Gliders are a development of the humble rocking chair, a simple but essential piece of furniture for many homes. Generations of parents have sworn by rockers for nursing and lulling babies to sleep. This is because the regular rocking motion induces feelings of calm relaxation, for parent as well as baby.
Gliders work on the same principle; but where rockers rock up and down, gliders glide back and forth, making it easier to keep a regular rhythm and cutting out any feelings of motion sickness. For this reason and more gliders are increasingly popular with new parents and nursing mothers, as they can make a big difference to some of the trickiest and most taxing parts of looking after a newborn.
It’s also more common now to find ottomans sold with gliders as part of a set. Whether or not the ottoman itself features a gliding mechanism, its presence allows the user to keep their feet up and rested while in the chair. As anyone who has spent hours trying to get their baby to sleep will know, comfort makes a big difference when you’re settling in for the long haul.
As gliders with ottomans grow in popularity, the range of choice for consumers grows too. If you’re in the market for a glider and ottoman, there are a lot of options out there so take the time to find what’s available and you’re more likely to end up happy with your purchase.
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|DaVinci Olive All-Purpose Upholstered Swivel Glider with Bonus Ottoman||33.5 x 28.5 x 39.8 inches||9.4 / 10|
|Naomi Home Brisbane Glider and Ottoman Set||24.8 x 25.8 x 39.5 inches||9.2 / 10|
|Angel Line Windsor Glider and Ottoman||24.8 x 25.8 x 39.5 inches||9.2 / 10|
|Storkcraft Tuscany Glider and Ottoman||29 x 35 x 37.5 inches||8.8 / 10|
|Baby Relax Glider Rocker and Ottoman||31.5 x 26.6 x 38.2 inches||8.6 / 10|
|Dutailier Sleigh Glider and Ottoman||31 x 27 x 42.5 inches||8.6 / 10|
|Graco Sterling Semi-Upholstered Glider and Nursing Ottoman||45.1 x 33.2 x 27.8 inches||8.6 / 10|
1. DaVinci Olive All-Purpose Upholstered Swivel Glider with Bonus Ottoman
DaVinci are known for home furniture that’s designed with children and parents in mind, and their Olive All-Purpose Upholstered Swivel Glider with Bonus Ottoman is no slouch in that regard. The All-Purpose Upholstered Swivel Glider (available in gray as well as olive) has been made with feeding time in mind, but is versatile and comfortable enough that it’ll transition to use as regular home furniture once baby’s grown.
This is not a cheap furniture set, coming at the higher end of the price range for gliders and ottomans, but DaVinci have done a good job of justifying the price tag. It comes ready-assembled, and features a high back and lumbar pillow for back support while nursing or lounging; the 360-degree swivel functionality is a great bonus feature; and both glider and ottoman have been finished with soft and easy-to-clean polyester. If you want a glider and ottoman that will serve you well after baby’s grown, and don’t mind paying for it, the DaVinci All-Purpose Upholstered Swivel Glider with Bonus Ottoman is well worth checking out.
- The All-Purpose Upholstered Swivel Glider with Bonus Ottoman has been finished using soft and durable polyester fabric, on both the glider and the ottoman. The polyester used is flame-retardant and non-chemical, making it a great choice in terms of safety. The coverings are easy to clean, too – simply wipe down and leave to air-dry.
- The glider chair has a high back to aid reclining, helping you get into a comfortable position if you’re going to be using it for nursing or napping. DaVinci have even bundled in a lumbar pillow with the Swivel Glider, for added back support.
- The 360-degree swivel feature on the glider is smooth, and it’s a great feature to have: it lets you glide in two directions, either back-and-forth or around, and it makes the furniture set both more versatile and easier to set up.
- The Swivel Glider with Bonus Ottoman comes ready assembled, meaning there’s nothing left to do but get relaxed on it.
- The Olive All-Purpose Upholstered Swivel Glider with Bonus Ottoman is also available in dark gray, giving you options if you like the look of this DaVinci piece and want it to blend in with your home decoration.
2. Naomi Home Brisbane Glider and Ottoman Set
Naomi Home are a relative unknown when it comes to home furnishings and child-oriented furniture in particular, but the Brisbane Glider and Ottoman Set is a stylish traditional offering that certainly makes a strong impression. What’s even more impressive is the price tag: this Naomi Home glider and ottoman can be bought at a truly entry-level price, making it a great option for those shopping on a budget.
Finished with soft and durable polyester, the Brisbane Glider has an attractive appearance, with cream upholstery over dark-stained wood. It might not last as long as some of the more expensive pieces covered here, but the Naomi Home Brisbane Glider and Ottoman Set is a contender in the budget glider and ottoman market.
- The Brisbane Glider and Ottoman Set have been upholstered with soft and durable polyester, a great choice in terms of comfort and ease of maintenance.
- This Naomi Home furniture set is aesthetically appealing, with cream-colored upholstery standing out against dark wood. It’s a strong color combination, so make sure it matches your décor at home, but it’s eye-catching enough to serve as the focal point for a room itself.
- The Brisbane Glider is smooth and quiet while in use, enhancing its already-impressive relaxing properties.
- Price: coming near the bottom end of the price scale, Naomi Home have made a strong entry into the budget market for children’s furniture and accessories. If money is no object, there might well be better options out there; but if you’re keeping costs down, the Brisbane is worth a look.
3. Angel Line Windsor Glider and Ottoman
Angel Line are a relative unknown when it comes to home furniture in general, and children’s furniture in particular: the Windsor Glider and Ottoman is a budget offering which might do something to change that, and there’s no denying that the price tag is appealingly low.
The glider is comfortable to use and easy to maintain, with removable cloth-covered cushions and varnished wood that can be wiped clean. It’s not packed with features and it’s unlikely to win many awards for craftsmanship, but the price is right and Angel Line are worth a look if you want to keep your costs as low as possible.
Some assembly will be required before your Windsor Glider and Ottoman will be ready for use, but it’s straightforward enough that you should be able to handle it without calling in the professionals.
- Price: the cheapest ottoman and glider set covered here, the Windsor is hard to beat if sticking to a budget is your number one concern.
- Despite the low price, this is a serviceably comfortable glider and ottoman, with removable cloth cushions and wipe-clean wood contributing to its overall ease of use and upkeep.
- The 28” seat width is on the lower side of the usual range for rockers and gliders, but it should be enough for most nursing mothers. As an added benefit, the Windsor Glider has a compact footprint, meaning in can be set up easily in many different places in the home.
4. Storkcraft Tuscany Glider and Ottoman
The Storkcraft family manufacture and distribute all kinds of kids’ goods and furniture, with the Tuscany Glider and Ottoman being their midrange entry into the glider market. It’s available at a mid range price point, meaning it has to outperform the budget options to be successful; but there’s no question that Storkcraft have taken steps to make this happen.
The gliding mechanism is sturdy and well-made, featuring metal ball bearings for smooth and consistent gliding; and Storkcraft have even bundled in a lumbar pillow to support your back while you’re gliding. A generous 35” seat width and the presence of seat pockets for storing whatever you need close to hand all serve to increase the all-around usability and comfort offered by the Tuscany Glider and Ottoman. The set is available with a customization appearance: the wood can be finished in white, cherry, espresso, black or gray, while the cushions can be upholstered in beige, blue, chocolate, sage or gray.
- If you’re concerned about how your glider and ottoman will fit in among your existing home furnishings, Storkcraft have provided a solution with the Tuscany Glider and Ottoman. It’s available in a choice of finishes: the wood can be stained white, cherry, espresso, black or gray, and the cushions can be finished in beige, blue, chocolate, sage or gray.
- The gliding mechanism in the chair features metal ball bearings, for consistently smooth gliding action.
- The Tuscany comes bundled with a lumbar support pillow, which can make a big difference if you’ll be using your glider for long periods of time; for nursing or getting baby to sleep, for example.
- The 35” seat width on the Tuscany is positively generous, being ample for nursing, napping and any other way you want to use the glider.
- Besides the storage space inside the ottoman itself, the Tuscany glider features roomy seat pockets, which can be used to store whatever you’ll need: books, bottles, snacks, baby gadgets – your choices are endless.
5. Baby Relax Glider Rocker and Ottoman
As their name suggests, Baby Relax are specialist manufacturers of children’s furniture, with a particular focus on infants and nursing mothers. With that kind of pedigree, anyone purchasing their Glider Rocker and Ottoman should expect a high quality furniture set; and with a frankly budget price attached, the Baby Relax Glider Rocker and Ottoman becomes an attractive prospect.
The glider’s motion is smooth and regular, while the padding on the seat, arms and ottoman contributes to the overall comfort, making this a supremely relaxing set of furniture. At 31.5” in width, the glider’s seat is wide enough to enable nursing and seat most people comfortably. It looks great, too, with a rich espresso finish and matching cushions. At the price at which the Baby Relax Glider Rocker and Ottoman is currently available, it would be hard to advise against giving it a look.
- A smooth and regular gliding motion is the main thing people want from a glider, and despite the low entry price Baby Relax have provided that with the Glider Rocker and Ottoman.
- The glider and ottoman are both padded for comfort, with fabric upholstery. Both cushions and wood have a deep espresso-colored finish, contributing to an attractive traditional piece which should prove neutral enough to blend into most rooms in your home.
- The 31.5” seat width will be more than enough for most people, including nursing mothers, giving space to relax while you glide.
- Price: one of the cheapest glider and ottoman sets covered here, this Baby Relax furniture performs well at the point of delivery while looking a lot smarter than its price tag might suggest.
6. Dutailier Sleigh Glider and Ottoman
Dutailier are a Canadian company who make high-end luxury home and infant furniture. Their pieces don’t come cheap, but if there’s something higher than Dutailier’s prices it’s the standards to which they hold each and every item they produce.
The Dutailier design philosophy is to create furniture that grows with your family: in the case of the Sleigh Glider and Ottoman, this means the glider has been designed for use long past the nursing stage of child-rearing. Both glider and ottoman glide on smooth sealed ball bearing mechanisms, and the glider features a multi-position locking and stopping device that lets you restrict or stop the chair’s gliding motion according to your own liking.
In this way, the Sleigh Glider can be a nursing chair, glider, recliner, daybed and more as your needs and those of your family change over time. Some assembly is required before your Dutailier Sleigh Glider and Ottoman will be fully functional, but it’s simple enough that no professional help should be required.
- Canada has some rigorous safety and construction standards, and by all accounts Dutailier exceed those expectations and then some. If you want furniture that’s been made with real care, Dutailier is a great place to start.
- The Sleigh Glider and Ottoman have been upholstered with durable and easy-to-clean polyester, improving both comfort and ease of maintenance.
- The Sleigh Glider has been made in a simply beautiful traditional style, featuring white hardwood and ultra-thick gray cushions which set off the wooden frame perfectly.
- The sealed ball bearing gliding mechanism in the Sleigh Glider is smooth, consistent and regular, promising years of easy and quiet gliding.
- Dutailier have built a multi-position locking and stopping mechanism into the Sleigh Glider: adjustable between 6 distinct positions, it allows you to adjust your glider according to your specifications, either limiting or disabling the seat’s gliding range.
- The ottoman included in this Dutailier set features the same gliding mechanism as the glider itself, improving the overall feel when using both pieces of furniture together and making the ottoman into a mini-glider for children in its own right.
- Despite a small amount of assembly being required on these Dutailier pieces, they’re remarkably straightforward to put together; something which is only helped by the evident care and attention to detail that’s gone into this glider and ottoman set from design to construction.
7. Graco Sterling Semi-Upholstered Glider and Nursing Ottoman
Graco are part of the Storkcraft family, so there’s a lot of children’s furniture experience and expertise behind the design of the Sterling Semi-Upholstered Glider and Nursing Ottoman. Unfortunately, there’s also a growing reputation for Chinese imports: while keeping costs down for manufacturer and consumer, a relative lack of quality control and safety legislation can have implications for the shopper on the Western market.
The Sterling is actually one of Graco’s more expensive pieces, coming at the higher end of the midrange price point: it’s a functional glider and ottoman set which is marketed as being great for baby and for the whole family, which goes some way towards justifying the inflated price tag. One selling point for the Graco Sterling range is that you can customize its appearance, with wood finishes available in white, cherry, espresso or gray. The Sterling has stiff competition around the price at which it currently retails, but it’s worth considering if you want something you can easily match to your home décor.
- The Sterling Semi-Upholstered Glider and Nursing Ottoman is a serviceable glider and ottoman set for nursing, while also being entirely suitable for general home use as a glider and ottoman, either apart or as a set.
- The luxuriously-upholstered arms and cushions are the most aesthetically appealing aspects of the Sterling’s design, looking and feeling plush.
- Graco have provided consumers with a choice of wood finishes: the Sterling comes with gray cushions as standard, but its wooden elements can be finished in gray, white, cherry or espresso. If you want to match your new furniture to your home decoration as closely as possible, there are worse places to start shopping than the Sterling Semi-Upholstered Glider and Nursing Ottoman.
What is a Glider and Ottoman?
Gliders are a modern twist on the traditional rocking chair, providing additional stability in a variety of styles. The conventional rocking chair has a simple design: two curved rockers are attached to a chair’s legs so that the chair only contacts the floor at two points, making it a simple matter to rock back and forth by pushing against the floor or shifting your body weight in the seat.
It’s an elegant model that allows the user to rock at their own pace and rhythm, which makes them a great addition to your home furniture and is also why so many parents swear by them for nursing and getting babies to sleep. Unfortunately, some of us aren’t able to get the full use out of a traditional rocker. Whether down to motion sickness or irregular movement, some people find old-school rockers uncomfortable or even unpleasant to use.
The glider overcomes some of the problems with the classical rocking chair design, while also improving the usability and suitability for parents of newborns. Unlike rockers, gliders have a stable base which doesn’t shift against the floor, instead using an internal mechanism to generate the back-and-forth motion.
It’s important to note that this is just a back-and-forth motion, without any of the up-and-down movement that’s part of using a rocker. By having the chair’s back and seat glide back and forth using an internal mechanism, the glider is able to provide superior stability and comfort while also allowing easy regulation of your movement while seated.
Glider chairs come in a variety of styles and can be bought with a traditional, modern or rustic appearance, meaning they’re no less versatile as furniture than more conventional old-style rockers.
Ottomans are low seats, usually upholstered, which can most often be used in one of a number of ways. Besides serving as a backless seat for children and shorter adults, ottomans work admirably well as footrests; particularly when accompanied by a rocker or glider.
Many ottomans also feature a hinged lid, allowing them to do double duty as a container or storage box while taking the weight off your feet or posterior.
What used to be a buyers’ guide tip – make sure to buy an ottoman to go along with your rocking chair – is increasingly standard practice on the furniture market. More and more manufacturers are retailing combined glider-and-ottoman packages, which provide everything a nursing mother needs right off the bat.
Soothing and inducing sleep, gliders are a fantastic weapon in the new parents’ arsenal. They’re versatile and multi-functional enough that they’ll stay useful as home furniture once your child’s grown. The same goes for ottomans. They’re the perfect accompaniment to a gliding chair during the nursing phase, after which they’ll work wonderfully in concert with any of your home furniture and double as portable storage.
Due to their popularity, there’s an impressive amount of choice on display for anyone shopping for a new glider and ottoman. As with all big consumer decisions, it’s worth taking the time to do your homework before you get down to comparing individual models.
Why Buy a Glider and Ottoman?
There are good reasons to buy any kind of rocker, regardless of whether you’ve had any recent additions to your family. They’re relaxation tools, sleep aids, and offer timeless furniture, which adds a touch of class to wherever you put them. As a new twist on a classic design, there are some great reasons to modernize by going for a glider:
- Prevent motion sickness – Some people find the up-and-down motion that’s part of a rocker’s natural movement unpleasant, causing discomfort or nausea. This can also be caused by the irregular motion of a traditional rocking chair. A glider, on the other hand, moves back and forth smoothly, reducing the risk of motion sickness and improving all-round comfort.
- Nurse in any position – With a glider and ottoman, you’ve got some flexibility to how you position yourself, which can make a huge difference to your comfort if you’re using your glider for nursing. The gliding sensation is calming for mother and baby, and can even help ease pain or discomfort experienced during nursing.
- Help baby sleep – Like any kind of rocking chair, a glider’s natural motion will help your baby fall asleep while helping you relax. With your feet up on the ottoman, it’s not a bad place to take a nap yourself.
- Give yourself some rest – As your baby grows and gets heavier, nursing in an upright position can become fatiguing. Using a setup like a glider with ottoman can ease the strain by helping you take the weight off, keeping both you and your baby safe and stress-free.
- Versatile furniture – Gliders and ottomans are often targeted at new parents and nursing mothers, but they’re far from being a limited piece of furniture. Gliders are comfortable and relaxing seats, and ottomans are versatile and attractive additions to any room. If you invest in a high-quality glider and ottoman, you can do so in the confidence that you’ll be getting value for your money after your child has grown.
- Appearance and aesthetics – Gliders are available in a range of styles and, like most rocking chairs, are aesthetically appealing furniture that can brighten up any room of the house. Ottomans are great all-around – seat, stool and storage all in one – but they also make a cute accompaniment for a lot of furniture, especially if you go for one in a neutral tone.
Things to Consider
If you’re shopping for a new glider and ottoman, there are a few things worth considering before getting down to comparing pieces:
- What type of material and finish is best? The choice of material and finish will make a difference to how you use and look after your furniture, not just how it’ll blend into your home. Like more traditional rockers, gliders can be made from a variety of different materials, but the most common by far is wood. Hard plastic and metal are also used in the construction of the overall piece, while metal bearings are ideal for use in the gliding mechanism itself. Upholstered gliders will be finished with some manner of fabric covering – wipe-clean polyester is a favourite – whereas most wooden gliders will be finished with stain or varnish.
- How long are your glider and ottoman going to last? The quality of materials and care taken during construction will make a huge positive difference here, while any cost-cutting measures taken at the manufacturing stage (such as the use of hard plastic for components which should ideally be metal) tend to have a noticeable negative impact in terms of longevity.
- How comfortable is it? If you’ll be using the glider for yourself, then choose what suits you best and what you find most comfortable. If you’re buying for someone else, try to get an idea of what they like in terms of comfort before making your purchase.
- What should I focus on when purchasing an ottoman and glider? When you’re shopping for a glider and ottoman, most of your attention is going to be on the glider. It’s the bigger and more expensive piece in the set, and also the one which is more easily broken. The ottoman shouldn’t be ignored, however. You’re paying for it as part of the set and it’s a versatile and valuable piece of furniture in its own right, so make sure it’s suitable for what you want. Does it have good storage space? Is it the right height for you to rest your feet on while gliding, or will it be more useful as an extra seat? Know what you want before you start shopping and you’ll have a far easier time finding the right ottoman-glider combination.
- What size of glider should you purchase? When choosing a glider, the best dimensions for you will depend on where you want to place it in your home. Generally, the wider the seat the better – especially if you plan on nursing in it. But be sure to avoid buying something that won’t fit where you want it to go. It’s also worth trying the glider and ottoman out together if possible, to confirm that the ottoman is an appropriate size to complement the glider.
- Does the glider require any assembly? If so, is it straightforward or will you need to bring in a professional (incurring additional costs)? Are any necessary tools included with the furniture, or will you need to shell out again to get the glider into working condition? If you’re a particularly handy person, this won’t overly concern you, but for the rest of us, it’s worth thinking about.
- What style of ottoman and glider should I buy? Gliders and ottomans have a purpose beyond brightening up a room, but there’s no doubt that many of them are attractive furniture sets which can complement a room’s overall aesthetic or even serve as its focal point. Gliders are available in traditional, modern and rustic styles, with some pieces being available with a choice of colour finishes, so it shouldn’t be a problem finding something that works in your home.
- What built-in features are important? Higher-end gliders can come with some built-in features that increase flexibility and usability. A locking mechanism lets you lock the glider in place, for times when you want to stay still. An adjustable backrest lets you recline in the glider, helpful for when you want to take a nap yourself. Swivel functionality lets the glider be rotated around a full 360 degrees, which can complement the back-and-forth gliding motion and further enhances the furniture’s versatility.
- Are any moving parts (such as the gliding mechanism) sealed and contained inside the glider? Any exposed moving parts should be an automatic no. Also look out for frayed material or cracked wood, which can be indicative of cost-cutting measures such as relying on cheap and re-used materials.
- How much should I spend on an ottoman and glider? Price will always matter more to some of us than others, but whatever your budget, you’ll be well-served by having an idea of how much you’d like to spend before you start shopping. Entry-level glider and ottoman sets can be bought for a little over $100, with good quality pieces costing closer to $200 or above, and premium pieces costing $300 or more.
Risks and Warnings
- Gliders should be designed to be safe for general use, but like any other large item with moving parts the potential for injury is there if due care and attention isn’t taken. The gliding mechanism is the particular danger in this case, posing a particular danger to any little fingers which get into the inner workings. Before buying and using the glider, make sure that any moving parts are fully sealed and contained, and take care to ensure they stay that way. Any children in your home should be educated concerning the dangers of tampering with the glider and similar items of furniture.
- Keep an eye out for safety recalls. They’re uncommon with good-quality home furniture, but even the most careful manufacturers are capable of making mistakes and some design flaws don’t become evident until after a year or more of regular use. Listen out for any mention of your glider and ottoman being recalled. If it happens, act promptly.
- If your glider requires assembly, pay attention to the instructions and follow them to the best of your abilities. Not only does incorrect assembly often void any warranty that may be attached to the furniture, you open yourself to the risk of breakages and safety hazards. If you plan on getting professional help to assemble your glider, go for someone you trust and make sure you’re completely happy with their work before using it.
 “Management of Acute Distress with Rocking Chair Therapy.” Study presented by students from the University of Rochester’s Nursing College at the 1998 meeting of the Eastern Nursing Research Society.
 Bayer, L. et al. Rocking synchronizes brain waves during a short nap. Current Biology June 2011. Pp. 461-462.