A photo of children in car booster seats

Children pass many milestones on their road to adulthood, such as going from infant car seat to sitting independently with a seat belt.

The next-to-final step on that journey is a booster seat, which gives the child enough height to be secured with the car’s seat belt.

Boosters might seem all alike, but our extensive testing of 51 models shows that there are significant differences among models and types (see our full booster ratings).

Proper belt fit is crucial to a great booster. That’s why at Consumer Reports, we evaluate the structural integrity of booster car seats in our simulated crash tests and how the seat belt fits on a test dummy representing an average-sized 6-year-old.


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We check belt fit in five different vehicles of different types and with different seating and belt geometries. (The shoulder belt should cross the middle of the collarbone and sternum, and the lap belt should sit across the upper thighs.)

We also rate each booster for how easy it is to use the seat, which includes an evaluation of its labels and instructions. In our fit-to-vehicle evaluations, we simulate typical child movement by moving the dummy around to determine whether the belt remains in place.

Further, the booster seats are subjected to a simulated 35 mph frontal crash to ensure that load-bearing components and key positioning features remain intact. All booster models we rated faired well in our crash structural integrity tests.

Below, we present our top booster seat picks, meaning those models that stood out in their categories. A few are designated as CR Best Buys for their combination of performance and price.

Highback-to-Backless Boosters

Top Picks

1

Booster fit (no-back)
Booster fit (with back)
Ease of use

2

Booster fit (no-back)
Booster fit (with back)
Ease of use
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Highback-Only Boosters

Top Picks

1

Booster fit (no-back)
Booster fit (with back)
Ease of use

2

Booster fit (no-back)
Booster fit (with back)
Ease of use
Unlock Booster Seat Ratings
Become a Member or Sign in

Backless-Only Boosters

Top Picks

1

Booster fit (no-back)
Booster fit (with back)
Ease of use

2

Booster fit (no-back)
Booster fit (with back)
Ease of use
Unlock Booster Seat Ratings
Become a Member or Sign in

Check out our full booster ratings.