Glider Vs. Rocker

Glider Vs. Rocker: Which One is Best for Nursery in 2023?

Rockers and gliders are the two most common types of nursery chairs. Whether to choose a nursery glider or a rocker for the baby’s nursery is a common dilemma most new parents face when they plan to decorate the nursery. Both rockers and gliders offer some unique benefits. A glider is a chair that gently swivels or glides back and forth with the seat attached to the base. Nursing rockers are classic and stylish nursery chairs with stronger back-and-forth swinging motion compared to gliders.

So, which one is better for you? There are some major differences between glider rocking chairs and regular rocker chairs. However, there is no clear answer as to which one is better than the other as it depends on the purpose of use and personal preferences. We will compare these two different types of nursery chairs in this article so that you can decide what type works best for your needs.

Glider Vs. Rocker: Differences, Pros and Cons

Glider Basics

Rocker Basics

Gliders offer a 360-degree swiveling and gliding motion

Rockers offer stronger back-and-forth movement than gliders

Glider is the better option for large nursery

Rockers usually take less space

Gliders are more comfortable than traditional rockers

Rockers are convenient for moving from one place to another

Gliders feature a manual or a power locking mechanism

Rockers only come with a manual locking mechanism

What is a Glider?

glider for a nursery

A glider is a modern piece of furniture with excellent padding in the sitting area. Gliders are often upholstered to make them more comfortable. They’re heavy; hence you can’t move them easily. In addition, they move in a back-and-forth motion to create a smooth and noiseless glide.

Most new parents appreciate the importance of a glider for a nursery. It is an essential piece of nursery furniture that you can use to nurse and soothe your baby, especially when you have a baby with frequent acid reflux or colic issues. The design and the rocking motion of a glider allow you to use it for various purposes.

Some modes have a swivel feature and easily lock to protect your baby’s fingers. They’re more advanced and have a reclining feature to help you relax as you feed or nurse the baby. Even research shows that reclined feeding positions help stimulate natural feeding reflexes in both mothers and babies. Also, you can take some much-needed rest with your baby as you feed them to sleep.

Advantages of a Glider

There are many benefits you can get from using a glider as opposed to the retro rocker chair. Below here, we will highlight some benefits as well as a few drawbacks.

  • A glider offers an almost noiseless gliding motion. So you can enjoy a smooth glide as you put your baby to sleep. Unlike the gliders, many rockers often produce a squeaky sound as you rock your baby to sleep.
  • A glider usually comes with an advanced design and features that enable you to adjust your resting position. For instance, when putting your baby to sleep, you can adjust it in a way that both you and the baby can rest in a slanting position. On the other hand, when feeding the baby, you can easily adjust it to an upright position.
  • Unlike a rocker, a glider has a safety mechanism in place that protects the baby’s delicate fingers from being pinched.
  • Some models come with a swivel base. This feature allows you gently rock your little one to sleep.
  • Gliders are more comfortable than traditional rockers since they have cushions for true relaxation, and therefore you don’t have to worry about your aching back. In addition, most gliders usually feature an ergonomic design. Therefore, you’ll feel more comfortable feeding your baby while sitting on it.

Disadvantages of a Glider

  • A glider takes up a lot of space. Therefore, it may not be a good option if you’re living in a small apartment. In addition, gliders are usually heavy and immobile. Therefore, it’s not easy to move from one place to another.
  • Since a glider comes loaded with distinct features, it costs more than a rocker.

How to Choose a Glider

There are several things to keep in mind when choosing a glider.


Your comfort and that of the baby is the first thing you should consider when shopping for a glider. Consider the ones with cushions and pads to enhance your comfort as you nurse or put the baby to sleep.

Glider test

If you order a glider from a brick-and-mortar store, do a test ride to ensure your chosen glider functions quietly and smoothly. While buying a glider from an online store, go through user reviews to get a good idea about a specific glider. Typically, a glider shouldn’t produce a squeaking or creaking sound, as this can awaken the baby.

Size of the seat

The seat of your glider should be large enough to accommodate you and the baby. Also, babies grow quickly, and therefore it’s essential to pick a large size.

A high headrest

Ensure the headrest is well positioned so that you can lean your head on it. Sometimes putting a baby to sleep can be exhausting, and you need something to lean on.

Easy to clean

Feeding your baby is often accompanied by spills and vomiting. Therefore, it’s important to choose one that’s easy to clean.


Since a glider is a piece of furniture, choose a color that goes well with the baby’s nursery and the other nursery furniture. Also, you can choose a stylish fabric to accompany your baby’s nursery theme.

Safety Features

Though most gliders are designed keeping the safety of the little babies in mind, you should still check the safety aspect of a glider. The gliding mechanism and other sensitive areas should be well-covered. To be on the safer side, go for the one that comes with a lifetime warranty.

What is a Nursery Rocker?

Nursery Rocker

A nursery rocker is also a piece of furniture that offers a comfortable sitting area for tired mamas. However, A nursery rocker swings faster in an arc pattern, whereas a nursery glider gently rocks back and forth. A rocking chair is ideal for offering you comfort as you put your baby to sleep. You can also use a nursery rocker to soothe your baby or when nursing them.

As you may already know, a rocker has arched legs that create a swinging motion. It produces a stable and robust movement, and the construction is sturdy.

Traditional rockers comprise hardwood material and have been around for many years. They are vintage and decorative to match any nursery décor. Since most are made of wood, they may have a fine finish or coating to give them a modern look.

Advantages of a Rocker

  • If you have a fussy baby that hates being in the swing, consider using a rocker to make your baby feel comfortable and help you figure out why your baby is crying. The rocking motion also helps in making your baby feel secure and creates a calming effect. Therefore, this is good for the mother since the baby falls asleep quickly, and you can have time to relax and avoid restless nights.
  • A rocker is lightweight, portable as well as compact. Therefore, it comes with a simple profile that makes it easy to move from one place to another.
  • It’s easy to set up, unlike the glider, which has a sophisticated design. You don’t need cushions to assemble the rocker.
  • A rocker is reasonably priced and costs less than a glider. Therefore it’s a good choice for parents on a budget.

Disadvantages of a Rocker

  • Though a rocker is a versatile piece of furniture, you might find it uncomfortable to use it for nursing your baby. Therefore, you might need to buy a separate chair for breastfeeding.
  • Since a rocker has no padding, it’s less comfortable. However, you can enhance your comfort by adding pillows or cushions.
  • Rockers lack a safe gliding mechanism and thus can pinch little fingers.

How to Choose the Best Nursery Rocker

There are several things to keep in mind when choosing the best rocker that will match your needs.


When choosing the rocker, choose a sturdy option made of hardwood to guarantee durability and safety. If you’re not sure of the type of wood, you can ask your supplier. Generally, hardwood is sturdy and likely to last many years. After your baby has outgrown the toddler age, you can use the rocker to relax in your backyard or the living room as you watch TV or read a book.


It’s vital to choose a size that can support you and the baby. Luckily, rockers occupy little space and are a fantastic choice if you live in a small apartment.


A rocker is a piece of furniture, and therefore it’s essential to consider one that matches your needs. Although rockers are made of wood, you may request your supplier to customize and paint the rocker using your favorite colors to match other nursery decors. You can also paint it with baby-friendly paints.  

Movement Preferences

A rocker can sway either back and forth or side to side. Therefore, choose one depending on your preferred movement.

Glider Vs. Rocker: Final Thoughts

For newborn babies, it’s better to choose a glider since gliders will make you feel way more comfortable when it comes to nursing. In addition, a glider locks well in place and therefore protects your child’s tiny fingers. A glider is an excellent choice if you like a gentle ride since it sways in a smooth and noiseless motion. Even better, some models are equipped with a swivel base so that you can quickly turn a full 360°. 

On the other hand, rockers are ideal for soothing newborns and relaxing as they have a stronger back-and-forth movement than gliders. As rockers usually come in a compact design, they are ideal for parents looking for a space-saving option

When it comes to comfort consideration, the glider is the winner here. Most models have springs mounted under the cushion to guarantee maximum comfort. Also, if the glider has an ottoman, you can raise your feet for extra comfort. On the flip side, a rocker lacks comfort features such as cushions and paddings. When it comes to budget considerations, a rocker costs less than a glider. Therefore, it’s a superb choice if you’re looking for a cheaper option. However, they often make squeaky sounds, unlike the gliders which are generally smooth and quiet. Whether you prefer a glider or a rocker, the bottom line is you should choose a product that will serve your purpose and enhance your comfort.

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