Best Crib Liners

Updated September 2020
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BestReviews spends thousands of hours researching, analyzing, and testing products to recommend the best picks for most consumers. We only make money if you purchase a product through our links, and we never accept free products from manufacturers. Read more  
BestReviews spends thousands of hours researching, analyzing, and testing products to recommend the best picks for most consumers. We buy all products with our own funds, and we never accept free products from manufacturers.Read more 
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Why trust BestReviews?
BestReviews spends thousands of hours researching, analyzing, and testing products to recommend the best picks for most consumers. We only make money if you purchase a product through our links, and we never accept free products from manufacturers. Read more  
BestReviews spends thousands of hours researching, analyzing, and testing products to recommend the best picks for most consumers. We only make money if you purchase a product through our links, and we never accept free products from manufacturers. Read more  
BestReviews spends thousands of hours researching, analyzing, and testing products to recommend the best picks for most consumers. We buy all products with our own funds, and we never accept free products from manufacturers.Read more 
How we decided

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

24 Models Considered
6 Hours Researched
1 Experts Interviewed
318 Consumers Consulted
Zero products received from manufacturers.

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

Buying guide for best crib liners

Last Updated September 2020

Keeping a baby safe can feel like a full-time job. But after a long day, it’s good to know that at least they can’t hurt themselves in their crib. Or can they?

Crib slats are carefully measured so babies can’t slip between them and choke themselves. But that doesn’t mean that an arm or a leg can’t get stuck. And once they start moving, there’s a chance that babies could bump their heads against the hard wooden slats of a crib.

A crib liner can protect your baby from getting limbs trapped between the slats and from accidental head bangs against the side of the crib. More than a simple decoration, crib liners run along the interior edges of the crib to block the space between the slats.

However, you don’t want to trade one concern for another. Some experts are wary of certain kinds of crib liners. Keep reading to learn more about crib liners so you can find the best one for your baby. When you’re done, check our recommendations for the top crib liners on the market.

If you’re interested in vertical crib liners, count your slats carefully before making a purchase. Not all cribs have the same number of slats.

Key considerations

Vertical or horizontal

While horizontal crib liners have been sold for years, vertical crib liners are relatively new to the market. They were developed in response to safety concerns about horizontal crib liners. The primary worry is that a baby who works their way to the side of the crib while sleeping may not be able to get enough air to breathe in certain positions — namely if the mouth and nose are pressed up against the liner material.

Vertical crib liners wrap around each crib slat, providing padding to protect against bumps and bruises. Unlike horizontal liners, they do not restrict airflow near the crib mattress, where the baby sleeps. Because vertical crib liners are fairly new to the market, you’ll find fewer options and higher prices than you’ll find in the horizontal crib liner market.

Mesh vs. solid

If you choose a horizontal crib liner, your biggest consideration is whether to use one that’s made of mesh or solid material.

Mesh crib liners are made of thin, woven fabric that allows air to pass through. Your baby should be able to breathe easily, even if their face is pressed against the liner. Mesh crib liners block access to the open spaces between the slats. They do not, however, provide as much padding for your baby as solid liners do. A mesh crib liner may have a rough texture, too. That said, mesh is a natural choice for younger babies who don’t move much and may lack the strength to turn their faces away from the liner.

Solid crib liners are made of thicker materials that safeguard babies against banging into the wooden slats. Solid crib liners are soft, padded products that are usually more attractive than mesh liners. Many experts advise against them, though, because younger babies may not be able to breath if their mouth and nostrils are pressed against the liner. Solid crib liners are a better choice for older babies who are more likely to need protection from the wooden slats.

Thickness

Thin crib liners, whether mesh or solid, are more breathable. They allow better airflow in the crib and help prevent it from getting too hot. However, they are not very cozy, and they’re usually plainer, with fewer frills than thicker designs.

Thick crib liners are more plush and cozy. These soft products are more able to protect babies from bangs against the crib. They usually look nicer than thin liners, too. That said, a thick crib liner can restrict airflow and increase the temperature inside a crib.

Number of pieces

Some crib liners are made of one continuous piece of material that wraps all the way around the crib, attaching to it at intervals. Single-panel crib liners are more challenging to install, but they provide continuous coverage without gaps.

Some crib liners come in separate pieces that can attach individually. These liners are much easier to install, since you only line up one side at a time. They’re easier to remove for washing, too. Notably, some multi-piece crib liners will leave gaps between the individual pieces. They also may be easier for curious babies to remove. 

If your crib has slats all the way around, either style of crib liner would work. If your crib has solid head and footboards, however, a liner with individual pieces would probably work best. That’s because solid boards have no place for one-piece liners to attach at the head or foot. It’s true that some people just tie them at either side of the board, but this may not be the best option, as it’s possible for a child to get caught in the unsecured length of the liner. Simply leaving that portion unlined eliminates that risk.

DID YOU KNOW?

Crib liners can prevent loose pacifiers from getting knocked out of the crib in the middle of the night.

Features

Attachment style

Crib liners usually attach to crib slats with ties or hook-and-loop closures.

Ties: Crib liners that tie on are the most secure. They are also the most time-consuming to install. If you choose this style, verify that the liner’s ties are long enough to securely fasten around the slats.

Hook-and-loop closures: Liners that attach with hook-and-loop closures (more commonly known by the proprietary brand name “Velcro”) install more quickly. Of course, most come off more easily, too. Older babies can often figure out how to operate them, so keep your baby’s age and level of curiosity in mind. Hook-and-loop closures may also be used to help align the edges of tie-on bumpers.

Machine washable

From diaper leaks to spit-up, babies can be messy. Even if your crib liner escapes these incidents, you’ll still want to wash it along with your other bedding. For the sake of convenience, look for liners that can be machine washed. Liners that are dryer-safe can get back in the crib sooner than those that must hang to dry.

Color/design

Maybe your baby’s room décor follows a certain theme. Maybe the nursery needs a little brightening. Regardless of your aesthetic preference, there is a crib liner out there that you’re sure to appreciate. From plain and gender-neutral to bold and full of personality, crib liners come in many different styles. Look for a style that will perfectly complement your nursery.

DID YOU KNOW?

Some older babies use horizontal crib liners as a step to climb out of their cribs. If you catch your baby climbing, it may be time to transition out of the crib.

Accessories

Crib toy: Baby Einstein Sea Dreams Soother Crib Toy
Cribs aren’t just for sleeping. This Sea Dreams soother toy attaches to the crib rail to give your baby a musical show. Lights, music, and floating sea creatures will capture any baby’s attention. Drift-off settings slowly dim lights, and quiet music helps soothe your baby to sleep. A parent remote lets you control the toy from outside the room.

Rail covers: Trend Lab Fleece CribWrap Rail Cover
The Trend Lab rail cover protects crib rails from curious teething babies, keeping wood, paint, and other debris out of baby’s mouth. Soft padding keeps your baby from biting too hard, while waterproof backing protects the rail from saliva damage.

Crib mattresses: Moonlight Slumber Luxury Dreamer Crib Mattress
A comfortable mattress is essential to your baby getting a good night’s sleep. This reversible mattress has dual firmness settings with sides for infants and toddlers. You can use it from birth until your child outgrows their toddler bed; waterproof backing and antimicrobial protection ensure it will last. 

Crib liner prices

Inexpensive: You can find basic, no-frills crib liners priced under $30. At this price, liners will be made from breathable mesh fabric or thick, padded material. The liners here may be plain white or a basic shade, but you won’t typically find patterned products. Most have hook-and-loop closures and run as one continuous piece.

Mid-range: The next tier of crib liners generally costs between $30 and $40. Crib liners in this range are mostly made of mesh but may feature fun patterns that complement your nursery. Expect to find products that tie onto your crib rather than attaching with hook-and-loop closures.

Expensive: The priciest price crib liner sets cost $40 or more, depending upon how many slats you need to cover. Liners that cost $70 or more should be vertical in orientation, attaching to individual crib slats with zippers or other means.

DID YOU KNOW?

Vertical crib liners can prevent adventurous babies from getting a good foothold on their crib slats.

Tips

  • If you want to use a crib liner to protect hands and feet but are concerned about suffocation risks, consider attaching the liner around the outside of the crib.
  • Larger, stronger babies may be able to lift their legs higher than some crib liners. Keep this in mind when shopping. Younger, smaller babies can get away with liners that stand 10 inches or less. Older or larger babies may require a liner that’s 12 inches tall. 

Other products we considered

If vertical bumpers intrigue you but you’re not ready for a major investment, consider these vertical crib liners, sold for individual slats in sets of two, from Go Mama Go. This is a fantastic option if you’re wary of horizontal bumpers and want to try the vertical design — or if you only need to cover part of the crib. Each liner attaches separately and covers up to 24 inches of each slat.

The Secure-Me Crib Liner from Disney offers lots to love. Its bottom panels are made of thin mesh. The upper portion has more substance, including inset supports to keep it from collapsing. It comes in a number of whimsical patterns to coordinate with your nursery.

Crib liners can take time and patience to install properly. Take your time; a crib liner that is too loose can pose a safety hazard.

FAQ

Q. Why do some pediatricians discourage the use of crib liners?
A.
Products that surround the bottom of the crib have come under scrutiny in recent years. Many pediatricians express concern that crib bumpers, padded crib liners, blankets, pillows, and stuffed animals pose a suffocation risk in the crib. Babies may get tangled in these items, and they may lack the strength to break free from items that block their airway. As a response, many companies have developed mesh horizontal bumpers that allow air to pass through, as well as vertical liners that pad hard wooden crib slats.

Q. What’s the difference between a crib bumper and a crib liner?
A.
There isn’t a significant difference. When individuals talk about crib liners, they are most often discussing thin, sometimes mesh, fabric panels that line the crib walls. Bumpers are more frequently used to describe thicker, softer panels that protect against bumps and bruises, but both styles can be found under either name.

Q. When do babies start moving in their cribs? 
A.
Babies usually stay where you put them until at least four months of age. Between four and six months, most babies start rolling over — and it doesn’t stop when you put them in the crib. It’s common for babies to roll during the night. Babies may master rolling in one direction before figuring out the other, so you might find them stuck on one side of the crib. Since they can’t free themselves by rolling back, it’s important to have a crib liner that won’t block airflow.

The team that worked on this review
  • Ciera
    Ciera
    Digital Content Producer
  • Kristin
    Kristin
    Writer
  • Lauren
    Lauren
    Writer
  • Melinda
    Melinda
    Web Producer
  • Melissa
    Melissa
    Senior Editor

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