Backless Vs High-Back Booster Seats: What Are The Benefits Of Each?

So you’ve witnessed the birth of your child, and seen them grow through their early childhood years. Throughout these years, you’ve become accustomed to the many types of car seats, and your son/daughter is ready for the next step; the booster seat.

This can be a very important time of your childs’ life, as this is a preliminary step before they’re out of the assisted seat altogether, and ready for using the seatbelt like a true adult.

There are two types of booster seats, however, and it can be a little confusing to understand the benefits of both when it’s time to graduate to this car seat. Luckily, we’ve done all the hard work for you, and compiled a list of the benefits of both types of car seats, for your peace of mind.

If you don’t have too much time on your hands, we’ve created the overview below which summarizes the main points of the article, so you can come back and read the entire article when you’ve got the time.

For more detailed information, check out our safe car seat guide for your child and car laws for your state.

Quick Summary

  1. Booster seats are the preliminary car seat stage before your child graduates to a seatbelt.
  2. There is a criterion to meet before your child can move to a booster, which is dictated by the size.
  3. Backless booster seats are cheaper and also more portable, allowing for heavier children to be seated.
  4. High-back booster seats provide an added level of comfort and protection for the vulnerable areas of your child.
  5. There is no seat which is better than the other – it has to fit the requirements of your child, and your child alone.
Backless Vs High-Back Booster Seats What Are The Benefits

Backless Vs High-Back Booster Seats: What You Need To Know

Like all of the car seats you’ve purchased throughout the early years of your child, there are some additional things that you need to know before purchasing a booster seat, regardless of the type.

Both high-back and backless booster seats are beneficial to your child, yet some children will have a preference for one over the other. This may be due to their size, their age if they’ve grown quicker than other children, and even the laws you have to abide by within your state.

We’ll go into all of this for you, but let’s start with the important stuff first – when is your child ready to graduate to the booster seat?

When Is My Child Ready For a Booster Seat Of Either Variety?

Many parents note the date of their first child moving to the booster stage within the car seat timeline, as it’s a subtle reminder that they’re growing up before your eyes.

But, how do you know they’re ready for it? You may have friends who suggest moving your child onto a booster seat, simply because they did. It’s not always a good thing to keep up with the Joneses, and you must move your children onto a booster seat when they’re ready – which is the most important aspect to consider.

If your child meets the following criteria, you can safely say that they’re ready for a booster seat.

If your child meets the following criteria, you can safely say that they’re ready for a booster seat.

  • Have they outgrown the forward-facing car seat they’re currently in?
  • Is your child between the ages of 4 to 8 years of age?
  • If so, is your child AT LEAST 35″ tall?
  • Is your child between the weight of 40-80lbs and under the height of 4’9″?

If you’re nodding your head and saying yes to this, then you can read on. Feel free to get the tape measure and scales out to weight your child – we’ll be here waiting for you when you’re back!

If your child has met all the above criteria, we have two extra steps for you. If you find that your child can sit against the vehicle without bending their knees over the edge, as well as a dummy test of placing the seatbelt across them and realizing it doesn’t fit as it would you, then they’re ready, there are no questions about it.

Now that they’re ready, let’s see what suits their needs – backless or a high-back booster seat.

Backless Booster Seats

The backless booster seat is a very common booster seat when graduating from the forward-facing car seat. They don’t provide the added support of a backrest, simply allowing your child to be propped up and fitted correctly with both the lap and shoulder belt.

Backless Booster Seat: The Benefits

There are many benefits to a backless booster seat, and one of the main benefits is the affordability of these types.

Due to their rather simple design, many quality and well-known branded backless booster seats won’t set your family back in the financial department. 

Backless booster seats are also incredibly adaptable, allowing for ease of portability for almost all cars that you’d possibly look to attach them to. If you have children that are incredibly fussy and who don’t want to be seen in what they consider a ‘childish’, seat – then the backless-booster is perfect, as it boosts your child height without restricting them as a high-back booster may do.

Backless booster seats also allow for your child to move around a little more freely than the alternative of a high-back booster seat. This is due to their simple but comfortable design, allowing even the most restless of children to have a little more space if you deem it necessary for them.

A backless booster seat doesn’t offer your child around the back, head and shoulders. This isn’t only a safety concern, but can also be incredibly uncomfortable for your child if they’re attempting to sleep – and this can be at your detriment on long car trips interstate, or during the holiday season.

High-Back Booster Seats

High-back booster seats are great booster seats for your children and are distinguished by their seat-like design. Unlike the backless booster, this type of booster seat provides support for your children, for the most vulnerable areas in their head and neck.

High-Back Booster Seats: The Benefits

The safety features are one of the core benefits of the high-back booster seats.

They provide your child with an added level of support and protects their vulnerable areas, which are incredibly vital for the many dangers that the road can provide – which is why you’re purchasing one of these seats, isn’t it?

As well as protection, these seats also provide your child with additional comfort. This is especially useful for children who sleep more than others, or for those who have medical conditions or disabilities that require this type of additional comfort.

Because of the added comfort these booster seats provide, they’re favored by families who are often on the move during the holiday season, allowing you that extra bit of silence when they finally sleep throughout the drive.

If you’ve purchased an all-in-one car seat, you’ll already be aware that these include high-back booster seats. Why is this a good thing? Well, not only is your child familiar with the seat already, yet you won’t have to bear any additional splash of money, as you would already be using these within the rear-facing and forward-facing stages. 

One drawback of the high-back booster seat, however – is the price, This can often be the reason many families choose the backless booster, as they’re priced out of the high-back booster seat. Another drawback is their size, which can cause issues for you if you’re looking to move them into another car, or is often switching between multiple vehicles.

What’s Our Verdict?

When it comes to comparing the two, there’s no clear winner, as each backless booster will suit both you and your family for many reasons, as we’ve described throughout this article.

Backless boosters are a great, cheaper alternative that is built with convenience in mind. High-back booster seats are pricier, yet will also add an extra level of comfort and protection for your child.

It’s really up to you to decide, with both the size of your child, their nature and also your budget as the three main considerations.

What is your preference, though? Is there anything you think I messed within this guide? Whatever it may be, let me know of your thoughts, it’d be great to read your comments in the section below.

Frequently Asked Questions

  1. For heavier children, which type of booster is the best option?

    If your child is heavier, it may be best to look at a backless booster. These boosters will provide your child with more room to move, and they’re also built to hold a heavier size than their high-back booster counterparts.

  2. If I’m traveling on an aircraft, which booster option is better to bring with the family?

    If you’re traveling on an aircraft, it’s important to note that the backless booster is not FAA approved, at all! So for flying, you’ll need an FAA-approved high-back booster.

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Brenda Williams

Brenda Williams

Hi, I'm the founder of Car Safety Hub, Brenda Williams. I'm a happily married mother and have 2 of the sweetest children you could imagine.

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