What Is a Glider Chair?

Glider chairs and glider-rocker combinations are often used in baby nurseries as an alternative to a conventional rocking chair. Glider chairs have a mechanism that allows the chair to move back and forth in a gentle horizontal motion, rather than with an arcing motion, which is typical of conventional curved rocking chair runners.


Glider chairs may come with cushions or upholstery. Some glider chairs have removable cushions, while others are made simply of wood. Outdoor glider chairs come in different materials such as weatherproof wood, plastic resin or metal.


Some gliders have a rocking mechanism, while others do not. Gliders may have an ottoman that moves with the glider, a stationary ottoman or no ottoman option at all.


Personal preference and taste should dictate your choice of a glider chair, glider rocker, or conventional wooden or upholstered rocking chair. Try different models in retail show rooms to see which is most comfortable. Select a glider rocker based on budget, ease of product care and maintenance, future family needs and longevity of the piece of furniture.


Glider chairs and glider rockers may offer more substantial seating over conventional wooden rocking chairs. Since they sit flat on the floor, glider chairs may be more stable and less likely to rock back or tip over accidentally.


As infants grow to become toddlers and their explorations become more independent, make sure the glider is childproof to avoid accidental pinching of or rolling over tiny fingers or toes. A solid, sturdy piece of furniture will better withstand hard or regular use, as well as a child's climbing phase.