You’re going to spend a lot of time in your baby’s nursery. Story time, late night feeds and those all-important cuddles will all take place in the cosy confines of your little one’s private sanctuary, and you’ll probably find yourself in there for nap time too – if only because of how cute your little one looks as they doze off.

A nursery glider will make these long hours a lot more comfortable; providing you with a plush perch or an impromptu cuddle-spot.

They’re the perfect place to sit while feeding your little one, and they also make for a great ‘crash pad’ if they’re having a restless night and won’t sleep without being wrapped up in your arms.

Compared to regular armchairs, gilders also have the added advantage of gliding back and forth on the spot; creating a soothing motion that’s great for lulling your baby back to sleep after a late-night feed. A study carried out in 2011 even found that this gentle gliding motion can actually stimulate deeper sleep during short naps, which is great for those of us that enjoy having a well-rested baby!

sleep-memory-brain-waves-neurosciencenewsNursery gliders are also incredibly comfortable, and while there’s no escaping the fact that they’re a bit of an investment, those of us shopping on a budget will be pleased to know that they’re available at a range of different price points.

In our opinion, a good glider is a nursery essential. They’re often overlooked, but picking the right one can greatly enhance the first 6-8 months of parenthood.

Nursery Glider Buying Guide

As you can probably imagine, gliders come in a huge range of shapes and sizes. Your options range from plush, modern designs that resemble an armchair, right through to the more traditional wood-framed gliders that many of us will remember from our own childhoods.

Gliders also come with a variety of different features too; from USB charging sockets to reclining backs and matching ottomans.

Given that a nursery glider is a fairly serious investment, we’d definitely recommend that you spend some time considering the importance of these different features, and working out what’s important to you.

Gliders also come with a variety of different featuresTo help you on your way, we’ve put together a list of the questions that we’d ask before choosing a glider:

How comfortable is it?

It goes without saying that comfort should be your first concern, particularly if you plan to feed in your glider. We’d always recommend looking for gliders that have thick foam padding and soft-touch upholstery, as these are generally the comfiest options.

We’d also recommend looking for gliders with a good sized seat cushion and a sturdy back, particularly if you’re planning to sleep there with your little one.

Reclinable gliders are a great choice if you like to sit at a slight angle, and an ottoman can really help if you like to get your feet up off the ground. That said, some simple, wood-frame recliners receive consistently excellent recommendations for comfort, and it is largely down to personal preference.

Reclinable glidersYou can often get a good feel for how comfortable a given recliner will be by reading a variety of user reviews, or looking out for comfort-oriented features like:

How easy is it to adjust?

This is another big one, especially if you’re thinking of buying a reclining glider. We always look out for gliders with easy-to-reach controls, so that adjusting the seating position can be done without standing up, and disturbing your little one’s rest.

What are the covers made of?

As with all of the items in your little one’s nursery, there’s every chance that your glider will end up in the line of fire at some point. Spilt milk and other unwanted fluids can stain a lot of upholstery, so we’d always recommend sticking to options with removable, machine washable seat covers. Failing that, we’d recommend at least making sure that the covers are somewhat water resistant, so that you can wipe them down with a damp cloth.

Machine WashableThis will help you to keep things hygienic, and increase the lifespan of your nursery glider.

Does it have additional features?

As mentioned above, things like an ottoman can be a huge boon – particularly if you’re going to spend a long time sleeping in your glider. Other important features include:

How big is the nursery glider?

Size will be important to those of us with small nurseries, but it’s also an important consideration if you need a bit of extra space, or want to nurse twins in your glider. Most manufacturers do advertise the length, breadth and height of their nursery gliders, and we’d always recommend that you spend some time with a measuring tape and some string to ensure that it’s a good fit for you.

Note: Don’t forget to double check that it’ll have room to move back and forth freely too!

Will it suit my baby’s room?

It might seem like a fairly trivial concern, but the overall design of your glider is important. You’ll have to look at it every day, and if it doesn’t fit in with the general aesthetic of your nursery, it could ruin the ambiance somewhat.

It’s also important to consider what you’re going to do with the glider after you’re little one is all grown up: If you plan on putting it in your living room or using it as a regular armchair you’ll probably want to pick something that’s in keeping with the rest of your furniture.

Our Top 5 Best Nursery Gliders(Reviews and compare)

We’ve profiled some of our favorite nursery gliders below. This includes the options that we think represent the best value for money, and the options that are best suited to twins:

Quick View
Click for DetailBest forFeaturesPrice Check
Stork Craft Custom Hoop GliderBest for money▪ Folksy aesthetic
▪ Gliding ottoman
▪ Spot-cleanable fabric
DaVinci Olive Swivel GliderBest for small nursery▪ Compact recliner
▪ High-back
▪ Soft-touch fabric
▪ Ottoman
Baby Relax Mikayla Swivel GliderA great space saver▪ 360-degree swivel
▪ Reclining back
▪ Built-in footrest
▪ Easy-reach controls
Angel Line Monterey GliderBest for plus-sized parents▪ Spacious
▪ Lots of padding
▪ Smooth mechanism
▪ Gliding ottoman
Babyletto Tuba GliderBest for twins▪ Easy-clean fabric
▪ 360-degree rotation
▪ Super-stylish
▪ Extra-wide design

Stork Craft Custom Hoop Glider – Best for money

Stork Craft’s custom hoop glider is a traditional nursery glider that’s perfect for parents shopping on a budget.

Stork Craft Custom Hoop Glider and Ottoman

Features
  • Spot-cleanable cushions
  • Traditional wooden frame
  • Gliding ottoman for added comfort
  • Very smooth mechanism

It boasts a particularly homely ‘arts and crafts’ style design that’ll be right at home in more traditional nurseries, and we’re a huge fan of its folksy aesthetic.

It’s not all about looking back to the past though; the ball-bearing mechanism is very modern, and produces a seamless back-and-forth motion that’s perfect for lulling your baby to sleep.

Gliding ottoman

This glider is also supplied with a matching ottoman, featuring an identical gliding mechanism. This ottoman allows you to put your feet up without interrupting the rocking motion of the chair, allowing you and your baby to relax together.

The glider also has a nifty little side-pocket, and the cushions are made of a spot-cleanable fabric which makes keeping the chair hygienic an absolute breeze. The only slight downside is that it isn’t quite as comfortable as some of the plusher, full-fabric gliders on this list.

It doesn’t recline and while the cushions are comfortable, you might not be quite as keen to curl up and sleep in this chair. That said, we still think it’s hands-down the best glider for the money, and the best fit for traditional nurseries.

  • An attractive glider at a very reasonable price-point
  • Easy to put-together, clean and maintain
  • The gliding ottoman is fairly unique, and really useful for long nights with your baby
  • Its super durable, and very robust.

  • Not a fully padded and upholstered glider, which might be a negative for people that want to sleep in their chair.
  • Traditional aesthetic may not fit in more modern nurseries, and may limit the lifespan of your glider
  • Doesn’t have reclining or swiveling functionality
  • Not as wide as some of the other gliders on this list, making it a bad fit for twins
Check It out on Amazon

DaVinci Olive Swivel Glider – Best for small nursery

A plush, but surprisingly compact recliner with an incredibly smooth motion, this option from Divinci is ideal for those of us with a small nursery.

DaVinci Olive Upholstered Swivel Glider

Features
  • Soft-touch fabric & comfortable upholstery
  • Ottoman included
  • High-back for additional support
  • Capable of 360-degree swiveling motion

It’s a great little glider too; smooth, robust and incredibly comfortable to boot. It’s covered in a luxurious, soft-touch fabric and its upholstery is very well padded which is great if you’re intending to sit with your baby for hours at a time.

High Back Design

This nursery glider also has quite a high-back, which is great if you’re a little taller than average, and need that little bit of extra support. It doesn’t recline, but it’s still a great chair for feeding, sleeping or even just story time, and the ottoman is great for those of us that like to kick back and relax with our feet up.

The only slight downside is that its compact design doesn’t leave much wiggle room for larger parents. Looking at the list of materials used in its construction, we can also see that it contains parts that are made using rubber accelerators, which some people can be allergic to.

DaVinci Olive Upholstered Swivel Glider That said, if you’re looking for a small recliner for a modern nursery, this is definitely the one for you. It’s sleek and sophisticated design is a big plus point too, particularly if you want to move your glider into the living room later on.

  • A comfortable glider that’s small enough to fit into any nursery
  • Sophisticated, modern aesthetic will fit with furniture of any style
  • Extra height & lumbar support is great for taller parents
  • Easy to wipe down and maintain.

  • Is not reclinable, which can be an issue if you like to feed while lying back at an angle
  • Narrow seat isn’t roomy enough to curl up on
  • Uses rubber and thiuram parts, which may be an issue if you have an allergy to these materials
  • Some people complain that the chair starts to make a slight squeaking sound after 6+ months of heavy use. This is not a widespread issue, but if you need a silent chair there might be better options.
Check It out on Amazon

Baby Relax Mikayla Swivel Glider – A great space saver

If you want a glider with all the mod-cons, this glider is the perfect choice for you.

Baby Relax Mikayla Swivel Glider

Features
  • 360-degree swivel functionality
  • Reclining back
  • Sprung cushion for extra support
  • Built-in footrest

It’s ridiculously comfortable, it reclines, and it’s beautifully finished too – with contrasting, white trim and adorable little buttons on the back rest. We were really impressed with the soft-sprung seat cushion, which is bouncy enough to facilitate some long, long naps. The mechanism is very smooth too, and the full swivel functionality is a real treat for those of us that like to keep things nice and freeform.

 Built-in footrest

Best of all though, the built-in footrest. At the (near-literal) push of a button, this ever-so-handy extra feature swings out from the hair’s base; allowing you to prop up your feet without the need for a clunky ottoman. The controls for the footrest are very well placed to; sitting close enough to the top of the arm to ensure that they’re always within easy reach.

Baby Relax Mikayla Swivel Gliding ReclinerThere are some downsides though: The arms are quite low, which isn’t ideal if you intend to rest your arms on them during feeding, and the chair does also sit quite high off the ground. This could be an issue if you’re on the shorter side, as your feet might not quite touch the floor.

All in all though, we think that this is a particularly impressive glider, which would be right at home in a huge variety of nurseries.

  • Super comfortable
  • Easy to reposition, irrespective of how you like to sit
  • A great space saver, perfect for those that can’t fit an ottoman in their nursery
  • Incredibly stylish, and will suit most aesthetics

  • The chair sits quite high off the floor
  • Not much additional lumbar support
  • The arms sit quite low
  • The fabric used to upholster this chair can be spot cleaned, but they’re not stain resistant
Check It out on Amazon

Angel Line Monterey Glider – Best for plus-sized parents

This generous nursery glider is as charming as it is comfortable. It’s a great choice for anyone that likes to kick back with room to spare, and that little bit of extra space makes it the best glider for plus-sized parents too.

Angel Line Monterey Glider

Features
  • Extra-wide design
  • Comes with a gliding ottoman, which vastly increases its comfort factor
  • Soft-touch, wipe-clean fabric covering
  • Smooth, ball-bearing mechanism

We’re a huge fan of the overall aesthetic; what with the wooden sides and the soft-touch cushions. The ottoman is a really great little extra as well – particularly if you want to be able to put your feet up while you feed your little one.

A roomy, spacious chair

There is one obvious downside to this chair’s extra-wide design – it won’t fit in a smaller nursery! It actually measures 28” from arm to arm, so make sure you measure up before you buy. It’s one of our top picks for those of us with some extra space though. It looks old fashioned, and the lack of upholstery make it seem a little spartan, but it’s a surprisingly comfortable glider with lots of padding.

It’s a real pleasure to use too – thanks to a modern ball-bearing mechanism, it glides back and forth without a single squeak, and the design is so robust that we’re satisfied it’d sustain years of fairly heavy use.

  • Perfect for those that want a little more room
  • Simple, homespun aesthetic is perfect for more traditional nurseries
  • Robust and durable design means it’s sure to last
  • Comfortable without being too plush, which is great if you struggle to get out of some gliders

  • Not a great choice for anyone that’s short on space
  • Doesn’t recline, or swivel like some of the more modern designs
  • The back is not particularly high, which might be an issue for some
  • Might not fit in with the rest of your living room furniture, which could affect longevity
Check It out on Amazon

Babyletto Tuba Glider – Best for twins

Luxurious is an understatement. This nursery glider is one of the comfiest options you’ll find, and everything about it is geared towards providing you with the best possible experience.

Babyletto Tuba Extra Wide Swivel Glider

Features
  • Easy-clean fabric upholstery
  • Angled back that’s perfect for nursing
  • Full 360-degree rotation
  • Sophisticated design

Sit in it, and you’ll sink into its soft upholstery. You’ll also find that the arms are angled just right for feeding, and that back is perfectly angled for a little mid-afternoon nap. The stainless steel mechanism facilitates 360-degree rotation, and there’s acres of space once you’re ensconced in padded seat.

All of this extra comfort does come at a cost though. In fact, the Tuba is one of the most expensive gliders that we’ve reviewed here, and there isn’t even a footrest or ottoman included.

The lack of reclining functionality might be a slight issue for some too; if the angle of the back isn’t the angle you’d prefer to feed at, you’ll need to look for additional pillows for that little bit of extra lumbar support.

Babyletto Tuba Extra Wide Swivel GliderBut if you can overlook those flaws, this super-stylish, luxury glider is sure to provide hours of relaxation. It’s probably the smoothest of all the gliders that we’ve reviewed here, and the extra space definitely makes it the best glider for twins.

Surprisingly, this glider is also very easy to get out of, which is an added plus for those times that your little one falls asleep in our arms, and you need to get them into the crib without waking them up

  • Generous padding and soft upholstery make this luxurious chair a pleasure to use
  • Extra-wide design provides enough space for twins
  • Plenty of support
  • Durable and robust

  • Too large for small nurseries
  • Higher price point than some other options
  • Lacks footrest or ottoman
  • Aesthetic may not suit traditional nurseries

 

Check It out on Amazon

Nursery Gliders Vs. Rocking Chairs

Not sure whether you should be looking at nursery gliders or rocking chairs? The difference between these two different types of nursing chair might seem relatively slight, but long-standing experience that there are a few important differences.

gliders-vs.-rocking-chairsTo begin with, the motion produced by a glider is quite dissimilar to the rise and fall of a rocking chair: it’s much smoother, and it’s more back-and-forth than it is up-and-down, which is generally understood to be a little bit more soothing for young children.

Gliders are much less prone to ‘wandering’ too. They’re heavier, which helps to fix them in place, and the constant motion won’t slowly cause them to shift position as they move. This makes them a much better option for those of us with limited space, and it reduces the need for you to constantly rearrange furniture.

And then there’s the comfort factor: Rocking chairs can be nice and padded, but you’ll rarely find a reclining rocking chair, or a rocking chair with an ottoman. Chances are that you’ll find the gentle back-and-forth motion of the glider much more relaxing too.

Comfort nursery gliderAnother big difference between the two different types of chairs is the amount of support supplied by the back/headrest. The back of a rocking chair rarely comes up above shoulder height, while gliders are generally designed with nursing in mind, and have much higher backs to ensure long-term comfort. A great many gliders have additional lumbar support too, as you’re supposed to be able to sleep in them for hours at a time.

Of course, rocking chairs do have their own advantages: There is some evidence to suggest that the more pronounced motion can help to stimulate balance centers in the brain, improving your little one’s sense of balance and aiding in their overall development. Rocking chairs are a little bit harder to push too, which has led some scientists to conclude that they are slightly better.

balance developmentSome gliders can cause slight motion sickness to begin with too, but this does generally go away once you’re used to the gentle back-and-forth motion of the chair.

Ultimately, deciding between the two will be a matter of choosing which features are more important to you. Gliders are generally built with nursing in mind, and tend to maximize comfort while rockers are a more general-purpose option, which can help to develop balance, but probably won’t provide quite the same level of comfort.

Rocking Chair Vs. Glider Comparison Table
Rocking Chair Glider
Lulling motionticktick
Additional Lumbar supporttick
Reclining functionalityticktick
Swivel Functionalitytick
High back-resttick
Built for sleepingtick
Capable of improving balancetick
Stimulates cardiovascular systemtick
Plush upholstery/cushionsticktick

Conclusion

When it comes to picking the perfect glider, we’d always recommend that you take your time. As the list above shows, there are a huge variety of different options out there, with designs to suit every parent’s needs.

This can make the decision-making process seem a little overwhelming at first, but if you take the time to familiarize yourself with the pros and cons of each design, you’ll be able to make an informed decision that provides plenty of comfort for years to come.

Above all, enjoy shopping, and remember that the right glider is just around the corner!