With a swing, you can turn your garden into a small playground in no time at all. When buying this play equipment, however, there are a few criteria you should consider.
In our swing test 2021 we present the best and latest models from the respective categories. We also give you important tips and tricks on the subject of swings and improving motor skills. Whether it's swing boards, nest swings, plate swings, gondola swings or lattice swings, with us you'll find the best swings on the market.
- 1 Weekly newsletter with the best personal finance tips
- 2 Summary
- 3 The Best Swing: Our Picks
- 4 Guide: Questions you should ask yourself before buying a swing set
- 5 Decision: What types of swings are there and which one is right for you?
- 5.1 What is a swing board and what are its advantages and disadvantages?
- 5.2 What is a nest swing and what are its advantages and disadvantages?
- 5.3 What is a plate swing and what are its advantages and disadvantages?
- 5.4 What is a gondola swing and what are its advantages and disadvantages?
- 5.5 What is a lattice swing and what are its advantages and disadvantages?
- 6 Buying criteria: You can use these factors to compare and evaluate swings
- 7 Facts worth knowing about swings
- Swings are popular playground equipment for children that are not only fun, but also train their sense of balance.
- There are different types of swings, including the swing board, the nest swing, the plate swing, the gondola swing and the lattice swing. The construction of each is slightly different and has different requirements.
- When buying a swing, you should consider the material, the workmanship, the maximum load weight and the age requirement.
The Best Swing: Our Picks
Guide: Questions you should ask yourself before buying a swing set
Is a swing worth it for me?
With swings, our little ones can build up their own motor skills in a playful way. Once they have mastered this, swinging is simply fun. There are many different models and the possibilities for playing with them are almost limitless.
To move the swing back and forth independently, your child develops gross motor skills. With their own muscle power, they can determine the speed of the swing and let off steam. By swinging, your child develops the important basic muscles, the balance system is promoted and the child's motor skills are improved.
And even if it's "just a normal swing", the feeling of flying alone is a great experience. As convinced swing fans, even in adulthood, we must therefore say quite clearly: A swing is worthwhile for everyone!
So if you have a child or grandchild and want to build a little playground for them, a swing is a must. And even if you don't have much space, you're sure to find a space-saving model that suits your lifestyle.
For what circumstances do I need a swing?
Who will use the swing? For example, do you need a swing for a toddler or do you want a model that can grow with your child? Do you want the swing to be usable by only one person or do you want more than one person to be able to play on it at the same time?Where do you want to set up the swing? In the house or in the garden?
And how do you want to attach it? Inside in the door frame, outside on a tree, or do you even have a scaffolding specifically for it? The more precisely you can define the circumstances for which you need the swing, the easier it will be to find the best product for you.
How much does a swing cost?
Simple swing boards and plate swings, for example, are much cheaper than nest swings or gondola swings. This table gives you a small overview that you can use as a rough guide:
|Swing board||ca. 8-50 €|
|Nest swing||ca. 20-150 €|
|Plate swing||ca. 8-40 €|
|Gondola swing||ca. 50-100 €|
|Trellis swing||ca. 15-50 €|
Decision: What types of swings are there and which one is right for you?
Swings. Who doesn't know them? They have thrilled most of us since we were little children and let us fly high up and forget all our worries for a moment.
No matter who you're looking for a swing for - yourself or your loved ones - we want to help you find the perfect swing for your needs. To do this, we'll first give you a brief overview.
Basically, we can distinguish between five basic types:
- Swing board
- Nest swing
- Plate swing
- Gondola swing
- Lattice swing
Each of these types has a slightly different structure and therefore fulfils different requirements.
Not every swing is suitable for all age groups. For example, there are types that are particularly useful for babies and toddlers, but are no longer suitable for children simply because of their size. And there are also types that work well for children, but are not safe enough for the youngest among us to use them without danger.
In addition, there are differences in material, type of suspension, suitability of location and a few other things you should consider before buying.
In the following section, we would like to help you find out which type of swing is the best choice for you and your requirements and will serve you best.
For this purpose, we will introduce you to all of the above-mentioned types and clearly present the advantages and disadvantages of each.
What is a swing board and what are its advantages and disadvantages?
A swing board is probably the most classic type of swing that can be found in any playground and that most people think of when they hear the term swing. An elongated seat board made of wood, rubber or plastic is held and suspended at its two ends by ropes or chains also made of different materials.
It can be hung from a door frame indoors, from a strong branch on a tree outside or even from a scaffold. However, you should always make sure that the material of your swing board is also suitable for outdoor use.
In terms of age, swing boards are most suitable for children upwards, as there is no necessary safety device for small children and there is a risk of injury. Although you can remedy this by securing your treasures yourself while swinging, we strongly advise you not to do this.
However, you can also swing yourself, as most swing boards can also be used by adults.
In addition, many ropes for rocking boards allow you to adjust the length yourself. So if your child or grandchild grows and the swing hangs too low, you can simply shorten the ropes a little and everything will fit perfectly again.
What is a nest swing and what are its advantages and disadvantages?
Nest swings (also called bird's nest swings) are larger than the classic swing board and, as the name suggests, usually have a nest-like round shape. There are also square versions, but these are rather rare.
They are mainly made of soft material that makes them comfortable to sit on, and their shape and size allow several children to use them at the same time. You can also let small children play with a nest swing under supervision, as it is very difficult for them to fall out of these large hanging seats. Or you can just sit in it with them! Everything is possible.
Due to its size, swinging with a nest swing is less dynamic than with other swing types, but with this type the focus is also less on speed. Instead, more attention is paid to comfort and the use of several children at the same time.
Depending on the material, nest swings are not only suitable for indoors, but also for outdoors. However, it is important to remember to clean them regularly as they are an ideal breeding ground for bacteria.
What is a plate swing and what are its advantages and disadvantages?
As the name suggests, the plate swing (also known as the monkey swing) consists of a hard, plate-like platform from the centre of which a rope emerges for suspension. Thanks to the rigid material of the plate, it is possible to swing on it not only while sitting, but also while standing.
Because of this acrobatic freedom, this type of swing is only recommended for older children who have already developed a certain motor sensitivity. If this is not yet the case, classic rocking boards are recommended.
As with the other swing types, plate swings are available in all kinds of materials, so there is something suitable for both indoor and outdoor use. They are definitely best used outdoors in the garden, where there is enough space.
Because only one rope is used for suspension, the plate swing does not have a back-and-forth swing path, but a radius in which it can swing in all directions. You should make absolutely sure that the entire area around the swing is free so that there are no unpleasant collisions.
What is a gondola swing and what are its advantages and disadvantages?
Gondola swings (also called double swings) are often found in playgrounds with larger swing frames. The gondolas consist of two seats facing each other and can therefore not only be used alone, but also by two children.
In addition, a child standing in the middle can also give the swing the necessary swing. Gondolas do not have flexible ropes, but static metal rods for fastening, so that nothing can happen in the heat of the moment.
This makes them more biased in their attachment than other swing types. It is recommended that this type of swing be mounted on a special scaffold.
There are also gondolas that can be closed at the side, but they are more suitable for children than for toddlers because the actual seat is unsecured.
Overall, gondolas are a rather rigid type of swing, as the metal poles and the fixed gondola size limit the period of use. If the child grows beyond a certain size, at some point it simply no longer fits in.
What is a lattice swing and what are its advantages and disadvantages?
Lattice swings (also called swing seats) are the solution for the youngest among us. As soon as a toddler is old enough to sit without too much strain on the spine, you can confidently use a trellis swing.
This offers a seat that is protected from all sides and has a central bar between the legs so that your child can sit safely without falling out.
So you can push him without worrying about his safety, even if he is wriggling with joy.
There is also a wide variety of materials for the lattice swing, but the most common are wood and rubber. The wooden versions are particularly suitable for indoor use, as they can be chewed and licked by toddlers without hesitation. However, to ensure that this is really safe, the swing must be cleaned regularly with gentle cleaning agents.
Buying criteria: You can use these factors to compare and evaluate swings
In the following, we would like to show you which factors you can use to compare and evaluate swings. This will make it easier for you to decide whether a certain model is suitable for you or not.
- Age suitability
- Single/double/multi use
- Indoor vs. outdoor
- Type of attachment & load weight
In the following paragraphs you can read about the purchasing criteria and how you can classify them.
Age suitability, as the name suggests, indicates the age at which a swing can be used safely. The main point here is that you do not set up an unsecured swing for a small child or a swing that is too small for an older child, as both represent a safety risk.
Most manufacturers indicate on their products what age they are intended for. If you follow these recommendations, you usually can't go wrong.
|Swing type||age suitability|
|Swing board||from 3 years|
|Nest swing||from 3 years|
|Plate swing||from 3 years|
|Gondola swing||from 2 years|
|Trellis swing||from 1 year|
The indication of how many children can use the swing also has something to do with safety.
For example, it is not advisable to allow two children to use a single swing at the same time because, firstly, they do not have enough space together and, secondly, together they may exceed the load weight (see point "Load weight" below).
The load weight specifies how much weight the swing ropes can withstand even during very active use. While this is less important for normal swing boards and plate swings that are intended for single use, it applies especially to gondola swings and nest swings that can be used by several children at the same time.
So make sure that the load weight is respected, otherwise it could lead to unsightly falls.
In any case, you should buy safety-tested swings that have a special safety seal. This is especially important for children.
Indoor vs. outdoor
This criterion is about the environment for which the swing is suitable. There are a few models that can be used both indoors and outdoors, but most have a specific specification.
For example, some types of swings are not suitable for indoors simply because of their size, like the gondola swing. Indoor swings, on the other hand, are not suitable for outdoor use, as they often cannot withstand the weather (see "Material" below).
With indoor swings, you should pay particular attention to safe assembly, especially if they are to be attached to ceilings, for example.
Swings are available in many materials, from wood to rubber and plastic to metal, there are many variations and combinations, because not only the material of the swing is important, but also that of the ropes.
If you need a swing for a toddler, for example, you should make sure that the material is bite-resistant and free of chemicals, so that your little darling doesn't hurt himself when he curiously chews on his new toy.
Or if you want to put a wooden swing in your garden, for example, it must be varnished so that it can be exposed to moisture without any problems.
Where you want to set up your swing will determine how you can attach it. If, for example, you have a scaffold specifically designed for this purpose, the attachment often works via snap hooks, which are either included with the scaffold or even with your swing.
If you want to attach your swing to the branch of a tree, things get a bit more complicated, because not every swing is designed for this.
If you still want to convert it, we recommend that you use a ready-made Swing Hanging Strap Kit instead of making your own. It doesn't cost a fortune and is much safer than any of your own constructions.
Facts worth knowing about swings
What does swinging do for my child?
Swinging teaches our youngest children in a playful way how the shifting of body weight can affect the physics of the environment.
Put simply, swinging helps children develop their motor skills. But apart from this technical learning effect, it brings one thing above all: a tremendous amount of fun!
Neurologists have found that the rocking movement has a positive effect on the brain's nervous system and promotes creativity.
Can I build a swing set myself?
Absolutely! If you're not afraid of a little work and can find a few helping hands to lend a hand, it's not that difficult.
Image source: pixabay.com / Rudy and Peter Skitterians