What Is A Glider Chair

Helen Skeates
Helen Skeates
21 min read

Discover in this article what a glider chair is and how it differs from a rocking chair.

Is your mind turning over ideas for decorating your newborn’s room? The most common types are rockers and gliders.

Having the right pieces of furniture can make a room feel just right. Get your hands on the best pieces of furniture to help you cope with the late-night cries, including the softest bed, the strongest crib, and the loveliest colors. Don’t want to look like a tired parent, now do ya?

The Glider Chair

A glider is a type of rocking chair also known as a platform rocker. It’s built to swivel and rock like a traditional swing.

10 Best Nursery Glider Chairs and Rocking Chairs 2022

The entire structure is the seat, which is securely fastened to the footing via a double-rocker four-bar linkage. The glider chair’s non-parallel suspension arms also make it rock back and forth, giving it a rocking chair motion.

A glider chair can be used instead of a porch swing because it provides the same relaxing rocking motion. It is a common item of household furniture because it helps parents like you while you are feeding your baby. It’s also great for reading to a brand-new infant, which is a proven method of bonding with that little bundle of joy.

Gliders have the added benefit of being somewhat child and pet-friendly due to the fact that their pinch points are angled away from the ground. Both you and your infant can take pleasure in the car’s quiet, comfortable ride.

Is a glider chair necessary?

Even though a glider chair serves a useful purpose, it is not required furniture. But if you can afford it and find the room for it, why not? In the early years, this is seen as a necessity by some parents.

It’s practical to avoid discomfort in your back while you snuggle your baby for long periods of time. Purchasing a glider chair is a great way to put otherwise unused space to good use.

How is a glider chair different from a rocking chair?

Newborns and their mothers have a lot in common with gliders and rockers. They are the go-to present for infants everywhere. You’re probably torn between these two options if a high-quality chair for the nursery is on your mind.

Glider is often used interchangeably with rocker, but the two are not the same. If you keep reading, I’ll point out some of the ways in which they differ from one another.

  • Motion/Movement

To put it simply, a glider chair moves in a different way than a rocking chair. The former can be rocked back and forth, and some can even swivel, while the latter can be moved in an arc. That’s why a glider provides a more relaxing flight.

  • Weight

A glider may not be the best nursing chair if portability and mobility are priorities. The materials used in its construction are heavy. In contrast, the rocker’s lightweight construction and compact size make it a breeze to relocate it wherever in the room you please.

  • Comfort

It stands to reason that the most desirable characteristics in a pair of shoes is that they be comfortable. Cushions are standard issue for a glider, making them nice and soft for lounging. Some even come with complementary ottomans, perfect for putting your feet up while you and your little one enjoy a book together.

A typical rocking chair will not have any padding. However, depending on your tactic, a rocking chair can benefit from the addition of soft cushions. However, the comfort may not last for long because it becomes uneasy after only a short while.

  • Space

A rocking chair can be a great space-saver, especially if you’re dealing with a limited amount of floor space. It’s more space-efficient than a glider because it’s smaller.

Whereas, a glider is better suited to a larger area. The more space they need, the more modern ones are built to be bulky.

  • Safety

When making any kind of choice that might affect your children, including purchases of furniture, it is essential to prioritize their safety. The rockers on a rocking chair always make two separate ground contacts. Children and pets may be injured if they get caught in the pinch points.

Whereas, a glider’s pinch points are elevated, making it a much safer option. Little ones’ toes won’t be squished, so you can relax.

With this information in hand, you can select the ideal nursing chair for your baby’s room. You shouldn’t want to make a decision without considering every angle, though.

Do I Need a Glider?

A glider is not required. It’s not essential to have a nursery glider, but it’s certainly welcome. Nevertheless, many parents think a glider is worth the investment if they have the money and the room for it, especially in the infant’s first few years.

The rocking motion of a glider chair is soothing for a baby and makes it an ideal place to cuddle and read to your child. If you bring in an ottoman for your baby to put their feet up on, it doubles as a relaxing spot to nurse or give them a bottle. You could also curl up on the couch or a regular chair, but then you wouldn’t have the back support or the swaying motion that helps put babies to sleep by mimicking the womb.

Is a Glider Better Than a Rocker?

The choice between a rocking chair and a nursery glider is purely aesthetic. Space constraints and personal tastes in design may also play a role.

A rocker, as the name suggests, is a chair with curved legs and the ability to rock back and forth. You can find them in a wide variety of designs (wingback, extra-wide, etc.) and while they don’t rock as much as gliders, they still do a great job of calming a baby. What’s another benefit? Some can be converted into a stationary chair by removing the legs, so you can continue to use the rocker long after your child has outgrown it.

A glider travels in the same back-and-forth (and sometimes lateral) pattern as a regular vehicle, but it does so more quietly and smoothly. Some gliders even have reclining options.

6 Ways to Use a Glider Chair After it Outgrows the Nursery - TIMBER TO TABLE

The 8 Best Nursery Gliders Will Last Far Beyond the Baby Years

Best Overall: Monte Design Como Glider

Even Magic Beans and Go Green Baby’s founder has been seen dozing off in the display model of this glider. This chair is not only recommended by leading providers of baby furniture, but can also be ordered in a wide variety of performance, microfiber, velvet, and woven fabrics to best suit your needs. It has a large seat, luxuriously plush cushions, smooth motion (both gliding and swiveling), and a choice of both traditional nursery colors and the season’s trendy sage. Coe enjoys locating Monte gliders for her customers. It’s encouraging to see that the company emphasizes ethical production practices and sustainability on its website. The ottoman can be purchased independently.

Best Value: Evolur Swivel Glider

Though the chair’s lower price tag might make some wary, it manages to deliver on comfort and quality. According to one reviewer, “the seat seemed really narrow and the back wasn’t high enough to rest your head on” in the other gliders they considered. They say this one, however, is “just the right height,” with enough legroom for both the user and his or her 3-year-old daughter. “The fabric is substantial, and the chair appears to be quite sturdy. The matching ottoman can be purchased independently.

Best Wingback: Gus Modern Sparrow Glider

In this updated take on the classic wingback design, the curves have been smoothed out to create a more contemporary feel, making it the ideal place to rest your head after a late night of feeding. For homes without a dedicated nursery, it can serve just as well in the living room or the parents’ bedroom. An identical ottoman is available for purchase independently.

Best Silhouette: Crate & Kids Snoozer Nursery Glider

Stylish decor is not out of place in children’s rooms; in fact, you may want to steal this idea for your own space. The rounded, stacked upholstery in a bouclé fabric gives this piece a youthful appearance without looking too juvenile, and it could easily find a new home in the living room once its time in the nursery has passed. The ottoman can be purchased independently.

Best Glider-Recliner Combo: West Elm Kids Paxton Swivel Glider & Recliner

This glider can be utilized in three distinct positions: fully upright, partially reclined, and fully reclined with a pop-out footrest. The recline mechanism is designed for parents who are multitasking with a sleeping infant; it requires only one hand to operate and makes almost no noise. When the chair’s footrest is tucked under and the chair is upright, it frees up some floor space that’s just right for a baby who’s learning to crawl.

Best Slipcovered: Serena & Lily Presidio Swivel Glider

This chair is available in a variety of striped performance fabrics, which are great for hiding dirt and spills. It’s already very low maintenance, but the slipcover makes it practically maintenance-free. It is constructed in North Carolina from long-lasting hardwood and is suitably small for use in less expansive nurseries. As an added bonus, it will make your home feel a little more “California” no matter where you are. The ottoman glider can be purchased independently.

Best Disguisable: Lulu and Georgia Hayley Glider

You won’t think twice about using this chair in the nursery, but it’s ideal for feeding, rocking, and changing infants. As one reviewer puts it, “it is super-comfortable and supportive for nursing,” thanks to the Crypton performance fabric’s ability to resist stains without being scratchy or stiff. Its swivel base would also make it useful in a family room or study.

Best Eco-Certified: Million Dollar Baby Crawford Glider

In addition to being constructed from non-hazardous materials, sustainable furniture is also built to last, so that it can be given as a gift or handed down through the generations rather than thrown away. Consider this glider as an excellent illustration. In addition to being made from CertiPUR-US foam and wood sourced from FSC-certified forests, this product has earned the prestigious Greenguard Gold certification. It has a smooth gliding mechanism, a wide seat for lounging, and a cushioned back and seat for added comfort. It can swivel in all directions.

Features to Keep in Mind

Coe has specific requirements for gliders, including size and design. Her first and foremost criterion is that it be cozy. A high back will provide a comfortable place to rest your head, and a large seat will accommodate everyone from an infant’s nursing pillow to a fidgeting preschooler reading before bed. She adds, “A style that flows well with the rest of the home is ideal.” A glider is a worthwhile investment because it can be used for years to come, even after the first child has outgrown it.

Color and fabric: “Fortunately, a lot of glider brands offer great performance fabrics that stand up to stains,” says Coe. Microfiber fabrics are superior at containing spills until they can be cleaned. Baby messes like drool, milk, and spit-up are inevitable; a fabric with a medium tone is best for hiding these stains. Coe recommends selecting a neutral shade so that the chair can easily be incorporated into the decor of a variety of settings, whether it be the nursery, the kids’ room, or another room.

Nursery glider maintenance

When cleaning the nursery, keep in mind that the stains will likely be much harder to remove. When compared to regular water or milk, the protein content of formula and breast milk (and baby food) is significantly higher. When it comes to cleaning up after a spill, adult food is much easier to deal with than foods high in proteins and fats.

Cleaning and scrubbing the stain with conventional methods will most likely make the spill worse and may damage the seat cushions beyond repair. Keeping your glider cushions clean in the safest way possible requires that you adhere to the below recommendations and procedures.


The glider should be vacuumed on a regular basis to keep it clean. Dust can get trapped in the cushion and the gliding mechanism if not removed regularly. If dust is allowed to settle, even the most thorough cleaning of the room won’t prevent an allergic reaction in the parents or the infant.

Wipe down the wooden and mechanical components with a wet cloth (water works best; be careful with wiring if it’s electric). Explore every nook and cranny for stray crumbs.

Upholstery attachments can be found on some models of vacuum cleaners. Fabrics, as opposed to hard surfaces, are the intended target for the suction action of these. In order to get rid of as much dry dirt as possible from your glider cushions, use these.


If that doesn’t work, a good old-fashioned wipe down is your next best bet, especially for liquid stains like formula, food, or breast milk. If a lot of liquid has been spilled, pat it dry as much as possible before wiping. Wiping leaves behind more lint than patting does.

The use of baby wipes is a viable option here. They are not only very mild, but they can also be used to clean and sterilize surfaces. This makes them great for removing stains without triggering a strong chemical reaction or leaving behind any sort of harsh textures. There should be no concerns about the safety of your cushions if they can be used around your baby.

Since they are intended for use with bodily fluids, baby wipes also have a high capacity to absorb water. Therefore, they are a practical first step to take in the event of a liquid spill.

Stain Removal

Verify the cushion cover and filling fabric’s composition before preparing a stain removal solution. Because most stain removal liquids seep through multiple layers, it’s best to remove the cover and clean it separately from the cushion if possible.

Traditional glider chairs and ottomans are often upholstered in microfiber, which gets yet another plug here. Because it works, this design has seen massive production. It’s made to repel water while still being incredibly soft and comfortable.

However, before applying the solution to the entire stained area, you should check the laundry instructions and perform a small patch test in one corner to see how the dyes and weave in your fabric react to the solution.

Dishwashing soap diluted in water (1:2) is an effective and failsafe stain remover. Scrubbing the stain with dish soap will help remove any oil or protein that may have been left behind.

Instead of pouring the solution onto the stain, use a spray bottle to apply it. That facilitates management over the dispersed quantity. The stain should be sprayed and allowed to sit for 5-10 minutes for the spray to fully penetrate. To remove the stain after it has been soaked, use a clean white cloth and plain water.

There are also commercially available stain removers that can be used if you are concerned about the potency of the solution. You can get one if a spill occurs, and you can choose the price and type based on your needs. On the market, you can find enzyme cleaners that are designed to deal with protein spills and might do the trick here.

Regardless of the method you choose, the sooner you treat the stain, the better the results.

Amazon.com: Antetek Modern Accent Rocking Chair, Upholstered Nursery Glider Rocker for Baby and Kids, Comfy Armchair with Side Pocket, Living Room Lounge Arm Chair with High Backrest (Beige) : Home & Kitchen

Steam Cleaning

Steam cleaning is effective for removing dirt and dust from upholstery, including from deep within cushions. Steam’s high temperature kills bacteria, and its stain-removing properties are a double bonus. It’s an effective alternative to using harmful chemicals on sofas and chairs.

Even if you choose to clean with steam, you should still wipe the stain to remove as much of the dirt as possible from the fibers of the fabric. In addition, keep in mind that steam is basically water, so you’ll need to let the cushion air out before reusing it.

A steam machine is an expensive piece of equipment, so if you don’t already have one, it’s probably best to hire a service or rent one instead of buying one (unless you plan to use it frequently).

Dry Cleaning

The last resort is to have the cushions and covers dry cleaned by a professional cleaning service. The service is more expensive than DIY cleaning, but it is the safest option for delicate fabrics. However, you should always double-check the glider chair’s specific cleaning care instructions to make sure dry cleaning is recommended.

How to maintain the cleanliness of your glider

If you want to make your furniture spill-proof but haven’t already, you can replace the cushions or the upholstery. Cushions can be removed from some gliders. The cover is easily detachable, allowing you to swap it out with a new one with a few stitches.

As long as the foam type in the cushion and the fabric used for the cover are considered, investing in a spill-proof treatment is not going to break the bank. You can get some assistance with glider skirts.

Your child’s fingers will be safe from pinching in the glider’s mechanism thanks to a patented cover for the glider mechanism and ottoman that is included with every Gliderskirt. These can be removed, cleaned, and replaced as needed to keep the mechanism clean and dust-free.

Even though curious little fingers might leave prints, they can be easily washed and replaced at a fraction of the cost of a new mechanism. They also come in a variety of designs, allowing you to further personalize the look of your chair and baby’s room.

This may seem like a lot, but you’ll be spending a lot of time in your glider and ottoman, and like any valuable furniture, gliders need to be cared for properly to ensure they last for generations.

Glider sets are investments, and if you take the time to do what’s outlined here, you can maximize the return on your money. Mistakes will be made, but if you clean them up properly, you can avoid a lot of trouble in the long run. You should spend more time with your expanding family.

Ask Domino

Q: Is a glider a worthy investment for the nursery?

Go Green Baby’s creator, Natalie George, didn’t use a glider, but rather an antique wingback chair. Despite the fact that she is no longer breast-feeding, her poor posture and hunched back have persisted. She says that a glider would have “done the moving for me” on the many nights when she would have otherwise had to stand up and pace around her child’s bedroom. When dealing with a newborn, a glider can be a lifesaver for the parent.

Q: How much should you spend on a nursery glider?

The addition of upholstery and a gliding mechanism drives up the price, which can be anywhere from several hundred to several thousand dollars. If money is an issue, look for a transitional glider, which is both fashionable and sturdy enough to be used beyond the baby’s nursery.

Q: Does a nursery glider need to recline?

As for the variety of nursing chairs out there, “it really depends on what each person is looking for,” says Coe. Find a store nearby so you can try out a few to see which features you like best, as this is advice I always give.

Q: Are gliders safe for babies?

A parent or caregiver can use a glider to rock a baby to sleep. Never leave a baby unattended in a glider.


The advantages of nursing chairs will never become obsolete. Having one is always a plus. Having been informed as to what a glider chair is and how it differs from a rocker, you are now in a position to make an informed decision as to which one you prefer.

We want the best for our children, just like any other parents. Their well-being should be our top priority, whether we’re talking about what they eat, wear, or even what kind of furniture they’d use.

Helen Skeates

Helen Skeates

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