Table of Contents
- Choosing the Best Non-Toxic Stroller Style for Your Needs
- Bumbleride Speed Jogging Stroller
- Nuna MIXX Next
- Mountain Buggy Nano Stroller
- UPPAbaby Cruz and Vista
- Bugaboo Fox 2 Complete Full-Sized Stroller
- Baby Jogger City Mini GT2 Stroller
- What To Avoid When Buying a Stroller
As a new mother, I’ve learned the hard way that babies are hard on their gear, which is why getting the best nontoxic stroller for your needs must be a high priority as a new parent. Not only does a stroller become your little one’s access point to the larger world, but it’s inevitably a space that will get sucked on, spilled on, and yes, even peed on (trust me, I’ve been there).
The last thing you want is to invest in a gorgeous stroller, only to find that it’s made from toxic materials.
Choosing the best nontoxic stroller for your needs may feel overwhelming, but it doesn’t have to be. Below, I’ll explain what you need to look for (and what to avoid) when stroller shopping and highlight six stellar options for safe strollers that fit a variety of ages and usage styles.
Choosing the Best Non-Toxic Stroller Style for Your Needs
Before diving into the best nontoxic strollers available today, let’s clarify what kinds are available. Most strollers today come in three styles. Determine how you plan to use yours most to learn which type you should buy.
- Full-Sized Strollers: These big, sturdy strollers will work for babies from infancy through the toddler years. Many adapt to include a car seat and lots of accessories, but the downside is they can be heavy and bulky for maneuvering in tight spaces.
- Jogging Strollers: High suspension wheels and ergonomic design makes jogging strollers great for any terrain, and they usually include extra straps to keep the baby protected from unexpected falls. They’re perfect for active parents but are bulky for everyday use.
- Umbrella Strollers: These lightweight strollers are ultra-portable and perfect for traveling for city strolling. Most aren’t car seat compatible and only work for babies six months and older.
Available Accessories: Parent pack, organic infant insert, rain cover
If your idea of bonding with baby involves taking them along on your hikes and runs, then the Bumbleride Speed Jogging Stroller offers a lot of appeal. And if not, there are still compelling reasons to consider this brand.
Environmentally, it’s a win. The Speed stroller contains eco-friendly fabric that is OEKO-Tex certified, free of flame retardants, made from 100% recycled PET, and dyed black in an innovative process that saves up to 40 gallons of water per stroller. The company uses plant-based sealants for waterproofing instead of DWRs and PFAS, and a quarter of its plastic components are sourced from ocean plastic.
All Bumbleride strollers are made in Taiwan, a decision the company didn’t make lightly. In fact, they highlight online that they chose their manufacturer after touring factories around the world and chose the Tawainese location because it was family-run and offered fair pay, ethical working conditions, and a five-day workweek.
The stroller itself is compatible with various car seats, meaning that you can start using it with your baby from birth. It’s constructed with an ultra-lightweight frame for easy pushing on rougher terrain and includes a large canopy for shading young skin. The stroller is designed for easy pushing no matter what speed you’re traveling, and it includes all wheel-suspension, a safety strap, and a quick access foot brake for comfort and safety.
Customer reviews indicate that Bumbleride offers the “Cadillac of strollers” with quality options for every parenting need. Many runners shared they even earned their best running times every while pushing this stroller. Some people received strollers that had issues with the front wheel’s swivel feature, but that was quickly resolved with customer service.
Highlights: Nuna strollers meet top quality standards in both Europe and the United States, making this a brand you can feel comfortable with.
Available Accessories: Bassinet, ring adapter, child tray, cup holder, rain cover, travel bag
Nuna strollers are designed to last, and the MIXX Next is no exception. It boasts best-in-class materials from the frame to inner fabric and is made in an ISO 14001-certified factory. This means that the production process meets strict environmental standards to decrease the negative environmental effects of manufacturing. For example, the company utilizes solar energy, product recycling programs, and sustainable water treatment processes.
All Nuna strollers are 100% free of flame retardants and pass U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission standards for heavy metal testing. These strollers also follow the European REACH standard and EN71 Standard for product quality, which means they meet strict requirements for limiting any use of potentially harmful substances.
The MIXX Next stands out from other Numa strollers because of its focus on versatility. You can use the stroller frame four ways, and it works for your baby from birth until they reach 50 pounds. In fact, the full recline feature means you can put your infant in it without any accessories, though the company sells a bassinet accessory for extra coziness.
It features a MagneTech Secure Snap magnetic buckle, so you won’t have to struggle snapping in a fussy child. The stroller also folds into a compact shape you can toss into any car without concern. Busy parents will appreciate the solid, no-maintenance tires that offer smooth traveling but never need to be patched or filled with air.
Highlights: This lightweight, ultra-compact stroller is an eco-friendly bargain. While it’s suitable for newborns right out of the box, you can use almost any car seat with it for extra versatility.
Available Accessories: all-weather cover, cup holder, grab bar and food tray,
At just 13 pounds, the Nano stroller from Mountain Buggy is one of the lightest, most compact you will find—but it doesn’t compromise on features. This stroller offers the option for a full recline sling seat, making it perfect for newborns on up. If that’s not your speed, you can also use the universal car seat adapter to ease the transition from the car to the sidewalk. It even comes with a travel bag to make storage simple when not in use.
The brand is owned by Phil & Teds, a company that regularly tests products for heavy metals like mercury, lead, cadmium, chromium, antimony, arsenic, phthalates, barium, and selenium. The stroller itself is made from nylon, polyester, and polyurethane foam, and it’s guaranteed free of flame retardants.
Most parts of the Nano are recyclable, and the stroller is designed to work with most leading car seat brands through a universal adapter. This means you can likely use the seat you already own—no need to waste resources by purchasing another one.
If your family’s too big for a single stroller, consider upgrading to the Nano Duo (View on Amazon) for double the seating.
Customer reviews show this stroller is the perfect option for traveling families. The streamlined design may be lacking for daily use, though, and some users complained that it seemed flimsy. Despite the name, it appears to be a good option for city living and anyone who needs to regularly toss a stroller in the back of their Uber ride.
Highlights: UPPAbaby strollers get attention on the sidewalk, and the Vista’s innovative, scalable design is perfect for those who plan to have a growing family. However, the brand loses some points for being heavy.
Available Accessories: carry-all organizer, cup holder, bassinet, bassinet mattress cover
UPPAbaby is a leading name in the high-end stroller world, and the company’s two full-size strollers give you lots of flexibility without concerns about toxins. The CRUZ V2 offers a compact design that is compatible with newborns up to toddlers. It allows for parent-facing seating and includes an easy-to-recline feature to ease the transition from travel to nap time.
Users say the Cruz rivals the Bugaboo in how smooth and maneuverable it is, and it boasts a huge basket for all the parenting staples. You can pair it with compatible car seats or purchase the optional bassinet for extra comfort and safety for newborns.
The Vista V2 (View on Amazon) offers similar features but with one defining difference—the Vista will keep up with a growing family. This stroller converts from one seat to two to make space for a second child. Consequently, the stroller’s frame is slightly larger and has bigger wheels, making it trickier to move through tiny spaces. If you want the Cruz but still need a way to travel with two kids, it’s possible to attach a piggyback accessory to the back to give little feet a break.
As with all UPPAbaby strollers, both the Cruz and Vista are free of flame retardants, BPA, phthalates, PVC, Teflon, and many other toxic compounds.
UPPAbaby strollers have nearly cult-level followings, and user reviews reflect that. However, some parents still think they have drawbacks. These strollers are notoriously heavy (making it difficult to carry up and downstairs), and you’ll easily spend over $1,000 if you want to use a few accessories to the base model.
Note: If you’re looking for an umbrella stroller that meets the same UPPAbaby quality standards, consider the UPPAbaby G-Luxe (View on Amazon)
Highlights: There’s no doubt that Bugaboo strollers are some of the best you can buy, both functionally and from an environmental perspective. However, the high price means you may be able to get more for your money from other brands.
Available Accessories: Cupholder, snack tray, sun canopy, stroller organizer
Bugaboo strollers are designed to last you from the first days with a newborn to your third (or more!) toddler. They are constructed from high-quality aluminum and plastic with machine washable polyester that is OEKO-Tex certified free of 100 different toxic chemicals, including flame retardants. The Bugaboo Fox stands out from the rest of the product line because its fabric is made from recycled PET bottles.
Beyond constructing strollers durable enough to stay out of the landfill, the company has set up global packaging guidelines designed to minimize waste and help work towards zero-impact packaging. Likewise, Bugaboo is working towards its set emission reduction targets through the Science Based Targets Initiative.
From a functionality standpoint, this stroller boasts power steering for effortless maneuverability. It utilizes an advanced suspension system that makes it possible to take the stroller through any terrain—from bumpy cobblestone streets to crowded airport terminals. It’s also light enough for easy lifting up and downstairs, and it folds down in seconds for transportation in cars.
You can use the Fox 2 from birth to 48 pounds, and it’s car seat compatible for easier transitions for little ones. It includes a bassinet for newborns, and it’s possible to reverse the baby’s direction, so they are either facing you or the rest of the world.
Parents rave about how well this stroller holds up to heavy wear and the ease of packing it down to fit in compact cars. Many found the suspension worked well enough for use as a jogging stroller and that the ride was smooth enough to keep even fussy babies sleeping soundly. The most significant drawbacks for most users are cost and lack of adjustments for carrying multiple babies.
Highlights: A classic for a reason, the Baby Jogger City Mini works in almost any terrain as a versatile stroller for busy families. It also supports kids up to 65 pounds. Just note it’s not as feature-rich as other options on this list.
Available Accessories: child tray, car seat adapter, bassinet, parent console, glider board
The City Mini stroller series from Baby Jogger is perpetually popular, and it’s an excellent option for parents who want it all without paying luxe prices for it. The GT2 Stroller is a three-wheel design that offers lots of maneuverability with a single-hand fold-up design so you can pack it with you. The “forever air” rubber tires require no maintenance and are paired with an all-wheel suspension system that keeps the ride smooth for little travelers.
All materials within the stroller are entirely free of flame retardants, and it’s also made without PVC, latex, Teflon, phthalates, and other compounds.
This stroller has one of the largest weight capacities on this list, as it safely supports kids up to 65 pounds. Other highlights? The stroller’s canopy offers UV 50+ protection for sensitive skin, and it includes an extra-large-storage basket at the bottom with easy access from the front or rear.
Parents love the maneuverability and versatility of this stroller style. Many praise how easy it is to fold up and take everywhere—making it a true compromise between a traditional jogging stroller and stroll-around-town model. Many shared that this stroller quickly became the only one they used as it worked for everything from the grocery store to trails at the park.
One downside is that it doesn’t offer a parent-facing option unless you add in a car seat. This might be stressful for babies around six to eight months old that are too big for the seat adapter but still want to see their parents on walks.
What To Avoid When Buying a Stroller
Let’s start by looking at some of the worst compounds found in conventional strollers.
Flame retardants are controversial. These chemicals are added to many baby products to prevent them from burning quickly if they catch fire. In a crisis, this could save your child’s life. However, hundreds of different compounds are used as retardants, and many are linked to serious health problems. For more on the potential health issues associated with flame retardants, see this page on the National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences Website.
In past years, strollers needed to pass 12-second flammability tests to reach the US market, which required the use of flame retardants. However, baby products like strollers, infant carriers, and nursing pillows became exempt from this standard in 2010, and other baby products followed in 2014.
So, while it’s usually a wise choice to buy used whenever possible, you should avoid using strollers made before 2010.
Note: This exemption doesn’t mean that these toxic compounds are prohibited in strollers, but rather that health-minded brands can now choose to exclude them. Watch out for misleading advertising that says stroller manufacturers “comply with flammability laws” because this may actually be a sign that the products contain these retardants.
Durable water repellents (DWRs) are water-resistant coatings added to many of the textiles used in strollers. Most are attached with potentially harmful solvents, and they tend to wear off quickly, rendering them ineffective and increasing exposure for the little travelers.
Per and polyfluoroalkyl substances make fabric water repellent, but they are classified as potentially hazardous to human health by the EPA. Plant-based waxes and other treatments are available and effective, so there’s no reason to choose strollers that contain them.
As the world’s third most common synthetic plastic, polyvinyl chloride is common in strollers, especially the thinner fabric components like the rain cover. Unfortunately, exposure is linked to some health problems. Look for strollers from brands that explicitly state they are PVC-free and phthalate-free.
Virtually every stroller on the market today contains polyurethane foam, typically in the handle and wheels. It’s still not clear what danger this compound poses for children, though they have the potential to off-gas toxic fumes as they break down that are linked to skin irritation and other problems.
Another risk is that many are made with flame retardants. Look for a “CertiPUR-US” certification, as it guarantees any foam in the stroller is free of them.