What is a Rocker Chair?

Mary McMahon

A rocker chair or rocking chair is a chair which is designed to rock when the sitter shifts his or her weight. There are a number of uses for rocking chairs, and many people associate them with rustic or country d├ęcor, visualizing a rocking chair sitting on a porch of a country home. Many furniture stores carry rocker chairs, with a variety of designs and styles to choose from, and they are also available through antique stores and used furniture stores.

Woman posing
Woman posing

In a basic rocker chair, the legs are attached to a set of curved rockers. When someone sits in the chair and shifts their weight, the chair rocks backward or forwards with the sitter. Often, the chair gains some momentum, and it will continue to rock on its own for some time after the sitter has settled down. Other rocker chairs use design features like curved and flexible legs which move with the sitter, and it is also possible to find glider chairs, which move back and forward on rails rather than rocking.

One classic use for a rocker chair is in a baby's bedroom. Infants and babies often enjoy being held and gently rocked, and a rocker chair can make it easier to rock a baby gently and regularly while he or she drifts off to sleep. New parents often appreciate the gift of such a chair, using it as a place to sit while the baby nurses or settles down to prepare to go to sleep.

Rocker chairs are also sometimes used by adults and children who simply enjoy rocking while they sit. The gentle rocking motion can be very lulling in some cases. For people who sit for long periods of time while they work on crafting projects like knitting or quilting, a rocker chair can also help dispel a case of the fidgets or restlessness, allowing the sitter to move around a bit without disrupting the project.

Wood is a classic choice of construction material for such chairs, although metals and plastics may be used as well. Some are upholstered, while others are bare wood, and designed to accommodate pillows if desired. One thing to think about when purchasing a rocker chair is the potential danger to young children and pets; hands, feet, limbs, and tails can all get caught between the rocker and the floor, which can be a very painful experience. A glider chair tends to be safer, although it lacks the classic appearance of a traditional rocking chair.

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