As we age, standing up from a seated position can be incredibly challenging. For those who also have limited mobility from hip or back conditions, stepping out of a car seat can be nearly impossible. It can also be difficult to enjoy activities such as attending church, watching a child’s baseball game, or trying a new restaurant for the fear of not being able to get seated and remain there comfortably.

    Thankfully, swivel car seats, or a convertible car seat, can make these less of a challenge and offer the freedom to get back to the activities you enjoy most.

    What is a Swivel Car Seat?

    A swivel car seat is a mobility tool that allows users who have limited mobility the option to have easy access in and out of a car or chair that may have otherwise been impossible for them. Made from durable foam, they can withstand repeated use and regular friction caused by the user getting in and out of the seat.

    These products are first placed on the seat and the user will sit back onto the seat with their knees facing out of the vehicle. They can then use the rotating mechanism to rotate their body in a smooth motion toward the front of the vehicle, placing one foot in the car at a time. Once the passenger is facing the front of the vehicle, the seat can be removed by sliding it under the passenger and placed either on the floor or beside the passenger.

    When exiting the vehicle, the passenger will do the same motion as before, but in reverse. with the legs facing the front of the vehicle and slowly rotate the seat toward the door, placing one foot out at a time. Once both legs are out of the vehicle and the passenger is facing the door completely, they can stand and remove the swivel seat or leave it in place for when they return next.

    Who Can Benefit From Using a Rotating Seat?

    Many individuals who may suffer from ongoing medical or physical impairments can benefit from a rotating seat. Not only are these seats helpful for getting in and out of a car, but they can also provide extra padding for those hard surfaces we face in our daily lives.

    Places like park benches, church pews, restaurant chairs, and bus seats do not always provide the necessary seat cushion one may need while being seated for an extended period of time. These seats are often 1/2″ or more in foam thickness and can be an excellent barrier between you and the hard surface on which you may sit.

     

     

    Man helping his elderly dad get in the car

    What to Look for in a Swivel Car Seat

    When looking for a swivel car seat, it is important to purchase a product that offers safety, durability, affordability, style, and ease of use. We have broken down each of these features so that you can find the best product for you or your loved one.

    Safety

    As the name suggests, swivel car seats have a swivel base and a rotating seat to allow for 360-degree movement. We primarily intend to use these products for entering and exiting a vehicle and we should not use them while driving as they may cause unwanted movement. Many insurance companies and investigators will negate a claim if a driver was using a swivel car seat at the time of a crash.

    Finding a seat that offers a slip-resistant base is an important safety feature to consider, as it will help reduce the likelihood of the product slipping out from under the user. These non-slip bases are typically a textured, rubber material that will grip the car seat and stay in place while in use. Some products will also include a strap or harness to reduce any movement.

    The non-slip surface of the base can be especially helpful when using the seat on slippery surfaces such as metal benches or chairs. Many people will use a jacket or sweater for added padding, but these options can move around, clump up, and can become dirty, which can become a hassle if you need to use the clothing item later.

    If using these products in a vehicle, taller individuals will need to pay closer attention to the thickness of the seat’s foam material. Any added height can make it challenging for a man or woman to get into the vehicle and may cause them to have to bend their head more than usual. This can be painful for those who suffer from neck or spine injuries or conditions.

    Durability

    Repeated use of any product will cause normal wear and tear. When looking for the best swivel seat, checking the quality and weight capacity of the foam can help provide an estimate of how long the product will last. For example, if the seat can support a weight of 300 or more pounds, a user who weighs much less than that can expect the seat to last a longer amount of time, whereas a heavier set user may need to find a higher weight-rated seat.

    As we will sit upon this product, washing the fabric may be necessary from time to time. Many seats will include a cover that is machine washable, but you will want to check the requirements or recommendations for how to properly wash and care for your seat.

    They make some of these products from a highly resistant polyester material that makes them a breeze to clean. While they may not be machine washable, we can easily spot clean them to remove any unwanted stains or marks that can appear over time. Be sure to read the instruction manual provided with the product to understand which products or chemicals can and cannot be used to spot clean these covers.

     

    elderly woman getting in a car

    Affordability

    While safety and durability are prime considerations when selecting the seat, prospective buyers may be price sensitive to the final purchase cost. Swivel car seats begin at around $15 and can climb as high as $60 or $70 each. Understanding that this could be a tool that is used every day can help justify these higher costs. We can break a $70 seat used once every day of the year down to just $0.19 per day.

    Higher prices do not always guarantee higher quality. The ability to enter or exit a driver or passenger seat in order to maintain mobility is the primary goal, so finding a product within your budget that offers safety features and a comfortable cushion is essential. A good rule of thumb is to pick a seat somewhere in the middle of the highest and lowest price options. We have included a list of top swivel seats that will not break the bank.

    Style

    Now, more than ever, we have an endless supply of options to choose from when making online purchases. Dozens of companies have created amazing products that offer the support and comfort needed and the durability desired in a proper swivel seat.

    These options also include many styles, such as color, padding design, fabric selection, and printed material. Many people will choose a neutral color to go with any look or event, while others may choose a darker material to hide any unwanted spots or stains that can occur from repeated use.

    No matter what your style choice is, there are dozens of options to choose from that still adhere to proper safety and affordability standards.

    Ease of Use

    These seats can come in a variety of shapes, colors, and thickness. If the vehicle is a bit higher than most, purchasing a seat that has fifteen inches of foam may not be suitable. Likewise, a seat that does not allow the passenger to buckle the vehicle seat belt or provide enough legroom to enter or exit may not work. Seats can be too wide for a specific seat and may hang over the edges, so you will need to carefully consider the intended use of the product.

    Some seats include memory foam, which users find extremely comfortable and want to use outside of a vehicle such as a dining table or playing piano. If the seat is too heavy for the user to transfer from the car to their home or restaurant, they may be less likely to use it or keep it in a place for easy access. Most seats begin around 3 pounds in total weight but can go up significantly depending on the safety features and upgrades included with the seat.

     

    woman getting out of a car

    9 Affordable Swivel Car Seats to Consider

    Now that you have armed yourself with some considerations for selecting the best swivel car seat, let’s explore the nine best options that are affordable and perfect for everyday use. As outlined previously, a higher cost does not mean higher quality and these seats are all high-quality offerings that will help the user with their mobility needs.

    5-Star Super Deals 360 Degree Swivel Rotation Gel Memory Foam Cushion

    This seat includes cooling gel and memory foam to provide both support and reduce overheating of the rear. It weighs 3.8 pounds and is 15 5/8″ in diameter for easy transport for a variety of uses. It can support up to 300 pounds and has a machine washable cover. Many users have rated this high in overall comfort and support.

    This seat is available from Walmart for $22.95.

    Collections Etc. Portable 360 Swivel Seat Cushion

    A lightweight option for home or travel, this seat from Collections Etc. is a great option to consider. It has a removable cover that is machine washable and comes in a striking blue color. It can also support up to 330 pounds, which is more durable than some of the other options on the market. One user reported that this seat was an excellent choice to help his wife, who suffered a stroke, get in and out of the car and gave him the ability to reposition her as needed in the passenger seat.

    This seat is available from Collections Etc. for $19.99.

    Stander EZ Swivel Seat Cushion

    This seat is a massive 18″ by 18″ and can support up to 350 pounds. It has a non-slip base that helps keep the auto swivel cushion in place. They made the padded cushion of a cotton and nylon blend which makes it comfortable yet durable. This seat is larger than most, so the user will need to measure the car seat they use most to ensure a proper fit and that they can easily carry the product with them if using it outside the home or vehicle.

    This seat is available from Home Depot for $24.00.

    Medline Swivel Seat

    This product from Medline is a very affordable option that meets the criteria for durability and ease of use. It is machine washable and can support up to 300 pounds. It also includes a slip-resistant base to help with transferring in and out of a vehicle or another seated position. Medline is a very respected brand offering a wide variety of products for various needs.

    This seat is available from Vitality Medical for $16.24.

     

    Medline Swivel Seat

    Essential Medical Supply Swivel Seat

    Essential Medical offers this seat with a full 360-degree rotation and a non-skid back for safety. It can support up to 300 pounds and is designed specifically for users with back, hip, or knee pain. It weighs four pounds and is 18″ wide. This product is a bit heavier than most, so for those users who may struggle to carry heavier objects, this seat could be a challenge.

    This seat is available from Walmart for $21.55.

    Easy Comforts Swivel Seat

    This foam seat comes with ABS foam filling and has a non-slip backing. It has a polyester covering that you can easily spot clean. This rotating seat is only 1/2″ thick, so it is perfect for those who want a lighter and thinner option. However, as it is thinner than other options, it may also provide less comfort than some of the thicker options listed. One user reported that their 95-year-old mother uses this seat as she has bad knees and they both love the seat.

    This seat is available from Easy Comforts for $14.99.

    Ideaworks Deluxe Foam Swivel Seat Cushion

    Ideaworks offers this seat in both black and grey options that is just over 2″ in thickness. The cover is 95% polyester and is simple to wipe clean if dirty. This is a great option for the car, TV chair, or office chair.

    This seat is available from HSN for $18.95.

    Healthsmart Deluxe Swivel Seat

    This soft seat is 1 3/8″ inches thick, which can be an ideal thickness for taller individuals who may be concerned about head clearance entering a vehicle. It is 15″ wide, meaning that it is not too wide to fit most passenger vehicles and can accommodate for most restaurants or other events. Many users report that it has a smooth swivel motion and is a great option for those who will need mobility in their seat, such as those who will use it on a work or crafting chair.

    This seat is available from Rite Aid for $34.99.

     

    Healthsmart deluxe swivel car seat

    Vive Swivel Seat

    The final recommended rotating seat that offers 360-degree rotation comes from Vive. The specifically designed this product for car use and wheelchair use and is great for those who suffer from joint or back pain and have limited mobility. It includes a non-slip base for extra mobility and comfort while minimizing any unwanted movement.

    This seat is available from Rehab Store for $27.99.

     

    Vive swivel car seat

    Why Should You Purchase a Swivel Car Seat?

    There are several reasons why it could be beneficial to consider purchasing a swivel seat for you or your loved one. Constant twisting can cause added stress on the body and for those users that may have balance issues, getting in and out of a car could be a potentially dangerous activity. It’s estimated that 37,000 people get injured each year exiting or entering a vehicle.

    For those who have previously fallen and suffered an injury such as a hip or tailbone fracture, sitting on a hard surface for a long period of time can be especially painful and may cause them to reduce their exposure to activities they may have once enjoyed. This can lead to several side effects, such as depression, weight gain, and a feeling of isolation.

    By opting to purchase a swivel seat, users can regain their freedom while also ensuring their safety. You can find comfort at any location and on any surface and the risk of falling in or out of a passenger seat is greatly reduced, which can put a caregiver’s mind at ease.

     

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