Choosing Between A Porch Swing vs A Glider

Choosing Between A Porch Swing vs A Glider

You're looking for a rocker or swing for your porch. Suddenly a salesman offers you a glider. You've never heard of it, yet you grew up sitting on grandma's lap while she rocked you to sleep in her rocker, or sat with mom and dad on a large porch swing while reading your favorite book. Now, what exactly is a glider?

A glider or platform rocker is a type of rocking chair that moves like a swing seat, where the entire frame consists of a seat attached to the base utilizing a double-rocker four-bar linkage. The non-parallel suspension arms of the tie cause the chair to simulate a rocking-chair motion as it swings back and forth.

On the other hand, porch swings are swinging wooden bench-like seats intended for adults. Its suspension chains are mounted to the porch ceiling, and the seat is typically large enough to seat about three people, with an armrest at opposite ends.

They are an alternative to using rocking chairs or gliders outdoors. Both definitions are from Wikipedia. To simplify the difference between the two, an outdoor glider cradles you on the ground while the other does it while suspended in the air. Which one do you prefer?

Now that you know the difference between a porch swing and a glider, the next question is how to choose the right patio furniture for your home. Take a look at some of the bench glider's advantages to see if you should get one for your porch.

Advantages of a Porch Glider

#1 Gliders don't consume space

Unlike a wooden or metal chair swing wherein you have to leave space behind, and in front of it, a glider has fixed dimensions for its movement. It's predetermined how much space you need to accommodate it. Furthermore, you don't need to find a place to hang it.

#2 It doesn't leave marks

Unlike rocking chairs, when you sit on a porch glider, its base stays in place. Rocking chairs tend to move around the place a lot, and the rocking motion tends to scrape floors. This is especially obvious on tiled or hardwood floors.

#3 It's safer than rockers

Rockers tend to move fast and topple over, causing accidents. While adults may have more sense to be careful, little children may have frequent accidents with rockers. A glider stays on its base and slides smoothly and efficiently, making it safe for everyone. There is also no fear of little hands that might get caught by chair rockers.

#4 It comes in a variety of styles

While the rocker may have won the hearts of many stylish homeowners, the porch glider has evolved into a stylish and functional alternative to outdoor seating. These days, there are cushioned porch gliders that make the experience more relaxing.

There are also glider benches that can comfortably seat two to three people and porch gliders that come in pairs for the whole family. Some porch gliders also come with canopies for protection against the sun rays, and some even have built-in tables or armrests with cup holes for refreshments.

Some porch gliders have adjustable backrests for added comfort and convenience, while some have ottomans with built-in footstools for nursing mothers.

Our Top Porch Glider Picks

Looking for recommendations for a porch glider for your outdoor living space? Here are some of our favorites!

1. Glacier Country Log Glider

If you’re looking for a glider bench to sit outside your cottage or log cabin, you couldn’t find a more perfect pick than the Glacier Country Log Glider. This solid wood porch glider swing is made of US-grown genuine lodgepole pine, which is both rot-resistant and insect-resistant. This is truly an heirloom quality, classic piece, which is reminiscent of the Rockies' Grand Lodges, circa 1900.

Why We Love It

  • Handcrafted in Montana, USA
  • S. Grown Genuine Lodgepole Pine
  • 20-Year Limited Warranty
  • Each Piece Signed By The Artisan Who Makes It
  • Seating capacity: 2
  • Dimensions: 54"W 26"D 34"H
  • Finish: Exterior Stain
  • Assembly: Some assembly required

2. Adirondack Glider

The Adirondack Glider is the perfect option if you enjoy the classic look of the Adirondack chair and are in the market for a one, two, or three-person porch glider. This heavy duty porch glider is made of 100% recycled plastic and is offered in three different sizes: 2' for single seating, 4' for a 2 person glider, and 5' for up to 3.

Why We Love It

  • Made in the USA
  • Maintenance-free, durable 100% Recycled Plastic
  • Stainless steel hardware for optimum durability
  • Crack, splinter, warp, and rot-resistant
  • Does not promote bacterial growth or mildew
  • Material: Recycled Plastic, Stainless steel hardware
  • Available in 3 sizes: 2’, 4’ and 5’
  • Warranty: Guaranteed to last with Luxcraft lifetime residential warranty and five-year commercial warranty
  • Assembly: Some assembly required

3. Cedar Countryside Rocking Glider

The Cedar Countryside Rocking Glider by Creekvine Designs is the perfect, classic piece that will immediately pull any patio together. This stunning handcrafted Western Red Cedar glider will truly never go out of style and provides a gentle sway that you’ll be able to enjoy for years to come.

Why We Love It

  • Made in the USA
  • Capacity: 690 lbs
  • Rounded & Sanded Edges
  • Material: Western Red Cedar
  • Hardware: Zinc Plated Steel
  • Warranty: One-year manufacturer limited warranty
  • Assembly: Some assembly required

Glider or swing?

While there are many advantages to owning a bench glider, it might not appeal to everyone. Weighing out the pros and cons of each piece of outdoor furniture might help you make a wise decision on what type of furniture suits your outdoor space best. 

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