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Best Mini Cribs

Updated August 2018
Why trust BestReviews?
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.
BestReviews spends thousands of hours researching, analyzing, and testing products to recommend the best picks for most consumers.
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.
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How we decided

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

  • 16 Models Considered
  • 68 Hours Researched
  • 1 Experts Interviewed
  • 99 Consumers Consulted
  • Zero products received from manufacturers.

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

    Why trust BestReviews?
    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.
    BestReviews spends thousands of hours researching, analyzing, and testing products to recommend the best picks for most consumers.
    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.

    Shopping guide for best mini cribs

    Last Updated August 2018

    Considering how tiny they are, babies sure do require lots of gear and equipment. If you’re living in a small home or apartment, you have to utilize your space and keep baby gear limited to what you really need. A mini crib has the look and feel of a full-size crib but in a much smaller package.

    Mini cribs come in the same styles with many of the same design features as full-size cribs. If you’re looking for a mini crib but not sure where to start, you’ve come to the right place. At BestReviews, we researched mini cribs in order to find the best ones available. The shopping guide that follows will give you an overview of common mini crib features.

    When you’re ready to select a crib, don’t forget to take a look at our top picks above. As we researched these products, we declined all samples from manufacturers in order to avoid bias. We think you’ll like our choices.

    Following mini crib assembly instructions is essential for the safety of your baby. If you’ve never assembled furniture before, you might want to enlist the help of a friend who is familiar with furniture assembly to be sure the crib will be safe and secure.

    Types of mini cribs

    Mini cribs measure 24 inches wide and 39 inches long. They’re much smaller than full-size cribs, which are typically 28 inches wide and 52 inches long. There are two basic types of mini cribs: standard and convertible.

    Standard mini cribs

    A standard mini crib is designed to last until your baby is about 18 months old. However, most children will outgrow the crib long before that time. These cribs have slatted sides and feet. Some have adjustable mattress heights while others have wheels or casters. A few designs have wheels that can be removed so the crib can be used to rock the baby to sleep. Some standard mini cribs are foldable, making them easy to store or for use while traveling.

    Convertible mini cribs

    Convertible mini cribs convert from a crib to a toddler bed; some also convert from a toddler bed to a twin bed. These cribs come in attractive designs and offer more use for your money. However, most require a conversion kit when changing from a crib to a toddler bed or twin-size bed, and the kit may need to be purchased separately.

    If you think you may want to convert your mini crib at some point, buy the conversion kit at the time of purchase to save yourself from trying to find one months or years down the road when it might not be available.

    FOR YOUR SAFETY

    Toys, blankets, and bumpers pose a suffocation hazard and shouldn’t be used in any crib, mini or full-size.

    Mini crib features

    Portability and storage

    Many, but not all, mini cribs fold down for easy portability. Most foldable models have a hinge in the center of the short end of the crib that allows this piece to collapse inward, reducing the width of the crib from 24 inches to between four and six inches. A few high-end models have hinges on both the short and long sides of the crib, allowing them to fold down even smaller.

    Mobility (wheels)

    Mini cribs with wheels can easily be moved around your home. Keep your baby nearby while you cook, or let him sleep in your bedroom while you get some rest. Wheels give you some flexibility about where your baby sleeps.

    You should only be able to fit one or two fingers between the crib mattress and side of the crib. Any more than that and your baby could get caught between the two.

    Mattress depth

    • One to Four Inches: These thin mattresses are most often found in foldable models because they’re thin and easy to store. They don’t provide as much padding, but for an infant, it could suffice until you are ready to buy a thicker mattress later on.

    • Five to Eight Inches: Five- to eight-inch mini crib mattresses are most commonly found on models with an adjustable mattress height feature. Convertible models often have these thicker mattresses.

    Most babies start sitting independently at around six months old. At that point, station the mattress at the lowest possible setting to make sure your baby doesn’t fall out.

    Adjustable mattress height

    Mini cribs may come with up to four mattress height positions. You can use the highest crib adjustment when you have a newborn, as there’s no risk of your newborn sitting up or falling out. As your baby matures (sits independently, pulls himself up to standing), you should lower the mattress height to keep her safely in the crib.

    The slats of a mini crib should not be more than 2 3/8 inches apart to prevent your child’s head from getting stuck between them. Try sticking a soda can through the slats. If it fits, the slats are too far apart.

    Safety and stability

    Mini cribs need to be certified by the  Juvenile Products Manufacturers Association (JPMA). While it might be tempting to buy a used crib, it’s best to buy new because you will then know for sure that the mini crib meets all current safety standards.

    Hinges should have a safety lock or mechanism to prevent the crib from collapsing while in use. The mattress should fit snugly to prevent any part of your child getting stuck between the side of the crib and the mattress.

    Periodically check the hardware on your mini crib for loose screws, hinges, or wheels.

    Construction quality

    The construction quality of a mini crib should be just as good as that of a full-size crib. The wood, paint, wheels, brakes, and all parts should be made with safety in mind. It should also be able to take the use and abuse of a baby, which usually includes some chewing and drool.

    Built-in dresser and changing table

    Some mini cribs have a built-in dresser and changing table. That usually makes the length of the crib similar to that of a full-size crib, but you have the added benefit of storage space and a changing area. These models work well if you don’t have much space for separate pieces of furniture.

    FOR YOUR SAFETY

    For your baby’s safety, the mini crib should not be placed near any windows, cords, or items that he could potentially pull over on himself.

    Mini crib prices

    • Inexpensive: For less than $100, you can find a foldable convertible mini crib. Pine is often used because it’s inexpensive and lightweight.

    • Mid-Range: In the $100 to $200 range, you’ll find many 2-in-1, 3-in-1, and 4-in-1 convertible mini cribs. Some of these items fold down for easy storage. Rocking mini cribs are found at this price range, too. When the legs and wheels are removed, you can rock this type of crib like a bassinet.

    • Expensive: As the price rises to between $200 and $300, the wood slats get thicker, and you’re more likely to see models with four hinges for better foldability. Some models at this price range have a built-in changing table and dresser.

    • Premium: For over $300, you’ll see more convertible and foldable cribs as well as some oval-shaped specialty cribs. Solid-sided sleigh beds and tufted head and footboards give these mini cribs a higher price.
    EXPERT TIP

    It’s best to buy a baby crib new to be sure it meets all current safety standards and regulations.


    Tips

    • Some babies outgrow their mini cribs pretty fast. If you and your spouse are both tall, your baby may be out of the mini crib within a few months. While you can’t predict the size or growth of your baby, keep in mind that a mini crib might not work for every child.

    • Because mini crib mattresses come in two depths, it’s important to check which one you have before buying sheets.

    • Some mini cribs are as expensive as full-size cribs. Convertible mini cribs can last your child for several years, so if you want to make an investment in a mini crib, one of these models makes financial sense.

    A few high-end mini cribs come with unusual design features. For example, one model has a circle configuration that, as your baby grows, can be converted to an oval-shaped mini crib.

    FAQ

    Q. Does a mini crib come with a mattress?
    A.
    Some models do and others don’t, so be sure to check before purchasing. Foldable models often come with a one- to four-inch mattress that you could replace with a five- to eight-inch mattress. Oval mini cribs come with a specially mattress.

    Q. Do mini cribs come in different finishes or colors?
    A.
    Mini cribs come in the same finishes and colors that you see on full-size cribs. You’ll find natural, cherry, and espresso finishes – and everything in between. Painted wood in all colors is also available. Keep an eye out for chipped paint on painted cribs, as a baby that chews or sucks on the crib could swallow the paint.

    Q. How much do mini cribs weigh, and what is their maximum weight limit?
    A.
    Mini cribs can weigh anywhere from 25 to 85 pounds. Mobile models with wheels usually weigh less than stationary convertible models. Most mini cribs have a maximum weight limit of about 50 pounds. However, you should always check the weight limit before purchasing, as it varies by model.

    The team that worked on this review
    • Alice
      Alice
      Web Producer
    • Devangana
      Devangana
      Web Producer
    • Katie
      Katie
      Editorial Director
    • Kyle
      Kyle
      Writer
    • Melissa
      Melissa
      Senior Editor
    • Stacey
      Stacey
      Writer