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If you have children, a swing set is sure to be a welcome addition to your backyard—after all, it’s basically bringing the playground home! Swing sets come in all different shapes and sizes, ranging from small one-seat swings to oversized forts with lots of ways to play.
When shopping for a swing set, you’ll want to consider its features and size, as well as safety and durability. It’s important to find a product that’s well-made and can stand up to some roughhousing, and you’ll also want to look for a swing set that can withstand the weather, as it will likely remain outdoors year-round.
With these considerations in mind, the following are the best swing sets that your whole family will love.
Best Overall: Lifetime 10-Foot Metal Deluxe Swing Set
The Lifetime Deluxe Swing Set is a classic choice for small families, as it features two swings and a trapeze bar with gym rings. This swing set is made from heavy-duty powder-coated steel and UV-resistant plastic that can stand up to any weather, and the set can support up to 400 pounds, allowing multiple people to play on it at the same time.
The Lifetime Swing Set is 13 feet long and 11 feet wide, so it’s best for home with medium or large yards. The product comes in two boxes and requires two people for assembly, and it has a number of useful safety features, including soft rubber grips on the swing chains to prevent little fingers from getting pinched. Overall, it’s an unbeatable choice if you’re looking for a basic swing set, as it’s sturdy, safe, and will last for years.
Best Budget: Trekassy Swing Set
You’ll be hard-pressed to find a better value than the Trekassy Swing Set, which features both a belt swing and saucer swing for your children to play on. This swing set is on the smaller size—measuring 90-1/2 inches long and 67 inches wide—but it can still support up to 440 pounds thanks to its heavy-duty weather-resistant steel frame.
The saucer swing on this set is 32 inches in diameter, making it ideal for one or two young children, and you can adjust its height so your little ones can climb on more easily. The belt swing is made from durable plastic and features plastic-coated chains for safety, and either swing can be taken off and replaced with other standard-sized playground accessories, such as a baby carrier swing or hanging chair.
Best Splurge: Backyard Discovery Skyfort II Residential Wood Playset
Your kids will have the time of their lives playing on the elaborate Backyard Discovery Skyfort II, which is so much more than your average swing set. This set features a spacious elevated clubhouse with a ladder, rock climbing wall, and slide, as well as a set of monkey bars, three-position swing beam, built-in picnic table, crow’s nest, and even a sandbox. No matter how your children like to play, the Skyfort has it covered.
This high-end swing set is crafted from durable cedar wood that resists decay, rot, and mold, and it requires a large yard for installation, measuring close to 22 feet long and 17 feet wide. The set requires quite a bit of assembly, but its many features allow several children to play at once. Plus, it has features that cater to kids of all ages, and its attractive cedar build will look beautiful in your yard.
"We love that the set feels safe and sturdy. Nothing sways when the kids are on the swings or climbing into the clubhouse.”—The Spruce Product Tester
Best Metal: Lifetime Monkey Bar Adventure Swing Set with 9 Foot Wavy Slide
Metal swing sets are typically low maintenance and extremely durable, and the Lifetime Monkey Bar Adventure Swing Set offers children several ways to play thanks to its complex design. This swing set is built from powder-coated galvanized steel and weather-resistant polyethylene, and it includes three belt swings, a trapeze bar with gym rings, set of monkey bars, fireman’s pole, and a 9-foot wavy slide.
As you can probably imagine, this complex swing set takes up quite a bit of room, measuring just under 14 feet wide and 19 feet long. It can accommodate up to six occupants at a time, supporting 640 pounds, and it has a number of convenient safety features, such as plastic caps on the edges and rubber grips on the swing chains.
Best Wooden: Swing-N-Slide Ranger Plus Wooden Swing Set
Wooden swing sets like the Swing-N-Slide Ranger Plus Wooden Swing Set offer a classic look and sturdy construction, making them a worthwhile addition to your yard. This swing set includes two belt swings and a trapeze bar, and it has a small playhouse on the side with a ladder and wavy slide. (If you don’t want the play deck, you can also get the Ranger Swing Set on its own.)
This play set is 12 feet long and just under 11 feet wide, and the frame is crafted from durable wood with metal and plastic accents. The swings feature coated chains for safety, and each seat can support up to 115 pounds—so keep in mind they’re not meant for adults. The playhouse has a canopy roof and protective mesh panels on the side, and the swings can even be swapped out for different accessories, if you choose.
Best for Young Children: Step2 Naturally Playful Playhouse Climber Swing Set
Young children will want to spend hours on the Step2 Naturally Playful Playhouse Climber Swing Set, a spacious plastic set that’s recommended for kids ages 3 to 8. This dual-level playhouse includes two swings and a slide, and there’s even a door that leads to the hidden space underneath the elevated platform. The swing seats feature high sides and soft nylon ropes that are comfortable for little hands, and the set coordinates with other Naturally Playful products from the brand.
The Step2 Swing Set is 115 x 110 inches, and it can support up to 250 pounds. The brand’s signature plastic construction is weather-, fade-, and temperature-resistant, making it appropriate for outdoor use, but some parents also opt to install the swing set indoors, as it’s only 75 inches tall.
Best for Small Yards: ALEKO Child Swing
For those with small yards, the ALEKO Child Swing is a simple, compact, and affordable option, as it’s only 55 x 55 inches. The metal frame supports one plastic swing seat held up by ropes, and it’s recommended for kids ages 3 to 8, as it has a 99 pound weight limit.
The ALEKO Child Swing is made from steel and features a non-slip seat for safety, and you can even adjust the height of the seat to suit your child’s needs. The overall design is quite simple, but it’s also budget-friendly and easy to assemble.
The Lifetime 10-Foot Metal Deluxe Swing Set (view at Walmart) is a well-made metal swing set that offers two seats and a trapeze bar, and your whole family can use it thanks to the 400-pound weight limit. For a smaller, less expensive option, consider the Trekassy Swing Set (view at Amazon), which includes one swing seat and a saucer swing.
What to Look for in a Swing Set
Scout the area you plan to put the swing set. Make sure you have enough space for the structure, plus the necessary clearance for swings and slides. Also, consider where the sun hits your property — it’s better for the lifespan of the swing set if you place it in a shadier spot.
Yes, you’ll want to think about how many children you have now and what ages they are — but you’ll also want to think about how many children you may have in the future. A swing set is an investment you’ll have for many years to come.
Wood is sturdy and durable but will need some maintenance yearly. Cedarwood is a great choice since it’s highly resistant to decay and insects. Look for wood that’s been treated with non-toxic chemicals.
How do I level the ground for a swing set?
The area where you install your swing set needs to be fairly level, which might mean you need to level out an uneven lawn. This entails measuring out the space needed for your swing set, removing grass and dirt, and digging down a few inches, using a level to ensure the surface is even. If there’s an area that’s extremely divoted, you may need to use sand to raise it up to the same level as the rest of the ground. Once this is done, you can install your swing set and cover the area with a shock-absorbing material.
How do I anchor a swing set?
Most swing sets need to be anchored to the ground to prevent them from tipping over, and there are a few ways to do it. Some swing sets come with ground anchors that screw into the soil—similar to the ones you’d use to stake a tent—and these anchors are also available online.
However, for larger swing sets, you may want to anchor the unit with concrete. This involves digging a hole for each leg and securing them in place with concrete—be sure to level your swing set carefully if anchoring this way, as you won’t be able to adjust it once the concrete is dry.
What do I put under a swing set?
Children are bound to fall occasionally when playing on a swing set, which is why it’s important to put a shock-absorbing material underneath the play area. Vinyl or rubber mulch is one of the best materials for this purpose, as it absorbs shock extremely well, resists mold, and won’t give your kids splinters. However, other popular choices include sand or wood mulch, both of which will help to cushion falls, and you’ll want to put several inches of material for best results.
How much space do I need around a swing set?
In addition to making sure your yard can accommodate the dimensions of your swing set, you’ll also want to measure out a “safety zone” or “fall zone” around the set. In general, there should be at least 6 feet of empty space in all directions around your swing set—you don’t want to place it near a tree or fence. This extra room will ensure children don’t hit anything when swinging or playing on the set.