Driving with your newborn can feel completely unintuitive. Is your infant car seat safe? Did you do enough research on car seats?
Infant car seats are exclusively rear-facing, allowing them to absorb crash force, and they’re designed to fit newborns with the right level of recline, supporting the head and neck in a way that forward-facing car seats don’t.
Proper installation is key. Follow the instructions in the car seat’s manual precisely.
A certified child safety seat technician can help you with installation, too. Some local fire departments offer this service, or you can search the National Child Passenger Safety Certification website to find a technician in your area.
Here are 11 of the safest infant car seats on the market.
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Safest infant car seats
UPPAbaby MESA Infant Car Seat
The MESA’s innovative “SMARTSecure System” combines a standard LATCH system with a visual indicator that tells you the seat is properly secured, so you can rest assured your baby’s car seat is locked safely in place. It has impressive side impact protection and an intuitive five-point harness. $299.99, Amazon. Also available at Bed Bath and Beyond.
Evenflo Gold SensorSafe SecureMax Smart Infant Car Seat
Thanks to the SensorSafe system, the Evenflo Gold SensorSafe SecureMax Smart Infant Car Seat alerts you if your child has come unbuckled, if the temperature’s unsafe, if your child has been seated for too long, or if your child is left unattended.
The SafeZone Load Leg technology keeps your baby safer in the event of a frontal collision. The structural integrity is roughly two times the federal standard.
Britax B-Safe Ultra Cool Flow Infant Car Seat
This Britax car seat has a range of great safety features and is designed to prevent overheating.
We love that it has an impact-absorbing base and an impact-stabilizing steel frame. Plus, it exceeds federal safety standards.
$249.99, Kohl’s. Also available at Amazon.
Baby Trend Secure Snap Tech 35 Infant Car Seat
This car seat is a solid choice for those on a tight budget. It has a secure LATCH system and excellent side impact head protection from EPS energy-absorbing foam.
Maxi-Cosi Mico 30 Infant Car Seat
You can safety fit this car seat with or without a base when you need to.
The five-point harness keeps baby secure, and the fact you can remove the seat covers without unthreading the harness means you don’t risk rethreading it incorrectly.
$199.99, Amazon. Also available at Best Buy.
Doona Infant Car Seat/Stroller with LATCH Base
This design features built-in wheels that flip down to transform it into a stroller. It has impressive side impact protection and is tested to ensure it meets the strictest safety standards.
$499.99, Bed Bath and Beyond. Also available at Amazon.
Clek Liing Infant Car Seat
Clek’s Rigid LATCH system keeps baby snug and secure.
The Load Leg reduces rotations and absorbs shock in a collision, reducing the force of a crash by roughly 40%.
Britax Endeavours Infant Car Seat
With two layers of side impact protection, a shock-absorbing base and a steel anti-rebound bar to reduce rotation in a collision, your baby will be well protected.
It’s easy to fit, while the recline and level indicators help you install it correctly. $299.99, Kohl’s
Chicco KeyFit 35 Infant Car Seat
We love this infant car seat for its LockSure steel-reinforced seat belt locking system, its anti-rebound bar for additional stability, and extendable headrest to keep babies safe as they grow.
$249.99, Kohl’s. Also available at Amazon and Bed Bath and Beyond.
Bugaboo Turtle by Nuna Infant Car Seat
Offering cocoon-like protection with the brand’s signature style, this car seat contains EPS energy absorbing memory foam to manage impact energy in a collision and has solid side impact protection. It fits almost any Bugaboo stroller, too.
$349.99, Bed Bath and Beyond. Also available at Amazon.
Graco SnugRide SnugLock 35 Platinum XT Infant Car Seat
This car seat is easy to install with the SnugLock LATCH system. The SafetyCore Energy Absorption Zone helps absorb all collision energy in the event of a crash to keep your baby safe.
$249.99, Amazon. Also available at Kohl’s.
Lauren Corona is a writer for BestReviews. BestReviews spends thousands of hours researching, analyzing and testing products to recommend the best picks for most consumers.