6 Types of Rocking Chairs

types of Rocking Chairs
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What do you think about when you hear the words ‘rocking chair?’ Rocking on the porch on cool summer evenings with a glass of sweet tea? A mother rocking her baby? Grandma sitting in her rocking chair, knitting a sweater? Comfortably moving back and forth as you watch TV? There’s something about a rocking chair that creates an image of comfort. However, if you are planning to buy a rocking chair, there are essential factors to consider. One thing to determine is what style or types of rocking chairs that you want. If you aren’t familiar with this topic, you might think there is only one kind, but this is not the case. In fact, there are many different kinds to consider, and we want to give you a basic idea of what they are all about.

Types of Rocking Chairs

The Traditional Rocking Chair

The traditional rocking chair is the one you are probably familiar with. The basic design has a curved bar on the bottom on which the chair can rock back and forth. Not only is this the most common type of rocking chair, but generally the most affordable.

This is likely the first type of rocking chair to have been made, and if we are being honest, it will probably outlast all others. What also stands out is that this type tends to be highly durable.

Generally speaking, they are usually made of wood, and wood is, of course, quite durable. There’s also the fact that they look really nice. That said, there are downsides to this kind of chair, mainly that it can be pretty inflexible, ridged, and sometimes even somewhat uncomfortable, plus it requires a good deal of space.

The Glider Rocking Chair

If you want a rocking chair like a sofa chair or a comfortable couch, the glider rocking chair is an excellent option to consider. Unlike the traditional rocking chair with arched rockers that the chair rocks back and forth on, the glider uses a series of levers and mechanisms, along with hinges, that allow the chair to rock or glide back and forth on a flat plane.

However, this type of rocking chair moves back and forth on a flat plane, unlike the traditional rocking forth, which moves on an arc. In other words, this type of rocking chair does not move up and down, just front to back.

The other downside is that this type is prone to breaking due to all of those moving parts, not to mention that they can cost quite a bit. However, the significant advantage is that it tends to be one of the most comfortable rocking chairs, plus it doesn’t require much space.

The Spring Rocking Chair

The spring rocking chair is like a combination between the traditional rocking chair and the gliding rocking chair discussed above. Like the glider rocking chair, this type also uses a series of levers, hinges, and other mechanisms to move back and forth, but it also incorporates springs that allow it to move up and down.

So, it’s like a traditional rocking chair in terms of the actual rocking motion that moves on an arc (not just back and forth like a glider, but up and down as well), yet looks more like a glider rocking chair.

This type of rocking chair can be pretty ornate and well-padded, so they are generally very comfortable. However, they take a bit of space, but generally not as much as a traditional rocking chair. That being said, durability and longevity are always an issue with this type of rocking chair due to the different hinges, levers, springs, and other mechanisms.

types of Rocking Chairs

The Reclining Rocking Chair

Suppose you’re going for the ultimate in comfort. If so, check out the reclining rocking chair, which is ideal for people who love both rocking chairs and lounge or sofa chairs. If you like a lot of padding, armrests, and a very soft back, this is a rocking chair you probably want.

This type of reclining chair can also rock back and forth, thus giving you the best of both worlds. However, generally speaking, these chairs do not allow you to use both the reclining and the rocking function simultaneously; you have to choose between one or the other.

This type of rocking chair comes in various designs, whether neo-colonial, contemporary, modern, or anything in between, and can also be made out of various materials, including wood, plastic, wicker, metal, leather, and more. Due to the complexity, size, and comfort of this type of rocking chair, it tends to be the most expensive, but it is, of course, also the pinnacle of luxury.

The Swiveling Rocking Chair

The next type of rock enchanted consider is the swiveling rocking chair. These are more like glider rocking chairs, and some are like spring rocking chairs; some only go back and forth on a flat plane, whereas some use mechanisms to produce that arcing motion.

There is also a swiveling feature, which means that the rocking chair can pivot a full 360 degrees. This type of rocking chair is one of the more comfortable ones as it usually has a lot of padding and resembles a sofa chair.

Some of the more expensive models may also be able to recline. However, this complex type of rocking chair is one of the costliest. However, there is also a greater chance of this rocking chair breaking due to the many moving parts.

Nursery Rocking Chair

The other main kind is the nursery rocking chair, which is more or less like a sofa chair with wooden rocker legs on the bottom. It’s a broader rocking chair with plenty of padding for nursing mothers.


Now you have everything you need to know about the various types of rocking chairs, so you can make a well-informed decision as to what type is best for your needs.

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