10 best rocking chairs that are perfect to relax in
The classic chair is making a comeback so find the right one for your home from our tired and tested list
Not just for grandma, rocking chairs are enjoying a comeback as a cool way to relax at home or in the garden.
If you don’t have space for the traditional high-backed Windsor-style chair, there are more compact versions suited to modern homes.
At the top end of the budget are upholstered chairs that make sitting comfortable for longer periods.
These are popular in the nursery too, for parents who are looking for an aid to lull baby to sleep.
Whatever your choice, make sure you have enough room around a rocking chair to avoid it damaging walls and furniture.
On wooden floors, it’s a good idea to have a rug underneath a rocking chair to keep it from sliding.
Bloomingville Orinoco rocking chair: £399, Amara
The shell-shaped rattan seat on this modern rocking chair makes it a good piece of conservatory furniture if you’re looking for something a bit different. On a minimal white metal frame, this chair looks stunning as an accent piece in the bedroom too. The angle of the woven seat encourages a relaxed seating position but it’s not ideal for long periods. Team it with a big cushion in a natural material to improve comfort.
Vitra RAR Eames plastic rocking chair: £505, Nest
Comfort and style go hand in hand with this mid-century design classic by Charles and Ray Eames. The polypropylene arms, back and seat are moulded in one smooth and flowing shape – a shape that was unmistakably modern at the time, and still is now. This version, with a black seat, black wire base and maple wood rockers, makes a striking accent chair and a more unusual choice than the off-white it is also available in. This chair is a good choice for smaller spaces.
Cotswold & Co Dorchester rocking chair: £299, Cotswold & Co
The Dorchester rocking chair ticks all the boxes for nostalgia. A high curving back, and turned details on the arms and legs give it some old-fashioned charm. It’s well-sized and comfortable, with the solid wood construction giving a warm and secure feel. It’s made in beech with a wax finish, which has a lighter and fresher appearance than oak. This reasonably-priced chair is a good fit for the nursery, and has a range of furniture to match.
Roseland Furniture Bryce accent rocking chair: £179, Roseland Furniture
This modern take on the rocking chair has a cosy seat and back upholstered in soft brushed felt, contrasting with a thin steel frame and sleek rockers. Beware the pressure on the thin rockers can leave lines in your carpet or floor, so it’s best used with a shaggy or faux fur rug underneath. This light grey version is best for the nursery, but it’s also available in other felt colours, as well as polyester and leather upholstery too.
Arlo & Jacob Jemima rocking chair: £585, Arlo & Jacob
The low Danish-style of rocking chair is a popular alternative to the traditional English chair. made by sofa specialists Arlo & Jacob, this one has particularly good attention to the upholstery, with piped cushion edges and a comfortable foam inner to the seat and back. The frame is beech, available in four stains. If you’re looking for something to match or complement your existing furniture, there’s a huge range of fabrics too including everyday linen and sumptuous velvet.
Maisons du Monde Louisiane rattan rocking chair: £214, Maisons du Monde
For a chair that can work indoors as well as out, this rattan rocker from Maisons du Monde is a top choice. Rattan makes particularly good conservatory furniture as it is lightweight and doesn’t fade in the sun. Popular in the 1970s, this material is making a bit of a comeback, as we turn to natural materials in the home. Improve the comfort on this chair with a rug or cushion, while still leaving the loops and knots of the natural material on show.
John Lewis & Partners Croft Collection Melbury rocking chair: £699, John Lewis & Partners
Bodging is the art of making a chair from the raw British woodland, with only basic hand tools and no access to a workshop. Although a more refined version, the Melbury chair is a homage to this traditional practice, and such it has a utilitarian craft aesthetic not unlike Shaker furniture. This chair is made in ash and elm, has a beautifully smooth feel, and features long rockers that give it a sense of balance and grace when it moves.
Argos Home fabric rocking chair: £99.99, Argos
This budget rocking chair has a simple construction that’s easy to put together yourself. The foam-cushioned seat has removable cotton covers (in either a cream or charcoal colour) that you can wash in the machine – extra handy if you are using this as a nursing chair. the slanted angle of the seat encourages relaxing, and the bent wood frame extends at the back to give a good rocking motion. An extra head cushion is a nice added comfort.
Kartell Comback rocking chair: £501, Heal’s
The Comback chair is a perfect mix of traditional and modern style. The high, spindle-back and seat hint at the style and construction of a Windsor chair but are made from thermoplastic, the speciality of Italian design manufacturer Kartell. The ash rockers are oak-stained and give the chair a gentle movement. It comes in five colours from a calm palette of white, grey and hazelnut, to striking yellow or black. The rockers are made from oak-stained ash.
Dwell Ripple rocker: £299, Dwell
A good option for gamers, this chair has wide sections of ribbed padding that make it comfortable to sit in for hours. The back curves into the seat to give the body continuous support. The arm and rocker is one piece – the polished chrome finish gives it a sleek and modern look, especially teamed with the faux grey leather upholstery on this version. It’s available in white, black and a light grey option too.
The verdict: Rocking chairs
The Orinoco chair is versatile and compact. It could be used in the bedroom, conservatory or garden on a sunny day. The handiwork on the rattan has been neatly done, and the material has natural textural appeal. While it makes a good occasional chair, something like the Dwell Ripple rocker would be more comfortable for long periods.
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