What Is A Glider?

A glider or platform rocker is a type of rocking chair that moves as a swing seat, where the entire frame consists of a seat attached to the base by means of a double-rocker four-bar linkage. The non-parallel suspension arms of the linkage cause the chair to simulate a rocking-chair motion as it swings back and forth.
Gliders are popular as a nursery furnishing for assisting parents in feeding newborn babies. Because pinch points are moved away from the floor, a glider is marginally safer for pets and toddlers.

Early patents described different mechanisms for glider chairs, such as rails and four-bar linkages supported by springs.  Patents using a swinging seat suspended from a four-bar linkage appeared in 1939, and this is now the general configuration used by most glider chairs.

What Is A Glider Rocker?

A glider rocker is a chair that is a unique hybrid of a classic rocking chair and an old-fashioned porch glider. These chairs, which became popular among mothers with newborn infants in the mid-1980s, are typically constructed of wood. The seat, back, and arms of the chair are usually covered with tie-on, removable cushions. Due to their popularity with new mothers, the glider rocker has also become commonly known as the "nursery glider."

Steel ball bearings that are completely enclosed provide a smooth, effortless, safe gliding motion that many infants and their parents find pleasing and soothing. Because there is no weight re-distribution during the gliding motion like there is when using a traditional rocking chair, a glider rocker is also much quieter and much more stable. Traditional rockers rely on the up-and-down motion of the opposite ends of skids on either side of the rocker, which can injure and possibly even crush little fingers once the baby becomes a crawler. The glider mechanism is much safer in this regard.

In addition, a glider rocker is nearly impossible to tip over. It can't be rocked back too far like a traditional rocker, and because the side skids of a glider rocker are immobile, it's virtually tip-proof sideways as well. Many manufacturers equip their chairs with factory-installed locking mechanisms. This allows the adult to lock the glider in place when the chair is not in use and thus increasing its safety when little ones are afoot.

Glider rockers come in many styles and are constructed of materials to fit a wide range of budgets. For more expensive models, higher-grade hardwoods are used. Pine, walnut, maple, oak, cypress and cherry are popular woods used in the construction of glider rockers. A more expensive chair will also have extra or specialized padding and will be upholstered with more luxurious fabrics.

A glider rocker can have one of several different varieties of bases, such as a rotary swivel base and the more common spindle base. A rotary base allows the chair to swivel a full 360 degrees, whereas a spindle-base glider rocker is confined to back-and-forth motion. Glider rockers are frequently sold with a coordinating ottoman as an option. Pushing a traditional rocker with one's feet propped up can be difficult, but far less effort is required to propel a glider rocker making this position quite comfortable.