5 Swivel Car Seats That Are Total Game Changers (2023)

New parents quickly realize how awkward it can be to safely situate a kid in their car seat—especially if the vehicle is on the small side. And if your little one is wiggly or uncooperative? Good luck. Of course, if you had the foresight to invest in a rotating car seat, you may not have to deal with this daily struggle at all. These innovative models actually swivel around, so you can buckle baby in and gently lift them out without contorting your body or straining your back.

So do you actually need a swivel car seat—and, more importantly, are they safe? Find the answers to those questions below, then browse our picks of the game-changing rotating car seats available now.

In this article:
What is a rotating car seat?
Are rotating car seats safe?
What to consider when buying a rotating car seat
The best rotating car seats

What is a Rotating Car Seat?

A rotating car seat—also known as a swivel car seat—has a fixed base and a seat that spins up to 360 degrees. This innovative swivel feature gives parents easy access to their child, as they can strap baby in and remove them from the seat without climbing inside the car. Better yet, some models also let you transition the car seat from rear-facing mode to a forward-facing position with the press of a button (no re-installation necessary). Rotating models offer many of the same features as traditional convertible car seats, and are typically installed using a LATCH base system or a seat belt path.

Are Rotating Car Seats Safe?

Yes, as long as it’s installed correctly, and is suitable for your child’s age and weight, rotating car seats are safe to use. Car seats that swivel are subject to the same federal safety standards as other car seats. Before a particular model hits the shelves, it’s tested to ensure that it meets National Highway Transportation Safety Administration (NHTSA) guidelines.

What to Consider When Buying a Rotating Car Seat

Choosing the right car seat for your child can be an arduous task, and different types have different benefits and drawbacks. Here are some factors to consider before deciding on a rotating car seat.

  • Rotating mechanism. The best rotating car seats have a smooth swivel mechanism, and some options can even be operated with one-hand.

  • Price. Rotating car seats are relatively new to the US market and are equipped with state of the art technology. But as with any new innovation, this comes with a hefty price tag. Swivel car seat prices start at over $300, and high-end models can cost anywhere up to $650.

  • Convenience. No doubt about it, rotating car seats are the most convenient option out there. Why? Thanks to the swivel function you can turn the seat 360 degrees to face you as you buckle baby in or remove them from the seat. This is less physically taxing, and is particularly helpful for folks with a disability or mobility issues.

  • Longevity. Swivel car seats are typically convertible, and can be used in a rear-facing or forward-facing position, meaning you can use it from day one well into toddlerhood. However, it’s important to note that many car seats that rotate have a lower weight limit than their non-swivelling counterparts, meaning that you may need to switch up the seat configuration sooner.

  • Size. Rotating car seats tend to be slightly larger than traditional models, as the swivel mechanism adds an extra component to the base. In addition, given that the car seat is designed to swing outward for easy access, this type may not be the best option for families that require multiple car seats or booster seats.

The Best Rotating Car Seats

Now that you’ve gotten to grips with what a rotating car seat actually is, take a moment to look at the five game-changing options on the market. Each product has been vetted by The Bump team and meets the mark in terms of safety, convenience and comfort.

Overall best rotating car seat

5 Swivel Car Seats That Are Total Game Changers (1)

Image: Nordstrom

First up on our list of the best rotating car seats is the Cybex Sirona S. A Best of Baby award winner for three consecutive years, this was the first fully-rotating car seat to hit the market. The convertible seat rotates a full 360 degrees, has 12 recline positions and is operated with a simple one-handed lever mechanism. It also has top-notch safety features, like load-leg technology, an anti-rebound panel, linear side-impact protection and a SensorSafe chest clip, which syncs to your smartphone and alerts you when unsafe conditions arise. Better yet, it’s super-easy to install, thanks to the on-pull LATCH system and angle-indicators that help you position it just right.

  • Max weight capacity: 5 to 40 pounds rear-facing with included infant insert; 22 to 65 pounds forward-facing
  • Height limit. 49 inches
  • Car seat weight: 30.4 pounds
  • Car Seat dimensions: 25.5″ x 20″ x 25″

What We Love

  • Magnetic shoulder straps
  • SensorSafe technology
  • Swivels 360 degrees at the pull of a lever

Things To Consider

  • It’s not compatible with a stroller
  • Heavier than a regular car seat

Best affordable rotating car seat

5 Swivel Car Seats That Are Total Game Changers (2)

Image: Target

Searching for a more affordable option? Check out the Evenflo Gold Revolve360. At just over $300 it’s still an investment, but this car seat offers three modes for infants, toddlers and big kids meaning you can use it for up to 10 years. The seat rotates 360 degrees and the cushioned head-rest can be adjusted with a single hand. It also goes above and beyond industry safety standards, with superior side-impact protection and structural integrity.

  • Max weight capacity: 4 to 40 pounds rear-facing; 22 to 65 pounds forward-facing; 40 to 120 pounds as a high-back booster seat
  • Height limit. 57 inches
  • Car seat weight: 29.6 pounds
  • Car Seat dimensions: 21″ x 19.8″ x 25.9″

What We Love

  • Swivels 360 degrees
  • One-hand adjustment
  • Functions as a rear-facing, forward-facing and booster seat

Things To Consider

  • Heavier than a regular car seat
  • Takes up a lot of space

Best 180 degree rotating car seat

5 Swivel Car Seats That Are Total Game Changers (3)

Image: Nordstrom

If the thought of baby’s car seat spinning 360 degrees makes you dizzy, try the Baby Jogger City Turn out for size. It rotates 180 degrees bringing your child 10 inches closer to you, so that you can maintain a more upright posture when lifting baby in and out of the seat (this is a lifesaver for parents with a bad back!). The smooth rotation mechanism is operated with one hand and audibly clicks into place, so you know it’s safely secured. The seat can be used in a rear- and forward-facing position, has an adjustable headrest and six recline options to ensure a comfy ride. And thanks to the no-rethread harness, you can adjust the harness without removing it. It installs within seconds, and has a steel reinforced frame and energy-absorbing foam padding for a safe ride.

  • Max weight capacity: 4 to 50 pounds rear-facing; 22 to 65 pounds forward-facing
  • Height limit. 49 inches
  • Car seat weight: 28 pounds
  • Car Seat dimensions: 21.75″ x 19″ x 23.5″

What We Love

  • Car seat audibly clicks into place in rear-facing mode
  • Adjustable headrest and 5 recline positions
  • No rethread harness

Things To Consider

  • Doesn’t rotate fully
  • The seat only rotates when in a rear-facing position

Best high-end rotating car seat

5 Swivel Car Seats That Are Total Game Changers (4)

Image: Nordstrom

Willing to splash some cash on a car seat that rotates? The NUNA REVV is the Rolls Royce of the swivel car seat world. With a simple twist, the seat rotates 360 degrees to face you. With a no-rethread harness, it 10 recline positions and has integrated magnetic buckle holders to help keep straps out of the way when buckling baby in. It’s also the gold-standard in terms of safety, with a steel frame, integrated rebound bar, energy-absorbing foam and side-impact protection pods. Crafted from the finest materials (think merino wool and GOTS certified-organic cotton), the car seat cover and infant inserts are machine-washable, fire-resistant and free from harmful chemicals. Plus, ventilation panels keep baby cool and comfortable during long journeys. Talk about luxury!

  • Max weight capacity: 5 to 40 pounds rear-facing; 25 to 40 pounds forward-facing
  • Height limit. 43 inches
  • Car seat weight: 29.7 pounds
  • Car Seat dimensions: 22.5″ x 18.25″ x 22.5″

What We Love

  • Rotates 360 degrees with a simple twist motion
  • Greenguard Gold certified materials
  • Aircraft-certified

Things To Consider

  • High price point
  • Lower height and weight limit that other options

Best rotating infant car seat

5 Swivel Car Seats That Are Total Game Changers (5)

Image: Nordstrom

Buying Options


Last up on our list of game-changing swivel car seats is the Orbit Baby G5. Unlike the other options this car seat is not convertible and can only be used for infants up to 30 pounds. But if you’re looking for an infant car seat that rotates this one offers unique benefits. The deep, cradle design is super snug and is lined with energy-absorbing EPP foam for maximum side impact protection. The SmartHub Base lets you attach the seat at any angle in the car, then rotates into position, helping to prevent back strain. The best part? The car seat detaches from the base and has carry handles, meaning you can easily transport a sleeping baby from the car to the house without disturbing them. It also attaches to compatible Orbit strollers. Bonus: For premature babies you can purchase the lower birth weight kit.

  • Max weight capacity: 4 to 30 pounds (rear-facing only)
  • Height limit. 32 inches
  • Car seat weight: 13.8 pounds
  • Car Seat dimensions: 8.5″ x 12″ x 12″ seat; 14 x 20.5″ base

What We Love

  • Cradle-design
  • Attaches to a stroller frame
  • Lightest swivel car seat on the market

Things To Consider

  • Not suitable for toddlers or babies over the weight limit

Plus, more from The Bump:

The Best Infant Car Seats

Best Travel Car Seats for Your Next Trip

How to Install a Car Seat Safely


Which is the best swivel car seat? ›

The best rotating car seats 2023
  • Best overall: Graco Turn2Me Rotating Car Seat.
  • Best budget: Evenflo Gold Revolve360.
  • Best comfort: Baby Jogger City Turn Rotating Car Seat.
  • Best harness adjustment: Maxi Cosi Rotating Car Seat.
  • Most stylish: Cybex SironaS SensorSafe 2 Car Seat.
  • Best luxury: Nuna Revv Car Seat.
Apr 28, 2023

Are the swivel car seats safe? ›

Are Rotating Car Seats Safe? Yes, as long as it's installed correctly, and is suitable for your child's age and weight, rotating car seats are safe to use. Car seats that swivel are subject to the same federal safety standards as other car seats.

Is swivel car seat worth it? ›

Swivel car seats make it a whole lot easier to get your baby or toddler into and out of the car. This is especially true when your little one is rear-facing. Rotating car seats swivel to the side and eliminate the awkward reach that's needed with standard rear-facing seats.

How to do a car seat challenge test? ›

Your infant's nurse will place him or her on a monitor and secure him in the car seat. During the test, your baby's heart rate, breathing, and oxygen level will be watched for 90 to 120 minutes. If there are changes in these levels during the test, the test will be stopped.

What seat in car is best for motion sickness? ›

Sit in the front seat

Because the front wheels of a car are responsible for its direction, sitting in the front seat of a car tends to reduce motion sickness. This is because you feel less force from a sharp turn than you would at the back, which is further from the turning wheels.

What is the riskiest seat in a car? ›

According to the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS), if you ride in the backseat of a car and do not wear a seatbelt, you are eight times more likely to be injured or killed in a collision than if you are wearing a seat belt.

Should car seat go behind driver or passenger? ›

Install in the Backseat

The car seat should always be installed in the back seat. That is the safest spot for your baby. If you can, put the car seat in the center seat. If not, it is fine behind either the driver or passenger side.

How old is a child at 40 pounds? ›

An average 4-year-old weighs about 40 pounds and is about 40 inches tall. Preschoolers are still developing and refining their gross motor skills (using their arms and legs to move and play), as well as their fine motor skills (working on arts and crafts and puzzles).

What age do you rotate car seat? ›

While 1 year and 20 pounds used to be the standard for when to flip car seats around, most experts now recommend using rear-facing child seats until children outgrow the top weight and height recommendations of the car seat manufacturer. This means your child may be rear-facing until well beyond their second birthday.

What are the benefits of a 360 car seat? ›

A number of manufacturers have introduced a 360 degree rotation feature, which allows for extended rear facing, forward facing and (the clever bit) a stop in between, so you can face the seat towards the door, making it a whole lot easier to get your little one in and out of the car.

What happens if baby failed car seat test? ›

What happens after the test if my baby fails? If your baby fails the car seat challenge, the test will probably be repeated later. Your healthcare provider may also talk to you about different options for transporting your baby home. One option is a type of car seat called a car bed.

How long does the 2 hour car seat rule apply? ›

Parents know what's best for their children – so there is no specific age to grow out of the 2-hour car seat rule. Once your baby gains better control of their neck/head and can safely sit upright without support, you can relax the rule a bit – but stay alert as long as they are in a rear-facing car seat.

What is the 2 hour car seat test? ›

Car seat test

You will be asked to bring in your baby's car seat, which he will sit in for 90 to 120 minutes or the length of the car ride home, whichever is longer. During the test, the nurse will monitor your baby's heart rate, breathing and oxygen level.

What brand is the best for car seats? ›

Compare the best car seats
Car seatBest forPrice
Graco 4Ever DLXBest overall$329.97
Chicco Keyfit 30Best for budgets$229.99
Britax Boulevard Clicktight with ARBExtended rear-facing pick$369.99
Evenflo EveryStage DLXBest convertible car seat$289.99

Is a 360 car seat better? ›

A 360° car seat can swivel or rotate, and offers more flexibility when putting the car seat in and out of the car, alleviating some of the daily struggle of bending over while trying to put a growing, wriggly tot into their seat.

Which car brands have the best seats? ›

The Kia Soul has the most comfortable front seats among small cars. Subaru Legacy wins the Midsize sedan category, Mercedes-Benz C-Class is the best Luxury Compact Sedan, Audi A8 is the Luxury Midsized/Large Sedan winner, and Mazda CX-50 is the best small SUV.

What car seats are 360? ›

Cybex Sirona S SensorSafe Convertible Car Seat

This car seat can rotate 360 degrees, while a load leg stabilizer provides additional support.

What is seat most popular model? ›

Arona is the top seller in SEAT's SUV range, surpassing 1 million units in 6 years. The 1 millionth SUV was none other than a SEAT Arona, always at the forefront. Since its launch in 2017, SEAT's first urban SUV has become the brand's most popular car, with 481,585 units sold globally.

How do I find the safest car seat? ›

The Car Seat Finder is an easy-to-use tool that lets you compare seats and ease-of-use ratings to find the right car seat for your child. Just fill out your child's age, height and weight above, and you'll be provided car seat types that fit your child.

What is better cloth or leather car seats? ›

If you prefer seats that are easier to clean, you are probably better off choosing leather. Leather seats aren't as porous as fabric ones, making it easier to wipe up spills and vacuum crumbs that accumulate on them. However, the opposite is true when it comes to maintenance.

Which car seat takes less space? ›

Product Comparison Chart
Diono Radian 3RXTBest for Newborns16.14″ x 16.93″ x 28.35″
Maxi-Cosi Pria All-in-1Most Comfortable25.3″ x 23.6″ x 20.3″
Cosco Mighty Fit 65Best Budget Buy17″ x 22″ x 23.5″
Graco SlimFitBest for All Stages19″ x 20″ x 21″
Apr 28, 2023

What age do swivel car seats go up to? ›

Rotating car seats make it easier to switch from rearward-facing to forward-facing. As many spin car seats are in the Group 0+/1 category, they offer the flexibility of having your child rear-facing up until 18kg, or around 4 years of age.


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