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Best baby carriers

Baby carriers let you 'wear' your baby close to you. They come in different forms, from baby wraps and slings to buckles and ties. After months of research and testing, we reveal the best baby carriers to buy in 2022.

By Laura Westerman | Last updated Jun 15, 2021

mother carrying baby in baby carrier Mumsnet Best

Baby carriers are ideal alternatives to buggies or pushchairs, particularly for younger babies.

But, when it comes to babywearing, the choices are endless. Your perfect fit will depend on a number of things, such as the age of your child, your lifestyle and, of course, your purse strings.

How did we find the best carriers?

In our efforts to find the best baby carriers around, we commissioned Adele Jarrett-Kerr, journalist, blogger and passionate babywearer to research and write about them.

Adele is an experienced babywearing parent who carried her older two children from newborn to age four.

She currently carries her two-and-a-half-year-old. She's been writing about babywearing for nearly eight years and has tried just about every style of sling and carrier available on the UK market, from soft-structured buckled carriers to woven wraps, ring slings to stretchy wraps, podaegi and lots of options in between.

After speaking to babywearing consultants from the St Ives Sling Library and researching the most highly reviewed carriers on the market, she created a list of 19 carriers which we tested with three families – one with twins, one with a newborn and one with a toddler.

After collating the testing feedback and analysing the results, we ranked their scores to find the best baby carriers for most parents.

Here are the best baby carriers for newborns and toddlers

  1. Boba X
  2. Ergobaby All Position 360
  3. TwinGo Air Twin Baby Carrier
  4. Boba Wrap

1. Best overall baby carrier: Boba X

boba x baby carrier

“Just got a Boba X from the local sling library and really like it.” - Mumsnet user

The Boba X is an easy-to-use soft-structured carrier with the softness of a baby wrap.

It offers great value for money as it is comfortable for newborns and toddlers and can be shared between wearers of different builds.

This could well be the only carrier you'll need if you're carrying your little one into toddlerhood.

Verdict in 10 seconds

  • Comfortable to wear for long periods of time
  • Quick to learn with little room for error
  • Adjustable and will grow with your baby
  • Highly supportive for baby and parent – offers reassurance while you get on with your daily routine

Pros

  • Has dual pull shoulder straps
  • The structured padded waistband and wide straps distribute baby's weight well
  • Can be personalised to fit a wide range of body types
  • Breastfeeding-friendly

Cons

  • Thick material can make this carrier warm to use
  • Cannot be washed at high temperatures – spot cleaning and cold washing recommended
  • No outward-facing option

2. Best baby carrier for newborns: Boba Wrap

boba wrap

The Boba Wrap is the best baby wrap for your little one's earliest months. Suitable for all shapes and sizes, while allowing you to create a custom fit, it is extremely versatile and comfortable at the same time.

While the Boba Wrap may be limited in terms of longevity, the lower price tag makes it an attractive option for parents with newborns.

Verdict in 10 seconds

  • One size fits all
  • The easiest carrier to use with newborns
  • Supremely comfortable, even when carrying tiny babies

Pros

  • Four-way stretch with a custom fit every time you wrap
  • Less fabric to deal with than other wraps on the market
  • Extra elasticity for more stretch
  • Breastfeeding-friendly
  • Softest option for newborns and relatively cool to wear too

Cons

  • Can be tricky to tie (especially if you're a first-timer)
  • Has no special features, such as pockets
  • Limited to two front carrying positions
  • You'll likely need to buy a second carrier after six months

3. Best multi-position baby carrier: Ergobaby All Position 360

ergobaby all-position baby carrier

The Ergobaby All Position 360 is an ergonomic baby carrier, perfect for long periods of use.

The lower half of the back panel can be made smaller to allow babies to face outward while still sitting in a supportive position – a real selling point for parents who want to use a front-facing baby carrier.

Verdict in 10 seconds

  • A true all-rounder
  • Offers four carrying positions, but is particularly great for back carrying
  • Fits a wide range of body sizes

Pros

  • Grows with your child – extends vertically and across to give a better fit
  • Uncomplicated design and easy to operate
  • Extremely supportive thanks to the waistband and shoulder straps
  • Ergonomic front outward-facing carry
  • Long front panel gives your baby excellent coverage
  • Breastfeeding-friendly
  • Lots of accessories available
  • Easily shared between wearers and can be used with children of different ages
  • A wide array of compatible accessories available

Cons

  • Relatively warm carrier and should be treated as a layer of clothing
  • Straps could be loose if you're petite
  • Newborn insert needed up to four months old

4. Best twin baby carrier: TwinGo Air

twingo air

The TwinGo Air is a straightforward carrying solution for parents with twins, and a great alternative to a double buggy.

It's not only very supportive, which is essential when you have two babies in tow, but it can also be worn comfortably for extended periods of time.

As twin carriers go, the TwinGo Air really comes up trumps. While it may be a pricey option compared to other models on the market, it still costs less than two single carriers combined.

Verdict in 10 seconds

  • Allows you to carry both of your babies at once
  • Straightforward and comfortable to use
  • Versatile and adaptable – detaches as two single carriers, so can be used by two wearers at the same time

Pros

  • Weight is evenly distributed between front and back
  • Cheaper than buying two separate single carriers – and less bulky too
  • Lightweight and breathable – ideal for summertime
  • Can be used to carry two children of different ages and as two single carriers
  • Secured waist, with a safety belt between wearer and babies, and padded shoulder straps

Cons

  • Takes some time to learn how to easily put two babies into the carrier
  • Written instructions can be tricky to follow, but video instructions are available
  • Only suitable as a double carrier from four months or older (but can be used as two single carriers from two months old)

How real-life comparative testing makes Mumsnet Reviews unique

In our mission to find the best baby carriers out there, we spoke to real-life parents and babywearing experts, and looked for recommendations on the Mumsnet forums and beyond.

From a longlist of 39, we chose 19 carriers to put to the test, which included soft-structured carriers, stretchy and hybrid wraps and twin baby carriers.

At Mumsnet, we believe that consistent scoring and like-for-like comparisons are crucial.

Our single carrier testers, Becky and Claire, wore each product for a minimum of 20 minutes each day for a week, but often exceeded this time frame. Sam, our twin carrier tester, did the same.

They carried their children – three newborns and an 11-month-old – in a variety of conditions and scenarios to find the products that stood up to the challenges of everyday family life.

Following 50+ hours of testing, four carriers were awarded a Mumsnet Best badge, an accolade given to the products we think are the best on the market.

How we tested

With fewer variables in the testing process than other sites, we are absolutely confident in our recommendations.

Each product was put through a series of specific tests to help us find the baby carriers most likely to suit parents new to ‘wearing’ their little ones.

Safety and stability

  • We asked each tester to comment on how secure she felt while wearing the carrier
  • Was it easy to follow safety guidelines? Did the baby feel well supported and comfortable?
  • We also noted how our testers felt during and after use – did they experience any aches or pains?

Assembly

  • We checked that instructions were clear and detailed enough so that there was little room for error and checked to see whether video demonstrations were available
  • We looked at how easy each carrier was to use for the first time and how quickly a parent could use it without looking at the instructions
  • And how easy was each carrier to put on and take off without help?

Day-to-day usage

  • Was the carrier easy to use while doing other tasks and did it allow for breastfeeding on the go?
  • We looked for convenient features like pockets, head covers and supports
  • Our testers put each carrier to the test in a range of locations and situations – could they be truly hands-free or did they feel the need to support their babies with one hand for peace of mind?

Cleanliness

  • Could each carrier be machine washed?
  • Was the carrier prone to showing up dirt?
  • Did it trail the ground when being put on or taken off?

Aesthetics

  • We asked our testers how they felt the products fit with their wardrobes – did they match or clash with most outfits? Were they minimalist or a feature in their own right? Would you need more than one carrier for variety?

Value for money

  • We asked our testers to rate how satisfied they were with each product overall
  • A standardised scoring system was used to help us determine whether performance (including longevity) justified the price tag

Having scored each product on the above criteria, we then added into the equation the resale value to work out which carrier was the best of the best and which deserved honourable mentions.

All prices correct at time of publication