Difference Between Glider and Rocker: Which Should You Buy?

Home » Difference Between Glider and Rocker: Which Should You Buy?

Furnishing and decorating a nursery is an exciting part of becoming a parent. There’s nothing more rewarding than finding the right crib, dresser, and rug for your new baby.


A chair is a practical choice for any nursery. You can rest your legs and back on a chair while you cradle your baby. You can also use it when you want to read to your infant or as a place to rest while watching your kid sleep.


But why settle for a stationary chair? There are many options for chairs that can move and lull your baby to sleep


Today, most parents can’t build a nursery without having a glider or a rocker in a corner. Both chairs are available online and at furniture stores and can be made from different materials. But which seat should you get?


What’s a Glider?

The first moving chair we’ll talk about is a glider. As the name suggests, a glider is a chair that glides on a fixed track. It’s a quiet chair that moves back and forth, and some models have the ability to do a 360 swivel.

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A footrest or ottoman is a perfect match for a glider. But gliders are heavy and bulky chairs, so you might want the extra room before buying your new seat.


What’s a Rocker?

Grandparents aren’t the only ones who can enjoy a rocking chair. A rocker is a type of chair that can tilt forward and backward. Unlike a glider with fixed intensity, you can control the speed and strength of your rocking.

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Rocking chairs come in different styles, from the traditional wooden rocking chair to a more modern and soft design. Other rockers allow modifications where you can easily remove the rocking legs and replace them with stationary ones.


What is the Difference Between Glider and Rocker?

At face value, gliders and rockers appear almost similar, if not the same. But while both types of chairs can move in a certain direction, the two have fundamental differences that plenty of parents take time to consider.


The main difference between a glider and a rocker is how they move. As mentioned above, a glider has a fixed range of motion. Meanwhile, you can change your speed and intensity on a rocker. Some parents might prefer a glider with a fixed movement that is more calming and easy to control. On the other hand, some parents enjoy being in charge of their swaying. 


Another difference is their sizes. Rockers, especially traditional wooden ones, can save space in your nursery. Meanwhile, a glider paired with an ottoman can take up plenty of room.


Finally, most gliders have more features, such as a lock, recliner, and swivel. They are slightly safer compared to rockers because of those locking mechanisms. (You might want to keep your fingers away from underneath those rocking chairs.)


Buyer’s Tip for the Best Seat

Whether you prefer a glider or a rocker, you want to keep a few tips in mind when choosing your new seat. Those tips include:


1 Prioritize Comfort and Accessibility

You’ll be doing a lot of sitting once your baby comes. Pick the seat that you feel comfortable in. Gliders and rockers come in a variety of softness, and you can choose whether you want something softer or firmer.


Take your size into consideration when picking out a seat. You want a chair that can accommodate your height and weight.


2 Know How Big the Nursery is

Is your nursery the size of a classroom or a closet? Whether it’s spacious or cramped, you will want to have a measurement of your nursery before buying a glider or rocker.


Take your dream seat’s dimensions into careful consideration. Buying a chair too big for your room is a waste of money and space.


3 Get a with Lots of Sitting Room

You want to feel cozy in that chair. Get a glider or rocker that has enough room for you to sit. It will be the perfect napping spot after a long day of parenting.


4 Consider the Material

When buying a chair (or any furniture), you want it to be durable and high-quality. Get a glider or rocker that can last you for years and easily clean in a day. 


Wood is a classic and durable material for any chair, but you can consider metal as well. As for fabric, cotton can withstand wear and tear, while leather can be easily wiped clean. Visiting a store (online or offline) can open your eyes to the variety of chairs you can purchase.


5 Double-check for Safety Mechanisms

This one usually applies to gliders. You may want to consider looking for a seat that has a locking mechanism to avoid any bedroom accidents.


Gliders usually have a lock that can keep them from moving around on their own. They also lessen the chance of you or your child getting a finger stuck in there. (Ouch!)



What’s the difference between glider and rocker?

Gliders and rockers differ based on their movement, size, and features. Gliders have more bells and whistles but are too big and have a fixed pattern, whereas rockers are more compact and can change speed but lack some features that make them more comfortable and safe.


How do I pick the perfect chair for my room?

Look for a chair you feel most comfortable with, followed by how durable it is and whether it fits your room physically and aesthetically. 



Both gliders and rockers are chairs capable of moving and swaying. Many parents use these chairs to put their kids to sleep or provide them comfort while crying.


With that said, gliders and rockers work differently from one another. While gliders have a fixed pattern of movement, rockers can move with varying degrees of intensity. Most gliders also come with plenty of advanced features that a lot of rockers can’t keep up with. However, when it comes to size, rockers are perfect for small spaces.


At the end of the day, a chair’s goal is to provide you a seat that feels just right. Whether you’re getting a glider or rocker, what matters most is finding a chair that fits your comfort, space, and style.

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