Donate |

Car seats

What's behind our car seat Ratings?

Experts at our National Testing and Research Center tested 127 models in car seats to see which ones perform best.
We look for:
  • Overall score
    Overall score is based on crash protection, ease of use, and fit to vehicle, using LATCH and lap/shoulder belts.
  • Crash protection
    A rating of the potential for each seat to limit injury and movement of a child in a crash based on simulated frontal crash tests using child sized dummies.
  • Ease of use
    Our judgment of how easy each seat is to use including the clarity of labels and instructions, adjustments of clips and buckles, the transition of the seat from rear facing to forward facing and installation features such as LATCH connections and top tethers.
  • Rear facing fit-to-vehicle
    A rating of how easy it is to securely and correctly install each seat using both the vehicle belts and LATCH in a variety of vehicles in a rear-facing orientation and how well they fit each vehicle once installed.
  • Forward facing fit-to-vehicle
    A rating of how easy it is to securely and correctly install each seat using both the vehicle belts and LATCH in a variety of vehicles in a forward-facing orientation and how well they fit each vehicle once installed.

Connect

Forums

Discuss products and safety with subscribers and fans.

Car seat user reviews

Share your reviews and provide valuable feedback to other members and our testers.

Follow Consumer Reports

Recommended car seats

Recommended car seats are standout choices with high scores. They include CR Best Buys, which offer exceptional value. When narrowing your choices, weigh features, price, and attributes that matter to you.
  • Buying Guide
  • Price & Shop
A child should be restrained in a car seat from the moment you take your baby home from the hospital until she grows into adult seat belts, typically around the age of 7 or 8. Every state requires that kids up to 4 years old ride in car seats; most require booster seats for older children. If you're looking for information about car seats, Consumer Reports is your best resource. Consumer Reports’ car seat reviews will give you honest buying advice that you can trust. Use our car seat buying guide to discover which features are most important to consider. We also provide unbiased Ratings and car seat reviews to help you choose the best car seat for your needs.

Recently reviewed car seats

${model.videoCaption}
Sure Ride
One of multiple convertible seats offered by Evenflo.

Car seat buying guide

Of all the things you'll buy for your baby, a car seat should be at the top of your list. As the child grows, you'll need to buy new ones to maintain a consistently safe and comfortable fit.

Selecting a car seat isn't as simple as just grabbing a discounted model off a shelf. There are a number of things you'll need to get familiar with to choose and successfully install a child seat in your car. Although you may be tempted to put off some of that homework, don't. You may be surprised to find that some child seats can be difficult to install securely and others may not fit at all. It's best to not put it off until your baby is ready to arrive.

Here are some important things you'll need to know:

Babies & Kids News

left arrow right arrow
See also:
See buying guide down arrow
See buying guide down arrow
See buying guide down arrow
See buying guide down arrow
See buying guide down arrow
See buying guide down arrow