Glider vs. Rocker- The Debate Ends Here

Glider vs. Rocker- The Debate Ends Here


Rocking chairs go back hundreds of years. Gliders came around only in the last century. And ever since we ran out of things to argue about, a debate has raged- which is better? What’s the right time and place for each? What should we look for when buying them?

Make All Things Fair

There’s no easy way to settle this debate, but we must begin with a disclosure: The Porch Swing Store sells both rocking chairs and gliders, and our expertise in this matter is as experts of outdoor furniture. You should buy whatever you want. But if you don’t know what you want, this article will light your path.

The Question of Quality

It’s easy for us as Americans to say: “the better-quality chair is better.” Quality is king, after all. If one were a clear favorite in comparing quality, how could one claim the other is better? The truth is, gliders are designed and crafted with more comfort and customization in mind than rocking chairs. The classic rocking chair- despite its nostalgic and calming experience- can’t compete.

But people still buy rocking chairs for the same reason the Honda Civic is the most-bought car in America and not a BMW. Quality is great, but it may not be worth the price. Gliders are more expensive- sometimes by as much as 80% for similar products. Does the increased cost merit the ability to swivel?

Our Nature is to Rock

We rock babies to sleep. We turn four-leg chairs into rocking chairs by leaning back. We want our office chairs and living room furniture to recline with the same arc as a rocking chair- not scoot back and forth like a glider. It’s in our nature to move with the motion of a rocking chair, so if nature has any say in this debate, it must be for rocking chairs.

The Simple Truth

The rocking chair won’t be dethroned that easily. It’s ubiquitous across the country and has been for generations. Although the glider is making strides (or should we say, glides) in getting into American homes, porches, and patios, it still just doesn’t compare to the classic simplicity of a rocking chair.

If you’ve had your fill of rocking chairs and think a glider is more your style, we accommodate that too.

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  • Jordan Van Maanen
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