Top 10: Best car seats for babies 2023
Choosing the first seat for your baby can be a headache. Get through the jargon and the legalities with our pick of the ten best currently on the market.
Don't forget to check the compatibility of your own car by using our unique Car Seat Chooser.
The i-Level is excellent in many ways, hence why it won our Group 0+ Child Seat of 2019 award. It's also great value given the safety elements it comes with. The high-quality materials and the comfortable memory foam means that this value isn’t kept tucked out of sight, though. What will tempt many, and rightfully so, is the ability to lie it totally flat – a position that is much better for small babies over a long period of time. If you are out all day and don’t want to take a carrycot, then the i-Level will be an excellent option.
It’s also great at doing the basics, as it is very easy to fit, simple to carry and has an excellent cover. The only thing we’d like to improve is the strap adjustment system and the slightly fiddly buckle. Other than that, it is a fantastic seat that will provide reassurance in and out of the car for the first year or so of a child’s life.
Maxi-Cosi Pebble Plus
Maxi-Cosi makes both the Pebble and the Pebble Plus, but of the two the Plus is the better option – it is an upgraded version of the popular seat, with the necessary extra side protection and safety features to conform to the i-Size regulations.
The range comes with an integrated sun cover and a wide selection of accessories and can be secured in the car with a three-point belt if you need to pop it into a vehicle without Isofix for a short trip. It is quite pricey, but you can upgrade to a bigger Maxi Cosi seat and keep the same base at least.
Britax Römer Baby Safe i-Size
Like the Joie i-Level, the Britax Römer Baby Safe offers the ability to lay your baby flatter when you take it out of the car and slot it into a travel system, which is better for their posture and might well help them sleep better on longer days in the seat.
This is one of the reasons for what might seem to be a fairly high price, but this is also Britax’s first i-Size seat, so comes with more in the way of side-impact protection. Other tricks of note include a quick removable cover, which can be taken off without removing the harness from the seat, which will be a bonus for any parents with little ones that are prone to travel sickness. There are also lots of different colours and designs to choose from.
Nuna Pipa Lite LX
This lightweight car sear from Nuna offers an impressive amount of comfort and protection. The Pipa Lite really lives up to its name, being an exceptionally light car seat despite its strong shell - which is great for parents who struggle to lift and carry seats in and out of the car. There's also side impact protection and a stability leg for added safety.
The dream drape sun canopy and organic cotton harness pads and body inserts are also thoughtful touches, which go some way to justifying the high price tag. The Pipa Lite LX is compatible with all Nuna pushchairs, too.
Cybex Aton M
The Aton M is another that can be used on a base that can accommodate a bigger seat, meaning you don’t need to buy a second base as your child grows (so long as you buy another Cybex of course).
It’s chunky, at 4.6kg, but that is pretty much par for the class. Although it isn’t designed to take a child any heavier than 13kg, there is a wide range of adjustment in the headrest – it can be put in one of 11 positions.
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BeSafe iZi Go
Norwegian company BeSafe says that the iZi Go goes beyond the latest i-Size safety requirements, with extra padding increasing its side impact protection. Some parents have said this makes it seem as though the baby’s head is quite snugly contained, but it should ensure that they are kept still and this shouldn’t be an issue unless your little one has a problem with their head being held a little closer while driving.
The iZi Go is a relatively lightweight seat, at just 3.5kg, but it still boasts a five-point harness with a magnetic belt holder to help keep the clips out of the way while popping the little one in and out. The same seat is sold branded as a Stokke.
Silver Cross Simplicity
The Silver Cross Simplicity seat is a Group 0+ seat suitable from birth to 13kg. It features a five-point safety harness which can be conveniently adjusted with one hand, as well as side impact protection and head support. A free two-year guarantee is included.
The popular Maxi-Cosi Cabriofix is suitable for babies from birth until they reach a maximum weight of 13kg/29lbs (approx 12-15 months). It features side impact technology for optimal protection and, when using the Maxi-Cosi familyfix ISOFIX base, the cabriofix car seat can be positioned in a more upward seated position for older babies.
The stay-open harness allows you to easily place your little one in the seat and as they grow, the harness and headrest can be altered to ensure that they are always positioned correctly. The seat also comes complete with a headhugger, newborn support pillow, chest and buckle pad plus an integrated sun canopy. The car seat also features an extra comfortable ergonomic carrying handle to make it easier for you to lift and move, as well as a handy storage compartment and washable cover.
Joie's i-Gemm seat allows your baby to travel in the rear-facing position from birth up to 15 months. It's i-Size safe and can be installed in your vehicle with the Joie i-Base Advance or i-Base (sold separately), allowing an easy transition to the i-Anchor advance child seat. It also allows you to lift the seat in and out of your car without having to secure it each time with a fiddly seat belt. The i-Gemm car seat has a Tri-Protect headrest with Intelli-Fit memory foam to provide certified side impact protection.
Joie's baby car seat pairs perfectly with the Joie chrome plus pushchair for and is also compatible with most other Joie buggies, adapter-free, as well as most other brands of pushchair when used with the Maxi-Cosi car seat adaptor.
Cybex Cloud Z i-Size
As part of the flexible Z-Line modular system, the Cloud Z i-Size fits onto the Base Z (available separately) to always ensure a safe ride from birth to approx. 18 months. The Base Z's innovative rotating mechanism makes it quick and easy to switch between positions that face the rear. A free three-year guarantee is included too.
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