Swing sets are always great for outdoor play and family fun. But take it from me, finding the perfect swing set for your little ones isn’t as easy as point and buy. There is a variety of options to choose from, which I learned the hard way. We looked at both wooden and metal swing sets for our daughter without giving any real thought to it. We just knew she wanted a swing set, and we bought one of the first ones we came across. Huge mistake. Not only was it cheaply made, but it also didn’t have the features she wanted, so she never wanted to play on it.
Learn from my mistake. Consider what features your kids want on their swing sets. Do they want features like a wavy slide or a saucer swing? Would they rather have a climbing wall or monkey bars? These are things to factor in when finding the best swing set for your children.
I’m going to help you navigate the world of swing sets, so you can purchase the one that’s perfect for your kids.
From here, carry on reading or jump straight to our number #1 pick on Amazon here.
Table of Contents
- What Should I Look for in a Swing Set?
- Here’s How I’ve Determined the Best Swing Set
- Our Top Picks for the Best Swing Set of 2020
- Maintenance Tips
- Safety Tips
- How Much Does a Swing Set Cost?
- Which Is Better – Metal or Wood Swing Sets?
- Verdict: Your Best Swing Set
What Should I Look for in a Swing Set?
I have come up with some criteria to help you with your swing set journey. Keep these factors in mind when you’re researching the different swing sets.
Criteria #1: Is the swing set age-appropriate?
Not all swing sets are appropriate for children of all ages. Your child’s age range will play a part in finding the perfect swing set. A playset for younger kids might include a toddler swing and a shorter slide or a small jungle gym. Older kids might opt for swing sets with a tire swing and monkey bars.
Criteria #2: How will it be assembled?
Consider how you’ll assemble your child’s swing set. Will you do it yourself? Or will you hire someone to help? Sometimes, you can get someone from the local hardware store to come out and put it together for a small fee.
Criteria #3: Where will the playset be located?
Location, location, location. Definitely factor in the location of your swing set. The backyard is the best place for swing sets, although sometimes this isn’t possible. Measure the size of the area where you want the item to go. The last thing you want is to buy a swing set and then discover it’s too big for the location.
Criteria #4: Does it come with all the options you’re looking for?
As we’ve briefly covered, be sure the playset comes with the options you’re wanting. Depending on your child, look for features like a saucer swing, a climbing wall with a rope ladder, a trapeze bar, or anything else your children will enjoy playing on.
Criteria #5: What materials is the swing set made of?
Deciding what materials you want your swing set made of is going to be important. Whether you are looking for a wooden swing set or a metal swing set will help to determine where to start looking.
Here’s How I’ve Determined the Best Swing Set
I’ve determined my top picks by looking at my own experience as well as those of others, whether it was from the reviewers on the prospective websites, family members, or friends. Everyone seems to have an opinion. I also compared the features to the cost of the product, the safety of the playset, and the ease for a variety of ages.
Our Top Picks for the Best Swing Set of 2020
#1: Gorilla Playsets Deluxe Wood Swing Set (Best Value)
Recommended Age: 3 to 11 years old
Dimensions: 216 x 276 x 138 inches
Weight: 800 lbs.
If you’re looking for a high-quality wooden swing set for your backyard, look no further than Gorilla Playsets. With a ton of features, your kids will be begging to go outside and play on this.
This swing set comes with not one slide, but three. Your kids will love choosing among the four or five-foot Alpine wave slides or the extreme tube slide. There is a safe entry ladder leading to the slides, so you don’t have to worry about injuries.
Watch your kids conquer the swing set with the rock wall. It comes complete with a climbing rope for fun access to the upper level.
This comes with two belt swings and a trapeze bar. If your children like to do acrobatics, the trapeze swing is perfect for them. You’ll enjoy watching them learn new moves on this swing.
As if the three slides, rock wall, and trapeze swing weren’t enough, this swing set also comes with a built-in sandbox, punching ball, tic-tac-toe panel, steering wheel, play telescope, and chalkboard kit. There are so many activity choices, your kids won’t be bored.
Ready to Assemble
Made from premium cedar, this swing set comes ready to assemble with pre-cut lumber and all the necessary hardware. The main beams are even pre-drilled for added ease with assembly.
This is a heavy-duty swing set that’s great for kids. My sister has this one and recommends it to people looking for an awesome swing set. My nieces and nephew love it. They get to burn out their excess energy, and it’s big enough that the four of them can play at once without arguments or having to take turns.
#2: Backyard Discovery Skyfort II (Best Premium)
Recommended Age: 36 months to 10 years old
Dimensions: 263 x 201 x 148 inches
Weight: 720 lbs.
Similar to the Gorilla Playsets, this heavy-duty wooden swing set is made from cedar. The variety of features are comparable, but the Backyard Discovery Skyfort II has more options, especially on the top deck. Kids of all ages are going to love this swing set.
Your kids will love playing in their very own clubhouse. The raised clubhouse features a wooden roof and bay windows.
The sun deck is the perfect place for your children to be out in the open. They’ll have the best view of the backyard since the sun deck is located just off the clubhouse.
Covered Upper Porch
When your kids aren’t playing in the clubhouse or hanging out on the sun deck, they can play on the covered upper porch area. It’s the perfect place to be while waiting for their turn to go down the 10-foot wave slide.
Snack Stand and Table
There’s no need to argue with your children that it’s time to come back in to eat. Kids can eat lunch or have a snack at either the picnic table or the snack stand.
Like the Gorilla Playsets, the built-in sandbox is located directly below the upper deck. This helps protect your children from the elements.
With two belt swings and a two-person glider, there’s enough fun in this area for up to four kids to play at once.
3D Interactive Assembly
Not sure how to assemble this swing set? No worries. You can get easy assembly assistance with BILT, the 3D-guided interactive assembly app. It’s compatible with any Google or Apple device.
I have this swing set and let me just say, my six-year-old daughter and my grandchildren are in love. They have so much fun with their little secret meetings in the clubhouse and playing on the two-person glider. They’re even learning to take turns going down the slide, which is a huge accomplishment for the two-year-olds in my family. My grown child says people with kids in the three to five age range should consider this option.
#3: Lifetime Monkey Bar Adventure Swing Set (Best Metal Swing Set)
Recommended Age: All ages
Dimensions: 223.2 x 165.6 x 93 inches
Weight: 187 lbs.
This heavy-duty, low-maintenance A-frame swing set is fun for the whole family. Your children will have fun outside playing, and you won’t have to worry about the swing set cracking, rotting, warping, or splintering.
This metal swing set is made with powder-coated galvanized steel. The edges are rounded or covered with plastic caps and it’s UV-resistant, so you don’t have to worry about its strength or color fading.
There are three belt swings, so your kids won’t have to take turns. The rubber grips help to avoid little fingers from being pinched.
9 Foot Wavy Slide
The nine-foot wavy slide is the perfect height for kids to have fun zooming to the bottom.
The fireman’s pole and monkey bars will always be a hit with kids. They have so much fun trying to get across the bars or rescuing their toys from a pretend fire hazard.
Trapeze Bar with Gym Rings
The trapeze bar and gym rings are perfect for those kids that like to hang upside down or do tricks on their swing set.
People are raving about this swing set, saying it’s kid-tested and parent-approved. The reviews say it’s the best swing set ever. It’s easy to assemble, and your kids will be able to enjoy it for years to come. It’s an instant hit and definitely a great buy.
#4: Backyard Discovery Buckley Hill Wooden Swing Set (Best Low Cost)
Recommended Age: 36 months to 10 years old
Dimensions: 123 x 107 x 92 inches
Weight: 119 lbs.
Just because this is a low-cost swing set, don’t discount it. These products are made with high-end quality materials and are just as fun for kids as their more expensive competition. The ease of use of these swing sets and the variety of features makes a great first impression.
Just like the Backyard Discovery Skyfort II, this heavy-duty swing set is made with pre-cut, pre-drilled, and pre-stained quality cedar lumber for ease and convenience.
Covered Upper Fort
The covered upper fort includes a built-in chalkboard. It’s enclosed with mesh walls for added protection while providing a clear line of sight for us parents.
SuperSpeed Wave Slide
When you consider the fact that this playset was designed for kids as young as 36 months and as old as 10, you might want a little added safety on the slide. The six-foot wave slide has side rails to guide and protect your little ones from accidents and injuries.
The wooden beams hold the heavy-duty belt swings and rope chains, making them perfect for little hands.
Also similar to the Backyard Discovery Skyfort II, these easy-to-build, quality swing sets come with an interactive 3D app. The app walks you through the assembly step by step.
The Backyard Discovery Buckley Hills Wooden Swing Set is great for children looking for outdoor activity. People who’ve bought this product say it’s the perfect swing set for younger children but, most importantly, it’s affordable.
#5: Costzon Toddler Climber and Swing Set (Best for Toddlers)
Recommended Age: 12 months to 6 years old
Dimensions: 66 x 59 x 47 inches
Weight: 46 lbs.
If you’re wanting a good first swing set for a toddler, this is it. It was designed specifically for children in the younger age range. Its size is a perfect match for your baby. Watch your little ones go on an adventure with this swing set.
Sturdy and Durable
Made for children ages 12 months to six years old, this bright and colorful swing set for toddlers is sturdy and durable to keep your little one safe and injury free.
This comes with easy to climb stairs that guide your little one to the smooth, gentle slide. It can bear weights of up to 110 pounds, so your younger children can grow with it.
Your little ones will enjoy swinging on the toddler swing during playtime. With strong hangers, the swing chains can hold weights up to 66 pounds for added safety.
Your little ones will have tons of fun developing their hand-eye coordination with the basketball hoop. The hoop is also easily removable when it’s not in use. They’re bored with basketball? No problem. There are ringers on the nose of the elephant for even more activity.
Easy to Assemble
This comes complete with all the hardware included. It’s easy to assemble according to the instructions.
People who’ve purchased these products say this is a good quality swing set for small children. Toddlers everywhere have a blast with this swing set. It’s also easy to assemble and disassemble when needed, making it a win for parents.
You’ll need to do regular maintenance on your swing set. If your swing set is a wooden one, you’ll need to check the connections yearly as well as sand rough areas and re-coat for weather resistance.
For a metal swing set, check for rust or deterioration. Touch up the paint as needed.
Also, don’t forget to check the play area yearly. If you use sand or mulch in your play area, they may need to be replenished every few years or so.
Here are some safety tips for you to consider when setting up your children’s swing set and also for when it’s in use. It’s not going to be much fun if someone gets hurt. It’s always important to read the manufacturer’s instructions and follow them to the T.
Installing the Swing Set:
- Set the swing set up on level ground and away from overhanging objects.
- If possible, place it in a shaded area to prevent the swing set, and your children, from overheating.
- There should be a minimum of an 8-foot clearance around the structure and at least 10 feet in front of and behind the swings.
- Provide a soft landing at the base of the slide with either sand, mulch, rubberized surface, or other soft material.
Use of the Swing Set:
- Adults should monitor anyone playing on the swing set at all times.
- Follow the manufacturer’s information on how many should play on the structure at once, as well as the weight limit and age recommendation.
- Set up and enforce safety rules with your children when they’re playing on their swing set.
How Much Does a Swing Set Cost?
There are a variety of factors to consider here. First, you’ll need to decide what type of materials you want your swing set to be made of. A metal swing set is often cheaper than wooden ones, but not by much and not always.
Second, you’re going to have to figure out where and when you plan on purchasing your swing set. This can make a difference in the price. If you order it online, you may be required to pay for shipping, which will up the cost. Also, you might be able to find better deals in the winter as opposed to buying your swing set in the spring or summer.
Finally, think about whether you want to assemble it yourself for free or if you want to hire someone to do the assembly for a fee. The ease of setting up a swing set is going to depend on the instructions, variety of materials, and hardware you’re working with. You might get better and faster results if you source the assembly out to a professional.
These three things will determine how much your swing set is going to cost.
Which Is Better – Metal or Wood Swing Sets?
For the answer to this question, you’ll need to factor in your preference of what you’re willing to deal with as far as features and assembly.
They’re both fun products, although wooden swing sets tend to have more features and options than metal swing sets. For example, a swing set like the Gorilla Playsets, the Backyard Discovery Skyfort II, and the Backyard Discovery Buckley Hill Wooden Swing Set all have an upper level, while the metal Lifetime Monkey Bar Adventure Swing Set features are on an A-frame.
On the other hand, a metal swing set is more convenient to assemble than its wooden counterparts. This is because they come with fewer parts and pieces than the wooden ones. Also, since you’re not building two levels, it’s easier. A metal swing set is also often made of powder-coated steel, so you don’t have to worry about splinters, rot, or warping.
Verdict: Your Best Swing Set
Just in case you missed it, here are my top five picks.
If you’re looking for a product with a great value, choose the Gorilla Playsets Deluxe Wood Swing Set.
If you want a premium swing set, pick the Backyard Discovery Skyfort II.
If you need the best metal swingset, choose the Lifetime Monkey Bar Adventure Swing Set.
If you want the best low-cost product, pick the Backyard Discovery Buckley Hill Wooden Swing Set.
If you’re looking for a swing set for toddlers, choose the Costzon Toddler Climber and Swing Set.
Whether you’re opting for a wooden or metal swing set, keep your kid’s ages in mind. This will help determine the variety and level of safety required. Regardless of if your focus is on the swings, slides, or size of the swing set, always make safety the top priority.