The 8 Best Nursery Gliders Will Last Far Beyond the Baby Years
Neutrals make them way more versatile.
Published Sep 28, 2021 5:25 AM
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
Features to Keep in Mind
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.
Our Top Picks
Best Overall: Monte Design Como Glider
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. It is spacious and very soft, glides and swivels, and comes in classic nursery hues as well as on-trend sage. 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. The ottoman is sold separately.
Best Value: Evolur Swivel Glider
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.” The matching ottoman is sold separately.
Best Wingback: Gus Modern Sparrow Glider
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. 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. The matching ottoman is sold separately.
Best Silhouette: Crate & Kids Snoozer Nursery Glider
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. The ottoman is sold separately.
Best Glider-Recliner Combo: West Elm Kids Paxton Swivel Glider & Recliner
This glider has three modes: fully upright, partially reclined, and fully reclined with a pop-out footrest. 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
Patterned fabrics are a great option for disguising stains, and this chair offers a number of striped options in performance fabrics. 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
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, it would also be an asset in the living room or den.
Best Eco-Certified: Million Dollar Baby Crawford Glider
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.
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: How much should you spend on a nursery glider?
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.
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.
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.
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