The best rotating and swivel car seats

We've found the best swivel car seats and look at the pros and cons of using a rotating car seat

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With the introduction of iSize car seat laws, we’re seeing a growing trend in rotating or swivelling car seats.

Why should I buy a rotating baby car seat?

Swivel car seats, which can turn 360 degrees, are great for getting your baby or toddler in and out of the chair easily.  They’re also all about safety. This is because they usually offer the flexibility of a rear-facing seat for longer.

Historically, Group 0+ car seats (which last from birth to 13kg or around 12-15 months) are rear-facing, Group 1 car seats are forward-facing from 9kg or around 9 months.  But most car seats in this list allow little ones to sit in the rear-facing position until they are at least 2-years-old.

And when you and your child’s ready, you can simply rotate them to forward-facing position. So you have one future-proofed car seat.

What type of bases do rotating car seats fit into?

Rotating car seats come with bases, and as they enable the car seat to rotate, you’ll find that bases are all included in the price (apart from the Jane Matrix).  All the car seats listed in this article have ISOFIX bases, meaning you won’t have to use a car 3-point seat belt.

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1. Britax Dualfix i-Size, £430, base included

Age suitability:Birth to 18kg or 105cm tall (around 4 years)

Rear-facing until: 18kg or 105cm tall (around 4 years)

I-size compatible: Yes

Installation in car: Isofix base

Awards: MadeForMums Awards 2019 i-Size car seat – Gold, MadeForMums Awards 2019 Rear-facing for longer car seat – Gold

Winning Gold not once but twice in our awards, the Britax Dualfix i-Size represents the future of car seats. It wowed judges with its seamless 360-degree rotation, high quality feel and top-notch safety standards.

Like many rotating designs on the market, it offers extended rear facing until 18kg, which is around 4 years, but unlike more than half on our round-up, it adheres to the new i-Size regulations, so you can rest assured it’s future-proofed.

While it’s one of the most expensive seats to invest in (second only to the Jané Matrix on our list), it’s larger than some of its competitors – at 1cm wider and 4cm deeper than the Cybex Sirona i-Size, it offers more room for growing legs – an important consideration when rear-facing until 4.

Safety is paramount at Britax too and the brand adheres to even stricter internal safety standards, offering you all-round safety for years.

MFM judge Jeananne says: “The design and materials feel top quality, and my child was really comfortable in it. It’s nice to have the option to rearward or forward-face, depending on preference. I also felt reassured by the exacting safety standards.”

Read our full review of the Britax Dualfix i-Size for more

Available from: Mothercare, Halfords and Uber Kids

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2. Maxi-Cosi AxissFix Plus, £395, base included

Age suitability: Birth to 18kg or 105cm tall (around 4 years)

Rear-facing until: 87cm tall (around 2 years)

i-size compatible: Yes

Installation in car: Isofix base

Awards: MadeForMums Awards 2019 i-Size car seat – Joint silver

Maxi Cosi is one of the best-known brands in the car seat game and with over 30 years of experience under its belt, it’s easy to see why. Maxi-Cosi AxissFix Plus, our Joint Silver winner, is an updated version of the best-selling Axiss model – it now rotates a full 360 degrees rather than 90, and it complies to the new i-Size safety regulations.

Like most on our list in can be used until 18kg (around 4 years), but it’s only designed to be rearward-facing until 87cm (around 2 years). Similarly-priced products, like the Britax Dualfix or GB Vaya, have the option until age 4. As this is the safest way for little ones to travel, it’s certainly worth considering, especially as the price is in a similar ballpark.

MFM judge Carolyn says: “This car seat has turned my life around! Every little feature on the seat has been well thought out. The seat is comfortable and it is really easy to adjust the headrest/shoulder straps to fit your child. It also looks very stylish.”

Read our full review of the Maxi-Cosi AxissFix Plus

Available from: Mothercare, John Lewis and Halfords

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3. GB Vaya car seat, £375, base included

Age suitability: Birth to 18kg or 105cm tall (around 4 years)

Rear-facing until: 18kg or 105cm tall (around 4 years)

I-size compatible: Yes

Installation in car: Isofix base

When considering a car seat to buy, aesthetics aren’t usually top of the list of important features, but many parents can’t help but love the sleek, luxe finish of the GB Vaya car seat.

Its safety features are impressive too – it faces rearward until age 4, it’s i-Size compatible and, like the Cybex Sirona S i-Size, it has Driving Direction Control. This means it will not rotate to forward-facing mode until the headrest reaches a certain height, an extra safety feature that ensures little ones are in the safest position for as long as possible.

It costs around the same as the comparable Cybex Sirona M2 i-size car seat (£350) and Maxi-Cosi AxissFix Plus (£395) but more expensive than the Joie Spin 360 (£249), which doesn’t adhere to i-Size.

Parents love its nifty extras like the magnets on either side to keep seatbelts out of the way and the one-handed way to rotate and recline the seat.

Read our full review of the GB Vaya

Available from: Uber Kids, PreciousLittleOne and Kiddies Kingdom

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4. Cybex Sirona S i-Size, £300, base included

Age suitability:Birth to 18kg or 105cm tall (around 4 years)

Rear-facing until: 18kg or 105cm tall (around 4 years)

I-size compatible: Yes

Installation in car: Isofix base

Awards: MadeForMums Awards 2019 i-Size car seat – Joint Bronze

Cybex has a solid reputation for safety and the modern, sturdy Sirona S i-Size lives up to the brand’s secure ethos.

It shares some enhanced safety features with the GB Vaya – both have Driving Direction Control, which prevents the seat forward-facing before it should, Energy Reduction Technology that reduces the forces on the neck during a front-on crash and Linear Side Protection, which protects in the event of a side-impact collision.

It’s not a cheap car seat. However, in comparison to others like the Britax Dualfix and the GB Vaya, which also have similar key features like rearward facing until 4 and are i-Size compliant, it’s the best value.

Our reviewer says: “It’s sturdy, feels and looks well-made and lasts up to four years old – which I believe justifies its £300 price tag.”

Read our full review here

Available from: Amazon, Boots and Baby Security

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5. Apramo All Stage, £389, base included

Age suitability: Birth to 36kg (around 12 years)

Rear-facing until: 18kg or 105cm tall (around 4 years)

I-size compatible: No

Installation in car: Isofix base

Awards: MadeForMums Awards 2019 Multistage/combination car seat – Joint Bronze

Forget the days of buying a new car seat every few years to accommodate your growing child, invest in the Apramo All Stage car seat and it’ll be the only one you need until your little one is not-so-little and no longer needs a car seat at all.

It’s designed to last until 36kg (around 12 years) – by far the biggest lifespan of all those on our round-up. It offers extended rear facing until 4 and has a few clever features like its 360-degree rotating base and integrated parent alarm linked to the belt unbuckling.

In terms of price, it’s at the upper end and closest to the Maxi-Cosi AxissFix Plus (£395), but with only one seat needed from the time your child is born, it’s a good value buy.

MFM judge Maxine says: “I love the built-in alarm and the cover is machine washable. I would definitely recommend this product.”

Read our full review of the Apramo All Stage

Available from: Kiddies Kingdom, The Baby Room and Hello Baby

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6. Jané Matrix Light 2 Lie-flat car seat, £300

Age suitability:Birth to 13kg (around 18 months)

Rear-facing until: 15 months

I-size compatible: No

Installation in car: Isofix base (not included) or car’s 3-point seatbelt

An innovation on a standard infant car seat, the Jané Matrix Light 2 is the first carrycot to be used with an Isofix base – a major winner for parents who like the ability to transport newborns in the ‘lie-flat’ position.

It can be strapped into a car with a seatbelt or for a rotating option, it can be installed with an additional swivel base unit for £250, a rather hefty extra that in some other ‘lie-flat’ models on the market, like the Kiddy Evo Luna i-Size car seat, is included.

Considering its lifespan of 18 months, the Matrix Light 2 has a high-end price tag, but it is compatible with many pushchairs, and with the addition of a mattress (not included) it can be used for overnight sleep, so may save you the extra spend on a bassinet.

Read our full review of the Jané Matrix Light 2 Lie-flat car seat

Available from: Jané, PreciousLittleOne and Uber Kids

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7. Joie 360 Spin car seat, £250, base included

Age suitability: Birth to 18kg or 105cm tall (around 4 years)

Rear-facing until: 18kg or 105cm tall (around 4 years)

I-size compatible: No

Installation in car: Isofix base

According to many parents, once you have a rotating car seat you never look back, and the Joie 360 Spin car seat is one of the most cost-effective in the category, second only to the Mountain Buggy Safe Rotate on our list.

Aside from the price, there are many features that make the Joie 360 a smart purchase – it’s suitable for up to 4 years of age, of which all 4 years can be rearward-facing, plus parents are partial to its multi-height headrest and harness system that adjusts simultaneously so there’s no re-threading needed.

Unlike the Britax Dualfix, GB Vaya and Cybex Sirona, which all also rear-face until 4 and have the same lifespan, the Joie 360 doesn’t adhere to i-Size guidelines.

Its safety credentials however are excellent and if you’re after a seat that’s good value, this one’s tough to beat.

Read our full review of the Joie 360 Spin car seat

Available from: Mothercare, Boots and Halfords

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8. Cozy N Safe Merlin 360, £299, base included

Age suitability: Birth to 18kg or 105cm tall (around 4 years)

Rear-facing until: 18kg or 105cm tall (around 4 years)

I-size compatible: No

Installation in car: Isofix base

Made with the same top-of-the-range high-density foam used for racing car drivers’ helmets, comfort is king in the Cozy N Safe Merlin 360.

Designed to protect little ones from impact while providing a squishy ride, our reviewer loved the extra padding, which sets it apart from other seats. It’s suitable from birth to around 4 years and it has a rear-facing for longer option, meaning you’re little one can sit in the safest position up to 4 years.

Price-wise, it’s at the lower end of the scale on our list as it doesn’t comply with i-Size, but it’s £50 more than its nearest competitor, the Joie 360 Spin, which is very similar in size and specification.

Our reviewer was more than sold with the Cosy N Safe, which lived up to its name: “This practical car seat has plenty of room and lots of handy features including 360° rotation, incredibly easy to adjust straps and a handle for reclining.”

Read our full review of the Cozy N Safe Merlin 360

Available from: Uber Kids, Halfords and Amazon

mountain-buggy-safe-rotate

9. Mountain Buggy Safe Rotate, £199, base included

Age suitability: Birth to 18kg or 105cm tall (around 4 years)

Rear-facing until: 18kg or 105cm tall (around 4 years)

I-size compatible: No

Installation in car: Isofix base

Best known for its all-terrain pushchairs, Mountain Buggy isn’t as established in the car seat sector, but its Safe Rotate car seat certainly gives the most popular brands a run for their money.

The best value seat on our list, you’ll notice a difference in your bank balance but not in the safety features this design offers. It doesn’t comply with the new i-Size regulations, unlike many in our round-up, but it has advanced side impact protection, an adjustable headrest and auto-adjust straps.

It finds its biggest competition in the Joie 360 Spin, both of which are very similar in specification. While the Mountain Buggy is cheaper, it has 4 recline positions, one less than Joie, and only one colour option to Joie’s 6. It’s also over 10cm smaller in height and 2cm slimmer, so may not have the same amount of growing room, but nonetheless is a brilliant value option in the rotating market.

Read our full review of the Mountain Buggy Safe Rotate

Available from: PramCentre, Winstanleys Pramworld and Kiddies Kingdom

The pros and cons of rotating car seats…

If you’re thinking about buying a rotating car seat, we’ve got the pros and cons:

Pros:

  • Easier to get little ones into the seat
  • Usually rear-facing for longer
  • Most new rotating car seats are usually I-Size compatible
  • Usually multistage

Cons:

  • Expensive
  • Quite bulky
  • Limited leg-room when rear-facing
  • Not usually travel system compatible
  • Usually heavy in weight, not easy to move between cars

Rear-facing for longer: Research shows that rear-facing car seats are 75% safer than forward-facing ones when involved in an accident.

Two hour rule: It’s recommended that babies don’t stay in car seats for no longer than two hours at a time, we explain why here.

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