Baby carriers and slings offer a convenient and cosy way to keep your baby close while keeping your hands free. Whether you opt for a sling style that wraps around the body, or a more structured baby carrier with strap and clips, you'll find award winning carriers here that will work for you. For 2022, we also introduced a new category for extended babywearing, comprising hiking and walking carriers, back and shoulder carriers, and those designed for older toddler and preschoolers.


Safety was top of mind in judging these carriers, along with ease of use and adaptability. We looked at how the carriers worked for different parents' body types, and assessed the position of the baby's legs and spine. We considered how long they would last and the different carrying positions (and how easy they are to do without help). Our home testers reported on how they felt over time, how their babies and toddlers responded to being worn, and whether they loved the look and feel of each style.

For further expert insight, we also invited independent babywearing expert Katy Blundell, director of the Greater Manchester Sling Library and an NHS midwife, to judge every entry and give her professional opinion.

See the winners in:

Sling or Wrap

Key features we tested/judged – Comfort for baby and parent, back support, safety, ease of use and putting it on, carrying positions, worth the money, design and style

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Gold — Close Caboo Baby Carrier, £77

Close Caboo Baby Carrier
The wrap fits snuggly around my body but also feels safe for my baby
– Parent tester Stephanie, who tested this with their 2 month old

Why it’s a winner: The Close Caboo is simple and easy to use, with two separate pieces that combine to give a sling-like look and feel without any confusing wrapping, making it great for parents who're new to babywearing. Sling expert Katy Blundell loved the “soft, cosy fabric”, which is an organic cotton blend, and our editorial judges felt this was a doddle to put on and take off (after reading the instructions). It has a clever ring system to adjust the size, and is designed to work up to 14.5kg, although our testers felt it was more suited to young babies than toddlers – and it is marketed very much as a newborn carrier. It is easy to machine wash – essential when there’s always the risk of sicky babies and leaky nappies – and comes in stylish neutral colours.

In the words of parent tester Lianne, who tested this with their newborn: “If you want a super stylish carrier that you can wear not only around the house and out to the shops, but sitting on the sofa, having a cuddle with your hands free - then get a Close Caboo. It's ideal for those early bonding months with your little one.”

Buy from: John Lewis and Close

Silver — Joy & Joe Rainbow Stretchy Wrap Bamboo, £38

Joy And Joe Rainbow Stretchy Wrap Bamboo

Why it’s a winner: This wrap was a big hit with sling expert Katy Blundell who loved the bright, vibrant colours. She said: “It felt well made with good quality stitching and a lovely amount of stretch.” The material is machine washable and feels durable. As it is a wrap rather than a structured sling it will take a bit of practice to get it right, although it does come with video instructions to help. It's great choice for experienced babywearers who want something that will really make a statement.

In the words of parent tester Kayleigh, who tested this with their 2 month old: “So easy to wash, no bobbling or shrinkage, and air dries very quickly on a clothes horse! It’s lovely material and looks gorgeous."

Buy from: Amazon and Joy & Joe

Bronze — Lifft Stretchy Wrap, £39.95

Lifft Stretchy Wrap

Why it’s a winner: A practical workhorse sling, the Lifft stretchy wrap is made from a good-quality fabric, which washes well and holds it shape. The instructions may take a few read-throughs to fully understand but our tester found the tying method easy to remember once she had mastered it. Supportive even for larger babies, this reasonably-priced wrap is a great option for new parents. Sling expert Katy Blundell praised the wrap for its “lovely amount of stretch.”

In the words of parent tester Caralyn, who tested this with their 2 month old: “I had absolutely no pain in wearing my chunky 14lb boy - it really does spread the weight so evenly across the parent’s body. The material is very soft and excellent quality so also no rubbing where the edges and seams of the sling move against bare skin.”

Buy from: Amazon and Lifft Slings

Baby Carrier Under £100

Key features we tested/judged – Comfort for baby and parent, back support, safety, ease of use and putting it on, carrying positions, worth the money, design and style

Gold — Integra Baby Carrier, £79

Integra Baby Carrier
Lovely amount of padding in the shoulder straps, whilst still being compact when folded away
– Katy Blundell, midwife and sling expert

Why it’s a winner: Available in a wide variety of designs, the simple apron style is easy to get the hang of and it packs away much smaller than more structured carriers, but still provides good support and structure. The carrier is high quality and simple to use. Parent tester Bettyna was a big fan after using it with their 5 month old, describing the carrier as “simple, effective and comfy.” She said: “I like to get the housework done, do workouts and go on long walks with my daughter in it and, as it's breathable, it stops her getting too hot when I work up a sweat.”

In the words of parent tester Debbie, who tested this with their 11 month old: “The material is beautifully soft and lovely on baby’s skin. The instruction manual is amazing - very detailed with proper photos of a mum and baby attaching the carrier on herself with explanations as you go along!”

Buy from: Integra Baby

Silver — Joie Savvy, £100

Joie Savvy Baby Carrier

Why it’s a winner: The Joie Savvy offers plenty of flexibility and room for growth, keeping your baby in a great position at each stage from little newborn to toddler. The carrier does have lots of clips and buckles which can be intimidating at first, however our home testers found that practice made perfect, and the bib-style buckles at the front actually make it very simple to get your baby in and out. Parent tester Helen liked how easy it was to use in different ways, adding: “To swap positions from parent facing to outward facing is very simple - just an adjustment of the buttons at the front.”

In the words of parent tester Charlotte, who tested this with their 5 month old: “The magnetic shoulder buckles are my favourite feature and really clever. Once you have these clicked in (the click is very satisfying!), you feel secure to be able to do up the remaining buckles and make any adjustments knowing your baby is safe.”

Buy from: Boots, Online 4 Baby and John Lewis

Bronze — Ergobaby Embrace Baby Carrier, £79.90

Why it’s a winner: The Ergobaby Embrace has a simple design with just three clips to secure baby in place, and once you've got the hang of the right fit for your baby, it should be easy to put on and off. The fabric is soft and mouldable and will keep your baby feeling comfortable and snug, and all our judges and testers praised the quality of the carrier. Designed for use with newborns and babies up to 25lb, the Ergobaby Embrace is a halfway house between a sling and a more structured carrier and great for the early months. Home tester Lacey said it had already made her life easier, describing it as “very comfortable and lightweight”.

In the words of parent tester Jess, who tested this with their 3 month old: “It’s adjustable to suit all shapes. There is a good length on the straps to suit larger people. I also like that there is elastic on the straps to tuck in and secure the length not being used.”

Buy from: Jojo Maman Bebe, Mamas and Papas, John Lewis and Ergobaby

Shortlisted: Baby Tula Lite Compact Carrier | Hana Expand Baby to Toddler Carrier | LittleLife Acorn Carrier

Baby Carrier Over £100

Key features we tested/judged – Comfort for baby and parent, back support, safety, ease of use and putting it on, carrying positions, worth the money, design and style

Joint Gold — Baby Tula Free to Grow Baby Carrier, £119.90

Baby Tula Free To Grow Baby Carrier
Comfortable to wear, easily adjusted and allowed for a great ergonomic carry for baby
– Katy Blundell, midwife and sling expert

Why it’s a winner: The Free to Grow baby carrier wowed testers and judges with just how comfortable and supportive it was. Simple to use, this carrier spreads your little one’s weight evenly so you won’t end up with back-ache, but it has a very simple and straightforward design without unnecessary clips, buckles or pockets. Our judges loved the stylish design options (it comes in a number of prints), high quality material and the fact it can be used throughout the baby and toddler stages. It also folds up small enough to pop into your changing bag. Parent tester Abigail found it useful for settling her 8-month-old daughter adding: “She gets excited when she sees the carrier as she likes to be in it.”

In the words of parent tester Amy, who tested this with their 3 month old: “I love the fact it’s durable and will be long lasting, and although functionality wise it ticks all the boxes, it’s also quite stylish with its abstract print.”

Buy from: Tula, Babipur and Direct4Baby

Joint Gold — BabyBjörn Baby Carrier Harmony, £190

Baby Bjorn Baby Carrier Harmony
Looks good, it is versatile, ergonomic and comfy for baby
– Parent tester Alannah, who tested this with their 3 month old

Why it’s a winner: This BabyBjörn carrier is carefully designed to keep the hips and legs in a deep M-shape – the healthiest position for babywearing, and has simple front clips that make getting your baby into that position really straightforward. Our judges and testers found it easy to use and adjust, although they reported that the online tutorial was easier to follow than the paper instructions. Sling expert Katy Blundell was impressed with the quality of the carrier, describing it as “well made with lovely breathable fabric”. Although the price of the carrier is high, it is designed to last for three years and adapt as your child grows.

In the words of parent tester Karly, who tested this with their 6 month old: “The weight distribution and padded back support made this carrier really comfortable to use even over long periods of time.”

Buy from: Baby Bjorn, Mamas & Papas and John Lewis

Silver — Baby Tula Linen Explore Baby Carrier, £154.90

Why it’s a winner: Sturdy and durable, the Explore baby carrier has padded shoulder straps so it’s comfortable to use even for long periods of time. Our testers found it was a little fiddly to use at first but soon got the hang of it and liked that it could be used both parent and world-facing, while some other Tula carriers cannot not. Home tester Bianca used the carrier with their 5-month-old and loved the large pocket in the waistbelt, describing it as a “game changer”. She said: “I haven’t worn a handbag since having a baby so the idea of popping my phone, keys and card in there is ideal.”

In the words of parent tester Charlotte, who tested this with their 5 month old: “I could easily set it up and change sizes and found it very quick and easy to put my baby in and out of it.”

Buy from: Tula

Bronze: Ergobaby Omni 360 Cool Air Mesh Baby Carrier, £164.90

Ergobaby Omni 360 Cool Air Mesh Baby Carrier

Why it’s a winner: Utilitarian and practical in appearance, this Ergobaby carrier is easy to use, although the back clip can be tricky to get the hang of at first. Little details like the zip pocket containing a waterproof hood and the adjustable leg support were a hit with our testers, and this carrier is often praised for its ability to work for a number of heights and body types. Designed to be used from newborn to toddler, your little one can face you or look out at the world once they're old enough. Our sling expert Katy Blundell said the carrier was “easily adjustable and allowed for a great ergonomic position for baby, even in outward facing mode.”

In the words of parent tester Lauren, who tested this with their 3 month old: “The quality is great and the padding is plush, it feels like it’s durable enough to last.”

Buy from: Jojo Maman Bebe, Amazon, John Lewis and Ergobaby

Shortlisted: Ergobaby Omni Breeze Baby Carrier

Back, Shoulder, Hip and Hiking Carrier

Key features we tested/judged – Comfort for baby and parent, back support, safety, ease of use and putting it on, carrying positions, worth the money, design and style

Gold — Baby Tula Preschool Carrier, £129.90

Baby Tula Pre school Carrier
For people who loved babywearing and miss it, it offers an opportunity to continue much further
– MFM judge Gemma Cartwright

Why it’s a winner: Designed to comfortably carry big kids weighing up to 70lbs, the Baby Tula Preschool carrier was a huge hit in this category. Don’t let the simplicity of this carrier fool you, our testers felt it was really supportive and comfortable and much more portable and lightweight than traditional rucksack-style hiking carriers. One of the big plus points of the Tula Preschool carrier according to expert Katy Blundell is that it will hold your toddler in an ergonomic position, which is good news for your child’s hips (and your back). It also comes with a handy little pocket for your bits and pieces, and is available in a number of prints.

In the words of parent tester Janet, who tested this with their 4 year old: “This carrier is perfect for packing in your bag when you’re going out for the day. It is very versatile and made from a high-quality material that can be used in all weathers. It has become a staple that we take with us on every trip out as a family.”

Buy from: Amazon and Tula

Silver — LittleLife Ranger S2, £119.99

Little Life Ranger

Why it’s a winner: This hiking carrier is lightweight and won’t take up much space in the car, making it a good choice for outdoor walks. Our judges felt it offered god value as an entry into the world of hiking carriers, but how comfortable it is for the parent seems to depend on your height: taller parents with larger frames seemed to find the LittleLife Ranger 2 easier to use than smaller ones. There are lots of straps which can be adjusted to make the carrier more comfortable but this will take some trial and error. Parent tester Jenni said after a few uses, it was “very quick to set up.”

In the words of parent tester Lynsey, who tested this with their 20 month old: “It's a good value carrier and a great option for countryside walks where you are unable to use a pushchair. I wouldn't have felt comfortable using in a town around lots of doors and getting on and off public transport but it was great in the open air.”

Buy from: LittleLife, Go Outdoors and Amazon

Bronze — Osprey Poco LT, £275

Osprey Poco

Why it’s a winner: The Osprey Poco LT’s cockpit design means it is very comfortable and secure for the child, with plenty of space in a solid frame. As the highest price carrier in the category, it is no surprise that it is sturdy and well-made and sling expert Katy Blundell said “the buckles and zips felt really good quality,” although as with all hiking carriers the perfect fit depends on the parent and the way the many buckles and clips have been adjusted. It does fold down impressively flat for this type of carrier and the drool pad gives your little one somewhere comfortable to rest their head during naps.

In the words of parent tester Victoria, who tested this with their 10 month old and 3 year old: “Despite being both roomy and spacious for your child, the thin frame enables it to fold to an almost flat position, brilliant for freeing up boot space and making it much easier to store than other bulkier options on the market.”

Buy from: Osprey, John Lewis and Go Outdoors

See all our MFM Award winners:

The MadeForMums Awards editorial team is led by Consumer & Reviews Editor Christy McGhee, Consumer & Commerce Editor Gemma Cartwright, and Editorial Director Susie Boone and comprises Janet Mtima, Emily Longman Wall, Chloe Brightwell, Catherine Ball, Janet Martin, Sarah Dawson, Gabrielle Nathan, Claire Belle Freed, Lucy Waterlow and Cheryl Freedman who have created, written and edited these pages after rigorous testing and judging by our panel of home testers, experts and editorial judges. Images by Emma Winchester. With thanks to Danielle Graph, Emma Onuma, Tayla Emmons, Helen Brown, Helen Salter and Amber Newlands.