Car accidents are one of the leading causes of death in adults and children. Fortunately, a car seat with advanced safety features helps prevent life-threatening injuries. With hundreds of car seats available, choosing the right one for your child isn’t an easy task. We took it upon us to identify the best car seat brands and the worst.

After reviewing dozens of car seat brands, we concluded that the best includes Graco, Britax, and Chicco. These brands have impeccable designs, safety features, and comfortability. Additionally, their car seats are relatively affordable, considering the level of quality.

Do you want to learn more about the best and the worst car seat brands? We’ll explore each brand and discuss the safety ratings, price, and the most popular car seat models.

The Best Car Seat Brands

Are you searching for a new car seat that safe and affordable? We understand that your child’s safety is your number one priority. There are approximately six million car accidents in the United States annually. A safe and well-engineered car seat may prevent your child from getting injured if you’re involved in a car accident.

We know that finding the right car seat is tricky, especially there are so many options. To make your life easier, we reviewed dozens of car seat brands. We identified the best safety ratings, prices, and designs.

Note: our safety ratings come from BabyGearLab, an independent and unbiased pediatrician-led organization.

Graco

The first band on our list is Graco – a brand that designs all its products to adhere to US Federal Motor Vehicle Safety Standards 213. Graco car seats feature ProtectPlus Engineered™ safety standard – a foolproof set of testing ensuring that car seats can withstand multiple crashes, including rear and rollover.

The company also uses various industry-leading safety tools in its car seats, including an anti-rebound bar, TrueShield technology, and Safety Surround™.

You can purchase multiple products from Graco, including infant, convertible, and all-in-one car seats. Graco sells its car seats through various retail outlets, including Amazon.

Average price: $220 – $350

Safety Rating: 75

Popular Car Seat Models

  • SlimFit 3 in 1 Car Seat
  • TriRide 3 in 1 Car Seat
  • Nautilus 65 LX 3 in 1 Car Seat
  • Grows4Me 4 in 1 Car Seat
  • Contender 65 Convertible Car Seat

Britax

Britax is another brand that puts safety first. This company sells car seats, strollers, travel systems, and accessories. When it comes to car seats, Britax manufactures three types: rear-facing only, rear and forward-facing, and forward-facing only.

The company maintains a comprehensive knowledge center that helps parents pick the perfect car seats for their children.

So, what makes Britax stand out? The car seats feature innovative safety devices, such as a SafeCenter LATCH and SafeCell Technology that absorb the impacts of crashes. Not only that, but most of the company’s car seats have a lightweight mesh fabric that will keep your little one cool during long car rides.


Average price: $180 – $450

Safety Rating 75

Popular Car Seat Models

  • One4Life ClickTight All-in-One Car Seat
  • Emblem 3 Stage Convertible Car Seat
  • Allegiance 3 Stage Convertible Car Seat
  • Boulevard ClickTight Convertible Car Seat
  • Grow with You ClickTight Plus Harness-2-Booster Car Seat

Chicco

Based out of Italy, Chicco is a children’s retailer that sells numerous products, including car seats, strollers, travel systems, and highchairs. The brand’s car seats consistently receive high safety ratings a five-star reviews on Amazon. For example, customers say that Chicco’s car seats are “study and dependable” and “super easy to install.”

The company’s collection of car seats includes all-in-one, forward-facing only, and rear-facing and forward-facing car seats. Chicco says its engineers each car seat for “comfort, safety, and peace of mind.” Many consumers agree that Chicco’s car seats provide luxurious safety features and comfort without the added cost.

Average price: $190 – $360

Safety Rating 72

Popular Car Seat Models

  • KeyFit 30 Infant Car Seat
  • MyFit Harness + Booster Car Seat
  • NextFit Sport Convertible Car Seat
  • KidFit 2-in-1 Belt-Positioning Booster Car Seat – Gravity
  • KeyFit 35 Infant Car Seat

Evenflo

Evenflo has a lengthy history in the baby products industry. The company’s origins date to 1920 in West Chester Township, Ohio. Evenflo has various products that it manufactures with safety and design in mind.

Car seats are the company’s flagship product – a product it engineers based on the “worst-case scenario.” Evenflo’s car seat collection includes infant, convertible, and booster car seats. Not only that, but the Ohio-based company also sells various accessories, such as car seat bases and travel bags.

Evenflo consistently receives five-star ratings on Amazon, with many customers pointing out the car seats’ “superior quality” and “easy installation process.”

Evenflo focuses on creating products that provide a secure yet comfortable fit that enables your infant to breathe appropriately. It produces most car seats with a 50 percent plastic and 50 percent polyester material composition.

Average price: $65 – $270

Safety Rating 73

Popular Car Seat Models

  • LiteMax Infant Car Seat
  • Maestro Booster Car Seat
  • Triumph LX Convertible Car Seat
  • SureRide DLX Convertible Car Seat
  • Chase Harnessed Booster

Baby Trend

The next brand on our list is Baby Trend, a company with over 30 years of experience in the car seat industry. Baby Trend’s first flagship product was the Snap-N-Go – a device that allows parents to convert their child’s car seat into a stroller. Today, the company sells many infants, convertible, harness booster, and booster car seats.

Baby Trend’s three pillars are “quality, comfort, and style,” These qualities are evident in every car seat. The company sells its car seats on its website, Amazon, and various stores specializing in children’s products.

Baby Trend’s car seats average 4.5 stars on Amazon, and customers say the car sears are “super lightweight and easy to carry.” Baby Trend constructs their car seats with EPS energy-absorbing foam to maximize safety.

Average price: $125 – $210

Safety Rating 58

Popular Car Seat Models

  • Secure Snap Tech 35 Infant Car Seat
  • Cover Me 4 in 1 Convertible Car Seat
  • Ez Flex-Loc 30 Infant Car Seat
  • Trooper 3-in-1 Convertible Car Seat
  • Ally 35 Infant Car Seat

Diono

Diono is a Seattle company with over 20 years of experience designing and manufacturing car seats. The company sells various car seats, strollers, and accessories. Most purchases over $400 come with a free two-year warranty and access to the Passenger Club.

And although Diono car seats cost more than other brands on our list, they come with premium features. For instance, the Radian 3RXT boasts a steel-reinforced frame that provides ten years of safety.

It’s essential to note that Diono’s car seats are much larger than competing products. However, reviewers love the “extra room” that they provide. Moreover, Diono’s car seats come in attractive color schemes that will undoubtedly make your little one excited for car rides.

Average price: $210 – $550

Safety Rating 71

Popular Car Seat Models

  • 3QXT 4-in-1 Rear and Forward-Facing Convertible Car Seat
  • Cambria 2 Latch, 2-in-1 Belt-Positioning Booster Seat
  • Everett NXT High Back Booster Car Seat
  • Monterey XT Latch 2 in 1 High Back Booster Car Seat
  • Radian 3R, 3-in-1 Convertible Car Seat

Maxi-Cosi

The next brand on our list is Maxi-Cosi – a company that specializes in premium car seats, travel systems, and strollers. Maxi-Cosi has been in the industry for 35 years and strives to design every “product,” and “feature thoughtfully.”

The brand is a subsidiary of Dorel Industries – a manufacturing organization from Quebec. Maxi-Cosi focuses on convertible and infant cars seats along with car seat bases and boosters.

The brand’s car seats feature advanced technology that lessens impacts, such as Air Protect and Flex Tech. Moreover, the car seats boast a thoughtful design that helps free up more space in your car. You can find these car seats on Amazon and various retailers, including Buy Buy Baby and CanaBee Baby.

Average price: $190 – $600

Safety Rating 68

 

Popular Car Seat Models

  • Pria Max 3-in-1 Convertible Car Seat
  • Coral XP Infant Car Seat
  • RodiFix Booster Car Seat
  • Magellan Xp Max All-In-One Convertible Car Seat
  • Pria All-in-1 Convertible Car Seat

Safety 1st

Safety 1st is a subsidiary of Dorel Juvenile. This leading manufacturing company sells its products in more than one hundred countries. The Safety 1st brand boasts a wide selection of children’s products, such as strollers, car seats, and safety products.

As you can tell by the brand’s name, safety is a top priority. Safety 1st is a best-seller on Amazon, and its car seats have over 20,000 positive reviews. Safety 1st makes three categories of car seats: convertible, infant, and booster seats.

All its car seats exceed Federal Safety Standards. They feature QuickClick – a propriety technology that attaches the car seat to the stroller. Moreover, the car seats have generous padding that protects from side impacts and extra support for newborns.

Average price: $185 – $350

Safety Rating 62

 

Popular Car Seat Models

  • Grow and Go All-in-One Car Seat
  • Smooth Ride Travel System with OnBoard 35 LT Infant Car Seat
  • Grow and Go All-in-One Convertible Car Seat
  • OnBoard 35 Air 360 Infant Car Seat
  • Grand 2-in-1 Booster Car Seat
  • Grow and Go Comfort Cool All-in-One Convertible Car Seat

The Worst: Car Seat Brands to Avoid

As with any product, there are a few brands that you should avoid. Does this mean that you should avoid all the brand’s products?

Not necessarily; however, these brands receive a significant number of negative reviews, and to top it off, their car seats don’t always perform well in safety tests.

Cosco Serena

Many parents buy Cosco Serena car seats because they’re cheap (you can purchase them for as little as $30). However, the parents don’t always look at the safety ratings or specifications before buying a cheap brand like Cosco Serena.

Most of the brand’s car seats don’t have EPS foam, making your little one vulnerable if you were to get into a car accident.

To make matters worse, some of Cosco Serena’s products only received a two-star rating from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA). A Cosco Serena car seat might be suitable for air travel, but not as a primary car seat in your vehicle.

Phil & Ted

Phil & Ted claims to have 20 years of experience creating car seats, but safety ratings say otherwise. When it comes to crash test results and overall ease of use, Phil & Ted falls short.

Not only that, but it’s incredibly challenging to find unbiased reviews on the internet. However, we came across a few reviews saying the car seats are “bulky” and the “inner padding is hard and uncomfortable.”

Phil & Ted car seats usually cost over $300, so you’re certainly not getting a deal. Although some consumers seem to like this brand’s car seats, we suggest proceeding with caution. There’s not a lot of publicly-available information about this brand, and we think it’s best to avoid it.

Cybex

Since Cybex car seats cost up to $500, you’d expect them to have stellar reviews and excellent safety ratings. Unfortunately, many parents aren’t pleased with Cybex car seats.

For example, some customers say that the advertised SensorSafe technology doesn’t work. Moreover, one unimpressed customer said the car seat’s Bluetooth feature interfered with their speedometer. To add insult to injury, the consensus is that Cybex car seats aren’t very comfortable, especially as your children get older.

The material isn’t very durable, and you should expect to only get a few years of use out of the seat (if that). Overall, we recommend choosing another brand avoiding Cybex altogether. Although they might have a few decent car seats, purchasing this brand isn’t worth the risk.

Conclusion

As you can see, there are a lot of excellent car seat brands and a handful of brands that you should avoid. When looking for car seats, it’s essential to consider safety features and ratings, durability, and comfortability.

Although price is a crucial factor, you shouldn’t place price above the car seat’s safety. All things considered, the best car seat brands include Graco, Britax, and Chicco.

These brands have stellar safety ratings, advanced proprietary technology, and thousands of positive reviews to vouch for the quality. Other brands worth considering include Evenflo, Chicco, Baby Trend, Diono, Maxi-Cosi, and Safety 1st.

Author

Welcome to my car seat blog! As a mom of 3, I put together with other hard-working moms a highly informative one-stop car seat resource, full with many reviews and buyer guides. I hope you find it invaluable. Thank you for trusting me & my team! - Keren