A rocking chair is a great piece of furniture, and it offers numerous benefits. For example, it can provide relaxation. In fact, a lot of people spend their afternoons on a rocking chair because it is soothing and relaxing. Aside from that, the sloping angle of this furniture can also provide ergonomic benefits. Unfortunately, choosing a rocking chair is not an easy task because it comes in various types. The good news is that we can help you find the perfect furniture by providing details about the various types of rocking chairs.
In This Article
- Traditional Rocking Chair
- Glider Rocking Chair
- Spring Rocking Chair
- Swivel Rocking Chair
- Reclining Rocking Chair
- Based on Style
- Based on Materials
- Factors to Consider When Buying a Rocking Chair
Traditional Rocking Chair
The traditional rocking chair has curved legs that allow it to move forward and backward. To be specific, this piece of furniture has two bent legs that are attached to the chair’s bottom legs. This design ensures that the chair has perfect balance while keeping the rocking motion.
Traditional rocking chairs are the most affordable type of rocking chair. Aside from that, it is also durable because it lacks mechanical parts that may break. The downside is that this piece of furniture is inflexible. Plus, it requires a large amount of space to be functional.
Glider Rocking Chair
A glider rocking chair is a bit more complex compared to its traditional counterpart. The reason is that this type of rocking chair used levers and hinges so that the chair can rock forward and backward on a flat plane. Aside from that, this piece of furniture comes with cushions and soft textile covering that provide comfort.
Compared to a traditional rocking chair, a glider rocking chair occupies less space. Additionally, it is also more comfortable than its counterparts. Unfortunately, this chair type is a bit expensive. Also, it is prone to breakage because of its mechanical parts.
Spring Rocking Chair
A spring rocking chair is like a traditional rocking chair that rocks in a back and forth motion. The difference is that it uses mounted springs instead of curved legs. However, the mechanism of this chair is a bit complicated and unsightly; thus, designers prefer to hide it in a box. Afterward, the box is placed at the base of the chair for aesthetic purposes and to prevent unwanted contact.
A spring rocking chair has pads and standard upholstery; thus, it can provide comfort. Additionally, it is also more durable and less expensive than a glider rocking chair.
Swivel Rocking Chair
A swivel rocking chair has a swivel mechanism that allows it to have a second rocking motion. This mechanism makes the chair complex; however, it also makes the chair more flexible and comfortable. Additionally, this mechanism can be placed on a glider or spring rocking chair to enhance their comfort and functionality.
Despite being a great piece of furniture, a swivel rocking chair is expensive. Plus, it is also prone to breakage because of its sophisticated mechanical parts.
Reclining Rocking Chair
As its name implies, this type of rocking chair has a reclining feature wherein you can move the back part of the chair downward. However, the chair won’t allow you to use the reclining and rocking feature at the same time for safety purposes.
A reclining rocking chair is a popular choice for homeowners who like lounging chairs. Aside from that, this piece of furniture is also suitable for those searching for a flexible and comfortable rocking chair. However, it is expensive. Plus, its mechanical parts also decrease its durability.
Based on Style
A bentwood rocking chair was created by Michael Thonet in the 1800s, and it is popularly known for its swirling frame. However, making this piece of furniture is not an easy task. First, the wood must be heated with steam before it can be bent into various shapes. The result is a stylish rocking chair that will surely add beauty to your room.
A Boston rocking chair was first introduced in 1840, and it became a popular piece of furniture in the 19th century. Its popularity was due to its simple yet beautiful design. To be specific, it has a high back with spindles and a decorative top panel. Also, its seat and arms curve down in the front to provide support and comfort.
A folding rocking chair was created in the 1870s. As its name implies, this piece of furniture has a back that you can fold over the seat. That way, you can easily carry and transport and use it for various outdoor activities, like camping.
A ladderback rocking chair is a classic piece of furniture. It has a towering back with horizontal beams or slats to keep you upright.
A platform rocking chair moves from a stable platform. To be specific, it has stationary legs, while its back and seat move back and forth. Because of its stationary legs, this piece of furniture will not slide across the floor.
Based on Materials
Wood is the most popular material used for making rocking chairs for various reasons. For one, it is quite durable. Plus, it has a natural beauty that is hard to beat. Rocking chairs are usually made with two types of wood, which include the following:
Softwoods, like pine, are often used for creating rocking chairs because they are abundant. Plus, they are also affordable. However, a rocking chair made with this type of wood is best suited for indoor use because it doesn’t weather very well, even if you apply varnish or a protective coating. Aside from that, softwood can be easily scratched or dented. Also, you need to restain or revarnish it on a regular basis to ensure that its beauty lasts.
Compared to softwood, hardwoods, like teak, oak, and mahogany, are better due to various reasons. For one, this type of wood is more durable, and it is difficult to dent or scratch. Aside from that, it is also more resilient to outdoor elements; thus, it is suitable for outdoor use. Still, you need to restain or revarnish a hardwood rocking chair on a regular basis, especially if you’re going to place it outdoor. Also, this material is expensive.
Metal is another common material used for crafting rocking chairs because of its durability. Plus, it is rust-resistant, making it a great material for outdoor rocking chairs. The most common metals used are:
Aluminum is the most common metal used for making outdoor furniture. In fact, aluminum rocking chairs are widely used in beach areas because they are lightweight and resistant to rust. Plus, they require minimal maintenance. Even so, it is best to opt for coated aluminum rocking chairs, especially if you’re going to expose the chair to direct sunlight.
Wrought iron can be molded into various shapes, making it a great material for making stylish rockers. Compared to aluminum, this type of metal is heavier. Aside from that, it is also prone to rust, especially if not maintained properly. Still, wrought iron can stand the test of time with proper care.
Compared to wrought iron, stainless steel is lighter in weight, but it is heavier than aluminum. This type of metal is also resistant to rust; thus, it is suitable for outdoor use. Best of all, it is long-lasting even without proper care. However, stainless steel is a bit more expensive compared to other metal materials.
Plastic is the most affordable material for creating rocking chairs. Aside from that, it also offers numerous benefits. For one, a plastic rocker is easy to maintain because you only need to clean it with soap, water, and a damp cloth. Additionally, it is also water and rust-resistant, so it is suitable for outdoor use. However, it can be blown away by strong winds because it is lightweight.
Despite offering several benefits, a plastic rocking chair is not luxurious or stylish. Aside from that, it can also fade and show signs of wear and tear quickly. Even so, a plastic rocker is a good option if you’re looking for a budget-friendly outdoor rocking chair.
Wicker was popular during the mid 18th century, and it is still a popular material used for crafting rockers. Most wicker rocking chairs are stylish; however, they are only suitable for indoor use. The reason is that they are not extremely durable, especially for outdoor elements. Additionally, this piece of furniture is light; thus, it is vulnerable to strong winds. Also, it requires maintenance to ensure that it would last long.
High-Density Polyethylene (HDPE) Lumber
HDPE lumber is a high-quality material used for making rockers. It is extremely durable. Plus, it is resistant to water, rust, and wind; thus, it is suitable for outdoor use.
Even though HDPE lumber is expensive, it offers luxury and comfort. To be specific, a rocking chair made with this material is not only comfortable but stylish as well. Moreover, it is also sturdy and long-lasting. The best part is that it requires minimal maintenance. All you need to use to clean this piece of furniture is water and mild soap.
Factors to Consider When Buying a Rocking Chair
One of the most vital factors you need to consider when buying a rocker is the location. Remember, the place where you’re going to place the furniture will determine its material. As mentioned, some materials, like wicker and softwood, are best suited for indoor use. On the other hand, rocking chairs made with teak, synthetic resin, metal, and plastic are great for outdoor use.
Aside from that, the style of the rocking chair will also depend on where you’re going to place it. For instance, gliding rocking chairs are suitable for outdoor use, and they are inelegant for indoor use. If you want a rocking chair for your family or living room, you can opt for bentwood, ladderback, or Boston rocking chairs. These types of rocking chairs are stylish, and they can enhance the beauty of your room.
A nursery rocking chair is common in a lot of households. In fact, parents use this piece of furniture so that their baby can sleep. If you’re going to buy a nursery rocking chair, it is recommended that you consider comfort. As such, you can pick a rocker with cushions and padded arms. Aside from that, you can also opt for models with a footrest. This feature will allow the user to elevate his feet. As a result, stress and lower back pain are reduced.
Stress and Pain Relief
If the primary purpose of the rocking chair is for stress and pain relief, you need to consider comfort. As much as possible, you should opt for cushioned rockers. For utmost comfort, you can also opt for a rocking chair with a contoured backrest.
As mentioned, some types of rocking chairs, like the reclining rocking chair, comes with other features. These pieces of furniture will have a locking mechanism that allows you to only use one feature to ensure safety. Some types of nursery gliders will also have a safety feature that will prevent the chair from moving when you don’t want it to move.
Sitting on a rocking chair is one of the best ways to relax your body. Aside from that, it can also provide other benefits. For example, it can improve your blood circulation and balance. Additionally, it can also provide pain relief. Unfortunately, buying the best rocking chair can be challenging because it comes in various types.
Plus, you also need to consider several factors. Once you know the different types of rocking chairs, you can determine the best rocker based on its purpose. Remember, there are rocking chairs that are designed for indoor and outdoor use. You have to pick the right material to ensure that the furniture will last for a long time. OF course, you also need to consider the style of the rocker. As much as possible, opt for a style that will enhance the overall appearance of your room.