How to Choose the Best Rocker Recliner for Your Nursery
You’re an expecting parent. You've made your exciting announcement. Now, your friends and family are already bombarding you with a list of gear you didn’t realize you would need!
It seems like there are a million different contraptions that you should purchase for the care of your new infant. Not only that but for every piece of gear, there’s no lack of feature combinations and brand choices!
One such piece of equipment is the nursery rocker recliner. Most parents agree that a baby rocker recliner is an absolute must, especially in the first year after their baby is born. A quality recliner gives you a comfy place to rock a fussy, sick, or teething baby to sleep. They can be invaluable when it is 4 a.m., you’re beyond exhausted from the regular demands a new baby brings, and you are desperately in need some rest.
But the clock is ticking before your baby arrives – how can you possibly learn enough about what is the best rocker recliner for yournursery. Three questions to ask are the following:
- Which type of chair will best suit your new needs?
- Is it going to be worth the purchase price?
- Will it last for a second and third child?
Well, we’re here to help. In this article, we’ll explain the differences between rocker recliners and reclining nursery gliders. We'll also highlight the top choices in each category to help you decide which recliner to buy.
A nursery rocker recliner is usually what comes to mind when someone mentions the phrase “rocking chair.” Rockers do not have a base planted firmly on the floor. Instead, the feet of an otherwise normal-looking chair rest on a curved piece of wood called a runner. This provides the arc movement we’re all familiar with in a rocking chair.
While the traditional wooden rocking chair is a classic favorite, modern versions are a lot roomier. Updated features include comfy upholstery and a look more in line with regular living room furniture.
Traditional Wooden Rocker:
The Wildon Home Grande Ronde Solid Wood Rocking Chair is a prime example of the traditional wooden rocker. Assembly for a traditional wooden nursery rocker recliner is quick and easy thanks to the simple design. They are usually made entirely from wood, which makes them easy to keep clean.
Without any upholstery, they can also be quite weather resistant. This choice of fabric gives you the flexibility of using them indoors or outdoors. The more classic look would make a great addition to any covered patio.
Adding a cushion for extra comfort is easy. Plus, since the cushion isn’t permanently attached, you can take it off as needed. You can change the print and color of the fabric out depending on your mood, the season, or even color coordinate if you decide to move it into another room! Cleaning a separate cushion is a lot less troublesome than a fully upholstered chair.
Hands down, traditional wooden rocking chairs are great for small spaces. They take up significantly less room than other types of nursery recliners. They’re also easy for one person to move, and can fit through doorways much easier than other bulkier models.
However they lack the soft relaxing comfort of an upholstered nursery recliner.
Modern Upholstered Rocker:
Modern upholstered rockers, like those made by Nurseryworks Sleepytime Rocker bring a new twist to the traditional wooden rocker. Oversized plush chairs are placed on a wooden rocker frame. These modern upholstered rockers will look right at home with other living room furniture. Adding the rocker frame to the base of the chair is all there is to assembly!
These rockers are ideal if you don’t have a ton of space, but want something a bit comfier than a hard, wooden rocker. Of course, anything with upholstery is notorious for being difficult to keep clean. We are firmly recommend getting a waterproof slipcover (or two!) so that any necessary clean up is as easy as removing the slipcover and throwing it into the washing machine.
Due to the added bulkiness, upholstered nursery rocker recliners are harder to move. You’ll want to double-check the dimensions of the chair to make sure it will squeeze through your doorways. Checking the size is especially relevant if you live in an older home, or plan to move in the near future.
Unlike traditional rocking chairs, reclining nursery gliders have a firm base that always stays in contact with the floor. From this base, the chair moves back and forth, much like a porch swing. And some gliders also swivel. These styles of movement significantly reduce the possibility of pinched fingers. This makes gliders much safer for families with multiple kids. Plus, gliders are much quieter and have a longer, smoother ride than traditional rocking chairs!
Gliders come with all kinds of features. Let’s take a look at traditional glider recliners and compare them to swivel glider recliners.
Traditional Glider Recliners:
The best glider frames are made of solid hardwood. Plump cushions line the seat, back, and arms, making the chair snug and supportive.
Several, but not all, traditional gliders come with the ability to lock the chair into a reclining position. Dutailier, for example, has a reclining nursery glider that can lock into 6 different reclining positions.
This reclining rocker glider is the best nursery rocker with all of its features!
True to its name, the Dutailier Glider Recline and Ottoman Combo has a matching ottoman that also glides. While the ottoman is great for propping up your feet for a nap in the recliner, the Ottoman lacks a locking mechanism, because you do not need one. Once you lock the glider recliner in place, the ottoman will follow and not glide if you do not glide.
Swivel Glider Recliners:
This swivel glider rocker is a best seller on Amazon.
Swivel reclining nursery gliders, on the other hand, usually have a metal frame. The structure, excluding the bottom, is then usually covered with a supportive layer of foam (or springs in the seat) and then a lovely, neutral fabric. The look and feel of the swivel glider are more like an upholstered chair you’d have in your living room. Personally, I would love this in my living room but prefer a higher back for a nursery rocker recliner.
The metal frame and bulkiness of the padding make these chairs heavier and a bit harder to move. We’re talking about 80-100 lbs, which is not something a woman should try to move (by herself, or with a partner) during her third trimester. The heavy lifting for a pregnant mom is something to avoid as well as in the first few months after the birth while she’s still recovering.
A few swivel gliders recline to some degree, but many do not. Some even allow you to turn while in the reclining position. The ability to rotate the chair’s direction can be great when you need to set something down on an end table, but your sleeping baby prevents you from reaching it with your free hand.
Lots of parents report that assembling the swivel gliding recliners from Baby Relax was much easier than they expected, especially when compared to the traditional glider recliners.
What is the Best Rocker Recliner for Your Nursery?
The best rocker recliner for your nursery is the one that meets your needs and your budget. While traditional wooden rockers can be passed down for generations if properly taken care of, upholstered rockers and gliders can last a decade or longer. What was once the go-to spot to comfort an infant can within just a few years become a comfy place to read stories to your toddler.
Rockers and Recliners don’t have to stay in a nursery either. Many look just as good out in the living room as an extra place to sit, once the need for them in a bedroom has subsided. For a growing family, a rocking chair or gliding recliner is a significant investment that requires careful consideration.