The Difference Between Glider And Rocker: Which is The Best For The Nursery?

The Difference Between Glider And Rocker: Which is The Best For The Nursery?
Last Updated: 04 August 2021

As a parent-to-be, you’re probably spending hours researching cribs, clothes and other stuff for your little one. It’s time for your next destination – a chair for nursery. The most popular models are gliders and rockers, both of which are a great investment! Because either a glider or rocker for nursery gives you a comfortable place to feed or lull your baby to sleep.

However when we’re talking about the glider vs rocker situation, it’s important to understand that these chairs are not the same. True, they may look similar and serve the same purpose, however they still have their own pros and cons.

That’s something not a lot of parents are aware of, so they decide to choose one of these randomly. That later results in regret and wasted money.

That’s the reason why we’ve created this post – to help you understand the difference between glider vs. rocker and which one will work best for you.

Now, let’s take a closer look at both these chairs.

What Is Glider

What Is Glider

A nursery glider is a type of chair that moves like a swing – back and forth. The rocking motions of the glider are very smooth, comfortable and easily lull the baby to sleep. Best nursery gliders also feature various designs. So picking the nursery glider is not very complicated – you just need to choose the right size of the chair depending on the size of the baby’s room .

To sum up:

  • A nursery glider provides a comfortable and cozy place to sit with your little one.
  • It allows to soothe your baby with quiet and smooth motion.

Nursery Glider Pros & Cons


  • Smooth movement: These chairs glide along a fixed track, and provide really quiet and smooth motions.
  • Comfort: Nursery gliders usually have nice upholstery that is very pleasant by touch. They also come with a convenient ottoman so that you can put up your feet and relax a bit.
  • Versatility: Most gliders can swivel, recline, and become stationary, making them a versatile furniture piece.
  • Safety features: Some models gliders can be locked in one position, making them safer for fingers.
  • Suitable for smaller rooms: Gliders usually feature a smaller range of motions, makicalng them perfect for small spaces.


  • Limited movement: You can’t generate intensive movements.
  • Injured fingers: If your nursery glider doesn’t have an option to be locked in one position, then the fingers can get seized in the gliding gear. So keep an eye on your little one when they play. So it’s wise to pick a chair with a locking mechanism, this will reduce the risk of trauma.

What Is Rocker

What Is Rocker

A nursery rocking chair features 2 bands attached to the rocker bottom. They connect the legs to each other on each side. These bands touch the floor at only two points, providing rocking motions – back and forth – when the user pushes lightly with the feet or shifts the weight. Nursery rocking chairs are often made of wood, and some of them can be folded

To sum up:

  • It gives you a comfy place to nurse, cuddle, and hold your little one.
  • Nursery rocking chair provides calming motions as you rock your baby.

Rocker Pros & Cons


  • Classic design: A rocker will be a perfect choice if you like classic style. This type of chair looks wonderfully in the baby’s room.
  • Intense movements: A rocker is a free-moving chair, hence, you can control motions, making them small or intense. Some babies like intense motions as they mimic the rocking motions they felt in the womb.


  • Safety: As your child gets older and starts crawling and playing around, a rocker becomes a safety concern since it’s prone to tipping.
  • Big size: When you buy a nursery rocking chair make sure that there is enough space for the chair itself and additional space for its motions. A rocker can easily become overpowering in a small room.

Glider Vs Rocker: Differences Overview

What Is Rocker

So as you see, gliders and rockers have some structural and design distinctions, so, their functionality slightly differs as well.

Now let’s discuss the main topic of our article – the rocker vs glider debate, and which one is a better option:

MovementGliders move back and forth on fixed tracks, the motions are less intense compared to rockers. Rockers feature a movement that follows an arc and sway back and forth on the curved bands.


Rockers feature pinch points on the floor, this can become a safety concern for kids since they can squeeze or pinch hands or toes. Gliders do not have pinch points. Moreover, some of them feature locking mechanisms to ensure the baby is safe from injury.


When we’re talking about the glider vs rocker debate, it’s important to mention that both of these chairs can be of different sizes and weight. However, materials used for nursery gliders are usually heavier than materials for rockers. So the latter is lighter and easier to transport.


Both rockers and gliders need enough space for movement. However, gliders have a more compact design, thus, they occupy less space.

Features For Comfort

Gliders may come with an ottoman or pop-up footrest for comfort, you can relax your feet while feeding your little one. Additionally, gliders have a swivel function. Rockers don’t have such convenient features, so they’re less comfortable than a nursery glider.

What To Look For When Choosing A Glider Or Rocker?

The Difference Between Glider And Rocker: Which is The Best For The Nursery?

When you’re choosing nursery rocker or glider, there’s a list of features you should look for in each model. This way, you’ll ensure that feeding and soothing your little one will be a comfortable and enjoyable process.

  • Supportive cushioning: Look for a chair with a high cushioned back, to support your head. It will also be great if your chair has a lumbar support pillow.
  • Comfy but firm seat: The seat must be supported by springs or dense foam. Don’t choose a very soft seat, because you don’t want to sink down into it and struggle to get back up, especially with the sleeping baby in your arms.
  • Wide seat: Wide seat allows some extra room so that you can move around and get comfortable. Besides, you’ll need a spacious seat if you’re going to breastfeed with a nursing pillow on your lap.
  • Durable cover: An upholstery must be able to withstand spills and spit-up. Look for a removable, easy-to-clean cover. Also, it would be wise to choose a dark-colored fabric that will camouflage stains.
  • Locking gear: It’ll prevent the chair from moving when you don’t want it to move.
  • Extra features: Some gliders and rockers come with bonus features that make feeding and soothing more comfortable. What features can you look for: 360-degree swivel function, pop-up footrest, lumbar support cushion, or maybe USB port for charging your phone?


When you’re choosing between glider vs rocking chair, note the most considerable difference between them is the type of their motions. If you or your little one prefer intense motions, it’s better to choose a nursing rocker. Gliders have more steady, smooth motions and may come with bonus features. So keep these tips in mind, and choose the option that will make you and your baby happy!

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