Most Recommended Car Seats under $250

Updated

Sometimes you need a great car seat on a budget. Curated Experts take each shopper's budget into account every time they make recommendations. This list brings together their top recommendations for car seats under $250. Want a more personalized fit for your particular needs and preferences? Don't forget to chat with a Baby & Toddler Expert here on Curated for free advice and recommendations on the best car seat for your needs.

Kristina Spencer, Baby Expert
Wendy Murillo, Baby Expert
Alex K., Baby Expert
By Booster Car Seat ExpertsKristina, Wendy, Alex and others
The Maxi-Cosi Pria All-in-One Convertible Car Seat is a versatile and comfortable option for parents seeking a long-term solution. It's designed to grow with your child from birth to 10 years, with adjustable settings for rear-facing, forward-facing, and booster seat modes. The seat is praised for its better-than-average padding, breathability, and neat harness holder. It also features two removable cupholders and one-click LATCH connectors for easy installation. However, it lacks the premium fabrics and ClipQuick Auto-Magnetic Chest Clip found in the more expensive Pria Max model.
Ideal for
  • Parents seeking a long-term car seat solution
  • Those who value comfort and adjustability
  • Parents who prefer easy installation with LATCH connectors
  • Those who appreciate added features like cupholders and a neat harness holder
Not ideal for
  • Those seeking premium fabric finishes
  • Parents who prefer the ease of a magnetic chest clip
Kristina Spencer, Baby Expert
Mariah Wear, Baby Expert
Alex K., Baby Expert
by Curated experts Kristina Spencer, Mariah Wear, Alex K.
The Diono Radian 3R Latch All-in-One Convertible Car Seat and Booster is a top pick for families looking for value and versatility. This car seat grows with your child, accommodating weights from 5 to 140 pounds. Its slim design makes it perfect for fitting multiple seats across the back seat of a car. Despite its steel frame making it a bit heavy, it's praised for its durability and easy-to-clean fabric. However, it may not be the most comfortable option for sleeping babies due to the lack of an adjustable headrest.
Ideal for
  • Growing families needing multiple car seats
  • Parents seeking a long-term investment that grows with their child
  • Families with smaller cars
  • Parents prioritizing easy cleaning and durability
Not ideal for
  • Families seeking a lightweight car seat
  • Parents looking for a car seat with an adjustable headrest for sleeping babies
Kathleen Sarb, Baby Expert
Gregg Mason, Baby Expert
Kristina Spencer, Baby Expert
by Curated experts Kathleen Sarb, Gregg Mason, Kristina Spencer
The Graco TriRide™ 3-in-1 Car Seat is a versatile choice for parents, accommodating children from 5 to 100 lbs. It offers a comfortable ride with its recline and adjustable headrest, and the no-rethread harness and harness straps make it easy to use. It's also LATCH compatible and offers side impact protection. The machine washable fabric and level indicator are added bonuses, making it a top pick for car seats under $250.
Ideal for
  • Parents looking for a versatile car seat
  • Those who value safety with side impact protection
  • Parents seeking easy-to-clean options
  • Those who prefer easy-to-use features like no-rethread harness and harness straps
  • Parents looking for a car seat that grows with their child
Kristina Spencer, Baby Expert
by Curated expert Kristina Spencer
Graco$189.99

What are you shopping for today?

The Graco Extend2Fit® 3-in-1 Car Seat is a top pick for parents seeking a safe, comfortable, and adaptable option for their growing child. This seat is designed to keep children rear-facing longer, up to 50 lbs, and transitions with them all the way to booster mode. It offers 5 extra inches of leg room and reclines for comfort. The headrest and harness are easy to adjust, making it a breeze to ensure a perfect fit every time.
Ideal for
  • Parents looking for a long-term car seat solution
  • Families who prioritize safety features
  • Those who value comfort for their child
  • Parents who prefer extended rear-facing car seats
  • Users who appreciate easy adjustments
Alex K., Baby Expert
Kristina Spencer, Baby Expert
by Curated experts Alex K., Kristina Spencer
The Maxi-Cosi Mico 30 Infant Car Seat is a top pick for parents seeking a mid-priced, safety-conscious, and comfortable car seat. Weighing just 8.7 lbs, it's relatively lightweight and doubles as a carrier with its ergonomic handle. The seat is designed for rear-facing use with babies 5-30 lbs and up to 32" long. It's packed with padding, premium fabrics, and extra side impact protection for peace of mind. The seat pad is removable and machine washable, and the extended canopy provides ample shade. The rigid, one-click LATCH system makes installation a breeze, and the car seat can click into a variety of strollers with Maxi-Cosi adapters for easy travel. However, it's not the most compact option and requires rethreading to adjust the strap height as the baby grows.
Ideal for
  • Parents seeking a mid-priced, safety-conscious, and comfortable car seat
  • Parents who need a lightweight car seat that can double as a carrier
  • Parents who want a car seat that can click into a variety of strollers for easy travel
  • Parents who prefer a car seat with a removable and machine washable seat pad
  • Parents who want a car seat with extra side impact protection
Not ideal for
  • Parents who need the most compact car seat
  • Parents who prefer a car seat with an anti-rebound bar
  • Parents who don't want to rethread the harness to adjust the strap height as the baby grows
  • Parents who prefer a car seat with a European belt path for use without the base
Alex K., Baby Expert
Kristina Spencer, Baby Expert
Mariah Wear, Baby Expert
by Curated experts Alex K., Kristina Spencer, Mariah Wear
The Graco SnugRide® SnugFit 35 DLX Infant Car Seat is an excellent choice for parents seeking a safe, stylish, and convenient solution for their baby's travel needs. Its side impact protection, anti-rebound bar, and easy-to-adjust no-rethread harness ensure safety, while the quiet, large canopy and easy-to-install seat pad offer comfort and convenience. It's perfect for parents who want to transport their sleeping baby without waking them up, and it's not overly bulky, making it easy to carry from car to destination.
Ideal for
  • Parents seeking a safe and stylish car seat
  • Parents who need to transport a sleeping baby without waking them
  • Parents looking for a non-bulky car seat that's easy to carry
  • Parents who value easy installation and maintenance
Not ideal for
  • Parents who are concerned about stain removal from the fabric
Wendy Murillo, Baby Expert
Kristina Spencer, Baby Expert
by Curated experts Wendy Murillo, Kristina Spencer
Graco$229.99
The Graco SlimFit® 3-in-1 Car Seat is a versatile, space-saving option that grows with your child. It's perfect for those needing a compact yet robust car seat, accommodating children from 5-100 lbs. It offers easy installation with rigid LATCH, safety with energy-absorbing foam and side impact protection, and comfort with a 4-position recline. The adjustable harness and headrest ensure a perfect fit as your child grows.
Ideal for
  • Parents seeking a space-saving car seat
  • Parents wanting a car seat that grows with their child
  • Those prioritizing safety with energy-absorbing foam and side impact protection
  • Parents needing easy installation
  • Those valuing comfort with a 4-position recline
Alex K., Baby Expert
by Curated expert Alex K.
Graco$219.99
The Diono Cambria® 2 Latch 2-in-1 Booster Car Seat is perfect for growing children, accommodating those from 40 - 120 lbs and 38" - 63" tall. It's a top pick due to its IIHS 'Best Bet' Booster Seat recommendation, and its ability to convert into a backless booster. The seat also boasts of a 6-position headrest, 2 retractable cup holders, and LATCH connectors for added safety and stability. Plus, the fabric is machine washable and wipeable, making clean-ups a breeze.
Ideal for
  • Parents looking for a long-term car seat solution
  • Those who prioritize safety and stability in a car seat
  • Parents who value ease of cleaning
  • Families who need a car seat that grows with their child
  • Parents who prefer car seats with added features like cup holders
Kristina Spencer, Baby Expert
by Curated expert Kristina Spencer
The Maxi-Cosi RodiSport Booster Car Seat is a versatile and comfortable option for children weighing between 40 and 100 lbs. Its standout features include the ability to convert to a backless booster, seven head adjustments, seat recline for a better fit, and rigid latch for easy installation. The removable and machine washable fabrics make it a breeze to keep clean. This booster seat is perfect for growing kids, ensuring their comfort and safety on every car ride.
Ideal for
  • Children weighing between 40 and 100 lbs
  • Parents looking for a convertible booster seat
  • Those who prioritize comfort and adjustability
  • Parents seeking easy installation
  • Families who value ease of cleaning
Allie L., Baby Expert
Franco D, Baby Expert
by Curated experts Allie L., Franco D
The Britax Highpoint 2-Stage Belt-Positioning Booster Seat is a versatile car seat that grows with your child. It's perfect for kids weighing between 40 to 120 lbs, and easily converts from a high-back to a backless booster seat. With an energy-absorbing shell and side impact protection, it ensures safety for your child's head and torso. The headrest can be adjusted to 10 different positions, adapting to your child's growth. Plus, it's easy to clean with dishwasher-safe cup holders and machine washable fabric.
Ideal for
  • Parents looking for a long-term car seat solution
  • Those prioritizing safety with features like side impact protection
  • Parents seeking easy-to-clean car seats
  • Families needing a car seat that grows with their child
  • Parents who value convenience and adaptability in a car seat
Alex K., Baby Expert
Kristina Spencer, Baby Expert
by Curated experts Alex K., Kristina Spencer

Curated experts can help

Have a question about the article you just read or want personal recommendations? Connect with a Curated expert and get free recommendations for whatever you’re looking for!
Result Summary
  1. Maxi-Cosi Pria All-in-One Convertible Car Seat
  2. Diono Radian 3R Latch All-in-One Convertible Car Seat and Booster
  3. Graco TriRide™ 3-in-1 Car Seat
  4. Graco Extend2Fit® 3-in-1 Car Seat
  5. Maxi-Cosi Mico 30 Infant Car Seat
  6. Graco SnugRide® SnugFit 35 DLX Infant Car Seat
  7. Graco SlimFit® 3-in-1 Car Seat
  8. Diono Cambria® 2 Latch 2-in-1 Booster Car Seat
  9. Maxi-Cosi RodiSport Booster Car Seat
  10. Britax Highpoint 2-Stage Belt-Positioning Booster Seat
Which Booster Car Seat product is right for you?
Get free recommendations from a certified expert. Take a short quiz to get started!