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Best Gliders

Updated September 2018
Why trust BestReviews?
BestReviews spends thousands of hours researching, analyzing, and testing products to recommend the best picks for most consumers. We buy all products with our own funds, and we never accept free products from manufacturers.
BestReviews spends thousands of hours researching, analyzing, and testing products to recommend the best picks for most consumers.
BestReviews spends thousands of hours researching, analyzing, and testing products to recommend the best picks for most consumers. We buy all products with our own funds, and we never accept free products from manufacturers.
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How we decided

We purchase every product we review with our own funds — we never accept anything from product manufacturers.

  • 15 Models Considered
  • 68 Hours Researched
  • 1 Experts Interviewed
  • 89 Consumers Consulted
  • Zero products received from manufacturers.

    We purchase every product we review with our own funds — we never accept anything from product manufacturers.

    Why trust BestReviews?
    BestReviews spends thousands of hours researching, analyzing, and testing products to recommend the best picks for most consumers. We buy all products with our own funds, and we never accept free products from manufacturers.
    BestReviews spends thousands of hours researching, analyzing, and testing products to recommend the best picks for most consumers.
    BestReviews spends thousands of hours researching, analyzing, and testing products to recommend the best picks for most consumers. We buy all products with our own funds, and we never accept free products from manufacturers.

    Shopping guide for best gliders

    Last Updated September 2018

    Babies love being rocked. In fact, most enjoy it so much that they have no problem getting up at 2 a.m. to demand it. While your tiny bundle of joy might be ever-ready, you could probably do with a break. A glider offers the soothing motion babies need while allowing parents to put their feet up. And gliders are great multitaskers, too. Nursing, bottle feeding, burping, cuddling, and storytime can all take place in a glider.

    If you’re looking for a glider to complete your nursery, but you just don’t know where to begin, don’t fret. We’re here to help.

    At BestReviews, we're committed to assisting our readers with all their buying needs. Because we never accept free products from manufacturers, you can rest assured knowing that all our opinions are objective and unbiased.

    We've combed the market to find five of the best gliders currently available. Read our shopping guide below to learn all about choosing the perfect glider for you and your baby, or skip straight to our top five picks above to select your favorite.

    A glider doesn’t have to scream “nursery furniture.” Choose one that blends with your existing décor and you can use it for many years.

    Rocking chairs vs. gliders

    Rocking chairs and gliders both get the job done, but there are a few key differences. And while your baby isn't likely to prefer one over the other, a glider is often the most comfortable and user-friendly choice for parents.

    Glider

    A modern take on the rocking chair, gliders tend to be well-padded and generally offer superior comfort. Rather than rocking up and down, a glider moves back and forth on a fixed track, resulting in a smoother ride.

    Pros:

    • Works on carpet and hard floors

    • Smoother motion

    • Well-padded for comfort

    • Can be used with ottoman

    • Has uses beyond nursery
       

    Cons:

    • Requires more room

    • Costs more

    When using upholstery cleaner to tackle stains, test the solution on a small, hidden area first.

    Rocking chair

    The humble rocking chair has been hard at work settling fussy babies for centuries, and it’s still going strong today. As simple as it may be, most babies can't help but succumb to its steady up-and-down motion.

    Pros:

    • Doesn't take up much space

    • Affordable (other than high-end models or antiques)

    • Soothing up-and-down motion
       

    Cons:

    • Doesn't work well on thick carpet

    • Motion less smooth than glider

    • Can be a bit noisy

    • Possibility of jamming toes

    • Can't be used with ottoman

    CAUTION

    If you have pets, take care to keep curious paws and noses away from the track when your glider is in motion.

    Types of gliders

    Thanks to their incredible popularity, gliders are available in just about any style imaginable. From traditional rocking chair-style gliders to ultra-plush modern varieties, there's a glider for every taste. Here are the most common types of nursery gliders.

    Classic gliders

    The original glider effectively soothes baby with a rhythmic back-and-forth motion. Classic gliders usually have a wooden base, but a few models are fully upholstered. While they work just fine as a stand-alone chair, adding an ottoman can make it a little more comfortable for parents.

    For cleaning ease, opt for a glider with removable seat covers.

    Swivel gliders

    These are similar to classic gliders but with a twist. Rather than simply gliding to and fro, swivel gliders turn side to side, too. What’s great about these gliders is that if your little one isn’t settled by one motion, you can try another, or even alternate between the two.

    Most swivel gliders have a modern, fully upholstered design.

    Double gliders

    With room for two, a double glider is a must if you have twins. You and your partner will be able to feed and soothe in tandem. When your children are a bit older, a double glider will come in handy for storytime, too.

    A swivel glider makes it easier to turn and reach items on a side table.

    Reclining gliders

    There’s no better time to catch up on some shut-eye than during a marathon breastfeeding session, and reclining gliders let you do just that. These gliders lean back like regular recliners, so you can put your feet up. And, yes, they continue to move even when reclined.

    Whether your baby is feeling particularly clingy or you simply don’t have the energy to make your way back to your own bed, a reclining glider will let you nap comfortably.

    Glider and ottoman combos

    Having a place to rest your feet can be a godsend, especially in the wee hours of the morning. Many classic and swivel gliders come with a matching ottoman, and you’ll probably pay less than you would if you bought the ottoman separately.

    EXPERT TIP

    Elevating your feet can take pressure off your back. A reclining glider with an ottoman offers more comfort if you're short and your feet don't quite reach the floor using a rocker.


    Staff  | BestReviews

    Glider features to consider

    Before you run out and buy your favorite glider, there are a few more things to think about first. Keep these factors in mind while you shop.

    Size

    Gliders come in many different sizes, ranging from the compact to the grand. For your glider to be fully functional, it will need to fit comfortably in your nursery or other dedicated area.

    Take a look at a glider’s measurements and compare these to your nursery dimensions before you buy. Also, remember to map out enough space for an ottoman, if you’ll be using one, and account for the full length of a reclining glider.

    If you have small children or pets, never leave the footrest up on a reclining glider, and be sure to check the space underneath before lowering it.

    Upholstery

    Whether you prefer the more traditional look of a partially upholstered glider or find yourself leaning toward a fully upholstered model, you'll want to pay attention to the fabric and color. Spit-up and spills are part of life with a baby. Choosing a stain-resistant fabric that can easily be spot-cleaned will help keep your glider looking good.

    Generally, polyester and polyester blends tend to be the most resilient. Darker neutral colors will do a better job of concealing stains and also make it easier to relocate the glider to another room later.

    Padding

    Since most new parents will end up spending a considerable amount of time in a glider, especially throughout the first few months, comfort is paramount. Select a glider with adequate padding. Don’t overlook the armrests either – your forearms and elbows will need a comfy place to rest during feeding time.

    Treat your glider’s upholstery with a spray that repels stains and water for easier cleaning and improved durability.

    Backrest length

    The right backrest length for you is determined not only by your height but also by what you’re doing when seated in your glider. Longer backrests are perfect for resting your head or taking naps. However, for watching television or reading, a shorter backrest may be more comfortable.

    Locking mechanism

    Most toddlers won’t be able to resist exploring the fascinating world of cause and effect once they realize that pushing the glider results in movement. Unfortunately, this poses a huge safety risk as little fingers can easily be pinched or jammed in a glider’s moving parts. A locking mechanism is an invaluable safety feature.

    Durability

    A solid wood frame, quality upholstery, and good stitching all add up to a more durable glider. These qualities are especially important if you plan to have more than one child and would like to forgo the additional cost of purchasing another glider in the future. A well-made glider can be used in an older child’s room or as a living room chair later on.

    DID YOU KNOW?

    Some gliders offer built-in or removable lumbar support to help reduce strain on the lower back.

    Glider prices

    Whether you simply want something to see you through baby’s first year or a model that will sail smoothly into the next decade, there’s a glider for every need.

    A decent glider doesn’t necessarily have to cost an arm and a leg, but keep in mind that size, quality, and convenience features are all likely to affect the price.

    Expect to spend between $100 and $600 and up for a glider.

    • Classic gliders typically cost between $100 and $250. Gliders with an ottoman may fall on the higher end of this price range.

    • Swivel gliders are usually priced between $200 and $400. Depending on the model, this may or may not include an ottoman.

    • Reclining gliders tend to cost a bit more, with most ranging from around $300 to $600 and more.

    Steam-cleaning your glider regularly will keep it free of harmful germs and bacteria.

    FAQ

    Q. Are there any features that make breastfeeding in a glider more comfortable?

    A. Breastfeeding often requires moms to remain in the same position for long periods. As such, a comfortable glider is a must. Look for well-padded armrests to support your forearms and elbows, and a high backrest to lean your head against. If possible, opt for a glider with a roomy seat to better accommodate your growing baby. Breastfeeding in cramped quarters isn't likely to be very comfortable for either of you.

    Q. What can I do to fix a squeaky glider?

    A. A noisy glider isn't conducive to relaxation, but this problem is generally easy to fix. First, try flipping your glider over and tightening the screws and bolts. Loose hardware is a common culprit. If necessary, replace any missing screws or bolts. Should the noise persist, check for debris in the track and remove any possible obstructions. Once you've done this, lubricate the track with a silicone spray or general-purpose oil. Apply the lubricant to the track and slide the glider back and forth to evenly coat the track. Doing this regularly can help prevent recurring issues. Sometimes wooden joints need a bit of TLC, too, and lubricating these with oil should do the trick.

    Q. How can I clean my glider’s seat and backrest cushions?

    A. Unsightly stains aren't just an eyesore, they can harbor germs and bacteria, too. If your cushion covers aren't removable for washing, follow these steps for a clean glider.

    1. Vacuum the seat cushions, getting into those sneaky crevices as you go.

    2. Wipe the upholstery down with wet wipes. These offer gentle cleansing that dries quickly.

    3. Remove stains by mixing one part dishwashing liquid and two parts hydrogen peroxide in a spray bottle. Mix well, but take care not to shake the bottle too vigorously.

    4. Spray the mixture onto stains and leave it for up to 10 minutes before wiping it off with a damp cloth. Repeat this step for stubborn stains.

    5. Use a steam cleaner to sanitize and lift any remaining dirt and grime.

    The team that worked on this review
    • Bronwyn
      Bronwyn
      Editor
    • Devangana
      Devangana
      Web Producer
    • Eliza
      Eliza
      Production Manager
    • Erica
      Erica
      Writer
    • Jennifer
      Jennifer
      Writer
    • Melissa
      Melissa
      Senior Editor

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