Strollers: Your Complete Buying Guide

Choosing the best stroller for your family is a decision that comes down to safety, size, the type of stroller, and of course the cost. Our team of parenting editors has rigorously researched and tested more than 250 strollers from Uppababy, Nuna, Graco, and more with all of this and more in mind to help you make the right decision for your family and budget.

Frequently Asked Questions

  • What are the most important stroller safety features?

    No matter where you're taking your little one in their stroller, you want them to be safe and secure. Things like sun shades to keep them out of the sun, an adjustable five-point harnesses, bumper bars, and brakes or wheel locks are the most important stroller safety features. If you want to use your stroller from birth, look for inserts that are specifically designed for use from birth (many stroller brands, like Uppababy, make infant accessories that can be used with their strollers and create a safe seat for your little one).

  • How much does a stroller cost?

    Depending on what kind of stroller you get, how many children it can accommodate, and the features it has, strollers can start under $100 for the most basic compact or umbrella models and cost well over $1,000 on the high end.

    More expensive brands like Uppababy, Nuna, and Bugaboo have full-size and double strollers in the $1,000-1,300 range, but they have proven to be extremely capable, sturdy, and impressive in our lab and real-world tests. On the less expensive side, brands like Graco, Chicco, and Britax tend to start around $300 for full size strollers. While these brands have performed well in our tests, they don't necessarily have all of the bells and whistles you get on the pricier strollers.

  • What are the most popular types of strollers?

    Convertible, compact, jogging, and double strollers are some of the most popular types—but the right one for you will depend on your lifestyle and when and where you'll use the stroller most. If you're an avid runner or want all-terrain tires, a jogging stroller is your best bet. Having twins or planning to have two kids close in age? Single-to-double convertible strollers like the Uppababy Vista V2 are popular and ace our tests. If you need something that you want to keep folded up in your trunk or plan to travel frequently, more lightweight compact strollers (also called travel strollers) are for you. No matter which kind of stroller you decide on, we've put them all through comprehensive testing.

  • What stroller accessories do I need?

    While you don't need any stroller accessories, they can make your stroller more convenient for you as a caregiver to push or provide a more comfortable ride for your little one.

    Accessories like cup holders, caddies and organizers, stroller gloves, and hanging clips are nice-to-have accessories of parents and caregivers. When it comes to your child, cozy footmuffs (also called buntings), blankets, fans, snack trays, and toys can all make the ride more comfortable and enjoyable. And if you've got an older kid who might occasionally join you on walks but tires out easily, a riding board attachment can be a nice add-on.

How We Test Strollers

  • Assembly: We time how long it takes to put each stroller together, noting when manufacturers make things seamless and when they... don't. Strollers that come with lots of parts, have too many steps to put together, or provide confusing or hard-to-follow instructions don't score as well as those that just need to have their wheels popped on.
  • Design: When we evaluate and test strollers for their design, we're looking at everything from how easy the buckle is to fasten (and whether it's a five-point harness), how far the seat reclines and how far the canopy extends (necessities for napping!), telescoping handlebars that make the stroller easy to push for shorter and taller caregivers alike, and whether it has features like a spacious storage basket, a cup holder, or other caregiver-friendly features. We also think about the design from the child's perspective: we look at how padded the seats are, whether the straps are adjustable (and for our sake, how easy they are to adjust), and whether the foot and leg rest is adjustable. We tinker and play with each of these features in our lab and over months of extensive real-world testing with our kids.
  • Durability: A stroller that won't last through at least one kid's regular use isn't going to do you any good. We test for durability in the long term by having our editors use each stroller with their families. We are constantly evaluating the strength of the frame; whether any pieces scratch, bend, or break easily; and how well they generally handle everyday wear and tear.
  • Maneuverability: The main purpose of a stroller is to let you stroll—and not just on a smooth surface. We take each stroller for a spin on smooth indoor floors, across grass, through gravel, up and down curbs, and even up and down stairs. Through each of these terrain tests, we note how well they glide through each, whether the wheels catch at all, how seamless it is to engage and disengage the brakes. We also note whether it feels steady or if it tips over or doesn't have the weigh distributed evenly since that can pose a safety risk.
  • Folding & Portability: A good stroller also needs to be one that fits in your home and car when you're not using it—ideally without a large footprint. We fold and unfold each stroller dozens of times in our lab (and then daily at home) to make sure it's easy and won't catch your fingers. One-handed folds score the best because sometimes you need to do it while you have a child on your hip. We also measure and fit the stroller when folded into different spaces (this is especially important for compact and travel strollers, which often bill themselves as fitting in overhead bins on airplanes).

Learn more about our product testing and review process.