Best rocking chairs for your outdoor space

For a chair that rocks, choose these laid-back leisure chairs.

best rocking chair

by Natalie Knowles |
Updated on

If you're looking for a leisure chair to add to your garden furniture that has the added benefit of relieving back pain and having a calming effect, a rocking chair is the way to sway. Get ready to relax - from Scandinavian to All-American - here at Modern Gardens we've rounded up the best contemporary rocking chairs, for when life's not all rock and roll.

Designed for carefree days and catnaps, the garden rocking chair comes in different styles. You may be looking for a traditional wooden rocker, in which case there are many options, including the Adirondack rocking chair that hails from New York. Alternatively, you may love vintage countryside vibes and are looking for a rocker in wrought iron for roses to grow around... it exists. Or, your perfect pew may involve tubular metal in an organic shape, that can withstand all weather - perfect for enjoying drinks in the garden all year round.

Best rocking chairs at a glance

Best wooden rocking chair: Trueshopping Adirondack Rocking Chair – View on Amazon UK
Best rattan rocking chair: Outdoor Seibel Rocking Rattan Chair – View on Wayair
Best outdoor rocking chair for durability: Outdoor Aalicia Rocking Chair – View on Wayfair

In the rocking chair's 300-year history, not much has changed about its fundamental design and function. Yet, improvements came with innovative materials that contemporary manufacturers use to improve its lifespan, aesthetics and comfort. Most contemporary rocking chairs retain the traditional form but have modern lightweight steel frames. A lightweight metal sounds like an oxymoron, however, materials such as aluminium and tubular steel are perfect for garden chairs. And modern minimalism totally rocks our world.

Ergonomic furniture design is a feature of contemporary home and garden furnishings. Material innovations such as using aluminium and water-resistant fabrics in chair design have made them lightweight, weatherproof, slimline in design and improved their comfort. So if you're in the mood to embrace your inner (off-duty) cowboy, read on and discover how this American invention has moved with the times.

Best rocking chairs

Best rocking lounger

Outsunny Orbital Lounger Zero Gravity Chaise with Pillow
Price: £76.99 (was £115.99)

Featuring a sturdy metal frame with a breathable fabric seat liner, the Outsunny Orbital Lounger Zero Gravity Chaise with Pillow is perfect for keeping you cool on a scorching summer’s day. This lounger comes with foam-padded armrests and a removable headrest cushion for ultimate comfort. Its low-slung, sloping angles make it a rocker to relax in - so, put that phone down and bask. Note, it has a slightly lower weight capacity than other rockers at 100kg.

Customer review: "Really easy to assemble. Very comfortable and collapses to store without much effort."


  • Full marks for comfort
  • Quality
  • Lightweight


  • Lower weight capacity than other chairs

Best antique-style rocking chair

Outsunny Outdoor Vintage Rocking Chair
Price: £69.99 (RRP £139.99)

For vintage vibes, this distinctive Outsunny Outdoor Vintage Rocking Chair features an Art Deco-style backrest and a large looping design. It's made of metal, which makes it heavier than other chairs but with that comes sturdiness. The red hue has a bronze effect that will endure as this chair is rust-resistant. However, it is recommended that you cover it or store it inside in nasty weather.


  • Vintage style
  • Unique distressing
  • Powder-coated to protect from rust
  • Handmade


  • No customer reviews

Best wooden rocking chair

Sink into this deep rocking chair, whilst perching a cup of tea and a good book on the wide armrests. Adirondack is characterised in architecture by the rustic log cabin style which originated in the Adirondack mountains of New York. In chair design, its distinctive peak-shaped back and sloping seat make it incredibly comfortable. The slatted wood is supportive and has a natural warmth. The Trueshopping Adirondack Rocking Chair is made from long-lasting fir wood this rocker is perfect for relaxing, reading or napping.

Customer review: "Needed a further chair for the patio and this just seemed to fit the bill. Love the design, it was very easy to erect, and is very comfortable, also just love the wide arms, the perfect place to rest the book. As soon as the rain stops will give it a coat of varnish and then all will be perfect."


  • Timeless design
  • A good price for Adirondack-style


  • Some customers have found the seat too deep for them

Best rattan rocking chair

Immerse yourself in the latest issue of Modern Gardens and let yourself be soothed by this Outdoor Seibel Rocking Rattan Chair. There are benefits to opting for a rattan chair too; it's a warm material that's super lightweight, easy to care for and won't rust. Make me-time even more immersive and supportive by adding some cosy cushions to this lovely, easy chair.

Customer review: "Exactly what I was looking for and as described on line. The cushion add to the comfort. I have left the rockers outside all the time and they still look fab."


  • Weatherproof (minus the cushion)
  • Sturdy
  • High back and thick-padded cushion for comfort


  • Some customers have commented that the chair was fiddly to put together

Best trendy rocking chair

Unwinding never looked so good - check out this season's trending moon chair. With a strong bucket seat, durable steel frame and clear-covered rockers to protect floor surfaces, this vidaXL Outdoor Acapulco Chair String Moon Chair is a must-have. The fashionable rocker benefits from a lightweight, minimal frame that makes it easy to move around... and yes, maybe we would move it into the front garden to make a statement to the neighbours.


  • Stylish
  • Durable steel frame
  • Choice of colours


  • Limited reviews

Best double rocker

Spend more time chilling outdoors with your loved ones. The Outsunny Double Rocking Chair is made from aluminium so it's lightweight, sturdy and weatherproof. In addition, the curved rocker arms are heat-resistant so there are no surprise burns if you touch them on a scorching day. Perfect for alfresco entertaining and outdoor living - just pop a parasol up and grab a chilled bevvy or two.


  • Good price
  • Rust-resistant frame
  • No assembly
  • Ergonomic


  • Weight capacity not specified

Best extra large rocking chair

Rock off to sleep to the rhythm of some soft music with this Extra Large Rocking Chair. Imagine you're on the deck of an ocean liner and set sail for the ultimate in comfort. It even features an additional footrest that has massage balls so you can reinvigorate your feet while you recline. This ergonomic rocker is made of bamboo, so it's lighter than other wooden chairs and more scratch-resistant.

Customer review: "It is quite low and I am sure it would be a struggle for and elderly person, or even someone with a bad back, to get in and out of it. Once folded it is not particularly easy to carry and it does not appear substantial enough for it to be left outside for prolonged periods."


  • Ergonomic
  • Additional footrest with rolling massage balls
  • Can be folded flat for storage


  • Not suitable to be left outside in bad weather

Best garden rocking chair for portability

Relish soothing and quiet movements with these lightweight and versatile rocking chairs for outdoors. Large and comfortable 2PCS Foldable Rocking Chairs easily expand, without the use of tools which gives scope for taking them on holiday. A strong powder-coated steel frame and durable Oxford fabric make the robust, with a weight capacity of 160kg. Also, these versatile lawn chairs are easy to store away when not in use.

Customer review: "Highly recommended. Great communications and excellent super fast delivery. Couldn’t ask for better. Good quality chairs. Well packaged and well made."


  • Foldable
  • Easily expands
  • No assembly required


  • No real photography of product


Where do rocking chairs come from?

To complement your cocoon chair, hairpin furniture and garden armchair, outdoor rocking chairs are the latest in a growing trend for furnishing our gardens. But really, this is one leisure chair that's always belonged outside.

Lounging outdoors, lulled by a gentle rocking motion, is a soothing way to spend a summer's day. Rocking chairs have been a fixture on US porches for centuries. In fact, the trend for outdoor rocking chairs is a bit of a homecoming as they were a familiar sight on verandas and in gardens in the 1700s.

According to Troutman Chairs, original rocking chairs were not fancy or upholstered, but they were designed to provide some relief and comfort to farm workers. This type of seat has integral links with American culture and to this day the design is essentially the same.

A rocking chair is a conventional seat with two rockers instead of four legs. The rockers allow you to sway back and forth with minimal effort. The Shakers were the first to fashion rockers and fix them to chair legs. In a way, the Shaker approach to furniture design has an affinity with Scandinavian functional design, as every part of the rocking chair was carefully measured to fit the human body.

©Getty Images

How do I look after my outdoor rocking chair?

Firstly, make sure you position your rocking chair on stable, flat ground. It's also a good idea to leave it in a sheltered spot so the wind can't get under it. Never overload the chair by hanging things on it - that would cause it to tip. It's best to store your chair inside in the event of a storm, strong winds or heavy rain.

Cleaning your outdoor chair is as simple as washing it with a cloth and warm water with mild detergent. Wipe dry to avoid smears. Wood and untreated metal benefit from having a lacquer or outdoor paint applied to protect them. Alternatively, choose a chair that's been powder-coated for weather resistance and durability without the need for maintenance.

Is rocking in a rocking chair good for you?

Rocking provides gentle exercise for people who are immobile, helping to build up strength in the legs. Gentle rocking can also help to increase blood flow around the body which can ease joint and back pain. It's a self-soothing action that releases endorphins, boosting emotional wellbeing, which is beneficial to us all.

What to read next:

Best recliner garden chairs for sunbathing

Best garden deckchairs to lounge in the sun

Best hanging cocoon and egg chairs buyer’s guide

Discover everything you need to know to make your outside space look fantastic, quickly and easily, with hundreds of simple ideas, designer tricks, affordable products and expert advice with a Modern Gardens Membership. Find out more about the benefits of being a Member now.

Natalie Knowles is a Homes & Garden Product Writer for Modern Gardens, specialising in garden trends. When she's not flexing her mow-how, Natalie is a successful artist and illustrator.

Just so you know, whilst we may receive a commission or other compensation from the links on this website, we never allow this to influence product selections - read why you should trust us