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Child car seats in the test: Good seats are available from 40 euros

Our most recent research provides test results for a further 14 new child seats and infant carriers – for all age groups. Not all of them do well. Nice: In our crash tests, we did not find any serious safety problems with these seats.

We provide you with test results for 404 car seats that cost up to 850 euros. But you don’t have to spend that much money for good child car seats – they are available from as little as 40 euros. The comparison is also worthwhile for another reason: numerous models in our database are defective because they failed in the crash test or contained pollutants.

Why the child seat test is worthwhile for you

  • test results. Our database contains ratings from Stiftung Warentest for 404 car seats from Britax Römer, Chicco, Cybex, Maxi-Cosi and Recaro, among others. And some of the seats that we tested ten or more years ago are still on the market in part unchanged. We ask the providers about this once a year.
  • The best seat for your child. With the help of our baby, toddler and child filters, you can quickly find the right seat for your child. For example, you can filter the test results according to quality ratings or set a price limit.
  • The right equipment. Using filters in our database, you can also filter the 404 child car seats in the test according to the desired equipment: Isofix, reboarder, all-in-one seat. This is easier than keeping track of different provider websites.
  • Magazine article as PDF. After activation, you will have access to the test reports on all child car seat tests from test magazine since 2015.

Child car seats tested: safe seats for all age groups

In the shop you will find child car seats that meet different test standards: Child seats that comply with the i-Size standard are marked with UN ECE R129 and are classified according to body size. You may also encounter the older test seal UN ECE R44. Here child seats are classified according to their weight.

Stiftung Warentest makes it easier for you: We divided the 404 child car seats in our test database into three simple groups: infant carriers, seats for small children and child car seats for older children. Many child seats in the test that grow with the child are suitable for several phases of life.

Tip: Even before activation, you can see which child seats we have tested and filter them according to desired features.

Isofix child seats: they protect against incorrect operation

Child car seats with Isofix are popular. The back seats of many newer cars have two seat belt buckles into which the Isofix brackets of the child seat can be snapped. If your vehicle is equipped with Isofix, you should choose a car seat with Isofix – the system prevents errors when fastening it in the car. If your car is not equipped with the system, it doesn’t matter: In our test database you will also find recommended child seats that are fixed with the vehicle seat belt.

Car seat test in video: Flying seats in a crash test

Child car seats tested
Test results for 404 car seats

Buy the right child car seat – this is how you proceed

Once you have found some of the 404 models in our child car seat table that you would like, you should visit the suppliers’ websites. There you will find lists of car models that are suitable for the seats. Once you have found a safe seat that fits your vehicle, you should take your child and vehicle to a dealer who sells the seat.

The child and the seat must fit together, so your child should sit extensively. And install the seat in your own car. Then problems quickly become apparent, such as straps that are too short or a lack of space for installation. Some seats are so wide that only two seats fit next to each other on the back seat. There is no more room for a third person.

Tip: Once you have bought a seat, it is important to use it correctly – otherwise it will not protect you properly. We explain what you should pay attention to when assembling and buckling up baby carriers and seats.

This is how the Stiftung Warentest tests child car seats

The heart of the child car seat test is the crash test. On a sled and with test dummies, we examine whether the seats protect children well in the event of a frontal or side impact.

Our handling tests are also important. Because a good but incorrectly installed seat offers little protection. That’s why test persons check whether the seats in the car are easy to attach and whether children can buckle up easily.

Stiftung Warentest also examines child seats and infant carriers for harmful substances that the little ones can come into contact with. In the laboratory, we look for, among other things, polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons, some of which are harmful to health, problematic phthalate plasticizers and banned flame retardants. Most seats are clean. And yet we always find what we are looking for. Here we describe in detail how the Stiftung Warentest tests child car seats.

Buy a used child seat
Is buying a used child seat an option for you?

Buying a used child seat saves money and resources. But is it safe to do this?

We recommend: only buy used car seats that you are absolutely sure have not been through an accident. As a rule, the offer is limited to seats from the immediate circle of relatives and acquaintances.

Also check that the seat has not already exceeded the maximum recommended usage time – this is often stated in the user manual. This should be available in any case, as well as all straps and padding.

If you can’t or don’t want to spend a lot of money, you don’t have to buy used. In our test database you will find good baby seats from around 50 euros, good toddler seats from around 150 euros and good child seats from around 40 euros.



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