Metal vs Wood Swing Set: Which is Better? The Pros and Cons Explained

Posted by SwingSetMall on 17th Apr 2023

Metal vs Wood Swing Set: Which is Better? The Pros and Cons Explained

From the playground at your local park to the comfort and safety of your own backyard, swing sets provide hours of fun and life-long memories for children and families around the world. Investing in a swing set for your home is an excellent decision, but figuring out which material to use may be tricky.

The choice comes between metal or wood swing sets. Metal swing sets tend to be more affordable and easier to maintain compared to their wood counterparts. Conversely, when it comes to wood vs metal swing sets, wooden sets offer more customization options and a greater aesthetic appeal.

So, which is better, wood or metal swing sets? The final decision will come down to the exact needs of your family, but you can’t go too wrong with either. At Swing Set Mall, we offer multiple options using each type of swing set material, so we recommend browsing our selection to get a better idea of the available sets.

Let's dive a little deeper into the metal swing set vs wood swing set debate in this article!

Metal vs Wood Swing Set: Pros and Cons of Each Material Explained

It is crucial to consider the needs of your family when searching for a swing set. There are a few questions you may want to answer before making a purchase:

  • Do you have just one child that would be happy swinging every now and then?
  • Are you purchasing a swing set for multiple grandchildren who are always coming over to play?
  • What type of climate do you live in, and how much time do you have to maintain your swing set?

Those answers will help guide you as you explore the depths of the choice of metal vs wood swing sets.

Pros of Metal Swing Sets

Metal swing sets offer a ton of benefits, especially if you are seeking a simple way to encourage children’s play.

First, durability is a huge upside, as metal swing sets are generally more durable. When comparing metal swing sets vs. wood swing sets, metal sets also withstand harsh weather conditions such as rain, snow, and extreme temperatures at a better rate.

Additionally, metal swing sets are amazing at providing a low-maintenance option. They do not need to be stained or painted (unless you want to!), and cleaning them is also very easy.

Metal swing sets also tend to be much more adjustable, allowing you to change factors such as the height of a swing as your child grows up. The long-term costs of metal vs. wood swing sets tilt in metal’s favor, starting with initial costs that also tend to be more affordable.

Cons of Metal Swing Sets

Metal swing sets aren’t completely better than wood swing sets, of course.

While metal swing sets are safe from extreme weather conditions, the metal can retain a disproportionate amount of heat, which may cause an increased risk of burns to children. Rust can also occur over a longer period of time, so you will need to incorporate rust prevention as part of your standard cleaning.

If you were to consider metal swing sets vs wood swing sets for custom designs, metal also tends to fall behind. Metal is not easily paintable and may feel impersonal compared to the creative potential inherent to wood swing sets.

Pros of Wood Swing Sets

When it comes to wood vs metal swing sets, wood sets are much better at delivering an aesthetically pleasing result.

Wood swing sets have a natural appearance that easily blends in with the trees and other features of your backyard. Wood swing sets can also be customized without much hassle, and being able to paint or stain them to match the features of your backyard allows for an appearance that is easy on the eyes.

Wooden swing sets also have a big advantage if you are planning on getting creative with a DIY project. Extra lumber can be purchased from any local hardware store, and you can craft additional accessories as you see fit.

Safety is also slightly in the favor of wood vs. metal swing sets. Wood does not capture heat as easily, and there is less risk of rust, which can carry harmful diseases like tetanus.

Cons of Wood Swing Sets

The choice of metal swing sets or wood swing sets is not entirely tilted in wood’s favor, either.

Wood swing sets have a higher upfront cost compared to metal sets, especially once additional features like slides, monkey bars, and towers get involved.

The extra costs of wood swing sets do not stop at the initial purchase, however. Wood swing sets require more maintenance, including regular painting or staining to ensure the wood maintains its quality through harsh weather conditions.

Wood swing sets may also require slightly more initial setup time due to their overall complexity, costing you a bit more time compared to metal sets.

So, Which is Better Wood or Metal Swing Set? Consider These Factors to Make the Right Choice…

You may already have an idea in mind after reading through the pros and cons of each swing set material, but if you are still deciding, this list will lay it out in detail for you.


When considering the durability of metal swing sets vs wood swing sets, it is important to note that both maintain a high-quality level of durability, as long as you purchase from a seasoned vendor. Metal swing sets win this section, but only by a small margin, especially if you keep up the maintenance of your wood set.


Metal swing sets are usually a winner when it comes to price, compared to wood swing sets. Whether you are ordering a pre-built kit or creating your own swing set, metal tends to be easier to work with and more cost-efficient than working with a carpenter.


Wooden swing sets are a clear winner when it comes to aesthetic appeal. Wood swing sets can easily be modified to fit the overall decor of your backyard, and they do a wonderful job of appealing to a child’s sense of imagination compared to metal sets.


Safety is one of the most important factors when investing in your family. If you are purchasing your swing set from a trusted vendor like Swing Set Mall, both metal and wood sets can be safe enough for general use. Wood swing sets have a small edge here, however, as they remain safe even on hot summer days where metal sets may cause burns.


Metal swing sets are much easier to maintain compared to wooden swing sets. Metal sets may be prone to rusting over long periods of time, but do not otherwise need to be excessively cleaned. Wooden sets require persistent staining or painting to ensure the high quality is preserved, requiring more time investment.


Wood swing sets are the clear winner when it comes to customization. It is easier to purchase the swing set of your dreams when using wood, as adding features like slides and towers comes much easier than metal, which tends to be more standardized.

Weather Resistance

Both metal and wood swing sets have good weather resistance when purchased from a quality dealer like Swing Set Mall, but metal has a slight edge in most conditions. Wood swing sets can be vulnerable to harsh weather like rain and snow, especially if not properly maintained.

Assembly Process

Metal swing sets tend to be slightly easier to assemble compared to wood sets, which may contain more complex designs and materials. If you’re purchasing a kit, either material should be simple enough to assemble with detailed instructions!

So, Should I Go With a Metal Swing Set vs Wood Swing Set?

When it comes to the choice of wood vs metal swing sets, each material produces a different set of results, with either material capable of providing hours of fun for your family. So, which is better, wood or metal swing sets? Whichever material works best for you and your family!

Whether You Want a Metal or Wood Swing Set, Find Quality Kits & Components Here at Swing Set Mall!

At Swing Set Mall, we’ve been in the business of helping families spend time together through play and quality time for over 30 years. We offer reliable heavy duty swing sets using either metal or wood, perfect for whatever your preferences are. We also have swing set accessories to take your swing set to the next level.

Final Thoughts on the Wood vs Metal Swing Sets Debate

Swing sets are a wonderful way to encourage children to play and socialize, and every swing set has its own unique setup so your kids never get bored. A little friendly competition never hurts, and that’s exactly the dynamic of swing set materials. There are a number of important differences when it comes to metal vs wood swing set options, depending on your needs and preferences.

Whichever material speaks to you best, you will want to choose Swing Set Mall for all of your needs! We offer backyard swing sets and playground swing sets for families and businesses alike, so check out our stock today to get started!