The 9 Best Booster Seats of 2021

The smartest and safest options out there

Our editors independently research, test, and recommend the best products; you can learn more about our review process here. We may receive commissions on purchases made from our chosen links.

Our Top Picks

Best Overall: Graco 4Ever DLX 4-in-1 Convertible Car Seat at Amazon

"Safe for babies and usable as they continue to grow, it features four conversions and a 10-position adjustable headrest."

Best Budget: Graco TurboBooster Highback Booster Seat at Amazon

"You'll get the most bang for your buck with this pick, which easily converts into a backless booster and has adjustable details."

Best Highback: Graco Affix Highback Booster Seat with Latch System at Amazon

"A pick that will last until your child is ready to independently sit, it's usable as either a highback booster or backless."

Best Backless: Graco TurboBooster Backless Booster Seat at Amazon

"Complete with padded, adjustable armrests, it offers comfort as your kiddo continues to grow taller."

Best for Travel: Chicco KidFit 2-in-1 Booster Car Seat at Amazon

"On-the-go parents will appreciate this option's details designed for long rides, from the contoured seat to the cup holders."

Best for Big Kids: Evenflo Big Kid LX High Back Booster at Amazon

"Ideal for big kids between 40 and 110 pounds, it features a six-position adjustable headrest and two sitting modes."

Best 2-in-1: Britax Grow With You ClickTight Harness-2-Booster at Amazon

"Perfect if you appreciate versatility, it can be used as either a forward-facing car seat with a harness or a highback booster."

Best for Toddlers: Graco Extend2Fit 3-in-1 Car Seat at Amazon

"Usable when baby is a newborn and through the highback booster stage, it's designed with a latch so it can be safely installed."

Best for Small Cars: UPPAbaby ALTA Highback Booster Seat at Amazon

"Ideal if your car doesn't have a lot of space to spare, the compact booster won't take up the entire backseat and easily attaches."

Car seats can be confusing, to say the least. There are so many different types and varying guidelines, so it can be really tricky trying to figure out when to move your child to a booster seat (or even know what a booster seat is).

Booster seats are designed to sit a child up high enough in a seat so that they can safely use the car’s seat belt. However, since it’s safest to keep kids in a  five-point harness for as long as possible, there are a lot of forward-facing car seats that will convert into high-back booster seats when your child is big enough to transition.

We’ve collected some of the best booster seats on the market to help you narrow down your search a bit. 

Our Top Picks

Best Overall: Graco 4Ever DLX 4-in-1 Convertible Car Seat

What makes this seat so great is that you can purchase it way before your child even needs a booster because it has four conversions and is safe for babies as little as 4 pounds all the way up to big kids reaching 120 pounds. There are two booster conversions, either high-back or backless and the seat has a 10-position adjustable headrest which you can easily lift up to ensure the right fit as your child continues to grow.

The seat also has a removable, machine washable cover, two cup holders, and a simple LATCH system so you can quickly and easily install the booster without jeopardizing safety.

What is LATCH?

Most cars manufactured after September 1, 2002, are required to include a LATCH system (Lower Anchors and Tethers for Children). Designed to make installing car seats safe and less complicated, this method allows caregivers to safely install car seats using anchors as opposed to the car's seat belts.

Product Weight: 27.93 pounds | Height Range: Up to 57 inches tall | Weight Range: 4 - 120 pounds (weight ranges vary based on conversion) | Age Range: Not Listed | Convertible: Yes

Best Budget: Graco TurboBooster Highback Booster Seat

Graco TurboBooster Highback Booster Seat

Courtesy of Amazon

You will get a lot for your money with this highback booster seat that can convert into a backless booster. It’s safe for kids between 40 and 100 pounds and up to 57 inches tall. The seatbelt guide helps to foster independence as your child is able to safely buckle themselves in.

The booster features two cup holders, an adjustable headrest, and height-adjustable armrests to keep your kid comfortable as they continue to grow. 

Product Weight: 9 pounds | Height Range: Up to 57 inches | Weight Range: 40 - 100 pounds | Age Range: Not Listed | Convertible: Yes

Best Highback: Graco Affix Highback Booster Seat with Latch System

Graco Affix Highback Booster Seat with Latch System

Courtesy of Amazon

This booster seat will last until your child is ready to sit on their own because it can convert from a highback booster to backless. It’s safe for kids between 40 and 100 pounds and 38 to 57 inches tall and can be easily installed thanks to the attached latch.

The headrest is fully adjustable so that it can grow right alongside your child and the seat comes equipped with a cup holder and a snack holder. It has a simple design but will keep your child safely buckled in until they’re ready to sit without any booster.

Product Weight: 9.11 pounds (seat) and 1.65 pounds (base) | Height Range: Up to 57 inches (height limit varies by conversion) | Weight Range: 40 - 100 pounds | Age Range: Not Listed | Convertible: Yes

Best Backless: Graco TurboBooster Backless Booster Seat

Graco TurboBooster Backless Booster Seat

Courtesy of Amazon

If you just need something simple that will accommodate your growing child, this booster seat is for you. It has padded armrests that are adjustable so that as your child continues to get taller, they can still sit comfortably in the booster seat. The simple design makes moving it from one car to another super easy.

It also features two cup holders and a removable cover that is machine washable. Kids between 43 and 57 inches and 40 to 100 pounds are able to safely buckle in using a seatbelt when sitting in this booster seat. 

Product Weight: 4.41 pounds | Height Range: 43 - 57 inches | Weight Range: 40 - 100 pounds | Age Range: Not Listed | Convertible: No

Best for Travel: Chicco KidFit 2-in-1 Booster Car Seat

With this booster, your kid will be set on road trips thanks to the comfortable contoured seat, two cup holders that collapse down when they’re not in use, and an add-on console that fits into a cup holder and is large enough to hold your big kid’s phone.

If there’s a spill, the seat cover easily zips off and is safe to toss into the washing machine and the seat is equipped with seat belt guides so you will always be assured your child is securely fastened in. It also has a 10-position adjustable headrest, uses the LATCH system for easy installation, and even has pop-out armrest covers. 

Product Weight: 12.1 pounds | Height Range: 38 - 57 inches | Weight Range: 40 - 110 pounds (weight limit varies by conversion) | Age Range: 4Y+| Convertible: Yes

Best for Big Kids: Evenflo Big Kid LX High Back Booster

Big kids between 40 and 110 pounds and 40and 57 inches tall can safely ride in this two-in-one booster. It can be set up as a high back or backless booster and has a six-position adjustable headrest so it will grow along with your child and it has seat belt guides to ensure they are safely buckled in.

The booster also features two cup holders the keep their cups and snacks at an arms reach. It is available in several color options and has an easy-to-remove cover that is safe to toss into the washing machine.

Product Weight: 8 pounds | Height Range: 40 - 57 inches | Weight Range: 40 - 110 pounds | Age Range: 4Y+ | Convertible: Yes

Best 2-in-1: Britax Grow With You ClickTight Harness-2-Booster

This seat is safe for kids between 25 and 125 pounds and can be used as either a forward-facing car seat with a five-point harness or as a highback booster. Your kiddo can ride in comfort thanks to the four cup and snack holder and two reclining positions.

Don't worry about them creating a crumb coating on the cover as you can easily remove and toss it in the wash. The ClickTight technology makes it super easy to install while the nine-position adjustable headrest and two buckle positions grow with your child. 

Product Weight: 25 pounds | Height Range: Up to 65 inches (height limits vary by conversion) | Weight Range: 25 - 120 pounds (weight limits vary by conversion) | Age Range: Not Listed | Convertible: Yes

Best for Toddlers: Graco Extend2Fit 3-in-1 Car Seat

This is another seat that you can purchase when your baby is still a newborn and use it through the highback booster stage. It’s designed with an easy latch so it can be safely and easily installed in cars, has two cup holders, and an adjustable 10-position headrest.

Once they’re ready, you can turn your toddler forward-facing with the five-point harness and then ultimately convert it into a highback booster with the seatbelt. This seat comes with an easily removable machine washable cover and is safe for kids up to 100 pounds or 57 inches tall. 

Product Weight: 21 pounds | Height Range: Up to 57 inches (height limits vary by conversion) | Weight Range: 4 - 100 pounds (weight limits vary by conversion) | Age Range: Not Listed | Convertible: Yes

Best for Small Cars: UPPAbaby ALTA Highback Booster Seat

If you drive a small vehicle this booster won’t take up the entire backseat because of its compact design. It has a non-converting high-back design with a seven-position adjustable headrest, cup holder, and a seatbelt guide to help your child learn how to buckle themselves in safely.

Designed for big kids, this seat attaches easily and securely with the LATCH system. You can easily remove the seat cover using the zipper on the back and toss it into the washing machine whenever it needs to be cleaned. 

Product Weight: 16.6 pounds | Height Range: 38 - 57 inches | Weight Range: 40 - 100 pounds | Age Range: 6 - 10Y | Convertible: No

Final Verdict

Your child will be comfortable and safe in any of the boosters on this list, however, our favorite is the Graco 4Ever DLX 4-in-1 Convertible Car Seat (view at Amazon) because of its quality, longevity, and ease of use. 

What to Look for in a Booster Seat 

Safety and Recalls

Always check to make sure the booster you’re using has not been recalled for safety. Additionally, make sure whatever booster you choose positions the seatbelt correctly across your child’s lap and shoulder. 

Conversions and Weight/Height Limits

You may find that your child’s forward-facing car seat will convert into a booster, so you don’t need to buy anything new. Likewise, if you’re on the hunt for a smaller child’s car seat, look for one that has conversion options all the way through the booster seat. You’ll also want to pay attention to the height and weight limits for the seat to ensure your child isn’t too big or too small to use it. 

For non-converting boosters, it is just as important to ensure that the weight, height, and age limit align with your child and how long you plan to use it.

High Back vs. Backless

High-back booster seats act as a step between a full car seat and a backless booster seat. This hybrid option support children that have grown out of their traditional car seat but still need more support for their head, neck, chest, and spine by allowing them to still use the five-point harness as well as the high back they are used to while riding in their car seat.

Backless boosters are great for older children that aren't quite ready to ride in a car without any extra support. Perfect for taller and older kids, the backless booster gives them a bit more lift so that their backs can lay against the car seat comfortably and safely.

FAQs 

When can a child stop using a booster seat?

The American Academy of Pediatrics recommends children stay in a booster seat until they are big enough for a seatbelt to fit them properly and/or once they’ve reached the height or weight limit for the booster.

When do I switch to a booster seat?

The longer your child wears a five-point harness, the better, according to the American Academy of Pediatrics, so that means you want to keep them in one until they reach their forward-facing car seat’s height or weight limit (whichever comes first).

At a minimum children should be at least five years old before transitioning to a booster seat, assuming they haven’t met their car seat’s height or weight limits before then. 

Why Trust Verywell Family? 

Ashley Ziegler is a full-time parenting writer, mom to a 1 and a 4-year-old, and she has personal experience in researching and using forward-facing car seats and high-back booster seats. Key considerations she focused on when selecting these products include personal experience, safety features, longevity, and user reviews.

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Article Sources
Verywell Family uses only high-quality sources, including peer-reviewed studies, to support the facts within our articles. Read our editorial process to learn more about how we fact-check and keep our content accurate, reliable, and trustworthy.
  1. Car seats: information for families. HealthyChildren.org.

  2. Hoffman BD. New child passenger safety seat guidance advises kids to ride rear-facing as long as possible; drops age criterionAAP News. Published online March 29, 2021.