Ultimate Porch Glider Primer: A Definitive Guide

A porch glider is a must have if you want to have outdoor seating for your home. For many homes, this type of furniture serves as an alternative to a porch swing. You can buy this delightful home addition from different places.

Buying Options for Your Porch Furniture

If you’re on a budget, buying second-hand is a great way to get outdoor seating for your home without breaking the bank. You can find pre-loved patio gliders from yard sales as well as from online marketplaces like Craigslist and eBay.

If you’re thinking of buying new, you can go to home improvement stores like Bed, Bath and Beyond and Pier 1, your local furniture shop or even department stores and warehouse stores like Walmart, Sears and Costco.

If you want to get the most bang for your buck, the wisest thing to do is invest on a great piece that will last you a long time. Two of the best brands to opt for when buying gliders are Dutailier and Shermag. These brands are known for their high quality products, competitive prices and top notch designs.

All You Need to Know

There are several types of porch gliders that you’ll find in the market. Some are made of wood, others of plastic and then there are those that are made of metal. Depending on where you live and what your personal style preference is, you may find one or the other more fitting for your home. Aside from the materials used, gliders for your porch also vary in style and design.

If you’re planning on getting a glider for your home, check out this definitive guide to help you make a better decision on what kind of outdoor glider to get.

To start off, let’s differentiate them according to the material they were made with: There are gliders made of wood, plastic and metal.

Wooden Gliders

Wooden gliders are perfect for those who want a cozy, homey and a bit of a country feel to their porch. Most outdoor gliders are made of wood since most porches are made of wood, too, allowing the furniture to blend in more easily and seamlessly into the home. If you’re looking for a weekend project that you can make, why not DIY your own wooden glider swing? With the right tools and equipment, customizing one for your home is going to be a piece of cake.

Advantages

Wooden gliders are guaranteed to last years as long as they are taken care of properly. If you’re looking for something that will get you your money’s worth, a wooden glider would make an ideal choice.

They have a nice, homey look to them that can increase the curb appeal of your home instantly.

Wooden gliders are versatile. They look exceptionally beautiful anywhere you place them, be it on your porch, deck or backyard.

Disadvantages

One of the downsides to these kinds of gliders, though, is that upkeep can be a little challenging. If you live in an area where the air is dry and the rain is sparse, this kind of glider is for you. Otherwise, you either choose another kind of glider or buy something to protect it from the rain.

Another downside to wooden gliders is that they’re not very comfy but that can easily be remedied by adding cushions to them.

Wooden gliders also require some assembly and the use of tools and equipments so if you’re not quite the handyman yourself, you might need to ask others for help when putting a wooden glider together.

You wouldn’t want any wooden piece of furniture like a glider for your porch to be exposed to too much rain and moisture because it might ruin the wood. If you must have a wooden glider and you live in a particularly wet area, make sure you go for one that’s made of wood that’s resistant to bad weather. The woods you want to look for are cedar, redwood, cypress, teak or pine.

Plastic Gliders

If you’re looking for a quick fix to decorating that empty space on your porch while you’re on a budget, you might want to consider going for a plastic outdoor glider instead. You can buy these from your local home improvement stores and there are a variety of styles and designs that you can choose from.

Advantages

Plastic gliders are lighter compared wood or metal ones so you can easily move them around anytime you want.

It is also a great choice for those who have limited porch or outdoor space. When you want something to use only when, plastic gliders can often be disassembled and stored into their original box for convenience.

Since they are easier to assemble and disassemble, you can easily put them away during the off-season so they don’t get rained on. You can also easily put them away whenever you need more space for your patio or your porch or wherever else you intend to place them.

Plastic gliders are easier to assemble compared to wooden ones, too, since most of the work only requires you to click and link parts together. Often, too, these come with all the tools and supplies like screws and mini screw drivers you need to put it together in case you don’t have any at home.

Maintaining plastic gliders is easier than maintaining metal and wooden ones. Plastic gliders are often made of recycled plastic, making it resistant to fading, rotting, splitting and cracking.

They come in more colors.

Disadvantages

What many people don’t like about these kinds of gliders, though, is that they can look pretty cheap so they really don’t make attractive permanent porch / patio furniture.

You can’t expect these to last very long, even when they’re in storage most of the time.

Plastic is an easy breeding ground for mold and mildew which is another downside to having plastic gliders for your porch. You’d have to use a special solution to really get the mold and mildew off of them.

Metal Gliders

Some of the most expensive outdoor gliders are those made of metal. Many prefer an outdoor glider swing or rocker because these are much sturdier and they last way longer than wood or plastic. A metal glider also add a nice, elegant and contemporary look to any porch but it can also give off a chic, rustic look when it is covered with patina to look like a vintage porch glider.

You can buy these from home improvement stores or furniture stores but you can also have them custom made especially for your home if you’re willing to invest in a good piece that will increase the curb appeal of your house.

Advantages

They’re sturdier than wood and plastic gliders so they’re perfect if you’re looking for an investment piece to add to your home.

Metal gliders have an elegant look, no matter if they’re new or vintage – looking.

The seats are made of mesh or other softer material, making them more comfortable than wood and plastic gliders.

There are more color choices and they look better when painted in color compared to wood.

Disadvantages

One drawback to having a metal glider is that upkeep can be difficult and expensive. If you want to keep yours looking like new, you have to make sure to take care of it very well and use only the prescribed cleaning solutions. Otherwise, the metal will tarnish and look old and worn out.

Another drawback to having a metal porch glider is that, unlike wooden gliders and plastic ones, they cannot be disassembled so storage can be a problem when you have to put them away to make more space on your porch.

Fabric Gliders

For those who want the most comfortable outdoor seating for their home, a fabric glider would be ideal. A more modern fabric glider usually consists of a wicker resin frame upholstered in foam and fabric while a vintage glider has a metal frame upholstered in fabric.

Advantages

The biggest advantage of fabric gliders over any other type of glide is that they’re much more comfortable since they are upholstered.

Fabric gliders are also more versatile since they can be used both indoors and outdoors.

Another advantage that fabric gliders have is that they’re easily accessible since you can find these in a lot of home improvement stores and furniture shops.

There are also lots of designs to choose from, especially fabric-wise, so you can express your style better with these.

Disadvantages

One obvious disadvantage that fabric gliders have is maintenance. Fabric is always more difficult to maintain than any other material. Even though this type of glider is made and upholstered with outdoor fabric, stain and dirt can still ruin it.

Fabric gliders are also not very ideal if you have pets. You can expect cushion disasters, torn fabric, stains and animal fur to ruin your beautiful porch furniture.

Types of Outdoor Gliders

Now that we’ve covered the different types of these gliders according to material, let’s take a look at the different styles. There are three main styles of outdoor gliders: bench, canopy and swing.

Bench

An outdoor glider bench is pretty plain and simple. It works just like any old glider and it doesn’t have anything special built in with it aside from the usual gliding or rocking feature. These can be made from wood, metal, recycled plastic, or wicker resin.

Canopy

A canopy porch type of glider consists of a glider and a built-in overhead canopy. The overhead canopy provides shade and shelter in case it rains, although it isn’t guaranteed to keep you dry as rain could still come in from the sides.

It does offer protection against harsh UV rays, allowing you to enjoy more time outdoors. It also keep the seats protected from the sun and the heat, though, so you know you can still enjoy your glider even after it has sat out in the sun for a long while which is pretty useful especially when you have a vintage metal glider.

Swing

A glider swing is one of the more luxurious styles for porch and patio gliders. Instead of just the usual rocking and gliding motion, this one can do a full swing, thanks to its frame’s design. Glider swings are attached to chains that give them a full range of motion. Some are not attached to a frame but are rather hanged from the ceiling while others come with not just a frame but a canopy as well.

Sizes Matter

Moving on, porch decorations and gliders also come in different sizes. Some styles are available only in a specific size while other styles are made in all different sizes and lengths.

Bench Size

This is the standard size for most porch fixtures and gliders. A bench size glider can seat three to four people. An outdoor glider swing typically comes in this size.

This is the perfect size for those who have a rather large space in their porches to fill up. It is also the ideal size for those with a larger household.

Loveseat Size

For those who are looking for something smaller, a loveseat size glider is best. It’s slightly smaller than the regular outdoor glider bench size and is meant to seat two people cozily. It’s a great size for couples who want something they can sit on to cuddle and relax.

You’ll also find that a porch glider swing that has two seats facing each other often come in this size. The loveseat size is also perfect for those who have a smaller porch space but still want outdoor seating.

Single Size

The single size glider for your porch is ideal for those who enjoy their own personal space. It is also the ideal size for those who have very small spaces on their porch. This size is more popular for indoor gliders but there are outdoor gliders that come in this size as well.

Invest in a Good Set as Soon as You Can

In the end, the key to a good set of porch furniture is to hunt well and make the right decision. This means that you may have to look through secondhand shops, flea markets and other odd places if you want a really good bargain. You can also consider buying a damaged set and restoring it through the help of a professional.

Some single size gliders also come with an ottoman that glides. If you’re looking for a more affordable option for outdoor seating, a single size glider is the one for you.

Sometimes, you will also find an outdoor furniture set that comes in a bundle consisting of different sizes of gliders and often, these sets will get you the best deal.

Material, style, size and design – these are the most important things to consider when looking for porch gliders to add to your home.

Keep in mind that the sturdier set you buy, the longer it will last and the more money you will save.