Best Booster Seats of 2021

We compared over 20 booster seats and read dozens of reviews to find the best, comfiest, and most affordable.
Best convertible booster seat
britax highpoint booster seat
Britax Highpoint
  • Icon Pros  Light
    Very easy installation
  • Icon Pros  Light
    10 headrest positions
  • Icon Cons  Light
    Not machine washable
Best harness booster seat
Chicco MyFit
  • Icon Cons  Light
    Average installation
  • Icon Pros  Light
    9 headrest positions
  • Icon Pros  Light
    Machine washable
Best for budgets
Evenflo Spectrum
  • Icon Pros  Light
    Easy installation
  • Icon Pros  Light
    9 headrest positions
  • Icon Pros  Light
    Machine washable
Best 3-in-1 booster seat
Graco nautilus snuglock
Graco Nautilus SnugLock LX
  • Icon Cons  Light
    Average installation
  • Icon Cons  Light
    5 headrest positions
  • Icon Pros  Light
    Machine washable
Best backless booster seat
Graco TurboBooster backless booster seat
Graco TurboBooster LX
  • Icon Pros  Light
    Easy installation
  • Icon Pros  Light
    Adjustable armrests
  • Icon Pros  Light
    Machine washable

Now that your child has outgrown their first car seat, it’s time to think about headrests, recline positions, seat-belt guides, and cupholders. There’s a lot to compare, but we tackled the research for you and settled on two favorites. 

The Britax Highpoint is our top choice for a high-back-to-backless convertible booster. If your child doesn’t quite meet the weight and height requirements of a traditional booster, we recommend the Chicco MyFit harness booster instead.



Compare the best booster seats

Booster seat
List price *
Weight and height limit
Width
Expiration
Learn more
Best convertible booster car seat
britax highpoint booster seatBritax Highpoint
120 lb.,
63 in.
19 in.10 yrs.
Best harness booster seat
Chicco MyFit
100 lb.,
57 in.
17.5 in.8 yrs.
Best for budgets
Evenflo Spectrum
110 lb.,
57 in.
19.8 in.6 yrs.
Best 3-in-1 booster seat
Graco nautilus snuglockGraco Nautilus SnugLock LX
120 lb.,
57 in.
18.9 in.10 yrs.
Best backless booster seat
Graco TurboBooster backless booster seatGraco TurboBooster LX
100 lb.,
57 in.
16.5 in.10 yrs.

*Amazon.com price as of 9/27/2021 at 7:00 a.m. (MT). Read full disclaimer.

Best booster car seat reviews

1. Britax Highpoint: Best convertible booster car seat

Best convertible booster seat
britax highpoint booster seat

Amazon.com price as of 9/27/2021 at 7:00 a.m. (MT). Read full disclaimer.

The Britax Highpoint caught our attention thanks to its unique SecureGuard Clip, an extra belt positioner that keeps the lap belt on your child’s upper thighs rather than their abdomen. We also love that it offers three layers of side-impact protection for a reasonable price. 

Pro Heading
Pros
Pro Bullet Highest weight and height limit
Pro Bullet 10-year expiration
Pro Bullet Shoulder and lap-belt guides
Pro Bullet 3 layers of side-impact protection
Con Heading
Cons
Con Bullet Wide base
Con Bullet Doesn’t recline
Con Bullet Hand wash fabric

Kids can use the Britax Highpoint booster seat for a long time since it accommodates children up to 120 pounds and 63 inches. Most brands stop at 100 pounds and 57 inches, as this is when many state laws allow children to use seat belts without any booster at all. 

If a seat belt still doesn’t fit your child quite right by the time they reach 100 pounds, this Britax booster gives them a little extra time to grow and stay safe.

Advantages outweigh flaws

This Britax booster seat isn’t perfect.

  • It doesn’t recline, so your child might get squirmy and uncomfortable on long trips. 
  • Its base is wider than competitors’, so you might struggle to fit three boosters across the backseat. 
  • The fabric isn’t machine washable. 

We think the Britax Highpoint’s safety, price, extended life, and easy installation outweigh those inconveniences. But if you’re willing to pay a little extra to ensure your kiddo stays comfy and quiet(er) on a road trip, you’ll prefer our next pick, the Chicco MyFit.

When to use this booster seat

  • Use the Britax Highpoint in highback mode after your child outgrows their forward-facing, 5-point harness car seat. 
  • Your child must be at least 44 inches tall and weigh at least 40 pounds to use the highback booster. 
  • Once they grow to at least 46 inches and 48 pounds, it’s safe to use the Highpoint as a backless booster.

2. Chicco MyFit: Best harness booster seat

Best 5-point harness booster seat

Amazon.com price as of 9/27/2021 at 7:00 a.m. (MT). Read full disclaimer.

The Chicco MyFit offers everything missing from our top pick: a reclining seat, narrow base, and machine-washable fabric. But the trade-off is a higher price, trickier installation, just two layers of side-impact protection, and no backless option.

Pro Heading
Pros
Pro Bullet 4 recline positions
Pro Bullet Narrow booster seat
Pro Bullet 2 layers of side-impact protection
Pro Bullet 8-year expiration
Pro Bullet Comfortable cushions
Con Heading
Cons
Con Bullet No backless booster option
Con Bullet Average ease of installation
Con Bullet Expensive

The Chicco MyFit combines a forward-facing, five-point harness car seat with a high-back belt-positioning booster. Even though it doesn’t convert to a backless booster, the Chicco MyFit can be used until your child is 100 pounds or 57 inches tall—the same upper limit of many backless boosters.

Want more? For double the price, you can upgrade to the Chicco MyFit Zip Air and get three layers of side impact protection, a breathable fabric that zips off for easy washing, an extra storage compartment, and extra-easy installation.

When to use this Chicco booster car seat

  • Use the Chicco MyFit after your child outgrows a rear-facing infant car seat. 
  • They must be at least 2 years old and weigh at least 25 pounds to safely use this high-back booster with the 5-point harness.
  • Your child can keep using this Chicco booster seat in harness mode until they’re 65 pounds and 54 inches tall. 
  • They can safely use the high-back booster with a seat belt once they’re 4 years old, weigh 40 pounds, and stand at least 38 inches high. 

3. Evenflo Spectrum: Best for budgets

Best for budgets

Amazon.com price as of 9/27/2021 at 7:00 a.m. (MT). Read full disclaimer.

The Evenflo Spectrum features a comfortable base, Lyf+Guard side impact technology, nine headrest positions, a snack drawer, and machine-washable fabric for around $60. It supports kids up to 110 pounds and 57 inches tall.

Pro Heading
Pros
Pro Bullet High weight limit
Pro Bullet Lightweight
Pro Bullet Lyf+Guard side impact technology
Pro Bullet Comfortable seat
Pro Bullet Roll-over tested
Con Heading
Cons
Con Bullet Relatively short expiration (6 years)
Con Bullet Wide base
Con Bullet Doesn’t recline
Con Bullet Seat belt may get tight

This budget pick does come with a few caveats. It’s not a reclining booster seat, and several user reviews talk about how tough it is to loosen the seat belt. Others also mentioned that the snack drawer can be difficult to open and close. 

The Evenflo Spectrum is also the widest child booster seat on our list, measuring nearly 20 inches across.

When to use this Evenflo booster seat

  • Use the Evenflo Spectrum after your child outgrows a 5-point harness, forward-facing car seat. 
  • They must be at least 4 years old, weigh 40 pounds, and stand 44 inches tall to use either the high-back or backless mode.

4. Graco Nautilus SnugLock LX: Best 3-in-1 booster car seat

Best 3-in-1 booster seat
Graco nautilus snuglock

Amazon.com price as of 9/27/2021 at 7:00 a.m. (MT). Read full disclaimer.

The Graco Nautilus SnugLock LX offers extended use thanks to its three modes: forward-facing with a 5-point harness, high-back booster, and backless booster. It reclines for added comfort but has just five headrest positions. 

Pro Heading
Pros
Pro Bullet 3 recline positions
Pro Bullet Seat belt guides
Pro Bullet 10-year expiration
Pro Bullet Steel frame
Pro Bullet Machine-washable fabric
Con Heading
Cons
Con Bullet Heavy
Con Bullet Wide base
Con Bullet Difficult to tighten the harness

We like this booster seat’s SnugLock technology for simple installation. But if that’s not your primary concern, you can save about $20 by downgrading to the Nautilus 65. You’ll also lose one cupholder. 

The Graco Nautilus SnugLock also features removable armrests, which makes the belt buckles easier for your child to reach on their own. 

Some users report difficulty tightening the 5-point harness on this car seat.

Graco booster seat requirements

  • Use the Graco Nautilus SnugLock LX after your child has outgrown a rear-facing infant car seat. 
  • They must weigh at least 22 pounds and be at least 27 inches tall to use the Graco Nautilus 5-point harness. 
  • They can switch to the high-back booster once they’re 38 inches tall and weigh at least 30 pounds. 
  • The backless booster can be used once they’re 40 inches tall and weigh 40 pounds.

5. Graco TurboBooster LX: Best backless booster

Best backless booster
Graco TurboBooster backless booster seat

Amazon.com price as of 9/27/2021 at 7:00 a.m. (MT). Read full disclaimer.

The Graco TurboBooster LX is the perfect backless booster for family members to keep in their cars. It’s affordable, comfy, and installs with the LATCH system. Kids have easy access to a storage compartment and cupholder, and the armrests are adjustable.

Pro Heading
Pros
Pro Bullet 10-year expiration
Pro Bullet Shoulder belt positioning clip
Pro Bullet Narrow booster seat
Pro Bullet Machine-washable fabric
Pro Bullet LATCH installation
Con Heading
Cons
Con Bullet No side-impact protection

Your research might turn up the slightly cheaper Graco TurboBooster (without the “LX” in its name). We don’t recommend this model because it’s an untethered booster. Nothing holds it to the seat, which means it could slide out from under your child during an accident.

Graco TurboBooster LX seat age and weight requirements

  • Use the Graco TurboBooster backless booster seat after your child outgrows a front-facing car seat or high-back booster.
  • Children must be at least 4 years old, 40 pounds, and 43 inches tall to use the Graco TurboBooster LX. 

More booster seats we considered

Graco Tranzitions

About half the cost of the Graco Nautilus, the Graco Tranzitions doesn’t recline and features only two layers of side-impact protection. If you’re looking for an affordable 3-in-1 booster seat, this is a good choice.

Britax Grow With You Clicktight Plus

The Britax Grow With You ClickTight Plus is a harness and high-back booster with no backless option. It’s wide and heavy, but it does recline to two positions and features SafeWash fabric that you can throw in the washer and dryer. This Britax ClickTight booster retails for around $350. The Chicco MyFit provides a better value.

Peg Perego Viaggio Flex

The Peg Perego Viaggio Flex is a high-back booster only. It retails for about $300 and has some interesting features, including four-way adjustments, five recline positions, and a narrow base. It’s also a portable booster seat thanks to its unique foldaway design. It has no armrests, but some users say this makes it easier for kids to buckle themselves into the seat. 

Diono Monterey 4DXT

The nearly $200 Diono Monterey 4DXT boasts four side-impact layers and thick foam padding around the head and shoulders, making this a somewhat bulky car seat that may not work well in smaller cars. This Diono booster seat doesn’t recline, but the headrest adjusts to 11 positions.

KidsEmbrace 2-in-1 Harness Booster Seat

The KidsEmbrace booster seats feature superheroes, princesses, and other animated characters. Hopefully, your kiddo will be excited about sitting down and buckling up in their Batman or Minnie Mouse booster seat instead of turning into a pint-size wrestler. 

When your child outgrows the 5-point harness, they can continue to use the KidsEmbrace with a seat belt. These seats don’t recline and offer just three headrest positions. On the plus side, we think it’s genius that the “capes” on these car seats double as blankets.

Final word

The best booster seat for you and your child partially depends on what kind of infant car seat you have. For example, if you bought a rear-facing car seat, you’ll want to check out the harness boosters. Our fave is the Chicco MyFit.

If your car seat converts to a forward-facing seat, you just need a highback booster with a backless option. The Britax Highpoint takes the cake in that category.

No matter which booster seat you choose, double-check the age, weight, and height restrictions to make sure it’s safe for your child.

Booster seat FAQ

There’s no all-encompassing rule here. Read your car seat’s manual to find the maximum height and weight it can support. The American Academy of Pediatrics recommends children ride in rear-facing seats for as long as possible.1

Once your child is riding in a forward-facing seat, use the 5-point harness as long as your child stays within the manufacturer-recommended weight, height, and age guidelines.

Three-year-olds should be in a five-point harness car seat, not a traditional booster seat. So you don’t have to buy another seat in a year or two, try a 2-in-1 like the Chicco MyFit or a 3-in-1 like the Graco Nautilus SnugLock LX.

Depending on their height and weight, some 4-year-olds may not be quite big enough for a high-back booster seat.2 Try the Chicco MyFit or the Graco Nautilus SnugLock LX. Both feature a five-point harness that will keep smaller 4-year-olds safe until they’re big enough to use these seats in high-back mode.

With four recline positions, nine headrest positions, and thick padding, the Chicco MyFit gets our vote for the most comfortable booster seat.

The Graco TurboBooster comes in an untethered version, but we don’t recommend it. It’s safer to use a tethered booster like the Graco TurboBooster LX.

Yes, some high-back boosters use the LATCH system. The Evenflo Spectrum is the only one on our list that does not.

The Graco Nautilus 3-in-1 expires after 10 years from the date of manufacture.

Graco TurboBoosters expire 10 years after their manufacture date.

A belt-positioning booster seat has built-in guides or loops that keep the vehicle’s seat belt on the child’s shoulder and upper thighs. Seat belts in the incorrect position can put too much pressure on a child’s abdomen or neck, especially during an accident. Every kids booster car seat on our list features vehicle seat-belt guides.

How we reviewed the best booster seats

We gathered data from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, reviewed booster seat recommendations from the American Academy of Pediatrics, and surveyed parents to understand what they look for in a car seat. 

We compared 15 specifications for around 20 booster seats to determine which ones offered the best technology and features. Finally, we read user reviews to find out what it’s really like to use these seats on a daily basis. Read more on our full methodology page.

Related articles on SafeWise


Sources

  1. Benjamin D. Hoffman, American Academy of Pediatrics News, “New Child Passenger Safety Seat Guidance Advises Kids to Ride Rear-Facing for as Long as Possible; Drops Age Criterion,” August 2018. Accessed September 27, 2021. 
  2. Hannah Waizmann, Cincinnati Children’s, “Growth, Range of Height and Weight,” April 2019. Accessed September 27, 2021.

Disclaimer

*Product prices and availability are accurate as of the date/time indicated and are subject to change. Any price and availability information displayed on Amazon at the time of purchase will apply to the purchase of this product. Safewise.com utilizes paid Amazon links.

Certain content that appears on this site comes from Amazon. This content is provided “as is” and is subject to change or removal at any time.

Cathy Habas
Written by
Cathy Habas
With over seven years of experience as a content writer, Cathy has a knack for untangling complex information. Her natural curiosity and ability to empathize help Cathy offer insightful, friendly advice. She believes in empowering readers who may not feel confident about a purchase, project, or topic. Cathy earned her Bachelor of Arts degree in English from Indiana University Southeast and began her professional writing career immediately after graduation. She has contributed to sites like Safety.com, Reviews.com, Hunker, and Thumbtack. Cathy’s pride and joy is her Appaloosa “Chacos.” She also likes to crochet while watching stand-up comedy specials on Netflix.

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