Strolling with your little one can come in handy when you’re into exercising with them, and as your baby grows (and your family does too), strollers can come in handy for being out and about with multiple children (and let’s be real–some back relief too).
Finding the right stroller for your little one can be tough though, with so many from which you can choose. That’s why we’ve asked experts and mamas all over the world to share the cleanest and most non-toxic best strollers you can buy, and in various price points, because we know strollers are often big-ticket baby items.
NonToxic Baby Strollers: Rolling Clean And Green
The most important thing you can do when looking for a stroller for a child of any age is to pay attention to toxicity. Strollers are often similar to car seats when it comes to materials, and so you’ll want to be sure that you look for the cleanest and most non-toxic there is. Unfortunately, there still isn’t a 100% non-toxic stroller, so we’ve asked natural experts about the most important things a mama should look for in the best strollers when it comes to non-toxic features. As the markets continue to be driven with natural-minded mamas, we hope there will be more non-toxic options in the future.
In the meantime, like anything else we use with our families, you want to pay attention to the products that use the least amount of chemicals and the best materials. You’ll also want to pay attention to the sustainability of the sources from the products as well.
When it comes to materials, you want to avoid Flame Retardant Chemicals. This includes polybrominated diphenyl ether (PBDE), Tris (2-chloroethyl) phosphate (TCEP), Tris (1,3-dichloro-2-propyl) phosphate (TDCPP) and Tris (1-chloro-2-propyl) phosphate (TCPP). These chemicals are typically found in foam and foam padding, as well as coverings on strollers.
You also want to avoid PVC, or polyvinyl chloride as it is a significant source of phthalates. The plastic softeners have been banned from children’s toys, but believe it or not, they’ve not been banned (yet) in the construction of other baby items like car seats and strollers (or school supplies, but that’s a different story).
That said, it’s much easier now to find strollers that for the most part, avoid those chemicals. What it’s not so easy to avoid, even in cleaner and greener products, is the use of Plastics, synthetic fabrics like polyester and nylon and fabric coatings that offer antibacterial protection or stain resistance (but don’t protect you from the chemicals themselves).
We also like to buy from companies that are eco-friendly, as they’re investing in the future of our little ones. Companies that care for the earth and care for our babies are what we looked explicitly for as well.
Features To Consider When Searching For The Best Baby Strollers
There are other things to consider when looking for the best strollers as well. Most mamas looking at strollers are deciding about car seats as well as strollers and that plays into the type of strollers you may be looking at. If you’re getting an infant car seat (also known as bucket car seats), you might want to consider a travel system stroller that will allow you to take your baby straight from the car seat into the stroller with often nothing more than a simple snap. This is quite convenient in situations where baby has fallen asleep in the car and much as you’d like to wear her, you also want to keep that child asleep!
Many mamas of multiples or with other children in the home will also consider whether they’ll want to buy a double or a single stroller. Mamas of multiples often say they can’t live without their double (or triple!) strollers but there are also strollers that are single with the ability to convert to double should the need arise. The thing to think about with double strollers (unless you have multiples who will likely grow at similar rates) is that if you get a double stroller for your newborn and your toddler, odds are you may have an empty seat at some point in time when your toddler’s outgrown it.
For many mamas, storage and space of strollers are a big deal. That’s why so many strollers tout their foldability, but it’s important to know that not every folding stroller is created equal. Some really do fold easily with the push of a button and/or one hand, but others are laborious and time-consuming and can make you want to just throw the thing in the trunk fully open. We’ve heard many mamas telling us that’s happened in their quest for finding the best strollers.
How does that baby roll?
Many mamas value their strollers as exercise equipment, so the wheels and suspension of the best strollers really matter. A ‘jogging’ stroller will most likely have the best suspension and give your babe the smoothest ride when running and definitely when just out and about. Additionally, the braking mechanism for your stroller is a big deal, particularly when jogging, and so you want to make sure it’s foot-friendly and stable. Same goes for the wheels on your stroller. Those specifically designed for jogging or running will often offer a front wheel that you can lock when you’re running or be set to swivel for super-smooth steering. One that has that capability is a nicety, particularly if you’re planning to use it in addition to jogging and running, but it can up the price of a stroller, and may not be necessary if you’re just looking for a jogger.
Best Strollers For Different Ages And Stages–Oh, The Places You’ll Go!
Something else to think about before you choose your stroller is that you may want to get a stroller that has baby facing you while you’re strolling along. It shouldn’t be a deal-breaker but something you certainly want to consider when baby is in a stroller and not on your chest.
As well, you want to make sure that any stroller you choose for an infant (0-6 months) will let them lay flat and be supported, comfy and stable. Like we said, odds are you’ll be wearing that little babe quite often in the first six months of her life. But you most likely will find the ease and convenience of a stroller a nice one, in that sometimes you just need extra help with a new itty bitty. Whether it’s to carry baby or to carry baby’s siblings or to carry baby, baby’s siblings and all the stuff that goes along, a stroller can be a welcome convenience for sure.
If you have an infant car seat but fall in love with a stroller that isn’t compatible with your car seat, odds are you can find a stroller frame that the seat will fit into until you can get a full-sized stroller that will let baby sit up and look around.
Because that’s most likely what’s going to happen as your baby grows into toddlerhood. Toddlers want to be comfortable, but they want to look around and check out the world too. A stroller with multiple positions for reclining is excellent for this, as is a secure harness system to keep them safe (we prefer 5-points).
Some other little niceties (but not must-haves) for strollers? Sun protection! Yes, you can accommodate that with hats and clothing, but a canopy that is UV protective makes the days at the park or zoo so much more delightful! And, we also suggest looking for something that has an adjustable handlebar if you and your partner are of different heights. I’m 4’11” and my husband is 6’1″. The adjustable handlebar was so lovely to have.
And though it is absolutely one of the last reasons to choose a stroller, it still is an excellent reason: storage space. Obviously, how much storage space you’ll need is variable and depends on what you trek around town with anyway. That said, there’s nothing like having lots of space underneath to carry the diaper bag and other things you (or siblings) may have to take some of the weight off your back. Literally.
Mothering’s Best (And Cleanest) Baby Strollers
One of the most popular among experts and mamas, the Baby Jogger City Mini product line is pretty hard to beat for an excellent stroller. Baby Jogger doesn’t use any flame retardants at all. They also don’t use any PVC, BPA, Teflon, phthalates, latex, Scotchguard or AZO dyes. There’s a stroller for every need: The City Mini, or the popular Jogger City Mini Double if you’re looking for a double stroller. And if you’re interested in a travel system combo set, they’ve got you covered as well with the City Mini GT Travel System. It has a locking brake and swivel front wheel that allows smooth steering and the sun canopy is definitely protective and will enable you to peek through at baby whenever you want. That’s one of the downsides; it is front-facing so your little one may miss seeing you those first few months, but the pull-over window is ample. The thing many parents love is that it reclines to an almost-flat position and that’s super nice for snoozing while you’re strolling (the baby!) and it’s compatible with car seats from Britax, Chicco and Maxi-Cosi (as well as Baby Jogger). It is pretty lightweight (no really) and they mean it when they say light and easy enough to fold with one hand and the push of a button!
Britax never fails to be a popular front runner in all things baby, particularly with their acquisition of BOB. Like the City Mini, there are three wheels for the most smooth maneuvering and Britax’s wheels promise you’ll never deal with flat rubber tires. It also has the one-hand quick fold capability and even though it can hold up to 65 pounds, it’s super sturdy but super lightweight. The UV 50+ canopy is generous and expandable and the handlebar is adjustable. Parents love the large storage basket and pockets to keep all the little things you may find you’ll be keeping with baby on board, and it also lies to a near-flat position. It gives the infinite stroller recline option–you can choose the recline positions with the string-pull system and it also has a sizeable peek-through window for keeping your peepers on baby. It has all-wheel suspension compared to the City Mini’s front-wheel. The most significant difference between this and the City Mini is that the Britax B-Free is only compatible with Britax or BOB travel systems. That said, it doesn’t use flame retardants, and Britax is known for keeping with higher, more stringent European standards when it comes to materials and chemicals for babies, so it’s a name you can trust.
The UPPABaby Vista system is one of the most popular stroller systems out there, but the price tag does put it out of the budget of some. Still, when you realize that it converts so easily into a double stroller, it makes it something really worth considering if you believe you may have other children (or already do, especially another infant or toddler). The Vista set also comes with a newborn bassinet that is rated for babies up to 20 lbs. and many mamas love it for its portability when in your house or when traveling–no need for a bulky pack and play.
The conversion to a double stroller is easy, and the basket on the Vista is indeed the largest we’ve found on a stroller. No again, you don’t buy a stroller for the storage, but we’re not going to lie. This one’s storage is super convenient. It has four-wheel suspension that gives cushioning in the rear and front wheels so it’s nice and smooth and it is effortless to push and fold with one hand. It also has an automatic lock that we love, as well as height adjustment on the handlebar. The feature mamas typically love the most, though is that it has front and rear-facing seat positions you can choose. It’s compatible with several car seats, and it doesn’t have any flame retardants, BPA, phthalates, lead, latex, Scotchguard or Teflon.
Mamas (including Mother Earth) love the Bumblerides because they are a responsible company that uses premier materials for their strollers while striving to reduce their eco-footprint and impact. The Indie All-Terrain Stroller doesn’t have any flame retardants, phthalates, PVC, OR polyurethane foam and the fabrics they use are all Oeko-Tex certified. Their fabrics are made from 100% recycled polyester that comes from recycled water bottles. It’s a lightweight stroller with an aluminum frame and a large sun canopy and adjustable handles. The basket is a pretty ample basket and it’s compatible with several car seat companies including Nuna Pipa and Maxi Cosi Mico. If you like the Bumbleride Indie but are looking for a jogging stroller, they also make the Bumbleride Speed Jogging Stroller and running mamas rave over it!
This is one of the coolest strollers we’ve found when it comes to fold and compactness. It folds flat (even flatter than several others we love that fold flat) and wheels behind you like a piece of luggage. Talk about ease when traveling! It stands on its own when it’s folded–really solidly–and it has spring suspension to give baby a smooth ride. The UPF 50+ canopy is removable with a flip-out eyeshade and a pulldown Dream Drape for sweet dreams, and it has a three- or five-point harness option with quick-releasing buttons. The push bar is adjustable and it pairs with the Nuna PIPA car seats. Nuna focuses on mindful manufacturing and material content and strives for eco-friendly production processes and equipment. They look to meet European chemical safety standards and their ISO 14001 certified factory processes include solar-powered energy, plastic waste and recycle program as well as exhaust treatment water.
You may recognize the names behind the Mountain Buggy Nano: Phil and Ted’s. This means the stroller doesn’t contain any flame retardants, phthalates, PVC or BPA. They also test products for a plethora of other ickies for kids, including mercury, cadmium, lead, arsenic, chromium and more. The Mountain Buggy Nano also is a nice and light 13 pounds, which makes it a favorite of mamas who often travel, especially by air. It’s ‘technically’ considered an umbrella stroller, but shhh, don’t tell it as it has many features that typical umbrella strollers don’t, like a large storage basket and adjustable seat rests.
It comes with an adapter that lets you put infant car seats from several brands like Mountain Buggy, Phil & Teds, Peg Perego, Chicco and Maxi Cosi. Grandparents say they love having it on hand because it’s nice and lightweight, reasonably priced, gets the job done and isn’t obtrusive about it. Right on!
Many mamas decide to use an infant car seat and then a reasonably priced stroller frame before they buy one of the strollers above. If that’s what you believe you’d like to do, so that you can choose whatever non-toxic car seat you’d like, you have a few options. Several infant car seat companies like Britax and Maxi Cosi make their own stroller frames for their car seats (and the Maxi Cosi frames are typically compatible with several different car seats). Mamas love the Baby trend Snap-N-Go Stroller frame because it accepts so many different brands of nontoxic car seats and because the baby doesn’t come in contact with the stroller frame, you can worry a little less about the materials.
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