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Toddler6 of the Best Booster Seats for Kids

6 of the Best Booster Seats for Kids

Transitions are a big part of raising little ones. Whether it’s transitioning from preschool to kindergarten or making the big kid shift from a car seat to a booster seat, all of these milestones are a big deal. The years fly by and all of a sudden your baby needs a booster seat! We’ve rounded up the best booster seats on the market, from the highly-rated to personal recommendations.

When can a child use a booster seat?

Booster seats are intended for older children who have outgrown their forward-facing car seat. The AAP guidelines state, “children whose weight or height exceeds the forward-facing limit for their car safety seat should use a belt-positioning booster seat until the vehicle seat belt fits properly.”

Wondering, when can my child ride without a booster seat? Seat belts are designed for adults, so once your child has grown to a point where a seat belt can fit them correctly, they might be ready to ditch the booster. Typically, children should stay in a booster seat until they reach about 4 feet 9 inches in height and are 8 to 12 years of age, notes AAP. Then, they can graduate to just using a seat belt.

The AAP’s rules for seatbelts state that a seatbelt fits correctly when it lies across the shoulder and chest—not the neck and throat. The AAP also states that the lap belt should fit low and snug across the upper thighs—not the belly. When they’re ready for the transition to seatbelts, your child should be tall enough to sit comfortably on the seat with their back against the seat back, knees bent over the edge (without slouching) and can maintain this position for the entire ride.

How to choose the best booster seat

Booster seats are meant for children who need a little boost so that the car’s seatbelt can sit properly on the strongest parts of their body. It’s important to note that booster seats can only be used with both lap and shoulder belts. The lap belt is intended to lie low and snug across your child’s upper thighs, while the shoulder belt should cross the middle of your child’s chest and shoulder and is off the neck, AAP notes.

Unlike your kiddo’s previous car seat, most booster seats are not designed to be secured to the vehicle seat. They’re held in place once the seat belt is fastened over your child. However, some versions can be anchored to the vehicle seat using the car’s LATCH system. Which you choose is up to you.

Depending on your child’s needs, you might be looking for the best backless booster seats or the best high back booster seats, either way, here are some things to consider.

What to look for when choosing a booster seat

  • Convenience: Is it easy to install? If you’re a family that’s always on the go, then you might want a booster seat that’s lightweight and simple enough to take with you everywhere.
  • Suitability: A proper belt fit and position are the most important factors to consider. Booster seats are not all made the same, and some have belt positioners that can help guide belt placement. The AAP states that your child’s height, weight and needs should all be taken into consideration when selecting a booster.
  • Safety: Does it meet safety guidelines? Here are the NHTSA’s (National Highway Traffic Safety Administration) guidelines on booster seats.

Our best booster seat picks

chico booster seat



This 2-in-1 booster seat comes highly-rated for a few different reasons. It features 10 height positions so it grows with your child. You can convert it from a high-back to a backless booster seat when the time is right! It’s machine washable and the cup holders are dishwasher safe. It also features a LATCH tightener. Grab it and go with the simple “one-hand removal.”

Weight: 40 to 110lbs

Height: 38-57″

Reviewers say: “Slim profile, but sturdy and safe. My son loves the snack tray attachment as well.” – Brent

graco lc backless booster



Your independent little one will be able to securely buckle themselves because of the front-adjust LATCH system. This backless booster seat features a machine-washable seat cover, cup holder and a hideaway storage tray.

“This booster couldn’t be simpler to use—we regularly switch it between cars for my 7-year-old, and I love that it still uses the LATCH system to actually attach to the vehicle seat. He loves that he gets to feel like a big kid, as well as the built-in cupholder and secret storage tray.” – Jess, Motherly’s Health and Wellness Director

Weight: 40 to 100lbs

Height: 43-57″

britax booster



With a higher height and weight capacity than most of the other boosters on this list, this booster seat comfortably accommodates your growing child. The removable cover is washer and dryer friendly. It features a lightweight design with an easy install and removal. Plus, it fits three across making carpool and family trips a breeze.

Weight: 40 to 120lbs

Height: up to 63″

Reviewers say: “Our first booster purchase for our 5-year-old. Made sure she exceeds the weight/height minimums before we switched her from her Diono Radian to this car seat. Very easy to use, she loves that she can buckle herself in. Very secure and stable, a bit on the larger side, but we only have 2 kiddos, so it’s not an issue for us. Seems very safe and high quality—I am sure it will last the next 5+ years. Very light and extremely easy to move from car to car as needed.” – Kelly

diono cambria booster



The best booster seats grow with your child and this one does exactly that. Use the high-back for as long as your child needs it and then convert it to a backless booster seat. The headrest can be positioned in more than 5 different ways. The wide design and cushioned padding makes this a comfort choice.

Weight: 40 to 120lbs

Height: 38-63″

Reviewers say: “This is the only booster that I’ve found that actually lets the seatbelt fully recoil after my child leans forward. We love this seat. It’s super easy to install, it’s like and works beautifully for myself and child!” – Alex J.

chicco gofit booster



The contoured seat provides a comfortable experience for your big kid. It features a shoulder belt clip and lap belt guides to ensure a snug and proper fit with the vehicle seat belt. The cup folders are removable and dishwasher safe. The seat pad is also machine washable. The carry-handle makes it easy to transfer between cars.

Weight: 40 to 110lbs

Height: 38-57″

Reviewers say: ” This is a wonderful booster seat. I read many reviews before settling on the “Chicco GoFit Backless Booster Car Seat,” and while I don’t always purchase a product based solely on reviews, I have to say the customers were totally right about this seat. My grandson loves it – and the 2 cup holders (1 for the sippy cup, and 1 for a Matchbox car!). It’s so simple to place in the car, the cover’s washable (already been tried!) and it’s basically just place, strap in and go. Love it!” –Nancy I.

hiccapop booster



Between grandparents, babysitters and family travel, transferring your child’s booster seat can be a hassle. But this booster seat makes it all too easy. It’s packable, portable and inflates in a matter of seconds. It features a non-skid design so it won’t move on leather, vinyl or cloth seats. The narrow design makes it easy to fit between car seats.

Weight: 40-110 lbs

Reviewers say: “This car seat is pretty cool. We took it to NY for our kids (age 7 & 5). We put them in a back up and set them up in the car with minutes. Simpleto assemble, sturdy, practical, easy to carry around. It’s not an everyday car seat for us, but extremely practical for travel.” – Chris and Isabel

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