The best baby carriers to keep your baby safe and comfortable

best baby carriers

by Emily Gilbert |
Updated on

Finding the best baby carrier can be a godsend for busy parents, allowing you to keep your little one snug and close while you use your hands for other things. They also give you the freedom to go to places that a buggy can't.

Baby carriers are usually age-specific – some are suitable for newborns, while others are only for toddlers – so before buying one, make sure that your baby fits the age range required to make sure they're safe. Certain baby slings, for example, aren't suitable for older babies but are perfect for those early days when you're trying to get things done around the house and want your hands free.

The best baby carriers at a glance:

Best overall: Nuna CUDL - Buy now on John Lewis

Best baby carrier for hiking: LittleLife Cross Country S4 Child Carrier - Buy now on Amazon UK

Best baby carrier for design: LittleLife Freedom S4 Child Carrier - Buy now on Amazon UK

Best baby carrier for bonding with baby: Dreamgenii Snuggleroo Baby Carrier - Buy now on Amazon UK

Most parents claim that baby carriers are their favourite baby products. When choosing a baby carrier, there are a few things to consider to find the right one. While some parents prefer traditional baby carriers, others prefer slings, so the best one for you and your baby really depends on your personal preferences or needs. If you're an outdoorsy family and enjoy doing lots of walks, you may prefer a baby carrier backpack as these have a belt that goes around your waist to spread your baby's weight onto your hips, easing the burden on your back.

How to choose the best baby carrier for you

Age suitability
When are you planning to use your baby carrier, and how long for? Ideally, the baby carrier should be suitable from birth so you get the most use out of it and can safely use your baby carrier with your newborn. Maybe you're looking for something short-term for their first 12 months - whereas a long-term investment will see them through until they're 3 years old.

Weight range
Generally, baby carriers will take up to 15kg of weight, but there are even some that will take up to 20kg. A better choice, in the long run, is to invest in a carrier that has the potential to carry the most weight. This way, it'll grow with your baby, and it's unlikely you will have to size up.

Size and fit
Anything too tight to the point it's restrictive or anything too loose where it's slipping off your shoulders poses as a risk to baby. Ensuring you have a perfectly fitted carrier that's also the right size for your baby is of utmost importance.

Budget
Account for your budget - baby carriers can be anywhere from £20 to £300, and it all depends on how much you're willing to spend. Of course, the more expensive options may come with extra features and more durability than a cheaper options. But a cheaper option is good if you aren't planning to use it for a long period.

Material
Is the material in question easily wipeable or machine washable? Does the material have the potential to irritate you or your baby? Is it a sturdy and durable material that will last? It might be best to choose a material that's breathable like cotton, polyester or bamboo.

Fasten type
There are a number of ways to fasten a baby carrier - whether it's buckles, shoulder straps, waistbands or wraps. This is all down to personal preference and what you find most comfortable and supportive for your frame.

Carrying positions
Most baby carriers will have two different carrying options - inward facing for newborns to 3-month-olds to outward facing for 4-month-olds and above. Some carriers even have four carrying positions, such as back and hip carrying options for when they reach 6 months old.

Extra features
Some baby carries will come with added extras, like pockets for keeping your essentials or a hood for keeping your little one dry in the rain.

How we chose and tested the best baby carriers

With several mums on the team, Mother&Baby is best placed to find the best baby carriers as most of these have been used and tested in real life by our own babies. Plus, we have a huge panel of real mums who test products every year for the annual Mother&Baby Awards, meaning we get to find out the best award-winning products that have been put through their paces thoroughly and independently by our readers.

The Mother&Baby Awards parent testers are provided with some guidelines while testing, so that they take into consideration four key areas: usability, design, quality and value for money. We ask them to score each of these out of 10, as well as give their overall impression of the product.

Find out more about how we test and what considerations we take into account in our testing process.

M&B testers
Team members Samantha Ball and Clare Bradley put the BABYBJÖRN baby carriers through their paces. ©Mother&Baby

We have also spoken to mums on our Facebook group Mumtribe, as well as researched the best brands with high-rated products and top reviews from customers.

For the essential products, our annual Mother&Baby Awards shortlist the top products tested, and you can find full reviews from our mum testers provided on the product page. Thousands of our mum and dad testers have been putting these carriers and slings through their paces all year round and reporting back to help us coordinate this list of the best carriers out there. The winners and runners-up for each category then will appear in our top picks.

How to use a baby carrier safely

When it comes to baby carriers, there are a few safety tips you need to keep in mind before using one with your baby so we spoke to expert Rosie Dodds, NCT's senior policy adviser, to ask her all about safety when it comes to keeping your baby secure in a baby carrier.

Don't use loose fabrics

While you might think that loose fabric on a sling would be comfortable for your baby, it can "allow your baby to slump down, which can hinder his breathing," says Rosie. Instead, make sure you can always see your baby's face when you glance down. Check that the sling is tight enough to hug them close.

Check the weight guidelines

Double-check the weight guidelines on each sling you consider buying, as it's not a case of one-size-fits-all. Then adjust it every time you wear it, especially if other people are wearing the sling too.

Don't zip up your coat over your baby

Even when it's cold out, refrain from zipping up your coat to cover your baby, as it can put them at risk of suffocating. Providing they're wearing enough clothing, they'll be cosy enough – and your own body heat will keep them warm. Alternatively, you may want to consider a baby wearing coat for the winter.

Wear your baby high up

The higher up on the body your baby is, the easier the sling will be on your back. Similarly, the closer they are to your face, the better you can monitor their behaviour and wellbeing.

Don't forget their head

A newborn baby's head always needs support. Whether you're carrying them or wearing your baby in a sling, make sure to support the head and keep an eye on it. Don't let your baby slump. While babies will naturally gravitate towards a slight C shape in a sling, try and keep their spine as straight as possible. "Carrying them upright with their hips and legs in the 'M' position is likely to be safest. It is most suitable for their developing hips and spine," Rosie from NCT explains.​

Make sure baby is wearing the right kind of clothes

 Could your baby be too hot? Think about the sort of clothes your baby is wearing as the weather gets warmer. You wouldn't like being stuffed up and swaddled inside excess fabrics either. If you're hot, chances are your baby is too. If it's one of those days when it's a bit warmer but raining, a baby carrier cover may be more suitable.

Don't let your baby's legs dangle

Your baby could be at risk of developing hip dysplasia if their legs dangle. Instead, they should be in a frog stance where their bottom and hamstrings are supported by the sling. Also, look out for products that are endorsed by the International Hip Dysplasia Institute .

Find the right one for you

If your baby is resisting the one you've bought, it might just mean that you'll need to try a different type. Thankfully there are plenty of options.

Find the correct position

Safety experts recommend that the baby is facing the parents in a carrier from newborn to six months. When your baby can hold their head up, they can then be moved to the forward-facing position. This position is great for development. This allows babies to explore the world and be stimulated by their surroundings.

Don't keep a newborn in a carrier too long

You may be wondering how long you should carry your baby in their baby carrier, and just as you wouldn't like to be stuck in the same position for hours, newborns should have their positions changed often. Regularly check that your baby's hips, head, neck, and back are well-supported. Plus, you should keep an eye on that their arms and legs can move freely.

Avoid bag style slings

Bag slings are unsafe for small babies as they can put your baby in a dangerous position (chin-to-chest) and could risk asphyxiation with fabric covering their face. Make sure to choose alternatives like those on this list.

Types of baby carriers

There are three main types of baby carriers that parents swear by:

Traditional baby carriers: A "traditional" baby carrier will have a structured waist and padded shoulder straps. You can often fasten these with buckles or straps. It can conveniently convert into multiple seating positions (front, back, and hip).

Sling baby carriers: As opposed to a traditional, structured carrier, sling carriers are wraps made with super-long pieces of fabric which keep you and the baby closer when baby wearing. They are lighter than regular carriers and have a more natural philosophy, look and feel. A lot of parents swear by their sling carriers, and you can read our guide to the best baby slings.

Backpack baby carriers: These are an upgrade of the traditional baby carrier, suitable for babies six months and onwards. They're structured like a hiker's backpack. Offering great back support so you can take your child on big adventures on your back. If you like travelling and hiking, or if your day consists of a lot of walking, a backpack baby carrier can prove extremely helpful. Read our guide to the best baby carrier backpacks.

The best baby carriers for 2024

With all this in mind, we've narrowed down our shortlist of the best baby carriers available in the UK. All of these options have been reviewed by our mum and dad testers - including traditional, backpack, and sling to help you find the right one for you.

Best overall baby carrier

Nuna cudlRobyn Cann
Alternative retailers
Bloomingdale's$220.00View offer

Winner of the Best Baby Carrier/ Sling or Back Carrier in the 2023 Mother&Baby Awards, this carrier offers ease and security for parent and baby, allowing you to keep your little one close while keeping your hands free.

Suitable for babies aged 0-3 years, the Nuna CUDL is designed to grow with your child, featuring an integrated infant booster for newborns that easily adjusts as your baby grows. Whether you prefer baby facing in for those intimate snuggles or facing out to explore the world, or even backpack mode for long walks outside, the CUDL has you covered. Parents also love the range of stylish colours it comes in, with something to suit everyone. 

We know comfort is key when it comes to baby carriers, and the CUDL ensures maximum comfort with its padded shoulder straps and waistband, made using breathable fabric for warmer months. The magnetic buckles make taking your little one in and out of their carrier a breeze, while the zip-open storage pocket on the waistband provides convenient storage for your essentials. Our mum tester Evie found taking her sleeping baby out very easy; “It’s very easy to put on and fit and we love that you can easily undo the buckles quietly to transfer a sleeping baby out of the sling," she said. 
It also comes with a sun hood for brighter days and organic cotton bibs, making it a must-have for on-the-go families who just need everything in one. Our parent tester particularly loved this feature, "The bib attachment to the front of the CUDL is great for forward facing especially as little ones like to suck on the front of the sling. We love how easy it is to then remove the bib and wash it without needing to wash the entire thing."

Gold - Best baby carrier at the Mother&Baby Awards 2023.

Read our full Nuna CUDL review

Pros

  • Easy to put on
  • Handy extras including a bag for storage and waistband pocket
  • Great quality and durable
  • Comfortable and secure for both parent and baby

Cons

  • Some would have preferred a buckled waistband to the velcro as the noise can be an issue for sensory-sensitive or sleeping babies
Age suitability:0 - 3 years
Number of carrying positions:4
Material:Oeko-Tex®
Fasten type:Velcro waistband
Weight range:Up to 16kg
Extra features:Integrated hood to provide shade for little one

Best baby carrier for design

Designed with outdoor adventures in mind, the LittleLife Freedom S4 Child Carrier is a premium choice for active families looking for a baby carrier solution for long walks and hikes with your little one.

As you’ll know, things can get pretty sweaty on long walks with your baby which is why it features an airflow back system to keep you and baby both cool and comfortable during those lengthy walks. It comes with plenty of storage space, allowing you to pack all the essentials for your journey, while features like foot stirrups, a viewing mirror, and the patented x-buckle harness system ensure safety and convenience on the go.

Made for children aged 6 months to 3 years, its fully adjustable design accommodates parents of all heights, while the soft face pad, neck support, and anatomically shaped seating area provide maximum comfort for your child.

While some testers would have liked it to fold down to a more compact size, its freestanding design and easy wipeable material make it perfect for outdoor adventures come rain or shine. 

The LittleLife Freedom S4 Child Carrier was awarded Gold for Best Baby Carrier/ Sling or Back Carrier at the Mother&Baby Awards 2024.

Read our full LittleLife Freedom S4 Chid Carrier review.

Pros

  • Large volume of storage
  • Great for hiking
  • Fully adjustable for parents of different heights
  • Range of carrier accessories available

Cons

  • Doesn't fold down to a compact size
Age suitability:aged 6 months to 3 years
Suitable for:adults 1.57-1.93m / 5’2”-6’4”
Dimensions:330 x 320 x 750 mm
Weight:2.7 kg
Max load:20 kg
Number of carrying positions:1
Material: Polyester, Nylon, Aluminium
Fasten type: Buckle
Extra features: Built-in easy-pull sun shade, foot stirrups, rear-view mirror and a mouldable neck support for the child
  • Top grab handles and soft face pad
  • Adjustable, anatomically shaped child seating area
  • Pivoting hip belt for comfort whilst walking
  • Bottle pocket and side grab handles
  • Large base pocket for essentials
  • Built-in easy-pull sun shade, viewing mirror and stirrups included

Best baby carrier for hiking

Cross Country S4 Child Carrier
Price: $353.20

This durable baby carrier designed is ideal to accompany you on all your adventures, particularly if you’re heading on a walking holiday. Not only is it super lightweight at just 2.5kg, it also features lightweight airflow shoulder straps for breathability to help keep your upper body cool on warmer days. 

The added extras really made this carrier stand out including the foot stirrups, viewing mirror, face cushion and sun shade for sunny days. Our mum tester loved these extra features as well as the added storage solutions. “We liked using the sun shade too, it is easy to add on to the seat and worked well. I put his nappies and wipes in the back pocket and his drink in the side pocket. It all fit well and had more room if needed,” one mum said.

Our parent testers loved the sturdiness of this carrier and found it very easy to strap their little ones in safely. It also comes with plenty of storage for all your walking essentials like nappies and wipes. 
Although some parents found it a little too large and bulky, active parents loved its practicality, smart design and added extras including the top grab handles, pivoting hip belt, and adjustable seating, offering comfort for both parent and child.

Silver – Best baby carrier at Mother&Baby Awards 2023

Read our full Cross Country S4 Child Carrier review

Pros

  • Sturdy and secure
  • Lightweight
  • Plenty of pockets for storage

Cons

  • Large and bulky making it tricky to store
Age suitability:6 months - 3 years
Number of carrying positions:1 - backpack mode
Material:Nylon
Fasten type:X-buckle harness
Weight range:Up to 20kg
Extra features:Sun shade, foot stirrups and viewing mirror included

Best baby carrier for bonding with baby

This soft and cosy cotton wrap is designed to provide your newborn with the comforting sensation of being in the womb. Offering four different carrying positions to accommodate your baby, the Dreamgenii® SnuggleRoo Baby Carrier is designed to be suitable from birth to 12 months.
Made from 100% cotton, the SnuggleRoo is gentle on both your baby's delicate skin and yours, leaving no red marks behind. Its simple design promotes that all important bonding experience between parent and child while allowing for hands-free parenting, ideal for busy mums and dads on the go.

During testing, parents found the carrier comfortable and convenient, especially during the newborn stage. “I loved how high and close it held baby to me, so he felt reassured at all times too,” commented our mum tester Rosemary. Although some parents found the instructions a bit tricky to follow initially, with mum Natalie saying, “they weren’t very clear on how to wear it,” parents eventually praised the carrier's soft material and absence of complicated buckles or mechanisms.

The SnuggleRoo's lightweight and compact design make it easy to store away and carry, fitting neatly into your baby bag or stroller without being bulky. Our mum tester Georgia said, “it is lightweight, so can easily be folded up into your change back, popped underneath the pushchair or packed in a suitcase, without taking up too much space.” Parents also appreciated its versatility and comfort, making it a go-to choice for outings and busy schedules.

Our testers also found it very easy to adjust as baby grows, with mum tester Sooha commenting, “It’s easy to adjust which saves valuable time.” They also agreed that the fact it was machine washable was brilliant after an accident, making it very easy to keep clean.

Award: Bronze – best baby carrier at Mother&Baby Awards 2023.

Read our full Dreamgenii Snuggleroo Baby Carrier review

Pros

  • Lightweight
  • Comfortable to wear
  • Doesn't take up much space,
  • Soft material
  • The baby is positioned close to you

Cons

  • Instructions could have been clearer, only suitable up to 12 months
Age suitability:Birth - 12 months
Number of carrying positions:4
Material:Cotton
Fasten type:Wrap
Weight range:Up to 15kg
Extra features:Machine washable, support band which can be used as a handy travel or storage bag.

Best ergonomic baby carrier

Designed to provide optimal support and comfort for both you and your little one, the Joie Savvy has four different carrying positions, including front and back, this carrier allows you to keep your baby close and secure while you get on with life.

Certified hip-healthy by the Hip Dysplasia Institute, the Savvy ensures your baby sits in a comfortable M-shaped position, promoting healthy spine and hip development. Our mum tester Kirsty particularly loved how easy it was to use; “The carrier is easy to put on and the magnets make it easy to get baby in and out by myself. This feature also means I can take my baby out just to feed her or change her nappy and then pop her back in without needing to take off the whole carrier and readjust it all over again,” she said.

The carrier also comes with bibs and harness pads, and our parent testers appreciated that the carrier was also machine-washable, making cleaning a breeze, with mum tester Kirsty saying, “I love that the Savvy is machine washable too so I don't have to worry if it does get dirty.” 

Although there were a few aspects of the carrier our parent testers would like improved including the strength of the buckles and they would have loved to be able to breastfeed when baby is in this, they loved its comfort and design overall, with the standout feature being how easy this was to put on and take off. Mum Sarah found it very easy to use even with another little one in tow; “The auto click buckle is absolutely amazing and can even be done one handed which is an absolute godsend, especially when juggling more than one child. It can be put on really quickly so minimising any time for tears or tantrums from all parties!”

Shortlisted in the 2022 M&B Awards in the Best Baby Carrier/Sling.

Read our full Joie Savvy review

Pros

  • Four carrying positions
  • Designed for healthy hip development

Cons

  • Can feel too hot in the summer months
Age suitability:0 - 3 years
Number of carrying positions:4
Material:Breathable fabrics
Fasten type:Magnetic buckle
Weight range:3.5kg - 15kg
Extra features:Machine washable

Best baby carrier for hot weather

Ergobaby Omni 360 Cool Air Mesh Baby Carrier

Rrp: $159.99

Price: $116.99

redirect.viglink.com

Alternative retailers
Albee Baby$179.00View offer

With its breathable 3D Air Mesh lining, this carrier ensures there’s plenty of airflow around you and baby, making it ideal for hotter weather. Our mum tester agreed that it kept her and baby cool, “gone are the days where the baby overheated in the carrier and started to complain,” she said. Other mums found it ideal to take on holiday to hotter countries. 

The Ergobaby 360 offers four different carrying positions: front-facing inwards or outwards, hip, and back. Its structured bucket seat, padded shoulder straps and extra cushioning around baby's legs provide high levels of comfort and support for both mum and baby. Our mum tester Beata particularly loved how well this carrier distributed her baby’s weight. “I tried a number of different carriers with my daughter since she was born and Ergobaby 360 is the only one that distributed her weight evenly, allowing my baby to get properly up close.” She said. 

This carrier also comes a sun protection UV hood for sunny walks and there’s also the option of using this with the optional newborn insert that’s sold separately in case you’re wanting to use it with smaller babies. Parents also loved how easy this carrier was to fold and store away when not in use, finding that it fit easily in their buggy storage basket. 

The main downside to this carrier according to our parent testers was some issues with the buckles and how tricky they were to fasten. Mum Beata said, “There are only two things I would change, one being the back buckle which is quite challenging to do up and un-do. The second would be some sort of side fastening that would make it easier to get baby in and out of the carrier.” Other parents said they’d have also liked a bit more storage on the carrier too.  

Read our full Ergobaby Baby 360 Cool Air Carrier review

Pros

  • Lightweight and breathable making it perfect for summer
  • Gives an even weight distribution
  • Added features to make it comfier for baby

Cons

  • The back buckle is challenging to do up and un-do on your own
Age suitability:0 - 3 years
Number of carrying positions:4
Material:100 per cent polyester
Fasten type:Buckle
Weight range:5.5kg - 15kg
Extra features:Machine washable

Best baby carrier for back pain

If you’re looking for a more premium quality carrier designed for parents who struggle with back pain, then you may want to consider the BabyBjörn Baby Carrier Harmony. This carrier features a wide seat area, adjustable head support, and a blend of cool, breathable mesh and soft jersey materials for optimal comfort.

Our real parent testers loved how easy it was to use, with mum tester Philippa saying “I’ve used a range of carriers before and really struggled to get them on and baby in by myself! This one is so much easier, I am able to adjust all of the straps effortlessly.” They also loved how easy this was to adjust from parent to parent, with mum Daisy saying, “it is easier to fit (especially when swapping between me and my husband) than any other carrier we tried.”

With adjustable straps and multiple carrying positions, the Harmony is great for your growing baby as it’s suitable for babies aged 0-3 years, without the need for a newborn insert for smaller babies. Parents also found their baby’s weight was evenly distributed and the padded back support and shoulder straps provided some extra comfort.

While some testers suggested additional colour options or integrated pockets for storage, parents loved how easy it was to use as well as the long-term value this carrier offers. They also loved how easily this folded away when not in use.

Gold winner for Best Baby Carrier/ Sling or Back Carrier at the M&B Awards 2022.

Read our full BABYBJÖRN Baby Carrier Harmony review

Pros

  • Simple to use
  • Very comfortable
  • Strong and breathable fabric
  • Lightweight

Cons

  • Limited storage options compared to other carriers
Age suitability:Newborn - 3 years
Number of carrying positions:3
Material:3D jersey in 80 per cent polyester, 16 per cent cotton, and 4 per cent elastane
Fasten type:Belt
Weight range:7lbs - 33lbs
Extra features:Machine washable, six colour options, bib and cover included

Best baby carrier for softness

Made with a blend of soft, breathable fabric, including sustainable eucalyptus tree pulp, the FreeRider Baby Carrier Wrap ensures your baby stays safe and comfortable throughout the day in a soft and cosy cocoon. As well as being soft, our parent testers also loved the stylish design and how lightweight and portable it is, as well as the fact it kept both them and baby cool. 

We know using a wrap can feel a little intimidating the first time you use one, but parent testers found the FreeRider Baby Carrier Wrap easy to use thanks to its clear instructions and online tutorials, allowing parents to master the wrap's technique. Our mum tester Samantha loved the added instructions, saying “There are instructions and a video online to help you learn how to fit the wrap correctly. Once you have mastered how to use it, it can be fitted quickly and it allows you to be hands-free while still giving baby cuddles and comfort.”

Designed to fit all sizes, it can carry babies from 8lb up to 35lbs, parents love its sustainable nature as well as its premium design. Our mum tester Emily loved this wrap, saying “This wrap is without a doubt the best on the market. I have used others & found them too hot but the fabric of this wrap is really breathable and this is what makes it stand out for me. I also like the fact that in the future FreeRider will be making wraps to support various charities and will donate a percentage of the profits.”

Shortlisted in the 2021 M&B Awards and won Gold in 2020 for Best Baby Carrier/Sling category.

Read our full FreeRider Baby Carrier Wrap review

Pros

  • Beautiful design options
  • Soft and strong
  • Easy to clean
  • lightweight and get for popping in your bag

Cons

  • Misses out on some features that you might find in a carrier i.e. more lumbar support, a built-in pocket, etc
Age suitability:0 - 3 years
Number of carrying positions:2
Material:100 per cent Tencel
Fasten type:Wraps around you
Weight range:Up to 30lbs (13.5kg)
Extra features:Machine wash at 30°C

Best baby carrier for support

Ergobaby Omni 360 Baby Carrier

Rrp: $159.99

Price: $116.99

redirect.viglink.com

Alternative retailers
Albee Baby$179.00View offer

The Ergobaby Omni 360 Baby Carrier is designed to make carrying your baby a simple and stress-free experience. With multiple carrying positions, including forward-facing, backwards-facing, side-facing, and backpack style, this carrier is suitable for newborns to toddlers up to 20kg, giving you a personalised fit with crossable straps and lumbar support for added comfort.

It's lightweight, easy to use, and machine washable, making it ideal for busy parents. Parents loved that there was no need for newborn inserts, and they loved extra features, including the fold-out hood for sun protection on hot days and the cushioned neck support to ensure maximum comfort for your little one. Our mum tester Amy was a big fan of the design,  “The design is brilliant, comfortable for various aged children, and it was simple to get the hang of its varying functionality. It is lightweight and easily packs away when not in use,” she said.

This carrier is a real game-changer for active mums and dads when it comes to walking the dogs or travelling overseas. It’s designed to help relieve the strain on your back and hips while supporting your child’s hip-healthy “M” position as they grows. Mum tester Sarah loved these added safety features, commenting, “Compared with other carriers I have used in the past, I found it comfortable and secure to wear, and it supports baby in a hip-healthy “M” shape position, which is important. The fact that you only need one carrier, without the need for inserts, means it will last from newborn to toddler making it good value for money.”

Winner in the M&B Awards 2019 winning Bronze in the Best Baby Carrier/Sling category.

Read our full Ergobaby Omni 360 Baby Carrier review

Pros

  • Lightweight
  • Easily packs away
  • Comfortable to wear
  • Great functional features

Cons

  • Parents felt the material could be more breathable
Age suitability:From birth
Number of carrying positions:4
Material:100 per cent cotton
Fasten type:Pull fabric through rings to tighten
Weight range:7 - 45lbs / 3.2 -20kg
Extra features:Machine washable

Best baby carrier for travelling

Ideal for mums and dads on the move, the BabyBjorn Carrier Mini offers a more compact solution compared to more bulkier baby carriers on the market. Made with soft and breathable fabric, this carrier is designed to make both day and night use effortless, particularly for travelling. Our mum tester Charlotte agreed with how easy it is to transport – “The carrier is very transportable, it isn't too bulky and it is very easy to use when taking your baby out and about.” Its detachable front section allows for easy access when your little one is sleeping, adding to the convenience for both parent and baby.

Our real parent testers also found the BabyBjorn Carrier Mini very easy to adjust and loved that the head support was also fully adjustable, ensuring a perfect fit for your growing baby. Our mum tester Emma found it very easy to use, commenting, “the simplicity of use is a massive bonus as there’s no complicated straps or buttons to deal with and the baby can be placed and secured in the carrier quickly and easily.” The carrier's ability to distribute weight evenly means you can carry your baby comfortably for longer periods and the fact it’s machine washable only adds to its convenience.

It also comes with very clear instructions making it a breeze to use, even for first-time parents, giving you the peace of mind that baby is secure and safe in their carrier. Our mum tester Eliana liked how safe it felt, commenting, “ It comes with clear instructions and you can also download this on the internet. It is reassuring that you have to hear the click noise to know you have locked the carrier securely.” As well as providing a safe spot for your little one, its smaller size makes it nice and portable for when you need to take it with you and the soft fabric and supportive design ensure both parent and baby stay comfortable, whether you're on the move or enjoying quiet moments at home.

This won a 2020 Silver Best Baby Carrier/Sling in the Mother&Baby Awards.

Read our full BABYBJÖRN Baby Carrier Mini review

Pros

  • Fully adjustable
  • Lovely soft material for baby
  • Washes well
  • Easy to use

Cons

  • Could do with more padding on the shoulder straps
Age suitability:0 - 12 months
Number of carrying positions:2
Material:Cotton
Fasten type:Waistband
Weight range:3.2kg - 11kg (7 - 24lbs)
Extra features:Machine wash at 40°C

Best baby carrier for versatility

Beco Gemini Baby Carrier
Price: $79.99

The Beco Gemini Baby Carrier is very lightweight and versatile, offering four different carrying positions, including hip and back, making it easy to adjust to your baby's needs as they grow. Suitable from birth up to 35 pounds without the need for inserts, it offers a snug and secure place to your tot to rest from the very beginning.

Designed with practicality in mind, the front of the carrier folds down to allow your baby to see out in front of you, providing excellent opportunities for interaction and sensory stimulation. For nap times, you can easily move baby back into place with the added head support, giving you the peace of mind. Optional drool pads are also available for teething babies, a feature our parent testers loved. The main standout feature was how comfortable this carrier was. One mum tester had a previously bad experiences with neck and back pain when using a carrier, but was pleasantly surprised by this one. “I just took my two and a half week old daughter, who now weighs 7.5 lbs, for a 55 minute walk and I can honestly tell you that, when i got home, I felt not even a tiny twinge of pain or discomfort in my neck and shoulders. In fact, as I was arriving home, I couldn't believe that, after 55 minutes, it was almost as if there was no weight bearing upon my shoulder area at all,” she said. 

Although parents loved the carrier, there were some downsides identified by our parent testers with some finding the instructions a bit challenging to follow and others found the security button on the clips could be simpler to operate. They did however love the ergonomic seat, adjustable headrest, and the exceptional value for money in terms of its longevity, accommodating your little one from newborn to toddlerhood.

It’s also designed to keep parent and baby cool on the move too thanks to the moisture-wicking microfiber fabric and breathable 3D mesh panel which ensures good airflow. With crossable straps, a padded waist belt, and a practical pocket for essentials, this carrier offers practicality, making hands-free parenting a breeze. You can even find a good breastfeeding position with this carrier, as one mum tester said, “I find the Beco a lot easier to use and put on by myself and adjust the straps and so handy being able to breastfeed her in it.”

The Beco 8 was reviewed by our mum testers and won the 2020 M&B Bronze Award for Best Baby Carrier/ Sling, but the Beco Gemini carrier seems to be as good, if not better.

Read our full Beco Gemini Baby Carrier review

Pros

  • Good variety of designs
  • Comfy for parent and baby with good back support
  • Lightweight

Cons

  • Some found the clips and straps a little tricky to use
Age suitability:Newborn - Toddler
Number of carrying positions:4
Material:3D breathable mesh and micro-fibre fabric
Fasten type:Waist belt
Weight range:7 - 35lbs
Extra features:Machine washable and waist belt pocket included

Best baby carrier for newborns

If you’re keen to use a baby carrier from day one, then you’ll want to know more about the Ergobaby Embrace Newborn Baby Carrier, a hybrid of a sling combined with a carrier giving you the best of both worlds. 

Made from cuddly jersey fabric, this carrier keeps your baby close to your heart in a natural position, offering plenty of support for parents with a waist belt and spreadable shoulder straps. It also features easy buckling fastenings without the hassle of excessive wrapping or fabric, ensuring a snug and secure fit every time. Our mum tester Charlotte found this carrier very hassle free  – “The carrier was extremely quick to fasten and get on once you had adjusted the waist band. The straps are very conveniently located so there is no awkward stretching to get everything fastened and tightened. The fabric is wonderfully soft and flexible surrounding the baby and on the straps, there were also no sections where the webbing straps were causing friction or discomfort,” she said. 

Our real parent testers found it was a life-saver when it came to soothing and comforting babies as well as the safety features to give us peace of mind including the Oeko-Tex Standard 100 Certified Fabric and acknowledgment from the International Hip Dysplasia Institute as hip-healthy. Our mum tester Helen found her baby felt instantly relaxed in this carrier, commenting, “When I put the Ergo Embrace on my baby will feel so comfortable she will fall asleep far quicker than other carriers.”

While some parents express preferences for other carriers like the Ergobaby Omni 360, many parents choose the Ergobaby Embrace Newborn Baby Carrier thanks to its affordability. Our parent testers would have also loved the addition of a hood for weather protection and some additional head support as babies grow.

Shortlisted in the 2021 M&B Awards in the Best Baby Carrier/Sling.

Read our full Ergobaby Embrace Baby Carrier review

Pros

  • Good head support
  • Comfy
  • Quick and easy to fasten
  • Easy to clean
  • Less fiddly than some others

Cons

  • Some parents would like the addition of a hood, as found on some other Ergobaby carriers
Age suitability:From birth
Number of carrying positions:2
Material:79 per cent polyester, 17 per cent viscose, 4 per cent spandex
Fasten type:Belt and shoulder straps
Weight range:3.2 – 11.3kg
Extra features:Machine washable up to 30°C

Best baby carrier for active parents

Babybjorn carrier move reviewRobyn Cann

Designed with active parents in mind, the BabyBjorn Move Baby Carrier is made with built-in back support and a waist belt for even weight distribution, making sure both parent and baby can enjoy outings comfortably. 

The thin and flexible 3D mesh fabric provides support for newborns while adjusting easily as your baby grows, offering a snug and secure fit. The soft fabric hugs the baby's back, legs, and hips, enhancing comfort and support. Our mum tester Shereen loved this, saying “it is a sturdy carrier and also very cushiony to the touch. My little one enjoys being in this most of the time. As well as being easy to clip together, it is reasonably easy to take off.”

Its lightweight design and secure fit make it ideal for solo use, even for breastfeeding mums who need easy access. Our mum tester Lesley particularly loved the independence this carrier gave them, saying, “It also allows me to take the dog for a walk minus the pram on days where my husband is working. I also think it will be easier for carrying baby when I want to go the shops quickly without needing to bring out the pram and assemble it.”

While some suggest improvements such as adding cushioning for baby's comfort or a storage bag for keeping it safe when travelling, our parent testers loved how durable this carrier was, despite its price, many parents consider it a worthwhile investment.

Won a Silver Award in the 2021 M&B Awards in the Best Baby Carrier/Sling.

Read our full BABYBJÖRN Baby Carrier Move review

Pros

  • Lightweight
  • Comfortable
  • Secure for baby
  • Easy to clip together
  • Folds up small
  • Breathable

Cons

  • You can't use this to carry baby on your back, which some parents would have liked
Age suitability:0 - 15 months
Number of carrying positions:2 (facing inwards or outwards)
Material:100 per cent polyester
Fasten type:Belt and shoulder straps
Weight range:3.2kg - 12kg
Extra features:Machine wash at 40°C

Best baby carrier for breastfeeding

Offering both complete carrying freedom and close bonding with your baby, the Izmi Wrap is made from luxuriously soft two-way stretch bamboo material, providing a snug and supportive position for your baby which is recognised by the International Hip Dysplasia Institute. With two carrying positions - front carry and hip carry - and the added option for breastfeeding support, this wrap offers some extra comfort for babies and easier breastfeeding for mums, just like our mum tester Sam who said, “I've even been able to breastfeed whilst walking the dog and no one noticed! An absolute must have for any mum. I love baby wearing for the bond it gives me with my baby.”

Some parents would have liked some improvements, such as increasing the weight limit for older babies as our mum tester Carys found, commenting, “I did not use it for breastfeeding as my baby was a bit too big to get the positioning right but I could see it would be big benefit to use for younger and smaller babies. There is a limited timeframe on how long the wrap can be used for however which might not make it suitable for all if budgets were tight.” They would have also liked a more simplified wrapping process as Carys also found, “Without having the videos to hand putting the wrap on is a bit difficult so if this could be simplified then I think that would be a big benefit.” 

Overall, our parent testers loved its durability and versatility, making it a preferred choice over structured carriers for the close bond it fosters between parent and baby as well as the breastfeeding benefits.

Won a Bronze Award in the 2021 M&B Awards in the Best Baby Carrier/Sling.

Read our full Izmi Baby Wrap review

Pros

  • Easy to wrap without too much laxity
  • Soft material
  • Easy to fold away and store
  • Supportive

Cons

  • Doesn't have as much longevity compared to other carriers
Age suitability:From birth
Number of carrying positions:2
Material:Bamboo
Fasten type:Wraps around you to secure baby
Weight range:2.3kg - 9kg
Extra features:Machine wash on cold

Best easy to wear baby carrier

Shortlisted in the 2021 M&B Awards in the Best Baby Carrier/Sling

If you want all the bonding benefits of a baby wrap or sling without the hassle of having to worry how to tie it all, then you might want to consider the Close Parent Caboo Lite Carrier. You simply pop it on like a t-shirt and adjust with the clever rings, allowing you to experience all the benefits of a stretchy wrap without the complexity.

Our parent testers loved it for its lightweight design, breathability, and ease of use. It also provided a snug and secure fit for both parent and baby. Our mum tester Lucia loved how close it made her feel to her newborn, Erica.” I love using this product, Erica is so close to me I have ridiculously high level of oxytocin, my baby is happy, feels safe and all cuddled up.” Lucia said. Its soft wide straps also provide added comfort for extended wear. 

Parents also loved its compact design and included storage bag make it perfect for on-the-go parents, fitting easily into a baby change bag or stroller. Its suitability from newborn up to 14kg ensures long-lasting usability, adding to its value for money.

Some of our parent testers would have liked clearer instructions or additional positioning options for older babies. Our mum tester Miriam commented, “The one thing I would change about theClose Parent Caboo Lite Carrier product would be the instruction booklet. I found the pictures quite tricky to follow and resorted to a youtube video instead. Perhaps a link to a youtube video on the manual would be good for ease of use - everything is digital these days and videos are so much easier than reading a manual!” Overall however, the Caboo Lite helped parents feel close to their baby while getting on with daily tasks.

Read our full Close Caboo Lite Baby Carrier review

Pros

  • Lightweight and compact
  • Safe and secure for baby
  • Soft and breathable material
  • Great for small babies

Cons

  • Parents found it challenging to set-up
Age suitability:From birth
Number of carrying positions:2
Material:100 per cent organic cotton
Fasten type:Pull fabric through rings to tighten
Weight range:5lbs – 32lbs / 2.3 – 14.5kg
Extra features:Machine washable

Best baby carrier for older babies and toddlers

Designed by the Swedish brand Najell, this baby carrier is a modern twist on a classic baby carrier, both feeling and looking the part. The will see you from newborn to 3 years with just one carrier making it much better value for money compared to other carriers with less longevity.

Our mum testers also love how environmentally friendly this carrier also is as it’s made from recycled fabrics. The magnetic clips ensure quick and easy usage, while the extra pouch adds convenience for carrying essentials. Our mum tester Ria agreed with how easy it is to use, commenting, “the magnetic clip system is so quick and secure that it means I can put our little one in without assistance. It takes a matter of seconds to strap in our little one and we’ve actually ditched the pram for small dog walks and use the Najell baby carrier as it’s so easy to put her in.” It’s easy adjustability also make it ideal for both parents to use.

As well as feeling soft and having a trendy design, the padded waistband and shoulder straps provide an added layer of comfort particularly for postpartum recovery when you need it most. Our mum tester Ria said, “the carrier has a padded waistband and shoulder straps that make it very comfy to wear (even with a post-partum belly and c-section scar) and I imagine this will be particularly helpful as she gets bigger and we are carrying that little bit more weight.” 

The carrier is also machine-washable, adding further to its convenience, allowing for easy cleaning after any spills. “A big bonus is that it's machine washable meaning that I don’t have to worry about any milk dribble or reflux that might get on the carrier.” Ria said.

**Read our full Najell Original Volume 2 baby carrier review
**

Pros

  • Unique hip seat
  • Added padding and comfort
  • Usability
  • Magnetic buckles
  • Great for older babies and toddlers
  • Fantastic for single parents
  • Fabulous design
  • Easy to clean

Cons

  • Instructions can be confusing
Age suitability:Newborns up to 3 years
Number of carrying positions:5
Material:Shell, 100% Cotton. Airmesh, 100% Polyester.
Fasten type:Magnetic buckles
Extra features: Hip Seat included

Best baby carrier for under £30

For a budget-friendly baby carrier option, there’s the Mothercare Two Position Carrier. Suitable for newborns from 3.5kg with the removable head cushion providing support, it ensures a snug fit for infants as well as parents of all sizes. One mum found it very easy to adjust after her husband had worn the carrier, saying; “Good quality and easily adjustable straps as both me and my partner are very different heights and sizes and we found that it adjusts easily to both of our needs.”

Parents love this carrier for its adjustability and quality, though it’s important to note that some found it didn’t fit very small newborns, with one mum saying, “I wouldn’t say it’s suitable from birth as my little girl was way too small for it and was around 2 and a half months by the time she fit in it.” However, once baby does grow into it, they found it a reliable choice, especially for the price.

Designed to promote healthy hip and spine development, it has the option of two carrying positions: inward-facing for newborns and outward-facing for older babies from around 4 months. This versatility ensures that your little one is both comfortable and correctly seated during this close bonding experience.

With wide padded shoulder straps and a soft lumbar support, it distributes weight evenly for added comfort, accommodating babies up to 10kg. It also features a padded headrest for newborns and wide waistband for balanced weight distribution, this carrier prioritises both baby's and parent's comfort.

Pros

  • Facing inward from birth
  • Facing outward from 4 months to 10kg
  • Padded shoulder straps for mum and dad's comfort
  • Wide waistband for balanced weight distribution and lower back support
  • Suitable from birth to 10kg

Cons

  • Some found their newborns too small for this until they were a few months old
Age suitability: Suitable from birth to 10kg
Number of carrying positions: 2
Extra features: Padded headrest for support of baby's head<br>Padded shoulder straps for mum and dad's comfort<br>Wide waistband for balanced weight distribution and lower back support
Fasten type: Buckle
Weight range: Up to 10kg

Best baby carrier for carry positions

Made from 100% certified organic cotton, this Gaia Stretchy Baby Carrier Wrap offers comfort and sustainability in one package providing excellent breathability and eco-friendliness. With its super soft and breathable fabric, this wrap is suitable for newborns up to 3 years old or 15kg, offering great value for money for parents.

Certified to standards by the Hip Dysplasia Institute and endorsed for ergonomic design, it ensures even weight distribution for optimal baby development. Featuring three different carry positions, the Gaia Baby Stretchy Wrap comes with step-by-step video instructions, making it easy for parents to use right from bringing their newborn home. 

Made from superior quality cotton with one-way stretch, it offers lasting comfort and support. Inspired by nature, the soft tones of the wraps are both soothing and stylish. One mum tester loved the fabric, commenting, “it is super soft, and even in the warmer weather we have been having, I have been using it daily. The fabric is breathable, and washes lovely.” Its neutral and size-inclusive design ensures it's suitable for all caregivers and any outfit. It’s also machine washable making it very easy to maintain.

Additionally, the wrap is naturally anti-bacterial, biodegradable, and free from chemical dyes, ensuring a safe and healthy environment for both baby and parent. With packaging made from certified sources and a commitment to using recycled materials where possible, Gaia Baby is a brilliant choice when it comes to sustainability and environmental responsibility.

Pros

  • Soft and breathable with easy-to-use
  • Gender-neutral and size-inclusive design
  • Naturally anti-bacterial, biodegradable and free from chemical dyes

Cons

  • Some parents would have liked some more designs to choose from
Age suitability: Suitable for Newborn, Infant, Toddler
Number of carrying positions: 1
Material: Cotton
Fasten type: Adjustable strap
Weight range: From 3.6kg to 15kg
Extra features: Naturally anti-bacterial, biodegradable and free from chemical dyes

Best baby carrier for adjustability

If you want a baby carrier that can easily adjust between each parent or caregiver, than you might want to consider the Bebear carrier as it’s very easy to adjust. With the option of six different carrying positions, it's suitable from newborn to 36 months, ensuring long-term usability. One mum tester said it made her life much easier, saying, “this has been a game changer for me means I can do my housework ect without her being unsettled. Having the little seat is great don’t get sore back from using it."

Included in the box are three dribble bibs, a head hood, and a waist extender for every body shape, a zipper pocket on the belt for easy storage when you’re on the go. One petite mum tester particularly liked how she could adapt the fit to her body, something she’s struggled with in the past. “I was so surprised by the quality of this product as I was fully expecting to be disappointed (yet again) since I’ve had a lot of trouble with other carriers since I am a petite build/frame.”

Parents particularly loved the detachable seat that can be used separately as a hip carrier or in conjunction with the carrier promoting healthy hip development and ensuring baby's comfort. It’s also a very practical carrier with a foam wedge pad that can be easily removed for washing, making maintenance a breeze.

Pros

  • Adjustable shoulder strap and waist strap are all using broad and wide cotton padding.
  • 6 ways to carry baby.
  • A a zipper pocket on the belt of baby carrier can put some small things when you go out with your baby.

Cons

  • One review said the front teething pad they recieved only had one popper 
Age suitability: 0-36 Months
Number of carrying positions: 6
Material: Polyester and cotton
Fasten type: Buckle
Weight range: Maximum weight 14.9 kg
Extra features: Adjustable shoulder strap and waist strap are all using broad and wide cotton padding

The verdict

The best carrier, in our opinion, is the NUNA CUDL. Although it's on the pricier side of carriers, it offers parents and babies a choice of four carrying positions. It is suitable for newborns up to infants three years of age. It's brilliant for bonding, allowing baby to sleep while you get on with your day, hands-free and in comfort. It also comes with a hood to provide shade in the summer and shelter from the rain.

If you're not sure what kind of baby carrier you need, some towns have baby carrier libraries that allow you to borrow a carrier for a couple of weeks for a small charge. They also run advice workshops on sling-wearing, which could be well worth checking out before parting with your cash.

Are baby carriers worth the money?

The general consensus amongst mums and dads who want to get on with their day with their hands free while keeping baby close and safe is that baby carriers are definitely worth buying. Having said that, baby carriers and slings can seriously vary in price, so it’s worth doing your research into what features will suit you and what age it will be able to support your baby up until to make sure you’re getting the best option for you for your money.

What are the disadvantages of a baby carrier?

Carrying a baby around on your body can feel rather heavy, particularly after prolonged periods when recovering from childbirth. Just like carrying a heavy backpack, it can lead to shoulder, neck and back pain. You can help combat this by buying a carrier that evenly distributes the weight across your shoulders to help reduce the chance of muscle strain. And remember, it’s not advised for baby to sit in a carrier for hours on end so it’s important for the both of you to not use the carrier for prolonged periods.

Another downside many parents find is that it can get rather hot when carrying your baby during the summer months or in warmer environments. That’s why it’s a good idea to opt for a carrier with breathable fabric to rest against both your body and your little ones.

Should I get a sling or baby carrier?

This really does depend on your lifestyle and your own personal preferences. While baby slings or wraps are often more comfortable to wear on the body, they can be tricky to get the hand of at first, particularly when you’re sleep deprived, tying the wrap successfully can be very difficult. There are however many guides on successful baby wearing and how to use a baby wrap.

That’s why we’d recommend a carrier for beginners who might not feel so confident about using a wrap with ease. They’re much easier to fasten and adjust as your baby grows but the downside is that they probably won’t be as comfortable against your body.

Is a front or back baby carrier better?

Again this really does depend on what you and your baby find most comfortable. The most important factor you should consider however is your baby’s size and age when it comes to which way they’re happy to face.

As a general safety rule, back carriers are only suitable for babies who can support themselves which tends to be around 4 to 6 months. These can last your little one until your child is 3-4 and often look more like rucksacks, allowing them to have a better view of the world around them.

Front carriers are best for newborns and younger babies as they allow baby to remain closer to you. They come in the form of both carriers and wraps and provide a closer bonding experience for you and your little one.

Emily Gilbertis the Features & Reviews Editor for Mother&Baby and has written for the website and previously the magazine for six years. Specialising in product reviews, Emily is the first to know about all the exciting new releases in the parenting industry.

Just so you know, whilst we may receive a commission or other compensation from the links on this website, we never allow this to influence product selections - read why you should trust us
How we write our articles and reviews
Mother & Baby is dedicated to ensuring our information is always valuable and trustworthy, which is why we only use reputable resources such as the NHS, reviewed medical papers, or the advice of a credible doctor, GP, midwife, psychotherapist, gynaecologist or other medical professionals. Where possible, our articles are medically reviewed or contain expert advice. Our writers are all kept up to date on the latest safety advice for all the products we recommend and follow strict reporting guidelines to ensure our content comes from credible sources. Remember to always consult a medical professional if you have any worries. Our articles are not intended to replace professional advice from your GP or midwife.