Which swing sets are best?

Kids love to play outdoors and a backyard swing set is a great place for them to have fun while playing safely under your watchful eye. The best swing sets are strong and durable and offer kids many play options.

There are many things to think about when it comes to choosing a swing set, such as material type, ease of assembly and safety. If you want a swing set that is lots of fun in an efficient footprint suitable for almost any yard, the Gorilla Playsets Outing Wood Swing Set offers endless hours of enjoyment for kids from three to 11.

What to know before you buy a swing set

Wooden swing sets 

Wooden swing sets are popular because their natural look fits in so well with the outdoor environment.​​ 


  • Wood is not only a nostalgic material but is sturdier and more robust than other frames and more easily repaired when damaged.
  • With proper care, wooden swing sets can provide decades of enjoyment.


  • Wooden swing sets require annual staining, sealing and wood preservation treatments. 
  • Wooden swing sets cost more than other types.

Metal swing sets

Metal swing sets do a great job of standing up to rough play and extreme weather conditions.


  • Metal is the most durable frame material.​​ 
  • Metal frames cost less than wood.
  • Metal swing sets are easier to assemble than wooden sets.


  • Metal does not have the warmth or aesthetic appeal of wood.
  • Metal surfaces will get hot when exposed to direct sun.

Plastic swing sets

Swing sets with plastic frames are for toddlers and small children.


  • Plastic swing sets are more affordable than sets with wood or metal frames. 
  • Plastic swing sets are the fastest and easiest to set up.


  • Plastic swing sets can fade or warp when exposed to extreme weather. 
  • Plastic swing sets are not as sturdy and have lower weight limits.

What to look for in a quality swing set

Ease of assembly

Every swing set is shipped in pieces to be assembled on your site. Depending upon your building skills, your swing set could take only a few hours to assemble. More intricate swing sets may take several days to put together. 

Weight limitations

The more stations you have, the more kids that can play on your swing set at the same time and the fewer arguments you will have to referee. Make absolutely certain you choose a swing set that can handle the combined weight of all the kids that will be playing on it at one time without wobbling or rocking.


You will want a swing set that stands up to the elements as well as active, heavy use. Swing sets using better materials and made with higher levels of craftsmanship will have greater up-front costs but will give you more years of service than cheaper sets. 


Some of the better swing sets are designed so you can add more stations and activities later on. Customizable features and extras like forts, monkey bars, trapezes, climbing ropes, slides and tunnels keep your kids interested as they grow.


While all swing set makers are required to build their products to basic safety standards, better swing sets are designed with more than the minimum safety features. Look for swing sets that have no exposed metal and keep all moving parts covered so kids’ fingers don’t get pinched or crushed.

How much you can expect to spend on swing sets

Small plastic swing sets cost a few hundred dollars. Midrange metal sets cost as much as $500, while midrange wooden sets cost up to $1,200. Top models with all the bells and whistles can reach as much as $10,000.

Swing sets FAQ

Can I do anything to make my swing set safer for kids to play on?

Eurmax 4 Piece Trampoline Trampoline Set with T-Hook Steel Corkscrew Shape for Trampolines

A. You can start by making sure you have anchored the swing set frame firmly to the ground. This can be done via the same methods used when anchoring trampolines or tents. On an ongoing basis, you should lubricate the metal parts, check the bolts for tightness and apply a fresh coat of waterproofing each year.

Can I buy a wooden or metal swing set for a toddler?

A. You can if you make sure the construction is safe enough for the smallest children. For safety’s sake, you may want to buy a small plastic swing set even knowing your child will outgrow it. You can always give it to someone else with a toddler.

What’s the best swing set to buy?

Top swing set  

Gorilla Playsets Outing Wood Swing Set

Gorilla Playsets Outing Wood Swing Set

What you need to know: Children from three to 11 love the different play stations of this sturdy cedar swing set. 

What you’ll love: The cedar lumber is naturally resistant to insect damage, rot and decay. The 800-lb weight limit means several kids can enjoy this activity center at the same time. Kids can climb either the ladder or use the rock wall with climbing rope to get to the roofed fort and the wave slide. This swing set includes three swing stations with two belt swings and a trapeze bar. It comes ready to assemble, with all lumber pre-drilled, pre-cut and pre-sanded at the factory.

What you should consider: Some customers reported quality control issues like misaligned holes and cracked boards, so check yours carefully when it arrives. 

Where to buy: Sold by Amazon

Top swing set for the money

Swing-N-Slide Ranger Wooden Swing Set

Swing-N-Slide Ranger Wooden Swing Set

What you need to know: This affordable wooden swing set has a classic design that is easy to assemble.

What you’ll love: The two swings support up to 115 pounds each. The swing chains are coated in plastisol that will not rust and also prevents little kids’ fingers from being pinched. This swing set has a ring/trapeze combination swing, too. This product is easy to assemble, includes all wood, hardware and fully illustrated instructions and meets industry safety standards for backyard residential use only.

What you should consider: Some customers reported pieces were damaged upon arrival.

Where to buy: Sold by Amazon

Worth checking out

XDP Recreation Free N’ Swing Swing Set

XDP Recreation Free N’ Swing Swing Set

What you need to know: Up to seven 100-pound kids can play at once on this swing set with five play stations.

What you’ll love: This swing set has three varieties of swings, a slide and a see-saw and is recommended for use by kids from three to eight. This galvanized steel frame swing set complies with industry standards and is backed by a five-year warranty. The padded foam guards on the frame’s legs help protect kids from injury. 

What you should consider: There were a few reports of boxes shipped with missing components.

Where to buy: Sold by Amazon


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David Allan Van writes for BestReviews. BestReviews has helped millions of consumers simplify their purchasing decisions, saving them time and money.

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