Metal vs Wood Swing Set: Which Material Makes for a Better Play Structure?

  • 7 min read

A swing set can be an invaluable addition to your home. For kids, swings can provide endless hours of entertainment, soaring through the air and (almost) into the clouds. When it comes to selecting the perfect swings, a fundamental choice awaits you: Metal or wood swing set? 

In this article, we’ll discuss a metal vs wood swing set, and help you make the best decision for your outdoor play space. We’ll look at safety considerations, costs, and other factors to consider when creating a fun and secure play environment for your children. 

So, is a wood vs metal swing set right for your space? Let’s find out. 

Metal vs Wood Swing Set: What are the Key Differences?

When it comes to selecting the ideal material for a swing set, choosing between a metal vs wood swing set couldn’t be more important. It influences not only the initial appearance but also the overall play experience, safety, and long-term value of your swing. 

Although there are swing set benefits from both metal and wood options, let’s take a look at the key differences between wood vs metal swing sets. This will help you make the safest, smartest choice for your space.

Durability and Longevity

Wood swing sets are known for their exceptional durability and longevity. High-quality wood, such as cedar or redwood, is naturally resistant to insects, decay, and harsh weather conditions. With proper maintenance, wood swing sets can remain sturdy and appealing for years to come.

Metal swing sets, while sturdy initially, often rust when exposed to the elements. If you live in an area where it rains a lot, or your swing is in the path of your sprinkler system, rust can be a big problem. This corrosion can weaken the structure of your swing and make it unsafe. 


Wood swing sets boast a timeless and rustic charm that seamlessly blends into outdoor environments. The warm, natural tones of wood contribute to an inviting and visually appealing play area, enhancing the overall aesthetics of your yard.

Metal swing sets, though functional, might lack the inviting and natural aesthetic that wood offers. The industrial appearance of metal might not complement the outdoor landscape as harmoniously, especially over time as it begins to look worn and rusty.


When it comes to a metal swing set vs wood swing set, what’s the price difference? Wood swing sets often require a higher upfront investment due to the cost of quality wood materials. However, this initial cost is often justified by their longer lifespan and greater overall value.

Metal swing sets tend to be more budget-friendly initially, but their potential maintenance and replacement costs over time can add up, potentially outweighing the initial savings. There are also several good reasons why you shouldn't buy a cheap swing set, starting with your safety. 

Safety Considerations

Wood swing sets are generally considered safer for children due to the lower risk of overheating during hot weather. Additionally, wood is less likely to cause injuries from accidental impacts, providing a safer play environment.

Metal swing sets can become dangerously hot in sunny weather, potentially causing burns. Plus, the hard surfaces of metal can pose a higher risk of injury in case of accidental falls or collisions.

Environmental Impact: A Comparative Insight

While the production of wood swing sets involves some environmental impact, choosing sustainably sourced wood and proper maintenance can minimize this effect. Wood is also biodegradable, making it a more eco-friendly choice in the long run.

What about the environmental impact of a metal swing set vs wood swing set? The manufacturing and disposal of metal swing sets can have a greater environmental footprint due to resource-intensive processes and non-biodegradable materials. 

Ease of Installation

When it comes to installation, there’s not a lot of difference between a metal vs wood swing set. However, metal swing sets often require more frequent and intensive maintenance to prevent them from rusting as time goes on. 

Expansion & Add-Ons: Futureproofing Your Swing Set

Wood swing sets offer greater flexibility for customization and expansion. As your children grow and their interests evolve, you can easily add new features, accessories, and play elements.

While some metal swing sets offer expansion options, their limited adaptability compared to wood sets might limit the extent to which you can modify or upgrade your play structure.

So, Should You Go With a Metal or Wood Swing Set?

With those factors in mind, what’s better out of a metal vs wood swing set? Choosing between a metal and wood swing set ultimately hinges on your unique needs and preferences. 

While both materials have their merits, a wood swing set is generally a smarter, safer choice for your play area. Here’s why wooden swing sets have the edge.

Assessing Your Needs: Matching Preferences to Realities

When choosing between a metal swing set vs wood swing set, keep in mind your climate. If you live in a region with extreme weather conditions, such as frequent rain or high humidity, a durable wood swing will fare better against moisture and potential decay. 

If aesthetics are important to you, most people prefer the natural look of a wood swing. Wooden swing sets offer a warm, organic appeal that metal cannot replicate. 

Also, safety should play a role in your decision. High-quality wood swing sets, properly maintained, offer a sturdy and safe play environment. Metal can overheat, causing burns, and rust, reducing the integrity of your swing set. 

Looking at the Long Game: Investment for the Future

Consider your budget and long-term outlook. While wood swing sets may require a higher upfront investment, they tend to offer greater longevity and value over time. Metal swing sets might be initially cheaper, but the potential costs of maintenance and replacement quickly add up.

Over time, wood swing sets can prove their durability through proper maintenance and occasional sealing. In contrast, metal swing sets might require more frequent maintenance to prevent rust and deterioration.

In terms of a metal vs wood swing set, wood is our preferred choice for all of these reasons. 

Visit Us at NJ Swing Sets for the Best Wooden Swing Sets Around!

If you’re still trying to choose between a wood vs metal swing set, come and visit us at NJ Swing Sets! We’ll show you why our wooden swing sets are a superior choice, and show you some of the best swing sets for sale in NJ

If you’ve already decided that wooden swings are the way to go, visit us too! We can walk you through the different cedar swing sets and help you choose the best wood for a swing set

Why Choose Us?

At NJ Swing Sets, we understand how important the personal touch is. Rather than clicking a button online and not knowing exactly what you purchased, we have an actual physical space where you can see your options, and real people who you can talk to in person. 

Our experts understand the local NJ conditions and can explain exactly why a wood vs metal swing set is better for this area. Plus, we only stock swing sets that are durable and suitable for our local NJ conditions. 

Plus, we go even further than walking you through your options and helping you find the right swing set. We’ll actually deliver and install your swings, ensuring that your play space is set up safely and securely, ready for years of enjoyment for your little ones. 

Why We Prefer Wooden Swing Sets

In terms of wood vs metal swing sets, we believe there’s no better choice than wood. A wooden swing set can actually elevate your home’s exterior appearance, while a metal one usually detracts from it. 

Also, metal swings inevitably rust. Unfortunately, we have many customers who come in looking for replacement parts for their metal swings, only to find that the corroded components can’t actually be replaced. With wooden swings, this just isn’t an issue.

The other main factor in wood vs metal swing sets is how hot the metal seats of a swing can get. Kids don’t always realize this, and it can lead to some pretty serious burns. Metal swings can get hotter than 50 degrees Fahrenheit on a sunny day, which is downright dangerous. 

Some of Our Most Popular Collections

At NJ Swing Sets, we have a swing for everybody! Our club house swing sets give you the added benefit of a playhouse, while our swing sets with monkey bars are a fun option if you’re looking for a swing with some added activities on the side.

We also have a selection of commercial swing sets for larger spaces, as well as swing sets with rock walls to give your kids an extra challenge. We stock the leading brands in backyard swings, including King Swings and Gorilla Swing Sets

If you’re looking for a swing set with a sand box, a swing set with a tire swing, or a swing set with a tube slide, we have those too! We also have some high-quality, durable vinyl swing sets that our team will happily install for you. 

Wrapping up Our Breakdown of the Wood vs Metal Swing Set Differences

So, is a metal or wood swing set best for your home? As you can see, there are a lot of advantages of a wooden swing set, including durability, aesthetics, and overall cost, just to name a few. Plus, it’s easier to replace components of a wooden swing set down the road. 

Most importantly, wooden swing sets are often considered safer than metal ones. Wooden swings don’t corrode, and they can’t overheat in the way that metal swings often do. There’s nothing more important than the safety of your child, so it’s important to choose swings that reflect this.

At NJ Swing Sets, we stock high-quality wooden swing sets, available in a variety of styles to suit any play space. Plus, we’ll deliver and install your swing set for you, to make sure it’s set up safely and securely at your home. 

A swing set from NJ Swing Sets gives you the peace of mind that your kids are playing on equipment that’s not only fun, but also safe. Invest in the best with a quality wooden swing set from NJ Swing Sets! 

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