Baby carriers are superb accessories to help mums and dads be mobile and handsfree easily whilst keeping baby close to you safely. Did you know that baby carriers also provide excellent ways of bonding, too? After spending 9 months cosy inside, it’s no wonder babies love being held close to you when born.
We’re big fans of them here and we want you to be fans of them as well. This is why we tested over 50 UK brands of baby carriers to help find the very best baby carriers you can buy right now. Here are our findings and, of course, our recommendations.
Table of Contents
|BABYBJÖRN Baby Carrier One|
Possibly the only baby carrier you'll ever need - it is easy to use, feels extremely high quality and works effortlessly
Best on a Budget
|Chicco Easyfit Baby Carrier|
If you want a great baby carrier and you're on a tight budget then they don't come much better than the Chicco Easy fit baby carrier.
|Ergobaby Aura Baby Wrap|
A high quality wrap which has proved very popular with existing customers and available at a competitive price.
Best Baby Carriers - Reviews
1. BabyBjorn Baby Carrier One
The Baby Carrier One by BabyBjorn is possibly the only baby carrier you’ll ever need and our choice for best overall baby carrier.
The BabyBjorn baby carrier one is one of the most popular baby carriers on the internet and is the flagship product for the brand. The Baby Carrier One is the ‘classic’ type of carrier which is the Swiss army knife of the carrier sector. The Baby Carrier One’s lining is made of 100% cotton which is breathable and strong and allows the straps to be comfortable, the back/front rests to be sturdy and the padded shoulder pads and the ergonomic design to make it feel like you’re not wearing a carrier at all. This is an ideal baby carrier for newborns all the way to around 15kg in weight. Some carriers do go higher than that but in general baby carrier usage becomes less common at that point.
The materials BabyBjorn used to make this gem are of the highest standard that we encountered in our tests. You will see this in the way it looks and feels. Specifically, the outer fabric is 60% cotton and 40% polyester, the lining is 100% cotton and the straps, buckles are well sewn, chunky and super strong. We aggressively tugged on the material and tried to lightly lacerate it to no avail. We feel it’s very likely that this baby carrier will last you a long time even with regular use which boosts its return on your investment. This would be brilliant for first-time mums and especially mums who want to have more than one kids but reuse the same carrier.
What separates the Baby Carrier One from the rest is the precision ergonomic design it has on every level and with every stitch. The padded straps are the perfect length and width to distribute the weight evenly across your body and help your shoulders avoid soreness even after a sizeable session with it (we walked for 1 hour 50 minutes straight). The positioning of the existing holes allows your babies hips to sit comfortably to avoid any potential hip dysplasia problems – the frog leg arrangement is common with baby carriers. The thick belt also makes it secure and helps with keeping your back straight – contributing to its performance over a sustained period of time.
You can use this in three positions which is standard for a classic type of carrier – front facing in, front facing out and on your back. We tested all three with our bundles of joys and the positioning and adjustability were simple and functional. We’ve all got babies of different sizes but we were all able to use it easily with some quick and easy adjustments on the straps. Some people have reviewed the product and said they found it rather fiddly, although we didn’t find it fiddly we can certainly see where they are coming from. As we’re ‘veterans’ when it comes to baby products we have a sixth sense when it comes to straps, buckles and clips so our idea of easy may not match that of a first-time mum. All we can say is that there are definitely baby carriers out there more and less fiddly than this one.
To conclude, we feel this is the best overall baby carrier which offers the best blend of a comfortable fit, a secure hold, long lasting materials, ease of use and return on investment.
2. Kinderkraft Baby Carrier NINO
Available in multiple colour patterns, this ergonomically designed carrier is adjustable to grow with your baby and ensure you are comfortable when carrying it.
With a wide seat supporting the baby’s buttocks and thighs, as well as a soft back, this is a comfortable carrier which provides the most natural positioning, which ensures the correct body position of the child.
The height of the carrier can be adjusted thanks to an adjustable carrier panel, which will ensure their comfortable growing and development. They will take the ‘frog’ positioning, which ensures their buttocks is below their knees and is the most comfortable option for them.
For the wearer, the shoulder buckle can be adjusted for the easiest placement to carry the weight, and the width of the hip belt can also be adjusted so they rest in the easiest positioning.
There has been thought put in to the materials, too – the cotton is breathable, easy to wash and doesn’t stretch with prolonged wear and growing.
3. Chicco Easyfit Baby Carrier
If you want a great baby carrier and you’re on a tight budget then they don’t come much better than the Chicco Easy fit baby carrier.
The Chicco Easyfit Baby carrier is one for those on a tight budget who are after a rugged classic style baby carrier. Just like Chicco themselves advertise – it’s easy to wear, easy to fit and easy to use and we can confirm that this is indeed the case.
It’s made out 90% fabric and 10% polyester it feels very much like a school bag would, especially around the straps. It is indeed comfortable to wear for a short period of time but can start to dig in a bit after a prolonged walk of an hour or more. This is probably because the fabric isn’t as thick as some of the others and the straps aren’t quite as wide. This is no surprise as to get this product to be as cheap as it is they had to make cuts.
It’s dead simple to put on and adjust as you would expect, this is versatile enough to work for petite people and plus sized thanks to strap adjusters. The buckles used are hard plastic and fairly strong – not as strong as you would find on a more expensive brand, however. If you’re big on maximum security then this may bug you; if that’s the case avoid this. The materials aren’t the best quality as you’d expect and really were akin to a school bag but you can’t expect cashmere when you pay these prices.
The baby’s position is adequate enough for the majority of babies but not perfect. With some adjustment you may get the perfect fit but for us it was just ‘good enough’. Are they secure in it though? We found it to be secure enough to not worry us but completely accept it could be more secure. While wearing it we heard no complaints from the baby and they fell asleep and didn’t complain just like they did in the more expensive carrier – so why pay more?
To conclude, this is an extremely good value for money baby carrier and comfortably our pick of best cheap baby carrier and best baby carrier on a budget. Could it be better? Yep! Is it more than good enough for short, casual walks? Absolutely!
4. Ergobaby Baby Wrap Carrier
A high quality wrap which has proved very popular with existing customers and available at a competitive price.
The Ergobaby baby wrap is a casual, colourful and comfortable baby wrap that’s ideal for quick strolls around town or the park or just to keep your baby close as you do some chores at home. We found this to be a delightful wrap and our choice of best baby wrap. It’s made of comfortable and quality 100% viscose (eucalyptus and acacia) which is definitely a USP over the others.
Do you care about the environment and using natural materials is important to you? Well, this baby carrier might be the best one for you. The viscose material is probably the nicest material for you and your baby’s skinned certainly the nicest we felt in all of the carriers we tested – this could be a godsend for those with sensitive skin.
This is an extremely light, soft and strong wrap that will keep your baby nice and tight in the hold. It’s not as strong at the maximum end though as it will only go up to 11kg which is way lighter than some of the others. So, be mindful of this fact if you decide to keep using the wrap once they become much bigger. The Ergobaby wrap is comfortable for the baby and for the mother/father, Your baby’s weight is spread evenly so you won’t get sore, even during a 1-2 hour session which we can attest to.
The guiding edge along the side of the wrap makes it easier to tie and set up. Wraps can appear confusing to some to put on but with the guiding edge it’s made even easier. You’ll find the built in pocket and the carrying handle a feature you won’t find in most other wrap style carriers. You may not use them all that often as you can easily get to your own pockets with it on as the fabric is so light.
If you’re out and about and need to stop for breastfeeding then this can change almost instantly to accommodate. As we are all pro breastfeeding here this scored some big points from the BFM panel. You will get a manual with your purchase so don’t worry if you think you’ll be left to figure it out for yourself.
To conclude, this wrap is one of the best baby wraps we reviewed. It’s easy to use, sturdy and the soft viscose material is a winner. The price point is fair which makes it a fantastic product which has a great return for you. We love it!
5. Infantino Flip Advanced 4-in-1 Convertible Baby Carrier
A very versatile baby carrier with up to 4 different ways to carry your baby, to match the rate at which they are growing.
With four ways to carry your child – facing in narrow seat for newborns, facing in wide seat for older babies, facing out narrow seat for babies with head control and back carry wide seat for older babies and toddlers – this is a carrier which can grow with them until they are old enough to toddle along themselves.
It can accommodate children 8-32 pounds (3.6-14.5 kgs) and includes a Wonder Cover bib to protect your and their clothes when eating or drinking. An adjustable seat, leg openings, straps and waist belt offer a completely customised fit too.
The whole unit is machine washable, and the light grey colour should hide any dirt or spills anyway. Padded shoulders and adjustable straps mean the carrier is comfortable for you too, no matter how you are wearing it.
6. Baby K'Tan Carrier
The K’Tan is a versatile and popular wrap style carrier which can be used in a variety of configurations for a comfortable fit for parent and baby.
You couldn’t possibly research baby carriers without coming across the K’Tan sling – it looks like a wrap but it’s more of a sling, really. It’s made of super soft 100% cotton jersey material which stretches extremely well and very strong as a result – it also adds a bit of a bounce which acts as a ‘suspension’ when the baby is in it making the material never really strain even with the biggest of babes. Not only does this make it secure it also makes it reliable and comfortable for both you and your hijacker. Some baby carriers can feel a little rigid so you may find this a little different but in a good way. The bounciness seems to lull our babies to sleep which is a HUGE bonus!
The material is stretchy and soft and woven in a way that the weight of the baby is spread evenly on your shoulders and back. The K’Tan didn’t give us any problems in a test over a few hours. Once you’ve practiced enough with this (which shouldn’t take more than 20 minutes, really) you’ll find it’s easy to put on and off AND it’s very breastfeeding friendly!
You may think this sort of carrier to be confusing to set up but believe us, it really isn’t. It doesn’t have any buckles, rings, belts or knots – it’s just one whole piece of material arranged in a double loop; half the work has already been done for you. You simply place the whole thing over your head, separate the two loops and then put your arms through and the carrier is done! There are a few configurations too with inwards, outwards and hip carrying being the most common – we tried all three and the K’Tan did them all perfectly. We’ve seen a few negative reviews online and they all seem to related to the ‘confusion’ of trying to get the K’Tan on – we personally didn’t find this confusing but we are somewhat experiences with wraps and sling, perhaps more than the average mother. With this in mind, consider this point before making a purchase.
In summary, we feel the K’Tan is at the very top of the list of slings/wraps and would recommend it to anyone who wants a closer bond when carrying that uses looser material and enables a fast and easy breastfeeding mode.
7. Izmi Baby Carrier
One of the more stylish baby carriers on the market. This thing will make it look like it’s not a carrier at all. Subtle, stylish and premium quality.
When we were able to test the Izmi baby carrier our first thoughts was what kind of carrier this was. From the images it probably looks like a shirt to you and to be honest, one half of it is. The Izmi baby carrier sits on our list of one of the most convenient baby carriers because there really is no messing around with this one. It has almost non existent set up time thanks to one hip strap on the back (with a chrome buckle) and two straps which go around your upper back.
This is a hybrid carrier but one that’s closer to a wrap/sling than a classic. It’s designed for those who want a closer feel to their baby but want more stability and strength and you will get this here. When we tested this carrier over a long period of time we felt that the ‘shirt’ approach led to a much more comfortable fit over a 1-2 hour session with no real soreness. To breastfeed, the baby will need to come out of the carrier to get into position. If you’re looking at the picture thinking “is that denim it’s made of?” then the answer is no, even though it does look like denim. The material used is 100% cotton which is strong, stretchy, comfortable and soft to the touch.
The Izmi carrier is relaxing for the baby by design and they will be lulled as you move so this is ideal for wearing inside and out. The seat makes it comfortable for the baby and the booster allows it to be used with a newborn. The positioning of the legs is also in line with the International Hip Dysplasia institute. If you’re not using it but you want it around then it ‘flat packs’ quite neatly so you can tuck it away in a bag. Not all baby carriers can do this so it’s a pretty neat unique selling point. We’ve shown the dark navy colour here but it does come in 4 colours – teal, blue, purple (pictured) and grey.
To conclude, this is one of our top choices of baby carriers. It’s made of quality stuff, it’s strong, stable and incredibly comfortable for both wearer and baby. It’s a bit more expensive than some wraps but cheaper than most of the ‘classics’ but we feel there’s a lot of return on your investment here.
8. Infantino Mei Tai
The only mei tai we have on the list. Silky stylish and functional. Ideal for those who want to make a statement while baby wearing.
This gorgeous Mei Tai baby carrier by Infantino is one of the best looking, comfortable and easy to use Mei Tais that we had the pleasure to be able test. We found this carrier to be exceptional at going out and about and the positioning of the baby inside the seat is perfect for snuggly bonding. It’s an easy one to put on too, with only a couple of loops to do and the rest is self explanatory. You won’t need to spend too long working this one out and as soon as you’re used to it then it can indeed be the ‘pick up and go’ baby carrier that every parent needs in their arsenal.
The straps are quite wide, softly padded and very strong allowing petite and plus sized mothers to enjoy this Mei Tai. We wore this Infantino Mei Tai for a couple of hours and did not have a problem with sore shoulders or our backs. However, what we did find and corroborated with a few other online reviews for the Infantino is that it isn’t that breastfeeding friendly and you will have to take the baby out of the carrier completely to get it done – it’s still quite quick to take off so it’s no big deal but we did think it was important to mention for those who are breastfeeding. It goes without saying that the Infantino is also not suitable for adventure-like activities or to be used in the rain. All in all this makes the Infantino not as versatile and practical as some others but not to the point where it is unpractical and not versatile.
The materials used are quality to look at and feel. Because of this the Infantino feels very secure and passed out tests of extreme pulling and tugging.
All in all, we found the Infantino to be one of the best Mei Tais we were able test. It’s strong, made of quality materials and keeps the baby secure. The position of the baby is excellent.
The Baby Carrier One is the premier baby carrier by one of the World's most famous manufacturers. It is easy to use, feels extremely high quality and works effortlessly. It may not be the cheapest but it is simply the best.
Best For Mums Baby Carrier Buyer's Guide
What is a baby carrier?
A baby carrier is a product which attaches to someone, usually the mother or father, with straps which has a pouch, sling or compartment that a baby up to around 15kg-20kg (~3 years old) can sit in safely. A classic feature of baby carriers is the support it gives to their bodies to fully enable the wearer to be hands-free – this is especially important for newborn babies who are unable to support their own necks yet.
There are numerous benefits of using baby carriers and a wide range of different types to suit parental needs, budgets and demands from the carrier.
Why use a baby carrier?
It’s true that parents could manage without using anything other than what God gave them and a baby can be carried around without a carrier. However, most parents, especially the mums behind BFM, would say that a baby carrier is a gift sent from the Gods under certain circumstances. A well-made baby carrier enables parents to be able to safely move their baby around while still being hands free and the baby will never be out of sight during this time. It is particularly handy before your child is able to walk themselves and certainly handy for busy mums or dads who may be alone, in a rush and have some errands that they need to run that means that a stroller isn’t ideal.
What are the different types of baby carriers?
The classic baby carrier is the most common type and the ones most people will have likely seen out in the wild. A classic baby carrier is made using similar materials to a normal rucksack with a padded structure designed to support the baby’s head, back, and rump.
Although classic baby carriers come in many different colours and styles the core structure of them are the same. What differentiates the best-rated baby carriers from the rest is how soft the supports and straps are and extras such as pockets and so on.
A classic baby carrier can be used with a baby in front or back and facing inwards and outwards. Typically, classic baby carriers can be used up to around 15kg or three years old. A newborn may need an insert to work effectively.
- Tried and tested design
- Keeps the baby very secure
- Common, easy to find and well reviewed
- Can be quite pricey
- Wide choice can make it confusing to know which is best
- Not as cosy for snuggling as some others
- Not always breastfeed friendly
A ring sling is a baby carrier for those not comfortable tying secure knots but they do want the cozy feel of a wrap. A ring sling is essentially just one long piece of cloth with one or two metal rings that act as the connectors to turn it into a baby carrier.
Ring slings usually come in funky colours and soft materials such as cotton, linen, cashmere, silk, and wool. Ring slings are quick and convenient with a low cost to them – they’re a popular choice for those wanting to use more ‘earth mother’ materials and for people who may not use it all that often and not too much outdoors.
- Easy to put on and take off
- Choice of different materials
- Low cost
- Not as hard wearing as others
- Shouldn’t be used in adverse weather
- Not as secure as some other carriers
The wrap (also known as a pouch or a sling) is one of the most common kinds of baby carrier thanks to its simplicity and uses over hundreds if not thousands of years. A wrap style baby carrier is a popular way to enable more mobility for the parent and child. A wrap is a piece of cloth that can be tied in a variety of different ways to ‘swaddle’ a baby.
Modern wraps now have full instructions on how to wrap a baby safely so that the parents can go hands-free while still bonding. A wrap can help reduce fussing and crying as your baby will always be close to you and snuggling. Carried babies are also at a better advantage to learn more about the world around them.
Wraps are commonly made using cotton and sometimes spandex to improve stretchiness. Perhaps one of the best advantages of a wrap is how easy it is for breastfeeding mothers to adjust the wrap to accommodate the change in position.
- An effective product to help be mobile and bonding at once
- Low relative cost
- Breastfeeding friendly
- Can seem confusing to set up
- Not great for adverse weather
- Can wear down with loads of use
The Mei Tai sling baby carrier is a soft, paneled and strapped traditional Chinese design baby carrier. A Mei Tai is a comfortable alternative to the classic wraps with many preferring the hybrid approach. A Mei Tai, similar to a wrap, is a product designed to be used by confident mothers who prefer the more natural feel of the cotton on skin and are adept at tying knots as a Mei Tai does not come with rings and buckles. However, as the straps are already on, many feel a Mei Tai is easier to put on than a wrap.
A Mei Tai carrier has three carrying positions – front, hip and back so it’s a good carrier for around the house and short trips but not the best option for adventure days or muddy/wet days.
- An ideal choice for lazy days in or out
- Very comfortable for the baby
- Available in a wider range of designs
- Not ideal for those not confident with tying knots
- Not the best carrier for breastfeeding
- Limited configurations
A baby carrier backpack is literally a baby carrier and a regular backpack merged into one and it’s more or less used exclusively when exploring the great outdoors. A backpack carrier is made with tougher stuff, has a backpack included and isn’t focus as much on the comfort aspect as the others. It’s closer to the classic baby carrier than any other. Many backpacks will feature extra safety features, tougher materials and a viewing gallery that is protected from the rain for your young one.
Make no mistake, though, if you’re into the great outdoors and you want your baby to experience it, too, then there’s nothing better than one of these bad boys.
- The best carrier when it comes to going outdoors
- Very secure
- Doubles as both a carrier and a backpack
- Not very good as a day to day baby carrier
- Not breastfeeding friendly
- Not cheap
What to look for in a great baby carrier
We’ve covered the different types of baby carries out there but the purpose of this article is to try and find the best-rated baby carriers from each category and an overall winner. Most of the have tested hundreds of carriers over a 6 month period and we’ve worked together to come up with the perfect criteria and scoring system to separate the good, the bad and the ugly.
Of course, what we’ve only mentioned in this page are the ones that we would recommend to be of decent quality and any bad carriers we encountered were not mentioned here – because what’s the point.
Anyway, the following is what we would look for in a baby carrier:
- Quality Materials – Although it sounds like it is difficult to judge precisely, we found it relatively easy to judge whether a baby carrier was made using quality materials or not. You can get a sense if something is made on the cheap by having a feel, attempting to tug on it with abnormal force and seeing how easy it is to break any seams or crack any plastics. We would expect sling style carriers to be soft, fairly thick and sewn together well. We’d also expect classic carriers and backpacks to be extra strong and the rings, clips, and buckles to be nigh on invincible.
- Easy to Use – Baby carriers, by definition, should not over complicated products to take on or take off. Granted, some may take more manual intervention than others but what we’d look for is that it’s relatively easy to put on properly and includes clear instructions on how to do so. You could make the best baby carrier in the world but if it’s very complicated to work then this will be useless for a busy single mum, as an example.
- Comfort – A feature which is important regardless of the type of carrier is how comfortable it is wear for the parent and how comfortable it is to be in for the baby. How comfortable a carrier means depends a lot on the softness of the materials, how well structured it is and how good the carrier has been designed to spread the weight of the baby evenly so that it doesn’t cause soreness in the back or shoulders.
- Is it Secure – All baby carriers should be secure but some are more secure than others. When we say secure we are referring to the likelihood of the carrier failing and the baby falling out (very rare!) or the straps slipping off the shoulder and hip. A baby carrier that makes the wearer assured that it will not let them down is clearly the better carrier and as such this is an important feature.
- Is it good value for money – Good value for money doesn’t mean the cheapest baby carrier on the market. Good value for money looks at all the above qualities and then the price to establish the best return on your investment. We will of course be looking to see which is the best baby carrier on a budget at the same time as finding out which is the best overall carrier which doesn’t necessarily mean the most expensive, either.
- Is it versatile and practical – This is a tough one to score but an important one nonetheless. We looked at how versatile a baby carrier is by judging how quickly it can be set up, how many different configurations it can have and how well does it deal with being wet, being used often and so on. Another key element in making a baby carrier versatile is how easy it can be adjusted to accommodate breastfeeding. Not everyone will want to a baby carrier that’s ‘all in one’ so use this metric as you wish.