Best Bassinets & Co-sleepers
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!
- What to look for
- Top picks: Bassinets & cradles
- Top picks: Bedside co-sleepers
- Top picks: In-bed co-sleepers
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.
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/cradlesBassinets 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-sleepersBedside 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-sleepersFor 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.
- 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.
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
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
Premium/modern pick: Bloom Alma Mini Urban Mini Folding Crib
Convertible pick: Guava Family Lotus Bassinet
Convertible/splurge pick: Stokke Sleepi Mini Bassinet & Convertible Crib System
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
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.
Everyday pick: Arm's Reach Concepts Bedside Bassinet Co-Sleepers
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
Premium/non-toxic pick: BabyBay
Value pick: The First Years Close and Secure Sleeper
Value pick: Summer Infant SwaddleMe By Your Side Sleeper
Non-toxic pick: Snuggle Me Infant Lounging and Bed-Sharing Cushion
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.