Choosing the Best Nursery Glider and Rocker (2017 Guide & Reviews)
Think about it: you're going to be spending countless hours in the first several months alone in your nursery chair between feeding time, nap time and 3 a.m. fits.
Not to mention those long periods of time your baby is suffering from an earache, colic or a simple cold.
So a nursery glider or rocker can be one of the most important purchases you make for your nursery.
You want to get it right.
Well, you're in luck: we put together this in-depth buyer's guide for how to choose the best glider and rocker for your nursery to help you make a decision for which is right for you and your baby.
Nursery Glider Reviews
The Mikayla Swivel Gliding Recliner by Baby Relax (click here to check the price on Amazon) is both good looking and functional.
The color combination looks nice, and the contrasting white details are stunning. Attention to detail is easy to see based on the piping and button tufts on this well-designed glider.
Parents searching for a glider with all the bells and whistles, this could be just what you are looking for.
What we like
- It reclines. Easily prop your legs up with an easy-pull mechanism to any number of various degrees. Find the most comfortable position for you while feeding, napping, or reading to your little one.
- Both swivel and gliding motion. Equipped with a ball bearing mechanism to give you a full range of movement. Keep an eye on your toddler while feeding your newborn.
- Loads of support. Spring core foam filled seat gives your ample back, leg, and bottom support. This glider is big enough for your older child to fit as well.
- Easy to assemble. Although this swivel gliding recliner comes in several parts, it is fairly easy to put together. With the help of a partner, it should take no time at all. Plus when you are done, you can take a nice nap and reap your rewards.
Things to be aware of
- Leg rest is hard to get down. While the leg rest has an ‘easy-pull’ function to go into position, it can be pretty difficult to get down. If you are a c-section mother, you might want to wait until you are completely healed to use this chair.
- It’s big. At 41.75’’x 30’’ x 37’’ it can take up a lot of space. Additionally, if you are smaller in stature, your feet may not touch the ground when sitting fully against the backrest.
- Squeaky noise. Occasionally when rocking a faint squeaky noise can be heard. This could be more of an issue for the parent than your baby. Babies tend to be heavy sleepers.
Another great rocker chair by Baby Relax that was designed with your comfort in mind is The Mackenzie (click here to check the price on Amazon).
Available in many shades to match just about any nursery theme. If you are looking for a true rocker instead of a glider, this may just be the cozy option you are looking for.
What we like
- Easy to clean. The Baby-Soft Microfiber material is easy to clean. Just dab with a wet rag for a quick spot clean. Unexpected, or rather expected messes are sure to pop up often. Having an easy to clean nursery chair is essential.
- Lumbar support. The thick padded back of this nursery rocker provides you with the support you need, even in the longest of sittings. There isn’t anything worse than having a back cramp and a perfectly sleeping baby you don’t want to disturb.
- High-quality materials. Made with microfiber and solid cherry finished wood legs gives you a sturdy rocker you can feel safe in using. This rocker was built to last so you can be worry free.
Things to be aware of
- Arrives unassembled. While many rockers and gliders come not yet assembled, this one is a bit more unwieldy. It is very hefty and requires two people to lift and put together. Do not try attempt to lift this rocker alone if you are currently pregnant.
- Lacking head support. The back of this nursery rocker is not especially high. If you plan to use this rocker for napping, it may be uncomfortable. However, if you plan to use this rocker more for feeding and reading to your little one, you should be okay.
- It does not come with an ottoman. Many rockers and gliders come with ottomans. This rocker requires you to purchase the ottoman separately. This could be good or bad depending on if you want to mix and match your rocker.
The Windsor Glider and Ottoman set by Angel Line (click here to check the price on Amazon) is super cute and cozy.
It adds a final touch of charm to any nursery, and it doesn’t take up too much space in your nursery, yet is still a completely functional option.
Choose the Windsor Glider and Ottoman set if you are low on space but still want a cozy place to relax during feeding time.
What we like
- Storage. The padded arms of this chair have storage pockets which are great for bottles, bibs, books and anything else you may need as your baby grows.
- Removable cushions. The cushions on this chair are easy to remove. Removable cushions are easier to spot clean any sudden messes. They are also perfect for when your little one wants to make a pillow fort.
- Easy to assemble. The instructions provided are pretty run of the mill, and an Allen key is all you need. An Allen key is provided for a speedy build.
Things to be aware of
- Off-putting chemical smell. Upon first assembling this chair you may notice a faint chemical smell. If you are sensitive to these types of smells, simply let the chair breathe a few days before use.
- Springs can come loose. After several months of use, springs begin to come loose and need re-adjusting. They are easy to pop back on, but it can be an irritating problem when all you want to do is relax with your little one.
The lovely Hoop Glider and Ottoman Set by Stork Craft (click here to check the price on Amazon) is a mid-range glider that does the intended job.
This set is ideal for mothers that want to make feeding time easier while maintaining a charming look to the room.
If you are looking to buy a nursery glider and ottoman set that will hold up well after the baby is into their toddler years, this set may be what you have been searching for.
What we like
- Storage. Keep your belongings close at hand with the large side storage pockets provided. Store all your ‘mom stuff’ on one side and all your ‘baby stuff’ on the other for quick access to anything you could need with one reach.
- One year warranty. This JPMA Certified glider has a limited one year warranty for anything that could potentially go wrong with it. This security is nice to know when it comes to any baby related products.
- Easy assembly. This glider comes in several parts that are very easy to put together. Total assembly time should be around 30 minutes.
- Neutral color combinations. This chair comes in a variety of different color combinations that are easy to pair with just about any nursery for a completed look.
Things to be aware of
- Padding isn’t the most cozy. The padding on this chair is a bit thin and needs a good fluffing often. Luckily the cushions are somewhat easy to fluff or else, additional pillows would be necessary for this chair to be comfortable.
- Hand wash only. The cushions provided with this chair are hand wash only, which leaves you only the ability to spot clean. After years of use, this could leave your chair looking shabby.
Stork Craft has another set that's also popular among moms, the Tuscany Custom Glider and Ottoman (click here to check the price on Amazon).
This glider set and ottoman set is available in 6 wood colors and 4 fabric choices, giving you a custom match to your nursery. This set could be great for your family if you are looking for a set that will last throughout your child’s early years, or if you are a family with multiple young children.
What we like
- Super smooth glide. Metal enclosed ball bearings give you and your baby a gentle motion. Whether you want to lull your baby to sleep or relax comfortably while feeding your little one, this glider offers a smooth option.
- Lots of seating room. This large seat is big enough for either parent to fit comfortably. It also has plenty of room for a young toddler, making it great for a cozy reading time.
- Lumbar pillow. Chances are, you will be using one of these pillows whether it comes with your chair or not. However, since it’s included with your purchase, it is one less thing to worry about buying. Use this pillow for additional back support or to support your little one while they are feeding.
Things to be aware of
- Not heirloom quality. As most things made these days, this chair is not built to last generations to come. You certainly won’t be passing this down to your child once they decide to have children of their own. However, if you are looking for a glider that will give you support for a few solid years, this one may work for you.
- Needs a wide birth. Before purchasing this glider, think about how much room you have in your space. This glider can tend to hit the wall if it’s placed too closely. That in mind, with the ottoman it can take up quite a bit of space.
DaVinci has been coming out with some stylish baby gear lately, and their modern looking Swivel Glider (click here to check the price on Amazon) is a testament to how fashion and functionality can go hand in hand. A good set for new parents to rest their feet during feeding time, it also transitions nicely to when your child is older.
If you're searching for the perfect glider and ottoman set that will look great in any room, not just the nursery, this may be your best bet.
What we like
- No assembly required. Simply take this glider and ottoman set out of its box, and you are ready to go. Place it in any room in your house for a stylish nursing chair.
- Lower back support. A high back and bonus lumbar support pillow keep you comfortable even for the longest durations. Enjoy holding your baby throughout feeding and lull them to sleep without worry of back pain.
- 360 degree swivel motion. Keep an eye on your toddler no matter where they are in the room without getting up and disturbing your little one.
Things to be aware of
- Ottoman doesn’t glide. While this isn’t a huge issue, it would be a bonus. Most ottomans move in sync with the glider. Perhaps down the line, DaVinci will create a set that has this feature.
- Sharp angles. The chair has a very sharp recline which can feel awkward occasionally. Snoozing on the chair is cozy, but reading or breastfeeding can feel a tad uncomfortable until you manage to get your position exactly right.
The Naomi Home Brisbane Glider (click here to check the price on Amazon) allows you to add the perfect mixture of comfort and style to any room with this glider and ottoman combination.
A basic set that will last as long as you need it. If you have been looking for a glider and ottoman set that will fit most of your needs, you may want to consider this set.
What we like
- Easy to clean. Cushions are removable and machine washable. Made from 100% polyester so you can spot clean them when necessary. You never know when you will get spit-up, spilled juice or other messes on your glider.
- Lightweight. Easy to move from one room to another if you choose, giving you a versatile chair that can be used just about anywhere.
- Quick assembly time. With the wrench and easy to understand instructions provided, this chair can be assembled in a mere 15 minutes. One person is certainly able to put this piece together quickly without problem.
Things to be aware of
- Limited weight capacity. This glider has a weight capacity of 250 lbs. Other gliders can support much more weight. Larger adults may want to avoid this glider to prevent a dangerous scenario.
- Poor positioning of arm rests. The padding of the armrests tends to slouch and need quite a bit of readjusting to be comfortable. Although this can be annoying, you can resolve this by using a pillow while feeding.
Things to Consider When Buying a Nursery Glider
When assessing which nursery glider or rocker will work best for you, there are several things you should first take into consideration. Use this guide to walk you through the process of choosing a nursery chair that will work for you.
Give some of these things a quick thought when looking at each chair. It could save you from purchasing something you will regret.
Will it Be Easy to Clean?
Both you and your baby will be spending a lot of time in your nursing chair. There are bound to be many spills between spit-up, spilled juice or milk, and other messy situations. Your poor nursery chair is set up for failure from the start.
A dirty nursery chair looks not only bad but also can adverse effects on your baby’s health. Nasal allergies caused by mold and dust mites can affect up to 40 percent of children (1). These allergies can start as early as six months of age. Symptoms include a runny nose, red or itchy eyes and clear mucus.
When determining if your nursery glider or rocker will be easy to clean, ask yourself some of the following.
- What material is it made out of?
- Will it be easy to spot clean?
- Are the cushions removable? If so, are they machine washable?
- Are there a ton of little crevices dirty and crumbs can hide?
How Much Space Do You Have?
The bigger the chair you decide on will last you longer in the years to come. You will be more likely to use it when your child becomes older to cuddle up for a bedtime story.
A larger nursery chair will also afford you space to stretch out if you need to sleep in your little one’s room. Larger chairs have longer backs and wider seats. A wide seat will allow you to change positions easily, even when your baby is asleep in your arms.
While your space may be limited, you can still choose the largest option that will work with the room you do have.
When searching for a nursery rocker or glider to fit your needs, it is a good idea to measure your space. Be sure to accommodate about two additional feet from your wall. The reason for this is because gliders and rockers will move backward and can have a tendency to hit the wall.
Scoot your glider or rocker a little away from the wall to prevent a painful bump to the head. The last thing you want to do is startle your newborn awake by smashing into the back of the wall.
You can easily find manufacturer's dimensions online and compare them to space you have allotted for your chair. Don’t forget to add about two inches to the total length of the manufacturer's sizing to get an accurate feel for how your chair will fit.
How Comfortable Will it Be?
Instead of looking at the design first, decide how comfortable your nursery chair will be. Although you should like the style of your nursery chair, being cozy is more important.
Spending hours in your nursery chair comforting an upset baby in the middle of the night can be excruciating enough. You may as well be comfortable while you do it. If you choose fashion over function, you may wind up regretting your decision.
When trying to determine how comfortable a nursery chair will be, ask yourself these questions.
- How tall am I? Based on this, how high off the ground do I want my chair to be?
- How tall of a back does it have? Will it support my neck?
- How thick are the cushions?
- Are the cushions made from a material that will get overly hot in summer months?
- Is the seat going to be wide enough to adjust my position?
Features to Look for in a Nursery Glider
Finding the right nursery glider or rocker these days means weeding through all the features that come with them. Chances are, you are probably overwhelmed with all the advice you are receiving from other mothers on everything from car seats to nursery rockers.
Although you may appreciate their input, your lifestyle may not be the same. You might want a little more functionality than the rocker your mother-in-law used 20 years ago. Perhaps, you don’t need all the bells and whistles your best friend had in her glider.
Some of these features may be so important to you that they are ‘must-haves’ while others would just be a nice addition. It’s up to you to pick a nursery chair that has a combination of your favorite features and fits your budget at the same time.
Foot and Leg Support
To promote full body relaxation, you will need to have your feet up. Choose a nursery rocker or glider with some foot rest. During those long nights sleeping in your baby’s nursery, you will be glad you did.
Many gliders come in sets with a matching ottoman. Decide whether you would prefer a stand alone ottoman or one that glides along with your chair.
You may be in your rocker or glider for long periods of time and need to have the ability to stretch out your aching feet. Good foot support will do wonders for relieving stress to your feet and calves.
A footrest will also give you better control of how you move. Use your feet or calves to determine the speed in which your baby will be lulled to a peaceful sleep.
Being able to have items on hand when feeding or soothing your sleeping baby is essential. There are plenty of things you will wish you had access to while sitting in your chair for long periods of time.
Storage pockets go a long way to helping you keep things organized and ready for when you need them.
A few things you may want to consider having near your nursery chair include:
- Nursing pads
- A spit-up bib
- Support pillow for your little one
- Hand sanitizer
- Several toys
- Water and a snack for you
- An activity for you (crossword, phone, book, remote control)
You will be using your nursery chair often for a long time to come. Carrying and lifting your baby is tough on your back. It’s a good idea to choose a chair that will provide you with the lumbar support you need.
If you find a glider or rocker that has all the features you want except for a good lumbar support, you can use a pillow for the extra support you need.
In addition to a chair that has lumbar support, use a pillow to support your child while breastfeeding rather than bending your body towards them. Doing so will further prevent back pain from occurring.
Padded Arm Cushion
Chances are you will be resting your arm on the sides of your chair quite often. Finding a comfortable position will be much easier with padded arm cushions.
Look for an armrest that is heavily padded, soft, and has enough room for both your arm and your baby’s head to relax.
A locking mechanism can be helpful in a number of ways. In the early stages of your baby’s life, it will assist you in getting in and out of your chair. It is much easier to climb out of your rocker or glider without it moving.
When your baby becomes older and begins to crawl, a locking mechanism prevents their fingers and toes from getting trapped in the pinch points.
Finally, when your child becomes a toddler, they will want to climb on everything. If they manage to get on your chair and stand up, it will be much safer in the locked position.
Nursery Glider vs Nursery Rocker
Narrowing down what type of chair you plan to use for your nursery will greatly assist you in your final decision. Both nursery rockers and gliders are great options for feeding your baby and lulling them into a restful sleep.
For the first several months of your newborn’s life, they will be waking up every few hours for a feeding. Both rockers and gliders will cut down on these 3 a.m. fits while giving you a bit of rest at the same time.
There are advantages and drawbacks to both styles to take into consideration. Have a look at them side by side to get an idea of what the best option for your household will be.
Nursery rockers provide a gentle, soothing motion for your baby. Rockers can help create a sleep-friendly environment for your little one while keeping you cozy at the same time.
Rockers move in an arc motion giving you an up and down sensation, which many babies find soothing.
Even when you are not rocking, rockers will lean back until your center of gravity is met. This gives you an ergonomic chair that conforms to each user.
Some of the major benefits to choosing a nursery rocker include:
- Better for sleeping
- More neck and back support
- More room for you and your little one
There are many benefits to nursery rockers. However, they also have several drawbacks. Some of these may be deal-breakers for you, while others may not affect you.
- Take up a decent amount of space
- Can potentially roll on your toes
- Generally pricier than gliders
A baby glider will give you and your baby a floating sensation. This sensation helps your baby feel relaxed enough to fall soundly asleep.
The base of a chair is put on four pivotal mechanisms that move your and your baby forward and backward. Gliders tend to give you a smoother ride than a rocker would.
Below are a few great reasons to choose nursery gliders over rockers:
- Great for smaller spaces
- Generally more budget-friendly
- Most come with ottomans (some of which glide as well)
- Many have a swivel option available
- Some come with a locking mechanism
If any of the following drawbacks spark major turn-offs for you, you may want to steer clear of choosing a glider.
- Not so great for sleeping!
- Lots of moving parts that can trap tiny toes and fingers
- Limited neck support
After reviewing many nursery gliders and rockers, the overall winner has to be the Mikayla Upholstered Swivel Gliding Recliner by Baby Relax. It is loaded with features we love.
Easy reclines to many positions
Built to last with high-quality materials
It’s easy to clean
While this is a great all around chair, it is up to you to decide which glider will work best for your new family. There are many factors to take into consideration. Find a glider that has the maximum amount of features that fits your budget at the same time.
With this guide, you should have the knowledge you need when it comes to purchasing the best nursery glider or rocker for your home.