Whether used for story time, feeding, late-night snuggles or just Instagram scrolling, seasoned parents will tell you that having a comfortable place to sit in the nursery is crucial. And while any cozy chair will work, one that glides back and forth has the bonus of expertly soothing your baby while giving you a soft yet supportive place to sit. Some gliders even come tricked out with storage pockets, charging stations and reclining features. Here, eight of the best nursery gliders to make those 2 a.m. wakeups slightly less painful (we said slightly).
Do I Really Need a Glider in the Nursery?
Unlike other baby items (like car seats and diapers), a glider falls into the category of “nice to have” rather than “need to have.” Your bed or the couch are both perfectly acceptable places for feeding and cuddling. And some parents opt for a rocking chair instead (these rock in an arc whereas gliders slide back and forth and often swivel). But all the parents we spoke with were glad they invested in one, saying that it made those middle-of-the-night feedings just a little bit less terrible. Why? Because the rhythmic motion of the glider helps babies relax and lulls them back to sleep. These chairs also tend to have better back support than your living room couch, an area of your body that may already be feeling some strain after pregnancy and during those first few weeks.
Another reason you might want to consider getting a chair that’s for parent and baby only? Things can get messy (think milk, pee, spit-up, poop and other mystery stains), and it’s nice to at least try to limit the chaos to one area of the house. (We’re not saying this will work, but at least your favorite armchair in the TV room has a better chance of staying clean this way.)
If you’re debating between getting a rocker or a glider, one thing to consider is that gliders tend to offer a smoother and quieter ride. They also don’t run the risk of trapping anyone’s toes underneath them the way rockers can.
How to Choose a Glider
Comfort: A nursery glider should be soft but supportive, with armrests to lean on while you’re holding the baby (or, you know, scrolling through Instagram). Another key feature is a high-enough back to rest your head against—something that will come in handy during those middle-of-the-night feedings.
Reviews: Ideally, you’ll have the chance to test gliders yourself so that you can make sure it’s the right fit. If that’s not possible, the next best thing is to rely on other parents who have been there, done that and can give their honest feedback.
Cost: Like car seats, cribs and strollers, there’s a huge range in price when it comes to nursery rockers. And as you’ve probably heard about a million times already, babies are expensive. That’s why before you start looking at gliders, it’s a good idea to give yourself a budget and stick to it.
Usability: Opt for a nursery chair that’s sturdy, easy to build and relatively quiet (if your chair makes a loud noise and wakes the baby, you will want to throw it out immediately). Size is also a factor here: Don’t just think about how big (or small) your nursery is, but also where the glider will sit in the room. For example, if you want a glider that can recline but you only have space in the corner of your room, then you may want to get out the measuring tape to ensure it will fit once extended.
Durability: When shopping for a glider, you’re probably envisioning yourself snuggling up with a newborn. But many parents opt to keep their gliders beyond the baby stage. A comfortable glider makes a great reading spot or even a place for Mom or Dad to catch a nap once the baby has moved to the crib. Some parents opt for a glider they can move to the living room or another room in the house once their baby no longer needs it, which means sticking with a more timeless style. Think about how long you would like to have your glider and how you might want to use it after the baby’s first year.
1. Monte Design Como Glider
“After six months of heavy use, this comfortable glider has really kept its shape and still looks brand new,” one mom tells us. Handcrafted and sustainably made in Canada, this chair comes at a higher price tag than some of the other ones on the market, but the parents we spoke with say it was worth the investment. In fact, one mom of two tells us she has had her glider for five years: “We initially bought it for the nursery, but now it works just as well in our reading room.”
Made with Italian cotton linen and a solid walnut base, the fabric is surprisingly spill-resistant. “There has been a lot of snot and milk rubbed in there over the years, but you’d never know it,” reveals one satisfied customer. If you do happen to get some stains on there, the covers for the seat and back cushion are removable and washable.
This glider also includes a lumbar pillow for extra support and the option of purchasing a matching ottoman. We’re partial to this ash gray design, but it comes in a variety of colors including oatmeal, sky, blush, midnight blue and, if you’re feeling very brave, a pristine beach. (Maybe just don’t let your toddler drink his chocolate milk on that one.)
2. DaVinci Swivel Glider and Ottoman
Imagine the following scenario: You were going to give your baby a quick feed before putting her down in the bassinet, but after a few minutes of eating, she’s now snoozing soundly on you. And considering you barely got any sleep last night, moving her is not an option. So you’re stuck sitting down for the foreseeable future and, annoyingly, you left your phone on the windowsill. Enter this clever glider that doesn’t just rock back and forth but also swivels, allowing you to turn 360 degrees to grab whatever you need. (Pro tip: Use this time to organize all those baby photos on your phone.)
In addition to the handy swivel function, this glider is also popular with parents who are on the taller side since it’s designed with a high backrest. (One mom says that her 6-foot-2 husband can comfortably lean back on it without any problems.) The chair also includes a lumbar pillow for extra support and features an upholstered glider mechanism, making it great for prying hands (like baby’s older brother) since they can’t get their fingers caught.
Another favorite feature? This chair is delivered already assembled—ideal for a last-minute nursery purchase (hey, no judgment).
3. West Elm Graham Glider
“Before my son was born, I spent a ton of time researching gliders for his nursery,” one mom tells us. “My friend—who’s a mom of two—pointed out a really important design detail: Make sure there’s a lip on the seat back so you have a solid place to lean and rest your head. When I was nursing and exhausted, I thought of my friend’s advice constantly: It was so nice to be able to lean to the side and cradle my neck while I held my son.” She notes that this stylish pick is especially great for when your mini is cluster feeding.
The design of this glider also wins rave reviews for comfort, support and the performance fabric: “My son has gotten everything from milk to pee on that chair, but stain removal is swift and easy.”
Eco-conscious parents will be happy to know that this chair is Greenguard Gold certified, which means it has been tested and proved to have low chemical emissions. It includes a lumbar pillow plus assembly factored into the shipping cost. (The ottoman, however, is not included.)
And for discerning customers who want a glider that looks just so, this one comes in an absurd amount of colors (more than 70) and multiple fabrics (including tweed, suede and velvet, if that’s your thing).
4. Baby Relax Mikayla Swivel Gliding Recliner
Want more bang for your buck? Check out this triple threat that doesn’t just glide back and forth but also swivels and reclines with an easy-pull mechanism for propping up legs on the leg rest. Keep in mind, though, that these features mean the chair will need extra space in order to flip back, so it’s not ideal for smaller nurseries. (But take it from moms who have been there: The ability to lie back is definitely a nice bonus when your kid is sick and you want to sleep nearby.)
Parents also love the deep seat and high backrest, plus the thick padding that makes for an extra comfortable (yet firm) sitting experience. “I’m a new mom and I had no idea what I needed, but I am so thankful I got this chair for the nursery. It is incredibly comfortable, and the arms of the chair are perfectly placed to prop your arms on them while holding the baby,” says one parent.
With an elegant design (the white piping and buttons are a nice touch), the rocker is also quiet enough so that it won’t wake a sleeping baby. Available in graphite gray, gray and mocha.
5. Babyletto Madison Swivel Glider
You’re not a regular mom, you’re a cool mom. So why shouldn’t your nursery reflect your chic, modern aesthetic? For the mom who shuns pastels and novelty decor, this mid-century–inspired glider is the ideal match. And because it looks more at home in a cocktail lounge than a nursery, you’ll have no problem transferring it to another room in the house once your child doesn’t need it anymore.
But this isn’t a case of style over substance. The smooth gliding motion of this Greenguard Gold certified chair offers 360-degree swivel capabilities. And while the back isn’t high enough to lean your head against, moms love the super soft material (the chair is made from water- and stain-resistant microsuede). Another bonus? The compact size makes it ideal for fitting into tiny corners and small spaces.
Available in blush, ecru, mocha, navy and slate.
6. ANGEL LINE Windsor Glider and Ottoman
Outfitting a nursery can be expensive, so it makes sense to cut costs where you can. (Psst: Here are the only 12 things you really need when you bring home a baby.) And this budget-friendly glider allows you to save money without sacrificing on quality snuggle time.
Featuring removable pillows (hello, easy cleanup) and padded armrests, this pick also includes an ottoman that rocks with your chair so you can gently lull your kid to sleep. Extra cool feature? It has pockets for easy storage of your phone, a bottle of water, snacks and The Very Hungry Caterpillar. Honestly, just look at it is making us sleepy. Oh, and assembly takes only ten minutes.
7. Babyletto Kiwi Electronic Power Recliner and Swivel Glider
This high-tech wingback chair glides back and forth, swivels 270 degrees and has a silent electronic recliner button (no kicking back the footrest and waking the baby). But the real standout feature is the built-in USB charging port that lets you scroll through the ’Gram for hours on end.
“This glider is the whole package: It’s comfortable, it doesn’t take up too much space and it reclines quietly,” one mom tells us. “I bought it for breastfeeding, but my husband probably spends more time in it than I do!”
The lumbar pillow is included, and the wingback sides support your head so that you can doze off while your baby sleeps in her crib or bassinet.
8. RockerMama Ready Rocker
While not technically a glider, you can turn any chair into one with this genius contraption. Here’s how: Place it against a firm and immovable object that has enough support to safely lean into (this could be a chair, a couch or even a tree at the park). Then, sit with the Ready Rocker between your back and the object. Lean back and allow the Ready Rocker to rebound you forward with a soothing rocking sensation. And there you have it—a baby who will fall asleep in your arms, no matter where you are.
Lightweight, portable and easy to use, this one is great for weekends away or for parents who travel frequently (it fits into a carry-on). Or, if you don’t want to invest in an entire chair, this is a budget-friendly alternative.