Nursery Glider Vs Rocker: Which Is The Best Fit For Your Nursery?

You know we’ve got strong opinions about nursery chairs; they are the spot where you will bond with your baby for months (maybe even years) to come! But how do you choose the perfect one? We’ve broken down everything you need to know about a nursery glider vs rocker. After all, deciding what kind of chair you want is the first step!

If you’ve started looking into nursery set ups and feeding areas, you have probably found that you will use your glider or rocker for feeding, reading, and rocking your baby back to sleep. You want it to be comfortable, functional, and also stylish. In my opinion, having a dedicated nursing chair is very important. Because, you know, you need to be able to arrange the pillows just right and fall into that perfect indent you have created. There is just nothing more comforting.

Nursery Glider vs Rocker Breakdown

Here’s the Quick Breakdown

Traditional rockers (or as most of us call them, rocking chairs) have two curved bands at the base attached to the bottom of the legs, connecting the legs on each side to each other. This allows them to rock in a strong back and forth motion.

Rockers come in a variety of materials from wood to metal. You will find options both with and without padding, but I would highly recommend choosing a chair with padding since you will be spending long periods of time sitting in it.

A couple of our favorite rockers are the Delta Children Ella Rocker (a great choice for shorter moms!) and the Pottery Barn Radcliffe Rocking Chair.


A glider is a chair that moves back and forth on a fixed track. I love gliders because they sway you in a gentler motion than a rocker and are often noiseless. Many also have the ability to swivel in a full 360° range of motion.

Another major difference to consider when choosing a glider vs rocker; gliders have more unique features and benefits. Some of them are manual and others are powered. You can get one that gives you the option to recline, one with a built in foot rest, or one that comes in a set with a nursery ottoman. Some nursery gliders even have USB ports to ensure your phone or kindle is always charged up!

As for our favorites, the Pottery Barn Wingback Swivel Glider and Recliner and the Babyletto Tuba Swivel Glider are both amazing options.

Read More About Our Favorite Gliders and Rockers Here

Which is Best for Me?

So, now that you know the basics of a glider vs rocker, here are the things you will want to keep in mind when shopping:

How big is the space I have dedicated to the glider or rocker? The amount of space you have could determine your choice. Gliders tend to need more room. 

Is it easy to clean? Feedings can be messy. Choose a glider or rocker with detachable and washable cushions or stain-resistant fabrics.

Is it comfortable? It’s best to test gliders and rockers out first. This is a big and pricey purchase, you want to make sure you’ll be comfortable for longer periods of time.

Does it have enough padding? You could be gliding or rocking for hours. Make sure there is enough comfortable padding for the seat and armrests. 

Does it squeak? This may sound silly but when its 2:00 am and you are just hearing a constant squeak on every glide or rock, you may regret overlooking this question. 

Does it recline? At some point, you may be pulling an all-nighter in the nursery. And if you don’t have a bed in the nursery, a reclining glider lets you sleep while baby sleeps nearby in the crib.

My final verdict, nursery gliders reign supreme. I love the more gentle motion they offer and I am a sucker for coziness so having the option to recline is a big plus.

Of course, there is no absolute right choice and there are many factors to consider. It really boils down to what will work best in your space and what you find most comfortable. You will be spending a lot of time in your glider or rocker so make sure to follow these tips while you’re shopping!

Frequently Asked Questions

Is a glider or a rocker better?

My final verdict, nursery gliders reign supreme. I love the more gentle motion they offer and I am a sucker for coziness so having the option to recline is a big plus.
Of course, there is not absolute right choice and there are many factors to consider. It really boils down to what will work best in your space and what you find most comfortable.

What is the difference between a rocker and a glider?

The biggest difference is in the way they move. Rockers have a strong back and forth motion, and gliders have a more gentle swaying motion.

Does a glider rock back and forth?

A glider sways side to side and may swivel 360°.

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