11 of the best swivel and 360° car seats tried and tested by parents
We've rated the best swivel car seats in a range of prices and styles, plus we look at the pros and cons of using a rotating or 360-spin rotating car seat
If you’ve ever struggled getting your baby or toddler in and out of the car, a rotating car seat could be the answer. These clever designs let you swivel the seat towards your open car door so you can take your child out more easily, and more easily strap them in – and save yourself potential back problems in the process.
If you opt for a 360° car seat that rotates all the way round, this means it can also swivel to a forward-facing position once your child is ready, offering increased versatility as they grow.
To help you decide which swivel car seat is best for you, we’ve extensively reviewed hundreds of car seats, tested by real parents with their families, and quizzed more than 550 parents about the seats they’ve used over the years.
We know your child’s safety is paramount when it comes to choosing a rotating car seat. So in addition we’ve spoken to experts from the organisations RAC and Child Seat Safety about safety advice, and taken into account safety testing carried out by ADAC, one of the leading testers of car seats in Europe.
Best swivel car seats at a glance
- Best swivel seat for sturdiness: Britax Römer DualFix M i-Size, £349
- Best swivel seat for use with travel systems: Cybex Cloud Z2, £230
- Best swivel seat for smooth rotation: Cybex Sirona SX2 i-Size, £349.95
- Best budget buy swivel seat: Ickle Bubba Radius 360, £169
- Best swivel seat for easy reclining action: Joie i-Spin 360, £280
- Best for additional safety testing: Joie i-Spin Safe, £370
- Best swivel seat for a slide-out base: Maxi-Cosi Pebble 360 Pro, £259.99
- Best swivel seat for easy use with a toddler: Maxi-Cosi Pearl 360 Pro, £319.99
- Best swivel seat for long lifespan: Silver Cross Motion All Size 360, £395
- Best budget i-Size swivel car seat: Graco Turn2Me i-Size R129, £149.99
- Best swivel seat for a slimline fit: Cozy n Safe Morgan, £179.99
Why should I buy a rotating car seat?
The main benefit of a rotating car seat is it’s easier and more comfortable to take your child in and out of the car – you can simply swivel the seat towards your open car door. It saves needing to awkwardly bend over a seat sideways to reach the harness, one of those daily parental frustrations most of us can do without. That makes these seats especially great if you have back pain or mobility issues.
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When you consider how many times your child uses a car seat over the months and years, a rotating seat really can make a huge difference to how comfortable everyday life is. For toddlers who can climb in themselves, it may also make this easier for them.
There’s a safety aspect to consider too, too. Many 360-rotating car seats enable rear-facing for longer, up to around 4 years. In the event of a collision, especially head-on, a rear-facing seat offers greater protection to your child’s still-developing head, spine and neck, so many parents are keen to keep this position for as long as possible.
When you are ready to change their position, with a 360-swivel seat you can rotate them to forward-facing without the expense and hassle of buying and reinstalling a new seat.
What age are swivel car seats best for?
Many rotating car seats can be used from birth, and some of the seats on our list grow with your child so they can be used for a number of years before moving on to a child car seat.
Newborn babies start in rear-facing infant car seats. These are sometimes called:
- Group 0+ seats, grouped by your child’s weight for use from birth to 13kg (approx 15 months)
- i-Size (part of the new European standard for car seats, ECE R129), which groups seats according to your child’s height. i-Size infant car seats will have a heigh limit in centimetres, usually somewhere between 62cm and 87cm
Under new R129 regulations, babies must stay in a rear-facing position until they are at least 15 months old. If you have an older-style R44 Group 0 seat, once your baby reaches 9kg (approx 9 months) you can decide whether to swivel them to a forward-facing position, although we don’t recommend turning them forward too early.
In the past, toddler car seats were often forward facing only. However, the introduction of i-Size and the requirement to have children rear-facing until at least 15 months has changed the market considerably. There are now plenty of 360-swivel car seats that allow your child to sit rear-facing far beyond 15 months, with the option to also face them forward when you’re ready.
The 360-swivel car seats on our list mainly encompass i-Size or Group 0+/1 baby and toddler seats, for use from birth to around age 4. We also have some 360-degree seats that will last right up until 6, 7, or even 12 years old.
What to look for when choosing a swivel car seat
When choosing a seat brand or model, there are many factors to take into account, depending on your child's age, your budget and family’s needs.
Does it rotate 180 or 360? — A seat that can swivel a full 360 degrees means it can face both directions, depending on your child's age. You can keep toddlers well-protected in a rear-facing position for longer, but rotate to front-facing whenever they are ready (and it’s safe to). RoSPA’s Child Car Seats website advises parents and caregivers to "keep their children in a rear facing child car seat for as long as possible", based on the British Medical Journal’s research suggesting that they are safer than forward facing seats for children under 4 years old.
Not all rotating car seats swivel all the way round – some only rotate 180°, so always check before buying. Claire Waterhouse and Julie Dagnall, founders of Child Seat Safety, explain the key difference. “A 360° rotation will be a rear- and forward-facing seat, whereas a 180° rotation will only face in one direction (either rear- or forward-facing) but you’ll still be able to swivel it to make it easier to get the child in and out of the seat.”
How easy are they to rotate? — If the answer is ‘not very’, despite being designed to make life easier, your rotating seat might end up being a headache. Try seats out first, if you can, and read online reviews to see how smoothly this feature works. One-handed rotation can be a godsend, if you’re juggling lots of things (and let’s face it, what parent isn’t).
Are they travel system compatible? — The most important thing to note is that the swivel mechanism is part of the base, rather than the car seat itself. Many rotating car seats have fixed bases, so they can’t be attached to a buggy as part of a travel system. This means you’ll need to carry a young baby to and from the car each time you travel (and potentially wake them up mid-snooze). However, some infant car seats (like the Cybex Cloud Z2) fit onto separate swivel bases, meaning the seat itself may be compatible with travel systems – so shop around if this is important to you.
How heavy is the seat? — As mentioned, rotating seats often come with bulky, non-detachable bases. This can make them heavy to carry and install, and even with a detachable base, the seat itself may still be heavy. Of course, if you plan to install and keep it in one car that shouldn’t be a huge problem. But it's worth considering if you plan to move it in between cars regularly.
Does the base separate from the car seat, and do you have to buy it separately? — Be sure you know what you're buying, and which elements are included. If you do need to buy a separate base, check whether you can also use it with the next stage seat. You could upgrade to a rotating toddler seat but keep the same base, saving space and money.
Is the base Isofix? — Check whether the base is Isofix compatible, meaning it ‘plugs’ into your car’s Isofix connection points to secure it, which can make fitting much easier. All R129 compliant car seats are required to have Isofix connectors. Always check if the Isofix-compatible seats will work with your particular model of car.
If your car doesn’t have Isofix points, you will need a car seat that can be fitted using the vehicle’s seatbelt. Fitted correctly, fitting with a belt is no less safe than using Isofix, however there is more room for error when fitting with a belt, so be sure to read the instructions carefully, and get it fitted professionally if you can.
1. Britax Römer DualFix M i-Size, £349
— Best for sturdiness
Suitable for: 3 months-4 years/61-104cm/up to 18kg | Rear facing until: 105cm | i-Size: Yes | Safety standard: R129 | Rotation: 360° | Weight: 14.5kg
Germany company Britax Römer is known for its robust, high-quality car seats, and the DualFix M i-Size is an updated version of its DualFix M, now meeting i-Size regulations.
With 360 swivel action, this is a stylish, solid seat designed to grow with little ones. It’s suitable from three months, and offers extended rear-facing up to 105cm (approx age 4). It can also be used as a forward-facing seat from 76cm.
This is a chair clearly built for comfort. There are multiple recline positions in both rearwards and front-facing positions – so you’re likely to find a suitable snoozing position. Soft, padded chest pads add to the experience, as does the v-shaped headrest.
At close to 15kg, this is not the lightest seat around. It’s very much designed to stay put in your car, not be lugged about between vehicles or into homes. However, its bulkiness does mean it feels ultra-sturdy, and it boasts plenty of reassuring safety features. These include high, padded side wings, a 5-point harness, and the SICT side impact protection system.
There’s a height-adjustable support leg to stop things wobbling in the event of a collision, and a rebound bar that prevents tilting (bonus: this bar can be adjusted against the back of seat to offer 10% extra leg room). The seat has an ADAC rating of 2.1 (good) – the ADAC test simulates realistic crashes with Q-test dummies.
Like many seats, the DualFix is a doddle to install in cars using an integrated Isofix base – however, Britax Römer has something called the Pivot Link Isofix System, which is basically Isofix with bells on. It directs the force of an impact down towards the vehicle seat and then forward, reducing the chance of head or neck injuries.
We love the quick-remove, machine-washable covers, to cope with those inevitable sticky spills and other not-so-thrilling drivetime episodes (car sickness anyone?). You can also buy added extras including a backseat mirror and a sunshade.
There’s no doubt the price-tag is on the high side, so this seat won’t suit all pockets, although the price you pay does include the Isofix base. It can’t use it from birth, but if you can afford to splash out, and want safety combined with the dependable Britax stamp of quality, we reckon this 360 swivel seat’s a brilliant, practical option for children up to around age 4.
Pros: Sturdy, comfortable, multiple recline positions, machine-washable covers, spins 360 degrees
Cons: Expensive, heavy and bulky, not travel system compatible, can’t use from birth, Isofix installation only
2. Cybex Cloud Z2, £230
— Best for use with travel systems
Suitable for: 0-24 months/45-87cm/up to 13kg | Rear facing until: 87cm (around 15 months) | i-Size: Yes | Safety standard: R129 | Rotation: 180° | Weight: 4.6kg | Awards: Gold — MadeForMums Awards 2023
This stylish infant car seat was a gold award winner in our 2023 Awards and it’s easy to see why.
Its best features includes an almost lie-flat setting so little ones can snooze in comfort. Unlike so many other spin options, it can be removed from the swivel base and fixed to a compatible pushchair such as the Cybex Priam and used as part of a travel system. When used outside of the car, the Cloud can further recline to a nearly fully flat position.
Like all rotating options, we love how this feature saves your back when you carry babies and toddlers in and out of the car. It also has side-impact protection, with a good ADAC rating of 1.7 (good – with ADAC, the lower the number the better). There are UPF50+ filters in the integrated sun canopy, for added peace of mind for parents (those summer rays can be harsh), and washable covers.
As well as lying flatter in the car than the original Cloud Z car seat, this new version also has an improved swivel mechanism, with a large lever that makes it much easier to rotate.
Our parent tester Frances tried it with her 6 month old baby, and also found it very user friendly, saying: “The traffic light system on the base will turn from red to green to let you know it’s been slotted in correctly, which I found quite reassuring because it almost seemed too easy. It looks sleek and very stylish.”
This is an infant seat, designed to be used in a rear-facing position only (hence the 180°, not 360°, rotation). This means you can use it on a pushchair chassis, but do note it won’t last you as long as some of the seats on our list. However, the separate Z2 base is compatible with the Sirona Z2 i-Size rear-facing toddler car seat – seeing you through from birth to around age 4 – saving pennies down the line. This base can also be used with the forward-facing Cybex Sirona T i-Size seat.
In short, this is a great infant car seat, with our parent testers agreeing Cybex really has thought of everything.
Pros: Travel system compatible, transferable base, stylish, sun canopy for shade, lie-flatter setting, machine washable covers, ISOfix and seat belt compatible
Cons: Infant use only, expensive
Read our full MadeForMums Cybex Cloud Z2 car seat review
4. Cybex Sirona SX2 i-Size, £349.95
— Best for smooth rotation
Suitable for: 3 months-4 years/61-105cm (from 0 months/45cm with newborn inlay)/up to 18kg | Rear facing until: 76cm | i-Size: Yes | Safety standard: R129 | Rotation: 360° | Weight: 14.1kg
This stylish updated rotating seat has won plaudits for safety and design, and has a luxury feel with top-notch fabrics and details.
Like the other models here, this chic seat spins for easy access that saves you awkwardly bending over, plus it can be rotated 360 degrees for a forward-facing option when the time comes, and can be used up to around age 4. It comes in a range of pleasing colours, including blue, red, beige and a lovely nature-inspired green. MFM Editor Gemma tried this with her toddler (pictured) and said, "the spin is super-smooth and really adds to the practicality of the seat, which is beautifully and solidly made. My son is really comfortable in it."
The seat scores highly for safety, with a 2.1 ‘good’ rating from ADAC. Peace-of-mind features including Advanced Linear Side-impact Protection and an energy absorbing shell. Special ‘energy reduction technology’ means it also rates highly for safety in the front-facing position – impact forces are spread along and absorbed by smart materials used in the harness, reducing impact on a child’s neck by up to 20%.
We also like the height-adjustable and very well-designed headrest, and the one-handed recline. Gemma found it easy to fit (if heavy) and loves the secure 5-point harness.
The price you pay includes the base, which is built in and does add significantly to the weight. The Sirona can only be used in cars with Isofix and (as you’d expect for a toddler seat) it can’t be used with travel systems.
Also take note that this latest model can’t be used from birth, but 3 months (though you can buy a newborn insert to convert it).
Pros: Luxury feel, easy to fit, spins 360 degrees, excellent safety, one-handed recline, 12 headrest height settings, machine washable covers
Cons: Can’t use from birth without insert, ISOfix installation only, heavy, not travel system compatible, expensive
5. Ickle Bubba Radius 360, £169
— Best budget buy
Suitable for: 0 months-7 years/up to 25kg | Rear facing until: 13kg or around 15 months | i-Size: No | Safety standard: R44 | Rotation: 360° | Weight: 11kg
If you’re looking for a rotating seat that will last the distance – up to an impressive age 7 — at a reasonable price, this could be the one for you. The Ickle Bubba Radius has a very competitive price tag while offering a long life, and plenty of enticing features for parents – such as a headrest and harness height you can adjust with one hand.
Our journalist tester, Nicola, used the R44-approved seat with her 3-month-old son Louis, for short day-to-day journeys and longer road trips. She was a particular fan of the easy rotation movement: “The rotation is completely smooth, so much so, moving the chair did not wake Louis when he was sleeping. I used the 360-degree feature for every journey to put Louis into the car and take him out.”
The ultra-comfy seat is well-padded and our reviewer also felt it was very robust. The seat reclines by 38 degrees for extra comfort when napping, and has a supportive, padded headrest. Tester Nicola commented on how easy the straps were to loosen and tighten, using a vertical adjuster. It’s another Isofix-friendly seat, which makes it very easy to install – but it can also be secured in place with a belt if you don’t have Isofix. It also has a support leg for stability.
As you’d expect for such a long-lasting seat, it’s quite bulky, and not one you can easily carry around or move between cars. Our tester felt the size could affect the front passenger’s leg room, saying: “Because it’s quite chunky it would probably be better suited to parents with bigger cars.”
Pros: Good value, machine washable covers, spins 360 degrees, well-padded, comfortable, sturdy, 38° recline, ISOfix and seat belt compatible
Cons: Bulky, not travel system compatible, not i-Size
Read our full Ickle Bubba Radius 360 car seat review
6. Joie i-Spin 360, £280
— Best for easy reclining action
Suitable for: 0 months-around 4 years/40-105cm/up to 19kg | Rear facing until: 76cm/around 15 months| i-Size: Yes | Safety standard: R129 | Rotation: 360° | Weight: 13.9kg
Joie is a brand that’s known for making reliable, quality car seats that are affordable without compromising on parent-friendly features such as – in this case – 360° rotation. In fact, this was the car seat that really established rotating seats as a favourite with many parents. It lasts from birth to around 4 years, with the option to be forward-facing from 15 months.
We also love how the i-Spin is made from 100% recycled fabrics (the equivalent of 33 plastic bottles per seat), to help keep your carbon footprint down.
When it comes to safety and comfort, the i-Spin delivers: Joie’s extendable ‘Guard Surround’ panels give added security for the head, body and hips, while the TriProtect headrest has three layers of protection inside its wings, including special patented memory foam.
There’s also a clever swivel lock-off feature, which basically means you can’t accidentally spin your little one to a front-facing position – great if you are switching between different cars or carers. It also has indicators showing when it’s properly installed for peace of mind.
The seat has side ventilation to help stop babies becoming sweaty or overheated on warmer days. There are extra insert cushions for young infants under 60cm to keep them comfy and well-protected, and you can slowly remove the different layers as your child grows. Users also report that the harness straps don’t get tangled up with all the swivelling.
The support leg adds stability and absorbs impact, and has 19 positions to help you can find the best fit for your car model.
Our reviewer Ima tested the Joie i-Spin 360 with her 13-month-old daughter (pictured) in their Nissan Qashqai, everywhere from quiet back roads to motorways.
In particular, she praised its sturdiness, and the wide choice of positions it offers, with an easy-to-use one-handed recline. “I like the 6 settings that allow you to set how upright or reclined you want the seat to be,” she said.
With a good ADAC rating of 1.8, this is a popular seat that offers great value, and complies with new iSize regulations. It fits easily into cars using the Isofix system.
On the downside, it's another quite big seat – some users say that makes it hard to turn unless your back seat area is clear, and the leg support doesn’t clip back for carrying. But otherwise the Joie i-Spin 360 packs in a lot of impressive features for the price.
Pros: 6 recline settings, sturdy, good safety features, recycled materials, spins 360 degrees, side ventilation, one-handed rotation
Cons: Bulky, expensive, heavy, ISOfix installation only, not travel system compatible
Read our full MadeForMums Joie i-Spin 360 car seat review
7. Joie i-Spin Safe, £370
— Best for additional safety testing
Suitable for: 0 months-4 years/40-105cm/up to 18.5kg | Rear facing until: 18.5kg | i-Size: Yes | Safety standard: R129 | Rotation: 180° | Weight: 14.6kg
Looking for a spin seat with top-notch safety credentials? The i-Spin Safe is sister to the original i-Spin 360, and has been put through the rigorous Swedish Plus Test, one of the world’s highest safety standards (and the toughest crash test for car seats). At present, only rear-facing car seats such as this one have passed the test.
That is the reason why this seat is rear-facing only: it spins 180° (towards either car door) for easy access on either side, saving wear and tear on your back, but can’t be converted into a forward-facing seat.
Safety features include 'Guard Surround' safety panels that auto-engage when the harness is tightened, and a super-comfy headrest with 3 cushioning layers of memory foam. It scores an ADAC of 1.6 which is at the very top end of the "good" classification.
MFM reviewer Luke tried it with his 3-year-old daughter and 1-year-old son. He felt this would be an especially good seat for newborns, thanks to the ability to angle it near flat, and the ‘Grow-with-me’ padded inserts, which snap together for a custom fit. “The clever inserts can adapt to go from a cushioned cocoon for a tiny baby, right up to a large support for an older child. While our youngest is just 1, I’d have felt comfortable using this seat with a newborn as it’s packed with safety features and doesn’t scrimp on cosy cushioning.”
The seat has 6 recline positions, which our tester noted are easy to activate even while baby snoozes thanks to a handy front lever. The headrest also has 6 positions – when button-activated to adjust, this seamlessly adjusts the seat harness. Other handy features include hooks to keep straps/buckles out of the way when strapping in – a nice touch, if a tad fiddly. Our reviewer Luke did find the straps on the short side, and the seat quite high – increasing the chance of bumping baby’s head on the ceiling.
The i-Spin Safe comes as one piece (so no separate base), and installs using Isofix – follow the usual colour-coded system – which our tester felt kept the seat reassuringly stable. “Even when swivelling the chair there is no movement from the base, nor is there any rattle when driving,” he said.
Another MFM user tested the seat with her 2 and a half year old and found it to be spacious, saying, "The seat itself appears deeper than his old one, meaning he has a lot more legroom."
When it comes to rotating action, it locks in place quickly and easily – no spinning around out of control.
If there is a drawback, it’s another heavy seat. But you are unlikely to want to move it around anyway, as it’s not part of a travel system. Its bulk keeps it feeling solid and safe. In all, a great choice for nervous parents or those who just want to ensure little ones are brilliantly protected.
Pros: Easy to lock in place, ultra-safe Swedish standard, sturdy, 6 recline positions, 6 headrest positions, machine washable covers
Cons: Heavy, rear-facing only, expensive, not travel system compatible, ISOfix installation only
Read our full MadeForMums Joie i-Spin Safe car seat review
8. Maxi-Cosi Pebble 360 Pro, £259.99
— Best for a slide-out base
Suitable for: 0-15 months/40-87cm/up to 13kg | Rear facing until: 15 months| i-Size: Yes | Safety standard: R129/03 | Rotation: 360° | Weight: 4.7kg
Maxi-Cosi is another brand well-known for its car seats. The latest version of its popular infant seat has the great features of the Pebble 360, with the additional benefit of being compatible with the brand's new slide-out base.
The clever 'SlideTech' function allows the seat to first rotate, then slide when used with the FamilyFix 360 Pro base, to help caregivers to get their child in and out of the car. A feature designed to save your back and make removing your child from the seat super-easy gets a big thumbs up from us.
The Pebble's rotation works one-handed – a godsend for busy parents carrying 50 different things – and it also has an anti-misuse rotation lock, so your baby stays in the rear-racing position.
The seat has 3 recline positions, including one lie-flat option that can be used in the car and as a travel system, making it a great option right from birth, and helping your little one snooze in a more comfortable position.
For the game-changing slide-out feature, the Pebble 360 Pro is installed with the FamilyFix 360 Pro slide-out base (RRP £219.99), which is sold separately. However, the seat can also be belted into any car using the vehicle's 3-point seatbelt, ideal if you're using a car without Isofix. Once your baby outgrows the infant seat, the base can be used with the compatible Pearl 360 Pro (see below).
We also like the easy-in harness, which does as it sounds – staying open, so you can position and secure your baby with minimum fuss.
Another i-Size seat, the Pebble's safety features include integrated side impact protection, to help spread the force of any impact. It comes with a Baby Hugg inlay and a sun canopy, to keep babies protected on summer days.
This seat can even be taken on a plane, as it is TUV aircraft certified – one of only a few car seats you can take on an airplane.
Pros: Can take on a plane, travel system compatible, lie-flat feature, transferable base, spins 360 degrees, one-handed rotation, sturdy, easy-in harness, machine washable covers
Cons: Shorter life span than some seats, ISOfix installation only
9. Maxi-Cosi Pearl 360 Pro, £319.99
— Best for easy use with a toddler
Suitable for: 3 months-4 years/61-105cm/up to 17kg | Rear facing until: 4 years | i-Size: Yes | Safety standard: R129 | Rotation: 360° | Weight: 7.15kg
The Pearl is Maxi-Cosi’s big sister to the Pebble (above). Like the Pebble, it offers the clever back-saving SlideTech feature when used with the FamilyFix 360 Pro base, so you can slide the seat out towards you when taking your child out, instead of stooping inside the car. It also comes with a well-designed easy-in harness, that stays open while you place your child in the seat, one-hand rotation, and enhanced side impact protection.
However, while the travel-system compatible Pebble can only be used up to 15 months, the Pearl can be used from birth with a newborn inlay (sold separately), or from 3 months without, right up until around 4 years. It rotates 360°, with rear and forward-facing options.
The seat has plenty of comfy inserts to help make your baby feel secure, as well as helping the spacious seat grow with your child. And there are 5 recline settings to keep your toddler comfy, plus the 100% recycled fabrics
We especially love how the Maxi-Cosi Pearl 360 Pro comes with the AGR seal of approval, as a 'back-friendly' car seat. AGR is an independent organisation of health care experts specialising in back related issues/ergonomics.
Pros: 5 recline settings, easy-in harness, one-handed rotation, sliding base, transferable base, spins 360 degrees
Cons: Heavy, expensive, not suitable from birth, not travel system compatible, ISOfix installation only
10. Silver Cross Motion All Size 360, £395
— Best for a long lifespan
Suitable for: 0 months-12 years/40-145cm | Rear facing until: 4 years | i-Size: Yes | Safety standard: R129 | Rotation: 360° | Weight: 14.4kg
Silver Cross is a longstanding British brand that's maintained a strong following for good reason – offering pretty much guaranteed quality and good looks.
This lovely plush seat offers rearfacing for longer (until around 4 years), and swivel features, with the added benefit of lasting from birth until around 12 years. Parents of babies rate the spin function a gamechanger, while independent toddlers will find it helps them to climb in themselves.
The Motion is one of the more expensive rotating car seats on our list, but if you have the budget upfront, its wide age range means the cost-per-year is pretty good value if you use it until your child is ready to outgrow a car seat completely.
MFM Head of Consumer Content and mum-of-3 Christy tried the seat with her baby between age 14 and 17 months, and her 6 and 8 year old daughters, in both a Mercedes and a Volvo. First impressions: this seat was huge and smart, both factors Christy admitted she expected from Silver Cross. "I noticed how well-padded it felt too," she said, "particularly with the newborn inserts fitted."
She said she found the Isofix installation no problem thanks to the Silver Cross website and app. "Having recently experienced a crash I was feeling anxious so the straightforward instructions were particularly welcome," she said.
Green indicators let you know when you've installed it correctly – a thumbs up for anyone who's struggled to guess if their seat really is fitted right.
The seat comes with a rotating base and support leg – factors that make the seat easy to use and safe but that take up more space than some other car seats.
Our reviewer also appreciated how easy it is to convert the Motion for other ages – for infants, the newborn cushion inserts are easy to remove when they've outgrown them. For older kids, the 5-point harness was easily stowed under the seat fabric, rather than requiring fussy rethreading/removal, making it a convenient pick if children of different ages are using the seat.
The soft breathable bamboo fabric also won praise points, along with the sturdy build, and thick padding which our tester said: "Helps me feel reassured my baby is well protected". It has a 'satisfactory' ADAC score of 3.
There were inevitably a few niggles – at its most upright the seat is still slightly reclined, which might bother older children who are used to sitting up straight. Christy’s 6 year old also reported this seat feeling on the narrow side. Ultimately a seat that lasts such a long time won't have all the features that go with individual stage seats though, and might feel snugger.
But as Christy pointed out the "environmental and financial benefits of only needing to buy one seat" – something most of us appreciate right now.
Pros: Long-lasting, value for money, sturdy, good quality, breathable bamboo fabric, spins 360 degrees, 8 headrest positions
Cons: Heavy, bulky, expensive, narrow for older kids, not travel system compatible, ISOfix installation only
Read our full MadeForMums Silver Cross Motion All Size 360 car seat review
11. Graco Turn2Me i-Size R129, £159.99
— Best for i-Size on a budget
Suitable for: 0 months - 4 years/40-105cm/up to 18kg | Rear facing until: 4 years | i-Size: Yes | Safety standard: R129 | Rotation: 360° | Weight: 12.66kg
For those looking for a 360-spin seat that meets the newer R129 safety standard but doesn't break the bank, the Graco Turn2Me i-Size R129 seat is a tempting bet. Boasting all the features of the previous R44 version (the Graco Turn2Me Group 0/1 seat), this new R129 version can be used rear-facing until around 4 years old, with an optional forward facing from 15 months.
Features include improved side-impact protection, a harness that doesn't require tricky rethreading, and side ventilation for keeping little ones cool on sweaty days. The support leg has 12 positions to help find the best fit, and – like the Isofix fittings – include colour indicators to help you install it safely.
It has 5 recline positions in each direction, meaning you should find an angle that suits your child (and their sleep habits), plus 6 headrest positions and one-hand 360-spin. It also comes with a machine-washable padded insert for newborns
This is a great value option if you’re looking for a swivel seat on a budget, or as a second car seat to use in a grandparent’s car, for example (they’ll love the back-saving rotation feature). Overall, it's a great bargain buy.
Pros: Good value, easy to use, side ventilation, ISOfix or seat belt compatible, 10 recline positions, machine washable covers, spins 360 degrees
Cons: Not travel system compatible
10. Cozy n Safe Morgan, £179.99
— Best for a slimline fit
Suitable for: 0 months-6 years/40-125cm | Rear facing until: 87cm (around 15 months) | i-Size: Yes | Safety standard: R129 | Rotation: 360° | Weight: 13.2kg
This is one of the longer-lasting car seats around, working from birth to (potentially) up to age 6. The Morgan has 360-degree rotation so can convert to a forward-facing seat later, on top of generally easing those awkward moments getting babies and sulky children in and out of the car. It’s simple to spin thanks to a pull lever, and it has a very reasonable price-tag.
Our MadeForMums reviewer Annabelle tried it with her newborn daughter Orla and her 2-year-old son Tadhg, in their Hyundai Tucson.
Annabelle loved the stylish grey and black design, and how compact the seat felt in situ. “I was impressed at how slimline the Morgan is compared to our current 360 degree car seat. This means more leg room for my son, who is forward-facing – a huge plus,” she noted.
The one-handed rotation was especially appreciated. “It means that you can carry your child with one arm and rotate the car seat with the other.”
The seat has a top tether belt for added security for infants, a feature Annabelle also liked alongside the side-impact protection, simply activated using a button on the side.
There is even more to love here – the Morgan’s ultra-comfy, with extra-deep padding (great for young babies). Plus while Isofix means it can slot happily in and out of many car models, it also sports the option to install using a 3-point vehicle belt instead.
One thing to note is that it semi-locks at 90 degrees (facing the car door) – this stability can make it easier when strapping your child in, but the seat should only be used in the forward- or rear-facing positions when the vehicle is moving.
Overall, our tester felt this seat was of a really good quality, with the only niggle being the lever for rotating, which felt ‘plasticky’ compared to the rest. It was also a bit fiddly to recline using the twist knob – the seat does recline 50°, however, meaning it’s good for snoozing.
Like most 360 swivel car seats, this seat can’t be used as part of a travel system, and stays fixed in your car, so you’d potentially wake a napping baby to transfer them to a pram at the end of your journey. But on the plus side, it can be used for up to 6 years, making the price-per-year pretty good value.
Pros: Good value, comfortable, slimline, one-handed rotation, can hide 5-point harness, ventilated, good recline, ISOfix and seat belt compatible, machine washable covers, spins 360 degrees
Cons: Heavy to transfer between cars, fiddly recline, not travel system compatible
Read our full MadeForMums Cozy n Safe Morgan car seat review
Are rotating car seats worth the money?
Rotating car seats are not an essential, and they do tend to be a bit more expensive than basic car seats, up to £100 more. The mechanism in the base can also add significantly to the overall weight of the unit. However, many parents will tell you that they are real ‘game-changers’ when it comes to convenience, and worth every extra penny if you have your kids in the car frequently. They can also extend the life of your seat. For that reason, you may feel it’s a wise investment up front.
Are 360 car seats safe?
Providing you only use the swivel function of your car seat when the car is stationary, while taking your baby in and out of the car or switching from a rear to forward-facing setting, it’s a safe feature to have.
Some car seats lock into place when side-facing to help when taking your child out of the chair, but Sophie Steane, RAC shop spokesperson, stresses the importance of using the feature correctly. She says, “After rotation, the key point is to make sure that the seat is fully locked in the correct position before setting off.”
Claire Waterhouse and Julie Dagnall also add that swivel car seats that don’t have the ability to lock are less likely be misused. “We wouldn’t want a parent to turn it side on while travelling to maybe feed the child.”
You should also be sure to only switch from rear-facing to forward-facing when your child meets or exceeds the age requirements of the individual seat. With many in our list offering a rear-facing option for the entire lifespan of the seat, it may not be necessary for you to move them to a forward-facing position at all.
Cheryl Freedman has been working as a journalist for 20 years, and began writing about parenting when her son was a baby back in 2009. She's written reviews and features for MFM, testing everything from booster seats to strollers and writing guides to breast-feeding, infant nutrition and more.
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