The best swivel and rotating seats to transfer your most precious cargo in comfort and style
Updated and innovative 360° car seats have fabulously entered the scene and are well on their way to replacing simple rear or forward-facing models that we’ve known till now to be the standard. These upgraded designs are not only much easier to use, they also have added safety features too.
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. Being able to swivel the chair towards you allows you to strap your baby in much easier too.
For added peace of mind, almost all the 360° car seats on the market follow strict British or European safety regulations and are put through rigorous testing to ensure they’re as safe as can be. Manufacturers have also become more compliant with safety standards and have designed seats to extend the age that a child can be in a rear-facing position, i.e. babies can now be rear-facing past the age of four as this position can significantly reduce head and neck injuries on impact.
Additionally, most of the 360° car seats available come with ISOFIX fittings to attach a little one’s seat, or seat base, directly to a vehicle. This built-in system creates a rigid connection and is a more secure and simpler way to install a car seat in a car.
There are quite a few 360° car seats already on the market with new models coming out regularly. Some can swivel 360° circles, others come with ISOFIX attachments and separate infant carriers, and some double up as baby carriers. We’ve reviewed and tested some of the best car seats on the market and have picked the top models for our list below. We’ve also provided a brief guide on what to look out for when shopping around for the best 360° car seat.
How to choose the best 360° car seat for you and your little one
What are the UK regulations on car seat safety?
When travelling by car, UK laws require children to be strapped into an appropriate car seat. The type of seat is determined mainly by their height, with the law stating that a child should travel in the correct car seat or booster seat until they’re 12 years old or 135cm tall, whichever comes first.
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Height-based seats are known as i-Size seats and must be rear-facing until the child is 15 months old. Once your little one is over 15 months, you can place them in a forward-facing position. To ensure a car seat complies with this EU-approved height-based regulation, look for a label that shows a capital ‘E’ in a circle and an ‘R129’.
Car seat guide
Car seats are separated into groups, here are the ones to be aware of:
- Group 0: Suitable from birth to 10kg (approximately from birth to 6-9 months)
- Group 0+: Suitable from birth to 13kg (approximately from birth to 12-15 months)
- Group 0+ and 1: Suitable from birth to 18kg (approximately from birth to 4 years)
- Group 1: Suitable from 9-18kg (approximately from around 9 months to 4 years)
- Group 1 and 2: Suitable from 9-25kg (approximately from 9 months to 6 years)
- Group 2: Suitable from 15-25kg (approximately from 4 to 6 years)
- Group 1, 2, 3: Suitable from 9-36kg (approximately from 9 months to 12 years)
- Group 2 and 3: Suitable from 15-36kg (approximately from 4 to 12 years)
What safety features should I be aware of?
Almost all car seats for children under 3/4 years old have a five-point harness to keep them secure. There is also something called side protection, which reduces the chances of your child being injured during impact. For optimum safety, the car seat your child is using should be compatible with their height and weight and their head should never be taller than the top of the back of the car seat. You must also deactivate an airbag before fitting a rear-facing car seat to the front seat.
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What are the benefits of ISOFIX?
While the majority of seats are put through a plethora of checks to test how safe they are in the event of a crash, it’s widely known that having a car seat with an ISOFIX fitment can be more secure. There are three types of ISOFIX to choose from, a vehicle-specific approved option (compatible with specific vehicles and uses two connection points), a semi-universal approval option (compatible with specific vehicles, can be rear or forward facing, features a foot prop or top tether and is not suitable with underfloor storage) and a universal option (a forward facing Group 1 child seat that uses two connection points and a top tether).
The many benefits of using an ISOFIX-compatible car seat include:
- Decreased chances of car seats being incorrectly fitted
- Easier to install than non-ISOFIX seats
- Create a more rigid connection between car seat and vehicle
- Add and improve protection to reduce the chance of an injury in an accident
How much does a good 360° car seat cost?
In relation to the cost, there are a few considerations to factor in before choosing a 360° car seat, one being that some models are sold separately to their base and purchasing the base separately will increase the overall cost of the unit. Others come as part of a travel system, which, again, are also more expensive. The benefit, however, to having a separate car seat, or one that attaches to a travel system, is that when your baby is a newborn you can easily transfer them from the car to their pushchair, or to the house, without removing them from their seat.
There are plenty of car seats that come in one unit and are suitable from birth to 4 years old and beyond. This option can be more expensive but won’t need replacing as your child grows. The cost of 360° car seats is typically more expensive than that of regular car seats due to their increased capabilities and more advanced and newer technology, but the average price for a good model is typically around £300-£400.
For more car seat recommendations read our full round-up of the best car seats.
How we test 360° car seats
At Expert Reviews, we know that hands-on testing delivers the most complete information about a product. As such, all the 360° car seats we review are put through their paces by us in a range of vehicles, trying out any of the settings and accessories supplied with the seat. Where car seats are recommended for a particular weight class or use, we test the model in the appropriate setting to ensure we make an accurate recommendation.
In addition, we vigorously evaluate the security features of each car seat, while also taking into consideration the ease of installation and removal, the benefits of any included accessories, and its overall comfort. We also note how well a particular 360° car seat is able to cater to the child as it grows. Finally, we confirm the measurements and capacity of the product.
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The best 360° car seat you can buy in 2023
1. Britax Römer Dualfix i-Size: The best all-round 360° car seat
Price: £375 | Buy now from Kiddies Kingdom
The Dualfix 360° car seat feels top quality, durable and sturdy. It has an easy swivel function and is sure to keep your newborn extremely comfortable with its plush, supportive seat and padding. For extra security, this seat is also compatible with i-Size (R129) safety regulations.
You can adjust the seat and harness with just one hand, which is a total lifesaver when your baby is in the other. The rear-facing position is suitable until your child is 18kg and the forward-facing position is suitable from 9kg onwards. The seat comes with built-in ISOFIX compatibility and a two-year guarantee.
The seat incorporates full side wings which add Side Impact Protection ensuring a reduced risk of head and neck injury in the unfortunate event of a collision. We’re all for the removable cover which is washable—an extremely useful feature for tots with grimy hands.
Key details – Age: Birth to 18kg (approximately 4 years old); Group: 0+/1; Weight: 15kg; Rotation: 360°; Other details: Washable cover; ISOFIX compatibility; Side protection system
2. Joie Baby i-Spin 360° i-Size: The best easy-swivel 360° car seat
Price: £290 | Buy now from John Lewis
Featuring removable pads, the Joie Baby i-Spin 360° car seat comfortably fits a baby from the newborn to the toddler stage. These infant inserts have been paired up with belt strap pads to help babies feel snug whilst keeping them comfortable at the same time.
The buckle itself is extremely easy to use and the swivel mechanism is incredibly smooth. In fact, it’s one of the most nimble swivels we’ve used and the button to activate the mechanism is positioned at the front of the child’s seat for easy access. The strap is practically effortless to adjust and the entire unit comes in one piece which helps if you need to swap it from car to car.
When in a smaller, more compact car, it’s best to place the i-Spin behind the front passenger seat, as when it’s rear-facing it needs that little bit of extra room to fit. It has an ISOFIX base and once installed feels extremely secure, giving you complete assurance that the child is safe but also cosy and comfy.
Key details – Age: Birth to 19kg (approximately 4 years old); Group: 0+/1; Weight: 13.9kg; Rotation: 360°; Other details: Base included; Six recline positions; i-Size compliant
3. Inglesina Copernico: The best 360° car seat for safety features
Price: £370 | Buy now from Inglesina
As one of the latest 360° car seats to hit the market, the Copernico has many impressive features. The first thing that stood out (apart from its superb quality and plethoric cushioning) was its seven headrest positions and three recline positions.
These positions will adjust to keep your child safe in the car until they’re 12 years old, or 145cm, which is just an incredible convenience, not to mention a great way to save money—this could potentially be the one and only car seat you need. With full turning circle capabilities the Copernico has an i-Size base with ISOFIX, leg support, and Inglesina have also added a Side Protection System too.
Available in three colours (moon grey, stone grey and vulcan black), the seat conforms to i-Size (R129) safety regulations and has padded infant inserts to keep your baby comfortable from the very first day you bring them home from the hospital.
Key details – Age: Birth up to 15 months; Group: 0+; Weight: 14.45kg; Rotation: 360°; Other details: Complies with ECE R129/03 safety standards; Protection against side impact; i-Size base included
4. Cybex Sirona S i-Size: The best 360° car seat for easy installation
Price: £300 | Buy now from Amazon
Advanced safety, as well as ease of use for the parent, is the name of the game for the Cybex Sirona S i-Size. The rotating mechanism trigger for this car seat is at the front and we can’t stress enough how useful this is when you’re trying to put the baby into the car seat with one hand.
Its safety features include Energy Reduction Technology that reduces strain to the baby’s head and neck when the car is in motion and keeps them secure in their seat. It also has side impact protection flaps on either side (the flap on the side near the door should be opened up). This seat also has an energy-absorbing shell for added impact protection. You can easily adjust the chair into a recline position if your child falls asleep—it’s a smooth transition and won’t disturb your little one while they’re snoozing.
The Cybex seat has seven headrest position options, five reclining positions in rear-facing mode and three reclining positions in forward facing mode. We love the belt holder slots on either side of the seat, and the belt buckle slots in without the need for fiddling around. There’s also the option to purchase a cup holder—once your newborn is a toddler this helps support your little one’s independence and encourages them to sip water while travelling.
Key details – Age: Birth to approximately 18kg (approximately 4 years old); Group: 0+/1; Weight: 14.3kg; Rotation: 360°; Other details: Built-in seat base; Rear-facing until 16 months / 76cm tall
5. Silver Cross Motion All Size 360 i-Size: The best 360° car seat for quality
Price: £375 | Buy now from John Lewis
Silver Cross has created one of the plushest 360° car seats on the market with the softest materials that babies can nestle into thanks to its plump and comfortable padding. Suitable from newborn to 12 years old, the removable inserts are made from antibacterial bamboo (the padding, however, is wipe-clean only).
The seat itself has an eight-position adjustable headrest and it has built-in ISOFIX compatibility. Setup was a breeze too; following Silver Cross’s detailed set of instructions, installation took under 10 minutes. It’s worth noting though that the swivel mechanism trigger is on the base of this seat, instead of on the seat at the front.
There are red and green indicators on the side of the Motion to let you know when the seat is securely in place and, as with most car seats on this list, there’s a five-point harness. This is definitely one very stylish and top quality car seat and all buckles and seat adjustments are all very easy to use too.
Key details – Age: Birth to 12 years old; Group: 0+/1; Weight: 14.4kg; Rotation: 360°; Other details: i-Size compliant; Seat and base conforms to R129 and ECER44 safety regulations; Base included
6. Axkid Minikid 3 i-Size car seat: The best rear-facing car seat
Price: £460 | Buy now from Kiddies KingdomIf you’re still unsure about taking the leap into the world of rotating car seats, have a look at the Minikid 3, the innovative rear-facing car seat from Swedish brand, Axkid. An upgrade from the Minikid 2, and about 10cm taller, the 3 has a feature that no other car seat on the market has: its headrest and internal harness automatically adjust to a tots length and size—as you tighten the straps, the headrest, harness and tether straps seamlessly slot into place to perfectly secure the child.
The seat fits into your vehicle using the car’s seat belt, the seat’s lower tether straps and an adjustable front leg. The new higher back and extended legroom are paired with the seat’s one-belt clamp that helps make installation easier. In fact, installation only takes a few minutes. The car seat is excellent quality, cushioned, and its fabric is soft yet feels durable.
For added convenience this seat suits babies from birth to around seven years old and, when in rear-facing mode, it’s suitable for children up to 36kg and 125cm in height. As with all Axkid car seats, the Minikid 3 has been put through rigorous testing, resulting in a R129 certification. It includes side impact protection and comes in four colours.
Key details – Age: Birth to 7 years old; Group: 0+/1/2; Weight: 11kg; Rotation: None rotating; Other details: Conforms to R129 safety regulations; Includes innovative tether straps for a secure fit