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Glider vs. Rocker: Choosing The Right Nursery Chair For You

Glider vs. Rocker: Choosing The Right Nursery Chair For You

The right chair for your nursery relies on a variety of factors. Gliders are a great choice for smaller rooms, offering various features and less footprint.

Glider vs. Rocker: Choosing the Right Nursery Chair for You

The perfect nursery chair does more than simply let you create a gentle rocking motion to soothe a tired little one. Whether you use it for cuddles, breastfeeding, or storytime with your new baby or toddler, your nursery chair should offer comfort and security to you both. 

Rockers and gliders have withstood the test of time with parents around the world. Still, many new parents, and those redecorating their homes, struggle to decide between a glider or a rocker. If that sounds like you, consider the benefits of each outlined here - and how a new nursery chair will fit in your home. 

What Is the Difference Between a Glider and a Rocker?

Both rocking chairs and gliders can provide the swaying motion trusted to comfort a fussy baby and a worn-out new parent, but each offers a unique set of styles and benefits for your family and your home.


The arched legs of a rocker or rocking chair offer soft, limited movement from front to back, allowing you to rock your baby to sleep gently. Rocking chairs typically have a larger footprint in the room than a standard chair due to the length of the arc, as well as a more intense rocking motion.

Rockers and rocking chairs are a classic. The arched legs offer a gentle and relaxing front-to-back motion, allowing you to rock your baby to sleep comfortably.

Historically, rocking chairs were made of wood and wicker and unpadded or only lightly padded. Modern rockers, however, come in a range of well-crafted materials and unique styles to match the aesthetic of any living room or nursery with comfort and coziness.


A compact glider fits neatly in smaller spaces while offering the same comfort and aesthetic appeal as a rocker. Gliders also have a wide range of designs and styles but are most often padded for comfort. In contrast to the intense motion of the rocker, glider chairs operate on a fixed track, creating a level gliding motion.

The fixed track of a glider chair allows the chair to move gently back and forth, making it more compact and allowing it to fit neatly in smaller spaces.

The best nursery gliders have other features such as a recliner, a locking mechanism for the gliding track, or a functional ottoman. Additionally, modern options like swivel gliders can offer a larger range of motion when needed.

Considering Style, Space, and Function for Your Nursery Chair

Regardless of the nursery chair you choose for your space, there are important features to look for before you make your decision. When deciding on a nursery chair, consider these factors to ensure you find a piece that best matches your needs.

Comfort for You Both

The nursery chair you chose will be a place for you and your baby to relax, whether for breastfeeding, napping, or just sharing some quiet time. With that in mind, you should choose a chair that not only feels comfy, but gives you the room you need to move around, adjust a nursing pillow, or hold your baby in a position that helps them feel secure.

Look for cushioned arms, a back high enough to support your head, a seat cushioned with dense foam or springs, and that extra room to move around and get comfortable.

Long-Lasting Durability

A proper nursery chair is built to last. You’ll want a piece of furniture that will stand up to decades of use. Look for fray-resistant upholstery that will endure months of spit-ups, spills, and squirmy infants, and easy-to-clean chairs with or without machine-washable covers. Your nursery chair should function in your home long after your babies become toddlers and the quiet of your baby’s room becomes a playroom filled with excitement and energy.

Safety and Security

Speaking of the transition from nursery to playroom, you’ll also want a chair that will be safe for little fingers and toes once your new baby becomes a not-so-little one and wants to explore every nook and cranny of the nursery. Find gliders with a locking mechanism that halts the gliding motion when the chair isn’t in use. A lock can also keep you from struggling to stand up in the middle of the night while holding your sleeping child.

Fitting Your Unique Space

Every home is unique, thoughtfully filled with furniture and decor that fits your style and space - and your nursery is no exception. The amount of space available in the nursery or set aside in your living room will be important for your decision. 

Rockers typically take up more space than gliders, which tend to be more compact. However, adding extra features, like a matching ottoman so your glider can function as a recliner, may require more space. Proper measurement of the room - with at least some idea of the placement of the rest of the nursery furniture - is essential.

Additional Features

Modern rocking chairs and gliders often offer additional features beyond a recliner function, swivel, or footrest. Some have built-in USB ports you can use for charging your phone or plugging in a pump or white noise machine. Others feature side tables or cup holders and have adjustable options to fit your growing family. For those who are tight on space, some nursery chairs even have storage for baby gear, toys, diapers, and nursing supplies.

Finding a the Perfect Rocker or Glider

Grandma's rocking chair is still fresh in our imaginations with all the precious memories wrapped up in it. Our collection of nursery chairs combines modern comfort, durability, and elegance with that classic design we remember. We want you to love whichever rocker or glider you choose - because it will become more than just a piece of furniture. It will be an heirloom that forever holds the memories of those special moments shared between you and your little one.

If you’re looking for the simple beauty and gentle but intense movement of a rocking chair, our selection of rockers offers balanced, visually appealing silhouettes. Discover adjustable rocking chairs to ease transitions as your child grows, with modular designs like convertible bassinet placements or double seat options.

If you feel that a glider chair's smooth movement, safety features, and compact nature are a better fit, consider the stylish statement pieces and comfort-friendly glider options in our collection. Explore recliners and modern wingbacks offering smooth swaying motions, 360-degree swivels, and ottomans that perfectly complement the pieces in style and comfort.

At fawn&forest, we value not just wholesome, simple living but also modern comfort and functionality. Your baby’s nursery deserves original, unique furniture designs made from the highest quality natural materials available, and we are dedicated to bringing you only the best-in-class nursery furniture. Find pieces that will help you design your baby’s nursery to be a place of beauty, comfort, and healthy, happy development. 


If you enjoyed this article, you might enjoy our tips for choosing the right baby blanket or how to make the best use of hand-me downs.

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