Best Swing Sets

Updated June 2021
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We recommend these products based on an intensive research process that's designed to cut through the noise and find the top products in this space. Guided by experts, we spend hours looking into the factors that matter, to bring you these selections.

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Buying guide for best swing sets

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.

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A backyard swing set not only offers hours of fun for children but can also boost their muscle development, motor skills, and balance.

Types of swing sets

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

Wooden swing sets are very popular thanks to their charming design and sturdy construction.

Pros:

  • 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.
     

Cons:

  • 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.

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Did you know?
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.
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Metal swing sets

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.

Pros:

  • 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.
     

Cons:

  • 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.

Plastic swing sets

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.

Pros:

  • 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.
     

Cons:

  • 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.

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Expert Tip
Whichever material you choose, ensure that the swing set is sturdy and strong enough to easily hold your child’s weight.
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What to consider when buying a swing set

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.

Ease of assembly

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.

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Did you know?
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.
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Number of children

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.

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Expert Tip
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.
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Material

  • 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.

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Did you know?
Cedar and redwood naturally repel insects and are highly resistant to disease and rot, making them the best for wooden swing sets.
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Durability

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.

Extra features

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.

Size

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 (about 3 metres), there should be 18 feet (or about 6 metres) of clear space both in front and behind the set."
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Safety

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.

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For your safety
To prevent rocking and shaking, swing sets should be secured with the appropriate anchors.
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Price

Wooden swing sets

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.

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Did you know?
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.
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Metal swing sets

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

Plastic swing sets, which are smaller than other models, are easily the most affordable, with most costing between $100 and $1,200.

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Swing sets that allow for add-on accessories will grow with your children, offering better value for your money.

FAQ

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.

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