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4 Best Garden Swings For Children That Are Exciting But Safe! (2021 Review)

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In this guide we’ll look at the best garden swings for the UK market.
I’ve compared design, safety, build quality and cost
to give you my top recommendations.

The Best Garden Swings for Children Are...

IMAGE RECOMMENDED PRODUCTSPRODUCT FEATURES
  • 2-in-1 swing
  • Durable and robust
  • Good value for money
  • Attractive wooden swing
  • Durable construction
  • Easy to assemble
  • Great for older kids too
  • Durable swing set
  • Can fit 2 children at once
  • Fits to an existing swing
  • Can be fitted to sturdy tree
  • Can fit 2 children at once

Read Our In-Depth Reviews

Hedstrom 2 In 1 Children's Swing

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FEATURES
  • 2-in-1 swing
  • Durable and robust
  • Good value for money
OUR RATING
96
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Hedstrom 2 In 1 Children's Swing Review

This Hedstrom 2 In 1 Children’s Swing is one of the best garden swings for families with young children. I say this because it can be adjusted as the kids grow, continuing to stay relevant as they get older. A lot of toys become redundant after a couple of years, when children grow out of them, but fortunately that won’t be the case here.

There are two swing seats included; a baby seat with a harness, and a standard swing seat for older children. That’s one way that it can be adapted, the other is with the frame itself. The steel frame is extendable, able to be adjusted from 100 cm to 180 cm, meaning the small frame can be made larger when young children grow out of it.

It’s suitable for most gardens, but should only be placed on grass so that it can be sufficiently secured. There’s no way to secure it on paving without cementing it into the ground (which is perhaps more of a commitment than most of us would like), so enough lawn space is required.

Both swing seats are made from chunky plastic which doesn’t have any sharp corners. They can be left outside and easily wiped down if they get a bit mucky.

Most parts of the swing set are well designed, but there are pros and cons to the included baby seat. It comes with a five-point harness which is useful for securing children in safely; however, it’s worth pointing out that there’s no T-bar. Because of this, it may be necessary to have another pair of hands to hold younger kids in place when getting them into the swing (without the harness on, they may wiggle out).

And, whilst for the most part this versatile swing is a great idea for growing children, there may be a slight problem if your child is relatively tall for their age. You can’t use the baby seat on the larger frame, as the rope isn’t long enough. Therefore, if they are tall, there may be a period when they can’t use the frame, until they are old enough to use the standard swing seat.

Overall, though, this 2-in-1 swing offers good value for money and is a helpful solution to the age-old problem of children growing out of toys and apparatus too quickly.

Pros

  • Doesn't become redundant when toddler grows out of it as the seat can be changed and the frame extended
  • Very quick and easy one-person assembly
  • Stable and feels safe once the swing is properly anchored
  • Both seats are very easy to wipe clean if needed
  • Lightweight at just over 10 kg so easy to move to the right spot in your garden once assembled

Cons

  • The ground pegs are not particularly large so you may want to purchase additional ones to make the swing more secure
  • No T-bar on the baby seat so it can be difficult to get your child into the right position in order to harness them in
  • Toddler seat is a little low so taller toddlers may find their feet touch the floor

TP Toys Wooden Swing Frame

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FEATURES
  • Attractive wooden swing
  • Durable construction
  • Easy to assemble
OUR RATING
94
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TP Toys Wooden Swing Frame Review

Not everyone wants various apparatus of all different colours lying across the lawn. I certainly know the feeling – kids’ toys can make the garden look a bit ‘busy’ sometimes.

For something that’s a little more in keeping with the natural surroundings, this TP Toys Wooden Swing Frame offers a good compromise between fun and subtlety.

It’s not totally dull, with a green swing seat and blue ropes that will appeal to its 3-to-10-year-old audience, but its wooden frame still offers adults a bit of what we want too; it co-ordinates well with the garden, whilst also matching any other wooden elements (such as fencing) that might be around.

The overall footprint is 240 x 183 cm so, whilst it isn’t huge, this swing may not fit in the smallest of gardens (especially after allowing several meters clearance swinging).

It measures 209 cm tall and, unlike some other swings, the height of the swing seat is very easy to adjust. It’s altered using a standard ‘strap lengthening’ system, and you can quickly change the swing height for different children.

Assembly itself is also relatively straight forward, although having two people on hand makes it a lot easier. It shouldn’t take longer than an hour to set up and there are ground stakes included to secure it into the lawn.

All in all, this is a great option for any parents who don’t love the look of metal or plastic swings. But, of course, there’s (literally) a price to a pay for this more professional aesthetic, and it’s more expensive than the other swings feature here.

Pros

  • Wooden frame blends into the natural tones of the garden which doesn't happen with metal swings
  • Can be assembled in under an hour
  • Swing height is easy to adjust and can be changed to be used by different-age children

Cons

  • You may find that some holes are not pre drilled meaning you will have to drill your own
  • Further anchors may be required to sufficiently secure the swing down
  • May be too large for small gardens

Zero Gravity UFO Children's Swing Set

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FEATURES
  • Great for older kids too
  • Durable swing set
  • Can fit 2 children at once
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92
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Zero Gravity UFO Children's Swing Set Review

If your aim is to avoid arguments between the kids (all we want is a simple life, right?) this Zero Gravity UFO Children’s Swing Set is suitable for two children to use at once, so there’s no fighting about whose turn it is.

It can be used by children up to 8 years old, and has an overall weight capacity of 90 kg (although each individual child shouldn’t exceed 45 kg), so younger siblings can play together.

The large, round “UFO” seat is 98 cm in diameter, leaving plenty of room for two kids. It has a steel outer frame which is coated in foam padding and is therefore both strong and comfortable, with no hard surfaces for children to hurt themselves on. The inner part of the seat is one smooth surface, with no gaps for children to catch their fingers in.

Most of the metal elements are covered to make everything more comfortable, including the metal chains that attach the swing seat to the frame. They’ve been covered with plastic all the way up to protect little hands.

Another nice thing about the ‘nest’ style seat is that it doesn’t just provide children with a swing, but a place to sit and hang out as well. It’s not dissimilar to the children’s version of a swinging bench, in that respect.

So, an important question, will it fit in the garden? It measures 196 cm wide and 184 cm deep, which is quite large, meaning you do need a fair amount of space – most likely a medium/large garden given that an additional ‘clearance’ area is required around the swing as well.

If there is enough room, it won’t take long to get the swing assembled once it arrives, and putting it together should take one – two hours (although, of course, it may depend how much “help” you get from the excitable kids!).

Ground stakes come included for securing the frame into soft ground, or alternatively it can be concreted in for extra stability.

One thing to note: the seat is positioned quite high off the ground. So, whilst the set is touted as being suitable for 3-to-8-year-olds, younger kids will probably need help climbing up. The rope length isn’t adjustable, so there’s no way to change it either.

All things considered though, this is a great choice if you don’t want a traditional swing, and has to be one of the best garden swings for two children to play on at the same time, making it much easier for siblings to spend time together.

Pros

  • Two children can use the swing at the same time
  • Suitable for children aged 3 - 8 years old, so siblings of different ages can use the swing together
  • All tools for assembly come included, and assembly will take 1 - 2 hours
  • The nuts and bolts provided are strong and robust
  • Metal components are covered by plastic making it more comfortable and safe to use

Cons

  • Higher off the ground than you might expect, meaning smaller children may need help getting into and out of the swing
  • There is no way to change the length of the rope or the height of the swing

Children's Spider Web Swing Seat

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FEATURES
  • Fits to an existing swing
  • Can be fitted to sturdy tree
  • Can fit 2 children at once
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90
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Children's Spider Web Swing Seat Review

Keeping kids interested in old toys can be tricky, but this Children’s Spider Web Swing Seat offers a good way to add new life to existing climbing frames.

It can be attached to either a pre-existing swing set or climbing frame, or a large sturdy tree branch. This versatility is helpful for several reasons, but one main benefit is that you can swap out old equipment for this swing, without having to get rid of the entire frame.

The ‘nest’ seat itself is made predominantly from polyethylene rope, and the frame is padded with foam tubing to make it more comfortable for children climbing on and off. It’s all certified to European CE Safety Standards which is always good to see.

Whilst it’s a little smaller than the Zero Gravity UFO swing, at 65 cm in diameter, it does have adjustable ropes, so should be more suitable for smaller children as the seat can be lowered.

The max. weight capacity is 70 kg which seems reasonable as there’s only really enough space for one child to sit at a time. It’s suitable for children 3 +, and the weight capacity will mean it’s still ok for even some young teenagers to use.

In terms of practicality, it’s straight forward to connect this swing to an existing frame. It comes with two metal O-rings that attach to hooks on the frame. If you choose to attach it to a tree branch, you may need extra extension rope.

Overall, this is one of the best garden swings in terms of value, as you don’t need to buy a frame as well (providing you already have one, or an appropriate tree, to hang the swing from!). The only thing to bear in mind is its size; you might buy a ‘nest’ swing thinking that more than one child can use it at a time, but due to the small diameter of this one, it’s really only appropriate for individual use.

Pros

  • Assembly can be as simple as connecting the metal hoops of the swing to existing metal hoops on the frame
  • Can be attached to a strong tree branch if you don't have a frame
  • Fully adjustable to accommodate for different height children
  • High weight capacity of 70 kg means it's suitable for even some young teenagers

Cons

  • Quite a small 65 cm diameter so can only be used by one child at a time
  • The adjustable ropes may slip slightly sometimes, making the seat slightly uneven

How to Choose The Best Garden Swing

A swing is always a winner in playgrounds, and for good reason.

They’re great fun for kids to play on, and a lot of the time even us adults can’t help having a quick go ourselves (or is that just me?).

However, getting your child to a playground everyday isn’t always practical. Therefore, if space allows, a garden swing is a great option. Having a swing at home allows you to keep an eye on your kids from the comfort of the kitchen window. Plus, they’re free to use it any time they like (and are much more likely to spend time outside playing as a result!).

So, now the most important question: how do you choose the best garden swing? There are a range available, and they all offer something slightly different. The following information should help inform your decision:

First let’s start by looking at the range of benefits offered by having a swing in the garden. It’s nice to know exactly how your purchase will be beneficial to your children a they grow up.

As a starter for ten, I’m sure we all remember the process of learning how to use a swing – it’s not that easy to get the hang of at first! Like riding a bike, using a swing is a skill. And mastering any skill (and gaining that satisfying feeling of “I couldn’t do this and now I can!”) is great for building confidence.

Children have to develop their coordination to make the swing move, getting their arms, legs and upper body to do the right thing at the same time. Good coordination will frequently come in useful in life, as will good balance, which is another skill required to get a swing going.

Also, it’s of course worth mentioning how much fun using a swing is, which is a benefit in itself. Using a garden swing is a fun yet safe activity, which will encourage your child to spend more time outdoors.

Plus, you can keep an eye on them from inside the house, meaning you won’t have to spend as much time at the park.

Finally, swings offer a good way for siblings to to play together. If you have a traditional swing, they will learn to take turns, and can also help each other by pushing the swing. And, if you have a ‘nest’ swing, often there is enough space for both children to sit in it together, talking and playing.

Swings come in a range of designs, with different seat styles and frames. They can be a part of larger climbing frames, or just a single swing attached to a frame or tree.

Whilst you’ll see that there are an infinite amount of styles to choose from, these are some of the various features you might come across:

  • Interchangeable seats – some swing sets will come with different seat options. Often this will be a baby seat and a standard seat. If you have young children, this may be useful to look out for, as the seat can be changed as the child grows. Baby seats may have a T-bar or a harness to secure younger children.
  • Bird nest seats – these are round, flat seats which allow more space for children to sit. Sometimes they have depth, like a bowl, and other times they are flat. They may not always be as practical for swinging high on, compared to traditional swings, but they offer a different kind of swing experience. Also, some nest seats can accommodate more than one child at the same time.
  • Double seats – some frames come with two swings instead of one. This is another good option if there’s more than one child in the household (or if friends come over often); however, these frames will take up more space than a single swing.
  • Adjustable rope length – being able to easily adjust the length of the rope holding the swing can make it easier to adjust for different size children. Some swings have a rope of a fixed length meaning it isn’t possible to alter how high or low the swing is. Having the option to adjust the rope length and hanging height can keep the swing relevant as kids grow up.
  • Adjustable frame size – whilst not overly common, some swing sets have a frame that can be extended. Again, this is good if you currently have young children. Smaller kids can use the smaller version of the frame until they outgrow it. Then, when they are too tall for the toddler frame, it can be extended into a full-size swing. This can offer good value for money, as you only need to make one purchase.

You’ll also want to consider age limit and weight capacity. The age limit is generally stated by the manufacturer and should be adhered to, as should the weight limit. Ignoring the capacity restrictions can make the swing unsafe.

Equally, if you’re hoping to buy a nest swing so that two children will be able to use it at the same time, both the weight limit and nest size need to be considered. Not all nest swings are suitable to be used by two children.

There’s also the option of hanging a swing from a sturdy branch, which gets rid of the necessity to have a frame in the garden. Of course, this is only an option if you have an appropriate tree, but if it is possible your child could have more garden space to play in, without a frame in the way.

Finally, it’s not only about finding the best garden swing for your child, but also the best design for you. There are different options available when it comes to the appearance of a swing, and you might prefer the look of a wooden frame over a metal one. It’s worth bearing this in mind, especially if you have a preference aesthetically.

When it comes to size, you’ll need to consider:

  • The size and layout of your garden.
  • The size of the entire frame.
  • How much clearance space is required around the frame.

Most single swing frames will measure at least 160 x 160 cm; however, the majority of them are bigger. If you don’t have space for this in your garden, taking into account clearance space as well (see below), you may have to choose a different piece of equipment for the garden.

Swing frames also need to be placed on level ground, so you need enough level surface area available.

There is also the option of hanging a swing from a tree. This can save space if you have a suitably stable one in your garden. Of course, this is totally dependent on having an appropriate tree, which may not be relevant to most gardens.

If you have a lot of available space, you may be able to consider a double swing frame. Naturally, these are a lot wider. A rough size guide for a double swing frame would be 250 cm wide by 200 cm deep.

It’s generally more cost efficient to buy a two-swing set than buy two separate frames, so it’s worth considering, if you have the space. Often each swing can be adjusted to a separate height, so they can be made suitable for siblings of different ages.

You’ll need to leave at least 2 m of clearance space on all sides of the swing. This is to prevent any accidents. Therefore, for a swing frame that measures 160 x 160 cm, you’d need a clear space of 560 x 560 cm. Making sure there are no obstacles around the swing is very important. This includes in the area above the swing – you need to watch out for any low-hanging branches or other objects that could cause a collision.

Children’s swings come in a variety of materials including wood, metal and plastic.

Wooden frames tend to be very durable and stable. A lot of people find them to be the most aesthetically pleasing, as they blend in well with the natural surroundings of the garden. They may have wooden or plastic swing seats. The disadvantage of wooden swing sets is that if the wood isn’t properly maintained, it can be susceptible to weather damage. Look for pressure-treated wood, guaranteed against rot.

If you do buy a wooden frame, be prepared to treat it yourself every few years to increase its resistance against rot and insect infestations.

When it comes to metal, a good-quality powder-coated steel frame should last for years. These generally remain pretty rust resistant for a long time. Be wary of metal swing sets that are a lot cheaper than average; they may use low-quality metal.

Finally, there are plastic swings. These are best suited to very young children; plastic swings are lightweight and easy to move around the garden. They generally come in a range of bright colours and designs.

The downside to plastic swings is that they rarely have a high weight capacity. This means that as your child grows, you will need to purchase a better quality wooden or metal frame.

When purchasing plastic, make sure it is protected against UV. If it isn’t, it may quickly show signs of damage when left out in the sun.

With all swings, it’s good to carry out a safety check/maintenance check every once in a while. With wooden frames this will involve sanding down splinters, checking for rot, and treating the wood. If you have a metal frame, going over it to make sure there’s no rust is a good idea. With plastic frames you should check that the construction isn’t becoming brittle or starting to bow.

One of the most important things to consider when buying a swing is how to safely secure it to the ground.

A swing that isn’t secure may move or tip with the momentum of the swing which could cause an accident.

As with all things safety-related, you should always follow the manufacture’s instructions for your specific swing set. But, for general reference, here we’ll look at some common methods. Generally speaking, there are two popular approaches for securing a swing frame.

The first approach is to use ground anchors. The second approach is to cement the frame in. Some swing sets may come with ground anchors provided, whilst others might recommend the cement method.

Using Ground Anchors

Ground anchors come in several different styles. They may twist into the ground like a giant corkscrew, or have a straighter appearance. They are inserted into the ground by the legs of the swing frame, and only work if the ground is sufficiently hard to hold them in place.

Generally, they have a loop or hook on the top. Once they are secured into the ground, they can be connected to the legs of the frame with a screw through this loop.

Ground anchors are a good choice for wooden frames, as these shouldn’t be held in by concrete. They can also be used to hold in metal frames, although the metal frame normally needs to have a ‘foot’ that the ground anchors can go through.

Due to the ground anchor’s non-permanent nature, it’s easier to move a swing set that is held in by ground anchors compared to concrete.

However, if your frame states that it shouldn’t be used with ground anchors, or that it should be used with a specific type of anchor, you must pay attention to that information.

Anchoring the Frame in Concrete

This technique is more commonly seen with metal-frame swing sets. Wooden frames are not a good combination with concrete as the moisture from the concrete transfers to the wood and can cause rot.

Once again though, follow the instructions provided by the manufacturer of your specific swing set.

Anchoring the frame in concrete will generally require you to:

  1. dig holes (approx. 30 cm wide by 20 cm deep for a standard single swing) where the feet of the frame will rest.
  2. Place a brick in the hole to create a hard, level surface at the bottom.
  3. Rest the feet of the frame on the brick
  4. Fill the holes with cement.

Be careful to follow the instructions on the cement you are using, as some will require mixing differently.

Children's Garden Swing FAQs

Children can use infant swings at almost any age, so long as they are supervised. The swing just needs to be appropriate for the age of the child. Bucket-style infant swings are suitable for babies, and they can be gently pushed.

At around 4 years old, children can use a regular swing set. As a general rule of thumb, they are able to get onto the swing themselves, they should be able to swing safely. Of course, this is very individual to the child, and you should always keep a keen eye on them.

Both metal and wooden swing sets are strong and safe, although wooden swing sets tend to be more attractive. Metal swing sets are generally more durable, but they should be rust resistant.

Wooden swing sets are usually made from pressure treated wood which will resist rot, decay and pests. They require slightly more maintenance than metal swing sets, usually an annual treatment.

Metal swing sets may be slightly easier to assemble. The poles are usually hollow which makes them lighter, and they can usually be slotted together.

Swing sets are generally very safe, but it can be a good idea to put a material underneath it to protect your child in case they fall. Whilst many people may just place their garden swing on the grass, grass can wear out when the swing is frequently used, leaving messy, potentially stony earth underneath.

Wooden and rubber playground mulch are popular options, and so is soft sand. Rubber mats are another good option; they’re slightly more expensive but they are very easy to set up.

First and foremost, you must follow the manufacturer’s instructions for your specific swing set when working out how to anchor it. Two options that are often used are ground anchors and concrete anchoring.

Ground anchors may come included with the swing set or they might need to be bought separately. They are secured into the ground near the legs of the frame, and either connected to the frame using screws or nylon straps.

Concrete is more often used to secure metal frames than wooden ones. If it is advised to concrete your frame into the ground, the manufacturer should detail exactly how to do this.

For a metal frame, you will likely have to follow a similar process to this:

  1. Mark where each foot of the frame will be placed
  2. Dig a hole of approximately 30 cm wide by 20 cm deep where each foot will be
  3. Place a brick at the bottom of each hole to create a level base
  4. Stand the frame in the holes
  5. Fill the holes with cement (after checking the instructions for the cement you are using)
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