10 of the best baby bouncer chairs and rockers

Baby bouncer chairs and rockers are a great way for new mums to get some hands-free time, here's our pick of the best which have been tested by parents

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For new and experienced parents alike, there are times when it is difficult to get anything done with a new baby. If you aren’t free to hold your baby, a bouncer chair or rocker is the next best thing to keep them content and in one place, leaving you to get on with life; be it having a shower, making pack lunchboxes or simply putting your feet up with a cup of tea.

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Finding a chair that suits your family’s needs is key so we’ve analysed the baby bouncer and rocker market, and our journalist reviewers have rigorously tested the chairs with their babies. We’ve combined these results with feedback from mums to put together our top 10 baby bouncers and rockers.

What types of baby chairs are there?

Baby chairs come in all shapes and sizes; from pared back to all singing and dancing gadgets. If you choose a chair that has music, motion or vibration, you will need to use batteries or buy one that plugs into the mains.

Bouncers are designed to be flexible so that they move (or bounce) slightly when you push down on the chair or when your baby kicks. This is a great way to encourage young babies to move and start using their leg muscles. They usually come with a toy bar or hanging mobile, which is ideal for keeping your baby entertained. As they are often in an upright position, bouncers can also be used as a feeding seat as your child grows.

Rockers are usually quite sturdy and many have a slanted base that allows you to rock the chair manually or using battery-powered motion. They often have different recline positions and rocking speeds. Rockers that run on battery or mains power tend to have white noise, nature sounds or melodies that can be played while the chair is rocking or stationary. Swinging chairs are similar to rockers, but are usually limited to a back and forth swinging motion, rather than rocking from side to side.

Most baby chairs are too bulky to fold away after each use, so it is important to find a model that you have space for and also don’t mind looking at every day. We’ve included dimensions for each chair so you can see if it’ll fit your space.

And don’t forget to check the material to see if it’s machine washable or easy to wipe down – especially important with babies.

When can my baby go in a bouncer?

Most bouncers and rockers are suitable from birth and some brands include a newborn insert or headrest for added padding and comfort.

For newborns, one of the main features should be a recline function that allows your baby to lie as flat as possible, as fully upright seats will not be suitable at this stage. If the chair fully reclines to 180 degrees it’s suitable for short daytime naps but shouldn’t be used for overnight sleeping.

Your baby should be strapped in the chair with a harness and the chair mustn’t be placed on a raised surface such as a table.

Some brands have designed bouncers that can be converted into a chair and used for larger babies, even up to toddler age so we’ve specified the age or weight limit for each product on our list.

How much do I need to spend on a baby bouncer or rocker?

While you can pick up more basic models for under £100, most of the chairs in our top 10 are in the £150-200 price bracket and have a more extensive range of movement, sound, entertainment and design features.

Here’s our pick of the best baby bouncer chairs and rockers…

1. Graco All Ways Soother, £200

A versatile seat to calm and comfort baby

Suitable from: birth to 9 months (up to 9kg) | Dimensions: H81xW65.2cm | Weight: 10kg | Machine Washable Cover: Yes (cold water) | Awards: MadeForMums Awards 2020, Baby bouncer swing/swing/seat – Gold

The Gold award-winning Graco All Ways Soother is a multi-functional seat with a range of options that are great if your baby gets bored easily or doesn’t like certain swinging modes or directions. This includes 3 recline positions, 8 different swinging options, including in 2 directions, and 6 different speeds. In terms of entertainment, it has 10 melodies and nature sounds, as well as a hanging mobile with 2 soft toys.

MFM home tester and mum-of-3 Louise, fell in love with how easily her baby fell asleep in the All Ways Soother. She said: “Excellent quality and design; it exceeded my expectations in every way. It is a truly universal product that would suit any baby due to the variety of functions and setting controls available. I equally enjoy having it as much as baby.”

So does this popular product have any drawbacks? MFM home testers commented that the base is large and cumbersome, so this seat might be too big for more compact spaces. However, this is remedied slightly by the fact that the seat can be removed and used as a standalone baby rocker, made easier by the fact it’s “portable and lightweight” as MFM tester Louise described.

Pros: Multi-functional swinging options
Cons: High price tag, large base

Available from: Argos, Very and Studio

2. BabyBjörn Bouncer Bliss, £154.99

Best for space-saving

Suitable from: birth to 24 months (bouncer up to 9kg; chair up to 13kg) | Dimensions: H89.5xW10xL39cm | Weight:2.3kg | Machine Washable Cover: Yes | Awards: MadeForMums Awards 2020, Baby bouncer swing/swing/seat – Silver

If you are looking for something simple and unobtrusive that keeps baby comfortable and can be easily moved around, check out the Bouncer Bliss. Available in 3 muted colours, it’s unassuming and has a pared-back design which MFM tester Laura was a fan of. “It comes in neutral colours and is sleek and super stylish, so it feels like an elegant piece of furniture,” she said. “Our old bouncer was quite garish and brightly coloured and I used to try and hide it away when it wasn’t in use.”

One of its main selling points is how light and portable it is, so you can easily move it from room to room or take it on holiday. It has a gentle natural rocking motion that is powered by baby, so no need for batteries or power cords.

MFM home tester Claire liked the fact that it doesn’t take up a lot of space and said: “My baby seems to love it. My son has Down Syndrome and with this has low muscle tone, so struggles with head control; this bouncer really supports him and he can bounce it easily by kicking his legs.”

The MFM home testers commented that the price point was high considering the chair doesn’t have a wide range of functions. However, they liked the fact that it can be used as a chair all the way up to 13kg, which made it better value for money.

Pros: Lightweight, portable, sleek design
Cons: No dangling toys

Available from: Baby Bjorn, Amazon and John Lewis

3. Maxi-Cosi Kori, £99

Where style meets comfort

Suitable from: birth to 9 months/9kg | Dimensions: H48xW42.5xD72cm | Weight: 2kg | Machine Washable Cover:Yes | MFM Review Star Rating: 3.8 | Awards: MadeForMums Awards 2020, Baby bouncer swing/swing/seat – Bronze

A sturdy rocker that doubles up as a chair, the Kori boasts a modern design with a neutral colour scheme. For parents who dislike bright childlike patterns and colours, this is the ideal seat to blend neatly into the background in most living rooms.

Its premium, pared-back design and supportive feel impressed our MFM Awards testers and judges. MFM tester Liz used the Kori with her 5-month-old son and found it is built to last. She said: “The design is beautiful, the colours are sophisticated and the materials are obviously high quality.”

The Kori’s design is minimalistic and so it doesn’t have a toy bar or any other features to entertain your baby. However, where it does stand up is the comfort it provides; the seat is well padded, has a 3-point harness for safety and 3 recline positions.

Liz added: “As a seat, this is great. My baby is clearly comfortable and the various reclining positions also make it versatile. As a rocker, however – this product is a bit too sturdy! The rocking motion is very limited, so don’t expect it to offer baby any option of independent rocking.”

This is a compact rocker that is light and folds flat, making it quick to put away and easy to transport or store. While branded as a rocker, reviewers on Amazon echoed the comments of our parent tester and felt it somewhat missed the mark in this area, as it has limited movement and will not rock independently.

Pros: Smart design, easy to store
Cons: Won’t rock indepdently, no toy bar

Read our full MadeForMums review of the Maxi-Cosi Kori

Available from: Maxi-Cosi, Amazon and John Lewis

4. Nuna Leaf, £160

Best for longevity

Suitable for: birth to 12+/60kg | Dimensions: H45xW71xL72cm  | Weight: 4.5kg | Machine Washable Cover: Yes | MFM Review Star Rating: 4.2

With the price point near the top end of the market, the Leaf’s main selling points is its stylish design, battery-free rocking movement lasting for 2 minutes and huge weight limit.

The USP of the Leaf is its gentle side-to-side rocking motion and its reclined position, which aims to induce sleep and calm. However, if you want to keep baby entertained while in the seat you can purchase a separate hanging toy bar (£20).

MFM reviewer Daisy used the Leaf with her 12-week-old son and found it to be robust, although heavy to move around the house. However she added that “the sturdy nature of the device ensures peace of mind knowing it won’t topple over or baby won’t fall out.”

It also has several useful accessories that can be purchased separately, but if you did decide to buy them all, it pushes up the overall cost of this seat significantly. For example, parents who want their child to be rocked for longer periods can buy the Wind Leaf Rocker (£70). This is a mini motor that pushes the seat post, activating the chair’s swaying motion, and operates at 6 different speeds.

With many people taking a keen interest in eco-friendly products, one MFM user liked the Leaf for its environmental credentials: “When I found out conventional bouncy seats are often treated with a load of chemicals I felt a bit overwhelmed. Not only is this chair made with 100% certified organic cotton, it’s machine washable and has a robust metal frame.”

Pros: Large weight limit, made with soft cotton
Cons: Bulky

Read our full MadeForMums review of the Nuna Leaf

Available from: John Lewis, Trendy Baby and Samuel Johnston

5. Joie Sansa 2in1, £150

Designed for newborn comfort

Suitable from: birth to 13kg | Dimensions: H71.5xW53.5xL77.5cm | Weight: 7kg | Machine Washable Cover: Yes | MFM Review Star Rating: 3.3

This multi-purpose baby seat gives the choice of manual or automated movement to rock your child, which is useful if you want 5 minutes to yourself. It also has 3 recline positions, 2 vibration options, 5 songs and 5 white noise/nature sounds. With a good selection of rocking options and speeds – back and forth, side to side or a combination of both – you are likely to find a setting that is just right for your child.

MFM reviewers Iván and Sophie liked comfortable the Sansa 2in1 was for their 4-month-old daughter Mila: “It comes with an infant insert and head support to ensure the smallest babies are comfortable and safely positioned.”

And for older kids a MFM user further added, “The different recline position are great as baby gets bigger and wants to look around more. It lasted our little girl till she was around 8 months.”

While Iván and Sophie found the Sansa 2in1 a little tricky to assemble and the base quite heavy with a large footprint, the seat can be removed from the base unit for easier transportation. In addition, the chair can be battery or mains powered and the base has built-in speakers that have good sound quality and a decent volume range making this a great multi-functional rocker.

Pros: Multi-functional, newborn insert
Cons: Tricky to assemble, heavy base

Read our full MadeForMums review of the Joie Sansa 2in1

Available from: Mamas & Papas, Amazon and John Lewis

6. Chicco Balloon Bouncer, £69

Best affordable rocker

Suitable from: birth to 18kg | Dimensions: H62xW43xL78cm  | Weight: 3.5kg | Machine Washable Cover: Yes

If you don’t want to spend hundreds, the Chicco Balloon Bouncer is a great affordable option. The chair is well padded and has an adjustable headrest and seat cushion that can be removed as your baby grows. While it is called a ‘bouncer’, it doesn’t spring back like a traditional bouncer. Instead, it can be fixed in place as a chair or used in rocking mode. You can manually rock the chair, but the movement is limited and it won’t continue to rock for long if you stop.

MFM reviewer Georgina has been using it with her 3-month-old daughter: “She is quite happy sitting and listening to the melodies and looking at the hanging toys while we are eating a meal or getting our older daughter ready for school.” The four adjustable recline options are great for a newborn and the seat has a gentle vibration setting Georgina also found her daughter enjoyed.

One function that Georgina and her children particularly like is the ability to record a 30-second voice message that you can play back to your baby. “Our older daughter is very good at soothing her younger sister and she really enjoyed recording a message to play to her,” she added.

However she did find there was an odd design flaw with the detachable toy bar: “For some reason, the way that the toy bar is fitted to the chair means that the flashing lights are on the other side of the bar, so your baby cannot see them which seems odd.”

The seat is not particularly compact when in use, but it does fold down for storage, is light to move around and has straps that make it easy to carry. “We plan to take it on holiday with us, as it will fold flat and fit in our roof box,” said our MFM reviewer Georgina.

Pros: Good value for money, folds down
Cons: Odd toy bar design

Available from: John Lewis, Argos and Kiddies Kingdom

7. 4moms MamaRoo, £199

Best for easy assembly

Suitable from: birth to 9kg (until baby can sit up unaided) | Dimensions: H86xW51xL61cm | Weight: 8kg | Machine Washable Cover: Yes | MFM Review Star Rating: 4.6

With its futuristic design, the MamaRoo baby swing calms your baby with a combination of 5 different swing movements. The ability to play music via a Bluetooth or MP3 connection is an innovative function and is perfect if you are fed up with listening to the same baby melodies over and over again.

It has a handy recline function where you use the slider mechanism on the back of the seat to adjust it from lying down to more of a seated position. These positions aren’t pre-set so you can choose what’s comfortable for your baby as MFM reviewer Rachel did: “The ingenious seat adjustment meant I could tip Evelyn back for a snooze and she’d be quite happy for fairly long periods.”

Rachel also found the MamaRoo quick and easy to assemble and to take apart, with its zip-off fabric cover. And although the large footprint makes this chair very stable and, it is not that easy to move around the house unless dismantled “into a relatively sleek package due to its clever construction.”

It’s worth noting that our MFM reviewer did find the volume too low when using the MP3 player function. This was a particular issue when her daughter Evelyn was using the bouncer at high intensity, as the mechanism was quite noisy. One MFM user agreed: “The faster the speed, the noisier the machine gets.”

Pros: Blueooth or MP3 connection, easy to assemble and take down, zip-off fabric cover
Cons: Low MP3 volume, large footprint

Read our full MadeForMums review of the 4moms MamaRoo

Available from: Amazon, Very and Uber Kids

8. Fisher-Price Infant-to-Toddler Rocker, £59.99

Best for value over time

Suitable from: birth to 18kg | Dimensions: H65cmxW40cmxL16cm | Weight: 3.5kg Machine Washable Cover: Yes

If you are looking for a rocker that will last for longer than 6 months, the Infant-to-Toddler Rocker can be used up to 18kg, making it excellent value for money. Fisher-Price is a trusted nursery brand and the attention-grabbing look of this chair teamed with the reasonable price means it doesn’t disappoint.

With 2 recline positions, vibrations and an entertainment bar, it can initially be used as an infant rocker. However, numerous user reviews on Amazon have noted that the seat does not recline enough for a newborn, so it would be suited to older babies who have better head support. As your child grows, the toy bar can be removed to create a comfortable seat for feeding, playing or resting.

The 2 hanging toys – a clacker and rollerball – have been designed to encourage your baby’s development by reaching, batting and playing. While the fun and bright print is designed with children in mind.

As all parents know, having removable covers that can be washed is a lifesaver when it comes to any baby product. There’s no need to worry about leaky nappies, vomit and food spills, as the covers are machine washable.

Pros: Good value for money, engaging toys
Cons: Doesn’t fully recline

Available from: Argos, Smyths Toys and Amazon

9. Tiny Love 3-in-1 Rocker Napper, £129.99

Best for daytime naps

Suitable from: birth to 9kg | Dimensions: H74-77xW52cm  | Weight: 9kg | Machine Washable Cover: Yes | Machine Washable Cover: Yes | MFM Review Star Rating: 5.0

Doing what it says on the tin, this 3-in-1 Rocker Napper has 3 positions that are easy to convert – in fact, you can do them one-handed according to MFM reviewer Claire. When being used as a rocker, the seat has a baby-activated mobile, soft toys and a music box with 9 different songs, as well as a vibrate option. The seat also reclines fully for when baby is tired; ideal for daytime naps.

While it says it can be used from birth, Claire found that her daughter was a bit too small as a newborn, as the seat is “very roomy”, so she used it from about four weeks old. She commented: “I added a sheepskin to make it a bit more cosy, but will remove this as she gets bigger to give it a longer lifespan.”

The mobile can be removed and the chair locked in place to be used as a feeding seat when your baby is being weaned. And the machine-washable covers mean that you won’t have to worry about food getting everywhere.

Claire liked the fact she could sit with her baby Millie while she laid in the rocker: “It means I can eat breakfast and lunch with her, and chat and interact, but still keep hands free. This is something I’ve used more and more as she’s grown – I’d highly recommend it as she is genuinely entranced with the lights and music.”

Pros: Converts to daytime napper, one-handed conversion
Cons: Roomy for newborns

Read our full MadeForMums review of the  Tiny Love 3-in-1 Rocker Napper

Available from: Uber Kids, Very and Amazon

10. Beaba Up and Down Bouncer III, £150

Best for keeping baby close

Suitable from: birth to 6 months | Dimensions: H87xW52xL51cm | Weight: 5kg | Machine Washable Cover: Yes | MFM Review Star Rating: 4.6

If you have curious pets or older children, the Up and Down Bouncer III could solve all your problems with its adjustable height function. It can be set at 4 different heights up to 87cm, meaning your baby is close to you whether you are sitting or standing. “It’s perfect for involving your baby in day-to-day family life, as well as interacting with them while you get on with the cooking or a bit of work,” said MFM reviewer Sarah, who tested the bouncer with her baby Edie, from 1-week-old.

The seat has 3 reclining positions and a manual rocking function. Due to its height, the bouncer has a 5-point harness to keep baby safe and ensure they won’t fall out when the seat is upright or when rocking.

Sarah added: “The only downside is that it takes up a lot of room. I live in an old cottage and our cosy kitchen started to feel a bit cramped with this around the table at mealtimes. If only it could fold down!”

The minimalist design and muted colour options are far from many of the garish baby bouncers of old. However, for those who like something a bit brighter, there’s also blue stripes, a pink floral print or a monochrome and yellow graphic print.

Easy to assemble and operate, the Up and Down Bouncer is straightforward for even the most sleep-deprived parents and can be adjusted with one hand using buttons or levers. If you want to use the rocking function, there’s no need for batteries. But this does mean no built-in sounds or music.

Pros: 4 adjustable height settings, 5-point harness
Cons: Large, can’t be folded down

Read our full MadeForMums review of the Beaba Up & Down Bouncer III

Available from: Amazon and Kiddies Kingdom

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