Swing sets are a kids’ backyard staple for a reason. Kids love them, they offer a wide variety of play possibilities — especially modern sets, which are practically mini-playgrounds all by themselves. And they’re a great way to ensure your kids get out of the house periodically! Here are some of the best swing sets for older kids (and a couple for younger kids!) that we’ve found.

Our Top Picks

Lifetime Monkey Adventure Earthtone

Best Overall

Lifetime Monkey Adventure Earthtone

Gorilla Playsets Nantucket Swing Set

Upgrade Choice

Gorilla Playsets Nantucket Swing Set

Lifetime Big Stuff Adventure Play

Best Budget Buy

Lifetime Big Stuff Adventure Play 

How to Pick the Best "swing sets"

1. Recommended Age

While kids can have swinging fun as early as toddler age, it can take a bit of coordination to swing properly without supervision, so most swing sets are meant for ages 3+. Don’t worry, they’ll be doing flying dismounts and trying to orbit around the bar before you know it.

2. Composition

Wood swing sets are usually cheapest and the most esthetically pleasing, but they require staining and sealing (and restaining and resealing as they get older), and even then will tend to age quickly under the sun and rain. But wood sets also have the advantage of being easiest to modify and add on to if you’re handy. Plastic sets are, let’s be honest, ugly, but easy to assemble. They do have a tendency to get uncomfortably hot in direct sunlight as well. Steel can be a good compromise – tougher than wood, but still decent-looking, especially if the steel is properly coated.

3. Space Required

This is the footprint of the unit itself. Don’t take this as an absolute, however. With the typical swing set, you’ll want a safety zone of about twice the size of the unit that’s free of walls, trees, and other hittable obstacles.

4. Weight Capacity

Most swing sets are engineered to handle the weight of kids of almost any size, or even the occasional parent who wants to relive his or her childhood. Regardless of the weight capacity, it’s always important to make sure the swing set is secured properly; failing to do so may void the warranty on your set. If the manufacturer doesn’t provide stakes or anchors, you can probably find third-party stakes that will secure your swing set to the ground. If you really don’t want your swing set leaving your yard, drilling holes and pouring cement is an option, but shouldn’t be necessary with a well-designed set.

5. Kid Capacity

Do you need to provide fun for just one kid, or do you have an entire army who might end up fighting over who gets to use what? Even if you only have one kid, you might want to get a swing set that can provide space for friends and/or visiting relatives as well. And it never hurts to prepare for the future!

6. Weight

The weight of the swing set can affect several aspects, particularly how solid the ground under it needs to be and how much of a pain it’s going to be to assemble. If you live in tornado or hurricane-prone areas, you may also prefer heavy sets to ensure that they stay in place.

The Winners

#1

Lifetime Monkey Adventure Earthtone

Best Overall

We’ll start out the list with one of our favorites. In fact, this is our Editor’s Choice based on how it balances variety of play options, looks, and durability. This tough steel swing set, Lifetime Monkey Adventure Earthtone, packs quite a few play opportunities into a limited space, including three swings, a nine-foot slide, monkey bars, a trapeze, rings, and a sliding pole. That’s plenty of space for your kids and friends to play in. This simple but solid design is a backyard classic for a reason. 

  • You'll love: The monkey bars and slide are playground-quality and will definitely attract kids.
  • Watch for: Even though the manufacturer says this is suitable for 3+, smaller kids probably won’t be able to handle the bars and will find the swings too high.

Recommended age: 3-12
Composition: Steel, plastic, rubber
Space required: 13.8′ x 18.6′
Weight capacity: 150 lbs per swing, 640 lbs overall
Kid capacity: 6
Weight: Not provided

#2

Gorilla Playsets Nantucket Swing Set

Upgrade Choice

The Gorilla Playsets Nantucket Swing Set is definitely going to catch some eyes, and have kids in the neighborhood coming over to try it out. Which may, or may not, be a good thing. This set combines a playhouse and a swing set, with two swings, a rings/trapeze bar, a rock climbing wall and rope, a ladder, and a playhouse with shuttered windows, flags, a telescope, and a long wavy slide.
It doesn’t come cheap, but it can be worth it to give your kid a favorite space that will draw him or her outdoors to get some exercise.

  • You'll love: The space beneath the playhouse is designed to be turned into a sandbox for extra fun.
  • Watch for: Unless you're a handyperson and have a day or two to devote to building this, you may want to opt for professional installation.

Recommended age: 3-12
Composition: Wood, plastic, metal
Space required: 16′ x 13′
Weight capacity: 800 lbs
Kid capacity: Not provided, but can probably handle 6-8 kids easily
Weight: 500 lbs.

#3

Lifetime Big Stuff Adventure Play

Best Budget Buy

 The Lifetime Big Stuff Adventure Play’s structure is particularly good for climbers, as it includes two climbing walls and a curved ladder, as well as a slide, two swings, and a trapeze bar, all attached to a two-level tower outfitted with a steering wheel for imaginative play. The tower is thoughtfully constructed, with grip bars at the top of each climber and the slide to make your kid’s climbs easier and safer. While the plastic construction doesn’t quite have the charm of Gorilla Playset’s Nantucket set, it will probably be sturdier and longer-lasting. This isn’t the most inexpensive set on the list, but comparing what you get here to similar sets like the Nantucket, it’s easy for us to call this the Best Budget Buy.

  • You'll love: The top level of the tower has a pattern of streets and buildings on the floor, perfect for playing with toy cars.
  • Watch for: Some users have complained about rust on the metal parts, so it might be worth your time to check out the joins between parts with a can of rustproofing paint.

Recommended age: 3-12
Composition: Plastic, steel
Space required: 16.3′ x 16.1′
Weight capacity: 1000 lbs
Kid capacity: 10
Weight: 500 lbs.

#4

Flexible Flyer Time Metal Swing

Best metal swing set

On the smaller side and meant for kids on the smaller side, the Flexible Flyer Time Metal Swing set includes two swings, a chin-up/swinging bar, and a small slide, with an optional seesaw sold separately (say that five times fast). The small footprint makes this a good choice for yards with limited space.
Even though this swing set is metal, it’s not particularly heavy-duty metal. You’ll want to use the included anchor stakes to secure it firmly, because otherwise it’s going to get bounced all over from kids playing.
Still, we call this our Best Metal Swing Set based on the low price point combined with attractive design and ease of setup.

  • You'll love: A great introductory swing set for toddlers and up.
  • Watch for: This one is definitely suited for smaller kids. If they're close to or over 4' tall, they'll outgrow this fast.

Recommended age: 3+
Composition: Steel, plastic
Space required: 11’11” x 10′
Weight capacity: 105 lbs per seat, maximum 630 lbs
Kid capacity: Manufacturer says 6; 4 is more realistic without the seesaw
Weight: Not provided

#5

Step2 Naturally Playhouse Extension

Lightweight and durable, this (almost) all-plastic set, Step2 Naturally Playhouse Extension will endure rain, sun, snow, and whatever else your kids throw at it. Includes two swings, a slide, and a mini-hiding area accessible by door or crawl hole.
Yeah, it’s a big chunk of beige plastic, but when you’re a parent you give up on having cool outdoor furniture. It’s still sturdy, easy to put together (look for the video tutorials online, they’ll help), and most important of all, lots of fun for kids.

  • You'll love: The hiding area is just the right size for them to fit in, while being too small for grown-ups who might want to interfere with their fun.
  • Watch for: Can get unpleasantly hot in direct sunlight.

Recommended age: 3-8
Composition: Plastic
Space required: 9′ x 10′
Weight capacity: 250 lbs on climber, 75 lbs on each swing
Kid capacity: 3-4
Weight: 180 lbs.

#6

Hearthsong SkyCurve Platform Swing

 This Hearthsong SkyCurve Platform Swing is just one swing rather than a swing set, but at the same time, it can serve an entire set of kids at once. The broad steel-and-nylon swing platform is wide enough for three or four kids to safely ride, or one kid to stretch out hammock-style.
Even though this swing is meant for outdoors use, it can still be hung indoors from a sturdy beam, joist, or stand if you’ve got enough swinging room. Installed this way, it can make a more interesting piece of furniture for your kid than just another chair or couch.

  • You'll love: An unique swing that can be both exciting and relaxing.
  • Watch for: If you don't have a tree or something else to attach this to, you'll have to purchase a stand separately.

Recommended age: 5+
Composition: Plastic, nylon, steel, rope
Space required: Swing is 60” x 32”; assume 6’ clearance on all sides necessary
Weight capacity: 400 lbs
Kid capacity: 4, if they’re friendly
Weight: Not provided

#7

Eastern Jungle Gym Adjustable

Once upon a time, tire swings meant a rope and a worn-out tire off someone’s truck. The Eastern Jungle Gym Heavy Duty Adjustable is the 21st century version. Instead of a rope, you get three plastic-coated chains, steel mounting hardware, and a swivel mount. The mount allows the tire to spin and swing freely, much to the delight of any kids riding this thing – and since the tire is hung horizontally, there’s enough seat space for multiple kids to ride at once.

(The tire? It’s just a tire. Some things can’t be improved on.)

  • You'll love: Spinning 'til they're dizzy.
  • Watch for: You have to provide your own support to hang this from.

Recommended age: 4+
Composition: Rubber, steel
Space required: Swing chains are 66” long and can be shortened up to 30”
Weight capacity: Not provided
Kid capacity: 3
Weight: Not provided

#8

Lifetime Heavy Frame Swing-Set

Maybe you don’t want all these towers and climbing walls and slides and everything. Maybe you just want a plain old swing set. In that case, the Lifetime-Heavy-Frame-Swing-Set is the one for you – a durable steel A-frame swing set that includes two swings and a trapeze/rings bar.
This is an especially good choice if you live in an area that gets heavy weather. It will endure rain and sun better than a wooden set, and isn’t as likely to blow away as a plastic one if properly staked. The heavy steel construction means that this can be a bit of a pain to put together, but once you have it assembled, it’s going to last until your kid grows up.

  • You'll love: It's the classic swing set of everyone's childhood.

Recommended age: 3-12
Composition: Steel, plastic
Space required: 10′ x 13′
Weight capacity: 135 lbs per swing
Kid capacity: 3
Weight: 55 lbs

#9

Lifetime Heavy-Duty A-Frame Swing Set

Maybe you don’t want all these towers and climbing walls and slides and everything. Maybe you just want a plain old swing set. In that case, the Movement God Metal A-Frame Swing Set is the onefor you – a durable steel A-frame swing set that includes two swings and a trapeze/rings bar.
This is an especially good choice if you live in an area that gets heavy weather. It will endure rain and sun better than a wooden set, and isn’t as likely to blow away as a plastic one if properly staked. The heavy steel construction means that this can be a bit of a pain to put together, but once you have it assembled, it’s going to last until your kid grows up.

  • You'll love: It's the classic swing set of everyone's childhood.

Recommended age: 3-12
Composition: Steel, plastic
Space required: 10′ x 13′
Weight capacity: 135 lbs per swing
Kid capacity: 3
Weight: 55 lbs

#10

Ecotribe Wooden Unicorn Swing

And finally, we can’t leave the very smallest kids out of swinging fun. The Ecotribe Wooden Unicorn Swing is a safe and comfortable basket swing, made out of birchwood that can securely fit even under-1 babies. While this doesn’t come with hanging hardware, it’s not too hard to install the swing wherever you want it, indoor or outdoor – it can be hung from a doorway, porch roof, tree branch, a larger swingset, or almost anywhere you can sink a couple of screws or hooks.

  • You'll love: Even the smallest kids react happily to some gentle swinging, and if you're lucky it can even help them sleep!
  • Watch for: You may want to do some extra sanding and perhaps stain and/or coat the wood, especially if it's going to be hanging outdoors.

Recommended age: 6 mos. – 3 years
Composition: Wood, cotton
Space required: Ropes are 78”.
Weight capacity: 44 lbs
Kid capacity: 1
Weight: 5.25 lbs

FAQs: All you need to know

Q Should I install my swing set myself, or leave it to professionals?

A That depends entirely on your budget and your assessment of your handy skills. Even a simple swing set can take two people most of an afternoon to put together, and any of the large playhouse sets on this list will be a multiple-day, bribe-your-friends-and-neighbors project. Unless you enjoy that sort of challenge, or plan to make your own modifications, going the professional route can save you a lot of wear and tear and hair-pulling. .

Q How do I anchor a swing set securely?

A If your swing set comes with manufacturer-provided anchors, then follow the instructions in the owner’s manual. If you have to provide your own, this website has a handy guide to various methods of anchoring swing sets. Regardless of whether the manufacturer says to or not, you should always anchor a swing set to the ground, for safety’s sake if nothing else.

Q How do I prepare the ground around a swing set?

A Kids fall off swing sets a lot, both deliberately and accidentally. And even if your kid is the safest swinger ever, repeated kicking on the ground is going to kill any grass growing there and create a bare patch that will turn into a mudhole on rainy days. So some sort of ground cover around a swing set is generally a good idea.

There are many potential ground cover options, each with their own pros and cons. Play sand and wood mulch are popular choices and work well while looking good. But they do require periodic raking and replenishment as kids kick them around (and track them into the house) — and sand can also attract pets looking for a bathroom. Shredded rubber mulch is still a popular choice, although it can be messy and some parents are concerned about the potential contaminants in used tires. Lock-together rubber or foam mats can be cheesy-looking compared to more natural options, but they do get the safety job done.

DIY, Craft and Décor: Ideas for kids' swing lovers

The DIY Ultimate Swing Set

If you’re confident in your carpentry skills, there are plenty of DIY swing set plans to be found online.Here’s one resource for swing set plans from simple A-frame beams to elaborate structures that put any storebought set to shame.

DIY tree swing

Even if you blanch at the idea of undertaking those structures, you can still make a swing with nothing more than rope, scrap lumber, and a tree. See how here.

DIY, CRAFT OR DECOR IDEA 3

Another easy DIY possibility is the good old-fashioned tire swing, which you can make by following the directions here.

Quick Decision

Lifetime Monkey Adventure Earthtone – Best Overall
An all-around quality set for single or multiple kids.

Gorilla Playsets Nantucket Swing Set – Upgrade Choice
A high-end wooden set that will enhance the look of your yard.

Lifetime Big Stuff Adventure Play – Best Budget Buy
One of the best values for money on this list.

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Hannah H.

Hannah H.

Hannah is both a parent and a freelance journalist and author. You go, girl! She is an impeccable wordsmith and her warm and witty outlook on life makes her pieces a joy to read.