Plastic Slide vs. Metal Slide: Which Should You Choose?

When you’re putting together a playground, you’ll almost certainly choose to include a slide – they’re a classic piece of play equipment, and they work well with lots of different structures. As much as the decision to include a slide can be a bit of a no-brainer, deciding on whether to opt for a metal slide or a plastic slide can be deceptively tricky.

They both have positive and negative characteristics, so there’s no right answer. That said, you can stack up the pros and cons of each one to find one which will work best for you.

Why Should You Pick a Plastic Slide?

Plastic slides have become a lot more common than metal slides. This is largely because they are a lot cheaper to produce, but that’s not all there is to it.

Perhaps the best thing about plastic slides is that they can be made in more diverse shapes than metal slides. For example, wavy slides will almost always be made from plastic, as will slides made with lots of tight turns. They can also be made with quite a large lip, so it’s much harder for children to fall off – that’s going to be very useful for commercial play equipment. Beyond versatility of design, plastic slides offer easy upkeep since they don’t rust, and they’re very easy to clean.

Why Should You Pick a Metal Slide?

Metal slides are more expensive and harder to make into more interesting shapes. That said, metal tends to be advantageous if you want a longer slide since they can take a lot more weight than plastic ones. Metal can dent, but it’s a lot harder to mark using marker pen or paint, and is less likely than plastic to show the effects of general wear over time which is helpful for a commercial playground.

Additionally, most people think that metal is a little more upscale and attractive than plastic. If your slide is going to be highly visible and perhaps part of a hotel or other hospitality business, you might consider going with metal for that reason alone.