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Best Bassinets & Co-sleepers

October 2016

Many parents choose to get a bassinet and/or co-sleeper for the first four to six months of baby's life. Not only does a little sleeper just feel a bit cozier than a full-size crib for a tiny newborn, but it also also allows you to keep your new baby close by: he can sleep alongside you in your bedroom, and (if you choose a portable one) you can also use it to bring him with you around the house as he naps during the day.

Note: The AAP's Updated 2016 Recommendations for a Safe Infant Sleeping Environment suggest that bassinets may not only be convenient, but likely also provide a materially safer sleeping environment for a young infant. Data suggests that room-sharing (but not bed-sharing) for the first 6-12 months of baby's life decreases the risk of SIDS by as much as 50%, as compared to baby sleeping in a separate room. Whoop whoop!

CONTENTS:

Note: We developed this list by summarizing TotScoop parent favorites and adding a few hand-picked editor favorites and new releases. Our picks are 100% unbiased — we never accept compensation in exchange for coverage. That said, this page may contain affiliate links, meaning we may receive a small commission on any purchases that you make (at no cost to you); see our full disclosure.


Types

First, a quick lay of the land. There are three basic types of products to consider for your child's first sleeping space: bassinets/cradles, bedside co-sleepers, and in-bed co-sleepers.

Most products across all of these categories products advise that you discontinue use when baby starts rolling over or pushing up on hands and knees (typically around 4-6 months).

Safety note: Strictly speaking, only bassinets (with four walls) are included in the AAP's endorsement mentioned above. The task force felt unable to make a recommendation either for or against the use of either bedside sleepers or in-bed sleepers, because there have been no studies examining the relationship between these products and SIDS or other issues. However, our take is that if you are planning to co-sleep, then these would logically seem to be an improvement over just having baby free-floating in your bed. However, please review the official recommendations of the AAP before making the a decision for your own family.

Bassinets/cradles

Photo: BabyBjorn
Bassinets and cradles are freestanding, and may either be stationary or designed for movement around the house. Cradles typically have a rocking feature, while bassinets may or may not rock.

Bedside co-sleepers

Photo: BabyBay
Bedside co-sleepers allow you to enjoy the benefits of sleeping in the same room, while maintaining a separate, protected space for baby. They typically attach to your bed (either under the mattress or to the side of the frame), with one lower or open wall to allow good visibility and easy access. These are our top pick for C-section and breastfeeding moms, in terms of providing the best trade-off between accessibility and safety.

In-bed co-sleepers

Photo: The First Years
For those planning to bed-share, bed-top co-sleepers provide a dedicated, semi-protected spot for your baby as she sleeps right alongside you, to help lessen the risk of SIDS or accidental suffocation. Be aware that it may be a tight squeeze to fit one of these in between two adults in a queen size bed, depending on your size; a king size bed would be more comfortable.

What to look for

  • Safety: In addition to the headline safety considerations mentioned above, look for breathable materials (e.g. full mesh sides and/or breathable mattress) and a flat, firm sleeping surface to minimize the risk of SIDS. If the mattress contains polyurethane foam (which most do), you may also wish to confirm that it doesn't contain any flame retardants.
  • Bed compatibility: For bassinets and bedside co-sleepers, consider the height of the mattress vs. the top of your own mattress, if you want to be able to see your baby while lying down. Most bedside sleepers are height-adjustable, but not all can accommodate very low or high beds; also check the anchor mechanism to make sure it is compatible with your bed frame.
  • Easy to clean: Look for machine-washable components, or at a minimum wipe-clean surfaces.
  • Portability: If you want something that can used around the house and/or for travel, look for wheels, light weight, and/or a compact fold.
  • Size: Bassinets can range from quite compact to nearly crib-size. Examine the dimensions, especially if you have a small bedroom, to determine suitability for your space.
  • Weight/height limits: If you think you're packing an extra-tall kid and/or if you plan to keep baby sleeping with you for an extended period of time, look for longer interior space measurements and/or a higher weight limit.

Top picks: Bassinets & cradles

In addition to the options below, you can always just get a Pack 'n Play with a bassinet attachment, which will continue to be useful well beyond the newborn phase.

Everyday pick: HALO Bassinest

The HALO Bassinest ($200-300) is one of the newer products on the market, but it has already taken the market by storm. It rotates and swivels 360 degrees (making it easier to get in and out of bed vs. other products) and the side wall can be lowered (making it perfect for C-section moms and nighttime breastfeeding sessions). It works great in smaller spaces, as the base can slide almost complete under your bed.

There are four models: the basic ("Essentia") model includes all of the core bassinet features as well as a polyester fitted sheet, while you can upgrade to other models ("Premiere," "Luxe," "Luxe Plus") for sound/vibration features, nightlight, nursing timer, floor light, storage caddy, and/or 100% cotton sheet. We think that the Premiere offers the best value for money. Adjusts to fit beds 22" to 34" tall. Note that the mattress is a special shape, so you'll probably need to buy an additional proprietary sheet ($15-17). Recommended for use up to 5 months, or whenever baby starts rolling over or pushing up.

Premium/modern pick: Monte Design Ninna Nanna Bassinet

If you've got an eye for modern furniture and quality construction, the insanely gorgeous Monte Design Ninna Nanna Bassinet ($395) might just be for you. The base is made out of solid birch and rocks to soothe baby, while the removable basket can be used as a portable bed around the house or on-the-go (note however that the basket doesn’t fold up). The microsuede cover is removable and machine-washable, and the bassinet comes baby-ready with two 100% cotton sheets. The foam inside the mattress is free of flame retardants. Recommended for use up to 18 lbs., or whenever baby starts rolling over or moving around. Another gorgeous option from Monte Design is the smaller but slightly heavier Monte Design Rockwell Bassinet ($495).

Premium/modern pick: Bloom Alma Mini Urban Mini Folding Crib

Bloom designed the Bloom Alma Mini Urban Mini Folding Crib ($340) with urban living in mind. It's the very definition of space saving, with its super small footprint (19.2 x 37 x 33" inches) and ability to be folded up when not in use. Add on top of that its modern look, solid wood frame (no MDF), low-VOC finish, two-height adjustable mattress, lockable caster wheels, and ability to fit through doorways easily, and we're in love. Many city parents use this as baby's primary crib throughout his first year, but keep in mind that you'll almost certainly need to get something bigger after that, since he'll most likely outgrow it before he's done with the crib stage. Mattress and storage bag sold separately. Recommended for use up to 12 months, however some parents report outgrowing it sooner.

Convertible pick: Guava Family Lotus Bassinet

The biggest problem with most bassinets is that they’re only good for a handful of months. Once your baby can roll over and prop himself on all fours, they’re obsolete. There are a few bassinets on the market that can be converted into playards for use past the newborn/young infant stage, and our favorite is the Guava Family Lotus Bassinet ($200 for bassinet only, $300 with the travel crib conversion). As a bassinet, it sits as bed level and can switch between a rocking and stationary base. It's lightweight and can easily be moved around the house. As a travel crib, it has a unique zip-up door and packs up super small. Both the bassinet and the travel crib have fully breathable mesh sides and pack up into a 7 x 24 x 11" inch bag (fantastic for travel). The Lotus contains no flame retardants and is GREENGUARD Gold certified for low chemical emissions. Weight limit 18 lbs.

Convertible/splurge pick: Stokke Sleepi Mini Bassinet & Convertible Crib System

The Stokke Sleepi Mini ($600) will be right up your alley if you love long-lasting products and are willing to pay (a lot) more for sleek European design. It converts from bassinet (0-6 months) to crib (0-18 months) to toddler bed (up to 3 years) to child bed (3-10 years), expanding via additional panels as your child grows. It’s made of beech wood; has removable, lockable wheels; and offers three different mattress heights.

Because it's so expensive, we really only recommend the bassinet if you also like the Sleepi for your full-size crib solution. The biggest downside, other than price, is the oval shape, which makes it hard to shop around for mattresses and sheets. The Sleepi Mini plus Mini mattress will cost you $600, plus an additional $29 for the fitted sheet. The extension kit to the full crib will run you another $400, plus $199 for the standard mattress and $39 for the sheet. The child bed requires another extension kit. Organic mattress upgrade options are available.

Robo mega-splurge pick: Happiest Baby SNOO Smart Sleeper

Ever say you'd be willing to pay anything to get your baby to sleep? Well, we're about to test that claim. Its SNOO smart bassinet ($1160), designed in conjunction with Dr. Harvey Karp (baby whisperer and author of The Happiest Baby on the Block), auto-jiggles and shushes your crying baby to calm him and lull him back to sleep. It also comes with proprietary sleep sacks that attach to tabs on the side of the bassinet to keep baby sleeping in a safe position on his back.

The product isn't shipping just yet (as of October 2016), but reviews from initial testers are all glowing. Obviously the Snoo's price tag won't be within the reach of most families, but if you were considering hiring a night doula, this might be a reasonable alternative. The Snoo comes with an organic cotton fitted sheet and three organic cotton sleep sacks. It is intended for babies up to 6 months of age, or whenever they start pushing up.

Top picks: Bedside co-sleepers

Everyday pick: Arm's Reach Concepts Bedside Bassinet Co-Sleepers

Arm’s Reach makes probably the most popular line of bedside co-sleepers on the market. They aren't high fashion, but they get the job done at a very reasonable price. They all have lockable casters, are height adjustable, and are great for keeping baby close while maintaining a separate sleeping space. All Arm's Reach co-sleepers have a "lip" for added security, so the baby's mattress cannot be totally flush with yours. Their 2-in-1 models convert from bedside co-sleeper to freestanding bassinet, while their 3-in-1 models can also convert to a playard (the mattress drops down to the floor).

Probably the most confusing thing about the Arm's Reach line is figuring out which one to buy. If you want to be able to pack up your bassinet for travel, head straight for their new Ezee line, which also features all-mesh sides and a new easy slide conversion mechanism. Choose from the Mini Ezee 2-in-1 ($176), Mini Ezee 3-in-1 ($205) or Ideal Ezee 3-in-1 (MSRP $225), depending on whether you want mini or full-size and whether you need the playard conversion. If you don't need portability, look to the Clear-Vue ($150) or Cambria ($210), both of which are the same size as the Mini Ezee models, and convert to freestanding bassinets (but not to playards). The Cambria is a bit of an upgrade over the Clear-Vue, with wooden ends. For a major upgrade, check out the Sleigh Bed ($380), which is made out of solid wood, converts to a freestanding bassinet (but not playard), and is the biggest model sold by Arm's Reach. Organic mattress and sheet options are available for most models. For more help picking out the right Arm's Reach co-sleeper for you, see our product page.

Premium/non-toxic pick: Baby Bunk

If you’re looking for a quality co-sleeper made from solid wood and only the safest finishes, the Baby Bunk ($325) is a great choice. Designed by a mother to meet the needs of the co-sleeping parent, it’s made of solid maple with a non-toxic, water-based lacquer finish. The height is adjustable, but it may not fit all beds (especially taller ones), so be sure to consult the retailer with your bed measurements. The mattress (made of pure rubber, with an organic wool outer; $165) is sold separately. Note that the Baby Bunk is intended for stationary use as a co-sleeper only. Recommended for use for 0-6 months, and up to 35 pounds. Distribution is limited: you can only buy directly from the manufacturer, or from a handful of select retailers.

Premium/non-toxic pick: BabyBay

The best true sidecar option we've found is the BabyBay ($349, excluding mattress). Designed in Germany, the bassinet adjusts to almost any height, so (unlike with most other bedside co-sleepers) you can set it to be perfectly flush with your own mattress for easiest possible access (for breastfeeding and otherwise) to baby. It's made of solid beech wood and comes in both unfinished (for purists) and water-based varnish options. It attaches to your bed under your mattress; an optional side rail and lockable casters allow you to turn it into a freestanding, portable bassinet (though a bulky one). It takes a custom mattress; several options are available, including standard ($45) and eco-organic ($125). For use up to approximately 6 months. Once your baby outgrows it, it can also be used as a bench, desk, or (when doubled up) playpen.

Top picks: In-bed co-sleepers

Value pick: The First Years Close and Secure Sleeper

The The First Years Close and Secure Sleeper ($36) is one of the bestselling in-bed co-sleepers on the market. It has a rigid yet breathable frame up around baby's head, has low-profile walls for easy visibility, secures under your mattress via a flap, and comes with a machine washable sheet and cover. It's also lightweight and folds up easily for travel. Parents' main points of dissatisfaction include its short length (24", which many babies outgrow after just 2-3 months), and the flimsy mesh sides lower down not securely containing baby.

Value pick: Summer Infant SwaddleMe By Your Side Sleeper

Another popular in-bed co-sleeper is the Summer Infant SwaddleMe By Your Side Sleeper ($36). It's quite sturdy, has high mesh sides all around for security and breathability, and folds up for travel. The interior length measures 29.5", so it also won't be outgrown as quickly as the The First Years product. On the downside, some parents complain that the high sides can cause them to feel distanced from their baby and make breastfeeding difficult. The Deluxe version of the product offers sound, light and vibration features.

Non-toxic pick: Snuggle Me Infant Lounging and Bed-Sharing Cushion

Designed by a mom and the winner of a Mom’s Choice Award, the Snuggle Me is designed to simulate the womb and counter the Moro (startle) reflex; your baby's weight activates the snugging effect. The fabric in the center is just single layer, so it takes on the firmness of whatever surface you place it on. It can be used not only as an in-bed co-sleeper, but also as a lounger around the house.

The base "Organic" model ($140) is made from a 100% organic cotton exterior and hypoallergenic poly fill; the premium "Pure" model ($209) is 100% organic cotton both inside and out. A luxe wool version ($324) is also available on the manufacturer's website. The covers for all of these versions are machine washable, however only the poly-fill version of the cushion itself is machine washable (the cotton-fill pillows must be spot cleaned only). Chemical free; made in the USA. Measuring approximately 26" x 18", it is designed for ages 0-9 months; a larger version can also be custom ordered from the manufacturer.

Non-toxic pick: DockATot Deluxe Dock All-in-One Baby Lounger

Similar to the SnuggleMe but a bit larger in size and with a more rigid base, the DockATot ($165) is another lounger option that can be used both for co-sleeping and for naps around the house. It consists of a machine washable cotton cover over a hypoallergenic poly-fill pillow, is highly breathable, and is Oeko-Tex certified to be free of harmful substances. The DockATot comes in two sizes: Deluxe, measuring 29 (unclipped)-34" (clipped) x 18", appropriate for 0-8 months; and the Grand Dock, appropriate for 9-36 months. The Grand Dock is quite large (almost as big as a crib mattress), and would work well for transitioning an older baby to a crib.