Are you looking for top rated infant car seat covers? If so, you’ll want to keep a few things in mind. Car seat covers provide protection from the elements, filling in the spaces that a car seat canopy won’t reach, but that’s not their only benefit.
Some covers are made for specific seasons. Some can be personalized with your child’s name or initials. They come in a wide array of colors and patterns to match your unique style. When your car seat is not in use, a cover can protect it from dust and sun damage.
Not all car seat covers are created equal. Take the time to research reviews and product details so you find the best quality you can afford. When shopping for your infant car seat cover, think about what matters most in how you will use it.
- Will you need to remove it often?
- Do you frequently take long car trips?
- Do you have a high quality car seat that you want to protect?
- During which seasons will you need to use it most often?
There are many styles to choose from on the market, depending on your preferences. Infant car seat covers can:
- Help keep your child warm in the winter.
- Provide sun protection during the summer months, while preventing overheating.
- Protect from germs at public events.
- Provide a barrier in any weather conditions, including rain, snow, sleet and wind.
- Serve multiple purposes as nursing covers, changing pads, shopping cart & high chair covers, scarves, etc.
The best car seat covers are made with high quality materials that won’t fade, tear, or weaken with regular use. Some are made with organic materials that won’t irritate a baby’s skin.
Many families need more than one seat cover, including one for travel and one for everyday use or for additional children. Browse our reviews and decide which works best for your family’s needs and budget.
Best Infant Car Seat Covers – 2021 Independent Ratings & Reviews
Add an infant car seat cover to your must-haves this summer
Car seat covers are so versatile, you should have one for every season. For your summer outings, many of them do double duty as nursing covers that protect your privacy and keep your baby cool.
Look for covers with breathable materials such as cotton and rayon blends. They should stretch and provide 360-degree coverage so you’re not fighting to keep it in place. They should also be simple enough to switch between the car seat and a nursing cover with zero fuss.
You’ll also want one that’s stylish enough to make the other moms jealous, but that’s just between us. Check out our summer-friendly listings below and choose the one that will work for you.
Nursing Cover Breastfeeding Scarf by YOOFOSS
This multitasker works as a car seat cover, nursing cover, high chair and shopping cart cover, scarf, changing mat, etc. It’s a soft 92% polyester, 8% spandex blend that’s fairly breathable and super stretchy.
It provides full 360-degree coverage for breastfeeding and comes in at least 3 fun patterns. It’s also machine washable and dryable for easy cleaning.
Moms really like this cover. They love how well it works as a car seat cover. They like that it’s lightweight and folds up compactly. Many felt that it kept strangers from peeking at the baby since the cover fit so snugly over the car seat.
Some moms said it was too short to cover them completely while nursing, especially plus-sized moms. Others said it was way too tight to double loop as an infinity scarf. A few moms noted that the tag says it’s cotton while it’s obviously not and doesn’t seem breathable enough.
Baby Car Seat Canopy KeaBabies
This multi-use cover from KeaBabies serves as a cover for the car seat, a nursing cover, shopping cart cover, and more. The rayon/spandex blend is soft and breathable with very good stretch. It’s also machine washable and dryable.
This cover comes in 5 fun color/pattern choices.
Moms said the cover doesn’t fade or degrade after multiple washings. They love that it’s lightweight and super stretchy. Some noted that it easily adjusted on the car seat to keep the sun off their babies. They liked the roominess while nursing and that the fabric was breathable while not being see-through.
While the cover is roomy, some moms noted it hung way over the bottom of the car seat so they had to be careful to not catch the cover in the car seat base. A few plus-sized moms thought it was too snug for them. Others noted small holes in the fabric upon first opening the item or within a few uses.
Kids N’ Such – Large Car Seat Canopy
This car seat cover from Kids N’ Such also works as a nursing cover, but it’s designed differently than most. It functions more like the classic blanket over the car seat, but attaches to the car seat handle with loop fasteners while keeping the cover off of your baby’s face.
The opening is a long gap in the middle that fastens with snaps, but offers a better view of your baby when looking in on him. It’s also easier to get the baby in and out without removing the cover.
While the inside minky fabric comes in different colors, the outer cotton fabric is gray with a white chevron pattern. It’s not reversible, however. But the loose-fit design provides a more universal fit for all types of infant car seats.
Moms noted the back of the cover can fly up if it’s windy. Snaps may malfunction or come off easily, and there could be loose seams and missing loop attachments. However, the company does have a 100% money-back guarantee.
Brica – Infant Car Seat Cover
This car seat cover from Brica may be the most summer-friendly cover on our list, though it isn’t a multi-functional product. There’s a retractable sun shade that repels rain and is rated UPF 50+ to block UV rays. Under that is a mesh panel to provide visibility and plenty of air while protecting them from mosquitoes and other insects.
The mesh panel fastens with a zipper. The sun shade can be stored in a zippered pocket when not needed and fastens with a snap closure when used.
While fantastic for keeping the bugs off your baby when you’re outdoors, several parents noted that the sun shade doesn’t cover the sides well. Also, wind and rain could get through if it’s coming in sideways.
Removing the baby with the cover can be hard, since the opening under the mesh isn’t huge. If you’re going to be outdoors a lot, this is probably a good choice as it has better protection against summer sun and bugs than most covers.
Sho Cute – [Reversible] Carseat Canopy
This all-season car seat cover from Sho Cute is a little different from the rest. While dual-functioning as a nursing cover, this product is reversible so you can switch between patterns.
It also has toy loops so you can keep baby entertained while blocking out the sun and rain. There’s a “peek-a-boo” window, though some parents noted it didn’t line up with the baby’s face very well.
It’s not insulated, so it’s not great for super cold weather conditions. But the double layer of 100% cotton will do a fine job of keeping the baby warm if you’re not going to be outdoors for long.
As a nursing cover, this one is a bit lackluster. Instead of being a stretchy fabric, it’s tightened with a bungee-like cord. It’s rather short compared to the other multipurpose covers, and the fabric isn’t stretchy, so it may not offer great coverage. If you like a loose nursing cover, however, this one could work well.
Matimati 5-in-1 Carseat Canopy & Nursing Cover
This is one of several multi-functional covers on our list. Besides providing a stretchy cover for your car seat, it can be used as a breastfeeding cover, high chair or shopping cart cover, a light blanket, changing pad, and even an infinity scarf.
There are 2 color/pattern choices. The material is a thinner, cotton spandex best suited for warm weather.
It will provide sun and wind protection while remaining breathable for warm summer months. It won’t overheat your baby as a nursing cover either. Some moms loved that it could be worn as an infinity scarf so they didn’t need to take the nursing cover off while out and about.
While most parents loved how it fit their car seats, one parent noted that there’s not much room left on the handle to carry the car seat on your forearm. A few moms didn’t like the tighter fit when used as a nursing cover. If you prefer a looser cover for your wiggly baby, it’s probably not the best nursing cover choice.
Stock up for winter now with a warm infant car seat cover
Car seat covers are perfect for keeping that cold winter air, snow, and sleet off your baby. They’re also a better alternative than bundling your child in thick outerwear. Babies should never wear thick winter coats in a car seat, since the harness will not fit snugly enough.
Winter is also prime time for colds and flu. A good car seat cover can protect your baby from those inevitable coughs and sneezes when you’re out and about.
Not to mention they’re cute and cozy and will lull your baby into a nice warm nap. Find your next favorite winter must-have from our list below!
JJ Cole – Car Seat Cover
This cover from JJ Cole looks like your classic baby bunting and is designed for use during the winter months.
Available in 6 colors, the JJ Cole Car Seat Coverfits most car seats, strollers, and jogging strollers. It’s better than a separate blanket that won’t get blown away with wind gusts, get caught in your stroller wheels, or worse yet, get lost.
The quilted nylon shell repels wind and rain. Inside, there’s a soft fleece liner for extra warmth. The easy to remove top helps you adjust the temperature to prevent overheating. It’s also machine washable, which is always a plus for baby products.
If you live in extreme northern climates that regularly experience below zero temperatures, this may not provide enough protection. Some parents noted that the zipper broke after a few uses. In some cases, the cover didn’t stay in place well and had to be readjusted often.
Take a Look At These Extended & Specialized Editions:
JJ Cole - Original Bundleme
The original JJ Cole Bundleme has a Thermaplush exterior instead of nylon so it’s less water-resistant. The inside is faux shearling. It comes in 4 colors with a white interior and costs about $10 more than the newer cover.
Cozy Cover Infant Car Seat Cover
The weather-resistant Cozy Cover is made of 100% microfiber with a soft fleece interior. The backless design and elastic edge fits snugly around most infant car seats without interfering with the harness straps.
Dual zippers allow easy access for getting baby in and out. A liftable flap provides coverage for baby’s face when needed. It comes in 6 colors with a white interior.
Moms say it works great for short outings in cold climates, though if they’re outside for a while, they sometimes cover the baby with a blanket under the cover as well. A few moms mentioned the Velcro may not hold well on the flap if it’s windy. Also, the cover may not be a good fit on all infant car seats.
Take a Look At These Extended & Specialized Editions:
Cozy Cover Premium Infant Car Seat Cover
This premium model is only a few dollars more and provides even more warmth with the Polar Fleece outer shell that’s similar to a winter coat. It comes in 5 colors with a black interior, with the same dual-zippered design.
Amazlinen Stretchy Baby Car Seat Covers
This multi-season car seat cover works as a nursing cover, cloak, high chair cover or baby pillow. It folds up compactly into a pouch on the head flap when not needed. Two zippers allow easy in and out and temperature control. Four snaps secure it to the car seat.
One neat feature is the concealed stretch mesh cover. It protects from insects while allowing baby plenty of light and fresh air. The cover comes in 3 fun patterns and is made with a stretchy cotton t-shirt material on the outside and a warm minky lining on the interior.
A few moms reported that the snaps and/or zippers broke within a few months. Others said it was way too small for their car seats or that their babies could kick it off easily.
Do you really need an infant car seat cover?
Like many baby products on the market, a car seat cover isn’t a necessity. Yet, it can improve the quality of your baby’s time in her car seat, especially outdoors. The natural world is full of fantastic things for your baby to experience.
Outdoor time isn’t just fun time. There are many science-backed health benefits of being outdoors for even young infants:
- Being outdoors encourages language skills. Beyond the four walls of your home is a whole world full of sensory stimuli for your baby to learn. Wind, rain, rocks, sticks, puffy clouds scooting across the blue sky above – all of it promotes their desire to communicate and gives you a whole new arsenal of words to teach them.
- Playing outside boosts physical development. Children attain the majority of their motor skills before they’re 5 years old. Much of that happens during their first two months. Even young babies who can’t run and play can watch other children on the playground. This provides vital information that will help them get a head start on motor skills like running, climbing, jumping, throwing, etc.
- Outdoor experiences provide a foundation for learning. Varied environments promote better brain development by stimulating a child’s natural curiosity. They’ll wonder how birds and airplanes fly and why the leaves change color and fall. These are teaching opportunities as you help them understand the world around them. It helps them become adept at science and reading skills later on.
- Time outdoors promotes better sleep patterns. According to a 2004 study, babies who slept well by 13 weeks of age were those who spent twice the amount of time in the sunlight than those who didn’t sleep well. Being indoors under artificial light all day and night inhibits the natural Circadian rhythms that promote healthy sleep. Plus, the more baby sleeps through the night, the more sleep you’ll get too!
- More time outdoors could mean less time being sick. Keeping your baby inside a filtered-air, sterilized environment can do more harm than good. While you don’t want to take baby into crowds during flu season and let strangers cough all over her, being exposed to natural outdoor microbes can boost their immune system to protect against illnesses, allergies and asthma.
- Going outside is good for mom and dad too! Postpartum depression (the baby blues) can be a serious condition. Studies have shown that outdoor exercise can boost your mood, release tension and fight depression. Sunlight helps your body create vitamin D, which is a natural mood booster. Even just 20 minutes a day can improve your health and provide valuable bonding time with your child.
Dangers of being outdoors
While the outdoors is a wonderful place to be, there are some not-so-fantastic things your baby can be exposed to as well. If you avoid going outdoors with your baby because of sun or rain, mosquitos, pollen or germs, investing in a good infant car seat cover can allow you both to get out more.
Infant car seat covers can protect against:
- UV sun rays
- Extreme temperatures
- Microbes and airborne particles such as pollen, bacteria and viruses
Why are these things potentially harmful?
Exposure to UV rays during an infant’s first 6 months (when their skin is most vulnerable), increases the risk of skin cancer later in life. This is especially true if children get sunburns. Cases of melanoma in young people are rising from the use of tanning beds and constant exposure to sun.
Experts recommend avoiding direct sunlight when it’s most intense between 10 AM and 4 PM. An infant car seat cover with a UV blocking panel can help block out those rays if you do happen to be out at that time. If your baby is 6 months or older, a good sunscreen of at least 15 SPF and sun-blocking clothing can provide additional protection.
Besides the annoying itchy bumps, mosquitoes can carry serious diseases that can be fatal, especially to the very young, very old or those with compromised immune systems. Among those common in the US are West Nile Virus and Zika Virus (which can also cause birth defects). In other countries, malaria, dengue, and yellow fever claim thousands of lives.
Mosquitoes cause more deaths than any other organism, in fact. Over one million people die of mosquito-borne illness every day across the world.
The main concern with rain, sleet, snow, etc. in babies is how it affects body temperature. Prolonged exposure (especially in winter) can lower a young infant’s body temperature very quickly, which can lead to hypothermia.
Infant car seat covers can help repel precipitation, but very few are truly waterproof. In downpours or in rain that blows in sideways, it’s likely your baby will get wet if you’re outside for very long. A car seat cover will do a great job of keeping them dry for short periods, however.
Young babies cannot regulate their body temperature as well as older children and adults. So it’s important to keep them warm in winter and cool in summer to avoid hypothermia and heat stroke. A fleece-lined infant car seat cover provides good insulation on those cold days while a breathable, sun-blocking cover can keep baby cool when the temperatures are high.
Microbes & airborne particles
Obviously everyone has learned a lot about COVID. Also flu season can be a dangerous time for young children and infants since their immune systems aren’t fully developed. The flu season of 2017-18 was particularly deadly, even among older children and healthy adults. Avoiding crowded places with your baby is the best way to avoid exposing them to the flu virus.
However, you can’t always avoid being in a crowd, so an infant car seat cover can block viruses transmitted through coughs and sneezes. It can also keep dirty hands away from your baby’s face. Even if they mean well, anyone touching your baby near her nose, mouth and eyes pose a real risk during flu season.
Some final safety tips
There’s a reason most car seat cover manufacturers recommend taking off the cover before putting the car seat in the car. Many times, the cover can get between the seat bottom and the locking mechanism of the base so that the car seat won’t be fully secured, even if it seems to be. For safety’s sake, take off the cover before you get behind the wheel.
For the many multipurpose covers on the market, consider investing in at least two. Use one for covering the seat and as a nursing cover and the other as a changing pad, high chair and shopping cart cover. This will lessen the chance of cross contamination for your child.