If you’re about to buy a pushchair, you may have started your research, and it may be dawning on you that it’s no easy task. The choice is seemingly endless, with strollers boasting an array of similar-yet-different features to transport your tot – so what’s the right one for you?
The first question to ask is, how old is your baby and how will you be using it? Many pushchairs can be used from birth, whereas other strollers are suitable from six months old. Some give the option where you can pop on a car seat, turning the buggy into a travel system, or there’s the option to have a carrycot so newborns can lie completely flat.
If you’re short on space you’ll want to look for a compact fold, and if you like to travel, a lightweight frame will serve you nicely. Is pushing an ultra-stylish set of wheels important? If so, there are plenty of beautifully designed buggies to pick from.
So to save you the job of wading through buggy specs, we’ve lined up the best of the bunch, highlighting the must-have features that may well appeal.
We tested the strollers with different aged tots, on a variety of journeys that saw us whizzing around the shops, ambling along the seafront and rambling through the forest – all the while asking some crucial questions. How smooth is it to push and steer? Is our mini tester comfy? What little extras make all the difference? Read on to find out what we discovered.
You can trust our independent reviews. We may earn commission from some of the retailers, but we never allow this to influence selections, which are formed from real-world testing and expert advice. This revenue helps us to fund journalism across The Independent.
iCandy lime pushchair and carrycot: £650, Mothercare
As well as being a cool-looking buggy, the new lime model gives you all the functions of iCandy’s full-sized pushchairs, in a cheaper, easy-to-manoeuvre city stroller. This pushchair makes light work of tight corners, aisles in shops and narrow doorways and big rear wheels give it a stable feel. In the bundle comes both the carrycot and seat fabrics, so it’s suitable for a newborn, and you can pop on a car seat with the included adaptors. The seat can also be parent or world-facing, which is a feature not often seen on such a compact stroller.
We had no problems transporting it – both in the car and on public transport – thanks to the lime’s patented fold; cleverly the seat and bumper bar stay on when collapsing, and there’s a handle for easy lifting. You can whip off the wheels for an even dinkier fold. We loved that you can adjust the chair’s height and distance using the seat elevators, so it doubled up as a highchair when grabbing a pit-stop lunch. An integrated buggy-board means as your family grows, one tot can ride on the back. A generous storage basket completes this totally urban-friendly buggy.
Familidoo air pushchair: £169, Cheeky Rascals
For parents wanting something nippy, the Familidoo air is a super-functional stroller that won’t break the bank. There’s no carrycot and you can’t add a car seat, but for a lightweight pushchair it handles well and the one-handed compact fold makes it easy to take in and out of the car and to stash in a corner at home. We loved that it stands upright when folded.
Our two-year-old tester enjoys holding on to the unique T-bar and we found the seat smooth to recline when she fell asleep. A rain cover and carry bag are nice little extras in the box. We tested the blue bear design that has a fun panda print on the hood, but if you’re not a fan of the OTT prints, the buggy comes in black or a new stylish denim grey too.
iCandy peach all-terrain: £1080, John Lewis & Partners
The peach all-terrain is the big budget, outdoorsy hero from the premium brand iCandy. Based on the iconic peach pushchair but with off-road capability, you’ll find a comfy padded seat, big air-filled tyres and all-round suspension.
There’s a carrycot so it can be used from birth and you graduate to the seat unit by just swapping over the fabrics – both modes share the same frame. In the seat your little one can be in parenting-facing mode or watch the world in the outward-facing position. Got two tots? Then there’s a double version that comes with two seats, or you can upgrade your single later with the convertor kit and extra seat fabric.
When pushing it feels as sturdy as an ox, yet surprisingly agile, and you can switch between using three or four wheels to navigate multi-surfaces – be it the shopping centre or a country lane. We discovered it popped up curbs and breezed over lumpy fields, tree stumps and potholes in the pavement all with impressive ease. The 10kg capacity storage basket was also a blessing on our day trips. Even with a picnic, a pair of wellies and a fit-to-burst baby-changing bag, there was still space for a cagoule or two.
Bugaboo bee 5: From £549, Bugaboo
Bugaboo is known for its quality pushchairs and this one is a firm favourite with parents. The bee 5 is the latest update of this from-birth buggy and is compact, manoeuvrable and lightweight, yet incredibly sturdy. You can buy a baby cocoon to support a newborn on the pushchair’s flat recline but for extra security, you might want to fork out for the additional carrycot too. We loved the bee 5’s tiny footprint when folded down and found it can be stored in the smallest of spaces. We tested this in a chic neutral shade from the classic collection, but the colourful fabrics are also a popular choice for this buggy.
Silver Cross pop stroller: £190, Silver Cross
Whether you pick one of their traditional posh prams or easy, everyday strollers, you can expect a classy and dependable set of wheels from the heritage brand Silver Cross.The pop pushchair can be used from birth and really comes into its own as a little one grows. The wide, tall-backed seat can handle a child up to 25kg – the weight of a five-year-old at least – and a lie-flat recline makes for peaceful naps when out and about. We liked the extendable calf support that gives extra comfort for tired legs.
The large UPF+50 canopy and a ventilated seat helped our tot stay cooler on a particularly hot and sticky day. Couple this with a lightweight frame and an easy umbrella fold and it’s the ideal choice for travelling. But it’s not just a buggy for holidays. The well-built chassis is robust and lockable front wheels means it behaves well on the street. It’s also now available in three new stylish shades. All-in-all we found it an excellent choice for everyday use.
Micralite fastfold stroller: £275, Micralite
This pushchair catches admiring glances when out and about. It boasts a roomy hammock-style seat and unique five-position handle bar, plus there are plenty of great features beyond its cool design. It’s suitable from six months onwards but add a fastfold car seat and you can use it from birth. This stroller performs well on both urban streets and off-road, and the anti-vibration seat diffuses bumps no matter where you wander. We found the quick fold mechanism simply a dream to use.
The buggy feels premium with its sturdy frame and performance fabrics – there’s a weatherproof UPF50 hood and storm cover for a downpour. We appreciated the one-handed steering and thought the pneumatic tyres coped well on bumpy terrain. They are practically puncture-proof but you might want to take along the pump, just incase.
Jane kendo pushchair: £399, Jane
This is the newest pushchair from Jane – the Spanish brand renowned for its sensible baby hardware. The kendo is designed to tackle different terrain so is both solid and sporty and can be used from birth. It’s a calm ride for mini passengers thanks to large, puncture-free wheels that swivel or lock at the front depending on the surface, with all-round suspension.
We found the extra-large wind-protecting hood essential when you’re out all day and a raincover is included if you do get caught in a shower. The kendo is a standout stylish pushchair in the Jane stable, with its choice of fabrics in understated shades. You can also take them off for washing after one-too-many ice creams. Oh, and a matching changing bag is included too.
Maxi-Cosi lila: £439.20, John Lewis & Partners
Looking for a newborn-suitable pushchair? Then it’s worth having this one on your radar. The Maxi-Cosi lila cocoons a baby from birth with a seat that converts into a lie-flat bassinet and a thermo-regulated reversible mattress that’s designed to be cooling in summer and snug in winter. The pushchair can be used up until around 3.5-years-old and it glides nicely along pavements and around bends.
We loved that the shopping basket can be taken off and carried inside separately, and the chassis’ one-hand fold felt smooth to collapse. A prime feature for us was the pushchair’s “napkeeper” – a pull down mesh that creates a dark, but ventilated nest for sleeping. There are loads of great little add-ons you can buy for the lila, such as a tray that fits in place of the bumper bar, a cup holder and a cosy winter pack. The pushchair can also be upgraded to a double by getting the duo kit.
Stokke xplory: £899, Mothercare
There’s a reason this pushchair has won a bunch of awards. Splash out on the Stokke xplory and you get a stroller where every last detail has been considered. From the get-go we just loved how it looked and felt – the sleek lines, luxury woven fabrics and superior one-hand steering won us over. The well-ventilated, ergonomically designed seat takes a baby from 6-36 months in either the parent or world-facing position, and you’ll find a cool-looking footrest for optimum leg position and an extended canopy.
The detachable origami style shopping bag completes this premium package. A real highlight for us though was the unique height adjustment feature, allowing you to bring your little one up closer towards you. You can also buy an additional carrycot if you want to use it from birth.
Ickle Bubba globe max stroller: £169, Ickle Bubba
Considering its range of eye-pleasing pushchairs at really reasonable prices, Ickle Bubba is still somewhat underrated. The globe is the brand’s everyday lightweight buggy and on unpacking it from the box we were impressed by the stroller’s chic styling and the bundle of extras you get for the small spend. A rain cover, luxury soft quilted seat liner and footmuff are included, as well as a handy cup holder.
We tested this stroller on a weekend away and found it stashes neatly when travelling on a train and is super-light to lug about with the handy carry strap. Our tot tester was happy and slept well with the seat’s full recline and the open/close bumper bar is helpful for getting them in and out. There’s a pick of four colours – denim blue, black, grey and khaki – and it’s travel system compatible if you want to add a car seat.
Cosatto giggle quad 3-in-1 pram and pushchair: £525, Cosatto
We rate Cosatto for its fun-loving outlook and found the giggle quad to be a jolly kid-pleaser with some serious features. It comes with a full-sized luxury carrycot that can be used for occasional overnight sleeping, but take it off from six months and you have a heavy duty pushchair with smooth handling and a lightweight feel. The seat has a maximum capacity of 20kg, so will last you a while, and the flat fold will fit into most small cars. You can add a car seat too making it a 3-in-1 system.
We found the four-wheel, deep tread tyres gave good stability over bumps and uneven paths and our little tester sat comfortably in the lovely padded seat. An UPF100+ shade was reassuring on sunny days and the wheels come off to wash after a day of fun. The super-busy prints and a little toy all add to the tot-friendly appeal.
Joolz day3: From £869, Joolz
When it comes to stylish pushchairs, the Joolz day3 certainly is a looker. It’s also crammed with features that have been designed with parents in mind. It’s a pushchair that’s good to go from birth, with an all-in carrycot that has zip-down sides for optimum airflow for a newborn. It’s also car seat compatible. Switch to the six-position seat at around six-months-old and your baby can sit in the outward or parent-facing position.
We liked that the leatherette handle bar can be height adjusted for a comfy push no matter how tall or small you are, and the extendable sun hood gave excellent protection. Big rear wheels handled the mix of surfaces we tried – from shopping centres to canal paths – and because they’re puncture-free there’s no fear of getting a flattie in the forest. When you want to collapse the day3 the fold is intuitive and free standing.
We road-tested this in the classic blue colourway and loved that the fabric is made from plastic bottles collected from the ocean. There’s also a choice of five other chic shades and should you want to jazz up your ride, a range of luxurious accessories can be bought to match the fabrics.
Cybex mios: £779.90, Natural Baby Shower
The German brand Cybex consistently serves up head-turning baby kit and the mios pushchair is no exception. This ultra-versatile model is part of Cybex’s 4-in-1 travel system – designed to be used with the lux or lite carrycots from birth – and can attach one of Cybex’s car seats. The light aluminum frame is a breeze to push around and the one-hand fold is doable with a child in arms.
We were also impressed by its 50cm width that saw us nipping through the smallest of spaces. The seat boasts a cosy inlay that can be whipped out on a warm day to get the breathable benefits of the seat’s cooling mesh fabrics. We found the adjustable calf rest a nicely designed feature.
If we had to nitpick, we’d probably like a bigger basket – but it really isn’t a deal breaker on a stroller this stunning. The mios is available in sleek block colours such as premium black or fancy pink, or you can go all out with statement-making fabrics such as the new, and wonderfully floral, spring blossom colourway.
Cosatto whoosh XL: £249.95, Amazon
The whoosh XL is Cosatto’s run-about pushchair that’s lightweight and compact, but surprisingly strong. It is designed to last until your little one is around 25kg, which is probably long after they’re out of a pushchair. It excels in versatility as you can add a car seat, or pop on the whoosh carrycot to use it from birth.
From six months, little ones rides in the world-facing seat – our tester loved gazing at the cute patterns under the hood and we rated the pop-off bumper bar, one-click fold and that it was incredibly easy to store. We were also won over by Cosatto’s signature detailing – a cute cuddly pal, handy storage pockets, and gorgeous prints are standard with this brand.
Mothercare journey edit pram and pushchair: £350, Mothercare
The appeal of Mothercare’s journey edit is that it looks way more expensive than it is. And for the very reasonable price-tag, you also get a lot in the box. There’s an attractive pushchair with a shiny chassis and lovely leatherette detailing, plus a separate roomy carrycot for newborns. The package also includes a soft jersey liner, the apron, snuggly footmuff, raincover and a separate hood for the carrycot.
Although it’s not the lightest or most compact buggy, it wheels well on most surfaces thanks to full suspension, and we loved the choice of having our tot face us or riding in the outward position. If you want to turn this pushchair into a travel system, the journey model is compatible with a selection of big-brand seats using the adaptors included.
The verdict: Pushchairs
Our best buy stamp of approval goes to iCandy’s lime – a buggy that gives you all the wow features of this stellar brand but at a cheaper price point. We also recommend the Silver Cross pop as it’s a lightweight, portable pushchair that doesn’t skimp on style or substance.
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