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Expert Shopper Baby & Kids

The best crib liner

Which crib liner is best?

Protecting their kids from harm is every parent’s top priority. It’s hard to imagine that your baby is at risk when they’re sleeping peacefully in their crib, but crib slats can actually pose a danger. While they’re not a choking or suffocation hazard, your child’s arm or leg may get caught between them — or your little one may just bang their head against the hard wood.

A crib liner prevents your baby’s limbs from getting stuck between the slats and protects him from bumps and bruises too. It can also add some fun color and pattern to the crib. But not all crib liners are created equal — some experts warn that certain styles can actually be a danger to your child, so most parents want to avoid them.

Not sure how to choose? Our buying guide has all the information necessary to help you find the best — and safest — crib liner for your baby’s crib. 

What to know before you buy a crib liner

Vertical vs. horizontal

For years, crib liners featured a horizontal design. More recently, though, vertical crib liners have become popular due to concerns that horizontal liners might prevent your baby from getting enough air if he shifts in his sleep and presses his face to the liner.

Vertical liners cover the individual crib slats to cushion them and won’t restrict proper airflow for your baby. But the issue with vertical liners is that there aren’t as many to choose from, and they usually cost more. 

Mesh vs. solid

When it comes to horizontal crib liners, you can choose between mesh and solid material styles.

Mesh crib liners feature woven material that’s thin enough to let air pass through it. That allows your baby to breathe easily even with their face pressed against the liner. A mesh liner doesn’t provide the same cushioning that solid liners do, though. It can also have a somewhat rough texture, but they’re a good option for infants who don’t move around a lot and aren’t strong enough to move their face away from the liner.

Solid crib liners are thicker and provide significant cushioning to prevent bumps and bruises if your child bangs against the slats. They usually have a more attractive look than mesh styles, but they can restrict airflow if your child’s face is pressed to the liner. They’re a better choice for older babies who are more mobile and at higher risk for bumps and bruises.


Crib liners vary in thickness. Thin liners allow for more airflow and can keep your child from getting too hot. They don’t usually have a very decorative appearance, though.

Thicker liners offer great cushioning and can give a crib a cozier feel. They usually have a more decorative look, too, but they can restrict airflow and make your baby warmer in their crib.

Number of pieces

Some crib liners are made of a single piece of fabric that covers all of the slats. These are more difficult to set up, but you don’t have to worry about any gaps in protection. Other crib liners feature multiple pieces that wrap around the slats individually. These are easier to install and take off when it’s time to wash, but they can leave gaps.

What to look for in a quality crib liner

Attachment style

Crib liners can attach to the crib via ties or with hook-and-loop or Velcro closures. Those with tie attachments usually stay on the best, but they can take quite a bit of time to set up. You have to be sure that the ties are long enough to fit around the slats, too.

Liners with hook-and-loop attachments are easier to attach. They come loose more easily, though, and older children often learn how to open them, too.

Machine washable

Babies are prone to making messes, so it’s crucial to choose a crib liner that’s easy to clean. For your convenience, choose a machine-washable liner. That allows you to wash it with the rest of your bedding items. It’s also best to opt for a style that can be tossed in the dryer, so you don’t have to wait for it to air dry.

Color and design

Your baby’s room probably has an adorable theme or color scheme that you want all the items inside to match. Fortunately, crib liners are available in a wide range of colors, patterns, and styles, so you can find the perfect match for your little one’s room.

How much you can expect to spend on a crib liner

You can expect to pay $20-$100 for a crib liner. Lower-end options with Velcro attachments and few decorative details usually go for $20-$30. Those with fun patterns and tie or Velcro closures typically cost $30 -$40. For vertical liners with ties or zipper attachments, you’ll generally pay $40-$100.

Crib liner FAQ

Q. Is it safe to use a crib liner?

A. There’s some debate about the safety of crib liners. Horizontal styles that aren’t made of lightweight mesh can pose a suffocation threat, so pediatricians may caution against using them. Vertical liners, though, are typically considered safe. But it’s always a good idea to speak with your pediatrician to see what they advise.

Q. Is a crib bumper the same thing as a crib liner?

A. Crib bumpers and liners are largely the same thing. Bumpers are usually the thicker, padded-style liners that are good for preventing bumps and bruises, but the two terms are often used interchangeably.

What are the best crib liners to buy?

Top crib liner

AirFlowBaby Mesh Crib Liner

Our take: A single-layer mesh encourages flow of air, and also provides protection against bumps and bruises.

What we like: Tall panels and adjustable fasteners.

What we dislike: Fairly expensive, but you get what you pay for.

Where to buy: Sold at Amazon

Top crib liner for money

BreathableBaby’s Classic Breathable Mesh Crib Liner

Our take: A breathable, budget-friendly liner that keeps baby’s arms and legs from getting stuck between the slats.

What we like: Made of durable, lightweight polyester mesh. Liner is breathable, too, to keep your baby cool. Unpadded design prevents restricted airflow. Compatible with most standard-sized cribs. Offers easy installation.

What we dislike: Doesn’t contain padding, which can be an issue with older kids.

Where to buy: Sold at Amazon

Worth checking out

Disney Secure-Me Crib Liner

Our take: A well-made, highly protective liner that can fit most cribs.

What we like: Comes with two long and two short sides, so it fits into a lot of cribs. Has a soothing print.

What we dislike: It is difficult to line up with bars, and needs a lot of adjustments.

Where to buy: Sold at Amazon


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Jennifer Blair writes for BestReviews. BestReviews has helped millions of consumers simplify their purchasing decisions, saving them time and money.

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