The Best Wooden Swing Sets to Amp Up Backyard Fun, According to Testing by Parents and Kids Alike

kids in superhero capes playing with wooden swing set
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With technology becoming increasingly accessible to younger generations, parents are struggling to get their kids to disconnect from their iPads or laptops. After spending a good 8 hours between school and homework, some kids just refuse to let their tablets go and take a much-needed screentime break.

Encourage your kids to put down their controllers, take off their gaming headsets, and experience fresh air and sunshine by gifting them a fun wooden swing set. In addition to them getting some much-needed fresh air, you'll also get some peace and quiet inside the house and maybe a chance to catch up on those emails. It's also one of those gifts that grandparents could give that make a huge impact. Grands live far away? They'll always think of you when they get on it.

There are just so many benefits for kids being and playing outside. Board-certified pediatrician and Bug Bite Thing Medical Advisor Dr. Mona Amin, tells Best Products, "Being outdoors allows for Vitamin D exposure, which can help with bone development and our immune system. It fosters all domains of development and sensory play," and that helps their mental and cognitive skills. Amin notes that "by being outdoors, your children are touching grass, dirt, trees, perhaps playing with a ball or other toys, and feeling the way nature feels on their skin and encourages them to interact with nature," and the impact cannot be overstated.

Best Wooden Swing Sets

What to Consider

There are a few key things you need to consider when buying wooden swing sets: price, materials, assembly, design, and size. You want a wooden swing set that fits your budget, as well as your yard, and if you’re putting it together, you want the instructions to be clear and concise. Otherwise, you’re going to want the option to have it assembled for you.


Retailers like Lowe’s have professional installers available — but generally, installation can cost a few hundred dollars, with some larger, more complex sets costing upwards of $500 to install. Alternatively, there are many local and regional landscapers who can conveniently assemble these wooden swing sets for you. As you might have assumed, the more complex the swing set, the more time it takes to put together. I once built a fairly large set from KidKraft, and it took five people about 8 hours to put it together. Every swing set on this list comes with easy-to-follow printed instructions that are also downloadable if they get lost.


According to Napier, you need to take into consideration that wooden swing sets cannot be any less than 6 feet from another structure, must be placed on a level surface to avoid tipping, and should not be placed on hard surfaces like concrete or asphalt. It's also a good idea to map out the space before you purchase. Take some paint, your measuring tape, or chalk, and get out there and visualize if it's possible to do.

Height is something to consider, as well. These can get pretty tall, which may not work if it's too close to trees or power lines. Also, wooden swing sets should never be placed near a pool for safety reasons.

Additional Requirements

While many families choose to keep their wooden swing set over a grassy surface, Backyard Discoveries and most other manufacturers I spoke with suggested that you add a layer of soft fill under the set after assembly, stretching at least six feet in every direction from the largest part of the set. That soft surface could be a variety of products ranging from soft mulch to pebble gravel to ground-up recycled tires. That is an additional cost — and not a small one. The average price for ground cover to fill a playground is about $500.

You will need to consider upkeep as well. Heather Napier, the Director of Marketing at Backyard Discovery, advises that while wooden swing sets are made to withstand even the worst of weather, it is really best to seal it with wood sealer when you assemble it and reseal it every year to keep it in as good shape as possible. I just finished sealing a swing set that we have been testing (just a few hours before writing this), and it's not a huge deal. It's also a great way to impart your own aesthetic onto the swing set, as many seals can be tinted. But please wear a mask, even though you're outside — that stuff is no joke. I think I burned off some skin in my nose when I forgot to replace my mask when I was filling the sprayer.

How We Chose

Many of the wooden swing sets have been tested by either my own children or they have been sent to testers and tested in real-life situations. If the build instructions weren't clear, the structure didn't feel stable, the attachments felt flimsy, or the quality wasn't up to Best's standards overall, the swing set didn't make the cut.

The swing sets chosen for this article are all well-crafted, innovative designs with a variety of sizes and configurations suited for children from ages 3 to 11. I caution you that if you see one you love, don’t hesitate because wooden swing sets sell out quickly in the summer months, to the point where this list is routinely being updated and evaluated.

A Note on Safety

Each one of these playground sets follows the mandatory American Society for Testing Materials (ASTM) standards for backyard play set use, and Napier notes that our Best Overall pick's manufacturer, Backyard Discovery, always exceeds it. They test things in a way that mimics real-life use but in the extreme. (Think of a swing that never stops swinging — but not the haunted kind.) ASTM standards are designed to make sure that structures are sound and can handle play from average use.

Sterling Point All Cedar Wooden Swing Set

Yes, this is a big set, and it’s not cheap — however, this wooden swing set is one of the best I have ever seen, assembled, or interacted with. Also, the directions were the clearest I have read, and that’s saying something as assembling baby goods is a huge part of my job. I loved it so much that it earned our Swing Set of the Year in our Toys of the Year Awards.

It has a 5-foot-tall climbing wall, and a 5-foot-tall rock wall with 12 rock foot-and-hand holds. The blown-plastic slide feels substantial, and not like some that feel like they could warp or crack.

The playhouse with lookouts is more than generously sized. In fact, it’s large enough for a disc swing to hang beneath it, which is great for swinging, but even better for summertime reading and even a little nap. It comes with two additional traditional swings and a hanging swing, all of which have a rubber coating over the chain to protect little fingers.

Our testers could not get over how strangely uncomplicated it was for such a tremendous product. "Most parents can handle it themselves, with the assistance of a few friends," says Napier.

On top of that, their littles haven’t stopped playing on it no matter the weather. They had to implement a “If it rains, come inside” rule.

More: These Outdoor Toys Will Have Them Forgetting All About Their Electronics

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Sterling Point All Cedar Wooden Swing Set


Ranger Wooden Swing Set

If you know your kids might grow out of their jungle gym phase fairly quickly, or you just don't have the space for a big one, this simple wooden swing set is the perfect choice.

The kids can spend a few hours swinging back and forth during the day, and Mom and Dad can sneak on at night for stargazing. It's not fancy, but it is durable, easy to assemble, and gets the job done.

This one took us only an hour to put together. It's quite possibly the easiest build I've ever been a part of. It's made of a really dense wood, so be prepared for how heavy each section is.

On top of that, it should be noted that while this one purports to come finished, I still sealed it, and have sealed it once a year for the four years that this swing set has been in our family, and that has made it stay both strong and vibrant.

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Ranger Wooden Swing Set


Pine Hill Wooden Swing Set

Your children will never be at a loss for activities with this set by Natus Inc. It features a cool rocker swing, two traditional swings, monkey bars, a wave slide, and a large playhouse with solid wood finishes.

This swing set gives you a lot of play in a smaller footprint than some others on this list. The frame is a bit shorter, and the play zone a bit more narrow, making this a good choice for many side yards, for people who don't have a huge backyard, or for those who have hilly terrains. Personally, I am a big fan of this slide, because the material feels very dense, and it doesn't wobble or shake when kids slide down.

Made with Scandinavian fir, this swing set is extra durable, and thanks to the solid steel joints, and blown-plastic slide, your kids won’t wreck it right out of the box.

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Skyway Resort Playset

This is one of the most unique wooden swing sets I have ever had the joy of experiencing. (Though, I just watched the build, as my wrist was injured.) It has a runway, folks. Not just a plank-and-chain gangway, either. This bad boy has a lookout tower, a playhouse with the most adorable windows, a curly slide, a regular slide, and two swings. The roof? It looks like solar panels. Could you just perish from the cuteness?

I will say that I was not expecting this to be as tall as it was, but it makes sense given the setup. It is a bit of a trickier build because of the height, but not by a ton.

Your kids, or the kids you are gifting this incredible swing set to, will lose their minds with this set, as our testers did. It's got so many opportunities for pretend play, active play, and general silliness. Made of solid wood, blown plastic, and steel, it feels like it's made to withstand hurricanes, and that other force of nature — tweens.

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Skyfort II Residential Wood Playset with Slide

If you have a big backyard and a bigger family or friend groups? Giving your kids this wooden swing set will instantly make you parent of the year.

It’s a super-sized set with a clubhouse and a lower area for play, two traditional swings, a trapeze bar, a slide, a sandbox, and monkey bars. The lookout from the side of the clubhouse was a hit with our testers who have made that their very own “pirate’s nest.” I hope to one day head over and see Stede Bonnet ready for action, given how much they go on about it.

Another one of the tiny testers is a particular fan of how much shade the sandbox gets, because where they live can get oppressively hot, and that's a nice reprieve from the blistering Southern sun. The green slide doesn't heat up to unsuitable temperatures until the mercury really climbs.

It's a beast to put together, and I would suggest at least three to four adults should be involved. Alternatively, chuck in for Lowe's assembly, and make everything that much easier for yourself. It's an intense, days-long build.

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Tanglewood Residential Wood Playset

We love Backyard Discovery's solid cedar and steel construction, along with the sturdy molded plastic slides, handles, and swings.

This set has a fairly compact safety zone of 27 feet, yet it offers a vast range of activities: a playhouse, bench, two-person swing, two additional swings, a lookout, a 6-foot-tall slide, and a shaded area beneath the playhouse with a serving window.

This shaded area is a boon for sunnier stretches of land, giving kids a place to chill out without the sun beating down on them. There's also the pretend play aspect of this swing set — it doubles down on the play by opening arenas for childhood imagination and invention.

I will say that if you are in a super-wooded area, you should consider going for one of the other swing sets that has a more open bottom. We learned the hard way that mosquitoes tend to colonize that space on the bottom and they use that area for guerilla warfare. However, other testers who have this set in more open areas, did not have this issue at all. Only wooded areas with places for ponding nearby.

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Avalon Swing Set With Wood Roof

You'll love how much play happens in this wooden play set's compact 27-square-foot footprint. Gorilla play sets are known for their quality, durability, and innovation in design. This set manages to have a wave slide, a climbing wall, two swings, a hanging bar, and a playhouse in an area not much bigger than your average bedroom.

It's not a hard build, going up in about three hours. Honestly, the trickiest part was figuring out who would hold what, and where in the heck the drill got off to. (Pro tip: three people with ADHD need at least four drills when assembling anything together.)

The solid wood and vinyl-covered-steel construction of the swing set lets you know that this will take everything from desert heat to a Great Lakes winter with no problems — and we've tested that.

The tester who has this swing set in their yard lives in Buffalo, New York. Last year, this bad boy had three feet of snow dumped on it in 24 hours, and after cleaning it off, the kids were out and on it, sliding right into snow piles as any good kid from Buffalo would do. They also, apparently, put a snowman as the lookout in the playhouse, which is very on-brand as well.

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Highpoint Residential Wood Playset

It's impossible for a child to get bored with this wooden swing set — there's just so much going on. A punching bag, climbing wall, tic-tac-toe game, slide, ladder, lookout, and three different swings comprise this beast of a play set.

The footprint is smaller, at 18 by 8 feet, so you can use it for a smaller location, a boon to those of us with smaller yards. Made of durable hardwood, blown plastic, and UPF canvas, Gorilla Play sets are built to last — although we do suggest bringing in the punching bag in the winter.

This one is a bit of a trickier setup than others on this list. We found that some of the pieces look so similar, it's hard to figure out which one went where. However, there is a fix for that — washi tape. Hear me out; label every piece with some washi tape or masking tape, and label them. While they are already labeled. the washi tape is easy to see and makes it quicker to clock what goes where. Also, lay it out like a Flat Stanley before you begin assembly.

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Captain's Fort Residential Wood Playset

Two words: slide races. And those slides are a staggering nine feet long. The whole thing wooden swing set is pretty grand, to be honest. The climbing wall is almost vertical, the swings are well-separated, and the two-level playhouse is intricately detailed.

The footprint is a little bit larger, as you would expect from such a dynamic wooden swing set. The solid cedar construction and steel joints give this set lasting durability. However, there are a ton of parts to this bad boy, so make sure you have plenty of friends willing to help put it together or have the pros from Lowe’s do it for you.

Our tiny testers love how much shaded area is available to them with this set. Loads of kids get under it, too, as it has become basically the neighborhood hub. They also love using the slides as car tracks, absolutely sending their Hot Wheels on a journey.

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Reign Swing Set

Swing sets are all about *fun* for your littles, but tbh, they’re not the most aesthetically pleasing thing to look at in your yard — unless it’s a 2MamaBees swing set.

This woman-owned brand takes inspiration from modern farmhouse designs to build high-quality swing sets that create hours of sensory and imaginative play. Tested to meet and exceed safety standards, the Reign swing set adds a contemporary aesthetic to any backyard or indoor play space.

Our little testers especially loved the built-in kitchen feature (equipped with sensory features like stove handles that click and faucet knobs turn), while our big testers loved being able to decorate the window boxes with seasonal flowers.

Plus, the detailed instructions made assembly as straightforward and easy as can be!

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Appleton Wooden Swing Set/Playset with Swings

Sometimes, the best wooden swing sets are the simplest. This is another great budget pick, and a great choice if you don't have a huge yard. It's also wonderful for smaller kids.

It has two swings, a climbing ladder with rock holds, a lookout house, and a slide. It took a friend of mine and me 3 hours to put this one together, and we felt about as accomplished as if we'd just run the New York City marathon in under 3 hours.

Her sons were on it and having a great time the very next morning. They've even somehow taught their golden retriever to climb the ladder and go down the slide with them. Not the stated purpose of the KidKraft set, but not unexpected given how silly goldens are and how ridiculous 3- and 4-year-old boys are. I expect them to figure out the bubble solution and extremely fast slide trick pretty soon. They're wily.

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Appleton Wooden Swing Set/Playset with Swings


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