Best Car Seat Mirrors

Updated April 2019
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BestReviews spends thousands of hours researching, analyzing, and testing products to recommend the best picks for most consumers. We may earn a commission if you purchase a product through our links.
BestReviews spends thousands of hours researching, analyzing, and testing products to recommend the best picks for most consumers. We buy all products with our own funds, and we never accept free products from manufacturers.
We may earn a commission if you purchase a product through our links.
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How we decided

We purchase every product we review with our own funds — we never accept anything from product manufacturers.

21 Models Considered
5 Hours Researched
1 Experts Interviewed
137 Consumers Consulted
Zero products received from manufacturers.

We purchase every product we review with our own funds — we never accept anything from product manufacturers.

Why trust BestReviews?
BestReviews spends thousands of hours researching, analyzing, and testing products to recommend the best picks for most consumers. We buy all products with our own funds, and we never accept free products from manufacturers.
We may earn a commission if you purchase a product through our links.
BestReviews spends thousands of hours researching, analyzing, and testing products to recommend the best picks for most consumers. We may earn a commission if you purchase a product through our links.
BestReviews spends thousands of hours researching, analyzing, and testing products to recommend the best picks for most consumers. We buy all products with our own funds, and we never accept free products from manufacturers.
We may earn a commission if you purchase a product through our links.

Shopping guide for best car seat mirrors

Last Updated April 2019

Experts recommend you keep your baby in a rear-facing car seat as long as possible. The reason: rear-facing car seats have been demonstrated to keep babies and young children safer from harm in car accidents. Besides providing your baby’s head, neck, and spine with extra support, a rear-facing car seat redistributes the impact of a crash throughout the car seat rather than absorbing in a single area.

But monitoring your baby is a safety issue, too. It’s all but impossible to watch your little one and keep your eyes on the road. Is the baby crying because they’re fussy or because they dropped their pacifier? There’s no way to know without a car seat mirror.

A car seat mirror sits the back of your vehicle so you can see your baby in their rear-facing car seat. The mirror may attach to a headrest or another place in the vehicle. There are a number of car seat mirrors on the market that work with different vehicles and safety seats. Which one would work best in your ride? Let BestReviews help.

If your car seat mirror gets dirty, clean it with a microfiber cloth to make sure you can see clearly.

Key considerations

As with any baby product, safety is vital. You want to be sure the car seat mirror you choose is shatterproof. Otherwise, shards of glass could injure your baby in the event of an accident.

Look for a sizeable mirror, especially if you have a spacious vehicle. A too-small mirror won’t help you see why your baby is wailing or what they’re about to put in their mouth. And if the image field isn’t wide enough, you won’t be able to see your baby if they knock it out of place.

Mirrors actually get knocked around a bit, and not just by your baby. Older children can hit them as they climb into the vehicle. Adults can jar them while snapping in an infant seat. Look for a mirror that attaches securely to your vehicle, since alignment with your rearview mirror is key. Make sure the mirror attaches to your specific seat style, because some mirrors only work with vehicles that have headrests.

FOR YOUR SAFETY

Don’t attach mirror straps using LATCH anchors if you are already using the LATCH anchor to hold the car seat in place.

Features

Straps or suction

There are two main ways that car seat mirrors attach: with straps or with a suction cup.

Straps hold the mirror more securely, but they usually only work if your car seat is in a spot with an adjustable headrest. This can be a problem in vehicles in which there are no headrests in the back seat. A few car seat mirrors use straps that can attach to an upper LATCH anchor as well as a headrest, so you’ll want to check for headrests — and LATCH anchors — before purchasing.

If you don’t have a headrest or upper LATCH anchor, you’ll need to look for a mirror with suction cups. Some have a single large cup; others use multiple small cups. Check to see which will fit best in your space before making a purchase. 

Design

Many car seat mirrors have a simple, uncluttered design. Others are adorned with a variety of bright colors and smiling animals.

Minimalist mirrors aren’t a lot of fun, but they are practical. They give you a large, uncluttered view of your baby. They make it easy to take a quick glance while driving and then put your eyes back on the road. They won’t do much to entertain your baby, though.

Cute mirrors may help to keep your baby smiling, but the busy design can make your visual check-ins more challenging. Plus, as your baby gets older, a colorful mirror could be viewed as a toy. They may try to grab it, dislodging the mirror and obstructing your view.

A word about size

In a minivan or SUV, an oversized car seat mirror might not be an issue. However, in a sedan or other small vehicle, space is more of a concern. If your vehicle falls into this category, consider whether a large mirror would block your line of sight.

A few manufacturers have designed mirror systems that reflect an enlarged, undistorted image from a small back seat mirror to a clip-on front seat mirror. These systems are often designed with sedans in mind and include suction cups to ensure a proper angle for the back seat mirror.

Some manufacturers also sell mirrors that clip to your rearview mirror to give you a wide-angle view of your back seat. That may be helpful down the road, but it’s not what you need to monitor an infant car seat.

Car seat mirror prices

Inexpensive car seat mirrors usually cost between $10 and $15. In this price range, mirrors attach to a headrest with basic straps and have the ability to pivot for the best angle. An older baby may be able to knock this type of mirror out of place relatively easily.

Mid-grade car seat mirrors often cost $15 to $25. They will likely have cross-style straps that attach more securely than basic models. The pivot and angling mechanisms will be of higher quality. They will likely have convex construction for a greater field of viewing. 

The highest-quality car seat mirrors cost more than $25. At this price, the attachment should be very secure. The mirror fixtures will pivot and lock into place. They will likely be convex and may come with a secondary mirror to reflect a higher image quality to the driver. They may be padded so they don’t damage your headrest over time.

CAUTION

Make sure your car seat mirror is securely strapped into place. Unsecured mirrors could become dangerous projectiles in a crash.

Tips

  • If you don’t have a center headrest, try attaching a car seat mirror to an adjacent headrest and angling it so you can see your baby. Notably, this option is only available if another child isn’t occupying the seat.
  • Don’t forget to adjust your mirror if your child transitions from an infant car seat to a reversible toddler car seat. The angle may be different.
  • If your mirror includes a suction cup that won’t stick, try putting a few drops of water in the inner ring of the suction cup. This should do the trick.
  • Heavier mirrors may sag, so be sure to adjust the straps and check the angle before you start driving.
  • Look for a mirror with 360° adjustability so you’re sure to get the perfect angle.
  • Some pivoting mirrors lock into place so your baby can’t accidentally change the angle.
  • A convex mirror may give you a fuller view than a larger standard mirror would.

Other products we considered

For smaller cars, we found the Ideapro Baby Car Backseat Mirror to be a good contender. It attaches with a suction cup so there are no concerns about your headrest. It’s wider than many other mirrors that use a suction cup, so you get a good view of the area. It doesn’t have a large vertical field, though, and it doesn’t magnify the image.

If you can’t resist a cute mirror, consider the Brica Firefly Baby-in-Sight Car Mirror. It offers a respectable field of vision and entertains your baby with lights and music which you control remotely from the front seat. It’s not the easiest to attach, and if you turn on the dancing lights, it’s challenging to see your baby after dark.

Some car seat mirrors have lights that can be turned on via remote control so you can see your baby when it’s dark. If you do a lot of nighttime or early morning driving, this may be a good choice for you.

FAQ

Q. My baby hates the car. Can I attach toys to my car seat mirror?
A. 
There’s no magic answer to making car trips enjoyable with a baby. However, if your car seat mirror doesn’t include toys, don’t tamper with it. Most mirrors have been crash tested, and modifying them could be hazardous to your baby.

Q. How long will my child need to stay in a rear-facing car seat?
A.
Pediatricians recommend you keep your child in a rear-facing car seat until at least age two, and preferably until they pass the car seat’s rear-facing height and weight limits. Convertible car seats — those that can transition from rear-facing to forward-facing — have different height limits based on the individual design. Most, however, have rear-facing weight limits ranging between 40 and 50 pounds. Studies show that children under the age of two are 75 percent less likely to be killed or severely injured in an accident if their car seat is rear-facing.

Q. Do I really need to see what my toddler is doing in their car seat? They’re not an infant anymore.
A.
Unsurprisingly, toddlers can get into just as much trouble as infants. Vehicles usually carry a variety of objects that can present a choking risk — coins, discarded candy, or small toys forgotten by older siblings. There are a number of other creative ways toddlers can get in trouble in the car besides choking, so you’re better safe than sorry.

 

The team that worked on this review
  • Eliza
    Eliza
    Production Manager
  • Enid
    Enid
    Editor
  • Katherine
    Katherine
    Editor
  • Kristin
    Kristin
    Writer
  • Melinda
    Melinda
    Web Producer
  • Stacey
    Stacey
    Writer

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