafeCell Impact protection is meant to help absorb the impact and keep your child’s mobility to a minimum.
If you’re worried about installing your car seat incorrectly, Britax is responsible for ClickTight Installation. They recognized that a significant problem with car seats is that, as safe as they may be, 3 out of 4 of them still end up getting installed incorrectly.
Instead of spending hours tangled up in straps and harnesses, the ClickTight Installation feature makes it as simple as buckling your seatbelt.
While many brands work to meet the Federal Safety Standards, Britax strives to go beyond the standard requirements. They want to create more convenient products for parents, but they also want to make sure your child will be as safe as possible on the road. See all Britax Car Seats.
Top 3 Best Sellers:
Founded in 1958 by Pietro Catelli, Chicco is a reliable Italian-based company that’s been designing car seats for decades. The Chicco Observatory, or Happiness Lab, rely on the opinions of pediatricians, ergonomists, and parents when developing new products.
Chicco car seats center around two key components: security and comfort. Not only do they want to produce the safest car seat they can, but they also want to ensure that your child is comfortable too. They sell almost anything related to car seats for infants, toddlers, and even bigger kids.
Many of their best-selling products come highly recommended by medical professionals. Neonatal nurses from around the world have heavily endorsed one of their top-selling items, the KeyFit 30, for premature infants. This is because, unlike other car seats, the KeyFit 30 can be adjusted to extremely small sizes.
To provide maximum support, many Chicco car seats also have padded harnesses, nine-position headrests, and removable parts. While these features might not seem life-changing, they go a long way in keeping your child calm and comfortable during long car rides.
What separates Chicco from similar brands is their reputation and authenticity. Many brands boast about safety features, but not all of them follow up on this promise. By working directly with medical professionals and parents, Chicco is able to learn which products and features will make your child more secure, and which ones won’t.
If you’re looking for a dependable car seat from a reliable, well-established company, Chicco might be the right choice for you.
Top 3 Best Sellers:
Launched in 1999 in Seattle, Diono is a newer brand known for its innovation and ingenuity. In 2002, they won the Most Innovative Product award for one of their car seats, The Diono Mighty-Tite.
In that same year, they also debuted the super mat, which is designed to protect your vehicle’s upholstery from any permanent indentations caused by car seats.
Diono has been at the forefront of car seat innovation and safety: they’ve introduced new, adjustable products like the Radian car seat and the Monterey booster seat to the market.
While they might not be as established as other brands, Diono’s track record speaks for itself. Not only do they continue to win awards for their car seats, but they’re also not afraid to tweak the recipe and try something new.
Their Radian Convertible car seat, for instance, was the first steel-reinforced folding car seat designed to make traveling and storage more convenient for parents. Their Monterey Expandable Booster seat, on the other hand, was the first height and width-adjustable booster on the market that could fit children up to 120 pounds.
What divides Diono from other competitors is their ability to think outside of the box. They continue to develop products that will make the lives of parents easier, and keep their children safer.
When you buy from Diono, you know that you’ll be purchasing a car seat with the most innovative and cutting-edge technology on the market. See all Diono Car Seats on the market today.
Top 3 Best Sellers:
Originally a part of the automotive industry, Clek turned their attention to car seats when they realized how many of them lacked adequate security features. Like the vehicles they used to manufacture, Clek wanted to develop car seats with advanced safety technology.
One of their best-selling products is the Foonf Convertible car seat. Designed with energy-absorbing crumble technology, the Foonf also includes a forward-facing rigid-LATCH installing feature. This is a standard safety feature in Europe and can help you securely install your car seat.
If you’re more interested in a seat for your newborn, the Liing infant seat has features that exceed safety requirements in both the US and Canada. For comfort and convenience, there’s a one-handed quick release feature and a 2-stage infant insert to adequately support your child’s head and spine.
If you prefer a car seat that’s as good for your baby as it is for the environment, you might be happy to hear Clek is as committed to staying green.
Most Clek products are made with eco-friendly fabrics that are free of chlorinated and brominated flame-retardants. Not only are these fabrics generally more comfortable for your child, but they also provide protection against stains and odors.
Their dedication to safety and the environment is what separates Clek from their competitors.
Top 3 Best Sellers:
The inventor of Mifold , a popular manufacturer of baby products , used the crowdfunding website Indiegogo to help finance the company by raising almost two million dollars about four years ago. Now , Mifold manufacturers four booster seats, three compact models and one that resembles a traditional booster seats, but folds for easy portability.
The first model of booster seats is the mifold grab-and-go, which folds to about the size of a clutch purse. It is easy to carry in a backpack, shopping bag, or purse or parents can keep it in a backseat pocket. Another foldable model is the mifold grab-and-go sport. It is the more luxurious of the two models, with a slightly longer and higher seat pad, and a sporty design.
Both foldable models are suitable for kids that weigh at least 40 to 100 pounds and who are 40 to 57-inches tall. The third model, the mifold one grab-and-go, doesn’t fold but is a compact seat pad with belt guides and a shoulder clip to correctly position the car’s seatbelt on the child.
The fourth booster seat has a high back with inward folding head and torso wings to better protect the child in case of an impact. All of the milfold models meet or exceed the safety standards of the National Highway and Traffic Safety Administration.
The first three models are available in small, medium, and large widths. The mifold Hifold is the more traditional model that folds to make it more portable. It adjusts as the child grows and, like the other models, has a one-year warranty and a seven-year service life.
7. Safety 1st
The Safety 1st company became well known for their yellow “Baby on Board” signs that parents would display on their car’s back window. It reminded other drivers to be cautious when driving around children in other cars. They would go on to create other baby products, including a line of car seats.
They now manufacture car and booster seats for infants, toddlers, and young children. Their car seats include the Onboard Air rear-facing seats for newborns from four pounds to 35-pound infants. They have 13 models of the Onboard Air infant seats. They also make one Light n’ Comfy infant seat for babies who weigh four to 22 pounds.
For larger babies, there is the line of convertible or 3-in-1 car seats that adjust as the child grows. So, the Grow and Go line starts as rear-facing infant seats for babies that are four to five pounds through to about 50 pounds and 19 to 49-inches long. Then, as they grow, the seat faces forward when the child reaches 22 pounds and 29-inches long until they weigh 65-pounds and are 49-inches tall.
The UltraMax line, which is a 4-in-1 car seat is suitable for infants from four to 22 pounds and toddlers from 15-50 pounds for the rear-facing position. To face forward toddlers should be 22 to 85 pounds and it converts into a booster seat for young children who are 40 to 120-pounds.
They have other lines like the SportFit 65, Guide 65, and TrioFit lines for a total of 72 car seats. Safety 1st car seats come with a one-year warranty and seats made before January 1, 2014 have a service life of six years and those manufactured after that date have a 10-year service life. The date of manufacture and expiration are on the manufacturer’s label.
Evenflo manufactures several types of baby products, including bottles, highchairs, strollers, and car seats. Their car seat lines include rear facing infant car seats that are suitable for newborns to babies weighing 35 pounds. They also manufacture convertible car seats that can be either rear or forward-facing, depending on the child’s weight.
As a rear-facing infant seat, they are suitable for newborns weighing at least five pounds to 40 pounds, and who are 19 to 37-inches long. To face forward, a child needs to be at least two-years old and weigh between 22 and 65 pounds, as well as be 28 to 50-inches tall.
Evenflo also manufactures all-in-one or three-in-one combination car seats that are capable of being a rear or forward-facing car seat and a booster seat. The booster seat is for kids that weigh 40 to 120 pounds and are 44 to 57-inches tall. The booster seats use the vehicle’s seatbelt to keep the child safely in the seat in the event of an accident.
The company has 33 car or booster seat models, of which most of them have a 90-day warranty with six years of service life. However, their Symphony car seats have a two-year warranty and an eight-year service life. See all Evenflo Car Seats.
Peg-Perego is an Italian manufacturer of car and booster seats, strollers, and other baby products for 60 years. They currently make a small line of car seats for the North American market, which includes two Primo Viaggio infant seats and two Primo Viaggio convertible car seats.
The Primo Viaggio infant seats are suitable for babies that weigh four to 35-poumds and are up to 32-inches long. These rear facing seats install in vehicles using the LATCH system or with a seatbelt in cars without the LATCH anchors.
They have side impact protection and are certified for cars in the US and for air travel. The car seats have a hood to protect babies from the sun or rain. The Primo Viaggio convertible seats are suitable for babies in a rear-facing position that weigh 5 to 45 pounds, or they can face forward if they are between 22 and 65 pounds.
These seats have side impact position, energy absorbing foam, and they adjust into 10 positions. The Peg-Perego car seats have a two-year limited warranty and a service life of seven years, so they could be used for more than one child in a family, but parents should dispose of them seven years from the date of manufacture.
As a parent, you might compromise on a lot of things, but the safety of your child is not one of them. Every brand on the market will promise you the highest standards in safety related to car seats, but not all of them will actually take the time and effort to deliver on that promise.
What makes companies like Chicco, Diono, Britax, Graco, and Clek the best car seat brands on the market is their commitment to providing you with the safest car seat on the road.