choosing a non-toxic and flame retardant free car seat for your baby is a very important decision. let me show you the best ones available so you can make the right decision.
As parents, we know the importance of safety for our children, and we want to provide them with a car seat that is safe. Car seats are one of the most important purchases you’ll ever make for your baby. You want to be sure it’s reliable, secure, comfortable, and made from non-toxic materials so your baby can be in their car seat without any worry. Here are some tips on how to be sure that you are buying the best non-toxic and organic car seat for your baby that is completely free from flame retardants. This list has all of the best car seats without flame retardants for 2021. And if you are getting ready for a trip check out this ultimate list of organic baby travel essentials.
How to find the best non-toxic car seats
The first step in making an informed decision about which car seat is right for your child involves understanding what is in conventional car seats and what should be avoided. When doing your research you should try to find answers to the following questions.
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What material was used for the fabric?
If you’re looking to find a car seat for your infant, the first thing I would recommend is paying attention to what type of fabric the cover is made out of. From strictly a comfort level soft fabrics are more comfortable than the cheaper rough scratchy fabrics, especially during the summer months when your baby’s delicate skin will be making more contact with the fabric.
However; more important than that is to find out if the fabric was treated with any kind of flame retardants or waterproofing and stain-resistant chemicals. This then brings me to the next question.
Were any PFAs used on the fabric of the car seat?
Perfluoroalkyl and Polyfluoroalkyl substances (PFAs) are toxic chemicals known as forever chemicals, due to their inability to break down. They are added to many common everyday items such as pizza boxes, non-stick cookware, and even makeup. They are also used on many fabrics, including the fabric of many infant and convertible car seats. PFAs are designed to make the fabric waterproof and stain-resistant. They are absolutely not necessary nor are they safe for your infant to be coming into contact with.
“PFAS have been shown to migrate from fabrics such as baby bibs into simulated sweat and saliva during simulated abrasion and mouthing. And they are contributing to a water-contamination disaster around the globe. During manufacturing and disposal, PFAS treatments pollute groundwater and surface water (rivers, etc.) with “forever chemicals” that are showing up in drinking water and in nearly all humans tested.
PFAS chemicals that contaminate water and soil travel long distances without breaking down. The chemicals build up in our blood, liver, and kidneys and may contribute to diseases of those organs as well as cardiovascular disease and osteoporosis. Studies also suggest a host of negative impacts on fetal and child development.”
Is it free from heavy metals?
When researching car seat safety, the focus is always on whether or not it contains flame retardants or not. This is of course a super important piece of information and my next point but what gets lost is whether or not car seats contain any heavy metals. Before purchasing a car seat it is important to contact the company to find out if the car seat you are considering contains any heavy metals such as lead, cadmium, chlorine, or arsenic. It is also a good idea to ask about phthalates as well.
Does it contain or has it been treated with flame retardants?
As I mentioned before, flame retardants are one of the biggest causes of concern. Flame retardants are a type of chemical that is added to the car seat’s fabrics, the foam, and even sprayed directly onto the frame of the car seat. There are so many different types of flame retardants that are used on car seats. But whether the car seat is treated with brominated flame retardants or phosphorus flame retardants or both doesn’t really matter. They are all toxic and all dangerous.
Ecocenter.org says this about flame retardants:
“Most flame retardant (FR) chemicals used in products like car seats are not strongly bound to the fabric or foam they are added to, so they easily migrate out and become airborne via dust. Human exposure may occur through breathing or ingesting dust and even through the skin.
A number of FRs are known endocrine disruptors and some are linked to cancer. Other FRs are lacking in toxicity information. Many FRs contain chlorine or bromine (these are called halogenated FRs because chlorine and bromine are halogens) and don’t break down easily in the environment. Chemical persistence can lead to bioaccumulation, the buildup of a substance in people and animals.”
How is this car seat made fire resistant?
It is important to make sure the company has passed flammability tests without any chemical flame retardants. You will want to find out what the company is using. A good option to look for is if the car seat is made with wool because it’s non-toxic, safe, and naturally flame resistant.
The Top Non-Toxic car seats on the market today!
This is a list that I am really very excited about. I remember a few years ago when I was pregnant with my 4th baby, I found out that the very first flame retardant free car seat was coming out just a few weeks before I was due and I couldn’t buy it soon enough. Prior to that I researched constantly and could never find a car seat that I was comfortable with. It was a constant source of stress for me every time we would take a car ride.
Now is such a great time to be having a baby because there are so many non-toxic car seats available that you can feel good about putting your baby in. So let’s get into this list.
Flame Retardant Free Infant Car Seats
If you choose to start with a non-toxic infant car seat there are a few really good options. While infant car seats are not actually necessary and you could start with a convertible car seat if that works better for you there are a couple of advantages to starting with an infant car seat first.
- The main advantage is that an infant car seat is smaller than most convertible car seats. So if you have other car seats in your backseat already an infant car seat may be a good option.
- Infant car seats can also be used as a baby carriers. This is really convenient if you want to keep your newborn in their car seat when you arrive at your destination you can just move the car seat. For example, when you go to the store or the doctor’s office your baby stays right in their seat. Infant car seats are usually lightweight as well.
- Because infant car seats click into a base you can purchase multiple bases if you have more than one car. So you don’t need multiple car seats or have to bother with lugging one car seat back and forth between cars.
- Infant car seats can click into a bigger stroller from the same brand and sometimes ones from different brands so you can simply take them for walks without taking them out of the stroller. I do want to say though that it is not recommended to keep your baby in their car seat carrier for too long of a period of time.
UPPAbaby Mesa Infant Car Seat
This is the infant car seat that I made reference to earlier. I bought this a week or 2 prior to my 4th baby being born. I then used it for my 5th and currently for my 6th baby. It has held up so well and is such a high-quality infant car seat.
Both the Henry and Jordan colors are completely non-toxic and flame retardant-free. UPPAbaby has made these seats flame resistant without any chemical flame retardants by bonding a high-quality Merino wool blend to foam making them both naturally fire-resistant. Just a side note the other UPPAbaby Mesa infant car seat colors are not naturally flame resistant and do contain chemical flame retardants, so you need to be sure that you buy your Mesa in the Henry or Jordan options.
The Henry is a really pretty steel blue color and would work really well for either boys or girls and the Jordan is a dark charcoal color that could be considered relatively neutral, as well.
Maxi-Cosi PureCosi Infant Car Seat
Maxi-Cosi’s non-toxic line of car seats is called PureCosi. Maxi-Cosi describes their PureCosi line like this: “We’ve developed children’s car seats that meet flammability standards through fabric and design choices; not with added chemicals. In turn, protecting your baby from toxins while reducing the accumulation of PBDEs and PFAS in the environment.“
So to recap this fabric is completely non-toxic, chemical-free and it is also actually wool-free too which is helpful if there is a wool allergy in your family. The high-quality fabric is removable and machine washable and dryer safe for extra convenience.
Maxi-Cosi actually has 3 different infant car seats in the PureCosi line: the Mico 30, the Mico XP Max, and the Coral XP. I listed them in order of price increase and features/innovation.
- Maxi-Cosi Mico 30: This is one of the lightest infant car seats available and comes standard with soft fabric and plush cushioning. You have a choice of 4 different colorways: midnight black, polished pebble, radish ruby, and slated sky.
- Maxi-Cosi Mico XP Max: You can expect maximum cushioning and protection with this version. Some of the safety features include Air Protect Technology around your baby’s head and sides and anti-rotation stability in the car seat base. The Mico XP Max comes in 4 different colors: essential black, sonar grey, sonar plum, and sonar blue.
- Maxi-Cosi Coral XP: This may be the coolest infant car seat around. It is actually a carrier within the car seat. So you can actually lift out the inner part of the car seat and carry it via the handle or a crossbody strap. If you are looking for the best baby carrier car seat this one is definitely the one. The Coral XP comes in 4 different colors: essential black, essential graphite, essential red, essential blue.
Nuna Infant Car Seats
Nuna is special because all of its car seats are non-toxic and flame retardant-free “from the fabric to the foam“. So you don’t have to choose a specific line or color if you want a non-toxic Nuna car seat. You can choose any option from their car seat line depending on the features that you want. Nuna’s infant car seats hold up to 32 pounds while many infant car seats are safe up to 30 pounds. Nuna actually makes 5 different infant car seats, which I personally find a little bit overwhelming, but I will do my best to highlight each one’s features here for you. They are all amazing quality so if you do decide to go with a Nuna Infant car seat you won’t regret it. I will list each out from the lowest price to the highest price.
- Nuna Pipa: The Nuna Pipa is perfectly flame retardant-free. The infant insert is made from GOTS certified organic cotton and is actually 3 different pieces so you can easily customize the comfort level depending on your baby’s size and needs. It also has a mesh peek-a-boo window so you can easily peek in on your baby. You have your choice of 4 different colors: birch, caviar, frost, and granite.
- Nuna Pipa Lite: An ultralightweight car seat that weighs in at just 5.3 pounds but still has a strong resilient frame and cushy Aeroflex foam that absorbs and then diffuses energy. This version comes in 2 different colors: caviar and granite.
- Nuna Pipa RX: The RX is also sturdy and lightweight. This is perfect for people who don’t want to use a base as it has a belt path right in the shell making it simple to use baseless with just a seatbelt. This also comes in the colors caviar or granite.
- Nuna Pipa Lite R: The Pipa Lite R also weighs in at 5.2 pounds making it super lightweight. This has all the features of the other Pipa Lites but the fabric is made of premium organic jersey and it also boasts a removable headrest for the ultimate amount of comfort for your baby. There are 3 different color choices: caviar, granite, and timber.
- Nuna Pipa Lite LX: The LX version is super luxurious. It has all of the previous features but it contains a soft Merino wool and Tencel lyocell blend knit that is naturally breathable and will keep your baby comfortable no matter what the temperature is. This also comes in 3 colors: caviar, granite, and frost. It also has exclusive colors for Nordstrom and Pottery Barn Kids.
Clek Liing Infant Car Seat
The Clek Ling Infant Car Seat is the perfect non-toxic car seat. It reclines into 7 different positions allowing you to have complete control over your baby’s comfort level. It also can be used up to 35 pounds, which really helps to extend the life of this newborn car seat. Another bonus is that it is less than 17 inches wide so if you have other car seats in your backseat it will easily fit. All Clek car seats are designed and made in Ontario, Canada.
The Liing comes in 3 different collections. Both the jersey knit collection and C-Zero Plus Performance Collection are free from brominated and chlorinated flame retardants, which are believed to be the most toxic of the flame retardants. However, they are not completely free from all types of flame retardants, so, therefore, I am not going to focus on them in this post.
The Mammoth Collection is made from a Merino Wool and Tencel blend. It is free from all flame retardants and is naturally flame resistant due to the Merino wool. The high-quality wool also makes it stain and moisture resistant and touchably soft. It is the perfect eco-friendly and natural car seat.
Flame Retardant Free Convertible Car Seats
Convertible car seats are the next step up from a newborn car seat. However, they can be used for newborns as well, if you are looking for a more affordable solution and want to avoid a newborn car seat altogether. Convertible car seats can be used rear-facing for infants and toddlers. Then when your baby reaches the proper height and weight requirements of the car seat it can be switched to forward-facing. These are the best non-toxic flame retardant free convertible car seats available.
UPPAbaby Knox Convertible Car Seat
The UPPAbaby Knox Convertible Car Seat is non-toxic and flame retardant free in the color Jordan and only Jordan at this time. Per UPPAbaby.com: “Through its innovative use of Merino wool, the JORDAN KNOX passes federal safety standards without the use of fire retardant chemicals. The wicking properties of Merino wool keep kids cool on hot days and warm on cool days.”
The Knox is suitable for ages 1 to approximately 6 years old. It is safe for rear-facing starting at 14 pounds, so you will need to start with an infant car seat first. It can then be switched to forward-facing from 25 to 65 pounds. The Knox features Koroyd technology which minimizes maximum force energy from being transferred to your baby.
Clek Fllo and Clek Foonf
The Clek Fllo and Clek Foonf convertible car seats have some really great features. Just like the infant car seat, they are both under 17 inches wide making them easily fit into a crowded backseat. More importantly, than that, they have set the standard for rear-facing limits. Both seats can are safe to use rear-facing up to 50 pounds! It can then be used forward-facing until 65 pounds. Because this particular convertible car seat can not be used until your baby reaches 25 pounds Clek sells an infant insert referred to as the infant-thingy which allows the convertible car seat to then be used at 5+ pounds. The Mammoth version, which is a Merino wool and Tencel blend is free from all flame retardants and is naturally soft and moisture, and stain-resistant. They don’t call it the “mother of all car seats for nothing”.
There are some subtle differences between the Fllo and Foonf mainly having to do with how they latch into your car and how they recline. The Foonf is slightly cheaper than the Fllo. But both are great options. Just like Clek’s infant car seat the Jersey fabric collection and the C-Zero Plus Performance Collection are free from brominated and chlorinated flame retardants but not all flame retardants, so if you want to avoid all flame retardants stick with the Mammoth collection.
Maxi-Cosi Pria 85
This 2-in-1 convertible car seat is naturally flame retardant-free in the PureCosi fabric. It comes in a really pretty polished pebble color, which is a light gray color. The seat pad is completely machine washable and safe for the dryer as well making clean-up very easy and convenient. This convertible car seat is safe for use up to an industry high of 85 pounds (forward-facing). This convertible car seat is rear-facing from 14 pounds to 40 pounds, so this convertible car seat is not suited for an infant, so you will need to start with an infant car seat for your baby if you choose to use the Maxi-Cosi Pria 85 convertible car seat.
The Nuna Rava is a great choice for a convertible car seat. It is simple, flame retardant-free, and comfortable. This car seat boasts a 10 position headrest, an all-steel frame, and plenty of extra legroom (an extra 2 inches)- which is great if you have ever watched your baby’s legs squeeze up against the back of the back seat while rear-facing. This convertible car seat can be used from 5-50 pounds (so no infant car seat necessary) thanks to a removable infant insert rear-facing. And then forward-facing from 25-65 pounds. There are plenty of different color options available in the Rava: caviar, frost, granite, rose, and lake.
Britax Advocate Clicktight Convertible Car Seat
The Britax Advocate Convertible car seat is a good choice if you are looking for a chemical-free convertible car seat. I have used Britax convertible car seats for many years and my boys have always found them to be comfortable and I have always found them to be safe and reliable. The Otto Safewash is the only non-toxic option from Britax. The Safewash fabric is a really great eco-friendly option. The cover is safe to machine wash and dry eliminating the need to use PFAs and it is naturally flame resistant due to the way the fabric is stitched. The Britax Clicktight convertible car seat has 3 layers of side impact protection, a steel frame, and 7 different recline positions. The Britax Advocate is safe for rear-facing for 5-40 pounds and forward-facing from 20-65 pounds. The Otto is a neutral black and gray combo.
Non-Toxic Flame Retardant Free Convertible All-in-One Car Seats
All-in-one are seats are hands down the best choice if you are on a tight budget. These types of car seats can be used from birth up until 10 or so years old with some going up to 120 pounds. This really is the only car seat you will ever need. Just keep in mind that you won’t have any of the advantages of an infant car seat, but if that doesn’t matter to you then these car seats may be the best option for you.
Maxi-Cosi Pria Max All-in-One Convertible Car Seat (Tetra Graphite)
The Maxi-Cosi Max All-in-One convertible car seat is an amazing choice if you are looking for a non-toxic car seat for your child and know that you can only afford one. It is a more affordable option than many other non-toxic flame retardant-free car seats while being a high-quality and super-safe option. If you choose this car seat be sure to purchase it in the Tetra Graphite color because this is the only color available in the PueCosi fabric. The other colors are not flame retardant-free. It is a really pretty combination of grays and is very gender-neutral. This car seat is perfect for infants and children up to 10 years old or older. It has been safety tested from 4 pounds up to 100 pounds.
Like all Nuna Car Seats, the Exec is also free from all flame retardants. This all-in-one convertible car seat is a super luxurious option for your child to ride in style from birth to childhood. It is safety rated as a rear-facing car seat 5-50 pounds, a forward-facing car seat from 25-65 pounds, and finally a booster seat from 40 all the way up to 120 pounds. This really is the only car seat you would ever need. This seat comes in 5 different color options: caviar, granite, lake, timber, and riveted.
Britax One 4 Life Clicktight All-In-One Convertible Car Seat
The Britax One 4 Life Clicktight All-In-One Convertible Car Seat is the perfect option if you are looking for an affordable non-toxic one and done car seat. With a 9 position easy to adjust recline and all-steel frame construction you can’t go wrong with this option. It is safety tested for 5-50 pounds rear-facing, 22-65 pounds forward-facing, and 40-120 pounds as a high back booster seat. The Britax SafeWash fabric is safe to wash and dry and naturally flame resistant due to the knit construction. You have a choice of 4 different SafeWash colors: plum, drift, cadet, and black.
Flame Retardant Free Booster Car Seat
Booster car seats are great for when your child has outgrown their convertible seat. They keep your child safe and secure and allow them to use a seat belt comfortably. Here are some non-toxic booster seat options.
Britax Grow With You Click Tight Plus
This booster car seat is unique in that it is a 2-in-one car seat. It can be both a front-facing car seat for toddlers from 25 to 65 pounds and using the harness. And then a high back booster, with a seat belt, from 40 to 120 pounds. This booster seat comes in the Britax Safewash color of jet black.
The Clek Oobr is a high back booster seat that features a removable back. The Mammoth is completely free from all flame retardants and is naturally flame resistant thanks to the Merino wool and Tencel blend featured in all of the Clek Mammoth car seats. When in high-back it is actually reclinable, which is a fun feature. The Clek Oobr is made in the USA and is a great non-toxic booster seat option.
Pros and Cons of using a Non-Toxic car seat
The Pros of using a Non-Toxic Infant or Convertible Car Seat
- Non-toxic car seats are safer and much healthier for your baby and will provide you with peace of mind whenever you take your baby for a car ride.
- Non-toxic car seats are more environmentally friendly than their counterparts, which means fewer chemicals in our soil and air.
The Cons of a Non-Toxic Infant or Convertible Car Seat
- There is really only one con that I can think of when it comes to a non-toxic car seat and that is the cost. Most non-toxic car seats are very expensive, however, they truly are worth their cost especially if you can use them for multiple children.
What should you do if you can’t afford a non-toxic car seat for your baby?
This is a big one. I understand completely that the cost of all non-toxic and organic baby products is often prohibitive to many parents. The best thing you can do is to set a budget for all of the baby items that you need and from there decide whether you want that item to be non-toxic/organic are if you are willing to compromise and buy something a little less non-toxic.
- If you travel a lot and spend a lot of time in the car you may decide that a non-toxic car seat is absolutely necessary. However, if you spend very little time in the car, a conventional car seat might be ok for now.
- An all-in-one convertible car seat may be more cost-effective to start with. Instead of having to purchase a non-toxic infant car seat and then upgrading to a non-toxic convertible car seat a few months later and then a booster seat a few years later starting with an all-in-one convertible car seat will save you some money in the long run.
- Check for promotions and sales offered from different online baby product stores and companies. A lot of them also have reward programs that can help to offset the cost if you spend a certain amount or do simple activities (like leaving reviews or entering or your birthday).
Bonus: If you join my email list I will do the work for you! I notify all of my subscribers when there are exciting sales on all of the best non-toxic baby brands.