How to Choose the Best Rotating Car Seat for Your Family's Needs

Swivel the seat, and strap your wiggly kiddo in with ease.
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By Martina Garvey, Associate E-Commerce Editor
Published March 13, 2023
best swivel and rotating car seats 2023
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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.

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

Cybex Sirona S SensorSafe 2 Rotating Car Seat
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

Evenflo Gold Revolve360 Rotating Convertible Car Seat
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

Baby Jogger City Turn Rotating Convertible Car Seat
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

NUNA REVV Rotating Convertible Car Seat
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

Orbit Baby G5 Infant Car Seat & Base
Image: Nordstrom
Buying Options
Nordstrom | $480

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
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