Are Wooden Swings Better Than Metal: Discover the Pros & Cons (2023 Guide)

Living out childhood dreams on a backyard swing set is a great way to enjoy the outdoors. But with so many different styles and types of swing sets available, it can be difficult to decide which option best suits your family’s needs. 

Two of the most popular materials used for backyard swings are wood and metal, but which one should you choose?

With this guide, discover all the pros and cons related to metal vs wooden swing sets as well as information on features like play space requirements, cost considerations, safety information, care and maintenance tips, and more!


Take away key points:

- In the wintertime, most wooden playsets suffer minimal damage. However, it's best to opt for a cedar wood playset as it is naturally decay-resistant.

- When shopping for a play structure, observe how your children play on it! Not every play structure will be a safe option!

- When it comes to deciding between metal vs wood swing, it's best to take into consideration the price, long-term durability, functionality and maintenance of each swing set.

Advantages of wooden swings

Wooden swing sets have a number of advantages that make them a popular choice for many people. 

Firstly, the wooden playsets has a classic look that blends in well with outdoor scenery and can add to the aesthetic appeal of your backyard. Wood swing sets can also be highly customized, as they can be painted or stained to match your home’s exterior, or features like a rock wall or monkey bars can be added.

In addition to their visual appeal, wood swing sets are also durable and sturdy. They tend to be more resistant to wear and tear over time compared to metal swing sets, which is an important consideration if you want your swing to last for many years. Wooden swings are also better for children with sensitive skin, as they do not get as hot in the direct sunlight as metal swing sets.

Lastly, wood swing sets are environmentally friendly, as wood is a renewable resource. They may also be a better option for those who prefer natural materials and want to avoid the use of plastics and other synthetic materials.

Is a vinyl swing set better than wood?

Advantages of metal swings

Metal swing sets also have advantages that make them a popular choice for some people. One big advantage is that they are less expensive than wooden swings, making them a more budget-friendly option. Metal swing sets require less maintenance, as they are resistant to weather damage and do not attract pests like termites or woodpeckers.

Metal swing sets are also available in a variety of colors and have a simple design that can give your backyard a modern look. The metal swing set material may be preferable for those who want a more contemporary feel to their playground equipment.

When opting for metal playsets, make sure you choose the ones with a thicker gauge steel construction.

Disadvantages of wooden swings

While wooden swings are a popular choice for many, they do have some disadvantages to consider.

One major drawback is that they require maintenance, such as treating the wood with a protective coating to prevent weather damage and pest infestation. Failure to do so can lead to the wood rotting or warping. Additionally, wooden swings tend to be heavier than metal swing sets, which can make them more difficult to move or adjust.

Lastly, customization options may increase the cost of wooden swings, as features like a rock wall or monkey bars can add to the overall price. These are important factors to consider when deciding whether a wooden swing set is the right choice for you.

Disadvantages of metal swings

Are wooden swings better than metal?

While metal swing sets have their advantages, they also have some disadvantages that should be taken into account.

One major drawback is that metal swing sets and metal equipment can get very hot in the sun, which can cause discomfort for anyone using them. Additionally, metal swing sets tend to rust over time, which can affect the stability and safety of the swing set. This can be a concern, especially in areas where the climate is humid or the metal sets might be exposed to rain. For this reason, it's best to keep the metal playsets in a shaded area.

When cleaning the metal sets, make sure you use hot soapy water and stay away from harsh chemicals!

Another issue with residential metal swing sets is that they typically have a more simplistic design and limited customization options compared to their wooden playset counterparts. As for durability, it's best to stay away from cheap metal playset swings that easily bend over pressure!

While they come in a variety of colors, they may not blend in as well with outdoor scenery and can lack the aesthetic appeal that wooden swings provide.

Factors to consider when choosing between wood swing sets and metal swing sets

1. Budget

Metal swing set tend to have a lower price point than wooden swings, but it's important to factor in long-term costs. For example, wooden swings may require more maintenance over time, including replacement parts, regular painting, and regular cleaning such as sanding, staining, or sealing, which can add to the overall cost. The final decision between metal vs wood swing will be up to you, but a wood set will require some elbow grease over time.

2. Visual appeal

wood swing sets or metal swing sets

Wood swing set are often preferred for their natural appearance look, which can blend in well with outdoor scenery and add to the aesthetic appeal of your backyard. Metal playsets, on the other hand, have a sleek and modern appearance that may be more suitable for some preferences.

3. Durability

Wooden swing set is typically more durable and sturdy. They can handle more weight and withstand rough play, making them a better option for families with active children. However, they may require more maintenance than metal swing set to prevent rotting or warping.

4. Customization

Wood swing set offer more customization options, making it easier to customize your swing set to fit your preferences. You can paint or stain the metal coating of the play structures in any color and add unique features like a rock wall, monkey bars, or a slide.

Metal swing set, on the other hand, are limited in terms of customization options. However, the assembly process of metal playsets si relatively easier than with wooden sets. You can even find pre-designed kits that make the entire installation much easier!

Additionally, you can find added features such as climbing structures, playhouse attachments for younger children, or similar play features in both types.

5. Comfort

Metal swing set can get hot in the sun, which can be uncomfortable for children. Wooden swing set, on the other hand, do not get as hot and are better for children with sensitive skin.

Maintenance requirements for wooden and metal swings

Wooden playsets and metal playsets have different maintenance requirements to ensure their longevity. Here are the maintenance requirements for each type:

1. Wooden swings

Wood swing sets require regular maintenance to protect them from weather damage, pests, and general wear and tear.

Here are some tips to keep your wooden swing in good condition:

- Apply a protective coating: A protective coating will help prevent moisture from seeping into the wood, which can lead to rotting or warping. You can use a penetrating oil, stain, or sealant to protect the wood. Be sure to reapply the coating every few years or as necessary to keep the wood protected.

- Keep it clean: Keep your wooden swing clean and free of debris. Regularly sweep away leaves, dirt, and other debris from the surface of the swing to prevent mold or mildew from forming.

- Tighten bolts and screws: Check the bolts and screws regularly to ensure they are tight. Loose bolts can cause the swing to wobble or become unstable, which can be dangerous.

- Repair any damage: If you notice any damage to the swing, repair it as soon as possible to prevent it from getting worse.

- Store the swing during harsh weather conditions: If you live in an area with extreme weather conditions such as heavy rain or snow, it's best to store the swing indoors or under a protective cover.

2. Metal swings

What is the safest type of swing?

Maintaining a metal playset is generally less involved than maintaining a wooden swing. However, there are still some important steps to take to keep your metal playset in good condition:

- Keep it clean: Regularly clean the metal structure of the swing with a damp cloth or sponge to remove any dirt or debris. Dry it thoroughly to prevent rust from forming.

- Remove rust: If you notice any rust forming on the swing, remove it with a wire brush or sandpaper. Apply a rust inhibitor to prevent it from forming again.

- Tighten bolts and screws: As with a wooden swing, check the bolts and screws regularly to ensure they are tight.

- Inspect for damage: Inspect the swing regularly for any signs of damage or wear and tear. If you notice any issues, have them repaired as soon as possible to prevent the swing from becoming unstable or unsafe.

Comparison Factors

Metal Swings

Wooden Swings


Less expensive

More expensive

Visual Appeal

Sleek and modern

Classic, natural look


May rust over time

More durable and sturdy


Limited customization options

Highly customizable


Gets hot in the sun

Do not get as hot


Requires less maintenance

Requires regular maintenance


Which material is best for swing?

If you prioritize durability and customization options, then a wooden swing may be the best choice for you.

On the other hand, if you prioritize cost-effectiveness and low maintenance requirements, a high-quality metal playset may be the best choice for you.

Metal playsets are less expensive than wood swing sets, require less maintenance over time, and have a sleek and modern appearance. However, they can get hot in the sun and may rust over time, even if they are made from heavy gauge steel. 

What type of swing set lasts the longest?

If you're looking for a swing set that will last a long time, you'll want to look for one that is made from durable materials such as metal or wood.

Metal swing sets tend to be more durable than wood swing sets because they are less likely to rot or warp over time. However, metal playsets can rust if not properly maintained. If you prefer a wood swing set, look for one that is made from hardwoods such as cedar or redwood, which are naturally resistant to rot and decay.

Do wooden swing sets last?

Yes, wooden swing sets offer durability, and they can last for many years if made from high-quality materials and properly maintained.

The lifespan of a wood swing set largely depends on the type of wood used, how it is treated and finished, and how well it is maintained.

What type of swing set is safest?

The safest swing set is one that is made from durable materials, has safe accessories and attachments, a sturdy frame, and proper safety features.

Is a vinyl swing set better than wood?

Both wood swing sets and vinyl sets have their advantages and disadvantages, and the choice ultimately depends on personal preference, budget, and maintenance requirements.

Final words

In conclusion, both metal vs wood swing sets have their unique benefits and drawbacks. 

Ultimately, the decision between comparing metal vs wood swing sets depends on factors such as personal preference, budget, and durability requirements.

Regardless of which type you choose, it is important to prioritize safety and choose a swing set with proper safety features and sturdy construction.

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