Facebook Pixel Code
x
BestReview's Logo
Best For Your Buck Product
Best bang for the buck
Graco
Check Price
Best Of The Best Product
Best of the best
Delta Children
Check Price
BestReview's Logo
Bottom Line
Pros
Cons

How We Decided

We purchase every product we review with our own funds—we never accept anything from product manufacturers.

93
Models Considered
49
Hours Spent
3
Experts Interviewed
222
Consumers Consulted

Shopping Guide for Best Baby Cribs

Few things are so exciting as preparing for a new child, and buying a baby crib is a must on that to-do list. Between naps and bedtime, a baby spends a good portion of her day in a crib, so caregivers need to ensure it's a safe and comfortable place for a little one.

With so many cribs to choose from, picking the best one can seem overwhelming, especially for first-time parents.

You need a crib that's durable and offers good value for money, plus – most importantly – it must be safe for your baby.

To help you find the perfect baby crib, we at Best Reviews have done all the research you need.

We test products in our lab, analyze data, and consult existing customers. And, for this guide, we've spoken with pediatric occupational therapist Aimee Ketchum, an expert on all things baby-related, cribs included.

The product matrix above features our top five baby cribs, but first read the full guide, below, to learn about purchasing the best crib for you and your little one.

You should always buy a baby crib new to feel totally secure about its safety features and quality.

Types of Baby Cribs

First, let's examine the main types of baby crib on the market.

Baby crib types

Standard

Standard baby cribs have four fixed sizes with vertical slats around the edges. They're only suitable for babies and young toddlers up until the point when they outgrow their crib (or decide they like to climb over the sides), which is usually around 24 months.

Aimee
EXPERT CONSULTANT

Aimee is a pediatric occupational therapist practicing in the neonatal intensive care unit and pediatric out-patient at Central Pennsylvania Rehab Services at the Heart of Lancaster Hospital. She has been working in pediatrics for 18 years and is also the owner/operator of Aimee’s Babies LLC, a child development company. Aimee has published 3 DVDs and 9 apps which have been featured on the Rachael Ray Show and iPhone Essentials Magazine. Also certified in newborn massage and instructing yoga to children with special needs, Aimee Ketchum lives in Lititz, PA with her husband and two daughters.


Aimee  |  Pediatric Occupational Therapist
Baby crib types

Convertible

Convertible cribs can be turned into a toddler bed – and sometimes a daybed or full-size bed – once your little one has outgrown the crib stage. If you don't mind doing a bit of DIY to convert them, this can be an affordable option, as convertible cribs tend to cost around the same price as comparable standard cribs.

Baby crib types

Travel

Travel cribs are soft-sided and easily pack down and pop up, perfect for when you go on holiday, or for your visits to relatives. However, they shouldn't be a baby's main crib, so we won't focus on them in the guide.

Product in Depth

Product in Depth

Graco Lauren 4-in-1 Convertible Crib

Design

Owners of the JPMA-certified Graco Lauren love how easy this crib is to put together. Before beginning construction, we advise owners to move the un-assembled Graco Lauren crib to the nursery – otherwise, the finished product may be too bulky to fit through the nursery door. Overall, assembly of the Graco is a fairly quick and easy job; most of the owners we surveyed said it took them about an hour.

Baby crib types

A Note on Drop Side Cribs

Drop side cribs are cribs where either one or both of the long sides slide down, supposedly making it easier to get your baby out. However, it was discovered that these cribs could be unsafe and had led to a number of infant deaths.

As of December 29, 2012, it has been illegal to manufacture or sell drop side cribs so, in theory, you shouldn't come across one.

Even so, it's worth mentioning, in case you see a used drop side crib or someone tries to pass one on to you as a hand-me-down.

EXPERT TIP

Some baby cribs make life easier and some baby cribs can actually make things more complicated. A convertible crib might be a good idea for the youngest child, but if a parent plans on having more children, they will need to buy another crib, which can be more costly than buying a toddler bed.


Aimee  | Pediatric Occupational Therapist

Considerations for Selecting a Crib

Considerations

Adjustable Mattress Height

Many cribs have adjustable mattress heights. If you set the mattress to the highest setting, it’s easier to lift your baby out of the crib. However, once your baby is able to pull herself up and stand in the crib, holding onto the rails, it becomes dangerous to have the mattress too high, as she could fall out.

To be on the safe side, you should adjust the crib's mattress to the lowest height setting when your baby reaches about six months old.

CAUTION

If you’re using a baby monitor, make sure it is far out of reach of your child, especially if it has any cords or detachable parts.

Considerations

Size and Shape

Baby cribs should be of an appropriate size that a standard crib mattress – measuring 27 1/4 inches wide by 51 5/8 inches long – fits snugly inside. While you can find cribs of non-standard sizes and shapes (such as round or oval cribs), we recommend opting for a regular, rectangular model so that finding a well-fitting mattress isn’t a hassle.

DID YOU KNOW?

Common mistakes when purchasing a crib include buying one seen in an advertisement or choosing one based on what it looks like in the nursery. Consider the functionality of the crib and your baby's needs above all else.

Considerations

Stability and Construction Quality

The last thing you want is for your baby's crib to fall apart around him as he sleeps. Or for any parts to come loose, or fall off with use, as this could be hugely dangerous. Choose a stable and well-constructed crib that will last the two or more years that your child will sleep in it.

Product in Depth

Product in Depth

Graco Lauren 4-in-1 Convertible Crib

Quality

The Graco Lauren's wood is “thicker than expected,” according to one happy customer, although it sometimes appears to be pitted, rather than solid. Some owners of the black version of this crib notice that the finish is uneven in places. Other owners report some minor chipping and denting of the wood, although this does not seem to have an impact on the safety of the product. Overall, the quality of this crib aligns well with its low price, and most customers give it a "high satisfaction" rating.

Baby Crib Safety Tips

Any parent's prime concern is their child's safety. A crib can be a dangerous place for a baby if you're not cautious, so we've put together some notes on safety.

  • Look for JPMA certified baby cribs. This means the crib meets or exceeds all safety standards put forth by the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) and the American Society for Testing and Materials (ASTM.)

  • Make sure you can't fit more than two fingers between the crib's mattress and the side of the crib. If you can, you need a bigger mattress.

  • Never use bumpers, pillows, quilts, or blankets in your baby's crib, or let your baby sleep with a stuffed toy. All of these are suffocation hazards. Swaddle your baby, or put her in a wearable blanket.

EXPERT TIP

Nothing should ever be placed in a crib with a baby.


Aimee  | Pediatric Occupational Therapist
  • Use well-fitting sheets on your baby's mattress. If they come loose, your baby could become tangled in them and suffocate.

  • If you're not 100% sure you can assemble a crib properly yourself, enlist the help of a handy friend, or hire a professional to do it. It will be worth the peace of mind in the long run.

  • Place your baby's crib out of reach of windows, blinds, curtains, wall hangings, and other similar hazards.

  • The slats and posts on a crib should be no further than 2 3/8 inches apart from one another, so your baby can't stick her head through. If you can pass a standard can of soda between them, they're too far apart.

Product in Depth

Product in Depth

Delta Children Emery 4-in-1 Crib

Value for Money

The Delta Children Emery 4-in-1 Crib converts from a crib to a toddler bed, toddler daybed, and full-size bed. Users report it's fairly easy to convert, but bear in mind you must purchase the toddler guard rails and crib conversion rails separately. Even so, it ends up being fairly good value for money if your kid uses the converted crib all the way through toddlerhood and childhood.

Baby Crib Price

Expect to pay $90 to $500 for an average baby crib, but know you won't find a huge difference in features between the most inexpensive models and more costly ones.

The main difference between basic cribs and high-end models is the build quality and materials.

Top-of-the-line cribs tend to be extremely durable and constructed from quality wood – the kind of thing you can pass on through the generations – and some are also more aesthetically pleasing. For instance, you may find high-end cribs that look like traditional vintage models, but conform to all the latest safety regulations.

EXPERT TIP

Parents need to consider each child’s needs separately. What works for one child may not work for another child.


Aimee  | Pediatric Occupational Therapist

Tips

  • Having at least two people around to assemble the cribs is highly recommended, both to make assembly easier and guarantee the final product is baby-ready.

  • Since babies are known to shake and rattle their cribs, we recommend periodically checking the hardware of the crib to make sure nothing has come loose or broken.

  • If you purchase a painted bed, check the paint regularly to make sure it’s not chipping or peeling.

  • When your crib and crib mattress first arrive and are assembled, check that they fit together snugly. If you can place more than two fingers between the mattress and crib, the mattress isn’t big enough.

Most cribs come without any additional parts, such as mattresses or teething rails. If you want to purchase extras, be sure they fit with your crib and offer no safety hazards.

FAQ

Q. Do baby cribs come with mattresses?

A. No, you usually have to buy a crib mattress separately. A standard-sized crib mattress should fit perfectly in a standard-sized crib, however, it's worth checking the fit carefully.

Q. I like the look of cribs with cut-out patterns in the headboard and footboard — are they safe?

A. Babies can get body parts or clothing stuck in cut-out patterns in headboards and footboards. This poses a real risk or injury or even suffocation, so you should stick to models with plain slats for safety reasons.

Q. What else should I check for before I put my baby in their crib for the first time?

A. Once you're sure the crib's sturdy and properly constructed, complies to safety standards, doesn't have any cut-outs or a drop side, and has properly spaced slats, the only thing left to do is ensure there are no splinters or rough edges to the wood, and there's no peeling paint.

Find the best baby gifts

These are our top picks for baby gifts

Best Baby Food Makers


BEABA

Babycook

Check Price

Best Baby Carriers


ERGObaby

Four Position 360

Check Price

Best Baby Bathtubs


Fisher-Price

4-in-1 Sling N Seat Tub

Check Price

Best Baby Seats


Bumbo

Floor Seat

Check Price

Best Baby Activity Centers


Evenflo

Exersaucer Triple Fun Activity Center

Check Price

Best Baby Slings


Cuddlebug

4-in-1 Cuddlebug Soft Wrap Baby Carrier

Check Price

Best Baby Swings


Graco

Glider Elite

Check Price

Best Jogging Strollers


Thule

Urban Glide - Jogging Stroller

Check Price

Best Bottle Sterilizers


Wabi Baby

Electric Steam Sterilizer and Dryer

Check Price

Best Swaddles


Aden+Anais

Classic Muslin Swaddling Blankets

Check Price

Best Diaper Bags


Skip Hop

Duo Signature

Check Price

Best Diaper Pails


Munchkin

Step Diaper Pail

Check Price

Best Portable High Chairs


Graco

Zuba Simpleswitch

Check Price

Best Pack 'n' Plays


Graco

Mason Everest Pack 'n' Play Playard

Check Price

Best Bottle Warmers


Cuisinart

Baby Food Maker and Bottle Warmer

Check Price

Best Baby Wraps


Boba

Boba Baby Wrap

Check Price

Best Video Baby Monitors


Infant Optics

DXR-8 Video Monitor

Check Price

Best Umbrella Strollers


gb

Pockit Lightweight Stroller

Check Price

  • Devangana
    Devangana
    Web Producer
  • Eliza
    Eliza
    Digital Content Strategist
  • Jeff
    Jeff
    Editor
  • Lauren
    Lauren
    Writer
  • Melissa
    Melissa
    Senior Editor
×

Support Us

At BestReviews, we purchase every product we review with our own funds. We never accept anything from product manufacturers. Our goal is to be 100% objective in our analysis, and we do not want to run the risk of being swayed by products provided at no cost.

Help support our research and testing by making a contribution.

$15
$25
$50
$100
$