Metal vs Wooden Swing Set: Which One Is Better for Your Yard?

  • By: Mike Hale
  • Date: July 17, 2022
  • Time to read: 4 min.

A swing set is an incredible gift for any child. Thinking of one’s own memories about playing on one as a child will bring back strong feelings of nostalgia since swing sets are often the home of some of the best experiences a child can go through.

If you want your children to experience something similar, and to gain all that incredible experience while also moving and playing around outside, getting a swing set for your home is a great idea. However, how should one decide on the material? Are wooden or metal swing sets better?

In nearly all points of comparison, metal swing sets fare better than wooden ones, which makes them more likely to be the better option for your yard.

Nevertheless, both have some benefits and drawbacks. In this article, I will discuss some of these benefits and drawbacks, elaborate on some of their characteristics, and at the end, draw a conclusion.

If you are looking to buy a swing set for your yard, but don’t yet know whether you would purchase one out of wood or metal, this article is meant for you. Read on for more if you are interested!

Metal vs Wooden Swing Set

Metal Swing Sets

Metal swing sets are probably the more popular option for outdoor use in public parks and schoolyards, and for many reasons. They seem to be taking over the world of outdoor swing sets, but why is that?

Metal swing sets have many advantages, owning one comes with many benefits. They are durable, reliable, and safe, for example. Wooden swing sets are also incredibly tough and can last years or perhaps decades with proper care. However, not many wooden swing sets can match the durability and lifespan of a metal set which is made out of high-quality materials.

This Trekassy 440lbs 2 Seat Swing Set, for example, is made with 2-inch heavy-duty, weather-resistant steel, making it incredibly durable.

Aside from lifespan, another important thing to note with metal swing sets is safety, as mentioned before. Here, the difference isn’t all that large between metal and wood, however, metal does tend to hold its shape better over time and doesn’t react that easily to all the pressure and impact that an outdoor swing set might get.

This makes them safer, since it is less likely that they will fall over, warp, bend, break or morph in any other way.

Another great characteristic of metal swing sets is that they don’t require as much maintenance as wooden ones do. Metal swing sets, especially ones made out of heavy-duty stainless-steel, or are powder-coated, can be left outdoors for years before they start showing signs of aging, whereas it is recommended to treat wooden sets once a year at a minimum.

This makes it a lower-cost option in the long run and an easier option in terms of upkeep. They are also really easy to assemble since the metal rods these swing sets are made of are a lot lighter in weight than wooden logs. 

Wooden Swing Sets

The next option is wooden swing sets, which were popular in most of our childhoods. They have been around for ages, with metal swing sets slowly taking over the scene, but never really replacing them.

The greatest point on the side of a wooden swing set is the nostalgia and style element. It just looks better, at least most of the time. It is more natural visually, it feels and is more organic.

For many people, this factor is easily strong enough to outweigh all the arguments on the metal side. There are also some gardens or yards where it is only sensible to set up a wooden one by the design of the place.

Wooden sets are usually made out of tough woods like cedar, redwood, and cypress. These are a lot better at withstanding outdoor use than a majority of lumber. Often, they are also treated to last longer with different chemical solutions which make them resistant to insect or water damage.

They are durable, though not as durable as a high-quality metal swing set.

On almost all points except looks and nostalgia, they are behind the metal swings, as they are the “older technology”. They are more likely to crack or morph, possibly splinter or even break. This makes it a less safe option than metal swing sets, seeing as those don’t pose a large threat even if they are bent and damaged.

However, if an old-fashioned wooden swing set is what you are looking for for your yard, there are tons of options out there from budget to premium products. This Swing-N-Slide PB 8360 Ranger Wooden Swing Set which you can buy from Amazon is available for a decent price, has a 4.6-star rating, and is also an Amazon’s Choice product.

Which One Is Better: Metal or Wooden Swing Set?

At the end of the day, the decision does come down to you, the buyer. Depending on the environment you want to be placing the product into, the age of the children you are purchasing the swings for, your personal taste and needs, you can choose between a plethora of different swing sets.

However, as a summary of the text above, I will declare a winner of today’s comparison, which are metal swing sets.

With its easier assembly, increased safety due to stability, durability, and much more, metal swings would be the optimal choice for most people with a yard. They exceed what a wooden swing set can offer in almost all categories of analysis, which is also the reason they are taking over public playgrounds and schoolyards.

Nevertheless, aesthetics, style, and nostalgia are big enough factors when choosing a product for a home setting, and are enough to dip the scale in favor of the wooden set. In the end, it all comes down to your needs, and both sides have a lot of great products to offer.