Bassinets vs. cribs

Nursery

While bassinets are great for newborns, they’ll soon grow out of them and need to move onto a crib.

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Are bassinets or cribs better? 

Babies might not need as much as some would have you believe, but one true essential is something in which to sleep. If you’re a new parent or it’s been a while since you last had a baby to look after, you might be wondering about the difference between bassinets and cribs and which is best for you and your baby. 

Bassinets are small and convenient for newborns as they easily fit at your bedside and the higher mattress level makes it easier to pick your baby up and put them down, while cribs are larger and will see babies through to toddlerhood.

Bassinets

Bassinets are small beds for babies. They often have mesh sides that are breathable and see-through, so you can easily keep an eye on your baby from bed without sitting up and peering over the top. 

As newborns should sleep in the same room as their parents for the first 6 months of their lives, bassinets are ideal for this stage since they’re more compact than cribs. Bassinets can range in price from approximately $50-$300. For more information, see the full guide to bassinets at BestReviews.

Bassinet pros

  • The level of the mattress in a bassinet is much higher than the level of the mattress in a standard crib, making it easier to check on your baby and to put them in and lift them out.
  • Thanks to their compact size, bassinets are easier to fit in your bedroom than cribs are, especially if you want your baby right next to your bedside as you sleep.
  • Bassinets often have mesh sides so you can see your baby, even when you’re lying in bed, while some have a co-sleeping option where one side comes off and the bassinet attaches to your bed. This way, your baby has their bed right next to yours for easier nighttime feeding and soothing.
  • Some bassinets are easily portable or have a basket that lifts off the base, allowing you to move them around when you want to put your baby down for a nap in another part of the house. 

Bassinet cons

  • Bassinets seem like a waste of money to some buyers when a newborn can technically go straight into a crib from birth, although cribs are less convenient for young babies.
  • You may find your baby grows out of their bassinet before reaching six months old, so you’ll need to find space for a crib in your bedroom anyway.

Best bassinets

Maxi-Cosi Iora Bedside Bassinet

Maxi-Cosi Iora Bedside Bassinet

This sleek bedside bassinet has mesh all-around for ventilation and to see your baby easily. It adjusts to several different heights so you can tailor it to your needs.

Sold by Amazon 

Graco My View 4 in Baby Bassinet

Graco My View 4 in Baby Bassinet

A bassinet that grows with your baby with a bottom portion you can use as a travel crib or playpen for toddlers. The sleeping area lifts off the base for traveling with or napping in different spots.

Sold by Amazon and Buy Buy Baby

Arm's Reach Cambria Co-Sleeper Bassinet

Arm’s Reach Cambria Co-Sleeper Bassinet

This co-sleeper bassinet makes it easier for parents to feed, check on and change their infants in the night, resulting in better sleep quality. You can use it as a standard bassinet with the sides up.

Sold by Amazon and Buy Buy Baby

Cribs

Cribs are beds for babies with a mattress close to the crib’s base and tall wooden slats around the outside. Cribs are safer and more stable than bassinets for bigger babies and young toddlers who can sit and stand, though you can use it from birth. 

Although bigger and bulkier than bassinets, you can use cribs. You will inevitably need a crib for your baby, even if you opt for a bassinet first. If you want more details, head to BestReviews for the full guide to baby cribs.

Crib pros

  • Some cribs have adjustable mattress heights, allowing you to raise the mattress higher for younger babies who can’t yet stand, making it easier to pick them up without bending right down into the base of the crib.
  • Many cribs can convert into toddler beds and even full-sized twin beds once your baby has outgrown them. 
  • If you only use a crib, you’ll save money as you won’t need to buy a bassinet and a crib. 

Crib cons

  • Although there’s no reason why you can’t put your newborn down to sleep in a crib, some young babies don’t like sleeping in such an ample space and sleep better in a smaller bassinet. 
  • Cribs are larger than bassinets, and you may find it hard to fit them next to your bed if you have a compact bedroom. 

Best cribs

Graco Benton 4-in-1 Convertible Crib

Graco Benton 4-in-1 Convertible Crib

This classic crib converts into a daybed, toddler bed and a full-size twin bed. It’s solidly made and reasonably priced.

Sold by Amazon and Buy Buy Baby

Delta Children Heartland 4-in-1 Convertible Crib

Delta Children Heartland 4-in-1 Convertible Crib

Another basic crib that’s well-priced for parents on a budget and is convertible into a toddler bed or twin bed, though you will need conversion kits sold separately.

Sold by Amazon

Babyletto Hudson 3-in-1 Convertible Crib

Babyletto Hudson 3-in-1 Convertible Crib

Parents looking for something slightly different will love the stylish contemporary appearance of this crib. It’s made from solid New Zealand pine and is Greenguard gold certified for low chemical emissions.

Sold by Amazon and Buy Buy Baby

Should you get a bassinet or a crib?

It’s not a case of whether you should buy a bassinet or a crib. You’ll need to decide if you should buy a bassinet for your newborn and a crib when they get older or just buy a crib and use it from day one. There’s no denying that bassinets are more convenient for newborns than cribs, but some parents balk at the prospect of paying as much as $300 for something they’ll only use for 4-6 months. 

 

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

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