What Should I Put Under our Swing Set

16 Nov

Our hard working customer service staff gets many questions regarding swing sets, such as “What should we put under our swing set?” The materials that you choose to put under your swing set is often ignored, but it can make your backyard play area a safer place. In addition, the right material will help your backyard look clean and professionally manicured.

Materials you can Put Under your Swing Set

Wood Chips / Mulch

wood chipsPositive:

  • Inexpensive
  • Organic
  • Rubber or wood mulch
  • Can be good for your lawn


  • Some maintenance required: Must add mulch periodically
  • May cause splinters
  • Some children like to throw wood chips around the backyard

Rubber Mats

rubber mats under swing set


  • Least maintenance needed
  • More visual appeal
  • Strong and durable
  • Several different colors and designs available


  • Some people are allergic to rubber
  • Higher costs
  • Some complain about the smell of rubber mats

Rubber Mulch

Rubber mulch is commonly used under playground swing sets. However, they’re a great long term and safe solution.

rubber mulch around swingsets


  • Absorbs shock to reduce chances of injury
  • Does not attract insects
  • Installation is easy
  • Low maintenance


  • Not as efffective at controlling weeds
  • Rubber mulch is highly flammable
  • The environmental and human side effects are not fully known




  • Lower costs
  • Organic
  • Visual appeal
  • Kids can also use sand as a sandbox
  • Can purchase at most home improvement store. Including Lowes!


  • Attracts cats and could potentially carry diseases (in severe cases)
  • Maintenance needed
  • Can easily be tracked into your house

Pea Gravel

Pea gravel looks similar to small rocks, but it works well under swing sets.

pea gravel below swingsPositive:

  • Lower costs
  • Strong and durable
  • Organic


  • Harder surface than mats or mulch
  • Maintenance required
  • Gets stuck in shoes, pants and gets tracked around more

So, What Material Should I Choose?

All of the materials mentioned above would be an acceptable choice. We suggest using wood or rubber mulch. It is not as easy to track mulch all over the backyard and it does a great job at absorbing the impact in case your child falls. While it may cost your more than pea gravel or sand, through our own experience and from customer reviews, mulch has proven to be the cleanest and safest material to put under swing sets. Considering we’re talking about your children, don’t you want the best?

What material did you put under your swing set? We would like to hear what you think!

1 Comment

Posted by on November 16, 2012 in Play Sets


Tags: , ,

One response to “What Should I Put Under our Swing Set

  1. Joseph

    November 8, 2013 at 2:26 am

    Thanks for providing the information. It is really very helpful one. People generally get confused regarding this matter-what to put under a swing set. Even if I was thinking sand is the right one but thanks for your post.


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