11 Best Car Seat for a 4 Year Old (Review) in 2021
Car seats have always been a very popular market for manufacturers. The car seat market is bursting with options and it can sometimes be difficult to know what you need as there are lots of different options.
With UK law deeming a child must use a car seat or booster seat until they are 12 years old or reach 135cm tall, you can find yourself with well over 3 or 4 different car seats before you need to stop using them legally.
You need to think about a few things when buying a car seat whether it is a newborn, convertible, or booster car seat you must first make sure that it is comparable with your car.
A website called heycar.co.uk has a handy tool for finding the best car seats for your car that are compatible. (1)
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Table of Contents
- Silver Cross Balance
- Graco Junior Maxi Lightweight Booster
- Cybex Gold Pallas S-Fix
- Maxi-Cosi Tanza High Backed Booster
- Bebe Style Convertible Car Seat
- Kinderkraft Comfort UP
- CYBEX Silver Solution X-Fix Child’s Car Seat
- Cosatto Judo Child Car Seat
- Britax Römer ADVANSAFIX M i-SIZE
- Cybex Gold Solution S-FIX
- Lettas Convertable
Our pick of the top car seats for your toddler this year
Silver Cross Balance
We absolutely love the sleek black look of the seat and that its suitable approximately 9 months all the way to 12 years old, this car seat is an all in one that will carry you all the way through.
The 5 point harness is used up the 18kg or around 4 years old at which point you can switch to the high backed booster seat which can be used with the car’s seat belt.
The seat itself is made of the finest bamboo fabrics and a memory foam bottom which creates a wonderfully comfy seat for your little one. The seat also has 4 recline positions and a movable headrest.
Silver cross has its own app where you can follow the easy to install guides, instruction manuals, and car compatibility checklist.
The balance includes an ISOFIX base which really adds to the safety level of this car seat.
Graco Junior Maxi Lightweight Booster
The Graco Junior Maxi is a group 2/3 car seat and is suitable for ages 4 year -12 year, starting off as a high-backed booster seat. The seat itself benefits from built-in retractable cup holders and modifiable head rest, great for a growing toddler.
This seat is secured with the cars seat belt, and although less safe that the ISOFIX connections the seat has side impact protection
The Graco is available in four different colours, there’s a design for everyone’s tastes and when the armrests even rise you know it’s a cool car seat.
Cybex Gold Pallas S-Fix
The seat will be suitable for use from approximately 9 months all the way up to 12 years so you will certainly get your money’s worth out of it.
This car seat has everything you can possibly need, with a 12 position adjustable head rest, conformable back rest, removable machine washable cover, and even a built in cup holders.
Maxi-Cosi Tanza High Backed Booster
Maxi-Cosi is a very popular brand and can be found in over 100 countries.
This car seat is great for a big kid as it’s suitable for babies up to 150 cm height limit and a weight limit of 36kg. The seat itself boasts G-CELL technology on both sides to create the most safety when your child is strapped in.
Simultaneous height and width adjustment makes for light work as your child’s height and weight changes and your child grows.
If you have ISOFIX points in your car you can use these to better secure your car seat and teaming this with the G-CELL tech really makes for such a safe car seat.
Bebe Style Convertible Car Seat
The Bebe is available in four different designs and all types are fully tested to comply with all European safety standards.
The 5 point harness, safety surround side impact protection with energy-absorbing foam makes it overall a very safe car seat.
This seat is suitable for front and rear seats but it is recommended that you only use it with the rear seats.
This seat uses the car’s seat belt to secure into the vehicle, so it is compatible with all cars, just make sure that it’s the right car seat for you before you buy one.
Kinderkraft Comfort UP
This one is suitable from as little as a 9kg baby and all the way up to 36kg giving one of the largest ranges we have seen in our research.
The 5 point harness and additional side protector guarantees the safety of your angel.
The Kinderkraft isn’t suitable as a rear facing car seat as it’s a forward facing car seat.
This upright booster seats cover is easy to remove and is machine washable. It’s also just as easy to install back on once it’s been washed.
CYBEX Silver Solution X-Fix Child’s Car Seat
This car seats available in 4 different designs and is suitable for ages 3 years to 12 years making it perfect and lasting as long as possible for four-year-olds.
The non-isofix version using the seat belt to secure to the car and this convertible car seat is only available as a forward facing seat.
This seat has an 11 position height changeable head rest and adjustable backrest for max comfort.
Cosatto Judo Child Car Seat
The 5 point harness has an anti-escape feature. The team that with the double impact protection and you have yourself a great car seat that will keep your child safe.
The Cosatto has a weight limit of 36kg and a minimum weight of 9kg.
Cosatto offers an industry-leading 4 year warranty. This is longer than any we have seen from any other company. Doubled with being a UK based company and you have yourself a great car seat company.
This seat can be secured with ISOFIX or via the car’s seat belt. As far as convertible car seats go, Cosatto knows how to create a great forward-facing, high back seat that is perfect for your baby’s whole car seat using career.
Britax Römer ADVANSAFIX M i-SIZE
We recommend to use this seat for children four year olds and upwards even though that it’s suitable from 9kg.
We recommend not using it until you have a four year old because this car seat doesn’t allow rear facing use and can only be using as a forward facing high back car seat.
This convertible car seats design, allows it to be secured with not only the cars seat belt but also ISOFIX. The high back booster seat that it can be turned into after you are finished using it
The cover is easily removed and cleaned on a washing machine.
Overall a great forward facing booster seat and will cover you for many years.
Cybex Gold Solution S-FIX
This forward facing, high back booster benefits from a reclining headrest, is ISOFIX comparable and suitable from approximately 3 year old all the way up to 12 year olds. If you don’t have ISOFIX you can secure this booster seat with a seat belt.
The Cybex high back booster is available in 5 different colours and has an energy absorbing shell for maximum protection.
As an optional extra you can also buy separate cup holders to attach to this car seat’s base side.
The headrest boasts a 12 point conformable system and a ventilation system to help the seat breath.
Cybex also offer a 2 year warranty on all new products from the date of purchase which is a great added extra to have.
This seat can be forward facing or rear facing. You can install this seat using the car’s seat belt or with ISOFIX.
Once you convert to a high back booster you and make it forward facing, you can also attach the top tether for added safety.
For maximum safety, and if your car has ISOFIX you can use the ISOFIX as well as the seat belt to secure the car seats in place. This seat also has a reinforced steel frame making it very sturdy.
The Lettas has been crash test approved and has a European safety certification.
The cover is easily removable and can be machine washed.
What age is appropriate for a booster seat?
The reason for this is that rear facing car seats are must safer for a baby in the event of a crash.
Once your child reaches 15kg, you can switch to a forward facing booster seat. Your baby should be reaching this weight around 1-1.5 years of age.
So, I short if you are looking to move to booster seats, then the earliest you should look at doing it is 1-1.5 years of age or 15kg plus.
To find out when you can stop using a car seat read our more in-depth guide here.
What car seat should a 4 year old be in?
If you child is tall for their age, or heavy for their height then you will want to look for a car seat with slightly more height and width adjustable control.
Make sure you are choosing the best one for you and ideally go and see it in person at a showroom if possible before making your decision.
At four, your little one may be over 22kg or taller than 125cm you might also consider switching from convertible seats to a backless booster.
Can a four year old use a booster seat?
If your four year old is heavier than 22kg or taller than 125cm you can switch to a backless booster.
These are slightly more comfortable than the high backed booster seats and can really help transition from booster seat to not having one at all.
When is a child ready to use a booster seat?
This is to ensure that there are no issues with the the seat being to big and causing issues.
If you use a booster seat before a baby is ready they could have problems getting alone with the cars seat belt being pulled across them.
A child cannot use a backless booster before that are 22kg or 125cm but depending on your child this could be around the 4-5 year mark.
What is a convertible car seat?
A convertible car seat is a car seat that can adapt to your baby as your child outgrows each stage of the seat. The best convertible car seats will start off from 9 months with a rear facing, ISOFIX option.
It will then convert into front facing high back boosters and then go into a backless booster that can take advantage of having the seatbelt of the car come over the child’s shoulder.
The history of the car seat is a well documented thing and we have looked into this on a separate article.
When do you need a convertible car seat?
You might find that with your rear facing car seat your infant doesn’t have enough room to stretch out their legs and can become quite uncomfortable whilst travelling.
Why do you need a convertible car seat?
They save you money: One of these units, if property maintained can last your child from 9 months all the way up to 12 years.
If you make sure that you clean the cover regularly these seats can become a very affordable option over the course of 12 years.
How to Install a Car Seat Correctly
- Make sure if it includes a top tether, to secure this to the anchor point of the car.
- Use the cars seat belt to secure the seat whilst not letting the belt rub on the babies neck or face.
- Use the latch system to secure the belt, putting it through the shoulder belt slot and the hip belt part.
- Many parents like to buy a seat that also using ISOFIX points so that can be secured in an additional way to make travel as safe as possible.
- Installation should be easy if you follow the instructions.
- Be sure that your infant is comfortable whilst traveling and if there are issue, safely pull over and fix any problems.
- Do not attempt to use high backed boosters from birth. They aren’t safe for traveling with new born babies.
- If you vehicle doesn’t include isofix point thats not a problem but you should consider installing an top tether anchor point if you dont already have one.
My kid likes to slouch, is this a problem?
If your children tend to flop their head forward whilst asleep there is an easy way to stop this from happening. Heres how.
Although the upright position is the safest for children, if your child is prone to the head flop it might be worth investing in a seat that can be reclined. In some cases, the back seat of your car may recline and as long as the car seat is secured properly you should be find to use this feature to help.
Using a baby neck pillow can be a great way to stop this from happening. They are a nifty design that sits around the back of the babies head and supports it in position.
Lastly, ensure that the the straps are properly secured and tight to the baby. A two finger gap is a good indicator of what is safe. If your straps are too loose this can cause issues with the head flop.
How long can my baby be in a car seat?
Research has found that a baby shouldn’t be in a car seat for any more than 2 hours at a time and it can actually be fatally dangerous to regularly let them be in the their car seat for more than 2 hours.
We have looked into how long a baby can be in a car seat in more depth and you can read it here.
Whats worth Concidering?
There are several things to consider when buying the best car seat.
Make sure that the seat you are looking to buy can accommodate your child’s size. If the seat cant accommodate then youll need to look elsewhere.
Second to that, youll need to make sure that your car is compatible but using a tool – child car seats have put together a handy webpage with quick links to the most popular manufactures to check whether your car will be able to accommodate the seat you are looking for. You can see that page here.
Its important as well to not that if you have two or more children that your second child seat fits in with your new boosters. Sometimes the positions of the bottom part (if it has one) can get in the way. This is especially important if you are using a one that allows a swivell and you are in a small or medium sized car.
Make sure the adjustable headrest fits nicely at the right height for your kids. This is an important safety feature.