The 8 Best Nursery Gliders Will Last Far Beyond the Baby Years
Neutrals make them way more versatile.
Updated Sep 10, 2022 2:43 PM
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Getting a baby to sleep might be one of life’s hardest tasks, but thankfully finding a comfortable chair for the nursery has never been easier. When Naomi Coe started her nursery-focused design firm in 2007, there were only a few good baby-centric brands and very limited styles. In the years since, she has designed 200 rooms for little ones, wrote Your Perfect Nursery, and witnessed the rise of high-quality, well-designed pieces firsthand.
Today the problem with nursery furniture swings in the other direction from when Coe started: There are seemingly endless options, which can leave parents-to-be struggling with decision paralysis. And the nursery classic, a rocking chair, has faced stiff competition from gliders. “Gliders seem to be much more popular with my clients,” says Coe. “They have a greater range of motion than a rocking chair,” and some people find them to be more comfortable. They also require a bit less effort to keep moving than a rocker.
With so many varieties to choose from, we asked Coe what to keep in mind when shopping for a glider to help make those newborn days (and long nights) a little bit easier. Here are the eight best nursery gliders.
- Best overall: Monte Design Como Glider
- Best value: Evolur Swivel Glider
- Best wingback: Gus Modern Sparrow Glider
- Best silhouette: Crate & Kids Snoozer Nursery Glider
- Best glider-recliner combo: West Elm Kids Paxton Swivel Glider & Recliner
- Best slipcovered: Serena & Lily Presidio Swivel Glider
- Best disguisable: Lulu and Georgia Hayley Glider
- Best eco-certified: Million Dollar Baby Crawford Glider
Our Top Picks
Best Overall: Monte Design Como Glider
Fabric: Heathered fabric, microfiber, wool, cotton/linen, velvet, sheepskin | Base: Solid wood or stainless steel | Size: 33-by-38-inches
What we like:
- Performance fabrics
- Made to order
- Sustainable manufacturing practices
- Removable cushion covers for easy laundering
- Long lead times
- Ottoman sold separately
Why we chose it: Not only is this fan-favorite glider customizable, its just about the comfiest place to take a much-needed nap.
This glider is a staff favorite at Magic Beans and Go Green Baby, where the founder has been known to curl up for a nap in the store model. In addition to earning a coveted stamp of approval from purveyors of nursery gear, this chair is customizable in a number of different performance, microfiber, velvet, and woven fabrics, and the cushions covers are removable for easy washing. It is spacious and very soft, glides and swivels, and is customizable in tons of classic nursery hues (like petal pink) as well as on-trend colors (like moss green). Coe loves Monte gliders and often sources them for her clients. The brand offers details on its responsible manufacturing and sustainability efforts online, which is always a good sign. But, since these gliders are made to order and can take upwards of 20 weeks to ship, you’ll want to get this chair ordered before the third trimester.
Best Value: Evolur Swivel Glider
Material: Polyester | Base: Metal | Size: 32-by-39 inches
What we like:
- Eight muted hues
- Side pockets for stashing books or magazines
- Spacious seat and high back
- Polyester runs hotter
- The matching ottoman is sold separately
Why we chose it: If you’re not looking to spend just as much on a glider as your first born, consider this reasonably-priced option that comes in plenty of colors.
A lower price point sometimes raises questions about comfort and quality, but this chair passes the test. One reviewer writes that, with the other gliders they looked at, “the seat seemed really narrow and the back wasn’t high enough to rest your head on.” But this one, they report, is “the perfect height and has plenty of room for myself and my 3-year-old daughter to sit in it with me. The material is thick, and the chair seems very sturdy.” It comes with side pockets for stashing bedtime books or downtime magazines, and while the polyester fabric will run warmer than other fabrics like cotton or linen, it’s easy to clean and comes in eight muted hues to match any nursery.
Best Wingback: Gus Modern Sparrow Glider
Fabric: Gray upholstery fabric | Base: Solid wood | Size: 34 inches deep x 37 inches high
What we like:
- Matching lumbar pillow included
- Low profile wings for a modern look
- Blends well in a living room, too
- Only one color
Why we chose it: This glider takes the traditional wingback design and modernizes it, so no one can tell it’s a chair that’s basically made for upright snoozing.
A wingback design offers a perfect place to rest your head during late-night feedings, but in this iteration, the traditional curves have been straightened out for a modern look, plus it comes with a matching lumbar pillow. It’s great in a baby’s room, but for houses without a designated nursery, it blends well in the living room or parents’ room, too. It’s only available in one tone, but the light gray upholstery is neutral enough to not fight for attention.
Best Silhouette: Crate & Kids Snoozer Nursery Glider
Fabric: Polyester and acrylic blend bouclé | Base: Pine with oak veneer | Size: 21.25-by-35.5 inches
What we like:
- Collaboration by Leanne Ford
- Playful, modern silhouette
- Available in creamy white or deep charcoal
- A bit more high maintenance
- The ottoman is sold separately.
Why we chose it: She’s not a regular glider, she’s a cool glider with a funky shape.
Kids’ spaces need not be devoid of good design; in fact, here’s a piece you might want to steal for your own room. This playful silhouette, designed by Leanne Ford, doesn’t feel too childish, and the rounded, stacked upholstery in a bouclé fabric could easily move to the living room when it outgrows its purpose in the nursery. If you’re worried about stains on the white fabric, it also comes in a deep charcoal.
Best Glider-Recliner Combo: West Elm Kids Paxton Swivel Glider & Recliner
Fabric: Corssweave, basketweave, chenille, linen, canvas, bouclé, velvet, twill | Base: Solid metal | Size: 39-by-42.5 inches
What we like:
- 20 custom fabrics to choose from
- Three modes from upright to fully reclined
- Only one hand needed to operate the recliner
- Some fabrics take longer to ship than others
Why we chose it: The best place to (literally) kick your feet back after a long day of work or baby caretaking.
This glider has three modes: fully upright, partially reclined, and fully reclined with a pop-out footrest, plus it comes in 20 custom fabrics to match any space. The recline mechanism is meant for those juggling a sleeping baby: You only need one hand to operate it, and it’s nearly silent. When the footrest is tucked away and the chair is upright, it clears up some floor space, perfect for a little one learning to crawl.
Best Slipcovered: Serena & Lily Presidio Swivel Glider
Fabric: Performance, velvet, cotton, linen | Base: Engineered hardwood | Size: 34-by-34 inches
What we like:
- 116 fabrics to choose from, including patterns
- Easy to clean thanks to slipcovers
- Compact for smaller nurseries
- On the pricier end of our list
Why we chose it: A nursery chair is going to get soiled, so it might as well have an easy-to-remove slipcover, right?
Patterned fabrics are a great option for disguising stains, and this chair offers a number of striped options in performance fabrics. It’s a bit pricey, but the fact that it’s slipcovered makes it even easier to keep clean. It’s compact for smaller nurseries and made in North Carolina out of a durable hardwood frame. Plus it brings a bit of California cool to your home, no matter where you live. The gliding ottoman is sold separately.
Best Disguisable: Lulu and Georgia Hayley Glider
Fabric: Greenguard Certified fabric | Base: Kiln Dried Ash And Maple | Size: 39 inches deep x 38 high
What we like:
- Stain-repellent performance fabric
- Swivel motion is also great for living rooms
- Timeless silhouette
- Ships in 22 to 24 weeks
Why we chose it: You’d never know this was a piece of nursery furniture unless we told you.
Here’s a chair that doesn’t scream “nursery” but is perfect for baby-related tasks. The Crypton performance fabric repels stains but isn’t scratchy or too stiff; plus “it is super-comfortable and supportive for nursing,” writes one reviewer. With the swivel feature and timeless silhouette, it would also be an asset in the living room or den. Just be sure to order ahead of time, since it takes anywhere from 22 to 24 weeks to ship.
Best Eco-Certified: Million Dollar Baby Crawford Glider
Material: Recycled plastic bottle and yarn performance weave | Base: FSC-certified wood | Size: 36.25 inches deep x 39.5 inches high
What we like:
- Accessible price point compared to most gliders
- Greenguard Gold certified
- Made of CertiPUR-US-certified foam and wood from FSC-certified forests
- Only comes in two colors
Why we chose it: This chair has just about every sustainable certification you can name, and looks incredibly elegant to boot.
Sustainable furniture is not just made of eco-friendly materials; it’s also durable—meaning it’s well made enough to be passed on to friends or family members instead of ending up in a landfill. This glider is a great example. It’s Greenguard Gold certified and made of CertiPUR-US-certified foam and wood from FSC-certified forests. As for functionality, it swivels 360 degrees; glides smoothly; and has a wide, comfortable seat and plush back.
How We Chose These Products
Shopping for nursery furniture can feel like an uphill battle, especially when you’re hoping to pick pieces that will last long after the newborn stage, so we made sure all of our favorite gliders could blend seamlessly in a living room or bedroom, too. We reached out to Naomi Coe, owner of a nursery-focused design firm, Little Crown Interiors, who’s designed 200 rooms for little ones and has seen the quality of well-designed gliders firsthand. We also spoke to Natalie George, founder of Go Green Baby, for more insights about the best nursery gliders.
Our Shopping Checklist
Size and Style
When it comes to gliders, Coe is looking for a few key things. “First and foremost, it needs to be comfortable,” she says. A high back will give you a place to lean your head, and a spacious seat will accommodate a variety of needs, from a breastfeeding pillow in the infancy stage to a wriggling toddler listening to stories before bed. Also, she notes: “A style that flows well with the rest of the home is ideal.” A glider is an investment piece, one that should last for a second child or potentially even work in another room after the baby years.
Material and Color
“Luckily a lot of glider brands offer great performance fabrics that stand up to stains,” says Coe. “Microfiber fabrics are better at keeping the spills on the surface so they can be wiped off.” With spit-up, milk spills, and other inevitable baby messes, a midtone fabric works well. Coe suggests a neutral color for versatility, as the room morphs from nursery to kids’ room or if the chair ends up in another space altogether.
Upholstery and a gliding mechanism add up, and prices range from a few hundred bucks into the thousands. If you’re worried about cost, try to find a transitional glider, something stylish and durable enough that you can use outside of the nursery, too (psst: you don’t have to look any further than our list of the best nursery gliders for these!).
Q: Is a glider a worthy investment for the nursery?
Instead of using a glider, Natalie George, founder of Go Green Baby, used a vintage wingback chair. “My hunched-over back and poor posture continue to linger despite the fact that I am now finished with my baby-feeding experiences,” she writes. “So many nights I had to stand up and pace around my child’s room,” but a glider could have “done the moving for me,” she says. A glider makes the newborn stage easier for both parent and child.
Q: Does a nursery glider need to recline?
“It really depends on what each person is looking for,” says Coe of the slew of nursing chair options available. “I always suggest trying to find a local store where you can test a few out, just to see what types of features appeal to you.”
Q: Are gliders safe for babies?
Gliders are meant for parents or caregivers to use with a baby. A baby should never be left in a glider alone.
Q: What’s the difference between a nursery glider and a rocking chair?
The best nursery gliders are essentially a chair on a track that allows you to quietly cradle your body in any direction without disturbing them from their slumber (at least, when you actually happen to get them to sleep). A rocking chair, although a classic nursery accessory, only moves back and forth.
The Last Word
The best nursery glider is ergonomically designed and visually appealing, durable but also cozy. It’s a tried-and-tested tool for getting a fussy baby back to sleep, a spot for feedings, and a great way to reduce strain on the back and neck. Since it will serve as a companion for late nights and early mornings, take the time to find a glider that works for you.