A baby carrier is a must-have for any new parent, allowing you to keep your baby close whilst leaving your hands free. Using a baby carrier – sometimes called babywearing – has also been shown to help promote bonding. But which is the best baby carrier you can buy and how do you choose the right baby carrier for your baby?
Our baby gear editor, Heidi Scrimgeour, shortlisted her expert pick of the best baby carriers on sale. Next, she assembled a panel of mums and asked them to put the baby carriers to the test. Our panel of testers tried them out over a period of several weeks – that’s hours and hours of testing in all weathers – with babies aged between two months and 13 months old.
Best baby carriers at a glance
The Cybex Yema baby is worthy of our top spot as the best baby carrier overall. It’s elegant and stylishly designed but super practical, too. It’s much less bulky than other baby carriers and really easy to put on and take off. Our tester found it supremely comfortable to wear and loved that it looks so good.
Best baby carrier overall: Cybex Yema – Online4Baby | £149.95
Best premium baby carrier: Nuna Cudl Baby Carrier – John Lewis | £150
Best budget baby carrier: Chicco ComfyFit Baby Carrier – Amazon | £50
Babymoov Babadulle Ergonomic Baby Carrier – Babymoov | £29.99
Konny Baby Carrier – Konny Baby | £42
Nuby Newborn Baby Carrier – Nuby | £49.99
Izmi Essential Baby Wrap – JoJo Maman Bebe | £30
BabyBjörn Carrier Mini – BabyBjörn | £80
Tula Half Buckle Carrier – Tula | £129.90
Ergobaby Aerloom – Ergobaby | £219.90
How to choose the best baby carrier for your baby
Consider your preferred position. Most baby carriers offer multiple ways of carrying your baby. These include on your chest with your baby facing towards you or facing outwards, depending on their age and weight. Many carriers can also be worn on your back, and some offer a hip-carry position, with your baby cradled on your side.
Think about weight distribution. All baby carriers have minimum and maximum weight recommendations. These apply to each different carrying position, so check the carrier is suitable for your baby’s age before you buy. If you plan to use it over the long term, choose a carrier that can be adjusted as your little one gets bigger and heavier. And if your partner or your baby’s grandparents might use the carrier too, pick one that’s easy to adjust to fit people of different shapes and sizes.
Emily Williamson, a professional Carrying Consultant, former midwife, mum of two, and founder of South London Slings library, told us, adds, “A sling or carrier will only be comfortable if it fits your shape. Wraps or less padded/structured options which contour to your body can offer excellent weight distribution. If you don’t find your carrier easy to use, you won’t use it. Everyone finds different things easy so check you can get your carrier on safely and fitting comfortably by yourself. “
How often are you likely to use the baby carrier? If you can imagine using a carrier around the house while you’re making dinner, choose one that’s not too bulky. Some are better suited for outdoor use.
How much money should you spend on a baby carrier? It’s important to factor in value for money. Don’t be put off by the expensive carriers. These can be excellent value if you end up using one frequently over several years. But if you don’t want to spend a lot on a carrier, our buying guide includes some budget options. Many of these have most of the same features as premium carriers at a fraction of the cost.
Finally, always make sure you’re using a baby carrier safely. Choose a baby carrier that supports your baby’s thighs to the knee and positions the legs in the hip-healthy ‘M’ shape, with your baby’s head, spine and neck adequately supported. Experts also recommend following this ‘TICK’ checklist for using a baby carrier safely:
Tight – make sure the carrier is tight enough to hug your baby close.
In view at all times – you should able to see your baby’s face at all times.
Close enough to kiss – your baby’s head should be within kissing distance.
Keep chin off chest – this ensures your baby’s breathing isn’t restricted.
Supported back – prevent your baby from slumping to keep airways clear.
Are baby carriers safe for newborns?
“Yes, baby carriers are safe for newborns. Research has proven that babies who are close to their parent’s chest cry less, especially during the evening hours so don’t just use your carrier during the daytime, use it at home and when out and about,” explains Emily.
“The more you wear your baby, the happier little one will be. They will also spend more time in a quiet alert state, which is the state in which a baby learns the most. When babies spend less time crying, they spend more time learning and interacting with the environment around them. Babies who are worn in a baby carrier are also able to see everything their parents see, hear and say and become more involved in your everyday life. Having your baby close to you also allows you to respond to their cues much more quickly and easily. All of this can help to develop your babies cognitive and social skills and improve their overall wellbeing.”
Forward-facing or inward-facing baby carrier – which is best?
“For the first several months, your baby will be more than content with being carried facing inward towards you. From a developmental point of view, the baby’s primary tasks are related initially to adaptation to life outside the womb. So it certainly does not need excessive stimulation of facing forwards,” says Emily.
“At around 2-3 months, the baby’s main interest will be the human face. So the inward-facing position is ideal for this. This is because they will have a clear view of the caregiver’s hopefully exciting and stimulating face. The baby can also observe the caregiver’s face when she/he is communicating with others, providing the baby with learning experiences.
“The age that you can switch your baby to front-facing outwards is around 6 months old. This is roughly when they have good head and neck control. However, some babies will clearly signal through protests earlier on that the front inward facing position is no longer suitable to provide adequate visual stimulation!”
1. Best baby carrier overall: Cybex Yema
A stylish hybrid carrier that’s adjustable, super comfortable and not at all bulky
Star rating: ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐ | Weighs: 0.7kg | Age: Birth – approx. 2 years (3.5 – 15 kg)
✅ Exceptionally comfy
✅ Versatile – can be worn several ways
✅ Storage bag included
|❌ Expensive (but worth it)
❌ Wearing takes practice
The Cybex Yema carrier is an elegant, versatile baby carrier. If you like baby gear that’s designed with practicality in mind but still stylish, this is the baby carrier for you. If you’re not sure whether you want a buckle carrier or a wrap-style sling, this is a good compromise. That’s because it’s a mix of the two styles, known as a hybrid carrier.
It offers three carrying positions: front parent facing position, hip carry position, and back carry position. It’s highly adjustable, so it accommodates your baby’s changing weight and size as they grow. It’s made from 100% cotton and is machine washable. It also comes with its own storage bag, making it really handy for travel use.
Our tester’s favourite feature of the Cybex Yema is the fact that it’s far less bulky than other baby carriers. While some carriers can make wearing a coat or jacket impossible, our tester was able to pop this carrier under a large coat whilst out walking her dog. “I also really like that it goes with all my outfits… well, my legging and hoodie combos,” says Carly Hobbs, who put the Cybex Yema baby carrier to the test with her three-month-old baby, Dex.
Initially, Carly wasn’t a fan of wrap-style carriers, finding them less secure than more structured buckle carriers. However, she found this really secure and exceptionally comfortable to wear. “It fastens like a wrap-style carrier but has hidden support,” she says. “With other wrap carriers I’ve always felt I couldn’t let go of Dex, but I could walk the dog and chase after my toddler whilst wearing this without Dex jiggling around.”
The Cybex Yema is worthy of the top spot as the best overall baby carrier because it’s the perfect blend of practicality and style.
2. Best premium baby carrier: Nuna Cudl Baby Carrier
A highly versatile ergonomic baby carrier
Star rating: ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐ | Weighs: 1.10kg | Age: Newborn to 3 years (3.5-16 kg)
✅ Extremely soft and comfortable
✅ Suitable from birth to three years
✅ Machine washable
❌ Costlier than similar carriers
❌ Limited colours / patterns
❌ Adjusting it takes practice
This is a comfortable and adjustable baby carrier, with four different carrying options. You can carry your child on your front (either facing the world or facing you) up until your little one is 18 months. You can also use it as a back carrier for older babies and toddlers up to the age of 36 months.
Made from breathable, machine-washable fabric, this carrier has softly padded shoulder and waist straps and is designed to ensure that your baby is held in the safest ergonomic position, whichever way you use it.
Our tester, Sarah McCarron, put it to the test with her baby daughter, Caitlin, aged 13 months. She found it highly comfortable compared to other carriers – the most comfortable she has tried. “The first thing I noticed when trying it on was that it was incredibly soft, supportive and comfortable to wear,” she says. “The fabric is really breathable and I like the simple colour scheme. My one-year-old particularly enjoyed the forward-facing position.”
Our favourite feature – magnetic buckles – make this carrier really easy to put on, even if you’re in a hurry and don’t have another pair of hands to help. From the fabric quality to the fact that there are four carrying positions – not to mention how comfy it is to wear – this adaptable carrier easily earns our vote as the best premium baby carrier.
3. Best budget baby carrier: Chicco ComfyFit Baby Carrier
A good value, easy-to-use hybrid carrier
Star rating: ⭐⭐⭐⭐ | Weighs: 0.5kg| Suitable from: 3.5-15kg
✅ Straightforward to use
✅ Easy to position baby correctly
✅ Comfortable to wear
|❌ Not suitable for back carrying
This hybrid carrier combines the key elements of a structured carrier and a wrap-style sling. The design ensures the baby’s legs are in the hip-healthy ‘M’ position and its spine is in the ‘C’ curve. It can be used from 0+ months in the inward-facing position and from 6+ months in the forward-facing position. It is easy to put on and has an adjustable waist belt with a useful pocket. The carrier folds into a handy storage pouch and is machine washable.
Emily-Ann Elliott tested this carrier with her son Ted, aged eight months. “This baby carrier is really easy to use, thanks to the three-step ‘Click, Strap, Tie’ technique,” she says. “You just click on the belt, put a strap over each shoulder and cross them at the back, before tying the material at your side. Both straps have labels telling you which shoulder they go on, which makes it impossible to muddle up putting it on. It’s one of the easiest slings I’ve used.”
Because of its structured style, Emily-Ann felt her baby was especially secure. The soft fabric made for a cosy experience, too. “The design is inspired by yoga apparel, which means the fabric is lightweight and it feels very flexible, she says. “It’s a stylish carrier that felt comfortable to wear. And I really like that it’s machine washable, as it’s easy to clean after inevitable little accidents.”
Baby carriers can be bulky but a standout feature of this carrier is the fact that it can be packed away neatly into a pouch. That’s a helpful feature, whether you’re planning a holiday or thinking about carrying this around day to day.
“I’d recommend this to a friend who likes the idea of a stretchy sling, but isn’t confident in tying one themselves,” concludes Emily-Ann. “The fact that it cannot be used to carry the baby on your back is a downside for me, but overall I think it’s easy to use, comfortable and good value for money.”
4. Konny Baby Carrier
A lightweight wearable sling with storage bag
Star rating: ⭐⭐⭐⭐ | Weighs: 431g | Suitable from: Newborn – 44lbs
✅ Fantastic value for money
✅ Very easy to put on
✅ Comfy for naps
|❌ Not adjustable to fit other wearers
❌ Minimal back support for wearer
❌ Shoulder straps are very wide
The Konny baby carrier is a simply designed baby carrier that comes in a variety of colours and prints. The lightweight fabric means it’s less bulky than other similar carriers, and it packs neatly into its own storage bag.
Hannah Hughes put this carrier to the test with her daughter Maggie, aged 18 weeks. “Lots of carriers feel quite complicated to wear and you need lots of practice putting them on, but I found the Konny very simple and easy from the start,” she says. “I loved the selection of prints and colours, and chose the beige gingham which complimented all my outfits.”
Working out how to put on a baby carrier can be a mission, but Hannah found this very straightforward. “It’s always a worry to know if you are babywearing correctly but I found the instruction manual easy to follow,” she says. “The picture of the baby’s legs in an ‘M’ shape is an easy way to make sure the leg and hip position is correct, and the wide shoulders of the carrier take the strain off your back.”
Overall, Hannah would recommend this sling to anyone looking for a stylish carrier that’s simple to use and not too bulky. “The Konny is simply yet beautifully designed – it’s made from quality fabric and the prints are cool and modern,” she says. “It’s a fantastic lightweight option – one you can easily pop in your bag or under the pram without any extra bulk. It’s easy to wear, the colour choices and prints feel really modern and fashionable, and it’s a good price point. Most importantly, my baby falls asleep quickly in this compared to other carriers.”
This carrier would suit someone who loves simple stylish design and wants a choice of cool, modern prints. It’s perfect for mums who want to use a combination of pram and carrier, as it’s lightweight and not bulky to carry around when not in use.
5. Nuby Newborn Baby Carrier
A lightweight carrier specially designed for newborn babies
Star rating: ⭐⭐⭐⭐ | Weighs: 570g | Suitable from: Birth-18m
✅ Suitable for back carrying
✅ Looks good with any outfit
✅ Easy to put on and take off
|❌ Marks easily and is difficult to clean
❌ Waist strap wouldn’t fit parents of all sizes
❌ Bigger babies won’t last till 18m so less value
The Nuby Newborn Baby Carrier is a lightweight baby carrier that’s easy to put on. It can be worn three ways – on your front with baby facing either inwards or outwards, or on your back.
This carrier impressed our tester in terms of both price and practicality. Carly Hobbs tried it out with her two-month-old baby, Dex. “It’s smaller and less bulky than my usual carrier, so it’s much more practical to wear in the house while getting stuff done,” she says. “I found it so easy to slip my baby in and out of – especially when he’s fallen asleep on a walk and I can just slide him out without waking him – winning!”
The Nuby Newborn Carrier is also simple to put on and take off, and easy to adjust. “I found it so simple to put on that I knew I could get the baby in with ease,” adds Carly. “After a few goes doing it in front of the mirror I could do it by touch without needing to see the actual buckles.”
Although it’s suitable for use for up to 18 months, Carly feels her baby will have outgrown this carrier by then. She also found the waist belt to be on the small side. “It’s easy to adjust but I had the waist fastening on the biggest setting and it only just fitted,” she says. “Two months post-birth I am probably about a size 16 so I’m not sure how suitable it would be for bigger dress sizes.”
That said, she feels it’s ideal for someone that loves stylish, neutral colours and doesn’t want to spend a fortune on a carrier, especially if only using it once in a while. “It’s comfy and easy to wear, and my baby loved being so close to me,” she says. “I loved putting Dex in it daily while pushing his older brother in his pushchair. It actually makes going out on walks a dream rather than a chore.”
6. Izmi Essential Baby Wrap
A soft, wrap-style carrier suitable for breastfeeding
Star rating: ⭐⭐⭐⭐ | Weighs: 0.53kg | Suitable from: Birth-9kg
✅ Allows baby to snuggle close
✅ Stylish and easy to clean
|❌ Complicated to put on and take off
❌ Feels less secure than a structured carrier
VIEW AT JOJO MAMAN BEBE | £30
Suitable from birth, the Izmi Essential Baby Wrap is a wrap-style sling made from supersoft, breathable fabric. The ergonomic design distributes your baby’s weight evenly, thus reducing pressure on your back. It can be worn in two carrying positions – on your front or on your hip – and it’s also possible to breastfeed your baby in this carrier.
Carly Hobbs tested it with her two-month-old baby, Dex. She’s not normally a fan of this type of carrier, preferring a more structured design for her “very wriggly” baby, but she found it very comfortable to wear.
“It’s a soft baby carrier that’s designed for super close babywearing and although it’s designed to be easy to use, this type of carrier isn’t my usual choice,” she says. “That said, I did like that it has wearing options for smaller and larger parents, making it accessible and very flexible. It’s ideal if you have a big size difference between mum and dad or anyone else wanting to use the carrier. It’s also very comfy to wear as it doesn’t dig in anywhere.”
A standout feature for our tester is the fact that this is less bulky than other carriers. “I loved that I could fit more of the carrier (and Dex) inside my coat when it got cold or windy – something that isn’t possible with bulkier carriers.”
Overall, this is a cosy option that Carly would recommend to mums who know they like this style of carrier. She thinks it’s especially suitable as a spare carrier for use at home instead of sturdier, bulkier designs. “It makes it possible to hold your baby super close, so long as they’re not too big or wiggly,” she says. “And I love that you can just throw it in the washing machine after a few spillages, and also that it comes with its own little tie bag for storage so you can pop it in your change bag or put it away easily in the house.”
7. BabyBjörn Mini Carrier
A light and comfortable carrier designed for newborns
Star rating: ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐ | Weighs: 0.5kg | Suitable from: Newborn – 1 year
✅ Ergonomic design
✅ Easy to adjust to fit both parents
✅ Good re-sale value
|❌ Only suitable up to one year
❌ Limited back support
Created especially for newborn babies, Baby Carrier Mini is suitable until your child is one year old or until they weigh 11 kg (24 lbs) and/or reach a height of 75 cm ( 29.5 in). It can be worn in two positions – facing inwards or outwards on your front – and it’s small enough to pack neatly in your changing bag. A feature we love is the fact that you can unfasten the entire front section to lift your baby out – brilliant when your newborn has nodded off in the carrier.
Hannah Hughes tested this carrier with her daughter, Maggie, aged 19 weeks. She found the carrier “incredibly simple” to wear and adjust. “Maggie sat comfortably in the super soft jersey fabric and I had no worries about her hip position because the simple design means that it feels impossible to put a baby wrongly into the carrier,” she says. “The carrier is lovely and light because it’s just worn around the parent’s back, and not around the waist. I loved the muted grey colour, which looks really expensive, and the fact that it can easily be adjusted for both partners to wear.”
After long periods of wearing this carrier, Hannah felt some strain on her back and shoulders – probably because of the lack of a waist strap. But if you plan to use a carrier for long periods of time, it’s worth looking at the Baby Carrier One or Baby Carrier One Air as excellent alternatives.
Overall, Hannah wouldn’t hesitate to recommend this to anyone looking for a lightweight carrier for a new arrival. “It’s a great newborn carrier that’s easy to use and can be worn by both parents. It’s not too bulky and the soft jersey fabric means it’s really comfortable for baby and parent to wear.”
8. Tula Half Buckle Carrier
A stylish hybrid carrier that’s super comfortable to wear
Star rating: ⭐⭐⭐ | Weighs: 1.2kg | Suitable from: Newborn – 4 years
✅ Super stylish
✅ Great range of colours/prints
✅ Extremely comfortable to wear
|❌ Tricky to put on
❌ Bulky design
❌ Long straps get in the way
Suitable for babies weighing from 3.2 to 20.4 kg (7 – 45 pounds) with no infant insert required, this colourful carrier has a buckle waist and crossable tie straps. It’s a hybrid carrier, meaning the design offers the comfort of a buckle waist and the customisable support of crossable tie straps.
Hannah Hughes put this carrier to the test with her daughter Maggie, aged 19 weeks. She found it tricky to put on but was impressed with how comfy it was to wear – and she got lots of compliments about this stylish carrier!
“It was difficult to hold Maggie whilst getting her positioned into the carrier and then to have to cross over the straps and tie them around my waist,” she says. “Once she was in I worried a little about hip position – because us mums worry about everything – but she seemed happy and comfortable and the sling really was super comfortable to wear. Of the four carriers I’ve tried, I’d say this one gave me the best back support.”
This type of carrier is bulkier than other styles because of the way it ties around your body, and Hannah wondered if a different Tula design might have been easier to get to grips with.
“It looks great and it was actually really comfortable to use, but as well as being difficult to pop baby in – especially solo – it was also quite bulky to wear or even carry because of the very long straps,” she says. “That said, the range of beautiful prints and colours available is incredible – and it really does look beautiful on.”
9. Ergobaby Aerloom
A super-lightweight stretchy carrier made from sustainable material
Star rating: ⭐⭐⭐⭐ | Weighs: 0.66kg | Suitable from: Newborn – 3 years
✅ Breathable fabric
|❌ Tricky to use and adjust
❌ No hood or sunshade
❌ Our tester found the front-facing position uncomfortable
The Ergobaby Aerloom carrier is made from innovative FormaKnit fabric, which is breathable and lightweight yet supportive – and includes approx. 26 recycled plastic water bottles, including lids! The carrier adapts to the contours of your body, and can be used three ways; from birth in the inward-facing position, in the forward-facing position for babies at least 25in tall (around 5-6 months), and on the back for babies at least 26in tall (around 6 months). The carrier is machine washable and folds neatly for easy storage when not in use.
Our tester, Emily-Ann, liked the fabric but found this carrier more challenging than others to use, especially when wearing it on her front with her baby facing forward. She tested it with her eight-month-old son, Ted.
“I can see the breathable fabric being very useful in summer or while on holiday, to stop both baby and parent from overheating,” she says. “But while the sling has obviously been designed for comfort, it’s not the easiest to use. If you are not a regular sling wearer, it may take a while to get used to it, as there are quite a lot of adjustments to make to the straps in order to get the baby into the safest carrying position.”
While the wide strap offers good lumbar support (and includes a handy zip-up pouch), the top strap has to be clipped by reaching over your shoulders. “That’s quite tricky if you have short arms as I do,” says Emily-Ann. “Once in the inward-facing position, my baby does feel well supported and comfortable.”
Another feature our tester liked about this carrier is the fact that it can be worn on the back. “Some of the carriers we tested can’t be used for back carrying, but this one can, which makes it a good option to use from birth through to toddlerhood,” adds Emily-Ann.
If you like stylishly designed products and want a lightweight, travel-friendly carrier that can be used from birth right through until your child is walking, this is well worth considering.
10. Babymoov Badabulle Ergonomic Baby Carrier
A lightweight, breathable ergonomic carrier that folds compactly
Star rating: ⭐⭐⭐⭐ | Weighs: 0.4kg | Suitable from: Birth to 15kg
✅ Very easy to use
✅ Ultra-light and compact
✅ Attractive, stylish design
|❌ Can’t be worn forward-facing on your front
❌ Little to no head support for baby
There are two options for carrying your baby in the Badabulle Ergonomic Baby Carrier. It can be used in the front-facing position for babies from 3.5kg and in the back position from 8kg (from 9 months onwards). It’s ultra-light and compact and made from breathable fabric. It has a wide belt and straps to evenly distribute weight, making it a comfortable design for both parents and baby.
This carrier is really simple to use, according to Emily-Ann Elliott, who put it to the test with her eight-month-old son, Ted. In particular, she found this carrier made it easy for her to position her baby in the hip-healthy ‘M’ position – the safest babywearing position for healthy development.
“The carrier has an adjustable waist fastening and shoulder straps, and another strap which fastens at the top of the back or across the chest, depending on which way you’re wearing it,” she says. “This means it’s really easy to get your baby into the safest physiological position, with their knees tucked up higher than their hips.”
This is a great choice if you’re looking for a travel-friendly baby carrier. “With summer just around the corner, this feels like it will be a great sling to use on hot days as it’s light and breathable,” says Emily-Ann. “It is also incredibly compact when folded up, so it will be easy to pop in my changing bag or pack in a suitcase for holidays.”
Overall, this is a stylish, lightweight carrier that’s really easy to use. It’s less versatile than other carriers because it offers fewer carrying positions. However, it’s excellent value for money.
“For me, the only downside is that your baby can’t be carried forward-facing on the parent’s front in this carrier,” says Emily-Ann. “But for parents who travel frequently or want a straightforward carrier that’s easy to use and doesn’t cost a lot, this is ideal.”
Are baby carriers really necessary?
Are you thinking, ‘Can’t I just hold my baby?’ Or, ‘What about a pushchair?’ Emily, who has over 10 years’ experience with baby-wearing is passionate about the benefits of using baby carriers for both the baby and the wearer! And it’s not just about your arms getting tired!
“Every baby loves to be close to their mum and dad and every new parent knows the struggle of constantly carrying a baby in your arms and trying to get anything else done. But there is an easy solution that allows you to keep your baby close but leave your hands free… try using a baby carrier or wrap!
“Baby carriers and wraps have been used for centuries to allow parents to get stuff done without leaving their baby alone, it is basic human survival, how else did parents work the land or fetch water and take their baby with them? This is a lesson from the past that fits perfectly into our busy modern lives.”