The Best Booster Seats for Kids' Safer, More Comfortable Rides

With four conversions, your kiddo will use the Graco 4Ever DLX 4-In-1 for years

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Best Booster Seats

Verywell / Sabrina Jiang

With so many different types of car seats on the market and varying guidelines, it can be really tricky to  know 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. Depending on your child's size and needs, you can opt for a highback booster seat with a five-point harness or a backless booster seat that utilizes your car's seat belt. In fact, keeping kids in a five-point harness as long as possible is the safest way for children to ride.

Reviewed & Approved

The Graco 4Ever DLX 4-In-1 Car Seat is easy to install and converts from an infant car seat to backless booster for years of use. If you only need a booster seat, we suggest the Graco Affix Highback Booster Seat with Latch System.

When it comes to actually choosing the style and design of your child’s booster seat, the University of North Carolina Highway Safety Research Center suggests incorporating your kiddo’s opinion into the process. “Kids who are old enough to ride in a booster seat are also old enough to have an opinion about some of the comfort and style choices. Kids are more likely to ride in a booster seat without complaint if they have had a voice in choosing the seat," a rep from the center tells Verywell Family.

When you first start shopping around, consider how well the booster seat you choose will fit in your vehicle. Also consider whether it’s easy for them to climb in and out of the seat, as well as whether they’re genuinely ready for the big switch.

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

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

4.9
Graco 4Ever DLX 4 in 1 Car Seat

Courtesy of Amazon

Pros
  • Four conversions

  • Adjustable headrest

  • Machine-washable cover

Cons
  • Recline difficult to adjust rear-facing

  • Bulky

  • Seat protector cannot be used

The Graco 4Ever DLX 4-In-1 Car Seat tops our list thanks to the seat’s two harness and two booster conversions, so your child will use the seat for years. It’s safe for babies as little as 4 pounds all the way up to big kids reaching 120 pounds, meaning you can purchase it way before your child even needs a booster seat

There are two booster conversions, either highback or backless, and the seat has a 10-position adjustable headrest that you can easily lift up to ensure the right fit as your child continues to grow. We think you’ll love the removable, machine washable cover for easy cleaning, two cup holders, and simple LATCH system for a quick and easy install that doesn’t jeopardize 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

Pros
  • Converts to a backless booster

  • Includes a seatbelt guide

  • Adjustable headrest and armrests

Cons
  • No LATCH system

  • Seat is wide

  • Cup holders could be deeper for drinks

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

Pros
  • Converts to a backless booster

  • Adjustable headrest

  • Includes LATCH

Cons
  • Headrest easily slides down

  • Cup holder widens seat

  • Armrest makes buckling difficult

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

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 Car Seat

 Graco TurboBooster Backless Booster Car Seat

Courtesy of Amazon

Pros
  • Adjustable armrests

  • Easy to move between cars

  • Machine-washable cover

Cons
  • No LATCH system

  • Could use more cushion in seat

  • Armrests are fabric (more difficult to clean)

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 Zip Air Plus 2-in-1 Belt Positioning Booster Car Seat

Chicco KidFit Zip Air Plus 2-in-1 Belt Positioning Booster Car Seat

Courtesy of Amazon

Pros
  • Zip-off, machine-washable cover

  • 10 height positions

  • Cup holders are collapsible

Cons
  • No five-point harness

  • Snack tray in way of buckling

  • Recline difficult when installed

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 a phone.

If there’s a spill, the seat cover easily zips off and is safe to toss into the washing machine. 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 Small Footprint: Maxi Cosi RodiFix Booster Car Seat

Pros
  • Higher weight limit

  • Narrow design saves space

  • Multi-height headrest

Cons
  • Not a convertible seat

  • No top tether

  • No cup holders/snack tray

Children weighing 40 pounds up to 120 pounds can safely ride in this booster seat. Thanks to the easy-to-use seat-belt guides, big kids can flex their independence by buckling themselves in. A multi-height headrest allows parents and caregivers to adjust accordingly as their child grows. Simply remove the cover and throw it in the washing machine for easy clean-up.

Product Weight: 17.25 pounds | Height Range: Up to 57 inches | Weight Range: 40 to 120 pounds | Age Range: Not Listed | Convertible: No

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

Evenflo Big Kid LX High Back Booster Car Seat

Courtesy of Walmart

Pros
  • Converts to a backless booster

  • Machine-washable

  • Comes in various colors

Cons
  • Could use more padding on seat

  • No LATCH

  • Cannot recline

Big kids between 40 and 110 pounds and 40 and 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. It also has seat-belt guides to ensure they are safely buckled in.

The booster also features two cup holders to keep their drinks and snacks within an arm's 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 Car Seat

Britax Grow with You ClickTight Harness-2-Booster Car Seat

Courtesy of Amazon

Pros
  • Converts to a highback booster

  • Machine-washable cover

  • Adjustable headrest

Cons
  • Costly

  • Difficult to tighten straps

  • Makes rattling noise when empty

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 cup/snack holders and two reclining positions.

Don't worry about them creating a permanent 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

Graco Extend2Fit 3-in-1 Car Seat

Courtesy of Amazon

Pros
  • Two cup holders

  • Machine washable cover

  • LATCH included

Cons
  • Bulky

  • Threading belt through can be difficult

  • Fabric can make baby hot

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, plus it has two cup holders and an adjustable 10-position headrest.

Once they’re ready, you can turn your child to forward-facing position with the five-point harness, then ultimately convert it into a highback booster with the seat belt. 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 Booster Seat

UPPAbaby ALTA Booster Seat

Courtesy of Amazon

Pros
  • Small footprint

  • Seatbelt guide

  • Adjustable headrest

Cons
  • Not convertible

  • Tough to buckle

  • Base is wide

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 seat-belt 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 because of its quality, longevity, and ease of use. 

How We Selected the Best Booster Seats

We chose the best booster seats by researching reviews from customers and competitors, and we studied the features of more than 30 products on the market. We considered price, design, features, ease of cleaning, materials, and recommendations for age, height, and weight limits when deciding our picks. We also consulted with Alisa Baer, MD, pediatrician and co-founder of the Car Seat Lady, LLC, for any considerations or product recommendations while reviewing guidance from the American Academy of Pediatrics.

What to Look for in a Booster Seat 

Safety

Once you’re confident that it’s time to make the move, keep in mind that every booster seat sold in the U.S. must meet all federal safety standards, so no matter what, when they are installed and used properly, they will keep your child safe. That being said, specific designs vary and you’ll want to choose the one that is best suited for your vehicle, child, and your family’s lifestyle. 

Something to consider is the size of your vehicle’s backseat and how many car seats or boosters you’re trying to fit. You may need a seat that is more narrow in order to safely install the seat. 

Dr. Baer says that one of the features in highback boosters that kids love most is also one that parents may want to skip: armrests. Boosters without armrests help “eliminate [a] very common” safety concern: “Studies show that nearly half of all boosters are misused in one specific way, where the vehicle lap belt is routed over the top of one or both of the booster’s armrests," she explains. "This is particularly dangerous as the lap belt is directly over the child’s soft belly, which is exactly where the lap belt should never be."

You can learn more about proper seat belt positioning here, and you can find out how different booster seat models hold up in crash tests using the Office of Vehicle Safety Compliance’s compliance database

Readiness

The most important thing you will need to consider when choosing a booster seat is your child’s height, weight, and general readiness to transition from a five-point harness front-facing seat to a booster seat. A representative from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) tells Verywell Family that parents should “keep your child in a forward-facing car seat with a harness and tether until he or she reaches the top height or weight limit allowed by your car seat’s manufacturer.”

However, their maturity also plays a role in whether or not it’s time to transition. “The biggest mistakes we see parents make is switching to a booster seat before the child is ready and moving out of the booster seat too soon,” a representative from the UNC Highway Safety Research Center says. “Booster seats are intended for older kids who have outgrown the limits of their harnessed car seats and are mature enough to sit correctly in a booster seat. For many kids, this may not be until they are 6 years old or older."

Ease of Use for Child

By the time your child is in a booster seat, they’re more independent, so consider how easy it will be for them to climb in and out of the seat and whether or not they can reach the seat belt to properly click it in and out as needed. 

Booster Type

There are four different booster seat types, according to the NHTSA: a booster seat with a high back, a backless booster seat, a combination seat, and an all-in-one car seat. Dr. Baer also weighed in on the pros and cons of each design.

Highback

  • Lifts the child up so the vehicle’s seat belt fits properly
  • Provides head and neck support and can minimize whiplash
  • Ideal for vehicles that don’t have headrests or high seat backs
  • Kids sit with less leaning and squirming as opposed to backless

Backless

  • Boosts the child’s height so the seat belt fits properly
  • Ideal for vehicles that have headrests
  • Does not provide support to child’s neck and head or protect against whiplash
  • Good for any time a child is riding in someone else’s vehicle; taxi, Uber, friend’s parents, family member, etc.
  • Good for kids who have outgrown their highback booster but have not passed the five-step seat belt test
  • The vehicle’s seat is too narrow to fit a highback booster

Combination

  • Transitions from a forward-facing car seat with a five-point harness to a highback booster seat
  • Good for parents looking for a seat with longevity
  • Has all of the advantages of a standalone highback booster seat

All-in-One

  • Converts from a rear-facing car seat to a forward-facing car seat with harness to a booster seat as the child grows
  • Some, not all, will convert into a backless booster seat
  • Offers all of the benefits of a highback booster and a combination seat
  • The best option for longevity

Frequently Asked Questions

  • 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 seat belt 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 5 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 2-year-old and a 5-year-old, and she has personal experience in researching and using forward-facing car seats and highback booster seats. Key considerations she focused on when selecting these products include personal experience, safety features, longevity, and user reviews.

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5 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.
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  3. AAP News. New child passenger safety seat guidance advises kids to ride rear-facing as long as possible; drops age criterion

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