When do kids switch to booster seats? When they reach the top height or weight limit of the 5-point harness forward-facing – 65 pounds or 49 inches, it’s time to move the kids to a booster seat. If you have used a convertible car seat that can support booster mode, it’s okay for you to still use that seat. But if not, you need to shop for the best booster car seats for your kid at this time.
Booster seats are designed to ride your child safely before they can use the vehicle seat belt alone as a grown-up. They can help raise the kids up so that you can position the vehicle’s safety belt properly on your child through the shoulder and lap, providing maximum protection to your child’s neck and chest in case of any accidents.
However, booster seats should be used when your child is ready for that. It’s not recommended to move them to a booster seat too early and keep your child in a 5-point harness car seat for as long as possible. Ask yourself below four questions before transitioning your child to a booster seat:
> Is your child at least 5 years old?
> Is your child at least 40 pounds?
> Are the shoulder and lap belts available?
> Can your child sit properly the entire trip without leaning forward, slouching, playing with the shoulder belt, etc?
If you can answer “Yes” to all the questions, your child is safe to use booster seats and you can shop for one now.
But first, you should know which booster seat is the best option for your child. The most commonly asked question I received from many parents is what’s the age requirements for using the booster seats. As the demands that parents want to put 3 year olds or 4 year olds in a booster (laws require kids to be at least 4 years old to use a booster seat), a new type of booster comes into the market – harnessed booster. So I’ll add this into consideration when creating this best booster seat buying guide.
4+ Year Olds
4+ Year Olds
4+ Year Olds
3+ Year Olds
Cosco Finale DX
4+ Year Olds
Graco Affix Booster Seat
3+ Year Olds
Evenflo Chase Sport
3+ Year Olds
4+ Year Olds
4+ Year Olds
Best Booster Seats under $50
Graco TurboBooster backless is one of the two booster seats under $30. It’s no surprise that it becomes one of the most popular car seats on Amazon, receiving over 40,000 reviews from hundreds of thousands of parents. It’s the best choice to step next when the kid grows out of their convertible car seat.
The best budget price does not compromise the performance. Like all other booster seats, it is able to accommodate a child with the minimum requirements: 4 years old, 40 pounds, or 43 inches tall. Even though you won’t switch to the Graco TurboBooster so early, it’s good to see these booster seat requirements are as low as other expensive models. The upper size limit of 100 lbs/57″ is as good as the more priced booster seats as well, making Graco TurboBooster a good car seat for 5 year olds to 7 years of age.
Graco TurboBooster is lightweight, low profile, and slim fit, making it friendly for traveling. It’s also a good thing to note that if you want to save space in the back seat or plan to install multiple car seats in the same row, the Graco TurboBooster is only 16.25 inches wide. Big kids around 5 years or older can easily get in this seat and buckle themselves. What you need to do is to confirm the seat belt (used for installing a booster) is placed correctly.
Cosco Topside is the other backless booster seat under $30. It’s also popular among parents, but not their first or even second choice. The price is not an obvious advantage when compared to Graco TurboBooster or Chicco GoFit , while the latter two backless boosters are equipped with two cup holders for storing snacks and juice.
Cosco boasts that the Topside is made in the USA. This is probably the major reason that parents choose this seat, especially those who prefer a US-made car seat over a China-made car seat. However, the country of origin won’t affect a car seat’s safety and quality. As far as I know, most brands manufacture their car seats in China, like Graco, Britax, Chicco, Diono, etc. If you insist on choosing a US-made car seat, check our post on car seats that are made in the US (Most Evenflo car seats and Cosco car seats are made in the USA).
The Topside is also the lightest of these three cheapest booster seats, weighing only 2.2 pounds. So a lot of traveling families pick up it for its portability. It’s one of the portable car seats for this reason.
Chicco GoFit Backless Booster
If you have a $20 more budget for a backless booster seat, you may choose the Chicco GoFit, which is around $20 more expensive than the Graco TurboBooster. But you’ll find it’s worth it if you like a booster seat with a higher weight limit or convenience.
The Chicco GoFit has a higher capacity: 110 pounds vs 100 pounds of Graco TurboBooster and Cosco Topside. This makes a slight difference because the upper booster height limit is the same, all at 57″. (this is the minimum booster height requirement for a kid to stop using a booster seat.) The 110-pound weight limit only means that the Chicco GoFit is better for heavier kids.
It weighs very similarly to the Graco TurboBooster, about 5 pounds. But what makes it more appealing for both parents and kids is the built-in carry handle in the Chicco GoFit. The carry handle is located at the back of the seat near the armrest and the kids can carry this lightweight booster seat themselves when they travel in different cars.
The Chicco GoFit has two siblings- GoFit Plus and GoFit with ClearTex No Chemicals. Both are several dollars more expensive than the GoFit basic version. The GoFit Plus has a Quick-Release LATCH for easier installation while the ClearTex version has fewer chemical emissions.
Best Booster Seats under $100
Cosco Finale DX - Best for 3 Year Olds
Cosco Finale DX
If you want to install 3 booster seats in the back seat, you need one that fits 3-across, and the Cosco Finale DX will meet your expectation. This booster seat is designed to fit 3 across in most vehicles with dimensions of 18.2″ W x 19″ D x 29.8″ H. The Cosco Finale DX is a very great option for growing families and carpools. Find more car seats to do three across.
The Cosco Finale DX is also a 2-in-1 booster seat and can be used as a harnessed booster and belt-positioning high-back booster. It starts by keeping kids securely in a 5-point safety harness all the way up to 65 pounds. When your child grows, you can transition Cosco Finale DX to the second mode, as a belt-positioning booster, and it has them covered up to 100 pounds.
The Finale DX booster seat is made of deluxe fabric to give your kids a comfy ride and give you easy cleaning. The fabrics are machine washable and dryable, saving your energy and time to wash and keeping the seat clean enough for your child’s snugness.
This booster seat comes with a lightweight design, allowing you to easily move from car to car to ride your child in different cars if your family has two or more vehicles.
The Cosco Finale DX has a 10-year lifespan. That’s the longest of Cosco car seats when talking about the expiration date.
The fit-3-across design is a perfect solution for growing families who have two or three children. Weighing only 11.6 lbs, the Cosco Finale DX allows for easy movement between different cars.
The not good:
The Cosco Finale DX’s backrest is not removable and it lacks a backless mode, making it less appealing for those older children who do care about staying in a car seat in their school ages.
Graco Affix High-Back Booster Seat
If you’re finding a booster seat that can fit very well in small cars, the Graco Affix is worthy of your consideration. Featuring a compact design with dimensions of 15.5 (D) x 16.5 (W) x 26.8 (H) inches, the Affix booster seat can even fit three-across well and is also a great option for growing families.
The Affix booster seat helps safely transport toddlers and young kids aged from 4 to 10 years old and weighs from 40 to 100 lbs, and is up to 57 inches tall. The company upgrades the age and weight requirement due to the NHTSA’s newest safety standards for booster seats – at least 4 years old or 40 pounds or more.
The Graco Affix High-back booster seat comes with a front-adjust LATCH system, which provides a secure connection between the car seat and vehicle and allows your child to easily buckle themselves with the seat belt. Please note that this LATCH system is just used for securing the booster seat to the vehicle, a bit different from the convertible car seat LATCH for installation.
It offers great convenience for both your child and you. The seat has an integrated cup holder and hide-away storage compartment to keep the child’s drinks and favorite things within arm’s reach. The seat cushion is made of machine-washable fabric for easy cleaning, and the metal and plastic parts may be simply cleaned with mild soap and cool water.
The Graco Affix Youth booster seat features a compact and lightweight design, making it the best option for small cars and growing families.
Combining high-back booster mode and backless booster mode into one car seat, the Affix Youth can be used longer for growing children, along with a 10 years lifespan. Thanks to the LATCH system, the Affix Youth booster seat allows for easy security, and even supports self-buckling by your child.
The not good:
This booster seat is not that perfect for big kids, even its description has a statement for “big kids”. Its weight limit is only up to 100 pounds, much lower than Britax Skyline’s 120 lbs weight limit.
Evenflo Chase - Best Booster Seat for 3 Year Olds
Evenflo Chase Sport
If you want to change the booster seat between different cars, the lightweight design is a necessity, and the Evenflo Chase Sport is an excellent option. Weighing only 9.1 pounds, making the Evenflo Chase Sport a lightweight booster seat on this list (not as light as those cheapest booster seats with backless design).
Evenflo Chase Sport is a 2-in-1 booster seat, combining the harness seat and belt-positioning booster into one. When securing your child with the harness, the Chase Sport helps keep children from 22 to 65 pounds. Thanks to the 4 harness height adjustments, the Chase Sport allows for a proper and comfortable fit as your child grows.
When your child is ready, the Chase easily converts to a belt-positioning booster using the seat auto-adjusting belt path to correctly position the belt for your child. The Evenflo Chase Sport booster seat supports the transport of children from 40 to 110 pounds in belt-position booster seat mode.
Like other Evenflo car seats, the Chase Harness Booster is sided impact tested with an expanded zone of protection, even this does not mean it’s a safer car seat, but it is tested for structural integrity at energy levels approximately 2X the federal crash test standard. This car seat is designed, engineered, tested, molded, and assembled in the USA, gaining more trust for those parents who prefer made-in-USA products.
The seat pad is machine washable and should be washed separately in cold water, a delicate cycle.
The Evenflo Chase Sports booster seat comes with a 4-position adjustment harness, which is great to keep small kids safe in a booster seat. The at most 110 weight limit of belt-positioning booster mode is a bit higher than most booster seats’ 100 lbs, allowing this seat to ride older children. Made in the USA will make this car seat more reliable for some parents who believe in US quality.
The not good:
The Chase’s backrest is not removable and can’t be used as a backless booster seat. And it may not be acceptable for older children who don’t want to stay in a booster seat with a back.
Best Booster Seats under $200
Graco Tranzitions-Best Booster Seat for 3 Year Olds
If you want a booster seat for toddlers as young as 2 years old, then you won’t miss the Graco Tranzitions. It should be our best recommendation for its performance and its price.
Don’t let the price of the Graco Tranzitions 3-in-1 harness booster make you think you think you’re missing out. It’s a booster over $100, however, it’s worth it. The 3-in-1 design means it can be used in three different modes: forward-facing, high-back booster, and as a backless booster seat. (It’s the only booster seat with 5 point harness on the market with this three-mode functionality.)
With a weight requirement as low as 22 pounds, the Graco Tranzitions 3-in-1 is a good booster seat for 2 year olds. And you should use the 5-point harness for small toddlers before they are 40 pounds or 4 years old. Of course, it’s better to keep a kid in the 5-point harness for as long as possible until they reach the upper height or weight limit – 65 lbs/ 49″. That means, it is a good car seat option for 4 year olds, with 5-point harness protection in forward-facing mode.
The Graco Tranzitions 3-in-1 booster seat is forward-facing only – lacking rear-facing mode for newborns and small infants. So it’s a good choice for the next step after the kids grow out of their infant car seats. Let’s explain this with a second, the minimum weight requirement of Graco Tranzitions (22 pounds) is less than the upper weight limit of infant car seats (30 or 35 pounds).
That means, your kids should be good to fit in Graco Tranzitions when they are 30 or 35 pounds. However, some states, like New York, Virginia, Washington, etc, require a kid to stay rear-facing until 2 years old. If this is your case, you’ll need a rear-facing car seat for toddlers.
Different from most 2-in-1 harnessed booster seats like the Graco Atlas and KidsEmbrace SpiderMan, the Graco Tranzitions car seat comes equipped with a backless design. This saves money because you don’t need to spend at least $20 to buy a backless booster. The no-back booster from Graco Tranzitions is very similar to a real backless booster – low profile and lightweight. That’s better than the backless mode from Graco 4Ever DLX. The latter is very thick, retaining the seat pad from the previous three modes.
If you’re looking for a booster seat that can provide your child the most comfort in the car while saving you the most effort to wash it, give Chicco KidFit a try. The ergonomic designed double foam padding and contoured seat pad allow riding your child extremely comfortable on any trip. The seat pad, cushions, and armrest covers are machine washable, not just costing less time for convenient cleaning, but also offering a neat space for your child.
As its name states, the Chicco KidFit is a 2-in-1 booster seat that can be used as a belt-positioning high-back booster seat for children from 40 to 100 pounds and converted to a backless booster seat for children from 40 to 110 pounds. It’s a good car seat for big kids 5 years or older.
The Chicco KidFit 2-in-1 comes with a detachable design so that you can easily change it from high-back booster mode to backless booster mode as your child grows – just remove the backrest. The backrest supports 2-position adjustment to provide growing children with a snug and secure fit.
The Chicco KidFit is as safe as other Chicco car seats. The easy-to-use vehicle belt guides allow you to effortlessly position the vehicle seat belt for proper installation. The equipped premium LATCH connectors, along with the SuperCinch one-pull tightener, stabilize the seat and keep it secured when your child is on it. The 10-position headrest is made of EPS energy-absorbing foam for extra impact protection and can be adjusted for protecting your growing child.
On both sides of the Chicco KidFit booster seat, there are two cup holders to keep your child’s drinks, snacks, and favorite toys within reach. They’re removable and foldable to save space between seats if you want to install two or more seats in the back seat. Make sure you measure your vehicle seat width before installing multiple seats in the car, as the Chicco KidFit is not designed for fitting three across.
The ergonomic designed double foam padding seat provides better comfort to your child to stay in the car, especially great for long-distance travel. Made of machine-washable fabric, the Chicco KidFit is very appealing for parents who don’t want to hand wash a messy car seat. When used as a backless booster seat, the Chicco Kidfit allows a weight limit of up to 110 pounds, better for larger kids than other seats’ 100 pounds limitation.
The not good:
This car seat is a “real” booster seat, not supporting to hold a smaller child with a harness.
Britax Skyline Booster Seat
If you’re finding the best booster seat from Britax, the Skyline is a good consideration. It’s very easy to install and use. This booster seat comes with a 10-position headrest to ride 4-year-olds until they reach the top 120 lbs weight limit, generally in their 9-10 year ages.
When used in booster mode, the Britax Skyline has a higher weight and height limit, from 40-120 pounds in weight and up to 63 inches in height, making this booster seat the best option for large and tall kids. It seems only Britax car seats (all-in-one and boosters) have this higher booster height limit than other car seats.
The Britax Skyline booster seat comes with a SafeCell safety system, including a steel frame, energy-absorbing base, and patented V-shaped tether, to provide better safety.
The impact-stabilizing steel frame offers superior strength at the connection point to the vehicle for the car seat’s stability. The V-shaped tether minimizes seat rotation and keeps your child stable by reducing forward movement during a crash. While the impact-absorbing base helps reduce the force of a collision. Plus, 2 layers of side impact protection provided by the deep energy-absorbing shell assures you that this car seat is safer for protection.
The Britax Skyline rides your child with the most comfort. The multi-position recline allows you to adjust the best angle for a snug fit for your child. While the quick-adjust, 10-position headrest allows you to easily move the harness upward for a comfortable, secure fit as your child grows. The integrated cup holders on both sides keep the drinks and snacks very close at hand, ensuring your child won’t feel hungry or thirsty during long-distance travel.
It’s a pity that the car seat cover is not machine washable, even though it states that the cover can be easily removed for hassle-free cleaning. Some parents choose to clean the cover with a machine that features a hand wash setting.
The Britax Skyline is a great booster seat for safety. The SafeCell system consisting of the frame, base, and V-shape tether ensures perfect protection, along with the 2 layers of side impact protection. The ClickTight technique allows parents to easily install the seat correctly. The broader range in weight (25-120 lbs.) and height (up to 63”) makes the Skyline the best choice for tall kids or allows a longer time in the belt-positioning booster seat.
The not good:
The back is not removable and the seat can’t be used as a backless booster for older children before they can use the vehicle’s seat belt. The design is a bit bulky and this car seat might not fit well in small cars.
Best Booster Seats by Performance
|Weight/ Height Limits||Booster Seat||Price||Type|
|100 lbs/ 52"||Cosco Finale DX||$69.99||3 in 1|
|100 lbs/ 57"||Graco TurboBooster||$28.99||Backless|
|100 lbs/ 57"||Cosco Topside||$26.99||Backless|
|100 lbs/ 57"||Graco Tranzitions||$139.99||3 in 1|
|100 lbs/ 57"||Graco Affix||$89.99||Highback|
|110 lbs/ 57"||Chicco GoFit||$49.99||Backless|
|110 lbs/ 57"||Evenflo Chase Sport||$79.99||3 in 1|
|110 lbs/ 57"||Chicco KidFit||$109.99||2 in 1|
|120 lbs/ 63"||Britax Skyline||$109.99||Highback|
Best Booster Seats by Price
|Rank||Weight/ Height Limits||Booster Seat||Price||Type|
|1||$26.99||Cosco Topside||100 lbs/ 57"||Backless|
|2||$28.99||Graco TurboBooster||100 lbs/ 57"||Backless|
|3||$49.99||Chicco GoFit||110 lbs/ 57"||Backless|
|4||$69.99||Cosco Finale DX||100 lbs/ 52"||3 in 1|
|5||$79.99||Evenflo Chase Sport||110 lbs/ 57"||3 in 1|
|6||$89.99||Graco Affix||100 lbs/ 57"||Highback|
|7||$109.99||Chicco KidFit||110 lbs/ 57"||2 in 1|
|8||$109.99||Britax Skyline||120 lbs/ 63"||Highback|
|9||$139.99||Graco Tranzitions||100 lbs/ 57"||3 in 1|
Best Booster Seats by Bonus
All these best booster seats are good options for optimal protection. They are also cheap at different price ranges: under $50, under $100, and under $200. Some of them may have bonus features to satisfy different needs. Check below.
- Graco Tranzitions (with 5-point harness)
- Cosco Finale DX (with 5-point harness)
- Evenflo Chase Sport (with 5-point harness)
- Cosco Topside (2.2 lbs)
For Tall Kids
- Britax Skyline(63 inches upper height limit)
When to Buy a Booster Seat
When your child outgrows the weight or height limit of the forward-facing child safety seat with a harness, it’s time to convert to a booster seat. This generally happens during your child’s 4-5 ages, some big or tall kids may need a booster seat when they’re 3 years old because they reach the forward-facing seat limitations faster.
However, it’s not recommended to rush to move your child to a booster seat before they’re ready. And the child safety experts suggest to keep your child in a harness seat as long as possible.
Of course, you need to prepare the booster seat before your child needs it. If you have use a combination seat that supports booster mode, like all-in-one convertible seats, you don’t buy another booster seat anyway, just remove the harness and transition it to booster mode.
Things to Consider to Look for the Best Booster Car Seats
> Your child. You should always take your child’s weight and height into consideration before picking up an appropriate booster seat, after all, it’s them who stay in the car seat for a long time. Your child’s age is a useful reference, some booster car seats state their age requirements, like 2 years or 4 years old. If your child grows faster and taller, you might need a booster seat that features a higher weight/height limit and is great for big kids.
> Your budget. The booster seats are priced in a wide range. Some have a cheap price under $100, even under $50; a few costs hundreds of dollars with premium materials and additional features. But you can always find a suitable and safe booster seat within your budget.
> Your vehicle. Even the booster seats are not as bulky as convertible car seats, they come with different sizes and design. Some booster seats feature a wide width may not fit well for compact cars, especially those boosters with two built-in cup holders on both sides, they may not even fit 3-across.
> Growing with your child. As your child grows, they may not want to stay in a car seats with backrest, a booster seat that can be used in high-back and backless modes are preferable at this time.
Types of Booster Car Seats
High-back Booster Car Seats
Also called Belt Positioning Boosters: Comparing with backless boosters, they have a back and head support which goes up past the child’s ears. They usually require a lower minimum weight limitation than backless booster, and can be used for smaller toddlers. Many of these models allow you to remove the back and turn the seat into a backless booster – this option is very helpful for travel and for storage. You can check our top-rated 5 boosters with back and backless list at the bottom.
These are specialized cushions for children to sit on. The booster raises the child up off the vehicle seat for a better seat belt fit. Backless boosters all have seat belt guides which keep the seat belt over the correct place on the child’s body. Sometimes armrests serve as the seat belt guides, other seats use metal tubes or rings.
Advantages of backless boosters: They are more lightweight, compact, and less expensive than a high-back booster seat. Making the children appear less “babyish”, they’re often preferred by older kids.
Belt-positioning Boosters with Harness
Featuring a similar design and belong to the high-back boosters, they function either as a car seat with a 5-point harness for children up to at least 40 pounds OR a belt-positioning booster for kids over 40 pounds. Transition from harness seat to a booster, you just simply remove the harness and use the vehicle’s safety belt to secure the child. However, the back is usually not removable on these models.
Advantages of high-back boosters: they usually come with an adjustable headrest that gives the best positioning of the shoulder belt for easy installation. The included headrest also provides necessary head support in vehicles with low seat backs. They are also better than a backless booster at keeping a sleeping child placed properly in the safety belt.
There are three kinds of combination seats: one is the high-back booster seats with 5-point harness to ride smaller toddlers; another is the high-back boosters with a detachable backrest that can be removed when your child is ready with no back support; and the last is the one that combines all three features into one – harness, high-back and backless.
Advantages of combination boosters: They can use for a longer time through your child’s toddler to the youth ages and saves money to buy multiple booster seats.
FAQs on Booster Seats
When can a child use a booster seat
You can always find the minimum weight and height limitations of a booster seat in its product description, 30 pounds or 40 pounds for most booster seats. Generally, if your child’s weight or height falls into the range, you can move him/her to the booster.
Some booster seats may also state an age requirement, like the Britax Pinnacle ClickTight for 2+ years toddlers and Clek Oobr for 4+ years kids.
It’s strongly recommended to keep your child in a harness seat as long as possible before moving them to a booster seat, even if their weight, height or age has reached the minimum requirements.
When can my child stop using a booster seat
The answer depends on your child’s size and age, and the law in your state. Laws aside, kids aren’t ready to switch from a booster seat to seat belts until they’re at least 4 feet 9 inches tall and can pass the five-step test below – typically between ages 8 and 10.
To judge whether your child is ready to ride with a seat belt alone, test the fit of your vehicle’s belts from time to time. Buckle your child into the back seat without a booster seat, and consider the following:
Does he sit all the way back against the car’s seat?
Do his knees bend comfortably at the edge of the seat?
Does the lap belt naturally rest below his belly, touching the top of his thighs?
Is the shoulder belt centered across his shoulder and chest?
Can he stay seated like this for the whole trip?
If you answer no to any of these questions, your child should still stay in the booster.
Do booster car seats expire?
The short answer is yes. All child safety seats have a life-span after they leave the factory where they are manufactured. Most manufacturer have stated an expiration date on the seat, or mold it onto the shell on the back of the seat, some even introduce on their official site. We also include the lifespan for most booster seats in our list. If you can’t find it online, you can call the customer service for help to check. The expiration date of most booster seats is six (6) years from the date of manufacturer, if it is not specifically announced.
Can a 3-year toddler use booster car seat?
That depends. Generally, when your child’s size (weight and height) meets the low requirements of a booster car seat, you can switch a booster seat for him/her. But it’s always recommended to keep your child in the last stage of forward-facing harness seat as long as possible. Or you can ride them in some booster seats with a 5-point harness, like the Chicco MyFit.
What is the law for booster seats?
That depends on the highway safety law of each state. Every US state has made the laws to require the driver or operator to ride the children with a child passenger safety restraint system, like a car seat or booster seat or travel vest. In most states, the child less than 57 inches in height are required to stay in a booster seat. This may vary based on each state’s specific requirements, and you can read the booster seat laws in the next part or our post on car seat laws to find the local of your state.
What is the safest booster seat on the market?
Actually, all the booster seats meet the federal safety standards and go through rigorous tests before it selling on the market. The safest seat is the one that fits your child’s age, weight, height and behavioral maturity, can be properly installed in your vehicle and will be used correctly every time the child rides in it.
How long do kids need booster seats?
The kids need booster seats until they reach 4 feet 9 inches. This typically happens when the kids aged between 8 and 12 years old. So a few US states also suggest the booster age requirement to be 8 years or older to get out of a booster seat.
If the kids start to use booster seats at 4 years or 5 years old, they will need to stay in the booster seats for three or four years long time.
What car has built in booster seats?
It’s not necessary to have built-in booster seats in the car because there are a lot of cheap booster seats on the market and you can customize the travel convenience based on your needs and budget. Right now, there is only Volvo that offers built-in booster seats. The car models include XC90 – with a single booster seat in the center of the second row; XC60 and V90 – with a pair of booster seats on the outboard seating positions of the second row.
How long are booster seats good for?
Booster seats have a lifespan between 7 and 10 years. That means they are good for at least 7 years of usage since the date of manufacture. The shortest 7 years is good enough to let the kids go through the last booster stage from 4 years old.
When do kids switch to booster seats?
It’s okay for kids to switch to booster seats as long as they’re at least 40 pounds or 4 years or older. However, it’s not recommended to switch to booster seats too soon. The best practice is to keep kids in a car seat with a 5-point harness for as long as possible until they outgrow the 5-point harness height or weight limit.
When do kids stop using booster seats?
According to the US car seat laws, kids can stop using booster seats when they’re 8 years old or reach 4 feet 9 inches (57″). Only at this height, the kids will be big enough to fit the seat belt correctly.
Check the booster seat laws to find the details.
Booster Seats Laws in US States
- Alabama – Booster seats for 5 year olds (at least) or 40 pounds until the child is six years of age.
- Alaska – 4 through 7 years who are at least 57 inches or 65+ pounds; 7 through 15 who are shorter than 57 inches or weigh less than 65 pounds should use a booster seat.
- Arizona – each passenger who is at least five years of age, who is under eight years of age, and who is not more than four feet nine inches tall is to be restrained in a booster seat.
- Arkansas – younger than 6 years of age and less than 60 pounds should be secured in a proper child restraint system. Not specify about booster seat requirements.
- California – Kids aged 4 through 7 years in a booster seat.
- Colorado – Children should use a booster seat until they are 8 years old.
- Connecticut – 5-7 years or between 40-60 pounds in a forward or rear-facing child restraint or a booster seat secured with a lap and shoulder belt.
- Delaware – 7 years and younger and 65 pounds in weight or less child safety seat or booster seat
- Georgia – under eight years of age provides for the proper restraint of a such child in a child passenger restraint system. Not specify about booster seat requirements.
- Hawaii– 4 years through 7 years must be in a child restraint or booster seat.
- Idaho – who is six (6) years of age or younger, child safety restraint. Not specify about booster seat requirements.
- Illinois – under the age of 8 years, appropriate child restraint system. No specific booster requirements state.
- Indiana – under the age of 8 years, appropriate child restraint system. No specific booster requirements state.
- Iowa – Under six of age in a child restraint system; 6 through 17 years use a child restraint or seat belt. No specific booster requirements state.
- Kansas – for a child under the age of seven but at least four years of age or who weighs less than 80 pounds but weighs at least 40 pounds, use a child booster seat.
- Kentucky – under 8 years of age, between 40-57 inches in height in a booster.
- Louisiana – at least 4 years old can use a booster.
- Maine – The operator shall ensure that a child who weighs less than 80 pounds, who is less than 57 inches in height, and who is less than 8 years of age is properly secured in a belt-positioning seat or other child restraint system.
- Maryland – Under 8 years old and less than 57″ in height, appropriate child restraint system. Not specify on booster seat requirement.
- Massachusetts – Under 8 years old and less than 57″ in height, appropriate child restraint system according to manufacturers’ instructions. Not specify on booster seat requirement.
- Michigan – Under 8 years old and less than 57″ in height, appropriate child restraint system according to manufacturers’ instructions. Not specify on booster seat requirement.
- Minnesota – Under 8 years old and less than 57″ in height, appropriate child restraint system according to manufacturers’ instructions. Not specify on booster seat requirement.
- Mississippi – Use a belt-positioning booster seat system if the child is at least four (4) years of age, but less than seven (7) years of age and measures less than four (4) feet nine (9) inches in height or weighs less than sixty-five (65) pounds.
- Missouri – Children at least four years of age but less than eight years of age, who also weigh at least forty pounds but less than eighty pounds, and who are also less than four feet, nine inches tall, shall be secured in a child passenger restraint system or booster seat appropriate for that child;
- Montana – under 6 years of age and weighs less than 60 pounds, a child safety restraint. Not specify on booster seat requirement.
- Nebraska – 7 years and younger in a child safety seat.
- Nevada – less than 6 years of age and who weigh 60 pounds or less a child restraint system. Not specify on booster seat requirement.
- New Hampshire – less than 7 years of age, child restraint system. Not specify on booster seat requirement.
- New Jersey – younger than 8 years and less than 57 inches, in a booster seat.
- New Mexico – children seven years of age through twelve years of age shall be properly secured in a child passenger restraint device or by a seat belt. Not specify on booster seat requirement.
- New York – all back seat passengers of the such vehicles who are age four or older but under age eight, an appropriate child restraint system or a lap safety belt. Not specify on booster seat requirement.
- North Carolina – 7 years and younger and less than 80 pounds, appropriate child restraint system. Not specify on booster seat requirement.
- North Dakota – 7 years and younger and less than 57 inches, appropriate child restraint system. Not specify on booster seat requirement.
- Ohio – 4 through 7 years who weigh 40 pounds or more and who are shorter than 57 inches in a child restraint or booster seat.
- Oklahoma – 4 through 7 years, if not taller than 4 feet 9 inches, in a child restraint or booster seat.
- Oregon – 7 or younger: more than 40 pounds but 4 feet and 9 inches or less must be in a booster seat.
- Pennsylvania – 4 years or older but under 8 years in a booster seat.
- Rhode Island – under 8 years old and less than 57 inches and less than 80 pounds in an appropriate child restraint system; 7 years and younger who either weigh 80 pounds or more or who are at least 57 inches tall; 8 through 17 in a seat belt.
- South Carolina – children 4 and older who outgrow forward-facing child restraint must be in belt-positioning booster using lap/shoulder belts until the child is at least 8 years or at least 57 inches.
- Tennessee– Children aged four (4) through age eight (8), and measuring less than four feet nine inches (4’9″) in height, must be secured in a belt-positioning booster seat system,
- Texas – A person commits an offense if the person operates a passenger vehicle, transports a child who is younger than eight years of age, unless the child is taller than four feet, nine inches, and does not keep the child secured during the operation of the vehicle in a child passenger safety seat system.”
- Utah – a child who is under the age of eight or who is less than 57 inches tall must be secured in a car seat or booster seat
- Vermont – a child eight through 17 years of age shall be restrained in a safety belt system or a child passenger restraining system. Not specify on booster seat requirement.
- Virginia -all children under 8 to be properly secured in a child safety seat or booster seat.
- Washington -4 years or older, who is under four feet nine inches tall must be properly secured in a child booster seat. A child may continue to be properly secured in a child booster seat until the vehicle lap and shoulder seat belts fit properly, typically when the child is between the ages of eight and twelve years of age.
- West Virginia – all children under 8 to be properly secured in a child safety seat or booster seat.
- Wisconsin – Children must be in a booster seat until they reach age 8, more than 80 pounds in weight, or more than 4 ft. 9 in. tall.
- Wyoming – no person shall operate a passenger vehicle in this state unless each child who is a passenger in that vehicle and who has not reached his ninth birthday is properly secured in a child safety restraint system in a seat of the vehicle other than the front seat.