How to buy the best pushchair
Find out what makes a good pram for a newborn baby and what to look out for in the best toddler pushchairs. Read our pushchair shopping tips to help you avoid the pitfalls.
How much do I need to spend?
Pushchairs vary enormously in cost. You can spend anything from less than £100 to more than £1,000, but in some cases you’ll be buying a desirable name and fancy fabrics rather than a practical pushchair that’s easy to use and push.
In a Which? survey (March 2020) of 1,500 parents with children under the age of five, the average spend was £378. More parents (39%) spent between £101 to £450. Some of the more expensive brands of pushchair include iCandy, Stokke, Bugaboo and Silver Cross.
We’ve found Best Buy buggies from as little as £150, so you don’t necessarily have to spend a large amount to get an excellent stroller.
Best pushchair features to look out for
Small niggles and frustrations will become very annoying when using your pushchair daily, so choosing the right one is essential. Before you splash out, read our pointers below to avoid a dud.
Many parents like to have their new baby facing them to maintain eye contact, so a reversible seat is a good feature. This means you have the choice to keep them parent-facing while young, then world-facing when they’re o
Being able to easily adjust the height of the handlebars will make it much more comfortable for you to push, especially if you’re a different height from your partner or anyone else using the pushchair.
Separate handles, common on strollers, tend to flex quite a bit when pressure is applied, but we safety test them to ensure they comply with the British Standards for handle strength.
A handlebar can be a more comfortable option, but a surprising number of bars are oval or square and can become uncomfortable to use after a long period of time.
Shopping basket size
Capacity varies from 1kg to 15kg, but the average pushchair shopping basket can hold 4 or 5kg. Look for a basket with sturdy sides and good access, even when the seat is reclined. Additional storage pockets around the pushchair are also useful.
Prams with extra padding, such as a head hugger, will help keep your baby supported and snug in their new pushchair.
Swivel front wheels rotate to move in any direction with very little pushing and pulling and they make it easy to manoeuvre on normal ground, but they can make it harder to navigate across rougher ground or gravel. For the best of both worlds, choose a pushchair with swivel wheels that can lock, so you can turn this feature on and off depending on where you are going.
Probably not the first thing you’d think of when choosing a pram, but check you’re able to walk with the pushchair using your normal stride. Also make sure you don’t scrape your shin on a rear axle, brake bar, shopping basket or other accessories.
Fact 27% of parents rate a pushchair that’s easy to fold and unfold as the most important feature according to a 2021 Which? survey of 1,632 parents with a child under five.
An easy-to-use folding mechanism is essential. You’ll be folding the pushchair day in and day out, so try this out before you buy and avoid pushchairs where you need to remove accessories before it can be folded. Many pushchairs come with claims of having a one-handed fold, but our tests prove that reality can be very different.
The best have large pedals that are clearly labelled, easy to apply and effective. Watch out for brake pedals that stick out as these can catch on stairs and a bar connecting the brakes as that can obstruct your feet when walking. Look for flip-flop friendly brakes that you can press on and off to avoid scraped toes or shoes.
Size and shape
Bulky and heavy pushchairs can be hard to push, lift and generally manoeuvre. A good pushchair can be big without being difficult to use.
Leg rests and leg support
Smaller children who can’t reach the footrest often end up with their lower legs hanging off the end of the pushchair seat in mid-air. An adjustable leg rest provides good calf support, and usually have between two and six positions to help keep your toddler’s legs comfortable.