Off the charts in terms of construction quality. Has everything: slide, swings, glider swing, rock wall, clubhouse, play deck ... even a crow's nest.
Not an easy swing set to put together, but because kids really love it, most buyers find it worth their efforts in the end.
Appealing price. The downstairs clubhouse features windows and a real door that opens and closes.
The wood tends to chip and splinter.
Exceptionally sturdy materials and durable construction. Made of industrial-grade, long-lasting steel.
We wonder if some children would miss the fun of the slide and glider swing that come standard with most sets.
Reasonable price w/a well-made 8 ft. wooden frame. Straightforward assembly w/ground anchors that are both secure yet easy to move to relocate the set.
Only has 2 swings and a trapeze bar, but they are well-made.
We purchase every product we review with our own funds — we never accept anything from product manufacturers.
We purchase every product we review with our own funds — we never accept anything from product manufacturers.
Outdoor play is a great way for children to have fun and burn off their boundless energy. A good swing set will provide years of entertainment right in your own backyard. With modern swing sets sporting every bell and whistle, it can be easy to lose sight of the qualities that matter most. The best swing sets should combine play and safety with durability in all weather. But with so many swing sets on the market, it can be hard to figure out where to start.
Start here. At BestReviews, we’re committed to bringing you honest and informative reviews. We never accept free samples from manufacturers. Instead, to ensure that all our reviews are accurate and unbiased, we conduct extensive research, do careful product analysis, grill the experts, and gather real-life consumer feedback.
If you’re ready to purchase a swing set, check out our five top contenders in the matrix above. Need to know more before you weigh up your options? Our detailed guide below will get you off to a swinging start!
Swing sets come in a wide range of configurations and sizes, but they can be categorized by their construction materials. If you’re swinging back and forth between a swing set with a wood, metal, or plastic frame, consider the pros and cons of each.
Wooden swing sets are very popular thanks to their charming design and sturdy construction.
Wooden swing sets have a natural appearance that looks right at home in any outdoor setting.
Wooden swing set frames are very sturdy and more robust than other frames.
Repairs are easily done on wood.
Wooden swing sets do require some level of maintenance in the form of annual staining and wood preservation treatments.
The assembly of wooden swing sets can take a little longer.
Wooden swing sets tend to be pricier than other types, but they can last for decades with proper care.
A swing set with additional features like monkey bars or a climbing wall can help children get the daily exercise they need to develop strong, healthy bodies.
When it comes to durability, metal swing sets, when finished correctly, are hard to beat. Metal swing sets easily withstand rough play and extreme weather conditions.
As long as they have a powder-coated finish, metal swing sets require little to no maintenance.
Not as expensive as wood, metal swing sets still offer good stability.
Metal swing sets are easier to assemble than wooden swing sets.
Metal swing sets are not as solid as wooden swing sets.
If the finish starts to come off, metal swing sets may bend, break, or rust.
Metal frames don’t have the aesthetic appeal that wood does.
If your aim is to create an exciting adventure zone for your children, this is the swing set to buy. The all-cedar Backyard Discovery Skyfort II comes with a clubhouse and balcony that will make your kids the envy of the neighborhood. There’s plenty for children to do: swing, share a glider ride, climb the rock wall, ride the wave slide, sit at the picnic table, or play in the sand box. If that’s not enough, you can purchase add-on items such as a telescope, trapeze, steering wheel, and tic-tac-toe game. This swing set is deluxe in every sense of the word, and it gives many public park sets a run for their money.
Plastic swing sets tend to be the easiest to set up. They also have a toddler-friendly design that parents of small children will appreciate.
Most plastic swing sets are designed with smaller children in mind, making them more toddler-friendly than other options.
Plastic swing sets are quick and easy to set up.
Plastic is more affordable than other materials.
Plastic swing sets may not be large enough or elaborate enough for older children.
Plastic can fade or warp when exposed to harsh weather.
Although they’re more affordable, children will outgrow plastic swing sets quickly.
Whichever material you choose, ensure that the swing set is sturdy and strong enough to easily hold your child’s weight.
Whether you’re going all out with a deluxe swing set or purchasing a basic set that won’t take up much space, there are some important factors to take into account. Keep the following points in mind when shopping for a swing set to not only save time and money but also ensure that your kids are safe and happy.
Safely setting up an elaborate swing set can take days if you decide to do it yourself. Hiring a professional may be necessary to ensure the correct assembly of some swing sets.
Larger swing sets can be notoriously difficult to set up. For those who need a little help, assembly service companies are available at a fee.
Consider the number of children who will be using the swing set on a regular basis.
If you have more than two children, a swing set with multiple swings is a must for avoiding squabbles during playtime.
And if two or more children will be playing on the swing set simultaneously, you’ll need a sturdy frame capable of withstanding their weight.
For babies and toddlers, a suitable swing seat is essential. If your swing set doesn’t already have a bucket, half-bucket, or baby seat, purchase one to replace an existing seat.
Type of wood: For wooden swing sets, cedar and redwood are the most sought after for their resistance to disease, rot, and insects. Other options include pine, fir, and spruce, but these types don’t generally stand up to the elements as well, requiring frequent inspection and maintenance to be used safely.
Protection for metal: When it comes to metal swing sets, corrosion and rust are the top concerns. Before buying a metal swing set, make sure the metal is galvanized or powder-coated to help it withstand the elements.
Plastic weight limits: Plastic swing swing sets are almost exclusively designed for smaller children and will have lower weight limits. Always check the weight restrictions on plastic swing sets to ensure safe play.
Cedar and redwood naturally repel insects and are highly resistant to disease and rot, making them the best for wooden swing sets.
A good swing set is durable enough to weather a range of outdoor conditions and provide years of use.
A swing set crafted from the highest-quality materials may come at a higher initial cost, but these swing sets will outlast cheaper sets.
Plus, a quality swing set is much less likely to need repairs or replacement parts.
Affordable and Durable
The perfect combination of fun, affordability, and fuss-free maintenance, this swing set is simply unbeatable if you’re looking for a quality option that won’t break the bank. The Swing-N-Slide Orbiter incorporates the best that both wooden and plastic swing sets have to offer, boasting the stability of a solid wood frame that’s conveniently encased in a UV-stabilized plastic blend for added durability. While it may not be the most feature-packed swing set available, the Swing-N-Slide Orbiter can accommodate up to three children at once with two swing seats plus a ring-and-trapeze combo for variation.
Identifying which features your little ones will appreciate most shouldn’t be too difficult. Many swing sets come with extras such as slides, tunnels, monkey bars, climbing ropes, and forts. Some swing sets have customizable features that can grow with your children, adding to the overall value of your set.
Your swing set will need to fit in your yard with room to spare. Measure your available space and don't forget to take pathways, pools, and other obstructions into account. Common swing set extras like slides require additional open space to be used safely.
The front and back of your swing set requires an unobstructed area double that of its height. This means that if a swing set stands nine feet tall, there should be 18 feet of clear space both in front and behind the set.
All swing set manufacturers follow basic safety recommendations.
However, make sure all moving parts are covered, so fingers don’t get jammed, pinched, or crushed.
Ensure that your swing set doesn’t have exposed metal hooks or springs.
Also, avoid metal slides as they can become dangerously hot and may pose a cutting risk if not finished correctly.
To prevent rocking and shaking, swing sets should be secured with the appropriate anchors.
The most basic wooden swing sets range from $100 to $500, but you can expect to pay between $500 and $1,200 for a standard wooden swing set.
Deluxe models cost significantly more and depending on the features range between $1,200 and $10,000.
Laying down a soft base of mulch, sand, wood chips, or pea gravel before setting up your swing set will help prevent injuries caused by falls.
Standard metal swing sets generally cost between $80 and $500, while high-end metal swing sets cost between $500 and $4,000, depending on size and features.
Plastic swing sets, which are smaller than other models, are easily the most affordable, with most costing between $100 and $1,200.
Q. How do I maintain my wooden swing set?
A. With any swing set, inspections should be done regularly to ensure safe use. Wood grain may lift from time to time and require sanding to prevent splinters. We recommend monthly checks for any uneven or rough areas. You will also need to apply a fresh stain at least once a year, and cleaning your swing set beforehand is necessary for the best results.
Q. Some areas of my wooden swing set seem to be cracking. Should I be concerned?
A. While cracks in your wooden swing set frame can be alarming, these are a normal occurrence and in most cases do not affect the strength of the wood. Known as “wood checking,” these cracks occur when wood absorbs moisture and then dries out again. Still concerned? Insert a piece of paper in the crack. If it can’t go beyond one inch, your wood is still in tip-top shape, and you have nothing to worry about.
Q. What steps can I take to ensure that my swing set remains safe?
A. All swing sets require frequent safety checks. Keep a close eye on chains, ropes, and cables for signs of wear and tear, replacing these as necessary. Moving metal parts can be oiled once a month for optimal performance. Ensure that there are no loose bolts and replace where needed. For a softer landing, loose fill such as wood chips, mulch, or sand should be used as a base beneath and around the swing set.