Rocking Chair Vs. Glider: Which Is Better?

by Jeffrey Tottenham July 16, 2021

Rocking Chair Vs. Glider: Which Is Better?

As you’re decorating your home, there are several decisions you’ll have to make. One trend that keeps popping up is rocking chairs and gliders. Though they are similar, they have some key differences. Furthermore, both have their pros and cons, so you may be wondering, which is better? 

The good news is that both a rocking chair and glider have plenty of health benefits. By incorporating one of these furniture pieces into your home, you’ll: 

  • Increase blood flow
  • Send oxygen to joints
  • Relieve arthritis pain
  • Improve back discomfort
  • Enhance mental wellbeing 

Rocking chairs and gliders are both perfect options for many areas of your home. You’ll often find them in nurseries because they are excellent for soothing a newborn baby to sleep. They are also perfect additions for reading nooks or a calm place to enjoy a morning coffee. Wherever you put your rocking chair or glider, it’ll be a statement piece and a place to enjoy a place of solitude.

We’ve put together a guide to help you decide whether a rocking chair or glider is better for you. 

Should You Get a Rocking Chair or a Glider?

What’s the Difference Between a Rocking Chair and a Glider?

Some shoppers might not even know the difference between the two right off the bat. However, the two do serve different functions and they operate in different ways. A rocking chair is your traditional chair that rocks back and forth on an arched path. It operates on two curved legs at the base.

On the other hand, a glider is a little bit more sophisticated in its mechanism. All move forward and backward on a fixed track, but some swivel. It moves in a linear path. 

Rocking Chairs 

If you’re considering getting a rocking chair, brief yourself on the pros and cons first.

Benefits of a Rocking Chair

There are many benefits of rocking chairs. Aside from all of the health benefits and the calming motion that you’ll enjoy with it, rocking chairs also offer the classic, sleek look that gliders do not. If you’re looking to keep up with traditional style, look no further than the rocking chair. 

Rockers also provide a strong motion that is best for sleeping. These often work well for newborn babies in a nursery. 

Cons of a Rocking Chair 

Though a rocking chair comes with many benefits, there are a few cons you’ll want to keep in mind. Due to the arcing motion, they will need plenty of room to effectively move. You’ll want to leave enough room between the rockers and other objects or a wall so nothing gets damaged. The other problem with rocking chairs is they can trap toes when they move back and forth.

Gliders

If you’re in the market for a glider, consider the pros and cons first.

Benefits of a Glider

Gliders have several benefits! One of their biggest winning features is that they don’t require as much space as a rocking chair. Where rockers move in an arch, gliders move in a linear direction. You won’t need to be as mindful about what’s around your glider. Secondly, they are known for offering a smoother and more calming ride, which many users like. 

Gliders also won’t trap toes underneath because no parts move off of the ground. 

Cons of a Glider

Though many users like that gliders need less space, this also means that they offer limited movement. This may not be as ideal for sleeping or nursing. Secondly, fingers can be caught in the gliding motion, so users have to be extra aware of babies or children. 

Things To Keep In Mind When Purchasing

There are many things you’ll want to keep in mind. Knowing what you’ll use your new chair for and where you’re putting it will help make your decision. We recommend discussing with your family (or who will be using the chair) why you’re adding this new piece of furniture and what you’ll be using it for. This will narrow it down for you. For example, if you are using it in a nursery, you may opt for a rocking chair. However, if you prefer a smoother motion, you may opt for a rocker. 

Purpose

Is your new chair going to be used for morning coffee or for nursing a newborn? Knowing the purpose of your purchase can help narrow down the best chair for you. Many new moms report preferring a rocking chair due to the rocking motion. However, it might be too intense for a soothing reading session or calm coffee break. 

Space

How much space can you dedicate to your new chair? As listed above, a rocking chair needs more space to complete its movement than a glider does. Knowing the amount of space that you have available will make a big difference in your decision-making.

Material 

Can your new chair tolerate spills? If your chair is going in a nursery, you’ll want a chair that can easily wipe down. Find a chair that will easily clean. If you’re planning on watching the sunset drinking red wine, you might also want a chair that can wipe clean. 

Color 

It’s not always about style, but sometimes it is! You’ll want to consider color when shopping for a glider or rocking chair. After all, purchasing furniture is expensive and you’ll want to love how it looks. If you find the color you love in one chair option and not the other, it might make your decision-making process easier. 

Which Is Better: Rocking Chair or Glider?

Whether you decide to get a rocking chair or a glider, it’s completely up to you. You’ll have to carefully balance the pros and cons and what your needs are. Both options are great and will deliver excellent benefits.

Regardless of your choice, adding a glider or rocking chair to your home is a good addition. Reap several mental and physical health benefits. Make sure to decide what the purpose of your new chair is to help narrow down your decision. 

Jeffrey Tottenham
Jeffrey Tottenham



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Super comfortable! The light gray chair is the one on the far right. Somewhat difficult to assemble and my husband is a wood worker. Bolts fit super tight.

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