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From economy and mid-priced to high-end and portable, there are many options when it comes to where your new kiddo can slumber. If all of these choices have you losing some sleep (yikes, not yet!), we’ve scoped out the best cribs for whatever your price range—or travel range for that matter. Before you start perusing our list of the best baby cribs and investing in your little one's safe and, not to mention, stylish bed, there are a few things to keep in mind.
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Basic Is Good
Consumer Reports recommends parents remember “basic is good” when it comes to the best baby cribs. There’s no need to invest in an additional cradle, bassinet, or bedside sleeper because a crib that is purchased “new” these days will ensure you get the safest baby cribs around. According to Consumer Reports, cribs are regulated by the federal government, and several are also Juvenile Products Manufacturers Association (JPMA) certified. The safest baby cribs are JPMA-certified, full-size cribs with stationary sides. Today, it’s also mandatory for crib slats to be at most 2-3/8 inches apart, but it’s always a good idea to confirm that’s the case when you purchase. Most cribs will also come with various heights in which the crib mattress can be adjusted. Don’t forget that your health shouldn’t be ignored and higher positions save your back, but always lower the mattress correctly depending on your baby’s height and standing or climbing capabilities.
Mattresses, Sheets, and Conversion Kits
When buying a crib remember that mattresses often sell separately, so take that into account when considering your baby crib budget. To ensure the safest sleeping environment, purchase a crib mattress that is appropriately sized for the crib you’re using, making sure there aren’t any gaps between the bed and crib frame.
Now, let’s talk about those oh-so-adorable crib sheets that are fun to pick out. Go ahead and splurge on a few cute sets, along with a couple of mattress pads, because it’s always good to keep a spare in the closet for when you need to make a quick switch in the middle of the night. Just make sure to get crib sheets and mattress pads that tightly fit.
If you would like to get a few more years out of your crib investment, there are many options on the market today that allow for a baby crib to convert to a toddler bed, daybed or even twin- or full-size bed later. Conversion rails and kits are sometimes sold separately, so be sure to check the crib manufacturer’s specifications to confirm if it’s included or not. If you are investing in a crib with the intention that you will convert it to a toddler bed, daybed, or twin- or full-size bed, go ahead and purchase the conversion rails or kits at the same time so that you have it handy when the time arises.
Please note: Consumer Reports is not currently testing cribs at the time of this writing.
Safe Sleep Environments
The American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) recommends the following when it comes to establishing a safe sleep environment:
- “Back to sleep”—Always put your baby on their back on a firm sleep surface with a tight-fitting sheet.
- Avoid any use of soft bedding, such as crib bumpers, blankets, pillows or soft toys of any size. Your infant’s crib should be completely bare. If you are worried your little one needs extra warmth, opt for an appropriately sized wearable blanket.
- Co-sleeping can be a contentious issue. The AAP recommends that you share a bedroom with your little one, though not the same sleeping surface. The latest recommendation notes this should be done until the baby turns 1 year old. That said, if one year is not an option to sleep in the same room, you should do so for at least the first six months. The American Academy of Pediatrics notes that room-sharing decreases the risk of SIDS by as much as 50 percent.
- Avoid exposing your baby to smoke, alcohol, and illicit drugs.
Now that we’ve covered what to consider before buying a baby bed, read on to see our top picks for the best cribs.
DaVinci Kalani 4-in-1 Convertible Crib
Baby crib, toddler bed, daybed, full-size bed—why choose just one? The DaVinci Kalani 4-in-1 Convertible Crib is everything you could hope for when it comes to providing your little one with a safe and stylish place to sleep for years to come. With seven finishes to choose from, four mattress height positions, beautiful curves and sturdy construction, this is one of the best convertible cribs on the market. Made of 100 percent natural solid New Zealand pine wood, it’s GREENGUARD Gold Certified, meaning it’s safe and eco-friendly. Want matching dressers and changing tables? You’re in luck. DaVinci can hook you up with a matching three-drawer changer, dresser, double side dresser, and more. Parent tip: Buy the conversion kit, which sells separately, and tuck it away in your storeroom or even the baby’s closet, so you don’t have to worry about it later. ($180; buybuybaby.com)
IKEA Gulliver Crib
There is seemingly no end to the amount of love you can have for your new little bundle of joy, or the amount of money you can invest in the various supplies that come with having a new member join the family. Have no fear; IKEA is here to make the dent in your wallet a little (or a lot) less. The IKEA Gulliver Crib is the best crib for your budget, without sacrificing safety or durability. Made of solid beech, with two different height options and one entire crib side that can be taken off, this crib will last your little one from the time they come home from the hospital to their toddler years. Bonus: The conversion kit is included in the purchase of the crib, which saves you from having to buy it separately, so it comes ready to keep your baby comfortable for more than a couple of years. ($99; ikea.com)
Pottery Barn Kids Kendall Convertible Crib
Picture the perfect, traditional crib, and you'll likely envision something that resembles the Pottery Barn Kids Kendall Convertible Crib. This classic look never goes out of style, and with four different colors to choose from, it’s sure to match whatever nursery theme you have planned. With a latest Consumer Reports score of 87, and safety, construction, and ease of assembly ratings of “excellent” across the board, it’s tough to top this GREENGUARD Gold Certified baby crib. This beautiful crib that transitions to a toddler bed as well, though the conversion kit is sold separately, has Craftsman-inspired details, offers three mattress height positions, and is constructed of lasting materials including solid poplar wood. Not only that, this crib has mortise-and-tenon construction and tongue-and-groove joinery, which is “woodwork-speak” for, it’s very sturdy. Bonus: It’s made in a Fair Trade Certified facility which can also make you and your little one sleep a little more soundly. ($599; potterybarnkids.com)
Babyletto Hudson 3-in-1 Convertible Crib
If you’re looking for a midcentury-modern style crib in which to let your sweet baby slumber, and later your tiny tot to tucker out, you’re going to love the Babyletto Hudson 3-in-1 Convertible Crib with toddler bed conversion kit. It’s constructed of eco-friendly, nontoxic materials, which rank it among the other cribs that are GREENGUARD GOLD Certified. Aside from its style points and New Zealand pine wood materials, this convertible crib accommodates four mattress positions and gives you the choice of eight different color choices and combinations. This crib, which can even convert to a junior bed (kit sold separately) can be paired with a matching dresser changer to top off the perfect nursery. ($380; target.com)
DaVinci Jenny Lind 3-in-1 Convertible Crib
If you love vintage style but want to eliminate the age-old dangers that come with antique cribs, you’ve got to check out the DaVinci Jenny Lind 3-in-1 Convertible Crib. It’s your much-desired safe and multifunctional crib, but one that comes in some really fun colors (we’re talking emerald, sunshine, lagoon, coral, and navy). Can’t find the right furniture arrangement? You’ll love the fact that this oh-so-adorable crib is ready for endless rearranging thanks to its pre-installed wheels. Finish your little one’s nursery off with the matching Jenny Lind Changing Table and other available DaVinci dressers. Note: The conversion kit is sold separately. (From $194; walmart.com)
Micuna Life Crib
Calling all moms and dads who demand a little “difference” in their baby’s nursery. If one color option, in natural and white tones, has you feeling a little ho-hum when it comes to your baby’s crib style, listen up! We’ve found the best baby crib for customization. You can match the crib spindles’ colors with that of the nursery, thanks to the Micuna Life Crib. There are 16 spindle shades to choose from, in which you can pick any combination of three. Then you choose if you want the crib base itself in natural wood or white. The color combinations are seemingly endless. Parents love the fact that this solid beechwood crib also converts to a toddler bed. Please note: The Micuna Life Crib conversion kit is sold separately, so add it to your cart before you check out if you intend to make this crib last a little longer. ($490; micunausa.com)
Babyletto Origami Mini Crib
If the standard-size crib isn’t right for your situation, or maybe you just need another, more portable space to let your baby rest, The Babyletto Origami Mini Crib is a dream come true. It’s a standard U.S. mini crib size with two mattress height levels, comes in six colors (and fun ones at that like pink and green), and serves as a great alternative to a bassinet because it’s suitable for newborns through even 18 months of age. Just be sure to quit use when your baby starts testing out their climbing skills or is 35 inches tall. Bonus: This crib comes with a 1-inch mattress pad, and its small footprint makes it perfect for moving between rooms thanks to its rolling feet with four locking casters. Want another reason to love this little crib? It even folds down for convenient storing and transporting. This makes it an ideal choice for that spare crib you need to have at the grandparents’ place or your relative’s lake house. (From $249; amazon.com)
BabyBjorn Travel Crib Light
Whether you're going on a family vacation or to grandparents’ house for an overnight, your baby needs a safe, comfortable and convenient bed fit for his or her needs. The BabyBjorn Travel Crib Light checks all the boxes, even on the go! It’s repeatedly touted as one of the best cribs for travel, which is no wonder because it’s great for babies or toddlers, is easily set up and stored, comes with a carrying bag and soft mattress, and features airy mesh material that comes in four different colors. And, get this, the mattress cover and crib fabric are both removable and washable because, as we all know, messes don’t take a vacay when we do. This portable baby bed is your go-to crib when you need to go anywhere. If the thought of a travel crib has you even the slightest bit anxious about safety, have no fear; this model is Juvenile Products Manufacturers Association (JPMA) Certified. ($300; kohls.com)
Graco Pack ‘N Play Newborn Napper Playard
A place for your newborn to nap, full-size bassinet, playard, changing table, and even some built-in shelving. The Graco Pack ‘N Play Newborn Napper Playard comes in handy at home, when you want an extra sleeping space and changing space in another room or on another floor, or while traveling and on-the-go. The napper space is ideal for when your newborn takes a snooze, while the playard is perfect for when you need to place your baby or toddler in a safe place to sleep or play. You’ll love the changing table, especially now that it can safely be used with infants up to 30 pounds. Lastly, the underneath storage conveniently and discretely holds diapers, wipes, burp rags, spare outfits; you name it. Plus, the price tag for the Graco playard is pretty pleasant as well, especially when you consider the many uses—and years—you will enjoy with it. ($150; gracobaby.com)