Top 7 Safe & Cozy Car Seats for (Preemies) in 2024

Every year, millions of babies are born premature. While these tiny miracles bring immense joy, they also require extra care, especially when traveling. Choosing the right car seat is crucial for ensuring your premature baby’s safety and comfort during car rides.

This comprehensive guide will help you navigate the world of car seats for preemies. We’ll explore key features to consider, introduce top picks for 2024, and provide valuable tips to make the best decision for your precious little one.

Why Car Seat Safety Matters for Preemies

Premature babies have weaker muscles and underdeveloped bones compared to full-term babies. A properly fitted car seat provides essential support and minimizes the risk of injuries in the event of an accident.


Buyer’s Guide

Key Features to Look for in a Preemie Car Seat

  • Weight and Height Limits: Ensure the car seat accommodates your baby’s current size and allows for future growth.
  • Low Harness Slots: The harness straps should be at or below your baby’s shoulders. Look for a car seat with harness slots lower than 5 inches from the bottom.
  • Close Crotch Buckle: The buckle should be close enough to prevent your baby from slumping. Avoid large gaps between the buckle and your baby.
  • Flat Backrest: Skip “no-rethread” car seats with bulky headrests that push your preemie’s head forward. A flat backrest allows for proper head and body alignment.
  • Easy Recline: Choose a car seat with a deep recline (around 45 degrees) and a simple adjustment mechanism for optimal comfort and airway support.
  • Supportive Inserts: While not always necessary, some car seats offer inserts that can help with harness fit for smaller babies. Avoid using aftermarket head inserts that compromise safety.

7 best Car Seats For Preemies In 2024

Ensuring a safe and comfortable ride for your premature baby is paramount. This curated selection highlights the top 7 car seats of 2024, meticulously chosen based on industry-leading safety features, optimal preemie support, and user-friendly functionality for parents.

Disclaimer: We strongly recommend consulting a certified Child Passenger Safety Technician (CPST) for proper car seat installation and guidance specific to your vehicle and preemie’s needs.

  1. Evenflo Litemax.
  2. Century Carry On 35 LX.
  3. Chicco KeyFit 30.
  4. Graco SnugFit 35 LX.
  5. Clek Liing.
  6. Evenflo DualRide.
  7. Doona Infant Car Seat & Stroller

Evenflo Litemax.

Evenflo Litemax Infant Car Seat

Evenflo NurtureMax for preemies

(Preemie Approved)

  • Weight range: 4 – 22 pounds
  • Height range: 17 – 29”
  • Car seat facing direction:Rear Facing
  • Child car seat style:Infant Seat

The Evenflo LiteMax might be the most affordable car seat on this list, but it’s a great choice for preemies! Here’s why:

  • Tiny Baby Friendly: Three buckle settings and a 4-inch harness height allow for a snug fit for even the smallest babies.
  • No Fancy Extras (But It Works!): This car seat skips unnecessary inserts and padding, relying on its great harness adjustment for a secure fit.
  • Lightweight & Portable: The lightweight shell makes it easy to carry, and the one-handed handle adjustment adds convenience.
  • Great Value: This car seat is budget-friendly and offers excellent value for your money.


  • Very affordable
  • Adjustable harness fits newborns as small as 4 lbs
  • Easy to carry and transport
  • One-handed handle adjustment
  • No unnecessary inserts or padding
  • Can be used without the base


  • Limited features for the price
  • May be outgrown quickly as baby grows
  • Less padding for longer rides
  • No recline adjustment on base
  • May lack comfort features for some users
  • Not compatible with any stroller systems

Century Carry On 35 LX

Century Carry On 35 LX

Century Carry On 35 LX for preemies

Preemie Fit

  • Weight range: 4 – 35 pounds
  • Height range: 32” or less
  •  Dimensions:27.7 x 17.5 x 15.2 inches

Looking for a car seat that’s comfy for your preemie and gentle on your budget? The Century Carry On 35 LX might be your perfect match!

Why It’s Great for Preemies:

  • Supportive Inserts: Forget extra blankets! This car seat comes with plush inserts that help position even the tiniest babies for a snug and safe fit.
  • Smart Head Support: The specially designed insert keeps your preemie’s head comfortably cradled, preventing it from slumping forward.

More to Love:

  • Mid-Range Price: Enjoy high-end features without breaking the bank.
  • Sun Protection: The extendable canopy shields your little one from the sun’s rays.
  • Space Saver: This car seat’s compact design fits perfectly in smaller vehicles.
  • Eco-Conscious Choice: Made with recycled materials, it’s good for your baby and the planet!
  • Stroller Ready: Clicks easily into Century brand strollers for a convenient travel system (adapters needed for other brands).

Things to Consider:

  • Harness Height: While the harness adjusts, it might not be the lowest setting for extremely small preemies.
  • Recline Indicator: The base reclines, but the indicator uses a line instead of a more user-friendly gauge.

The Verdict:

The Century Carry On 35 LX offers excellent features and preemie-friendly design at a reasonable price. Just keep the harness height and recline indicator in mind when making your decision.


  • Great for Preemies: Supportive inserts for a snug and safe fit.
  • Smart Head Support: Keeps preemie’s head comfortably cradled.
  • Mid-Range Price: High-end features at a reasonable cost.
  • Extendable Canopy: Protects your baby from the sun.
  • Compact Design: Fits well in smaller vehicles.
  • Eco-Friendly Materials: Made with recycled materials.


  • Harness Height: May not be the lowest for very small preemies.
  • Recline Indicator: Uses a line instead of an easy-to-read gauge.
  • Limited Stroller Compatibility: Works with Century brand only (adapters needed for others).

Chicco KeyFit 30

Chicco KeyFit 30

Chicco KeyFit 30 for preemies

Preemie Perfect

  • Weight range: 4 – 30 pounds
  • Height range: 30” or less
  • Car Seat Dimensions:27 x 16.5 x 24 inches
  • Car Seat Weight:16 pounds

The Chicco KeyFit 30 is a popular infant car seat for a reason – it’s feature-packed, well-priced, and great for preemies too!

Here’s why parents love it:

  • Perfect for Growing Babies: Fits babies from 4 lbs all the way up to 30 lbs, with a removable infant insert for newborns.
  • Easy Installation: The Chicco base makes installation a breeze with its SuperCinch LATCH system and level indicators.
  • Safety First: Features a 5-point harness, energy-absorbing foam, and a one-pull harness tightener for a secure fit.
  • Two Options: Choose between the regular KeyFit 30 or the KeyFit 30 ClearTex with no added flame retardant chemicals.


  • Removable head, body, and neck support
  • Comfortable fabric
  • Clicks easily into base and stroller


  • Heavier than most infant car seats
  • Canopy and handle design may not be ideal
  • Seatbelt installation might feel less secure than LATCH

Graco SnugRide Snugfit 35 LX

Graco SnugRide Snugfit 35 LX

Graco SnugRide Snugfit 35 LX for preemies

Infant Car Seat

  • Weight range: 4 – 35 pounds
  • Height range: Up to 32”
  • Car seat facing direction:Rear Facing
  • Car Seat Weight:10.5 lb

Looking for a car seat that adjusts easily and offers a great fit for your preemie? The Graco SnugRide SnugFit 35 LX might be your perfect match!

Why It’s Great for Preemies:

  • No-Rethread Harness: This handy feature lets you adjust the straps for your growing baby without completely removing them, making adjustments a breeze. (Keep in mind some experts recommend against no-rethread harnesses for preemies due to potential fit issues.)
  • Adjustable Headrest: Provides good support for your tiny traveler’s head and neck.
  • Newborn Insert: Helps preemies achieve a snug and secure fit, preventing slouching.

Additional Features:

  • Easy installation with Graco’s SnugLock technology for a secure fit.
  • Anti-rebound bar offers extra protection in case of a collision.

Things to Consider:

  • Weight: This car seat is not the heavier side, at almost 10 pounds.
  • Headroom: May feel tight for bigger babies as they grow.
  • Graco Model Confusion: Graco offers many similar car seats. Be sure to choose the specific SnugFit 35 LX model for the features mentioned above.


The Graco SnugRide SnugFit 35 LX offers easy adjustability and a good fit for preemies. However, consider the weight and headroom limitations, and make sure you choose the right Graco model for your needs.


  • Easy-to-adjust “no-rethread” harness
  • Adjustable headrest for good neck support
  • Newborn insert provides a snug fit for preemies
  • Easy installation with SnugLock technology
  • Anti-rebound bar for additional safety


  • May not be ideal fit for preemies due to harness style (consult your pediatrician)
  • Heavier than most infant car seats (almost 10 lbs)
  • May feel tight for bigger babies as they grow
  • Graco offers many similar car seats – choose SnugFit 35 LX specifically

Clek Liing

Clek Liing.

Clek Liing for preemies

Premium Safety for Preemies

  • Weight range: 4 – 30 pounds
  • Height range: Up to 32
  • Car Seat weight:34.2 pound
  • Car Seat Dimensions:‎26 x 17 x 26 inches

Looking for a car seat that’s both luxurious and safe for your preemie? The Clek Liing might be your dream come true!

Why It’s Great for Preemies:

  • Tiny Traveler Friendly: Fits infants as small as 4 pounds!
  • Supportive Inserts: Two-piece insert provides essential head and body support for a snug and safe fit (mandatory up to 11 pounds).
  • Tested & Approved: We tested the Clek Liing with preemies as small as 4.5 pounds, and it offered a secure fit.

More Features to Love:

  • Easy Installation: Install it with or without the base for added flexibility. (Baseless option called Clek Liingo)
  • Compact Design: Great for smaller vehicles.
  • Safe & Stylish: Flame-retardant-free fabrics and an SPF 100+ canopy for sun protection.
  • Convenient Features: One-handed release from stroller or base, and European belt routing for easier installation.

The Clek Liing: Top-Notch Safety & Comfort for Your Preemie (and Beyond!)


  • Great for Preemies: Fits babies as small as 4 lbs with supportive inserts.
  • Two-Piece Insert: Provides excellent head and body support for preemies.
  • Safe & Tested: Proven secure fit for preemies (tested down to 4.5 lbs).
  • Compact Design: Fits well in smaller vehicles.
  • Safe Materials: Flame-retardant-free fabrics and SPF 100+ canopy.
  • Easy Release: One-handed release from stroller or base.


  • Pricey: One of the most expensive car seats on the market.
  • Mandatory Insert: Insert required up to 11 lbs, may not be needed later.
  • Base Optional: Sold with or without base (Clek Liingo is baseless option).
  • European Belt Routing: May be unfamiliar to some parents used to LATCH.

Evenflo DualRide

Evenflo DualRide.

Evenflo DualRide for preemies

Dual Duty Design

  • Weight range: 3 – 35 pounds
  • Height range: 15.7 – 32”
  • Car Seat Weight:19.7 pounds
  • Car Seat  Dimensions:18 x 18 x 31 inches

The Evenflo Gold Shyft DualRide is more than just a car seat – it’s a convenient travel system that transforms from car seat to stroller in one simple step!

Here’s what makes it a great choice:

Effortless Transitions: No more struggling with separate pieces! The Shyft DualRide easily converts from a secure car seat to a comfy stroller, making it perfect for busy parents on the go.

Suitable from Birth: This car seat accommodates tiny travelers as small as 3 lbs, growing with your baby up to 35 lbs.

Safety First: The Shyft DualRide prioritizes safety with features like a secure LockStrong installation system, an anti-rebound base for crash protection, and SensorSafe technology that alerts you to potential concerns like temperature changes or an unbuckled harness.

Bonus Features:

  • Removable Carryall Storage: Pack everything your little one needs for a day out!
  • Cleanliness in Mind: Removable, washable wheel wells keep dirt contained, and the cup holder is easy to clean.
  • Multiple Installation Options: Choose between using the stroller base with LATCH connectors or a seatbelt installation, or even a European belt routing option for a baseless setup.

Ideal for Parents Who Want:

  • A car seat that converts to a stroller for effortless transitions.
  • An infant car seat that accommodates preemies.
  • A safe and secure travel system with advanced safety features.
  • Multiple installation options for flexibility.

The Evenflo Gold Shyft DualRide is a convenient and versatile option that grows with your baby, making it a great choice for busy families!


  • Converts Easily: One-step transformation from car seat to stroller.
  • Preemie Friendly: Fits babies as small as 3 lbs.
  • Safe & Secure: LockStrong installation, anti-rebound bar, SensorSafe technology.
  • Removable Carryall Storage: Convenient for packing baby essentials.
  • Clean Design: Removable, washable wheel wells and cup holder.


  • Heavy: May be bulky compared to some car seats.
  • SensorSafe Alerts: Requires smartphone app connection (may not be for everyone).
  • Wheel Storage: Removable wheel wells might require cleaning.
  • Multiple Installation Options: Might seem complex for some users.

Doona Infant Car Seat & Stroller

Doona Infant Car Seat & Stroller


(Best Carseat-Stroller Combo for preemies)

  • Suitable from 4 lbs to 35 lbs
  • Carrier weight: 16.5 lbs
  • Dimensions: Folded: D23.6” x W17.3” x H26” 
  • Lowest harness position: 7” with insert 

The Doona is a unique car seat that transforms into a stroller in seconds! This can be a lifesaver for busy parents, especially those with preemies.

Why It’s Great for Preemies:

  • Car Seat & Stroller: One convenient system means less gear to carry!
  • Preemie Friendly: Fits newborns as small as 4 pounds (check weight specifications).
  • Safe & Sturdy: Aluminum frame offers a secure ride for your tiny traveler.
  • Extra Comfort: Includes a padded bamboo insert and head support for preemies.

More Features to Love:

  • Adjustable Handlebar: Doubles as an anti-rebound bar in the car for added safety.
  • 3-Layer Side Impact Protection: Helps shield your baby in case of a collision.
  • Travel Ready: FAA-approved for airplane travel (travel bag sold separately).
  • Easy Cleaning: Breathable, hypoallergenic fabrics are machine-washable.
  • Optional Extras: Get a Doona vehicle seat protector (sold separately) to keep your car clean.

The Doona: A Versatile Travel System for Preemies and Busy Parents!


  • Convenient for travel & short trips
  • Comfortable for preemies
  • Easy to install & use


  • Expensive
  • Bulky & heavy
  • Contains flame retardant materials


Here are some key takeaways to remember:

  • Consider weight and height limits: Make sure the car seat accommodates your baby’s current size and allows for future growth.
  • Look for supportive inserts: Preemies often need extra padding for a snug fit.
  • Ease of installation is a plus: Especially for busy parents, a car seat that installs easily is a lifesaver.
  • Think about additional features: Some car seats offer anti-rebound bars, SensorSafe technology, or travel-friendly designs.

Ultimately, the best car seat for your preemie is the one that best suits your family’s needs and preferences. Don’t hesitate to consult your pediatrician for personalized recommendations based on your baby’s specific situation.

With a little research and these helpful tips, you can confidently choose a car seat that ensures safe and comfortable journeys for your precious preemie.