How To Choose A Patio Rocking Chair And Glider

No patio is complete unless complemented by highly comfortable patio rocking chairs and gliders. Are you looking to upgrade your patio furniture and décor? Begin with these items. And start with this article - it will guide you well on how to make the right choice.

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What Types of Patio Rocking Chairs and Gliders Should I Consider?

With such a wide variety, read on to learn about the prominent types:

Traditional rocking

These are wood or metal chairs that rock on an arc-shaped base panel. They usually have a high backrest and armrests with an extra-large seat. It could be bare, planked, or cushioned.

Traditional rocking chairs provide time-tested therapeutic relaxation. If your patio is meant for chilling and unwinding of family and friends, there is no better choice than a traditional rock! Being a universal design, it will equally suit a landscaped or constructed patio environment. Put it in a garden or on a tiled platform. Accompanied by your favorite book or a foot massager, it's your choice.

Black Wooden Traditional Rocking Chair
Modern Rocking Chair in Beige
Brown Traditional Rocking Chair
White Traditional Rocking Chair with Cushions
Solid Wood Traditional Rocking Chair
Traditional Rocking Chair with Cushions

Glider rocking

These chairs glide your seat further and push your backrest farther as you put pressure on your back to recline. Meant for deep relaxation, you can find your reclusive "my time" on this patio glider. For added comfort, these gliders come with a small stool or low table on which you can rest your legs in a fully reclined position.

Important features:

  • Relaxation of the spine, neck, and all muscles and joints
  • Calming of the nervous system
  • Beneficial in insomnia and arthritis

Gliders will go with inspiring environments that compel deep-thinking and inward journeys. Think of a glider beside a garden fountain with gentle cascading sound, chirping of birds, and your pet idly lazing beside you.

Metal and Fabric Patio Glider Rocking Chair
White Patio Glider Chair
Metal Patio Glider Chair
Light and Dark Wooden Glider Chair
Black Steel Patio Glider Chair
All Wood Single Glider Chair

Loveseat gliders

These glider variants are meant for cozy couples who want a weekend evening to themselves. They can have undivided space for two, or have a divider to rest juice glasses, for example. Since quality time is the primary objective, the loveseat you choose should have ample space, comfortable backrest, and a full reclining mechanism.

An ideal loveseat glider will be surrounded by plants, climbers on a background wall, and plush lawn in the foreground. Not many distractions around it.

Fabric Twin Seat Glider Loveseat
Rocking Glider Bench with Cushions
Simple Wooden Loveseat Glider
White Loveseat Glider Bench
Metal Patio Glider Bench
Wooden Patio Loveseat Glider Bench

Swivel rocking

These chairs facilitate 360° body movement. The seat is connected with the base with a pivot that enables this mechanism. They provide excellent back and lumbar support.

Patio swivel rockers are available in many varieties. From bucket type to pedestal chairs and heavy leather chairs, choose your muse, but mind your patio décor and environment while doing so.

Do you have a patio with a 360° view? Or a Gazebo at the center of your patio? Maybe you just love to revolve as you enjoy your evening out in the patio? Then go for a swivel chair. Idyllic settings are the deep Kentucky bluegrass lawn with flower beds, a fountain island, and the warmth of the slanted evening sunrays.

What are the Best Materials for Patio Rocking Chairs and Gliders?


Over 50% of patio rocking chairs and gliders are made from wood, and over 60% of them are teak furniture. So, why teak?

  • It is one of the strongest materials that can withstand the harsh outdoor elements such as rain, sunlight, moisture, snow, and hail. In short, teak will be with you a lifetime. 

  • It has high oil content and its resin has properties to fight termite and other insect attacks. The oil-resin combine also prevents teak from dry rotting and makes it more water-resistant.

  • And oh, that natural, warm, and inviting matte ochre hue of teak! It has an outdoor aura like none other.

If teak seems a little out-of-bounds, the other worthy woods are eucalyptus, American ipe, Southeast Asian Shorea, oak, cedar, and maple.

Natural Wood Rocking Chair
Solid Wood Rocking Chair
Solid Wood Rocking Chair with Cushions
Wood Rocking Chair with Cushions
Wood and Wicker Rocking Chair
Wooden Patio Rocking Chair


Metal is wood's equal, but with its distinct qualities.

  • Thinner but stronger. Compared to wood, metal offers strength with the light-weight advantage.

  • Adaptability to production processes. You can shape, form, and cast metal into beautiful designs that are not possible with other materials.

  • Fine cosmetic treatments such as oxidization and wrought treatment are unique treatments that give metal patio rocking chairs and gliders an elite outdoor appeal.

  • Complex designs such as rocking chair and glider backrests with intricate floral patterns can be possible with metal.

  • Ideal combination material. Metal can bond with wood, manufactured wood, and other materials to offer exquisitely enduring and durable patio rocking chairs and gliders.

Galvanized and stainless steel, extruded aluminum, and wrought iron are ideal metals for patio rocking chairs and gliders.

Metal Old Styled Rocking Chair
Metal Rocking Chair in Teal
Decorative Metal Rocking Chair
Simple Folding Metal Rocking Chair
Yellow Metal Patio Rocking Chair with Cushions
Metal Double Rocking Chair with Cushions


These indigenous weaving styles have been integrated into patio furniture-making for long. It continues to be accepted well because of these features:

  • Natural materials, hence, they blend perfectly with your palms, climbers, and other flora species.

  • They create retro or cottage chic that accentuates the patio environment

  • Give gentle, flexible comfort when seated

  • Affordable - their exquisite looks do not cost a small fortune

Synthetic replicas made from UV-treated resin molded materials are as good-looking as the real ones.

Rattan Patio Double Glider Bench
Wicker Patio Rocking Chair
Wicker Rattan Rocking Chair
Rattan Rocking Chair with Cushions
Wicker/Rattan Patio Rocking Chair
Modern Wicker Rocking Chair


Modern plastic manufacturing processes such as injection molding, extrusion, and vacuum forming offer unprecedented new possibilities for patio rocking chairs and gliders. And the surface finishes are so superior that unless you sit on them, you will not be able to tell it is not wood or metal! Add the below features to plastics' repertoire, and you have a perfect reason to consider plastic patio rocking chairs and gliders:

  • Affordability + elegance = enduring beauty
  • 100% maintenance-free
  • Waterproof
  • Stain-proof
  • Lightweight yet durable
Black Plastic Patio Rocking Chair
Black and Brown Plastic Glider Chair
Modern Plastic Rocking Chair in Navy Blue
Plastic Glider Bench in Blue
Plastic Rocking Chair in Black
Plastic Classic Porch Rocking Chair

What Type of Cushion should I Go for?

Cushions and cushion fabrics are the defining essentials for some patio rocking chairs and gliders. They add an easy yet distinct touch of originality to your patio outlook.

Choose memory foam for your cushion, it is the most trusted foam for ergonomic cushions. Its high viscosity and density make them long-lasting, and they will not deform with time. Avoid cotton, coir, and feather stuffing. Being organic, they will degenerate and breed harmful bacteria in the cushion bodies.

Cushion upholstery

You have a real opportunity to show your creativity and unique aesthetic sense here. Consider these trending fabric styles in the US lifestyle upholstery market:

  • Linen and polyester linen - Doubly strong than cotton, linen cushions can seamlessly integrate your patio rocking chair and glider with your garden.

They will be ideal for throw pillows in a setting that is mellow and unhurried. Linen's plain shades will also harmonize with the green flora. Try border frills, tassels, and buttons in contrast colors for embellishment.

  • Arabic Sadu - The hand-made fabric of the middle-East - very strong with tight warps and wefts, and exotic designs to die for.

This fabric has bright and vibrant vertical or horizontal patterns in brilliant reds, pinks, brick, dark-gray, and black colors. While they will be a great match with wood textures, they will make a fantastic rich contrast against metal and plastic patio chairs and gliders in white, black, or pastel shades. Lively parties or shrill thrills, steamy BBQs under bright incandescent lighting… Sadu fabrics are made for such patio events.

Bonus tip: Also decorate your other outdoor elements such as gazebo pillars and arches, or parasol with Sadu fabric. This will extend Sadu's elegance to the entire outdoor environment.

  • Jacquard Damask - It is reversible, available in silk, linen, wool, or cotton fibers, and its beautiful weaving patterns are game-changers for your patio outlook. An absolutely high-end option is embroidered jacquard. Plain jacquard is more affordable.

Patios with understated elegance will host this fabric cushions very well. Are you a leader with quiet authority and conservative in your décor preferences? Then adorn your rocking chairs and gliders with jacquard cushion covers.

  • Embroidered cushion covers are available in silk, linen, cotton, polyester, and many other fabrics. Embroidery can be in either matching or contrasting threads. Let their patterns be floral to match with the garden flowers. However, don't overdo embroidery. Embroidery is an auxiliary aesthetic element. 

  • Chenille.This 3D fabric is making a comeback as cushion and throw pillow covers in a big way. It has a unique iridescent look that will look different from different angles and directions, and its softness is legendary.

If you choose Chinelle, make sure that your rocking chair and gliders are placed under bright sunlight. This will make the 3D effect outstanding. A matching night environment will have psychedelic lighting or static incandescent light, lively music, feet-tapping… Chenille is a youthful, loud fabric. 

Velvet, denim, and corduroy are your other fabric options to upholster the cushions.

What makes you patio chairs and gliders great, is how well they harmonize with your outdoor ambiance. Together, they should create a lasting bond that will take your patio to the next level of elegance. The new units you are considering to buy should blend effortlessly with each element of your patio that you have so carefully nurtured - the parasol and the shrubs included.

Rocking Chair with Cushions
Acacia Wood Patio Rocking Chair with Small Cushion
Metal Rocking Glider Bench with Cushions
Modern Patio Rocking Chair with Cushions
Teak Rocking Chair With Big Cushions
Modern Slim Rocking Chair with Cushion

What Are the Health Benefits of Rocking Chairs?

Did you know that the former President John F Kennedy had rocking chairs in Air Force One and at Camp David? Why? He was suffering from chronic back pain.

So, heal while your rock:

  • Rocking provides gentle exercise to the thighs and abdominal muscles. This improves blood circulation and knee strength.

  • Rocking is one of the best natural sedatives. Apart from normal children, those with autism have also benefited from rocking.

  • Rocking releases endorphins in the body, which triggers analgesic effect. This relieves all types of pain, including arthritis and back pain.

  • It provides significant relief from many post-surgery conditions such as constipation, back pain, and even abdominal pain from C-section surgeries.

  • In terms of mental healing, rocking relieves anxiety and depression. That is why the elderly rock so much! Rocking for a hundred minutes a day can kill one-third of anxiety. That's almost 30% relief!

  • The deeply calming motion improves balance. It is because it stimulates the vestibular system which is responsible for body balance.

  • For the same reason as above, rocking is a proven therapy for conditions such as vertigo and dizziness. This is especially contextual to today's passive, desk-top lifestyle.

  • Women during labor pains experience calmness sitting on a rocking chair.

The above health benefits were observed with individuals using a rocking chair in indoor environments. Imagine what your patio rocking chair can do, with the added benefits of the calming outdoors!

That is why if you are thinking of getting new rockers and gliders for your patio, do not delay your decision even for a day!We hope this guide helps you find the right rocking chair and glider for your patio.