Outdoor rocking chairs, gliders, and patio swings are a delightful addition to any backyard. Many people find their rhythmic back-and-forth motion to have a soothing and relaxing effect. In fact, several medical studies have found the use of rocking chairs to be beneficial in lowering blood pressure and breathing rates, as well as reducing back pain.
Traditional outdoor rocking chairs rock back-and-forth on curved feet at the base of each leg. More modern designs feature a circular base with pivoting arms that allow the seat to move or swivel forward and backward, as well as side-to-side. Because they have a sturdy base, swivel rocking chairs are sometimes used in outdoor dining sets. Both designs are available in a variety of materials.
Outdoor gliders look similar to garden benches and have a mechanical base that allows the seat to glide back and forth several inches. They can be made of wood, aluminum, wrought-iron, synthetic wicker, or recycled plastic and are available with or without cushions. There are several sizes to choose from, ranging from single and loveseat gliders to larger versions that can accommodate up to six people. Deluxe models consist of two bench gliders that face each other and typically have a table in the center and/or canopy.
Patio swings come in various sizes and materials, including wood, wicker, and metal. Traditional outdoor swings consist of a seat suspended from the overhang of a porch or sturdy patio structure such as a pergola. There are also freestanding models that are mounted on an A-frame that has an attached canopy. Freestanding patio swings can be placed in any location that has a flat surface, such as a deck, patio, gazebo, or an open area of the yard.
For a list of outdoor furniture companies and resources, visit our Outdoor Furniture Buyers’ Guide.