We Review the Best Wooden Swing Sets for Your Backyard

Last Updated on

The best wooden swing sets are ones that fit within a certain criteria. They’re constructed using quality wood that has natural properties to protect it from the elements. Some wood is stronger, more durable, and able to withstand harsh winds and pelting rain.

The wood chosen for these swings emits chemicals that will thwart insects from burrowing in and eating the wood, which can have a terrible impact on the integrity of the swing’s structure. Wood swing sets on this list have natural wood with all of these features.

Gnome’s Picks: The 5 Best Wooden Porch Swings

Lakeland Mills Country Porch Swing

  • Size: 24 x 45 x 69″
  • Features: Northern white cedar build, weather and insect proof
  • Notes: Simple, straightforward assembly
  • More About This

Buy On Amazon

Belham Living Classically Curved Porch Swing

  • Size: 48 x 23.6 x 20.5″
  • Features: Eucalyptus build, weather and insect proof, dark-brown finish
  • Notes: Eco-friendly option
  • More About This

Buy On Amazon

Porchgate Heavy-Duty Rollback Console Porch Swing

  • Size: 63 x 27 x 21″
  • Features: Handcrafted amish pine build, treated, weather and insect proof, console with drink holders
  • Notes: Can be purchased unfinished or you can pick one of four eco-friendly finish options
  • More About This

Buy On Amazon

Southern Cypress Furniture 5-Foot Handmade Porch Swing

  • Size: 65 x 20 x 20″
  • Features: Cypress build, rollback design, cup holders on armrests
  • Notes: Proudly made in the US
  • More About This

Buy On Amazon

Belham Living Classic Eucalyptus Outdoor Porch Swing

  • Size: 60 x 21 x 22″
  • Features: Eucalyptus build, treated, natural finish, arched back, curved armrests
  • Notes: Eco-friendly option, includes cushion and 4′ hanging chains (springs and hooks not included, however)
  • More About This

Buy On Amazon


Buying Guide: How to Pick a Swing

At the end of the day, it’s hard to go wrong when deciding to get a porch swing for your outdoor living space (be it actually on a porch or not). This, then, brings us to the exciting journey of picking out a porch swing that really speaks to you.

There are some important considerations to keep in mind when on the hunt for a swing. The first thing to look at is how many people will be using the swing. This will tell you what dimensions you will want to go with as well as the weight capacity you are working with.

Placement and proper hanging are essential to keeping your swing happy. Your swing will not be any fun if it’s not set up correctly.

The first thing to do is to look into two things: how much clearance you have, and what is the most secure spot to hang it from. We’ll get into the full steps for install later on in this guide.

Once you have an idea of the size and space, consider material. The material a swing is made from will determine quality, lifespan, and the maintenance it will need.

It will also affect price and (in some cases) looks as well. If you know the materials, you know exactly what to expect from the swing you’re getting.

The last factor that comes into play is design. The shape, depth, and recline of the swing will determine how it feels to the user.

Different designs may have certain practical advantages, while some may be purely aesthetic. At the end of the day it’s all about preference, so go with that swing that feels like it’s right for you

What to Look for in a Swing – Seat sizes on swings will vary, mostly between 18 and 36 inches. You can pick any depth that works for you.

Width-wise, you can find swings that fit just one person, or up to three. You can also opt for a swing bed if you want to maximize the amount of space. Remember, though, that more people will be more weight, which will require more load tolerance.

Check the design of the backrest. The level of recline will affect how it feels. You may want to be more upright or more laid back. The curvature of the backrest may also add a bit of extra comfort (curved or ‘rollback’ backrests are more comfy than ones with edges).

Afterwards, check how many horizontal supports the slats have. More supports to reinforce the back will make the swing sturdier and will also give it a more stable and even swing.

You can always accessorize til your heart’s content. There are numerous options for sun and weather resistant cushions and pillows that you can use for your swing.


Types of Swings by Material

Now that we know what to keep an eye out for, we can dive into the different types of swings available and discuss what each has to offer.

Eucalyptus Swings – Of all types of trees to make swings from, have you ever considered eucalyptus? What if we told you these are actually grown in Brazil?

Eucalyptus is a wood that grows very fast and is fairly dense, making it great for sustainable production for hardwood. Brazilian eucalyptus is exactly that.

Hardwood is handy for porch swings (as we will see throughout this guide) because it’s naturally weatherproof, aesthetically pleasing, and resistant to threats such as insects or mold.

These models are typically stained.

While it might not be the first wood that comes to mind for quality and eco-friendliness, eucalyptus certainly does an excellent job.

So much so, that two of the swings in our lineup happen to be eucalyptus builds. That being said, it doesn’t stop there. Let’s see what else there is.

Cedar Swings – Cedar is regarded as one of the go-to’s as far as materials for swings go. This is because it lends itself to many different uses and environments, while also having beautiful colorations and grain patterns.

You can get Northern White Cedar or Western Red Cedar, having either an elegant white tone, or a captivating red hue.

Cedar is fairly durable, while also being innately bug and rot resistant. Last but not least, cedar is one of the more eco-friendly options as it comes from well-regulated, sustainable forests.

Cypress Swings – Similar to cedar, cypress has a natural endurance to insects, weather, and rot. This is because of an oil called cypressene which is found in the wood.

Cypress comes in a light yellow tone, having a medium texture and straight grains.

It’s praised for its durability, having earned the name “The Eternal Wood.” As cypress ages, it gradually turns into an elegant ashy grey.

Teak Swings – Teak, similar to cypress, ages to a silvery ash color, however it starts off as a rich amber.

Same as the above, it features a natural resistance to the elements, insects, and rot. Teak has the added benefit of not requiring any paints, seals, or finishes. It simply is ready to go.

Along with that, it’s also remarkably scratch resistant, and will actually not retain heat as much (meaning you won’t risk getting a burn if it’s a hot sunny day outside).

Pine Swings – Pine is a wood that will need some love, but will certainly love you back. It’s well regarded for color (coming in a whiteish or yellowish hue) as well as the patterns of the knots that form in the wood.

Over time, it will darken in shade as it ages, achieving a nice rustic look. It would be definitely be a good choice if that is the vibe you want to go for.

Pine is one of the woods that need to be treated with a sealant as it’s not weatherproof. The sealant will also need to be reapplied yearly as it does wear off over time. That being said, it handles the elements as well as anything else if it is treated and maintained properly.

Along with that, it also handles paint or stain quite well, so you have a good range of options to work with.

Oak & Other Woods – These have been some of the most popular woods, but this list is definitely not exhaustive. There are plenty of other choices as far as woods go, each with their own particular benefits.

One more wood worth mentioning is oak. Oak is great for being a middle ground. It won’t be as durable as other woods, however it is quite budget-friendly (while not being the very cheapest, either).

If you are looking for a well rounded “middle” option, that has a good ratio of quality to price, it’s worth keeping oak in mind.

Polywood Swings – Polywood is the eco friendliest option out there. Also known as ‘poly’, polywood is a synthetic material made from recycled plastic and it has some interesting properties.

It’s the most low maintenance option out there as far as material goes. The compound easily withstands the elements as well as insects and fungus. Polywood also has the benefit of not splintering as wood might sometimes do.

In terms of design, polywood is made to look like actual wood. It comes in a variety of colours, sporting a nice rich finish.

Last but not least, polywood is made from 100% recycled material, making it an efficient and ethical purchase as well.

Metal – There is also the option of metal. Metal has its own benefits in terms of durability, as well as design.

Going for a metal swing is entirely a different feel than going for wood, however it’s definitely a well appreciated look. Metal looks more modern, but also more neutral, making it easy to pair with any style of home or decor.

The two main options to go with are either steel or aluminum. Aluminum is great for being light and portable, while steel is better if you are looking for durability and weight support.


Types of Swings by Design

We’ve gone over the materials a swing can be made from. Let’s take a look at some design options. The traditional setup for a porch swing is for it to be hung from the ceiling of (you guessed it) your porch.

The options, however, don’t stop there. There is a range of different setups for swings, including swings that are built on a self-supporting frame (which require very little effort to get going).

Canopy Swings – Canopy swings do exactly that. They also, as the name implies, have a built in canopy to give you some shade and privacy. They are typically made from metal, although wooden canopy swings are not completely unheard of.

Canopy swings have the advantage of being easy to place anywhere, without too much fuss. They easily integrate with other seating or other elements of your yard.

Rollback – Going back to wooden swings, the rollback is a design a lot of people are familiar with.

Rollback refers to the edges on the seat and the backrest being curved outward. This makes it so the edges of the swing don’t dig into your back or your legs, which is certainly a nice feature.

Adirondack – Adirondack is an immediately recognizable name to many. It refers to the design of the well-known adirondack chair.

Adirondack chairs are characterized by a few highly recognizable features. They have a deep and inviting recline complemented by spacious, flat armrests.

It’s also hard to miss adirondacks because of their characteristic rounded backrest made out of slats.

Adirondacks are not only a favourite of many, but have also grown to be a symbol of outdoor relaxation. They have a rich history that stretches back all the way to 1903, in the picturesque Adirondack mountains in New York. Quite a fitting beginning for such an iconic chair.

It’s no wonder, given the popularity of the adirondack, that you can also find porch swings made into the same design.

Amish – While the adirondack boasts a long standing history, amish swings feature culturally rich and impressive craftsmanship.

Amish swings are made entirely by hand, without reliance on any sophisticated tools, especially not anything electrically powered. They are built in accordance with the amish tradition, having a focus on impeccable work ethic and excellent woodworking skills.

The result is a beautiful swing that is entirely handmade. It’s easy to see why some people really love them and why they have grown to be so popular.

One Person Swings – Single-person swings are about as self-explanatory as it gets.

Despite the name, though, they’re also great to buy in pairs so that you can hang out someone else. This way, each person can swing at their own pace.

Swing Beds – Swing beds are also fairly self explanatory. They are larger, bed-like, swings that you can full on lounge on.

They are great to hang out on with friends, but there’s also nothing stopping you from hogging the whole thing to yourself (we wouldn’t blame you).

Gliders – Last stop on our list will be gliders. Gliders are an alternative to swings, offering the same gentle rocking, but in a different way.

Instead of being hung, gliders slide back and forth on their base. It’s great if you don’t want to deal with hanging and securing a swing. There are also glider kits one can get to turn any regular bench into a full on glider.


Placement, Hanging & Removing

Most swings you will have to hang. Unless you’re going with one of the alternatives, like a self-supporting canopy swing or a glider, you will have to hang and secure your swing before hopping on. That being said, let’s see what we need to do to get a porch swing set up.

Placement – As discussed, finding an appropriate spot for the swing is key. You will need enough space, accounting for the length of the swing path while in use, as well as some buffer room side-to-side.

You should allow at least 4 feet in each direction for the swing to move freely. Sideways, allow 14 to 16 inches on each side. That should give you enough clearance to move smoothly and freely.

For height off the ground, a lot of people aim for 18 inches off the ground. In most cases, you can accomplish that with four chains: two short ones of 2-3 feet, and two long ones of about 7-8 feet.

At the same time, the swing will need to be installed into ceiling joists and secured properly (otherwise you’re in for a bad time). Do not try to install it into the ceiling itself, it really does need the full support provided by the joist.

That being said, make sure the spot you’re picking gives you access to joists to hang the swing from.

Alternative Spots – Aside from your porch, there are also other places to set up a porch swing. You can set it up under an arbor or under a wooden gazebo. The same setup applies, but it gives you some more options to work with for placement.

You can also avoid hanging altogether if you go for any of the models that are self-supported.

Getting Started – Before anything, it’s a good idea to get someone to help you – especially when the time comes to actually hang the swing.You will also need a powerful electric drill for the job.

Always follow the manufacturer’s instructions when you get your swing. This guide will go over general points that apply to all models, so that you have some background on what is going on.

Beyond that, however, be sure to always follow the specific manufacturer’s instructions on how to install.

Most swings will come with chains and hanging kits from the manufacturer. It’s also possible to buy hanging kits separately, or you can even buy individual parts yourself.

Either way, you will need to make sure you have enough chains, screws, and eye hooks. Make sure everything is galvanized steel for resistance to the elements and also has a rating for at least 500 lbs weight capacity. Screws should be ½ inch thick and 4 inches long.

You will need to check all hardware regularly for corrosion or weather damage. Deteriorated hardware should be replaced as soon as you spot it. You don’t want it giving up on you when you’re enjoying it the most.

Assembling the Swing – Depending how they’re packaged, some swing models might need their armrests or consoles installed.

It’s simply a matter of putting the parts together and securing them with screws. Refer to the manual and follow the instructions if that is needed.

Joists, Beams & Eye Hooks – The eye hooks need to be installed in the joists above the swing. The joists can be located with a stud finder if they are not readily visible.

You will need to find joists that are a little further out that the width of the swing (so the chains for a slope toward the swing going down). Two inches on each side should suffice.

This is so that the chains don’t rub up against the swing while it’s in motion.

You will need to also get the depth of the joist. If you can’t access it from the attic, you will need to remove a little bit of the ceiling material to measure the depth of the joist or beam.

To be able to withstand the weight of a swing, a joist would need to be 2 x 8 inches, with a depth of 7 and ¼ inches. Alternatively a 4 x 4 beam would do as well.

If your joists aren’t offering enough support, there are some options for reinforcement (however, they are outside of the scope of this guide). You can also, at any point, get a professional contractor to set up the swing along with any reinforcements that need to be made.

Assuming it’s safe to continue, you can start by setting up the eye hooks in the middle of the joists. Mark the edges of the joists, and locate the exact middle of the joist or beam.

Start by drilling a pilot hole so that the wood doesn’t split. The pilot hole creates a path for the screw so it doesn’t damage the wood when getting drilled in. The pilot hole must be significantly thinner than the ½ inch width of the screw (so that it can fit snugly). After the pilot holes, drill in the eye hooks.

Chains – As mentioned above, you will need two chains on each side, one short one of 2-3 feet and one long one of about 7-8 feet.

It’s important to secure the chains to the seat of the swing, not the armrests. Connecting the chains to the bottom ensures it will be able to swing evenly and smoothly.

For each side, connect the long chain to the eye hook in the ceiling, while the short chain connects directly to the long chain using an S-hook. This allows you to adjust the recline of the swing by picking different links on the long chain.

Optional: Rope – Similarly, you also have the option of hanging the swing using a rope. If you take the rope route instead of chains, be sure to use marine grade braided nylon.

Hang it Up – The last step, once everything is secured, is to lift it up and hang it onto the eye hooks on the main chains.

This is a spot where (if you’ve braved all of this so far by yourself), you will definitely need one more person to help you.

Some people have also used ironing boards as a way of creating a table to hang up the swing without someone else’s help. You can (in theory) set up an ironing board at the desired height, lift the swing onto it, hang it up, then remove the ironing board.

If you do decide to complete this on your own, be sure to take precautions and do so at your own risk.

Test the Swing – Worth noting, before the swing is ready to party, it’s good to test it out a little. Give it a few swings on its own. Then try sitting on it and swinging for a little bit.

If it’s a smooth and even ride, then it looks like you’ve followed all the steps correctly.

Removing a Porch Swing – Removing a porch swing is fairly straightforward. Once again, get someone to help you out and start by taking it off of the eye hooks.

After that you can proceed to dismantle and pack it up as needed.


Accessories

Porch swings lend themselves very nicely to being accessorized. Let’s see what some of the options are.

Consoles – The most common of accessories is the console or drink tray.

Refreshments and porch swings go hand in hand and there is little doubt about it. Some swings will have drink holders built in (so they actually can open up from the back rest of the swing).

Aside from that, it’s more than possible to get a separate drink tray to set up with your swing.

Canopies – Some swings will come with built in canopies to give you some shade. These models typically have a self-supporting A-frame that the swing hangs on – meaning you can just place it wherever and it’s ready to go.

Cushions – Depending on the purchase you make, some swings might have matching cushions or pillows.

They’re a very simple, yet versatile addition which serves to make your swing look better while also making it more comfy. You don’t have to stop at the manufacturer-included items either. There are countless options for outdoor-friendly cushions and pillows out there that you can easily pick from.

Just make sure they are weather and fade resistant.

Lights – Lights is once again one of those things that is simple and hard to go wrong with. While swings typically won’t come with lights, you can basically go wild with any kind of lighting you please.

As always, we advise being careful if you’re setting up incandescent bulbs as they emit a lot of heat. LEDs are usually quite pretty while also being safe, cost-effective and handy to use in many different ways.


Maintenance & Repair

Swings are overall fairly low maintenance if installed correctly. As a rule of thumb, for whatever minimal attention they need, the wooden ones do need more maintenance than their synthetic counterparts.

Either way, here are the points to look out for as far as the health of your swing goes.

Hardware – The hardware on your swing will need regular checkups to see how it’s holding up. Check all screws, hooks, and chains. Replace them as needed if you see anything start to get rusty or deteriorated.

Wood – Some woods need to be treated, while others will be naturally weather resistant. The weather resistant woods typically fade and change colours with time. This is not a bad thing, but rather a part of the wood’s natural course, resulting in some pretty elegant tones.

Woods that need to be treated will also hold up well over time, but they may need to have their sealant refreshed occasionally. One example of this is pine.

One thing to be careful with as wooden swings age is splinters.

Metal & Other – For synthetic swings, look out for rust or warping. Metal, especially stainless steel, is quite durable as far as the weather goes, however it’s not indestructible.

Metal frames are still susceptible to deterioration under the weather or warping if they get overloaded. They can also be damaged by stormy conditions or excessively strong winds as well.

Some synthetic build swings will consist of a frame that holds a tight canvas together. Be careful not to rip or tear the canvas on your swing as they can be costly to replace.


Winterizing

Winterizing as far as porch swings go is fairly straightforward. Porch swings are typically winter-proof so that makes it fairly easy as far as caring for them in the colder months.

That being said, it’s always a good idea to regularly clear off ice and snow that builds up. If the weather is particularly unfriendly, you can always consider putting a cover over it.

It’s recommended that you take cushions and pillows inside during bad weather or during the winter months.

Aside from that, the maintenance points discussed still hold. Check the hardware, wood, and/or metal frame as applicable. Be sure to treat wood that needs to be regularly re-treated.


Lakeland Mills Country Porch Swing

This rustic swing looks great when it’s unfinished. It’s crafted from white cedar logs that are known for their structure and beauty. The slats are routered and contoured to make the edges smooth. There’s nothing worse than sitting on a porch swing in the summer and having it cut into the back of your bare thighs. There’s no worry about splinters or edges on this swing.

Buy On Amazon

Features We Adore

  • Easy to assemble
  • Contoured slats
  • White cedar logs

Whether you keep this swing unfinished or create your own look with paint or stain, this is a swing that will fit beautifully in your backyard if you have a rustic style home. It can be hung from a variety of locations. It’ll fit in a swing frame, from the inside ceiling of a gazebo, or on the back porch.

Check out our full review of the rustic Lakeland Mills Country Porch Swing


Belham Living Classically Curved Porch Swing

The curved slats of wood on the back of this swing are one of our favorite details on all these swings. It gives the simple piece of furniture some pizzazz. This swing features dark stain and little details that make this piece unique. It’s slim profile means that it can be placed in the smallest places. If you have a small back porch, this swing is ideal in a spot where you might have thought you couldn’t enjoy a lovely swing.

Buy On Amazon

Features We Adore

  • Back design
  • Slim profile
  • Eucalyptus wood
  • Seats 2 people

The wood porch swing is constructed using eucalyptus wood, which gives teak a run for its money. The wood thrives in the outdoors where it’ll weather beautifully. It’s less expensive than teak while being more durable, too.

Check out our full review of the unique Belham Living Classically Curved Porch Swing


Porchgate Heavy-Duty 800 Lb Rollback Console Porch Swing

While some wood porch swings have cupholders in the arms, most don’t have any of these amenities at all. For this porch swing, you get an entire console in the middle for hold drinks as well as food. That’s one less set of tables and chairs you’ll need for your next event.

Buy On Amazon

Features We Adore

  • Console for drinks
  • Amish craftsmanship
  • Routered slats
  • Rollback design

The weight limit of this swing means that when you swing that console up into the back of the swing, you get more space for an extra person to fit comfortable. You won’t have to worry about the weight of each person enjoying your backyard swing.

Check out our full review of the Porchgate Heavy-Duty 800 Lb Rollback Console Porch Swing


Southern Cypress Furniture 5-Foot Handmade Porch Swing

When we talk about rollback design as in the previous swing, we’re talking about how the edges roll slightly to ensure that people sitting are not creating pressure points on their body with sharp edges. This is a feature of this swing, too. It has routered slats and rolled edges, which make the swing way more comfortable. You won’t even need a cushion for it.

Buy On Amazon

Features We Adore

  • Rollback design
  • Routered slats
  • Cupholders built-in
  • Southern cypress

Cypress is one of those woods that seems to be created specifically for outdoor furniture use. It creates chemicals naturally that repels insects. Without stain, this wood will stay attractive out in the elements. To be safe though, it’s always best to give it a protective coating.

Check out our full review of the Southern Cypress Furniture 5-Foot Handmade Porch Swing


Belham Living Classic Eucalyptus Outdoor Porch Swing

This is another back that we find fundamentally beautiful. It’s unlike the others and really makes us imagine island breezes and drinks with umbrellas. You don’t want to cover this back with any pillows or cushions, but you could, and it would still be stunning.

Buy On Amazon

Features We Adore

  • Arched back design
  • Curved armrests
  • Eucalyptus wood
  • Natural finish

An outdoor wood porch swing can be placed on the porch, but it can also be hung from other structures like a swing frame, outdoor gazebo, or sturdy tree limb. The cushion included is made for outdoor use, so make sure you buy pillows and other elements that can be used outdoors in all weather conditions.

Check out our full review of the Belham Living Classic Eucalyptus Outdoor Porch Swing


These are our favorite wooden swing sets for your backyard. There are a variety of styles as well as wood choices that will fit within your home’s style.

Facebooktwittergoogle_plusredditpinterestlinkedinmail

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *