Best Swaddles

Updated July 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.

38 Models Considered
7 Hours Researched
1 Experts Interviewed
422 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 swaddles

Last Updated July 2020

Leaving the cozy confines of the womb and adjusting to the open spaces, amplified sounds, and bright lights of the outside world can be an overwhelming experience for newborns. But by recreating the perpetual hug your baby enjoyed in the womb, swaddling can help make the transition a little easier for everyone.

With ever-evolving swaddle designs and a stronger focus on user convenience, achieving the perfect baby burrito has never been easier. But that's not to say you should rule out those simple, but oh-so versatile old-school swaddle blankets just yet either. Every parent has their own preference, and choosing a great swaddle isn't always easy.

But deciding among the many options available can be confusing, and the last thing you need when you’re caring for a newborn is one more complicated choice to make. We’re here to help. If you need a hand finding the best fit for you and your baby, you've come to the right place. We've wrapped up everything you need to know about swaddles in this buying guide.

When done correctly, swaddling can help ease anxiety, reduce fussing, and improve sleep quality — an all-around win for the home team.

Key considerations

Type

Baby swaddles are available in a variety of styles, ranging from traditional swaddling blankets to swaddle "pods" that simply slip onto your baby. Here are three of the most common swaddle types.

  • Swaddle blankets: Traditional swaddle blankets are large squares of fabric that need to be carefully folded, wrapped, and tucked around your baby. Mastering the art of using a swaddle blanket can take some practice, but you won't find a more versatile option. These simple swaths of fabric have a one-size-fits-all design and can easily double as a burp cloth or regular blanket.
  • Swaddle sacks: If you just can't seem to get the hang of using a swaddle blanket, a swaddle sack is a great alternative. Swaddle sacks simplify the swaddling process by reducing the amount of folding and tucking needed to achieve a snug fit. While designs can vary somewhat, swaddle sacks typically consist of a sack for your baby's legs and wings with Velcro fasteners for the arms and torso. This configuration makes wrapping, securing, and adjusting the swaddle a breeze.
  • Swaddle pods: Swaddle pods take user convenience to the next level with a design that requires zero wrapping or folding. All you need to do is place your baby inside the cavity and pull the zipper up. With that in mind, it's also important to note that swaddle pods aren't quite as snug and secure as other swaddle styles. While this can be a bonus for babies who don't like to be tightly wrapped, there's always a chance that pint-sized escape artists could wriggle their way out.

Size

While the average swaddle blanket will see your baby right through the swaddling months, other styles often need to be replaced as your baby grows. Swaddle sacks and pods come in sizes that range all the way from birth to 12 months and over. Although age-based sizes can be a decent guideline, it's always best to check the measurements first, especially if your little one is on the tall side.

Material

When it comes to swaddle materials, you have three main options.

  • Cotton is an exceedingly popular choice for its superior breathability and hypoallergenic nature. However, between the possibility of shrinking and retaining stains, cotton swaddles may require a bit of extra care at wash time.
  • Bamboo is a low-maintenance alternative to cotton. Like cotton, bamboo is soft, breathable, and hypoallergenic, but it's also easier to care for and boasts antimicrobial properties to boot.
  • Polyester-cotton blends are worth considering if synthetic fibers aren't a deal breaker. Swaddles made of polyester-cotton blends are generally lightweight and breathable while also offering excellent durability and stain resistance.
EXPERT TIP

Securely wrapping your baby in a swaddle and keeping your crib free of loose blankets can help reduce the risk of SIDS.


Staff  | BestReviews

Features

Velcro fasteners and zippers

Velcro fasteners are usually only found on swaddle sacks and make it that much easier to secure your swaddle after wrapping your baby. However, keep in mind that Velcro can be noisy, so you might not want to unwrap your bundle of joy during naptime. Zippers, on the other hand, are a prominent feature on swaddle pods and allow you to secure your baby in one easy, and relatively noiseless, step.

Adjustability

Some babies feel most secure when they're wrapped up tightly while others prefer having some freedom to move about. Swaddles with an adjustable fit will allow you to experiment until you find your baby's sweet spot. While swaddle blankets are infinitely adjustable and most swaddle sacks offer some measure of adjustability, swaddle pods typically have a fixed fit that leans toward being loose and roomy.

Colors and prints

Swaddles are available in a huge variety of cute colors and prints. Having swaddles in a handful of different designs can make it easier to determine which one you used last — and will also boost your slumbering cherub's cuteness factor. If your little one has severe reflux or happens to be especially prone to diaper blowouts, prints can provide helpful stain camouflage.

EXPERT TIP

While some moms feel that swaddling helps little ones stay calm and focused while breastfeeding, it might be a better idea to leave your baby's hands free. Studies show that babies actively use their hands to help them find the nipple and also to stimulate milk letdown.


Staff  | BestReviews

Accessories

Swaddling is a great way to soothe your baby and induce relaxation in the crib, but sometimes a little extra push in the right direction can make a world of difference. These accessories can help your baby sleep more soundly.

Sound soother: Cloud b Sheep Sleep
Baby sound soothers play calming audio tracks that often take the form of simple white noise, nature sounds, or relaxing melodies. These soothing sounds can give babies something to focus on while cutting out background noise, helping little ones drift off and stay asleep. We especially love the Cloud b Sleep Sheep’s huggable body, generous selection of sound features, and the fact that it comes with a volume control.

Calming night light: Tranquil Turtle
If you have a baby, you probably already realize the importance of having a night light for diaper changes, feeds, and the occasional check-in. However, not all night lights are created equal. Some go beyond mere functionality with soothing sound and light effects. Our favorite is the ocean-themed Tranquil Turtle from Cloud b, which creates a sublimely relaxing underwater light display and comes with two soothing ocean sounds.

Humidifier: PurSteam Cool Mist Humidifier
Getting a peaceful night's sleep with a stuffy nose can be nearly impossible. Newborns, because of their narrow nasal passages, tend to be especially susceptible to congestion. A humidifier can help keep your baby's sinuses happy by combating dryness and stuffiness. We like the PurSteam Cool Mist Humidifier for it's silent operation, long run-time, and night light option.

Swaddle prices

Inexpensive: Simple swaddle blankets tend to be the most affordable, with prices ranging from $20 to $25 for a pack of four. Small swaddle sacks in packs of three or single swaddle pods can also be found at this price point.

Mid-range: From $25 to $35 you’ll find premium swaddle blankets made of bamboo or organic cotton as well as medium-size swaddle sacks and swaddle pods.

Expensive: Luxury swaddle sacks, premium swaddle pods in larger sizes, and high end swaddle blankets can set you back anywhere from $35 to $60.

EXPERT TIP

Take care not to wrap your baby's hips and legs too tightly. Forcing your baby's legs together can cause hip dysplasia and joint damage. Always ensure that the bottom of your baby's swaddle is loose enough to accommodate hip and leg movement.


Staff  | BestReviews

Tips

The concept of swaddling might be simple in theory, but many parents find that things aren't quite as straightforward in practice. These tips can help you overcome some of the most common swaddling obstacles.

  • Try a few different styles. Different designs offer different benefits, and experimenting with various styles is often the best way to find a good match.
  • Switch up your swaddling technique. Every baby is unique, and you might need to play around with different swaddling techniques and arm positions before you find something that works. For instance, while some babies are perfectly fine with their arms down at their sides, others might prefer having their hands up around their chest.
  • Consider using a swaddle pod as a transitional tool. If you've been swaddling your baby for a few months and think it might be time to quit, switching to a swaddle pod first can help make the transition a bit easier. Whereas swaddle blankets and sacks typically provide a snug fit, swaddle pods tend to be looser while still offering a measure of security.
  • Always put a baby to sleep on their back. Swaddled babies (or any baby, for that matter) should never be positioned on their tummies during naps. Swaddling drastically decreases range of motion and can heighten the risk of suffocation if babies are put down to sleep on their stomachs.
  • Make sure your baby isn't overheating. Swaddling can and should help your baby stay warm, but you don't want things to get too toasty. To keep your baby from overheating, opt for breathable, lightweight materials, and check in on your nugget every now and then to make sure they are not sweating excessively.

Other products we considered

Couldn't find what you were looking for among our top picks? One of our runners-up might just do the trick. If your little one kicks up a fuss when swaddled, the answer might lie in their arm positioning. The Love to Dream Swaddle UP delivers a snug fit while still allowing babies to sleep with their arms up. This swaddle’s wide bottom is specially designed to prevent hip dysplasia.

Looking for a budget-friendly set of swaddle sacks? Then the SwaddleMe Original Swaddle Three-Pack is an excellent choice. These swaddle sacks couldn't be any easier to secure, and the pure cotton construction is ideal for little ones.

If you want something that's easy to use and capable of growing with your baby, the The Ollie Swaddle simply can't be beat. This innovative blanket/sack hybrid features a traditional square shape with carefully positioned Velcro fasteners and some extra length at the bottom to accommodate growth.

By containing your baby's natural startle reflex, a snug swaddle can significantly decrease waking frequency, allowing you and your baby to get more rest.

FAQ

Q. At what age should I stop swaddling?
A.
This varies somewhat from child to child, but the most common age at which babies outgrow swaddling is between four and six months. At this point, the startle reflex subsides, decreasing the need for swaddling. However, your baby's activity level is often the best indicator. Most experts agree that it's safer to ditch the swaddle once your baby becomes more mobile and starts to roll over.
 

Q. Will my baby still be able to use a car seat when swaddled?
A.
If you'd like to use a car seat or any other seat with a restraint system while your baby is swaddled, it's worth looking for a compatible model. Many swaddle sacks and swaddle pods feature small openings in the lower portion to accommodate buckles and clasps. But not all do, so check before you buy.
 

Q. Can I buy a larger swaddle sack or pod and let my baby grow into it?
A.
Babies can certainly rack up a lot of expenses, but purchasing a larger swaddle in the hopes that your tot will grow into is a bad idea for a number of reasons. Excess fabric can end up bunching around your baby's face and neck, increasing the risk of suffocation. Also, a loose swaddle won't provide the comforting permanent-hug feeling for baby, not to mention that little Houdini's will likely make quick work of wiggling their way out of an oversized swaddle.

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

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