Top 5 Safety-Rated Infant Car Seats of 2021

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An infant car seat is one of the most important purchases you’ll make for your little one. Infant car seats are typically used from birth until about one year of age. Used with a base that stays installed in your car, they conveniently click in and out so you can easily transport your baby. Most infant car seats can also be used with a stroller for added versatility. As a new parent, you may wonder: which top safety-rated car seat is the right choice?

With so many options available, choosing the right infant car seat for your family can feel overwhelming. A variety of sizes, ease of installation, and safety features are available. Thankfully, rigorous standards set forth by the National Highway Transportation Safety Administration ensure that all car seats sold in the US pass crash test requirements. However, safety comes down to other features as well, such as ease of installation and chemical-free fabrics. We highly recommend having your car seat installed and/or checked by a certified technician. Visit the NHTSA’s directory for a safety technician near you. 

A Note on Used Car Seats

It’s strongly recommended to purchase car seats new. Car seats must be discarded if involved in an accident, and there’s no way to know for sure if you purchase a used seat. If you do choose a used car seat, be sure that you trust its previous owner completely. Inspect the seat for missing parts or cracks. Before use, check the seat’s expiration date and look up any recall information.

Our Top Safety-Rated Infant Car Seat Picks of 2021

With so many options available, we’ve narrowed down our top safety-rated car seats of 2021. Read on for our favorites picks.

  1. UPPAbaby MESA Infant Car Seat – $299.99

Fits babies 4-35 lbs and up to 32” tall

What we love:

  • Tightness indicator changes from red to green to ensure the base has been installed correctly 
  • Self-retracting LATCH connectors means no tugging on straps required 
  • Merino wool options are naturally fire resistant without added chemicals
  • Easily adjustable headrest and no-rethread harness 

2. Cybex Anton 2 Sensorsafe – $299.95

Fits babies 4-35 lbs and up to 30” tall

What we love:

  • Lightweight and compact without compromising safety, good for small cars
  • Temperature sensor on chest belt alerts parents if ambient temperature is too hot or cold for baby
  • Linear Side Impact Protection extenders can reduce collision forces by up to 25%
  • 12-way recline makes level installation with base a breeze

3. Clek Liing Infant Car Seat – $399.99

Fits babies 4-32 lbs and up to 32” tall

  • Can be installed with base + LATCH, base + seatbelt, or no base + seatbelt
  • Huge canopy with SPF 100+ protection
  • 3 eco-friendly, chemical-free fabric options
  • Metal load leg in base for added impact absorption 
  • 9-year expiration date means using it for multiple children is possible

4. Britax B-Safe Gen2 Infant Car Seat – $179.99

Fits babies 4-35 lbs and up to 32” tall

What we love:

  • Deep seat offers excellent full-body protection
  • Easy to install base with level indicators 
  • SafeCell Technology for added shock absorption
  • XL UPF 50+ sun canopy

Graco SnugRide® SnugLock® 35 DLX Infant Car Seat – $211.99

Fits babies 4-35 lbs and up to 32” tall

What we love:

  • Easy to install with level indicator 
  • Easily adjust headrest and harness together while infant is in the seat
  • Five-point adjustable base 
  • One-hand adjustable handle for ease of caregiver use

Safety is More than Meeting Minimum Standards

As parents and caregivers, safety is our top priority. As baby experts, we understand that safety comes down to more than simply meeting crash test standards. How easily is the seat installed correctly? How quickly can you adjust the restraint system on a squirmy baby correctly? Are the fabrics safe and comfortable up against baby’s skin, but also fire resistant? These top 5 safety-rated infant car seats are our favorites because they offer more than the minimum standards for safety; they make installing, securing your baby, and traveling together a breeze. Safe travels!