After lots of research, we handpicked 30 of the top car seats on the market, collating the models most frequently searched for and most highly rated both on Mumsnet and across the web.

Each of the car seats was thoroughly tested, including a range of ‘real world’ and standardised testing. We thoroughly checked how easy it was to attach and detach each car seat, and how useful and effective each safety feature, extra and car-seat adapter was.

We also put them through their paces for ease of getting a child in and out of the car, adjusting straps and padding, switching from rear- to front-facing, and reclining.

We analysed the materials used for durability as well as looks, studying everything from the attachment to the padding, and we thoroughly checked out the safety features of each, looking for five-point harnesses that couldn’t be clicked open by small fingers and sturdy straps no tiny Houdini could wriggle out of.

Last, but by no means least, we carried out a ‘comfort and joy’ test – asking how comfortable the children were in the car seat? How much did they love it (or not), and how could each model make parents’ lives easier?

Having scored the car seats on the above criteria, we then added into the equation their price and their longevity (the maximum age or weight) to work out which model was the best of the best and which others deserved ‘honourable mentions’.

Why you should trust us

Mumsnet has been helping parents make their lives easier since 2000 and in those years we’ve seen, tried and reviewed thousands of car seats for all ages. We’ve watched safety features and engineering become more and more slick, as well as safety laws become more advanced. We tested each of the car seats with real children in real situations, and we’re confident that our testing left no stone unturned.

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