The Best Nursery Gliders and Rockers for 2020

You might not think you need a glider or rocker in the same way that you need diapers or a car seat, but they are actually an excellent nursery addition. Picture it: your baby is hungry and fussy, and you’ve been on your feet all day taking care of your parental duties. Doesn’t a plushly cushioned place to calm and feed your infant sound like the perfect refuge? The best nursery gliders and rockers provide just that haven.

Editor's Choice

The Dr. Brown's Original Newborn Feeding Set

This glider checks almost every box in our cool features list. It offers a smooth and quiet gliding experience and a 360º swivel.

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Buyers Guide

There are more things to take into consideration as you shop for a glider or rocking chair than you might realize. Comfort is a factor, sure, but there are countless other things to contemplate. Is it easy to clean? Will it recline to your liking during long nights spent next to the crib? Can it charge your phone while you relax (yup, that’s a real thing!)?

Let’s go over the different available features, and then I’ll give you a rundown of my all-time fave gliding and rocking furniture.

Nursery Glider Vs. Rocker

The fundamental difference between a glider and a rocker is how they move. A rocking chair is simply a seat affixed to two curved base pieces that serve as legs. It can only move in a backward and forward arc, but it does tend to take up less space. Plus, there’s generally no squeaking noises to worry about.

A glider is a moving seat attached to a base. This base piece does not move, but the seat itself can gently glide to and fro, and sometimes even swivel up to 360 degrees. Gliders tend to offer a smoother motion are often include more comfort and convenience features than a rocking chair.

Seat Size

You want to make sure that the seat is wide enough to fit not only yourself and your child, but also any necessary breastfeeding equipment (like a nursing pillow). The perfect chair will also be able to accommodate all of your preferred breastfeeding positions.

When scoping out seat sizes, be sure to take the arms into consideration, as these can impede on the available amount of space in a seat. High arms might make it harder to have certain things on your lap or make for poor armrests if you are on the shorter side.

Cushioning

While it can be tempting to look for a cushion you can melt into, you need to remember that you will (alas) have to get back up at some point. Too soft of a seat can make this difficult, especially if you are trying not to rouse a sleeping infant or are still recovering from childbirth.

Ideally, you want something that is firm enough to make getting up easy and provides plenty of ergonomic support for your back. However, you don’t want to feel like you’re sitting on a brick after a few hours of gliding time, so be sure there is enough give to meet your comfort level. Dense foam and spring supported cushioning can often give you the best of both worlds.

And again, don’t forget to make sure the padding on the arms is also comfy!

Upholstering

We can’t talk about cushions without talking about upholstery. Or, more specifically, how easy that cushion material is to clean. It goes without saying that anything your baby is around will ultimately be the victim of one mess or another. Go with fabric that is easy to clean without having to resort to harsh chemical cleaners.

Of course, you’ll also want to make a note of any fabrics that irritate your skin. The perfect glider is useless if it’s going to make you itch or break out in a rash.

Low Back vs. High Back

A low back glider can often blend in with ‘normal’ furniture better than its high backed counterpart but, let’s face it, once you become a parent you tend to value function over form.

A high back chair gives you the great option of resting your head. Remember what that feels like? Yeah, pretty nice. As your infant grows into a toddler and wants to lean against your chest while being rocked, you’ll find that a high back enables you to offer lots of cuddles to a bigger child without straining your neck.

Safety Features

By design, gliders can create a pinching risk for fingers, toes, paws, and tails. The best way to prevent accidents is by purchasing a model that has a locking mechanism. This will prevent the chair from being jostled by a child or pet (or you, as you’re cleaning), and cut down on the risk of someone getting a painful pinch. Furthermore, locking mechanisms make standing up from a glider much safer, so you’re less likely to fumble your baby or trip as you exit the sanctuary of your comfy seat.

Squeaking

While you’re busy looking cushions and cleanability, this is a consideration that can easily be overlooked. And trust me, you don’t want to overlook it! Always check to see if the glider you are interested in has a history of incessantly squeaking when it moves. Not only will this type of noise drive you insane over time, but it will not create a relaxing environment for your baby to nurse or nap.

Pro Tip: If you do end up with a glider that begins to have a soundtrack to its movement, check to make sure any screws are tightly secured. If the noise persists, break out a silicone-based lubricant spray (e.g. WD-40) and apply it to the area generating the noise.

Ottoman Empire

Some glider models come with an included ottoman so you can rest your feet. While this might seem like over splurging, I can assure you it’s not. Not only will you get the magical moment of having those tired feet off the ground, but it can also help improve your circulation and reduce swelling. This is especially important if you suffer from any type of diabetes.

The ultimate result is that when you do have to stand up to resume more mobile duties, you will be much more comfortable. In short, an ottoman is a worthwhile addition to your nursery throne.

If you’re not sure about how any of these features will affect your comfort level, don’t be afraid to take a few gliders and rockers for a test drive in a store. For some great examples of how to try before you buy, check out this video.

Our Top Picks

#1 The DaVinci Olive Upholstered Swivel Glider

Editors Choice

Fabric: Heathered polyester
Dimensions: 31.5″ L x 25″ W x 39.25″ H (glider) 21″ L x 17″ W x 16″ H (ottoman)
Swivels: Yes (360º)
Recline: No

Available in multiple colors, the DaVinci Olive Upholstered Swivel Glider (check price on Amazon) checks almost every box in our cool features list. It includes an ottoman, a lumbar support pillow, a high back that provides ample head and neck support, and comfy, spring supported cushions atop a wide seat. The low set arms easily accommodate a nursing pillow. You won’t have to concern yourself with any assembly, as this chair is ready to use right out of the box. It offers a smooth and quiet gliding experience and a 360º swivel.

What We Love:

  • Easy to clean
  • Soft-to-the-touch fabric
  • Comfortable for both tall and short parents.

Watch out for:

  • Weighs in at 71lbs and comes fully assembled, so you may need help moving it.

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#2 The Storkcraft Tuscany Custom Glider

Best Budget Buy  Best for Tall Moms

Fabric: Polyester
Dimensions: 35″ D x 29″ W x 37.5″ H
Swivels: No
Recline: No

The Storkcraft Tuscany Custom Glider Set (check price on Amazon) offers one of the best bangs for your buck on the market. It’s quality furniture with soft, padded cushioning and a steady gliding mechanism. It comes not only with a lumbar support pillow, but also a gliding ottoman and attached pocket on one chair arm. This set comes in multiple colors (although some are more expensive than others), and is built to last.

What We Love:

  • Spot cleaning is easy and quick
  • Tall back
  • Low price

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#3 The Graco Sterling Semi Upholstered Glider

Best when nursing  Best for Tall Moms

Fabric: Polyester
Dimensions: 41.5″ H x 27.5″ W x 29.5″ D
Swivels: No
Recline: No

It can be hard to find a comfortable nursing position, but the Graco Sterling Semi Upholstered Glider Set (check price on Amazon) puts you ahead of the game with a nursing stool that pulls out from the ottoman. Available in an assortment of colors, you’ll be able to accessorize your nursery just the way you like while enjoying the padded armrests and gentle gliding of the chair and ottoman. It’s easy to assemble and even easier to spot clean.

What We Love:

  • Pull-out/fold-up nursing stool in ottoman
  • Affordable
  • Tall back

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#4 The Rocking-Inc Portable Ready Rocker Chic

Best portable

Fabric: Padded leather
Dimensions: 18″ H x 17″ W x 10″ D
Swivels: No
Recline: No

Need to rock on the go? This cool contraption will go anywhere you do and is easy to use. Simply place it on the back of your seat, lean your weight into it, and then allow yourself to be gently pushed forward. The Rocking-Inc Portable Ready Rocker Chic’s (check price on Amazon) design will take the pressure off of your back while the padded leather provides you plenty of portable comfort. It’s small enough to fit in a suitcase but tough enough to keep rocking even after a million reps.

What We Love:

  • Can be used against with almost any verticle surface
  • Easy to clean

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#5 The Baby Relax Double Rocker

Best for plus size

Fabric: Polyester
Dimensions: 41.25″ W x 34.75″ D x 37.25″ H
Swivels: No
Recline: No

With an ample 33 inches of space between the arms, the Baby Relax Double Rocker (check price on Amazon) provides a comfortable haven for you and your baby to relax and nurse. Some parents report that it can be a little more challenging to get rocking than a traditionally sized rocker, but that it is an overall extremely comfortable piece of furniture. Assembly isn’t difficult, although since this is a larger chair, it’s a good idea to set it up directly in the nursery.

What We Love:

  • 225lb weight limit
  • Spacious seat

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#6 The Delta Children Blair Nursery Glider

Best for plus size

Fabric: Polyester
Dimensions: 26.5″ L x 31.5″ W x 36″ H
Swivels: Yes
Recline: No

To avoid making your nursery feel cramped, you might be on the hunt for something with a smaller footprint. The Delta Children Blair Nursery Glider (check price on Amazon) accomplishes that without skimping on comfort or function. It is quiet, easy to assemble, and has plushly cushioned armrests. Bonus points for the removable seat cushion that makes cleaning up easier than ever.

What We Love:

  • Space-saving design
  • Durable materal

What We Love:

  • Back is a bit short for tall parents

Check Price on Amazon


And The Winnes Is…

The DaVinci Olive Upholstered Swivel Glider with Bonus Ottoman (check price on Amazon) is definitely my number one choice. I love that I can pick from several colors to make sure my nursery has just the ambiance I want, and the included ottoman and lumbar support pillow help my body decompress every time I use it. Trust me, when Mama is relaxed, so is Baby! It is also great not having to worry about having the proper tools to put this furniture together, as it is ready to use right out of the box. I find it to be the best of the best nursery gliders in virtually every way.

Even though a rocker or glider might seem like a luxury, believe me when I say that it’s some of the best money I have ever spent. The memories I’ve made bonding with my baby in my glider are priceless, and I hope you have found your own little piece of nursing heaven on my list of favorite nursery gliders and rockers.

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