Best Porch Swings

Updated October 2019
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BestReviews spends thousands of hours researching, analyzing, and testing products to recommend the best picks for most consumers. We only make money if you purchase a product through our links, and we never accept free products from manufacturers. Read more  
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.Read more 
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Why trust BestReviews?
BestReviews spends thousands of hours researching, analyzing, and testing products to recommend the best picks for most consumers. We only make money if you purchase a product through our links, and we never accept free products from manufacturers. Read more  
BestReviews spends thousands of hours researching, analyzing, and testing products to recommend the best picks for most consumers. We only make money if you purchase a product through our links, and we never accept free products from manufacturers. Read more  
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.Read more 
How we decided

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

24 Models Considered
6 Hours Researched
1 Experts Interviewed
295 Consumers Consulted
Zero products received from manufacturers.

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

Buying guide for best porch swings

Last Updated October 2019

When picturing a beautiful country home complete with a wraparound porch, a porch swing placed to watch the sun rise and set comes to mind. Perhaps there’s a couple watching the neighborhood, friends catching up about their lives, or children swinging their legs in tandem.

In the morning, a porch swing is a place to enjoy a cup of coffee, and in the evening, a glass of wine. Even after the current generation has moved on, a porch swing can remain for whoever comes next. It’s a permanent heirloom in an ever-changing world.

A porch swing is so much nicer than a plain bench or simple chair. Besides providing seating, a porch swing creates a homey ambiance and a place to unwind. There are numerous options available when looking for a new porch swing. We’ve compiled a guide for you, so you will be able to choose a swing that will hang with your family forever.

If your porch lacks a ceiling, there are alternative porch swings available. These come with a frame for the swing to hang from.

Key considerations

Material


Wood

Wood is by far the most popular and common material used in porch swings. Choosing the kind of wood you want the porch swing to be made of involves knowing the climate and weather conditions around where you live. Different woods hold up better in various climates and harsh weather.

Red cedar is often used in constructing outdoor furniture and buildings. It has innate qualities that make it a good fit for outdoor usage, including a greater resistance to rot and decay as well as being able to repel water. Cedar is also known for its pleasant aroma, which is helpful in keeping insects away from the swing. Taking care of cedar a breeze. It can be washed using soap and water, and resealed every few seasons to maintain integrity. People often enjoy the rich red color the wood provides, which can be enhanced by different stains or sealants.

Teak is another popular choice for outdoor furniture. On a different side of the color spectrum, teak is a deep golden yellow. It adds brightness and warmth to a porch. It’s classified as a hardwood and can uphold heavy loads, which is useful to have in a porch swing. Teak is also resistant to water, rot, and insects because it exudes a natural oil. Avoid using any sealants or varnishes on teak because it will combat the natural oil and be detrimental to the wood’s life.

Pine porch swings are another popular choice because of the log-cabin look it gives the swing. But pine is a softwood, which makes it a cheaper wood to use for a porch swing. The swing will be liable to dent and be scratched if constructed using a softwood. The advantage, though, is that softwoods absorb paints well, so the look of the swing can be drastically altered. Pine porch swings survive best in colder, drier weather. The wood will absorb any heat and moisture in a hot, humid climate, causing early rot and decay.

Besides the woods mentioned previously, porch swings can be constructed out of alder, ash, aspen, cypress, eucalyptus, ipe, jarrah, mahogany, oak, poplar, redwood, roble, shorea, willow, and wicker.

Wicker

Wicker is a classic outdoor-furniture material choice – a kind of wood with unique properties worth exploring. When shopping for wicker furniture, it’s important to know the difference between natural wicker and synthetic wicker. Natural wicker is not going to hold up to the elements well; it’s recommended for a four-season sunroom or an enclosed porch. Synthetic wicker was created as a weather-resistant alternative to natural wicker. If your porch swing will be exposed to the elements, synthetic wicker is a better choice.

Fabric or cloth

It’s possible to purchase a porch swing that’s made mostly of fabric or cloth. The frame will be some type of metal, but the seat and the backrest will be made of cloth. Often the seat will contain foam for added comfort, and the cloth is gentler on the skin. The fabric will be a durable one, resistant to rain and harsh, direct sun exposure. Of course, even the most durable fabrics will break down a bit over time.

Metal

If a swing is made from metal it will most likely be aluminum, steel, or wrought iron. Aluminum porch swings are lightweight, which is helpful when moving them. However, they can be blown over or away in strong winds. A steel swing or wrought-iron swing will be the most durable. These metals can withstand dents and most wear and tear. But paint can chip off of metal materials, and they are prone to rust. You will probably also want to add a cushion for comfort.

Treated wood vs. untreated wood

So, you want a wooden porch swing? You have one more decision to make: treated or untreated wood. The right choice for you depends on the climate and kind of elements the swing will be exposed to.

Treated wood protects the wood from natural elements like direct sun exposure and moisture. It’s injected with chemical compounds that protect the wood from weather, but also rot and insects. Untreated wood has none of those chemicals. It is left exposed to the possibility of deterioration, but know that the wood itself may have resistant properties.

Treated wood will be more expensive than untreated wood because of the chemical-addition processing involved. What you end up paying for is the additional reassurance that the swing will withstand the elements over the years. You can also buy untreated wood and coat it with a protectant yourself.

Where will you hang it?

When choosing where to hang a porch swing, keep in mind you will need some space for the swing to, well, swing. Allow for a three to four foot arc in front and behind the swing. Keep one to two feet of space available on either side, so it can be maneuvered around.

You will also need to decide which way you’d like the swing to face. Do you want to watch the sunrise or the sunset? Is it facing the backyard or the front yard? The view from the swing is an important one to consider. Take measurements of the space and make sure the porch swing (and the space you need to swing on it) will work.

How will you hang it?

Perhaps most importantly, the swing needs to be hanging from a support beam strong enough to support its weight should you mount it into the structure of your home. The ceiling of the porch must be examined prior to attaching the porch swing. It must support not only the weight of the swing, but the total weight of the people who might use it.

If you do not want to hang it, some porch swings or gliders come with a frame from which it hangs, so it’s a free-form swing that need not be hung from a ceiling. This is your best option if you are not sure about what weight your ceiling can support, or you don’t want to mess with installation.

EXPERT TIP

If your porch ceiling has exposed beams and joists, look for a 2 x 6 or 2 x 8 joist. It will safely support the load of the porch swing.


Staff  | BestReviews

Features

Once you determine which of the above considerations you prefer, you should also look for the following features that are available in some porch swings.

  • Cup holders: Some porch swings have built-in cup holders — a nice feature if you plan to have a beverage next to you and don’t want it to spill easily.
  • Ornate details: Consider the aesthetics so you love the way your porch swing looks, paying attention to how it fits with the surrounding colors and decor.
  • Arm rests: These are built into most porch swings, but not all. If you want to rest your arms or other objects on the side, this may be an important feature to you.
  • Cushions: Most porch swings are hardwood or other rigid materials, so you may want one that includes cushions. Otherwise, you can purchase these and some decorative pillows separately — just check dimensions to ensure a good fit for your swing.
  • Canopy: If you want added shade from the sun or rain, look for a porch swing that has a canopy over it. Usually, these are the freestanding models which need not be hung from a structure like your porch ceiling.
EXPERT TIP

In order to properly hang your porch swing, you will need a measuring tape, a drill, drill bits, hanging hardware, four 2.5-inch wood screws, and heavy-duty hanging chains.


Staff  | BestReviews

Porch swing prices

The most affordable prices for porch swings range from $90 to $150. These swings will last for at least one year (but probably not decades), and they will be simple in design. The chains may need to be replaced during the duration of the swing’s life. A moderately priced porch swing will cost between $150 and $400. These swings will be made from a sturdy wood or metal, most likely treated, and will last for the duration you live in the home. They can come with various designs and stains. Swings that cost more than $500 are the most expensive, premium models. They might have special properties like sustainably sourced wood, or they might come with a long-term warranty. These swings will remain with the house they hang from for generations to come.

EXPERT TIP

If you decide to hang your porch swing with chains that weren’t included in the hanging kit, be sure you choose chains that can withstand at least 500 pounds of working load.


Staff  | BestReviews

Tips

  • Consider the time of day you will most often use your swing. Depending on the time, the swing may be in sunlight or shade. Position the swing beforehand accordingly.
  • Sitting on a wooden or metal swing can be uncomfortable. Purchase a bench cushion or several pillows to increase comfort, or if nothing else for decorative accents.
  • If children will be using the swing, avoid purchasing a softwood. Softwood absorbs spills more and is easily scratched.
  • Most porch swings can be cleaned with soap and water, but when cleaning don’t forget about the metal hardware. Wipe it down with a damp rag and apply light grease to prevent rusting.
  • Some swings are designed for you to be able to lean back in them. Check to see if the back or bottom are slanted. If they are, the slants can affect your comfort level.

Other products we considered

There are so many nice porch swings on the market, it was hard to narrow down the best choices. Some others we love are the Amish Heavy Duty Roll Back Treated Porch Swing with Hanging Chains and the Kilmer Creek Cedar Porch Swing with Stained Finish. The former swing is constructed by a member of the Amish community with kiln-dried pressure-treated pine. That’s a unique feature of this particular swing. But the swing itself weighs 62 pounds, which is heavy for a swing. The latter swing is made from red cedar, which is a beautiful wood. The downside is the shape of this swing. The bottom rolls forward and can be uncomfortable for a shorter person.

You can usually choose at what height to hang your porch swing. Decide if you’d like room to swing your legs or if you’d like your feet to be touching the ground when seated on the swing.

FAQ

Q. Can my porch support two swings?
A.
It’s possible. Depending on where the swings are placed and how sturdy of a structure the ceiling is, it’s possible to hang two swings on opposite ends of a porch. But most likely the porch will not be able to withstand the weight of two swings along with the weight of people lounging in them.

Q. Can I get a sliver from a porch swing?
A.
If it’s made from wood it’s possible, but not likely. Treated wood has coats of different sealants and products on it that prevent the wood from splintering. After a lot of use, it’s possible a sliver may sneak through. If the swing is made from untreated wood that isn’t maintained by sanding and covering it during periods of nonuse or very harsh weather, it’s much more likely to get a sliver. If you’re afraid of acquiring slivers, purchase a cushion or blanket to lay on the surface of the swing. That will protect the soft skin of your legs.

Q. Are there any single-seat porch swings?
A
. There are, but a loveseat swing is more common. There are single porch swings made from metal, wicker, fabrics and ropes, usually in a cocoon style, but few are made from wood. Other options are bed porch swings, zero gravity lounge chairs (some rock back and forth) and hammocks.

Q. Can I hang my porch swing with rope instead of a metal chain?
A.
Yes, but you will need to have a sturdy rope. It’s suggested to use rope that’s at least 2 inches thick. To be sure you have a strong enough rope to support the weight of the swing and the maximum weight the swing is expected to hold. That total should be less than the rope’s weight it can support (usually printed on the package.)

The team that worked on this review
  • Eliza
    Eliza
    Production Manager
  • Enid
    Enid
    Editor
  • Melinda
    Melinda
    Web Producer

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