Car seats without any chemical flame retardants were unheard of in the first half of this decade. Fast forward to today, there are now more than 10 non-toxic car seat options you can buy on the market!
It’s wonderful to see a rise in non-toxic car seats. It used to be such a worry to find out that there were no car seats that were free of chemical flame retardants!
Thankfully, more brands have recently stepped forward to address health concerns that flame retardants can give children.
In this list, we narrowed down several non-toxic car seat options that are free of chemical flame retardants. These can work well for infants, toddlers, and full-grown children!
8 Best Non Toxic Car Seats
1. Britax One4Life ClickTight All-in-One Car Seat
Britax is a wonderful brand that’s reliable and trustworthy. They make a couple of the best non-toxic strollers, and they have a SafeWash car seat line that’s non-toxic and free from flame retardants.
Their SafeWash cover is made of synthetic fabric that’s made without flame retardants and PFAs. The cover is removable and machine washable too! For up to 30 washes, it’ll be easy to keep your car seat clean and fresh for your children.
In terms of comfort and security, there are a bunch of features that will keep your baby safe and comfortable for any car ride. There are 15 headrest and harness positions, 9 recline options, 2 layers of side impact protection, and other safety features!
Although, what we love the most is how long-lasting it can be. This all-in-one convertible car seat was designed to grow with your baby for a maximum of 10 years, accommodating children from 5 lbs up to 120 lbs! From rear-facing, front-facing, to a high-back booster seat, this product does it all.
This car seat is also easy to install thanks to its ClickTight technology. You just have to raise its seat, thread a seatbelt under it, and click it back in place! This car seat will work for any car!
There are a bunch of colors to choose from, but you should go for the SafeWash color variants which are Drift, Eclipse Black, Cadet, and Plum.
- Works for infants, toddlers, and kids
- Machine washable and flame-retardant-free cover
- Easy to install and can fit inside most cars
- Features help keep your baby safe and secure
- Some kids found it uncomfortable
- Some parents found the cover difficult to remove
- Not compatible with strollers
2. Britax B-Safe Endeavours Infant Car Seat
Coming from the same company, the B-Safe Endeavours Infant Car seat is our top recommendation from all the infant car seats on this list.
This car seat has the same flame-retardant-free SafeWash fabric and safety features that make non-toxic Britax car seats so great!
This infant car seat was made to accommodate infants weighing 5 to 35 lbs. In terms of age, they recommend a maximum age of 12 months. For height, it would be about 32 inches.
This car seat has 2 layers of side impact protection, a steel anti-rebound bar, a spring-assisted recline, a sun canopy, and a 6-position adjustable headrest. It’s built for the comfort and safety of your baby!
It’s important to note that infant car seats were meant to be rear-facing. This is the safest position to reduce any impact in case of an accident.
This car seat is also travel system ready. It’s compatible with all Britax single strollers as well as BOB Gear strollers.
With a great design and weighing at 11.5 lbs, this is a convenient car seat that’s easy to install in any car! With or without the base that comes with it, it’s frustration-free and will work great for most people!
This car seat also has a bunch of colors to choose from, but you should get the Otto for the SafeWash fabric.
- Machine washable and flame-retardant-free cover
- Built-in safety features will keep infants secure
- Easy to install for most scenarios
- Compatible with Britax and BOB Gear strollers
- Not as light as other infant seats in this list
- Some parents found the fabric stiff
3. Safety 1st Grow and Go 3-in-1 Car Seat
Car seats can be very pricey, but they’re definitely worth it when it comes to the protection and safety of your baby. Although, not all parents are willing to buy an expensive car seat, especially if they won’t be able to use it for a long time.
This car seat is the perfect solution for any mom looking for a safe, reliable, and more affordable car seat option. We’re sure that the 13,000+ reviews from parents on Amazon would agree with us!
This car seat is called a 3-in-1 because it works for infants, toddlers, and kids. It can be rear-faced, front-faced, and converted into a booster seat. It’s an all-in-one car seat that will last for years!
The Grow and Go has an easy in-and-out buckle, an adjustable headrest, a 3-position recline, side-impact protection, and removable seat fabric that you can machine wash.
It’s important to note that this product isn’t 100% without flame retardants. Traces of phosphate-based flame retardant chemicals can be found in one of its components. Although, this isn’t a big concern because not a lot was used for it to be a health risk for your child.
If you want a car seat without flame retardants, you’ll have to go for the pricier options on this list.
- Most affordable non-toxic car seat
- Removable and machine washable fabric
- Works for babies and kids
- Has two cup holders
- Offers great impact protection
- Small traces of phosphate-based flame retardants
- Some parents found the installation a hassle
- Not compatible with strollers
4. Nuna Pipa Lite Car Seat
Lightest Car Seat
Weighing in at only 5.3 lbs, this infant seat is the lightest car seat in the market. Nuna is a wonderful brand that has an entire product line without flame retardants, and they recently transitioned to these flame retardant-free car seats in 2019!
This infant seat is GREENGUARD Gold certified too, so it’s reviewed and tested to be free from toxic chemicals!
The Nuna Pipa Lite boasts a lightweight polyester fabric that’s meant to absorb any impact away from your baby. It also has side-impact protection, a leather carry handle, a removable UPF 50+ canopy, and a 5-point harness to ensure your baby is safe and secure.
It also comes with a car seat base that you have to install in your car. Without the base, it won’t be safe to use. This is a downside because you’ll have to bring the base with you whenever you want to use it somewhere else.
Another great detail is that it comes with a GOTS certified organic cotton fabric insert, crotch cover, and harness covers!
- Extremely lightweight and portable
- Security features work great to protect babies
- Certified to be safe and free from toxic chemicals
- Needs the base to work
- Traveling with the base can be a hassle
5. Clek Oobr High Back Booster Car Seat
Best Booster Seat
For mothers with children who have outgrown their car seats, a booster seat is the best option for you. Clek is a trustworthy brand that makes car seats without flame retardant chemicals!
Although, only their Mammoth and Full Moon variants are made without flame retardants. These are made from merino wool, which is organic and naturally fire and stain-resistant!
Merino wool also naturally adapts to different climates. When it’s hot, it can help regulate body temperature to keep it cool, and when it’s cold, it provides warmth and good insulation!
This booster seat has a rigid LATCH system that locks it securely in place. It’s also built similarly to a regular car seat. It has an all-metal substructure and an adjustable headrest that’s built with foam layers to absorb all kinds of impact!
You can also recline this car seat for up to 12 degrees, which is great for adding comfort to long rides for your child. If your child outgrows the height of the backrest, you can easily remove it and continue using this product for a longer time!
- Organic fabric is naturally flame-retardant-free
- Structure and foam work well at absorbing impact
- Recline gives more comfort
- Removable backrest makes it work for a longer time
- Might not fit in some cars
6. UPPAbaby MESA Infant Car Seat
Best Travel System Car Seat
UPPAbaby makes some of the best high-end baby products out there. The MESA Infant Car Seat is the first to be recognized by the Ecology Center as non-toxic and without flame retardants!
This product is made of polyester and merino wool blend fabric that keeps babies warm in colder climates, and cool in hotter climates. It’s naturally flame retardant too!
This product has a SMART Secure system that makes it easy to install for any mom. With visual indicators to tell you it’s safely installed, you just have to focus on the road and not worry a thing! It has an adjustable headrest, side-impact protection, and a UPF 25+ canopy too!
This car seat seamlessly attaches to UPPAbaby strollers like the Vista V2 and Cruz V2. If you own any of these strollers, going for the MESA is a no-brainer. The UPPAbaby travel system is one of the best ones out there!
This infant seat is suited for babies that are 5 lbs to 35 lbs, or 32 inches tall. However, it also works great for preemies. It has a low harness position and the built-in infant insert has a wedge that puts your preemie in a flatter and safer position.
- Works great for preemies and infants
- Design and visual indicators make it easy to install
- Naturally flame-retardant-free
- Seamlessly attaches to UPPAbaby strollers
- Still needs adapters to work for other strollers
- Some parents noted that sticker details interfere with breathability
7. Clek Fllo Convertible Car Seat
Compact Convertible Option
Much like the Clek Oobr, this convertible seat is made of merino wool fabric. It’s naturally flame and stain-resistant, and it works great for different climates!
What we love about the Fllo is how compact it is. It’s narrow enough that you can fit three of these in the back seat! These toxic-free car seats also have built-in rebound bars for added impact protection. You can use these for rear-facing until your child reaches 50 lbs!
Similar to the Oobr, this has an all-metal substructure and foam layers that work great at absorbing all sorts of impact. The headrest is adjustable too! This was designed to work for ages 6 months to 72 months.
Clek also offers the Foonf, which is a step higher than the Fllo. The core features are the same, but the Foonf is heavier by 10 lbs, has a detachable rebound bar, and has more recline options for comfortability.
The Mammoth and Twilight variants are the only two options that are made from merino wool and free from chemicals.
- Naturally free from toxic chemicals
- Structure and foam work well at absorbing impact
- Built-in rebound bar adds more protection
- Can be used for rear-facing up to 50 lbs
- Compact design makes it easier to fit
- Some parents found it difficult to install
8. Maxi-Cosi Mico Max Plus PureCosi Infant Car Seat
Maxi-Cosi is a popular brand that sells a lot of car seats. Out of all their products, they have two non-toxic car seats in the market today. One of them is this wonderful and adaptable infant seat!
This infant seat is made of polyester fabric that you can remove and machine wash. It’s free from flame retardants, PFAs, and other toxic chemicals.
Maxi-Cosi has a patented Air Protect technology that adds great side-impact protection for your baby. Its PureCosi fabric also gives a premium cushion and cozy feel on your baby’s head and neck!
This infant seat can carry babies up to 30 lbs, which is a bit lower than the usual 32 lbs for infant seats. It also comes with a base that has an anti-rotation stability leg. This works great for stability in case of accidents!
Although, what makes this infant seat stand out is how adaptable it is. With its design, this infant seat is compatible with most strollers out there!
There are a lot of variants you can pick, but the PureCosi Onyx Bliss is the only option that’s free from flame retardant chemicals.
- Compatible with a lot of different strollers
- Patented technology works great for child safety
- No toxic chemicals used
- Easy to install
- Some parents found it hard to fit inside their car
Types of Car Seats
There are three main types of car seats you would see in the market. Take a look and see which type will work best for you and your children.
Infant Car Seats
From the name itself, this car seat type is meant for infants. In terms of weight, most of these car seats accommodate babies weighing within 4 to 35 lbs.
Infant car seats have a lower recline design that’s meant for infants, and these are meant to be rear-facing. Rear-facing would mean your little one is facing the back of the car.
This is recommended for infants because, in case of an accident, a rear-facing position would absorb more impact from a crash. This will protect your developing baby’s head, neck, and spine that a front-facing car seat wouldn’t be able to give!
Convertible Car Seats
A convertible car seat gives the most value out of all the car seats. Convertible car seats are designed to adapt and grow with your baby. These can work for infants and toddlers!
There are different kinds of convertibles, but the most versatile ones are the all-in-one convertibles. These can hold infants up to toddlers that weigh 120 lbs!
If you already have full-grown children that have outgrown their infant or convertible car seats, then a booster seat is what you should look for.
These car seats are bigger and designed for older children. If you ask us, buying an all-in-one convertible would be best for long-term use.
Although, if you weren’t able to buy a convertible car seat right from the beginning, then it’s not too late to pick up a great booster seat for their safety!
Plus, for whatever car seat type you choose, just be sure you know the right techniques on how to keep your infant cool in his car seat. Sometimes babies can get fussy so it’s best to keep them comfortable.
Flame Retardant Chemicals in Car Seats
Like what we mentioned before, it was common for flame retardant chemicals to be used on car seats. To add more context, this is because of regulations that required companies to test their products for flammability.
This anti-flammability test isn’t so great for moms who are concerned about the harmful effects flame retardants can give children.
For the past few years, a bunch of companies tried to deal with this by using naturally flame retardant materials like wool. Some use synthetic materials like polyester too. Not only are these materials safe for babies, but they pass flammability tests as well!
This is a great step in the right direction for future car seats, and hopefully, more companies can follow suit!
The research on car seat flame retardant chemicals just keeps growing, and it’s thanks a lot to the Ecology Center! They review, test, and contact different companies if their car seats are truly free of flame retardants.
If your car seat isn’t on their list, then that means at least one kind of flame retardant chemical is present. What should you do if your current car seat isn’t on their list?
The best course of action is to buy non-toxic car seats to replace your older car seats. Although, we understand how expensive these car seats can be. Not all of them are usable for a long time too!
If buying new non-toxic car seats is out of the question, then we suggest regularly cleaning your current car seat or avoid exposing it to heat. This won’t get rid of the chemical flame retardants present in the car seat, but it can help reduce its harmful effects from reaching your children.
Aside from the Safety 1st Grow and Go 3-in-1 Car Seat, which has one component with phosphate-based flame retardant chemicals, all other car seats in our list can be found in the Ecology Center Flame Retardant-Free Car Seats list.
That should ease your mind and make things easier for you to pick from all these great car seats!
What Are Flame Retardants?
A lot of baby products use chemical flame retardants for different kinds of baby essentials. To avoid these flame retardant chemicals from affecting your children, buying organic or non-toxic baby products would be best.
There are two main types of flame retardant chemicals. One being halogenated-based flame retardants, which brominated and chlorinated-based flame retardants fall under. These are considered to be the most toxic flame retardants.
The other type would be non-halogenated flame retardants, which phosphate and nitrogen-based flame retardants would fall under. These are supposedly safe compared to halogenated ones, but there’s still some cause for concern.
Flame retardants are a big no-no for children because of several health hazards that have been linked to them! The most common flame retardant is TDCPP which is a chlorinated-based flame retardant. This flame retardant has been linked to cancer and was actually banned from being used on children’s pajamas in 1977.
Flame retardants have also been linked to endocrine disruption, neurological problems, and your child’s overall development!
Best Practices to Deal with Flame Retardants
Flame retardants are still present in a lot of products like furniture, electronics, and cars. These toxic flame retardants usually leach out into the environment and can be harmful to your baby.
Babies usually inhale flame retardants when they break down into dust. They can also ingest them orally from objects they put in their mouths, like pacifiers.
It’s impossible to completely protect your babies from flame retardants. The best thing we can do as parents is to make sure we reduce the chances of exposure as much as possible.
Flame retardants usually leach out from products faster when mixed with heat. If it’s the summertime or if you’re in a hot climate, avoid leaving car seats and other baby products inside the car. If your car is parked outside your home, it would be best to store these inside your house instead.
If you parked your car outside somewhere else, stroller-compatible car seats or a spacious diaper bag to keep your baby products would be best. These would ensure that no products are left and exposed to heat inside the car.
Of course, if you end up buying any of the car seats listed above, you don’t have to worry about any of these chemicals harming your baby. Just be sure to also note in your Baby Preparation Checklist to steer clear from flame retardants for your other items.
The Britax One4Life ClickTight All-in-One Car Seat is our top pick from all the toxic-free car seats on this list. A single purchase can last you up to 10 years, just make sure to take care of it well! This product checks all boxes for a safe car seat that’s easy to use for anyone!
For those with infants, we’re sticking with the same company and recommend the Britax B-Safe Endeavours Infant Car Seat. It might not be the lightest and most adaptable infant seat, but it has the best features for safety, security, and ease of use.
The Safety 1st Grow and Go 3-in-1 Car Seat may not be 100% free from flame retardant chemicals, but it’s still safe enough for your baby. With over 13,000 reviews, a lot of parents find this a practical buy that will last them a long time!
Another good travel essential to have is an organic carrier for your baby. Some of the best ones can even be used to help lull your infant to sleep while in transit.
July 23, 2021 – updated interlinking, updated external links