best nursery chair

How To Choose The Best Nursery Chair

While rocking chairs aren’t one of the pieces you absolutely need in your nursery, you may find it easier to care for your little one with a chair in your arsenal. Having a chair gives you a designated spot in your child’s room for feeding, reading, and snuggling. It also helps with establishing a bedtime routine, and as your child gets older, they will recognize getting into the chair as a step and hop up into it by themselves in preparation for bedtime. 

A reclining chair also helps with the sleepless nights that are bound to come when you bring home your newborn. There are three main types of chairs to consider: rocking, gliding, or stationary chairs. Before we look at how to choose the best chair, let’s look further into the difference between the three. 

Rocking vs. Gliding vs. Stationary Chair

The most significant difference between the three types of nursery chairs is their movement. Rocking chairs are traditionally wooden chairs that move back and forth on curved pieces of wood attached to their legs. Parents can get the solid wood rocker or the updated version that is the wooden chair, upholstered with soft cushions for added comfort. Some models of the wooden nursery chair have side pockets for extra storage. 

Gliders have a suspended metal base that allows them to move from side to side, giving it a gliding motion that infants are so fond of. The design keeps all of the parts that can pinch little fingers and hurt pets up underneath where children and pets cannot easily reach them. Gliders can have recliners for your feet, and many have a 360-degree swivel. 

Stationary chairs or sitting chairs do not have any movement. However, some stationary chairs do recline. These chairs come in many shapes and sizes. Most are made with wood and cushions, and you can find stationary chairs in many colors and fabric types. 

What to Look for When Choosing a Nursery Chair

Style and function are two important factors when it comes to picking out a nursery chair. However, many other features will ultimately play into your final decision. Here are the top things to look for when choosing the best nursery chair for your baby’s room. 

Comfort

The best nursery chair will give you the max amount of comfort. From the headrest to the armrests, you should have a cushion. You spend a lot of your nursery budget on a chair and will spend even more time sitting in it. It is essential for it to be comfortable. Look for plush but supportive stuffing or foam and soft but easy-to-clean fabrics.  

Materials

Nursery chairs come in many different materials. Most often, gliders and stationary chairs are made out of fabric with springs and cushions for comfort and support. The interior holding it all together is wood or pressboard. Rocking chairs are made of wood. Some come with cushions, while others are just plain wood. 

Chair Size

Nursery chairs come in many different sizes. A smaller footprint may be best if you want to maximize the space in your nursery. If you have more room to use in your nursery, a larger chair with a broader base may be an excellent option for you. Another size factor you want to consider is how tall the back of the chair is. For shorter parents, you do not want the headrest to come up too high, while taller parents will not be comfortable if the headrest is below their neck.

Wide Seat

Having a wider seat may be more comfortable than sitting in a chair with a narrow base. You have space to get comfortable and a place for your nursing pillow. You may have a more difficult time using your breastfeeding pillow in a narrower chair. 

If you have an older child, there will likely be room for all three of you to snuggle in the chair, promoting the ever necessary sibling bonding time. The wider seat cushion will also give you plenty of space for your child to grow. 

Supportive Cushioning

When choosing your nursery glider, you want to pick one that will be comfortable to sit in for an extended period of time. Since you will likely sit there for many hours to come, you want support for your: 

  • Head
  • Neck
  • Back
  • Arms

Search for chairs with higher backs with cushioned headrests and lumbar support to keep you from straining your back. Most have seat cushions filled with foam or springs. 

Durability

Since the best nursery chairs are often big-ticket items,  You will want them to last for as long as possible. Usually, if you plan on having multiple children, you want your nursery chair to last many years. One of the primary considerations for durability is the fabric holding up to general wear and tear.

You do not want a chair that will rip easily, especially since you spend a lot of time on it.  You also want the fabric to hold up to things like spills and spit-up. Having a waterproof and stain-resistant finish will help protect the material.

Locking Mechanism 

Having a chair with a locking mechanism will come in handy for safety. The tool prevents the chair from moving when you want it to stay stationary. This feature makes it easier to get out of the chair, and when your little one is bigger can prevent your child from leaning on the chair and falling after accidentally spinning it.

Easy to Get in and Out of

 While having a chair with a deeper seat may seem more comfortable, it may be more challenging to get in-and-out of the chair with an infant in your arms. You want to find a chair that is a happy medium between a comfortable depth for sitting for a long time and ease of exiting the chair. Remember that it is more difficult to get out of a chair with a sleeping infant in your arms than when you are just by yourself. 

Footrest

Footrests are helpful if you want to catch some z’s in your little ones’ room, once your baby is safely in their crib, that is. It’s also nice to put your feet up if your lower back is hurting while you are feeding. Footrests put your body in a different position and can take the pressure off of the rest of your body. 

Fits Breastfeeding Support Pillow 

If you are breastfeeding, you want to be sure you have enough room to fit a support pillow. Having that extra support reduces the strain on your neck, shoulders, and back and can make the process easier. If the armrests come up too high or are too broad, you may not be able to use an additional pillow. Additionally, if the base is too narrow, you may not be able to sit comfortably with your breastfeeding pillow and your baby. 

Even if you are planning on bottle-feeding your baby, you may want to employ the use of a support pillow, as it can make it easier on tired arms or if you are sore from delivery. Either way, you will need space in your nursery glider or rocker in order to be comfortable. 

Easy to Clean

With a newborn, it is a given that you will experience spit-up and spills. Look for fabric that is easy to spot clean and will stand up to any accidents. Many baby chair manufacturers use stain-resistant material and water-proofing methods for easy wipe-up of messes. Since many baby gliders come in lighter color fabrics, this will be important to keep them looking nice. If you can opt for a darker color, you will be able to hide stains that you don’t get out. 

Safety

You and your baby’s safety is of the utmost importance with all products, especially with a nursery rocker. You don’t want to sit down and have the chair slide out from underneath you while holding your newborn. If you set the chair on a potentially slippery surface, make sure you put non-skid grips on the base to prevent sliding. It will save both you and your floors. Another option is to find chairs that have heavy bases since those are more difficult to slide. 

Locking mechanisms on the 360-degree rotation are another excellent safety feature. It makes it easier to get up and safer. Once your little one begins to crawl around, the swivel can be a potential hazard, so keeping it locked when not in use is a fantastic safety option. 

Always make sure the chair is assembled correctly, especially if the back clicks into the base. Make sure it is firm and actually latched in so you do not fall backward out of the chair. 

Noise

The slightest noises can awake little ones. The last thing you want is for your finally sleeping baby to be awoken by the very chair that just helped you rock them to sleep. Look for nursery chairs with smooth gliding mechanisms that will not squeak or creak over time. 

If you decide to get a chair with a footrest, consider one that is easy to close. If it snaps shut, it may be too loud, stirring your little from their slumber. 

Best Nursery Chair Reviews

While there are many different styles and options available on the market, we have rounded up the best options based on overall reviews. 

Mack and Milo Abingdon Swivel Reclining Rocking Chair

Dimensions39″H x 32″W x 38.5″D
Color OptionsGray, Beige, and Blue
CapabilitiesReclines, Glides, and Swivels
Weight Capacity225 lb

If you are looking for a versatile rocking chair for your baby’s nursery, this option from Mac and Milo has multiple functions perfect for any use. The chair slides back and forth, reclines, and swivels side to side. There is an easy pull lever allowing you to either fully recline the chair or partially recline it. There’s even a footrest that will pop out to keep your feet comfortable. Its low arms are perfect for nursing as there is plenty of room for your nursing pillow. 

When fully reclined, the chair is 62 inches and has a weight capacity of 225 pounds. It has thick 6-inch foam seat cushions to make sure you are comfortable while you are sitting there with your baby. The fabric is soft and comfortable, and the chair is wide, giving you enough room for yourself, your baby, and if you have another little one day, we’ll be able to sit there too. 

When the chair arrives at your home, you will have to assemble it. However, it is a reasonably straightforward assembly. Its sturdy base will likely take two people to move it into your Nursery. The chair comes in multiple color options and is available in gray, beige, and blue. 

Pros:

  • Reclines, swivels, and rocks 
  • Wide seat base
  • Easy assembly
  • Footrest

Cons:

  • The heavy base takes two people to move
  • The footrest has minimal padding

Rowe Upholstered Manual Glider Recliner

Dimensions33″H x 31″W
Color OptionsGray Linen, Dark Gray Linen, Beige
CapabilitiesReclines, Glides, and Swivels
Weight Capacity250 lb

The Rowe Upholstered Manual Glider Recliner is an attractive addition to your Nursery. It comes in gray, ivory, and dark gray, giving you plenty of color options to match your nursery’s theme. The chair arrives in four separate pieces that are simple to snap together in your desired location quickly.

The reclining function lays almost all the way back, giving you the option to rest in your child’s room if need be. Kick up the footrest and get some rest. For feeding time, stay armrest are at the perfect height to support your arms and your baby’s head, allowing you to not have any additional strain on your body. The firm cushions on the chair’s bottom and back will support you while you hold your little one.

Pros:

  • Armrest design keeps your arms supported
  • Firm cushion support
  • Easy to clean fabric
  • It arrives quickly and is simple to put together

Cons:

  • It cannot rock and recline at the same time
  • The footrest can be a little challenging to put down

Karla Dubois Soho Swivel Glider

Dimensions31″ W x 36″ D
Color OptionsCanvas, Dark Gray, Gray, Navy, White
CapabilitiesGlides and Swivels
Weight Capacity250 lb

With five different colors, the Soho swivel glider is sure to fit him perfectly with your decor. The Contemporary Style provides you with clean lines which will complement your nursery, and when you and your baby are done using it, it will fit in perfectly in your home. 

The chair has a 360-degree swivel, allowing you to turn whichever direction is best for your little one. The chair has a gliding motion that is smooth and will gently rock your little one to sleep. The chair’s low arms provide enough space for you and your baby, plus you can easily use a nursing pillow.

The seat cushion has eight inches of supportive foam to keep you comfortable, and it can hold up to 250 pounds. The chair has a small footprint and can fit perfectly in any nursery, even if you don’t have a lot of extra space.

Pros:

  • Smooth glide and turn
  • Easy care fabric
  • Straightforward  assembly
  • Thick cushion

Cons:

  • No footrest
  • Heavy to move

DaVinci Gabby Pillow Back Swivel Glider

Dimensions41″H x 26.75″W x 32″D
Color OptionsMisty Gray, Shadow Gray, Natural Oat
CapabilitiesGlides and Swivels
Weight Capacity300 lb

The Gabby pillow back swivel glider is a fantastic option for the material-conscious parent. The chair is Greenguard Gold certified, which follows the highest safety standards for sourcing chemical-free foam and fabric. It has been tested for over 10,000 chemicals to ensure a safe environment for your baby. Since the chair sits near where your baby sleeps, it is essential to have cleaner air. The fabric has chemical-free fire retardants, complying with traditional safety standards as well. 

The chair takes both parent’s and babies comfort into consideration, offering you a cushioned headrest and back support. The chair has a metal base perfect for turning 360 degrees and gliding back and forth to soothe your little one. The gliding motion helps lull your little one to sleep and can help them relax into their feeding routine. The glider is simple to assemble without only one step and no tools. 

Pros:

  • Chemical-free materials
  • Small footprint
  • Quiet glide
  • Thin arms leave room for a nursing pillow

Cons:

  • It can be uncomfortable for taller parents 
  • Does not recline

Carter’s by DaVinci Adrian Glider with Ottoman

Dimensions31″H x 25.75″W x 37.75″D
Color OptionsCream, Charcoal, Gray Tweed, Navy Linen
CapabilitiesGlides and Swivels
Weight Capacity300 lb

The Adrian glider is a team-up between two trusted baby brands, Carter’s and DaVinci. With these two brands, you know you can find a product that is both durable and safe for your child. DaVinci is known for having Greenguard Gold-certified furniture to keep your little ones air clean and healthy, while Carter’s is a quality household name. The Adrian glider is formulated with water-repellent and stain-resistant upholstery allowing, you to focus more on feeding your baby and less on the chair getting wet or stained.  

With five color options, you are sure to find a match to your nursery, whether it is navy, khaki, grey, cream, or charcoal. The base is made from metal parts for a 360-swivel that is squeak-free. It also slides back and forth for a soft gliding motion. While the chair does not have a footrest, it comes with a storage ottoman, which allows you to have space for your nursing pillow, extra back support pillow, or a blanket or two. 

Pros:

  • Extra storage with ottoman
  • Water and stain-proof
  • Lumbar support pillow
  • Greenguard Gold Certified

Cons:

  • The back may be too short for taller parents
  • Does not recline

Custom Finley Swivel Glider

Dimensions40″H x 32″W x 37″D
Color Options28 Custom Color Options
CapabilitiesReclines, Glides and Swivels
Weight Capacity250 lb

You can customize this beautiful tufted chair to your tastes. The Finley swivels, glides, and reclines for many options for soothing your child. It is beautifully made out of wood and metal and handcrafted in the U.S. The Finley glider can hold up to 250 pounds and has a one-year manufacturer warranty. The low arms and broad base give you plenty of room for a support pillow for either nursing or bottle feeding.

Pros: 

  • Glides and reclines
  • Low arms
  • Tufted cushions
  • Custom colors

Cons:

  • Since it is custom, you cannot return if you change your mind
  • Glider makes a little noise while rocking

Olive Swivel Glider with Ottoman

Dimensions39.25″H x 29.5″W x 36.5″D
Color OptionsGray, Dark Gray, Navy, Cream
CapabilitiesGlides and Swivels
Weight Capacity300 lb

The Olive swivel glider features a 360 swivel plus a lumbar pillow and an upholstered ottoman as a bonus. This incredibly comfortable chair is perfect for relaxing while rocking your baby.  

The chair weighs 96 pounds when delivered with no assembly required. It can hold up to 300 pounds. The chair is recommended for spot cleaning only. 

Pros:

  • Storage ottoman 
  • Greenguard Gold certified 
  • No assembly needed
  • Small footprint

Cons:

  • Firm cushions
  • Too short for taller parents

Griffin Glider and Ottoman

Dimensions39.5″H x 25.75″W x 24.75″D
Color Options14 Color Options
CapabilitiesGlides
Weight Capacity250 lb

This spin on the classic wooden nursery rocker Is available in a wide variety of colors, making it easy to match your room. The Griffin Glider also comes with a fully gliding ottoman so your feet and body can glide together. The frame is made from solid rubberwood with foam and fiber cushions. 

The arms, back, and the seat of the chair are covered in a 2.5″ cushion. The chair can hold up to 250 pounds and has a one-year warranty. The glider arrives quickly and is simple to assemble.  

Pros:

  • Cushions are removable
  • Spot cleanable
  • Silent glide
  • Ottoman glides too

Cons:

  • Thinner cushions
  • Slides on hardwood floors

Frequently Asked Questions About Nursery Chairs

Babies benefit from nursery gliders. Rockers simulate the back-and-forth motion of the womb bringing a calming effect to an upset infant. 

A glider also benefits parents as it gives you a designated place to feed and rock your little one either during the day or at night. It also is an excellent spot for snuggling, reading books, and singing songs. 

A glider is not considered to be a required item for your nursery. However, many parents consider it to be a necessity. Gliders can make it easier to put your baby to bed, especially when they are an infant or a young toddler.

Late-night feedings are easier if there is a comfortable chair to use in your child’s room, especially if it is the second or third feeding of the evening. If you are too tired to head back to bed, they are also a nice place to take a snooze. Rocking chairs also provide much-needed support while breastfeeding or bottle-feeding your little one saving your arms and neck from additional strain. 

Yes! Studies have shown that there are many therapeutic benefits to using gliders for babies. Babies show a decrease in anxiety and tension and the rocking motion and soothe babies with digestive issues or colic. Since the rocking motion reminds a newborn of being in the womb, it instantly brings about a sense of calm and familiarity. Rocking relaxes babies and mothers, giving way to some quality outside the womb bonding time. 

Rocking chairs can pose a potential hazard to your little one. Once they get a little bigger and start crawling and walking, the chairs can hurt your child. If little ones crawl up the chair, they can fall and get injured. Mechanisms are also a threat at the bottom of the chair because they can trap and pinch little fingers. 

Swivel chairs can turn sharply when your little one is leaning on them since they are not stationary objects causing your little one to fall either on the ground or into another piece of furniture. Keeping a sharp eye on your child once they are mobile can prevent a lot of potential injuries. However, simply rocking in the chair will not cause any harm to your baby. 

Final Thoughts about How to Choose the Best Nursery Chair

While there are many options to consider, the best nursery chair is the one that fits your budget, needs, and lifestyle. Remember to focus on durability since purchasing a glider chair is an investment, and you want to use it for a long time. 

Size matters for you and your partner’s height, as well as the size of your space. Look for darker fabrics with easy-to-care-for materials. Once you get your new glider home, enjoy snuggle time with your little one. 

Looking for more gear for your little one? Head over to our Gear Guides Section to see more comparisons.

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