The 10 Best Backyard Swing Sets for Kids

Create a backyard made for entertaining your kids all year round with a ready-for-play swing set.

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May 28, 2021

Amp up your great outdoors with a swing set that'll have your kiddos running to the backyard rather than sitting in front of a screen. Whether you're looking for something classic and simple or elaborate with all the bells and whistles, you'll find the just-right swing set for your kids and backyard.

Choosing the Best Swing Set

There is a wide variety of swing sets on the market, so we've gathered the info you want to take into account when making your decision, plus, we listed the best swing sets in every category. To start, you'll want to consider what you'll need out of your swing set, including the age range of your kids and how many kids will be typically playing on the set. Additionally, take measurements of your yard so that you know what size set it can accommodate. Allow for at least six feet from any structure or obstacle and even more space if there are swings.

Let Kids Take the Lead

When deciding what type of swing set you want, take your kids to a few local playgrounds and see what they play with the most. Do they love climbing the rock wall, but stay away from monkey bars? Is pretend play a favorite activity, so an included playhouse is a must? Watching your kids play will help you figure out the play set that they'll enjoy the most.

Safety, Safety, Safety

Most important of all we want to keep our kids and their friends safe. For a deep dive into home playground safety guidelines, the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) has a handbook.

Some of their vitals strategies are:

  • Choose a level location and anchor the set so that it can't tip over.
  • Openings between ladder rungs, posts and railings should be smaller than three-and-a-half inches or larger than nine inches so that kids can't get their heads or necks trapped.
  • Eliminate all hanging ropes or cords, since they're a strangulation hazard. Climbing ropes should be secured on both ends.
  • Protect against falls by having railing on any surface higher than 30 inches.
  • Use shock-absorbing protective surfacing — a minimum of nine inches of loose-fill materials, such as wood or rubber mulch, or a professional poured-in-place surface — under and around your playset.

Materials

Playsets are made out of metal, wood, plastic or a combination of these materials.

Metal: Metal is incredibly sturdy, strong and relatively easy to maintain. Make sure the metal is galvanized or has a protective coating to keep it from rusting and from getting too hot to the touch.
Wood: The natural beauty of wood is appealing for any backyard and is a solid, durable choice. Opt for cedar or redwood, which is naturally rot- and insect-resistant. It does require some maintenance to keep the wood smooth and splinters to a minimum.
Plastic: Plastic sets have a lower weight capacity, so they're usually for younger children. They are typically the least expensive of the three materials and simple to install.

Best Overall Swing Set

Keep the whole neighborhood entertained with this solid cedar swing set, which includes a wavy slide, a trio of swings, a climbing wall and a tic-tac-toe game. The playhouse is covered by a heavy-duty vinyl canopy to provide shade while kids play with the telescope and steering wheel. Underneath is a picnic table for grabbing a snack and making mudpies. Recommended for ages three to 11, the set comes ready to assemble with pre-cut, pre-stained and pre-drilled lumber.

Best Budget Wood Swing Set

Simple and affordable, this cedar wood set comes with a pair of swings and a ring/trapeze combination swing. The A-frame is easy to assemble with fully illustrated instructions and is customizable to your kids' needs — trade out any of the swings for a toddler or glider. Swing chains are coated so that little fingers won't get pinched and the metal won't be too hot. This playset has a maximum weight recommendation of 350 pounds.

Best Budget Metal Swing Set

This heavy-duty steel swing set is another traditional A-frame and features a belt swing and a saucer swing. The metal and hardware are weather resistant and have a powder-coated paint finish for extra durability. Because of its metal construction, this set can handle a bit more weight — maximum weight recommendation is 440 pounds — than our budget wood set.

Best Small Space Swing Set

If your backyard is tight on space, this fun set still gives your kiddos the chance to play outside and swing. The hammock-like design lets two kids swing at once or just lay back and relax. The chains are covered in extra vinyl for safety and strength.

Best Rated Wood Swing Set

Averaging 4.6 stars with more than 700 five-star reviews, this top-rated swing set has a little bit of everything. A climbing wall leads up to a covered play area, which heads down a wavy slide. The built-in sandbox is under the platform so kids can stay in the shade, and the swing section offers three different stations for kicking up into the air.

Best Swing Set With Monkey Bars

Was your kid the one you found climbing out of the crib or up a bookshelf? Get her a playset designed to maximize all those climbing skills. Made from powder-coated galvanized steel, this sturdy set is designed to be freestanding — no cement needed — and low-maintenance; it doesn't require staining or painting. Not only does it meet all the safety requirements, but it also meets all the fun requirements with a fireman's pole, monkey bars, trapeze bar, three swings and a nine-foot-long wavy slide.

Best Playhouse Swing Set

This oh-so-sweet playset is designed for toddlers to elementary-aged kids. Two rope swings hang from the A-frame, and a six-foot-long plastic slide is mounted off the back of the deck. The cottage playhouse and deck are the perfect spots for make-believe adventures.

Best Toddler Swing Set

For the littlest members of your crew, this three-in-one set is made with their safety in mind with a double protective swing seat and railings down the slide to prevent tots from rolling off. Fill the base with water to provide a stable, sturdy foundation, and you're ready to let kids as young as 18 months play.

Best Classic Swing Set

Bright primary colors add a playfulness to your backyard reminiscent of your favorite childhood playground. The weather- and rust-resistant steel structure will not crack, rot, warp or splinter and is virtually maintenance-free. The durable injection-molded support bases create a solid footing without the need for cement.

Best Swing Set Addition

Move over belt swings, this spinning ring swing will have all the kids clamoring to try. Constructed from powder-coated steel and supporting up to 150 pounds, the swing hangs from a tree or your existing play structure. Easy-grip handles help kids stay on while they swing and spin.

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