Looking for the best swing sets? There is no doubt that most people have fond childhood memories of parents pushing them into the air while sitting on a swing, or perhaps making a tree swing with friends using an old rope and tire.
These fun-filled outdoor activities are what make any good childhood great. Not only are swings fun, but they are also acting as a great incentive to get kids outside and active.
This is arguably more important than ever in the age of the internet when many kids would prefer to stay indoors and stay glued to their tablet or computer.
Like climbing toys, swing sets will also help kids develop their strength, agility, coordination and motor skills and bring some outdoor, indoor balance back into their life.
With all of these factors in mind, we have picked out some of the best swing sets and playsets that we think make the grade in terms of safety, value, quality and most importantly – fun!
Our Top Picks
Swing-N-Slide Orbiter Wooden Swing Set
For those who are on the hunt for a well-built set of swings for their garden or backyard, then this set of three swings by Swing-N-Slide is a great option. The best part is that the set has been safety tested and meets the stringent ASTM safety standards, which is reassuring for parents and caregivers.
The set itself is made from strong and sturdy solid wood posts and therefore more stable than many metal frames. The posts are all coated in Wood Guard material to help protect it from environmental damage and ensure a long life. This coating also helps reduce the risk of splinters – a common issue with traditional wooden swing sets.
The set is tall and at 8 foot high means most parents and adults can easily stand and provide the push needed for maximum momentum and fun. This is a definite advantage over smaller swing sets that often mean parents have to crouch when pushing, which is definitely not so enjoyable for the adult involved.
The standard set includes two swings with good sized seats and a central ring- trapeze, which can easily be replaced by another swing seat if preferred.
Installation instructions are included with the set along with helpful illustrations and ground anchors to ensure the set is stabilized and secure. The open A design also means that this set doesn’t impeach on you maintaining your garden as you can still easily mow the lawn!
Gorilla Mountaineer Treehouse Swing Set
If you are looking for the ultimate playground experience for your backyard or garden, then take a look at the Mountaineer Treehouse set by Gorilla.
The set includes three belt-style swings, a large slide, rock wall with climbing rope, tree house, tube slide and rope ladder. This set is ideal for keeping large groups of kids, multiple siblings and large families entertained and active.
The central Treehouse is constructed from solid timber and is coated with Timber shield for weather and wears protection. The house features a huge amount of attention to detail and includes a tongue and groove roof, two windows with functional shutters and a chimney.
To get onto the upper platform kids can choose to climb the rock wall or take the rope or the wooden ladder. They can then play the built-in tic-tac-toe game or choose to escape the tree houses upper level easily via the groove or more daring tube slide.
On the ground level of the tree house is a built-in picnic table and sandbox, perfect for group picnics, taking a rest and an ideal location for parents and caregivers to sit while they keep an eye on the kids.
The swing portion of the playset extends from one side of the tree house and features an A-frame construction made from metal. There are three strap-style swings with metal chains, and the frame is tall enough to allow adults to easily push swings without having to crouch down.
This impressive looking play set by Gorilla is the full Monty and the company offers a very welcome 10-year limited warranty on the wood and 1-year warranty for the accessories!
Lifetime Adventure Swing Set with Monkey Bar & Slide
For something that offers a little more than just a simple swing set, the Lifetime Adventure set is a fantastic option and as well as the three swings includes monkey bars, trapeze with gym rings, slide and fireman’s pole for the ultimate playground experience. The set has passed all of the major playground safety tests and is built with safety and comfort in mind.
The set is made from steel covered in a UV and weather resistant coating to prevent it from discoloring or rusting. The fact that it’s made of metal also means there is no risk of splinters, rotting or mold, which is quite a common complaint with wooden play sets.
This also means there’s no need for constant maintenance, such as staining, which is an inconvenient prospect for many busy parents. The metal frame is also thicker than many available metal sets and extremely smooth – all sharp edges have been rounded and capped to prevent injury.
The swing seats are the belted variety, making them versatile for kids of all sizes and the swing chains are coated with a rubber grip making them easy to handle in all weathers while preventing the risk of nips and snagging.
The frame itself is also large enough for adults and parents to easily stand underneath without ducking, making monitoring and helping the kids easy and convenient. There’s nothing worse than an experiencing an aching back after having to crouch to push your kid in a swing!
Step2 Naturally Playful Playhouse & Swing Set
If you are looking for a swing set and slide combination suitable for toddlers and younger children, then this plastic set by Step2 is for you. The set includes two strap style swings with rope handles, slide, platform and hidden playhouse with crawl holes.
The height of the set is small enough for younger kids and so they won’t get as intimate as they would be with larger sized sets.
The natural colors of the set are a welcome change from the garishly bright colors of playsets from previous years. The size and the fact it’s got multiple functions means it’s great for families, siblings, and friends to play on at the same time.
The small size also limits the risk of injury for small children, but, of course, supervising children is a must on all outdoor play sets.
The set is very easy to install and set up and should take around 1 to 2 hours. It also comes with ground anchors in order to secure and stabilize the set, which is essential for ensuring it doesn’t tip over or move during play.
The plastic build also makes it extremely durable, weather resistant and easy to clean, which is always a nice bonus for busy parents. A truly perfect slide set for toddlers!
Lifetime Big Stuff Adventure Playset
This high-quality clubhouse style play set is perfect for parents who want to bring the playground to their gardens and for parents who need to keep multiple children well entertained.
The set includes a clubhouse with lookout deck, together with chalkboard, ship steering wheel and binoculars perfect for enhanced imaginative and pretend-play.
The set also includes a 9-foot wave slide made from plastic, design to be durable, withstand the weather, discoloration from the sun and built to last.
Since the construction isn’t made from wood it’s practically maintenance-free and won’t require any painting! Unlike wood sets, you won’t need to constantly monitor it for chips and splinters that could potentially cause cuts and injury.
There’s also a three station swing set that includes adjustable belt swings and a trapeze bar with gym rings to help train your future gymnast!
For younger kids, there’s a propeller swing that twists and twirls and is perfect for group play. As well as the metal ladders, kids can gain access to the upper deck using the 3D climbing wall or the cargo net.
The metal construction of this playset makes it extremely durable, low maintenance and splinter-free! The hardtop roof made from plastic, as well as the slide, are also extremely durable, waterproof and won’t wear or rip over the years, making this a playset destined for a long life!
Safety has also been well considered, the swing chains feature rubberized grips to prevent fingers being caught and any hard edges have been capped off well or rounded.
This means you don’t have to worry about grazes; cuts or any unnecessary accidents often associated with many poorly built wooden units.
Factors to Consider when Purchasing a Swing Set
Swing sets and playsets, in general, are available in a wide variety of styles and are made from a variety of materials, so the decision you make will largely be based on personal preference.
However, regardless of aesthetics, there are some important factors all buyers need to consider before making a decision.
How Many Children will be Using the Set?
First, you need to consider how many children are likely to be using the swing set at any one time. It’s no good getting a playset that is too small or one that has a single swing if you have multiple children.
No one appreciates having to wait their turn or form a queue. Therefore, if you intend on keeping multiple kids entertained ensure you select a set with multiple swings and perhaps even other features such as slides and climbing walls.
Wood Vs. Metal & Plastic Swing Sets
Wood playsets, typically made from timber look great and many people prefer their aesthetic. However, many sets made from wood will require more maintenance and routine staining in order to protect them from environmental damage.
They also come with the risk of splinters, which are never nice when experienced by kids!
Metal and plastic playsets on the other hand often look more industrial and less natural but require virtually no maintenance and are often more durable.
They also don’t require regular staining and are completely free of splinters! For these reasons many people opt for modern metal and plastic designs, but for some the natural wood look is essential! Ultimately, this is a decision for you to make.
Ease of Installation
Some swing sets come packaged and already largely assembled, which many parents find convenient. However, the majority of sets tend to take a few hours to assemble and need to be anchored into the ground in order to secure them and prevent them from being easily tipped over.
The general rule is that the larger the playset the longer it will take to assemble. So if you see a side with tree house, multiple platforms, and multiple slides, you should expect to dedicate an entire day for both assembly and ground anchor installation.
Safety Features of the Best Swing Sets
Is the playset safe? The best way to determine this is to check the set has passed industry standard safety tests. The majority of the time this is made very clear by the manufacturer.
In order to ensure your child’s safety when using the equipment, it’s essential to follow the manufacturer’s guidelines, especially with regards to the recommended age of use.
Many of the best swing sets also have key safety features, including rubber grips around the swing chains to protect fingers, as well as plastic caps on the ends of metal and wood components that could be otherwise sharp.