Versatile: rocks, swivels, and reclines
Attractive design for a nursery/kid’s room
Four options for colors/fabrics
Reclines a bit forcefully
Does not come with ottoman
Heavy/bulky in package
Weight limit is 225 pounds
If there's a baby on the way, then a rocking chair is a nursery essential (right after the crib and changing table). Used as a cozy spot to nurse, a place to read picture books, a tool to rock baby to sleep, and more, the right rocking chair can serve several purposes. There are many options—some with ottomans, some that recline, and choices of upholstery fabrics— that it can be challenging to know which to choose.
After welcoming my baby boy home, I tested the Baby Relax Mikayla Swivel Gliding Recliner, which does double-duty as a rocking chair and a recliner to help me tackle some tasks as a new mom. I’ve used this chair to rock and feed my little one, conduct dozens of late-night pumping sessions, and even take a few naps. As one of the most affordable rockers on the market, read on for my honest opinion of how this chair performs.
Setup Process: Assembled in a snap (literally)
For frazzled new parents who don’t have time to eat, let alone put together furniture, this chair took about 30 seconds to assemble. It arrives in two pieces. The top and bottom snap together for a quick and easy setup.
That said, since there are so few broken down parts, the two main pieces are massive. The chair itself is nearly 90 pounds and arrived in one box. Lugging it inside through narrow doorways was a task left to my husband.
With my parents in town to visit their new grandson, my husband and dad—both half-expecting a hassle—were able to put the Baby Relax chair together in no time. But while the chair is simple to assemble, it’s probably best done with two people due to its bulkiness and weight.
Design: Blends seamlessly with nursery decor
I’m a sucker for light gray decor, and upon finding out I was pregnant, I quickly decided to base the nursery around this neutral. The Baby Relax chair blended in with my vision and I chose the chair Gray Linen upholstery. It also comes in beige, mocha, and gray microfiber. With its cool light gray tone, this chair looks as beautiful in person as it does online.
When it arrived, I was afraid the chair’s bulkiness would be too tight in our small nursery. However, measuring at 29.25 inches wide and 37 inches deep, it fits snuggly in a corner. Thanks to its streamlined design, it doesn’t make the room look cluttered.
The Baby Relax has white piping and four buttons sewn in the back, which I think is just the right touch for a nursery or kid’s room. If you’re looking for a versatile piece that could transition into a living space down the road, this chair might work in other rooms. But, even if it’s only used in a child’s bedroom for five years or so, you’ll still get your money’s worth this cozy piece.
Material: Lightweight linen for year-round use
We opted for linen over microfiber because we figured it would be more breathable for year-round use. Although it’s currently cold where we live, we don’t foresee any issues with the material getting too hot. It’s not exceptionally soft to the touch, which doesn’t bother me, and it seems durable enough to be relatively resistant to wear from everyday use. While I’m not sure whether the fabric would stand up to tough stains, a few drops of spilled milk easily comes off if wiped immediately.
Comfort: Soft cushioning and smooth rocking
One primary concern we had about buying a less expensive furniture piece was that it would not be comfortable, but luckily, the Baby Relax did not disappoint. Its cushioned seat and back are cozy and still supportive.
Since bringing our baby home, I’ve used the chair dozens of times in the wee hours of the morning to pump, something that other moms who’ve done it know is a tedious task. I’m relatively short (5 feet, 3 inches), and my feet don’t quite touch the floor, so I often sit cross-legged in the chair while it’s in the upright position. When my back and neck are aching from craning forward, I appreciate putting the chair into its reclining position and stretching my legs out on the pop-out footrest. The arms rests also offer elbow support for pumping and nursing, bottle feeding, and baby-holding.
Due to its placement in our nursery, since the chair’s back rests on the wall when it's reclined, I remain upright enough to pump and see what I’m doing. However, the chair can recline pretty far back if there’s no obstacle in the way. (It’s also possible to lounge between the upright and fully extended positions, it just depends on how far you lean back.) Amid sleep deprivation, I’ve taken a few glorious naps in the reclined chair, and it has earned my stamp of approval.
The Baby Relax does not rock when it’s reclined, but when it’s locked upright, it tilts and swivels smoothly. As a fan of rocking chairs myself, I have enjoyed swaying back and forth as much as my baby, who calms down with the motion before bed or during feeding time. As he grows, I look forward to using this chair as a place to read his bedtime stories.
There are a couple of negatives with this chair. As mentioned, my feet don’t touch the floor, and I love to rock, so the chair itself provides no footing to keep the movement going. I usually bounce my foot off the nearby crib to keep up the momentum, so I wish it came with a separate ottoman. Of course, this is an easy fix, as any footstool or floor pouf would work.
The most significant negative aspect of the Baby Relax chair is that the reclining function is a bit intense.
Further, parents should know that the weight limit is relatively low at 225 pounds. Although this limit is probably because the chair could flip over backward (the base itself seems pretty sturdy), this is especially important to remember if larger people will be using the recliner and rocking with a child.
The most significant negative aspect of the Baby Relax chair is that the reclining function is a bit intense. When pulling the lever on the side, the footrest springs out rather forcefully. I’ve learned to press down on the footrest with my feet as it releases to stop the chair from popping backward too hard. When returning it in the upright position, you also have to press down on the footrest quite hard with your heels until it snaps back into place. The first few times I did this with the baby in my arms; I needed my husband’s help to get out of the chair.
Price: Great price for its quality, style, and versatility
With a price tag around $380 on Walmart, the Baby Relax is quite affordable compared to high-end competitors. On the flip side, there are several cheaper options out there, but I don’t think they’re nearly as versatile or stylish as this one. Because of its solid construction, recline function, and overall attractive style, I think this nursery rocker is definitely worth the price.
Competition: This chair is in the mid-range
Angel Line Windsor Glider and Ottoman: As far as low-priced nursery rocking chairs go, this one tops the list. At around $130, this rocker and ottoman combo (view on Walmart) won’t hurt your wallet and has reliable reviews to boot. It does not recline like the Baby Relax and has a more classic aesthetic, but if budget is your priority, this is an optimal pick.
Pottery Barn Wingback Convertible Rocking Chair & Ottoman: If you’re looking for something a little more luxe, the Pottery Barn convertible rocking chair and ottoman (view on Pottery Barn) fits the bill. This chair can be enjoyed well beyond the baby years. Not only is this wingback chic enough to be placed in a living or office space, but each chair is made to order so that the buyer can choose the fabric. In addition to quality construction, versatility contributes to its longevity; it comes with an ottoman (which can be even upholstered in a different material than the chair), and the rockers on the bottom can be replaced with feet to convert it to a stationary chair in the future.
- Product Name Mikayla Swivel Gliding Recliner
- Product Brand Baby Relax
- SKU 555126534
- Price $379.00
- Weight 89.1 lbs.
- Product Dimensions 37 x 41.75 x 30 in.
- Color Beige, mocha, gray linen, gray microfiber
- Warranty 1 year