MFM Awards 2023 Winners – Car seats
From rotating designs to extended rear-facing models, discover the 2023 car seat winners in the MadeForMums awards that impressed all our parents and judges.
Along with a pushchair and cot or crib, car seats are one of the most important purchases you’ll make in the early days of parenting. We know how important it is you feel confident in your car seat, so we’ve examined some of the best products on the market, using our expert and parent judges to test how well each one measures up its promises.
Entries this year span a range of categories, including multi-stage, rotating and infant, to help you make an informed decision that’s right for your family.
All the car seats you see here have been tested with children of the appropriate age, from newborns to toddlers and older children, with real-life families providing their feedback on ease of use, value, comfort, safety features and more, to help our expert judges pick the winners.
From toddler seats that offer rearward facing for longer, to innovative designs for newborns, keep reading for 2023's award-winning car seats.
See the winners in:
Key features we tested/judged — Safety features, adjustability, quality and design, comfort, lifespan and multifunctionality, ease of use, worth the money.
Gold — Axkid ONE 2, £650
Why it’s a winner: Our parent testers and judges declared the revolutionary design of this car seat “brilliant” and praised its extended rear-facing capability, which allows children to sit facing rearward with generous legroom from approximately 6 months until they are around 7 years old. This Isofix car seat is i-Size approved up to 125cm and 23kg (most Isofix seats go up to 18kg) and is the only seat in this category to have passed the exceptionally rigorous Swedish Plus safety test. The safety features are extremely impressive, but our testers also praised this seat as “lighter than other multi-stage car seats, making it easy to lift in and out of the car, simple to install and so easy to adjust the headrest height, recline and distance of the seat from the back of the vehicle seat up to 30cm.”
In the words of parent tester Rebekah, who tested this with their 11 month old: “This incredibly safe, comfortable and long-lasting car seat exceeded all my expectations. All the features – the easily adjustable harness, the step-less recline positions, excellent legroom, quality fabrics and 6-step easy installation method – worked perfectly and contributed to an exceptionally safe and comfortable ride for my baby, as well as her older brother, who, at 124cm tall and 22kg, is at the top end of the weight and height limit but still had sufficient leg room. This allows the car seat’s multi-functionality to speak for itself. Worth every penny.”
Buy from: Kiddies Kingdom and Axkid
Silver — Joie every stage R129, £250
Best for: Fitting easily with a seat belt.
In the words of parent tester Sinead, who tested this with their 16 month old and 4 year old: “This is a fabulous seat and a bargain for someone who wants to use one seat from birth to childhood, rather than buying an infant carrier, rear-facing seat and high-back booster; we should get 10 years out of this seat. It’s particularly great if you need to transfer your car seat between vehicles that don’t have Isofix as it’s really easy to set up and install using the vehicle seat belt and feels very secure. Once in place, the seat is easy to adjust and, thanks to recline options, feels very comfortable for both my children – rear-facing using the harness for my toddler and forward-facing using the vehicle seat belt for my older child.”
Buy from: John Lewis, Boots and Argos
Bronze — Cosatto All in All Rotate i-Size, £329.95
Best for: Rotating.
In the words of parent tester Georgette, who tested this with their 6 month old and 3 year old: “This car seat is incredibly comfortable and my baby was well supported thanks to the secure 5-point harness and adjustable headrest. It’s also more comfortable for me to use than a traditional car seat because it can be rotated to face the side for easy access from a car door. I spun the seat around and raised the headrest to allow my older child to sit forward-facing and he was very happy in the plush padding of the fun and colourful seat. Alongside impressive safety features, including pop-out side impact protection and the ability to rear-face until the child is 105cm, there’s also an anti-escape accessory included which attaches to the 5-point harness to stop your little one pulling a Houdini and trying to escape.”
Buy from: Cosatto, Halfords and Kiddies Kingdom
Key features we tested/judged — Ease of use, worth the money, quality and design, comfort for baby, installation, safety features, adjustability.
Gold – CYBEX Cloud Z2 i-Size, £459.90
Why it’s a winner: This stylish car seat boasts many show-stopping features, including the handy rotation mechanism and the genius lie-flat setting. The first will save your back and the second will help you encourage every last second of sleep from your little one, whether you’re on a car journey or using the stroller base. As well as this, the base is also compatible with the Sirona Z2 i-Size toddler car seat seat – seeing you through from birth to around age 4 – and the side-impact protection and UPF50+ filters in the hood offer peace of mind for parents. Our testers loved the added safety features and found this a really easy car seat to use, agreeing Cybex has thought of everything.
In the words of parent tester Frances, who tested this with their 6 month old: “It’s so self-explanatory and easy to use. The traffic light system on the base will turn from red to green to let you know it’s been slotted in correctly, which I found quite reassuring because it almost seemed too easy. It looks sleek and very stylish.”
Buy from: John Lewis, Mamas & Papas and Kiddies Kingdom
Silver – Joie calmi R129 & i-Base Encore, £190-£240
Best for: A lie-flat position for your baby.
In the words of parent tester Megan, who tested this with their 4 week old: “This product truly surprised me, and had it been around when I had my first baby I would never have purchased an infant carrier. This saves having to put your baby into an infant carrier seat, but also means you don’t need to pack a carrycot for your travel system, saving you valuable boot space. In my opinion my baby seemed more settled and more comfortable being lifted in and out of the car in this. It is so easy to install, with 3 green indicators on the front of the base – much simpler than having separate indicators by the leg, back of the base etc.”
Buy from: Mamas & Papas and Joie
Bronze – Ickle Bubba Stratus i-Size Car Seat & ISOFIX Base Set, £229
Best for: Side-impact newborn protection.
In the words of parent tester Sarah, who tested this with their 9 month old: “This seat is well-made, with lots of room for growth without looking bulky. My son is well supported, and the shoulder pads provide comfort and safety. The seat is well padded and has side-impact protection, where you pop out one panel on the side nearest the door for added protection.”
Buy from: Ickle Bubba
Key features we tested/judged — Ease of use, worth the money, quality and design, comfort for baby/child, installation, safety features, adjustability, rotating functionality.
Gold – miniuno Infinity Fix i-Size Car Seat, £299
Why it’s a winner: Our judges and testers agreed that there’s a lot on offer for the money here. The miniuno Infinity i-Size car seat has the capacity to see you through from birth until up to age 12, and the headrest and harness adjust together, so there’s no need to re-thread as your baby grows. You also get a full 360 degrees of rotation, plenty of padding and soft fabrics that came in for high praise from our testers. And, to top it off, it’s simple to install with rotating levers that are easy to reach.
In the words of parent tester Amber, who tested this with their 1 year old: “The material is lovely, it looks very smart and seems like it would be easy to clean. The headrest and harness are extremely easy to adjust; they glide effortlessly. Remi seems to like this car seat – she has taken a few naps in it, which is a great start!”
Silver – RECARO Salia 125, £389
Best for: Comfort.
In the words of parent tester Becky, who tested this with their 3 month old and 22 month old: “You pay for the intuitive design, smooth rotation and comfort level here, but I think it’s worth it. I’m really impressed with the comfort level – our toddler fell asleep on journeys where he would usually be wide awake. The rotating function works seamlessly; not clunky or difficult to reach.”
Buy from: John Lewis and Kiddies Kingdom
See all our MFM Award winners:
- Prams, pushchairs, lightweights and double buggies — 2023 winners
- Baby carriers, slings and wraps — 2023 winners
- Sleeping and nursery products — 2023 winners
- Breast and bottlefeeding products — 2023 winners
- Products for your pregnancy — 2023 winners
- Family health, bathtime and skincare products — 2023 winners
- Nappies, changing and potty training products — 2023 winners
- Baby & toddler weaning and feeding products — 2023 winners
- Lifestyle, travel, fashion, books and gifts — 2023 winners
- MadeForMums Special Awards — 2023 winners
- MadeForMums Editor's Choice Awards — 2023 winners
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