Glider Chair vs Rocking Chair: Which One To Choose [Know The Differences]

Some pieces of furniture have their special place carved into different sets of households. Glider and rocking chairs are such superior choices when it comes to adding comfort, play, and elegance to any room.

These two types of chairs are widely regarded as very ideal chairs for nursing and parenting but their purpose is not limited to this only.

Anyone looking for a relaxed, chill sitting session can use these chairs. Choosing one chair from these two depends on a lot of things and here we are looking at all those parameters.

These are some factors we will examine in Glider Chair vs Rocking Chair comparison after a brief introduction about them.

  • Purpose
  • Design options and Colors
  • Comfort Level
  • Budget
  • Material and Durability
  • Space

Glider Chairs

glider chair

Glider chairs have a little luxurious outlook from the glance of it and they are padded so much to let you rest comfortably while holding a baby.

Parents or caretakers of new-born babies also prefer these types of chairs (nursery glider) for their nursing purposes.

Not only as baby glider, they can also be regular household chairs for having a smooth gliding motion session. The chair moves back and forth at the same height level, unlike the rocking chairs that recline.

The thick comfortable seat cushion of the chair provides you a cozy space in your living room, drawing room, and bedrooms.

Rocking Chairs

rocking chair

Rocking chairs are kind of a fun lounge chair to sit for a while and swing. These chairs have a curved base that allows the chair to move in a reclining motion.

You can sit on these chairs while listening to songs, watching TV, or read anything while lying in a backward reclining position.

Rocking chairs were traditionally made up of only wooden material but now we have them in well-cushioned form too. These chairs are also very much preferred as nursery chairs.

Glider Chair Vs Rocking Chair: Head to Head

To make maximum use of the chairs, you need to know difference between rocking chair and glider chair. There are many things that set Rocking and Glider chairs apart from other chairs and each other. We are discussing them here.

Glider Chair vs Rocking Chair Infographic


The primary purpose which has been attached to these chairs is nursing and making the baby sleep by giving him soothing movements.

If you need this chair for such purposes, the glider chair will be a wiser option. Though the rocker chair provides more movement than the gliders, the babies do not need that much movement.

The design of the rocker chair is such that it is difficult to get up when you have a sleeping baby with you, the baby’s sleep might get interrupted.

The Glider chairs don’t have such a problem because they can be set in a firm position before your stand. These chairs also come with a gliding ottoman that the mothers can use to put their legs and give support to their baby while nursing.

Some ottomans have storage space where you can keep essentials for your baby like oils, creams, milk bottles, etc.

If you are looking for a chair to just get a rocking motion and for relaxing at times, a rocking chair will be more suitable. The adults can use the chair while reading a newspaper and books.

Doctors also recommend using a rocker chair if you have back pain. When you move while sitting on a rocking chair, the blood flow in your body increases which results in more distribution of oxygen to your joints. This is beneficial for people with arthritis cases.

Studies have suggested that the increase in blood flow while sitting on rocking chairs leads to mental health benefits. These chairs are also helpful in case you want to improve the balance and posture of your body.

So, when it comes to health benefits the rocking chair should be the preference. It is perfect for old people with muscle and joints problems.

But if you are looking for a nursery chair, gliders are comparatively better. Glider chairs are also a safer option for kids and pets because they don’t have pinching points as in the rocker chairs.

Design options and Colors

You might find some varieties in the rocking chairs but the gliding ones come generally in one or two designs.

Glider chairs are meant to move in a fixed track and no part of their base is lifted when you make movement while sitting on a chair.

There is one variation in Glider chairs though, i.e. Glider chair with swivel. While the normal glider chairs are for back-and-forth movement, these are meant to turn left and right.

Other differences among various glider chairs can be because of the level of upholstery done on them. Most glider chairs have a locking mechanism that stops the chair from moving in case you need some quiet time without any movement.

The traditional rocking chair is the most popular design of rocking chairs. Then there are modern rocking chairs that have nice padding to provide enough comfort to your back.

These chairs will be perfect for a quick afternoon nap. Some companies also make folding rocking chairs that are ideal for camping or using once in a while in a small space.

Color options are in abundance in both these types of chairs. You will find them in almost every color and you can pick according to your interior design.

However, if you choose to go with the traditional rocking chairs, white and wooden are sometimes the only option. Both these colors suit well with different interiors though.

Comfort Level

As both of these chairs are available in cushioned versions, they can be very comforting to sit. You can sit in these chairs for long sessions watching movies or making your kid sleep.

The glider chairs mostly feature plush foam seat cushion with armrest where you can sit comfortably while holding your baby. Some glider chairs have Ottomans and some have the folded cushion for your legs as in Barcalounger chairs.

The same comfort as in the modern glider chairs can also be found in the rocking chairs if they are upholstered properly with padded armrests.

But if it is a traditional rocking chair, you might not sit in it for long hours due to the lack of padding. Such chairs are ideal for 1-2 hours of sitting sessions with songs, movies, books, or even with babies.


The budget of rocking and gliding chairs depends on the material used, features, brands, and size.

The rocking chairs have a simpler mechanism, so they are generally cheaper than the glider chairs. The leg rest cushion and the ottoman also add to the budget in glider chairs.

If there is no bar on your budget, you can go for any of these chairs that offer a good quality foam with thick padding.

But if you are low on budget and just seeking a nice moving chair, the traditional rocking chair will be best for you.

Material and Durability

There is no specific material assigned to either of these chair types. Both of them can have good-quality foam with a strong leather cover. But there can be much more variety in materials used in the rocking chairs and their traditional variants.

Some of them use steel frames while others come in interwoven cord designs. If you are getting a chair to set up a nursery room, it would be good to choose a washable material.

The durability of rocking and glider chairs will depend on the material you choose and the usage. They are both available in a wide range of wood and fabric depending on their price.


You can decide to buy one of these chairs not just on the basis of space they occupy but also by deciding the place you want to keep them.

Glider chairs are generally bigger than rocking chairs, especially if they are with the ottomans. So, they are not something you want to put in a confined space. You can keep glider chairs in any of your rooms if they blend well.

The same goes for the rocking chairs. They are available in different sizes but are fit for any place at your home. They look elegant beside the sofa sets as well near your TV.

If you have to make a choice for a chair to keep on the balcony, traditional rocking chairs have the perfect looks.

Have A Look: Different Types of Study Chairs

Glider Chair vs Rocking Chair FAQs

Is a rocking chair good for your health?

Yes, rocking chairs are beneficial for your health, especially the elderly people. The continuous motion of the chair release endorphins in your nervous system which helps you cope with stress and mental exhaustion faster.

As we discussed above, the blood flow is increased on a rocking chair when you move it. This is because rocking the chair is kind of a mild exercise.

The increase in the supply of oxygen due to the blood flow is beneficial for your knees and other joints. It can help people with arthritis.

Sitting in a rocking chair has helped people to fight insomnia because of the soothing movements.

Which is the best chair for babies’ nurseries?

Glider and Rocking chairs are both good to take care of babies and make them sleep. However, the glider chairs come with some advantages like an ottoman.

When the mother is nursing a baby, she can use this ottoman to elevate her feet and support her hands in holding the baby. Secondly, there are no pinching points on the gliding chair and it remains completely on the ground.

Where should I put my nursing chair?

Nursing the baby doesn’t have to be necessarily in the nursery room. You can keep the nursing chair anywhere you feel comfortable. But remember that all the supplies your baby will need should be nearby.

The place for nursing chair should also be a little farther from heating and cooling vents so that extreme temperature does not affect the baby. The corner where you keep the nursing chair should also have soft lightning.


I hope the above glider chair vs rocking chair comparison helped you out. If you prefer a higher intensity motion, and a well recliner back, you should go for the rocking chairs.

Considering the increase in blood flow is also important if you are searching for a chair for an elderly person. They will find the rocking chair useful for that.

If you are setting up a baby’s room, the glider chair offers more utility. But in case you have finalized the rocking chair for such a purpose, get a properly upholstered one.

Before you purchase any of these chair types, do consider the material used and the size of the chairs!

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