Anything But Old-Fashioned — This Style Editor's Favorite Modern Rocking Chairs Are What Every Living Room Deserves

Modern rocking chairs are nothing like your grandma’s (though we still love hers). These sleek and relaxing designs offer a fresh take on timeless style

modern rocking chairs
(Image credit: Crate & Barrel; Wayfair; Interior Icons; CB2)

Who doesn’t love a good rocker? They’re super nostalgic — you probably had one in your childhood nursery or at a grandparent’s house. And they’re so relaxing — softly swinging back and forth really does something for the soul. You might have all but forgotten about them, until now that is. Modern rocking chairs are finally giving this classic design the facelift it deserves.

Blending fashion and function, they make for great accent chairs for your living room (no relegating to the basement!). I had my work cut out for me: finding rocking chairs that don’t look like your typical rockers. Naturally, I spent hours entrenched in the task.

I did the research — reading reviews and product descriptions down to the last detail, being ridiculously picky and saying no to hundreds of even the best accent chairs. Only the top modern rocking chairs made the cut, and in the end, I found 12. Maintaining the nostalgic feel we love — but with a twist — these modern rocking chairs are the perfect blend of cozy and cool.

On-trend Modern Rocking Chairs We Love

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‘Many modern rocking chairs still have a wooden frame, which means they retain a rustic yet modern feel,’ says interior designer Evelina Juzėnaitė. But they're not just popular for their good looks. They’re ergonomic and softer than ordinary chairs, she adds, so you can kick back and relax for longer. ‘They can be used in any room — the living room, the nursery, the veranda, etc,’ continues Evelina. ‘Often their design is such that they can be easily combined with other furniture in the room.’


How should modern rocking chairs be styled?

Modern rocking chairs can sit happily anywhere you’d place any other chair, but two popular homes for them are in the living room and the nursery. Principal interior designer Evelina Juzėnaitė offers a few pointers.

‘In a living room, create a cozy corner with a modern rocking chair,’ she suggests. ‘Place the chair near a bookshelf or by the fireplace, add a small table for a cup of tea or a book, and enjoy the atmosphere.’ Evelina adds, ‘A pillow or blanket draped across the chair can enhance the coziness, and a rug underneath can tie the space together.’

For nurseries, Evelina advises placing a rocking chair next to the crib, changing table, or near a window for convenience. ‘Ensure there is enough space to rock comfortably. Soft colors can help create a soothing atmosphere in the baby's room.’ So, while that bright yellow Walmart number might not be the best choice, the light beige pick from Anthropologie might be just the ticket.

What are the best modern rocking chair materials?

The best rocking chair materials are those you’ll find in this edit — naturally. But if you want to know the specifics or search elsewhere, principal interior designer Evelina Juzėnaitė shares what to look for.

The most common material you’ll see is wood, and it’s popular for good reason. Still, not all woods are created equal. ‘It’s important to choose a chair made of quality wood for durability; otherwise, the chair could squeak while rocking,’ she explains.

Although cold, hard metal doesn’t always scream cozy and comfy, ‘Metal is very durable if you want a very high-quality chair,’ says Evelina. This material certainly makes for a less traditional rocker look, but if you’re after something really modern, it’s a fabulous choice.

Fabric and upholsteries such as cotton, linen, or leather are winners in the comfort department, with the added bonus of wiggle room to ‘choose any color or texture’ (plain wood offers far fewer options). ‘Also,’ adds the designer, 'many modern fabrics are treated to be resistant to stains, so they are easy to clean’ — perfect for busy households.

Style Editor

Formerly covering fashion at L’Officiel USA, style maven Julia Demer brings her love of design to Livingetc’s world of interiors. As the title’s Style Editor, Julia's work reflects a sharp eye for detail and an innate passion for aesthetics. Her journey began with a strong foundation in design, honing her craft at renowned establishments like The Row and even establishing her own eponymous fashion brand. Julia’s design background is evident in the way she thoughtfully curates shopping edits, always maintaining a focus on emerging trends while preserving timeless sensibilities. For Julia, fashion and interiors go hand in hand, reflecting her lifelong commitment to perfecting the art of style.