The 15 Best Baby & Toddler BrandsPublished on 01/18/2023 · 15 min readWondering what brands are the best for your baby? Baby & Toddler Expert Alex K. lays out the top 15 brands that you can trust for the child in your life.
Image courtesy of BabyBjörn
Whether you’re a parent, grandparent, or anyone who cares deeply about a special child in your life, we all share a similar sentiment: we want what’s best for them. Safety is top on most people’s lists, followed closely by comfort, quality, performance, and longevity. At the end of the day, we want to invest in brands we trust, and buying for babies is increasingly becoming an investment.
This article shares the 15 most well-known, time-tested, and trusted brands in the U.S. baby/toddler market. So if you’re shopping for a stroller, car seat, high chair, travel crib, baby carrier, or another type of product for your little one, you can feel confident in a purchase from any of the brands below, listed in alphabetical order:
A name that just rolls off the tongue, BabyBjörn is a Swedish company named after Björn Jakobson, who started the business in 1961 with his sister-in-law, Elsa Jakobson. That year, they created the first baby bouncer, a bouncing chair that pediatricians and specialists hailed as an alternative to placing an infant on the floor or in a stroller. In 1973, they unveiled the first baby carrier to promote bonding and closeness between parents and babies.
Today, BabyBjörn is still family-owned and operated. The brand has a reputation for making high-end yet minimalistic and highly functional baby products developed with medical experts' help. Best known for its baby bouncers and carriers, BabyBjörn also specializes in babies' sleep, kitchen, and bathroom products. The company prioritizes sustainability and fair trade in its manufacturing. Its fabrics meet OEKO-TEX Standard 100, Class 1, meaning they are toxin-free and safe for a baby to touch or taste.
If Scandinavian simplicity is something that catches your eye and you have the budget for BabyBjörn products, you won’t be disappointed in their quality and durability.
Since its inception nearly 40 years ago, Baby Jogger has branched far beyond its claim to fame as the maker of the first jogging stroller in 1984. The Richmond, Virginia-based company began with the first single jogging stroller, which allowed founder and avid runner Phil Baechler to maintain his active lifestyle as a new father. In 1986, the brand debuted the double jogging stroller. In the time since, Baby Jogger has honed in on creating strollers for everyone everywhere, and most are made for walking rather than running.
The company is owned by Newell Brands, a conglomerate that also owns Graco and a long list of other commercial brands, like Rubbermaid and Coleman. Baby Jogger is best known for its strollers but also makes infant car seats, a rotating convertible car seat, and home products, including the smallest folding high chair on the market. Regarding pricing, Baby Jogger is considered mid-priced—not exorbitant, but not cheap. Its products are made to stand the test of time, and stroller frames are backed with a lifetime warranty.
While not the oldest company, BOB Gear is one of the most innovative. It was founded in 1994 by bike expert Roger Malinowski and airline mechanic Philip Novotny. They started with a quick-release bike trailer that was burly enough to carry outdoor-adventure gear and originally named the company “Beast of Burden.” They ultimately shortened the name to the “BOB” acronym and marketed highly durable, smooth-rolling trailers with all-terrain suspension.
When the founders became parents, they created a jogging stroller—the Sport Utility Stroller—that could handle the same rigors as their bike trailer. The utility of BOB Gear strollers is their greatest selling feature, and they’re known for being lightweight, foldable, and made for gnarly off-road terrain, like trails, sand, and snow.
In 2019, Britax purchased BOB Gear, but the brand’s name and stroller specialty remain the same. BOB Gear offers single, double, and travel system strollers at a mid-range price. They’re not the slimmest or necessarily the most stylish strollers, but they are some of the toughest.
If you want a trustworthy car seat made by a company that’s been around the block, look no further than Britax, Europe’s best-selling car seat manufacturer for the last 50 years. The company launched in the U.S. in 1996 and has been a go-to brand ever since.
Britax has a broad line of car seats and compatible strollers that combine to make travel systems. The brand originated in Great Britain and branched into car seats with the acquisition of Römer, a German seatbelt manufacturer, in 1971. Britax Römer unveiled its first car seat in 1973; the rest is history. The company is best known for developing high-quality car seats that prioritize safety and pioneering features like top tether, energy-absorbing foam, and side impact protections. Britax Römer can also be credited for helping standardize a European car-seat anchoring system called ISOFIX, which formed the basis of the LATCH (Lower Anchors and Tethers for Children) system in the U.S.
Whether you’re looking for a LATCH or belt-positioned infant car seat, convertible car seat, or high-back booster, Britax has you covered. This industry-leading brand has car seats for just about every age and vehicle, from birth to booster, and strollers to go with them.
An Italian brand with a stronghold on the U.S. market, Chicco is known globally in 120 countries for its baby products, including car seats, strollers, high chairs, playards, bassinets, baby carriers, and more.
It started in 1958 with Italian inventor Pietro Catelli, who made pharmaceutical devices. The birth of his child changed him, and he shifted his focus to baby products and solutions for parents. As a result, Chicco is known for creating high-quality baby items without a high price tag. KeyFit Infant Car Seats are its best seller. They are safe, reliable, and oh-so-easy to install.
If sustainability is your thing, Chicco has you covered. Its products are GREENGUARD Gold certified, meaning they meet standards for low chemical emissions and contribute to healthier air quality for children. The company also has a Sustainable Parenting Initiative to show its commitment to reducing environmental impact while improving the community.
It sounds like something from out of this world, and Cybex certainly lives up to its name. Known for its premium baby products, including strollers, car seats, trailers, high chairs, bouncers, and baby carriers, this brand is a favorite of fashion-forward and safety-conscious parents. A German father named Martin Pos founded the company in 2005 to simplify overly complicated car seats. His designs were not only clever but also innovative and stylish.
In 2014, Pos sold the company to Goodbaby International in China. The brand continues to be a leader in child products prioritizing safety and what it refers to as “intelligent functionality.” For example, it has a car seat that rotates 360 degrees. Most include SensorSafe Technology, which alerts a synced phone when the seat’s chest buckle becomes unclipped, monitors the temperature inside the vehicle, and sends reminders so a child won’t be left in the back seat. Cybex strollers are also top-of-the-line, with the e-Priam rocking stroller that gently rocks with an app and an electric motor that automatically kicks in when pushing it uphill. How’s that for futuristic?
The American alternative to BabyBjörn carriers, ErgoBaby was founded in 2002 by a mom in Maui. Karin Frost wanted a better carrier that was more ergonomic, comfortable for her child, and easy for parents to put on. She developed the ErgoBaby Baby Carrier, which became a gold standard for soft-structured carriers (SSC).
For parents concerned about the position of a baby in a carrier, ErgoBaby leaves nothing to chance. Its carriers hold babies in a natural sitting position and evenly distribute their weight between the hips and shoulders of the adult carrying them. Like BabyBjörn, ErgoBaby carriers are hip-healthy certified by the International Hip Dysplasia Institute. ErgoBaby offers more than 30 models in five categories for carrying infants to toddlers from 7 to 45 lbs.
ErgoBaby is headquartered in Los Angeles and sold in over 50 countries. In addition to carriers, the brand recently launched the Metro+, a compact stroller, and the 3-in-1 Evolve Bouncer. It also offers other newborn essentials. Price-wise, ErgoBaby tends to be less expensive than BabyBjörn.
An oldie but goody that’s been around since 1930, Fisher-Price started as a maker of wooden toys during the Great Depression. Today, the brand is known for its affordable and kid-approved educational toys and nursery essentials that make time at home a lot more fun.
Reportedly purchased for $1 billion by Mattel in 1993, Fisher-Price is headquartered in East Aurora, New York, and still makes some of the world’s most popular toys sold in more than 140 countries. Whether you’re looking for a classic, nostalgic toy you loved as a child, gifts any baby, toddler, or preschooler will adore, or baby gear (like bouncers, rockers, or bassinets), Fisher-Price has you covered—and at affordable prices.
Right up there with Fisher-Price regarding brand longevity, Graco was founded in 1942 by Russell Gray and Robert Cone (who named it after themselves). They started the company fabricating machines and car parts in Philadelphia, then created the world’s first wind-up, automatic baby swing in 1955. The idea came from one of their engineers, Rex Thomas, who observed his wife rocking their baby in a swing with a string tied to it while she read on the porch. He figured there was an easier way, and with the help of company engineer Dave Saint, the “Swyngomatic” was born.
In 1987, Saint’s son, Nate, invented the first portable playard, the Pack ’n Play, which became the basis for the many travel cribs and playards sold today. Graco is also known for its car seats, which started with the SnugRide Infant Car Seat in 1998, and other baby items, including strollers, bassinets, swings, jumpers, and high chairs. Graco products aren’t always the most plush, but they are among the most economical and are trusted for their safety. If you value practicality over looks, Graco products are a solid bet.
The company is owned by Newell Brands, which also owns baby brands like Baby Jogger, Century, and NUK. In the U.S., Graco is based in High Point, North Carolina.
With a name like Maxi-Cosi, it’s no surprise that this European brand makes cozy and quality baby items. Founded in the Netherlands in 1984, Maxi-Cosi introduced the first infant car seat with comprehensive safety features to Europe and has been synonymous with safe, comfortable travel ever since. The company is owned by Dorel Juvenile, which is based in Montreal, Canada, and also owns Safety 1st, Quinny, Tiny Love, and Baby Art.
Best known for its car seats, strollers, and travel systems, Maxi-Cosi products are generally mid-priced despite being made with premium fabrics and features. The brand recently launched a home line that includes a bouncer, swing, bassinet, playard, and high chair that rival the quality of more expensive European brands.
We’ve emphasized car seats and strollers, but who makes the best baby monitor? At the top of the list is Nanit, an American technology startup that created a highly intuitive crib camera and sleepwear to monitor a baby’s breathing. Nanit was founded in 2016 by Tor Ivry, Andrew Berman, and Dr. Assaf Glazer, a father of three who wanted to learn more about his child’s sleep to give them the best possible start to life.
They developed the Nanit Pro camera, which can be wall-mounted or placed on the floor or a table, to send live videos of parents’ sleeping babies directly to their phones. This way, they can keep a close eye on their child while sleeping without entering their room. The camera uses computer-vision technology to track a baby’s movements and analyze their sleep pattern. Nanit then digests that information and provides parents with tips to improve their child’s sleep quality. The New York City-based company takes privacy seriously and uses 256-bit encryption to ensure that a baby’s images and data are safe from internet hackers. No more walkie-talkie interference or crossed wires like in the old days.
In addition to its video monitor, Nanit developed a better solution for sensors to monitor a baby’s vitals or movements. Rather than a sensor pad placed in the crib or a sock that can be kicked off, the brand has a line of baby clothing known as sensor-free breathing wear, which includes a swaddle, pajamas, sleep bag, and band, to detect a baby’s breathing motions. Nanit also makes “smart sheets” that are 100% cotton, machine washable, and dryer-safe, and colorful crib sheets that are free of harmful chemicals as well.
For the fashion-minded parent or caregiver who wants the utmost quality and safety, Nuna has emerged as a “luxe” brand right up there with UPPAbaby in the U.S. The global brand was founded in Amsterdam in 2007 with a focus on creating smart, helpful, and bold baby gear. Nuna has since developed some of the sleekest-looking strollers on the market and incredibly lightweight, comfortable, safe, and easy-to-install car seats, as well as travel and home goods.
Nuna’s PIPA series car seats have been called “the Tesla of infant car seats,” which is a good analogy for their cutting-edge quality and features. Their newborn inserts are made of organic cotton, and several PIPA seats can be installed without a base using a seat belt instead. This is key for urban travelers who use public transportation, rideshares, or taxis, and they’re FAA-approved for airline use. Nuna’s convertible car seats beat most of the competition in terms of comfort and safety and can keep kids rear-facing longer and in an all-in-one car seat/booster way beyond their toddler years.
This environmentally friendly company creates safe products for babies free of harmful toxins, meeting all the standards, including GOTS (Global Organic Textile Standard), OEKO-TEX Standard 100, and GREENGUARD GOLD certification. As a premium, modern brand that creates baby products with the latest-and-greatest features, Nuna comes with a higher price tag, but it’s worth the investment for the quality.
From the moment we first set eyes on a Stokke and learned a bit about the brand, we’ve been stoked about them (sorry for the bad pun). Founded by Georg Stokke in 1932 in Norway, Stokke began as a children’s furniture company. It’s best known for the Tripp Trapp adjustable high chair furniture designer Peter Opsvik created in 1972.
Fifty years later, the Tripp Trapp, marketed as a “chair for life,” is still one of the world’s leading high chairs. It’s made of European beech and oak wood for unbeatable stability and will stand the test of time. This high chair can be passed down between family members for years and converts to a chair that can hold up to 242lbs!
A high-end Scandinavian brand that’s all about minimalism and clean designs, Stokke also makes other ergonomic high chairs, a unique stroller that holds a baby closer to the parent (the Xplory X), an oval crib that grows with a child (the Sleepi), and a cushioned bouncer that folds flat (the Steps Bouncer).
Thule began as a fishing-gear manufacturer, founded in 1942 by outdoor enthusiast Erik Thulin in Sweden. Eighty years later, the company known as the Thule Group offers a wide variety of outdoor and transportation products, such as vehicle-cargo racks, luggage, and more, in nearly 140 countries.
Thule ventured into the baby realm in 2011 with the acquisition of Canadian Chariot Carriers. The Chariot launched its “Active with Kids” product line, and Thule never looked back. Today, the brand is known for making high-quality strollers and child-carrier trailers that can be pulled behind bikes or even cross-country skiers. These pushable and pullable travel solutions for babies are a favorite among active families and athletes with kids. While Thule is best known for its Chariot stroller trailers, the Urban Glide 2 is one of its most popular strollers thanks to its versatility as a jogging stroller that is equally great for casual walks and errands.
Last but only because it starts with “U,” UPPAbaby is one of the most recognizable baby brands on the U.S. market thanks to its top-shelf quality and sophisticated style that can be the envy of the playground. It was created by a husband-and-wife team, Bob and Lauren Monahan, in 2006 in Hingham, Massachusetts. The two met while working together at Reebok, and later as parents of young kids, they felt dissatisfied with stroller options. Bob was working at Safety 1st at the time and decided to start his own stroller business.
He and Lauren co-founded UPPAbaby, which began with the Vista, a European-style stroller at an “entry-level” price. The price range of UPPAbaby products tends to be higher than other baby brands in the U.S., with its three full-size strollers ranging from about $600 to over $1,000 (the Ridge, Cruz V2, and Vista V2, respectively).
Today, the company sells strollers, car seats, accessories, and an award-winning portable crib (the Remi playard) in more than 50 countries. UPPAbaby is known for its premium fabrics and construction, parent-pleasing designs, customer service, and community giving—donating more than $2 million worth of products to initiatives that serve families in need.
All of the Above and More!
This list hardly scratches the surface regarding baby brands, and we’re aware of many other companies and startups—no matter how small—that deserve recognition. Curated has access to most, if not all, of the brands above. By chatting with a Curated Baby and Toddler Expert, we can help you find the very best brand and price for your needs by lending personalized advice.