Rocking chair has been a piece of furniture that has been passed down from generation to generation in many families. The most popular being the wooden rocker that your grandmother owned. Today the rocker can be made out of all kinds of materials from wood to wrought iron and plastic and they aren't just for indoors anymore.
Its history goes back into the early 1700's in Philadelphia where the Windsor chair was first recognized by manufacturers. You probably don't see many of these around today unless you search an antique store because they aren't the best crafted chairs out there and few have survived the ages. Although the Windsor rocker was very popular during colonial times up to when the Boston Rocker came out in 1840. This was a wooden rocker as well.
The rocking chair was just as popular in England but they were used more in outdoor settings like gardens and patios. The Windsor probably came from England as there were no rocking chair manufacturers in America at the start of its popularity. Most of the time, it was made from many different woods.
The difference between the Windsor and the Boston rocking chair is that the Boston rocker was machine-made and had a little more to its construction in the way of decoration like a finish. It was also made from one type of wood and because it was mass produced it was cheaper for families to buy. This is the one that has been passed as heirlooms.
Wicker was eventually used in the 1800's for rocking chairs like more other things. It was completely woven. It was another high volume product that sold well and became very popular as decorative chairs for outdoor areas. Other rockers include Adirondack chairs which have flat armrests and sit near to the ground. The seat is roomy and are generally found around pool areas.
It doesn't matter what kind of rocking chair you choose as long as it makes the space you use it in look great. Test them out before you purchase one to make sure it is comfortable then take it home and enjoy.