Choosing a car seat is one of the biggest decisions you’ll make when preparing for a new arrival. Once you’ve selected the car seat that fits your family’s lifestyle, it’s important to find the right accessories that work best to keep your little one safe and happy. A car seat cover is ideal for keeping your infant protected from the elements, as well as allowing for privacy when running errands. Some car seat covers are even tailored to add an extra layer of protection from unwanted germs in the air. Babies benefit from the added sense of security, and many covers prevent the need for unsafe winter gear that doesn’t fit properly in their harnesses. From neutral fleece coverings to fun, spunky prints, car seat covers are an exciting way to add some flair to your infant safety gear. Whether you’re looking for a multipurpose tool or simply an added layer of warmth, these car seat covers are sure to fulfill all of your baby needs.
Best Baby Car Seat Covers
(Best for cold weather — $$)
Why it’s great: The weather-resistant outer shell and cozy interior fleece is the perfect baby car seat cover to keep your little one toasty in unsavory weather. The elastic bottom doesn’t interfere with baby’s safety straps, so you can take your infant in and out of his or her car seat without removing the cozy cover.
Keep in mind: The elastic bottom of the cover can be a little tight or loose depending on the type of infant car seat you have. You may have to re-adjust its fit over time.
Good for: Families living in wintry climates and want to avoid the hassle of dressing and undressing their little ones in winter gear before and after car rides.
(Best for transitional seasons — $$)
Why it’s great: This two-for-one pack is perfect for summer and those in-between seasons when the mosquitoes come out and the sun is beating down. The mosquito net cover allows for airflow, while still protecting baby from pesky bugs. The sun cover offers UV protection in a water and wind-resistant fabric that is perfect for those pop-up spring showers.
Keep in mind: Given the weather-resistant material, it can occasionally get warm underneath the cover on hot days. Be sure to monitor baby at all times for air flow and temperature.
Good for: Parents living in transitional climates in need of protecting baby from bugs and sun.
(Most versatile — $)
Why it’s great: The Simka multi-use cover is all about convenience. Its soft, stretchy fabric can be stretched over nearly all infant car seat models. The scarf-like style can be worn as a nursing privacy shield when feeding baby in public. Plus, the beautiful earth tones add some flair and individuality to your baby gear.
Keep in mind: The cover allows for limited light to reach your infant while in the seat which is perfect for napping. However, make sure you continually check on your little one through the top hole to ensure they’re safe and comfortable.
Good for: Nursing parents looking for a multipurpose baby car seat cover.
(Best deal — $)
Why it’s great: The stretchy design of this cover allows it to be used as a baby car seat cover as well as a cover for high chairs and grocery store carts. The large opening makes it easy to use in a myriad of ways to offer a barrier for baby from germ-filled environments.
Keep in mind: The thin fabric is perfect for warm summer months. However, it is not the best at protecting your little one from wind or rain.
Good for: Parents on a budget that want the most bang for their buck.
(Best for snow protection — $$)
Why it’s great: The zip-on and zip-off front of this winterized car seat cover makes it easy to control your little one’s temperature and comfort from the elements. The face shield with easily accessible snaps makes checking on your baby a breeze without having to entirely undo the baby car seat cover.
Keep in mind: The zipper allows parents to easily increase or decrease the airflow for their infants. Some parents have noted the zipper is a little too smooth and their babies can unzip themselves.
Good for: Parents living in snowy climates.
(Best for UV protection — $$)
Why it’s great: The universal fit of this sunshield blocks 99% of harmful UV rays from your baby’s sensitive skin. The soft mesh and canopy style allows for air flow, while the zippers give you access to a large peep window to continually monitor your little one’s comfort.
Keep in mind: With so many flaps and options, the cover can almost feel cumbersome at times due to a multitude of options of how it can be used to protect and check on baby.
Good for: Families living in sunny climates, particularly with little ones too young for sunscreen.
(Best space saver — $$)
Why it’s great: The space-saving pouch of the Acrabros baby car seat cover means this is one baby must-have that’s a breeze to pack. Four snaps ensure the baby car seat cover is a secure fit and the zippered front makes it easy to check on your little one.
Keep in mind: The secure fit of this cover can make it a bit tight to slide the car seat handle all the way back in certain models.
Good for: Parents who are tight on space but still want to offer protection from the elements while their infants are in car seats.
FAQs about Baby Car Seat Covers
1. What is the purpose of a car seat cover?
Car seat covers have a multitude of uses. They can help keep baby warm so there’s no need for additional jackets or bulky sweaters that cause a safety harness to no longer fit properly. They can also be used for privacy and as an added layer of protection to prevent germs from reaching baby’s face. Many multipurpose car seat covers can also be used as a high chair cover, or as a breastfeeding shield.
2. What should I look for in a car seat cover?
When shopping for a car seat cover, pay attention to the climate you live in as well as your daily environment. In a jam-packed city, a lightweight privacy cover may fit the bill. If you’re often dealing with inclement weather, a fleece-lined and weatherproof cover may be more suitable for your needs. Breastfeeding parents may also want something to use as a cover, while others may prefer something that transitions for shopping carts in the grocery store or high chairs.
3. Are car seat covers safe?
When selecting your car seat cover, ensure it’s compatible with your car seat make and model. Most car seat covers should not be used when the car seat is being used in a moving vehicle. While many covers partially block baby’s face, make sure you don’t leave baby unintended and continually check that your little one is not overheated and has proper airflow. As with any car seat, familiarize yourself with the rules and regulations for safe sleeping should your infant be near a nap. Be sure to read the directions and warnings on the cover of your choice.
4. How do I care for my car seat cover?
Most car seat covers are machine washable, which is very important given that you’ll most likely be using your car seat cover in less-than-clean public settings. It’s worth noting the care and maintenance needed for your car seat cover when purchasing so you know what the upkeep entails. Spot cleaning or using a wet wipe for minor messes is also a quick option when on the go.
5. How long will I be able to use a car seat cover for my infant?
Car seat covers are typically geared to infant car seats that can be taken in and out of your vehicles. You can use your infant car seat for as long as the manufacturer recommends given height and weight limitations. For many babies, an infant car seat is used up until 12 months.
Of all the necessities needed for a new little one’s arrival, a car seat cover may feel like an afterthought. However, baby car seat covers offer a multitude of uses for both safety and comfort purposes. From warm, cozy fleece to easy, breezy cotton and mesh, there’s a wide range of fabrics and styles that are sure to fit your needs. Not only can they be used as an added layer of protection for the car seat, but many multipurpose models can be used in a myriad of environments, from restaurant high chairs to grocery store shopping carts. These baby car seat cover options are a must-have on all baby registries.