The Best Car Seat You Can Find In 2020 (Buyer’s Guide & Reviews)

As your child or more children mean a world to you, your main task is to keep them safe. No matter whether you're setting off on a long journey, a shorter trip, or only going to a grocery store with your little ones, you always look after them and make sure they're safe at every single moment.

So, how do you accomplish this goal? The answer lies here - with the best car seats in 2020! Stay with us since we have prepared something extraordinary for you! With various sizes, dimensions, and possibilities, these seats will provide the best possible protection for your babies, and assure you that nothing might go wrong.

Therefore, please pay much attention to our choices since we've chosen only the highest quality products!

Top 3 Recommendations

What's the "Best" Car Seat?

Child restraints sold in the U.S. must pass Federal Motor Vehicle Safety Standards. The “best” car seat:

  • achieves a safe installation in your vehicle
  • fits your child’s height, weight and development
  • is easy to use correctly every time

1. What Type of Car Seat Should Your Child Use?

There are different types of child restraints for the different stages of a child’s development. Rear-facing, forward-facing in a harness, and belt-positioning booster seat

Don't "graduate" from one stage to another before your child reaches the maximum height or weight of each type of seat.

Rear-facing Only Infant Seats

best Rear-facing Only Infant Seats

All have a handle to carry the baby and a base that stays in the car. They are ONLY used rear-facing (RF). Most fit babies who are between 29–32 inches tall and 4-30 pounds or more.

Check seat labels for specifics. The 5-point harness spreads crash forces, holds the baby down into the seat shell and prevents ejection. Look for a model with an up-front harness adjustment system.

Up front adjusters make it easier to loosen and tighten the harness each time you take the baby in and out of the seat.

5-Point Harness

5-Point Harness

Two shoulder straps,
two hip straps,
one crotch strap.

Advantages: a carrying handle, portable, can be used to rock the baby, attaches to strollers and lifts off a base that stays in the car.

Disadvantages: you must purchase a convertible car seat when the baby reaches the upper weight limit of the car seat or when the baby's head is within one inch of the top of the seat.

Convertible Car Seats

Convertible Car Seats

Use rear-facing in a reclined angle then convert into an upright forward-facing seat.

Many now permit rear-facing (RF) use (the safest way to ride) from 5-40 pounds. Check weight and height limits on seat labels.

Forward-facing upper weight levels of 65 or more pounds and up to 40 or 52 inches have become more common. Convertible seats have a 5-point harness system (two shoulder straps, two hip straps, one crotch strap).

Advantages: Only purchasing one seat. In general less expensive when price is compared to length of time seat will be used.

Disadvantages: RF requires more room in vehicle due to recline angle, can't carry it into the house with a sleeping baby. No sun shade or attachment to a stroller, and some may not fit a newborn infant as well as an infant seat.

Forward-facing Car Seats

Forward-facing Car Seats

Forward-facing (FF) “combination” or "harness to booster" seats are used only in the FF direction and never for a child who is not yet at least one year of age and 20 or more pounds.

Most FF car seats by become belt-positioning booster seats when the child reaches the weight or height limit for harness use.

Belt-positioning Booster Seats

Belt-positioning Booster Seats

Just as you wouldn't ask your child to wear your jeans or shoes, their body is not yet developed enough to properly wear the adult seat belt.

Use a belt-positioning booster (BPB) to properly place the shoulder and lap parts of the adult seat belt on a child who has outgrown their forward-facing child car seat by height or weight.

Whenever possible, try before you buy. Choose a style that holds the lap belt low across the hip bones touching the top of the thighs and adjusts the shoulder belt across the center of the shoulder. Have the child lean forward, then back. The shoulder belt should spool out as it does for an adult, then retract easily without leaving any slack.

There are two types of belt-positioning booster seats:

  • High-back: When choosing manufacturer's instructions. Some models require the vehicle seat be tall enough to completely support the height of the booster. Many have a removable back to accommodate the body of an older child.
  • No-back booster seat: If your child sits on a vehicle seat with a head restraint then a no-back/backless booster seat can be used. Some no-back booster seats have a strap or clip that adjusts the shoulder part of the belt properly on the child's shoulder. Most no back booster seats require the child weigh at least 40 pounds and some add "at least 4 years of age".

2. Does the Child Restraint Fit Your Child?

  • Check the car seat owner’s manual for height and weight limits and make sure the seat will accommodate your child’s future growth.
  • If your child is likely to be tall or heavy for their age, be sure to choose a seat that will accommodate their comfort (width) and safety (adequate harness slots and seat height).

3. Does the Car Seat Fit Your Vehicle(s)?

  • First, adjust vehicle seats for the driver and front passenger. Can the child restraint be properly installed without compromising safety of those in the front seat?
  • If installing a rear-facing infant or convertible seat in a rear seating position, assure the proper angle of recline can be achieved (per manufacturer's instructions).
  • Does it hang over the front edge of the vehicle seat? Is this allowed by the manufacturer? How much of the child restraint can extend beyond the edge of the vehicle seat?
  • When using a seat belt to install the child restraint, it must be long enough to be threaded properly through the car seat and be buckled.
  • If the webbing of the buckle end of the seat belt is too long it may prevent a tight installation and may cause discomfort to the child if it rests behind their back.
  • If trying to place two or more child restraints onto the same vehicle seat, is there enough room for each one to have its own space? Or does one interfere with another?

4. Is the Seat Easy to Use Correctly Every Time?

  • Choose a car seat with features such as the harness tightener and buckle mechanism that are easy for you to use, so you’ll be more likely to use it correctly every time.
  • Choose a car seat that is easy for you to install and has directions that you understand.

5. Does the Child Restraint Fit Your Budget and Lifestyle?

  • If you are going to move the car seat between vehicles often, choose one that fits both vehicles and is easy for everyone involved to install.
  • You don’t have to spend several hundred dollars on a child restraint to achieve optimum safety. A properly installed restraint is more important that the cost of the restraint. Will purchasing two less expensive seats be easier than moving one seat between two vehicles?
  • If you fly often you may want to consider a smaller, light-weight seat.

Best Infant Car Seats

Britax B-Safe 35 Infant Car Seat - Rear Facing - Maximum Safety Features

For the beginning part, we have this tremendous rear-facing infant seat for car. Believe us when we say that your baby will have the maximum protection!

The car seat contains the impact-absorbing base, together with the steel frame, and side-impact protection. Hence, you'll find that this car seat includes the highest possible degree of safety!

The installation is effortless and quick, as all you're going to do is using the safe center built-in or LATCH locks to buckle up and secure your baby in this car seat. Therefore, you can quickly put the toddler into the seat and lock the necessary parts. The baby won't move around as the seat will stabilize it and keep it fixed.

Concerning relaxing features, the car sat also contains the most adjustable springs and recline system. The indicators show that you can moderate the vehicle installation angle, and straightforwardly place the car seat in the back seat.

With various travel systems and options, you can freely travel either on long or short journeys, and they're the following: be free, be agile, be ready, be mobile strollers.however, to use these, you'll need the built-in adapters, or dual-lie or all-bob single strollers. But the adapters don't come in the package.

Finally, the proportions fit children who weigh between 4 and 35 pounds, and the overall ratios measure 17.75" x 25" x 26.5".

Pros
  • Durable
  • Sturdy
  • Effortless use
  • Comfortable
  • Easy to install
Cons
  • Poor customer service

Graco SnugRide SnugLock Extend2Fit 35 Infant Car Seat - Expandable Length System

The next rear-facing toddlers car seat is this beauty!

It's an excellent rear-facing car seat for a baby or a little child since the car seat contains the extendable feature: it can extend its four-position extension panel, and provide more space for your baby or child since it can stretch freely. Thus, the extend-to-fit board offers an additional 3.5 inches for your kiddo.

The snug-lock technology provides the LATCH or classic seat-belt locking systems, offering the easy installation with hassle-three-steps.

This is an ideal first car seat for a baby since it follows the baby's development and growth, thanks to the expandable system. Hence, the rear-facing car seat can hold and withstand children between four and thirty-five pounds.

When we speak of car seat rotation, this is not going to happen since the unique feature called an anti-rebound bar prevents the process if, by any chance, the frontal impact occurs. Therefore, the baby will remain fixed and stable on the rear-facing seat.

Of course, the rear-facing infant car seat easily adjusts the height of your headrest and hardness, ensuring that your child is always safe and maximally protected. This is possible thanks to the harness safety system, which is highly adjustable, yet simple, and requests only one step.

So, if you want a perfect rear-facing car seat for your baby/toddler, you can freely choose this one, with no regrets!

Pros
  • Comfortable
  • Maximum safety
  • Excellent support
  • Easy installation
  • Lightweight
Cons
  • Minor design flaws

Chicco KeyFit 30 Infant Car Seat - Best for LATCH System

Another car seat worth mentioning is this remarkable one. Why do we love it so much?

Well, this rear-facing car seat was number one for an extended period in America! Let's see why that is so.

As you might find, the installation is effortless and straightforward since there are various installing options, such as super-cinch LATCH locks, ride-right bubble levels, and recline-sure leveling foot. Therefore, all you have to do to install it in one breath; you have to connect the necessary parts, ad voila! The seat is ready for your baby!

If you want to travel by our unique Chicco rear-facing car seat, you should know that you will need the appropriate Chicco strollers. However, they don't come in the package.

Furthermore, the babies car seats contain the removable body support parts and the headrest for your newborns. The dimensions measure 9.5" of height and can put up with the child weighing from four to thirty pounds, and whose size doesn't overcome thirty inches.

You'll also find that the rear-facing car seat also contains the following features: five-point harness with an easy-pull tightened. But that's not all since you'll also find the handle with the two positions and the comfortable grip.

Therefore, if you're searching for an ideal baby rear-facing car seat, you should opt for this product of ours only today!

Pros
  • Easy assembly
  • Easy use
  • Durable
  • Excellent safety features
Cons
  • Possible problems with the canopy

PRO TIP

Read everything you need to know about infant car seats in our nearly 6000 words detailed guide below


Best Convertible Car Seats

Graco 4Ever DLX 4 in 1 Car Seat | Infant to Toddler Car Seat - Fantastic Durability

Our top choice from this category is our best convertible car seat with an adjustable system. Namely, a safety point harness has a simple design that in only one motion adjusts to children's necessities, and provide the children's security and stability even during the long rides.

Moreover, the forward-facing car seat contains the one-hand ten-position headrest, which is, of course, adjustable so that it fits various positions, growth, and development of your child. No matter whether the child is rapidly growing, the car seat will do it as long as possible since the best convertible seat ensures safety growth in six various positions.

You'll find that the forward-facing car seat will highly protect your kiddos in the side, front, rollover, and rear crashes.

When we mention the quick installation, you should know that the LATCH attachment and locking system consists of an in-right one-second locking attachment, which should produce a click when you tie the locks so that you can be confident your baby is safe.

The material consists of reinforcement covering the main base and providing maximum stability, reliability, safety, and durability. This way, the forward-facing car seat will last for an extended time.

Furthermore, the dimensions measure 20 x 21.5 x 24 inches and hold children up to 120 pounds. The producer provides the ten years warranty period.

Pros
  • Easy to clean
  • Excellent safety features
  • Quick installation
  • Sturdy
  • Comfortable
Cons
  • /

Maxi-Cosi Pria 3-in-1 Convertible Car Seat- Incredible Stability

The next car seats are incredible options for your children since these seats have the safest three-in-one systems which will protect your little ones in the best way possible. The children will remain stable and immovable, no matter what happens.

If you're worried whether these car seats can endure your children's growth - don't be because these forward-facing car seats have the following proper dimensions: 25.25 x 24 x 19.88" and take from 65 pounds to 100 pounds of maximum weight.

You should know that our forward-facing convertible car seat ensures the highest side impact protection if there occurs a side-impact crash. Plus, these car seats will protect your children's heads, so in the case of a car crash, the children's little heads will remain unharmed.

When you buckle up the children into these car seats, the in-and-out harness holders keep the straps out of their way when locking the children into them.

You may also find vital the audible click when you lock the seat belt system on the car seats, which you can hear when properly buckle up the LATCH locking clip. The same clip provides the easiest and quickest installation.

The headrest's height-adjustability is now possible with a simple click on the shoulder harness that automatically moderates the wanted height of the saddle of the children's headrest.

Pros
  • Comfortable
  • Sturdy
  • Easy to install/use
  • Excellent legroom
  • Great safety features
Cons
  • Minor design flaws

Britax Boulevard ClickTight Convertible Car Seat - Remarkable Sturdiness

With these convertible car seats, the installation has never been easier! Why? Well, the forward-facing convertible car seat has a click, which you can hear only when you properly lock the seat belt locking clips into the right places. Therefore, these seats do not require retreading.

Namely, you can adjust the fourteen various harness positions with snug and click indicators that provide the perfect "click" sound when the harness is of an appropriate tightness.

Speaking of harness, it's also accurately adjustable since the same harness indicator provides the click sound when you again pull it to the convenient tightness. So, you can moderate the adjustability according to your kiddo's needs and demands.

Concerning the side impact, the forward-facing seats contain the two lawyers, the impact-absorbing base, and the steel frame. Practically, these Britax Boulevard ClickTight car seats are indestructible. This is excellent since the kids will be maximally safe and protected in these car seats, and nothing wrong will happen to them.

Finally, the multifunctional forward-facing convertible car seat can serve as a rear-facing one if the child weighs between 5 and 40 pounds as a convertible car forward-facing seat when the child has between 20 and 65 pounds.

So, as you can find, depending on the weight limit, you can use it both for toddlers and older children. In the end, proportions are 23 x 18.5 x 23.5".

Pros
  • Great safety features
  • Excellent legroom
  • Easy to clean/install
  • Durable
Cons
  • Too heavy for some people

PRO TIP

Read everything you need to know about how to find the best convertible car seat in the article below


Best Booster Car Seats

Chicco MyFit Harness + Booster Car Seat - Impressive Protection

You won't regret buying our best booster car seat. Let's see why it won our hearts!

Firstly, our booster car seat is a convertible one. It means that it can quickly convert from a five-point harness system to a simple belt-positioning car system. Thus, you can choose how your child will use it.

The frame consists of reinforced steel, of course; therefore, the base has the side impact protection - the Duo Guard one, particularly protecting children's torsos and heads. As you see, in the case of a car crash, nothing terrible will happen to your little ones.

The headrest has nine various positions, which you can moderate according to the kiddo's needs and four reclining parts that best fit children's neck, spine, head, back, and legs. Moreover, the seat also contains the Ergo Boost padding; therefore, it's very comfortable and won't pressure kids.

These booster seats are effortless to install thanks to LATCH/ classic belt system locking clips since parents can easily attach the parts. Furthermore, you'll find two cup holders on the seat's sides for carrying drinks. However, you can remove them with a push-button.

The seat's proportions are 24.5 x 20.5 x 26.25". Hence, the manufacturer doesn't recommend this car seat to children who weigh 120 pounds. The maximum weight limit measures 100 pounds, the minimum is 40 pounds, and they should be four and more years old.

Pros
  • Easy use
  • Quick installation
  • Great safety features
  • Durable
  • Comfortable
Cons
  • /

Graco TurboBooster LX Backless Booster Car Seat - Budget-pick

These next booster seats will help you transport your little ones safe if they're 57 inches tall, and their limit is between 40 pounds and 100 pounds. So, if your children weigh 65 pounds, for instance, they are compatible with the car seats. These car seats are not safe for those children with 120 pounds of maximum weight since they aren't the producers' approvals.

The children's protection and security are possible due to the LATCH seat belt locking system since these booster car seats don't have a back part. Furthermore, the seat will remain in the primary position due to the secure and safe connections.

Before you choose this car seat, you should check NHTSA - National Highway Traffic Safety Administration and AAP - American Academy of Pediatrics approvals and recommendations and the local state laws. The reason for this you might find it in the backless feature.

The proportions are 15.5 x 17.5 x 8.64", so they fit most children.

If your children want to use the seat belt system on her/his own, make sure the car stands still and steady. This way, you can teach your precious ones how to use the seat belts properly and make the car seats more comfortable.

The strict and rigorous engineering tests proved these booster car seats impressive against the rear, side, rollover, and frontal crashes. However, the car seats passed additional NCAP programs and tests for maximum durability. In general, they're indestructible.

Pros
  • Comfortable
  • Durable
  • Easy to install
  • Comfortable
Cons
  • Hooks issues

Diono Monterey XT Latch, 2-in-1 Belt Positioning Booster Seat - Extraordinary Quality Material

This car seat follows your children's development and growth, so it grows and stretches up to 69% together with the children. Wow, can you imagine this?

Since it's a two-in-one booster seat, it can easily convert to the backless booster car seat, with the two side cup holders and a padded seat base.

As the seat serves to protect your little ones, you should know that the primary material is aluminum on reinforcing sides for better and more substantial side impact protection of children's heads, shoulders, neck, and all other body parts. Hence, it's going to save your children in every car crash.

Speaking of the headrest, it has eleven various positions - it grows and stretches up to 6.5 inches in height along with your children's growth and development.

Being a lightweight car seat, it weighs only thirteen pounds, and you can move it in various motor vehicles with ease.

The dimensions the car seat possesses are 16 x 20 x 26," and it can hold children with 40 pounds to 120 pounds of the weight limit, and the maximum height between 38-63 inches. However, if they have the weight limit bigger than this, they shouldn't use this car seat.

Pros
  • Expandable legroom
  • Comfortable
  • Lightweight
  • Easy to use/install
Cons
  • May be too big for some people

How to Choose the Best Car Seats? - Buyer's Guide

Selecting the best car seats for your kiddos is a very challenging task since you want only the best for them. As there might appear various yet similar products on the market, you might become indecisive. That's why we're here to help you ad guide you in this quest.

In our comprehensive guide, we'll show you simple tips and tricks on selecting the very best seats for your little ones.

1. Material

best car seats 2020

As you might find, each car seat from the list has either the steel or aluminum frame. This is crucial since the contents are hard and reliable; therefore, in the case of accidents, they will protect the children's bodies, and nothing will go wrong with them.


2. Durability and Sturdiness

We can connect this feature to the previous one since the challenging content will provide durable and sturdy features. Thus, your car seat will last for an extended period, and nothing can destroy or harm it.

No matter whether you're looking for rear-facing, convertible, or booster seats, you should always check how durable and sturdy they are for long-lasting.


3. Safety and Reliability

best car seats for small cars

Having enough durability and sturdiness means that your kids will be safe and protected in a car seat. The seat won't move around and will remain firm in the back seat; hence, kids will get the best and maximum protection. 

No matter whether your children weigh 40 pounds, 65 pounds, more or less, the car seats must be reliable and firm in the motor vehicles.


4. Brands

This is vital to mention since the most representative brands nowadays are Chicco, Graco, and Britax.

Although their seats might seem pricey, they are of the best quality, and we recommend these brands when buying car seats. They'll indeed satisfy your and children's needs.

Add-On Products

A child restraint is intended to only be used as it comes from the box. Do not add anything to the child restraint unless directed to do so by the car seat manufacturer.

Retailers sell many products that can be added to or used with a car seat. These products are not regulated by the Federal Motor Vehicle Safety Standards so there are no crash standards for these products. It is uncertain how they will change the effectiveness of a child restraint in the event of a crash.

Read the instructions for your child’s car seat. Adding products from another manufacturer may void the warranty on your child’s seat.

Examples of add-on products include:

Add-On Products
  • Vehicle seat mats that go between the child restraint and vehicle seat to protect the vehicle seat.
  • Harness covers that add padding between the strap and baby’s neck can compress in a crash leaving the harness too loose..
  • Mirrors can become a projectile during a crash.
  • Toys that can be hung from an infant seat handle or attached to a car seat.
  • Seat belt tighteners.
  • Child restraint covers add cushion between the child and the car seat.

Used Car Seats

Used Car Seats

Like toys, clothing and other children’s items, second-hand car seats are often shared among friends and family members. Used car seats can also be found at garage sales and consignment stores. While the price may be attractive, that used car seat may not be a bargain.

A second-hand seat may have hidden damage, weaknesses or other safety problems. At thrift stores you will not be able to question the previous owner to ask about the history of the seat. Ask if he or she purchased the seat new or used. It is critical to learn if the seat was ever involved in a car crash.

Do NOT use a seat with an unknown history or one that has been in a car crash. The job of a car seat is to distribute crash forces over the strongest parts of the child’s body. So, all the car seat’s parts must be present, correctly assembled, in proper working order, and free from recalls or damage.

Use the checklist to help you decide whether to consider using a second-hand seat.

Replacing a Car Seat After a Crash

Replacing a Car Seat After a Crash

If you were involved in a car crash with a child who was buckled into their car seat or booster, the seat may need to be replaced. The forces in a collision can sometimes cause unseen damage. This hidden damage may keep the car seat from properly protecting the child in future crashes.

Your car seat manufacturer is the best judge of whether your child’s seat needs replacement following a crash as minor as a fender bender. No state or federal law requires manufacturers to replace a child restraint following a crash.

The insurance company responsible for the repairs to your vehicle may reimburse the cost of a replacing a child restraint that was occupied during a motor vehicle crash. Talk with your insurance adjuster. To help them understand why there is a need to replace a child car seat following a crash, your best resource is the instruction booklet that came with your child’s seat.

If you no longer have the instruction book you may locate replacement instructions on the manufacturer’s website. Every car seat manufacturer recommends a seat be replaced if it has been involved in a severe car crash.

Frequently Asked Questions

What is the safest car seat in 2020?

best car seats for babies

The best and the safest car seat 2020 is definitely Britax B-Safe 35 Infant Car Seat - Rear Facing!

Due to its side impact protection, steel frame base, reclining, and LATCH systems, it's the most convenient for either long or short trips, and it offers the top safety features. 

As you could read in the review, it will highly protect your newborns and prevent possible injuries in the case of car accidents.


What is the best car seat on the market?

Definitely our Graco 4Ever DLX 4 in 1 Car Seat!

Thanks to its LATCH seat belt system, a safety harness system, adjustable headrest, and durable frame, it will provide the maximum safety and best protect your child. 

This way, if a car crash occurs, these convertible car seats will prevent children from impact and reduce the risk of injuries.

Final Thoughts - Summary

We proudly state that the ultimate winner is our Graco 4Ever DLX 4 in 1 Car Seat! We love it for many reasons!

First of all, our best car seat contains the safest and easiest LATCH locking clips that provide you with the most painless installation and use. Secondly, the adjustable headrest will follow the head, neck necessities and will be comfortable for children although they're growing.

Thirdly, the frame base protects the kids from the side and other impacts and prevents injuries keeping them safe and stable. Finally, the harness system fits all body parts and adjusts to various positions.

Graco 4Ever 4 in 1 Car Seat featuring TrueShield Side Impact Technology*
  • Simply Safe Adjust Harness System adjusts the height of your harness and headrest, in one motion, to help ensure that your child is always properly secured
  • One-hand, 10-position adjustable headrest is easy to use and adjusts to properly fit your growing child
  • Washable seat cover is easy to remove without removing the harness
  • The Graco exclusive InRight LATCH attachment provides an easy, one-second attachment with an audible click to help ensure secure installation
  • Steel-reinforced frame provides strength and durability for years of smart utility

So, what else could you possibly ask for when this car seat includes everything you need?

Kathy Warner

Kathy is a busy mother of two and a CPS technician for more than eight years. Her mission is to awaken parents to the importance of child passenger safety and show them the right practice. You can read more about her here