best non toxic car seat of 2018 & Buying guide

Toxicity is an issue when buying baby seats, particularly for those on a lower budget who can’t buy seats that have been thoroughly tested and analyzed by different third-party companies. That doesn’t make it impossible to find non-toxic seats, or at least less-toxic ones – but optimally, you want ones that are entirely non-toxic.

Doing research in regards to toxicity can take quite some time, especially for a busy parent. That’s why we’ve decided to do the research for you. In this article, we’ll explain how to look for signs of toxicity, what to avoid, and what to look for when buying a baby seat.

OUR RANKING

NAME

IMAGE

MY SCORE

$$$

No.1

Britax B-Safe Infant

9.9/10

2

Britax Marathon ClickTight Convertible

9.8/10

3

UPPAbaby Infant

9.7/10

4

Numa Pipa Infant Seat w/ Base

9.4/10

5

Clek Foonf Convertible

9.2/10

How can I know if my car seat is toxic?

We’ve taken the effort to compile a bit of a ‘non-toxic car seat buying guide.’ With this, we hope to keep you and your toddler safe during your drives!

A lot of the time, since baby seats are required to be non-flammable by federal standards, companies use toxic chemicals that act as flame retardants.  Fortunately, recent developments have proved that it’s quite possible to do the same thing without making your car seat toxic!

Unfortunately, most car seats are still treated with flame retardants that can be considered toxic. The industry is challenging other leading car seat manufacturers to follow suit by using non-toxic flame retardants, but progress hasn’t been fast.

The company that first pioneered a safe, federally regulated car seat that’s nontoxic is Uppababy, so naturally, they’re the leaders in the industry of nontoxic seats. The rest of the leading producers still sell seats that can even be legally advertised as ‘nontoxic’ while still containing a significant amount of toxic chemicals.

Toxic chemicals can cause a lot of problems for your baby.

  • Toxic chemicals enter the bloodstream readily and, with a high enough concentration, can lead to lifelong problems – asthma, cancer, debilitating degenerative issues, you name it.
  • Toxic chemicals aren’t restricted just to your baby – they can become airborne and affect the parents as well.
  • Some chemicals that are legally advertised as being nontoxic can still have significant adverse effects on you and your child.

There is some debate at a federal level as to whether or not baby seats need to be regulated by the federal fire safety standards. The opposition suggests that fire-safety chemicals either don’t actually prevent fires from occurring or do more damage than good.

This is borderline absurdity – fire safety is just as important as side impact protection and every other safety protocol involved in your baby’s car seat. Most parents take the safety of their children more seriously than that of themselves, and this is a huge factor.

What companies have proven that they have nontoxic seats?

There are only a couple companies that meet all federal industry standards that can also claim to have truly nontoxic baby seats available.

1. Uppababy

Uppababy was the first brand to challenge the industry in regards to the toxicity of their products, and the first to suggest that companies were intentionally selling toxic products to weasel their way through the fire safety standards in the US.

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While they manage to meet all the safety standards, they also don’t use any chemicals that are considered toxic to the baby seat industry. They’re a very responsive company and will answer any customer’s questions and complaints with complete honesty. If you contact them, they’ll list all of the federal regulation certificates they’ve acquired as well as all the safety standards that they comply with.

2. Britax

Before you shudder and ignore this section, you should know that Britax has changed. They used to be known as one of the worst companies for selling toxic seats for babies. Instead of remaining known as the worst of the worst, they decided to change their development plans.

While they produce products that are significantly cheaper than Uppababy, they don’t have the same level of customer service response. If you have questions, you just might not get an answer, which raises a few questions about their integrity as a company. Still, they pass most federal safety and fire regulations.

On top of that, Britax makes convertible baby seats, of which Uppababy does not.

3. Clek

If you’re looking for a nontoxic rear facing seat with good warranty and a long shelf life, Clek is the company for you. In addition to be known for building car seats that are nontoxic and fire retardant, they also go above and beyond in terms of general safety.

They use a REACT safety system that ensures maximum safety as well as extra clips for your child and a support bar that keeps rear-facing children safe.

Greenguard Select has certified the materials that they use for their seats, and Greenguard is known for having a tight fist in regards to toxicity.  On top of that, most of their seats are ecologically sensitive and can be recycled with ease.

So which are the best nontoxic car seats for my baby?

I wish that it could be as simple as just buying a nontoxic baby seat – toxic chemicals shouldn’t be used in any product that’s used to support a developing child. Unfortunately, this is the world we live in, but if you want to buy a nontoxic baby seat we’ve taken the liberty to uncover which ones are the best for you and your child.

The following seats are made to be nontoxic, fire-resistant, and in general, healthier for you and your child than a lot of the alternatives – despite how appealing they may seem.


1. Britax Marathon ClickTight Convertible Car Seat

This is a great first entry for the competition.  Britax – since their conversion from being known as the most toxic producers of seats – has really stepped up their safety game. This model is a good example of this.

  • The patented ClickTight safety system ensures that your child is secured by one of the most reliable technologies on the market.  If you open the front of the seat and buckle the seatbelt across your infant, you’re guaranteed to have a tight security system.
  • They also use a ‘safe sell’ safety system, which is a combination of a bunch of different things.
    • A strong foam shell protects your baby from side impacts as well as providing extra comfort during long drives.
    • The base of the seat is made with an energy-absorbing base to reduce the feel of any impacts.
    • The tether supporting your baby is v-shaped which reduces the chance of rotation during impact or tight turns.
  • The harness has twelve adjustable positions to ensure maximum comfort and a range of tightness that can support infants and toddlers of a wide range of sizes.
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Pros:

  • Made with minimal toxicity
  • Supports extra safety features and focuses on your child’s comfort
  • Uses their own patented safety mechanisms

Cons:

  • There are more comfortable models

2. UPPAbaby Infant Car Seat

UPPAbaby`s products are known for being stylish and aesthetically pleasing to the eye, as well as being made with a supreme convenience to use. Of course, they`re also the alphas in terms of developing nontoxic car seats with special materials.

This particular model is extremely lightweight, coming in at only ten pounds. This makes it heavenly to carry from place to place, compared to the obnoxiously heavy baby seats that are typically available on the market.

Using their patented SMARTSECURE system, you’re able to easily install the seat and set it up according to the size, weight, and comfort of your child without much difficulty.

This model provide a car seat made from entirely nontoxic materials. This makes it the alpha-nontoxic, and it’s still popular for that reason. While the headrests have ample side impact protection they’re not the most comfortable available.

Pros:

  • First marketed fire resistant nontoxic baby seat
  • Made to be lightweight and easy to carry
  • Stylish models are available
  • Uses unique and patented safety features

Cons:

  • Not the most comfortable
  • Difficult to strap in smaller babies

3. Clek Foonf Convertible Car Seat

Clek Foonf has made a great entry into the nontoxic baby seat game, but their model comes in at a pretty high price. It uses similar fabric to the UPPAbaby’s version and also makes use of the same SMARTsecure system, so both safety and fire resistance are accounted for.

Installation is quick and easy, and there’s an additional option for a seat belt lockoff to be sure that your child’s seat is firmly strapped in.

This seat can be used without the need for major adjustment as your child grows. It’s got an adjustable headrest and a nice side impact protection material, making it ideal for someone who wants to use it for long-term use while keeping their kid safe.

Pros:

  • Uses SMARTsecure system
  • Fire resistant while using non toxic flame retardants
  • Soft wool lining makes it comfortable
  • Side-impact protection is well taken care of
  • Can be used for long-term use without adjustments

Cons:

  • Quite expensive
  • Not the most comfort-adjustable

4. Numa Pipa Infant Seat w/ Base

This is a good inclusion in the list because it’s another example of how creative and innovative companies can be when they’re trying out new things. This chair is treated only internally with flame retardants, so absolutely none will come into contact with your baby.

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There are special features for comfort included too – a dream cape that can hide them from the sun and let them nap, Oeko-tex fabric which is reportedly quite comfortable for kids. The whole unit’s lightweight and can be easily carried from place to place, which doesn’t even require complex changes – the whole thing can be installed and uninstalled in a few seconds, and there are green safety lights that only ignite when the related part is in place properly.

They really did a number with this one, combining safety, comfort and cost into one unit.

Pros:

  • Fairly cheap
  • Uses a lot of new innovative ideas and technology
  • Comfy fabric, extra features included purely for comfort
  • Safety is well accounted for
  • Easy installation, easy uninstallation, lightweight and easy to carry

Cons:

  • Not good for parents who want to use one chair for their whole baby’s growth

5. Britax B-Safe Infant Car Seat

This car seat is so cheap you’d expect something to be wrong with it. Not true – Britax just really stepped up their game after being busted for being the most toxic seats on the market.

Its side impact protection is nothing special but it’s tested to properly protect infants from side impacts. The five-point harness makes adjusting your child’s comfort level and keeping him strapped in tightly is simple.

This model is also usable in strollers, and is easy to switch from car to stroller, making it twice as useful. It manages to do all this while maintaining a cheaper price than all the other seats on this list!  They’re even compatible as your child continues to grow up, allowing different settings to be adjusted to compensate for growing height and weight.

Pros:

  • One of the cheapest nontoxic seats on the market
  • Has ample safety and comfort adjustment features
  • Can be continually used as your infant grows into a toddler
  • Can be switched out and used in a stroller
  • Ships in a certified ‘frustration free’ package

Cons:

  • While comfort is adjustable, it’s not very comfy in the first place

Which one’s the winner?

If you have the cash, the Britax B-Safe Infant Car Seat has the best combination of function and finances available for you and your baby. They use a lot of new ideas that work quite well to improve the level of safety and comfort, as well as using fire-retardants only on the inside of the seat so none can escape into the air and touch your kid.

It’s easy to install, easy to uninstall, and happens to only weigh a few pounds so it’s easy for you to move to storage. The only thing this seat isn’t good for is those hoping to use it for more than five years.