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Swivel vs. Gliding Chairs: Which One is Right For You?

October 5, 2022

Est. Reading Time: 7 Mins

When choosing a chair or a recliner for your living room, you want to make sure that it is the right chair for you. 

Depending on who you are, some individualized seating options may not offer the most comfortable or relaxing experience as others.

Take swivel and glider chairs, for example. Although both of these chairs are considered motion furniture pieces, they offer a different experience for users overall.

Magaly del Castillo, an interior designer at La-Z-Boy Cyrville, tells us, “Some users may like swivel chairs, but other users may prefer gliding chairs better.” With that being said, it depends on who you are and what you prefer.

So, what are the key similarities and differences between swivel chairs and gliding chairs? This article will discuss in detail what the differences are as well as show examples of these furniture items from La-Z-Boy.

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In This Article:

  1. Description of a Swivel vs. Gliding Chair
  2. Key Differences Between a Swivel vs. a Gliding Chair
  3. Pros and Cons Breakdown: Swivel vs. Gliding Chairs
  4. Examples of Swivel & Gliding Furniture at La-Z-Boy


Description of Swivel vs. Gliding Chairs

Before we get into the comparison of each furniture item, let’s take a look at the description of each chair.

What is a Swivel Chair?

A swivel chair is a chair that rests on top of a swivel base. With this ability, the swivel base allows users to, you guessed it, swivel! 

At La-Z-Boy, all swivel chairs have a 360-degree swivel base. Swivels can come in either a round base low to the ground or a high discrete swivel base for high-leg swivel chairs. By swivelling back and forth, you have the ability to face any direction while remaining in a seated position. 

With this, you can swivel from watching a movie to engaging in a conversation in a smooth motion without straining your neck.

If you want to learn more about swivel chairs at La-Z-Boy, check out our Top 5 Best Selling Swivel Accent Chairs.

Swivel 4Swivel 1

Swivel 3Swivel 2


What is a Gliding Chair?

Glider chairs are considered motion furniture pieces as well. In fact, gliding chairs are often confused with rocking recliners because they both move in a smooth and graceful motion.

However, while rocking chairs go back and forth on an arch, gliding chairs go back and forth in a linear and more refined motion. 

“It’s as if you’re gliding in your furniture,” says Magaly, which is most likely how this furniture got its name.

Gliders also have the ability to become swivels, meaning they too can have the functionality to swivel a full 360-degrees.

If you’re interested in learning more about Rocking vs. Gliding Recliners, check out this article.


Key Differences Between Swivel vs. Glider Chairs

Now that we know exactly what a swivel and a gliding chair are, let’s take a look at some key differences to help further differentiate between these two motion chairs.

Range in Motion

Magaly mentions the range of motion being a significant differentiator between the two chairs. As mentioned before, a swivel chair can swivel at a 360-degree angle, while a gliding chair also has the ability to glide back and forth. Better yet, most of our recliners at La-Z-Boy can become swivel chairs by asking for a swivel base upgrade.  

If you’re looking for a chair that has more range in motion, it seems as though you’ve found your perfect chair in a gliding chair. Magaly also says that not only do they have the functionality to swivel, but they can also sometimes be recliners as well. This means you get the best of both worlds and then some! swivel base

What About Motion Sickness?

Although having a swivel base might be enjoyable for those who want more range in motion, some people may not enjoy it if they have mobility issues or those susceptible to motion sickness. 

You might be thinking, “So don’t swivel.” well, this is easier said than done. Magaly informs us, “Swivel chairs are meant to swivel, so even if you’re not meaning to swivel, you might unintentionally swivel if you’re shifting your body or trying to feel comfortable.”

There is, however, an option to prevent gliding chairs from swivelling by requesting that stabilizers be left in during unboxing when the chair arrives from one of La-Z-Boy's North American Plants.

Although not the best for those with mobility issues, gliding chairs might benefit those susceptible to motion sickness more than swivel chairs and rocking recliners, with the swivel feature deactivated. 

If you’re looking for an ideal furniture item for those with mobility issues, check out this article.

Functionality & Versatility (Ability to Recline)

Regarding functionality and versatility, it looks like swivel and gliding chairs share some similarities.

Since gliding recliners can be swivel chairs, both can have the ability to swivel at a full 360 degrees. The bigger difference, as mentioned before, is the range of motion. 

The gliding motion that gliders have keeps the user moving in a slow and smooth motion without little or any sound coming from the mechanism. This means that this type of chair is perfect for lulling restless babies to sleep. 

To learn more about La-Z-Boy Chairs for Your Nursery, take a look at this article.


At La-Z-Boy, if you feel as though your recliner is missing something, you can add a swivel base. You can also upgrade your glider to power if you’re not interested in manual recliners.

Something new added to La-Z-Boy recently is the ability to add a swivel base to power rocking recliners. These swivel bases can only rotate at 165 degrees, to prevent the power cords from tangling up. 

To learn more about the difference between Manual and Power Recliners, take a look at this article.

It is important to note, however, that recliners cannot swivel or glide once they are reclining. To move your recliner again, you must have the leg rest closed.

It is also important to remember that not all recliners can become swivel chairs. While both rocking and gliding recliners can have a swivel base, wall recliners cannot, or else they would lose their ability to stay mere inches from a wall.

To learn more about wall recliners, check out this comparison of Rocking vs. Wall Recliners.

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Room Arrangement

Magaly mentions that gliders and swivel chairs may call for different types of living room furniture arrangements. 

First, she recommends both of these furniture pieces for an open-concept space. “They don’t have to be big rooms, but big enough to fulfill their purpose,” she says. 

She also recommends using them as either an accent piece in your room or placing it in the middle of your open-concept space. 

“Preferably in between your kitchen and your living room,” she says. That way, you can have multiple focal points while still relaxing in your swivel chair.

Open Concept



Examples of Swivel & Gliding Furniture at La-Z-Boy

Now that we’ve learned everything there is to know about swivel and gliding chairs, let’s take a look at some of La-Z-Boy’s selections. This will give you a better idea of what a swivel chair or a gliding chair would look like in your home.

1. The Addison - Gliding Recliner

Addison Glider

First on our list, the Addison is what Magaly calls “a staple for a La-Z-Boy gliding recliner.”

The Addison combines the best of both worlds with its tall back and stylish looks. It features clean lines, rolled arms, and the welt trim of a sophisticated stationary chair, with the enhanced comfort of a recliner. 

Make it yours with your choice of fabrics and other available upgrades.

The Addison is also available as a rocking and wall recliner in both manual and power. You can learn more about the Addison Recliner by checking out this article.

2. The Reegan - Swivel Chair

Reegan Swivel

Next up, a swivel alternative to the glider chair is the quintessential Reegan Swivel Chair. Magaly calls this “The Magaly chair,” since this is her favourite chair at La-Z-Boy.

Perched upon a 360-degree swivel base and elevated by tall tapered wood legs, Reegan is no ordinary swivel chair. Its casual yet contemporary styling complements any decor. Flared arms frame Reegan’s box border seat and soft pillow back as welt trim accentuate its tailored lines. 

Both functional and versatile, Reegan features Premier Construction with standard ComfortCore® cushions for lasting quality and comfort. 

To learn more about the Reegan High-Leg Swivel Chair, take a look at this article.

3. The Midtown - Swivel Gliding Chair


With a streamlined design perfect for smaller spaces, Midtown is ready for big-city living. It’s also perfect anywhere you want to add style and comfort. A 360-degree swivel base puts you at the center of all the action, while a gentle gliding motion helps you relax away from a busy day. 

Midtown also features a tight back, subtly curved track arms, and sophisticated welt trim that will move you… more than just the furniture!

Magaly says that the Midtown is a great addition to not just a living room but anywhere that needs a quiet space, like a nursery. You can learn all about the Best Chairs for a Nursery with this article.

4. The Roxie - Swivel Gliding Chair

Last but not least is the Roxie, which is available as a swivel and a swivel gliding chair.

The Roxie works hard to complement any casual decor. This versatile chair adds a stylish spin to any room with a base that glides back and forth and swivels 360 degrees. 

Rolled arms and a deep T-seat cushion, all with welt trim, give Roxie definition and structure, allowing it to mix easily with any existing sofa.

You can learn more about the Roxie Swivel Chair by checking out this article.

What's Next?

You now have a clearer idea of the differences between swivel and gliding furniture. We hope that this article will guide you in making the right choice for you! 

As you begin shopping, take a look at some of our Best Selling Accent Chairs, to see what sparks your interest.

You can start shopping by visiting one of our local showrooms located in Ottawa or Kingston. You can also schedule a visit online before coming in.

Our design consultants are always eager to lend a helping hand. Take advantage of our interior design services to see how our furniture could fit in your home design. 

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Sofa vs. Sectional: Which One is Right For You?

Stationary vs. Reclining Furniture: Which One is Right for You?

Cost of an Accent Chair at La-Z-Boy

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