There can be a lot of anxiety associated with bringing home a new baby, especially your first. You just really want to do everything right, even though one of the biggest lessons we must learn as parents is that we simply cannot control everything. However, there are some things you can control, and the safest possible crib is one of them. We will let you know the latest safety guidelines, helpful features, and all the details to consider before choosing the best baby crib for your bundle of joy. Then, get right to shopping with 10 in-depth reviews on some of the best rated models on the market today.
Things to Look For in a Baby Crib
There are a few non-negotiables in terms of a safe crib.
The most recent regulations for safety standards came out in 2011. All cribs manufactured today must meet those standards as set out by the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission. One of the requirements is that the manufacturing date be printed on the crib so that you can verify it. It is illegal to sell cribs manufactured before 2011.
Slats or Bars
Be certain that the slats or bars on your crib are no wider than 2 3/8 inches apart. Any wider and baby’s body could pass partway through and potentially become stuck. An easy test is to try and pass a soda can through the gaps – if you can, they are too wide.
When you choose a mattress to go in your baby’s crib, make sure that it is dense and firm so that it does not sag under the baby’s weight. It should also fit precisely into the crib frame with no gaps or spaces around the edges where baby could become trapped.
Unfortunately, drop side cribs no longer meet safety requirements. This was a handy feature that allowed caregivers to temporarily lower one side of the crib in order to put their baby down gently without back strain. Nowadays, look for a crib with an adjustable bottom. This will allow you to set it higher for newborn babies and gradually move it down as baby grows and begins standing on his or her own.
Headboards & Posts
If you like the look of a headboard on your crib, make sure to choose one that is solid with no decorative cutouts. It also shouldn’t have any pointy embellishments that could cause injury. It’s best to avoid corner posts because anything higher than 1/16 of an inch can snag on baby’s clothing.
Bumpers are basically long pads with strings attached to tie them onto the slats of your crib. They have been used in the past to keep baby from resting against uncomfortable slats, but also carry a suffocation risk. As a child grows, you also run the risk that they’ll use the bumper as a step up as they try to climb out of the crib. The current advice is to skip bumpers all together.
It is not recommended that you put baby down with any loose blankets, so be sure to dress him or her appropriately for the weather. The only bedding you’ll need is a waterproof mattress pad and a tightly fitted sheet.
A crib on wheels can be handy if you know you’ll need to move it around sometimes. However, make sure that the wheels lock if you go this direction. Especially on tile or wood floors, baby’s movement can shift the whole crib.
Popular these days are cribs designed to later convert into toddler beds. This can save you money when your baby gets too big for the crib (once they can climb out of it themselves, it becomes dangerous to continue using) but is still a little small for a full-sized bed.
Convertible beds are great for this in-between time, but many of these kits do require you to purchase additional components to complete the transition. It’s still much less expensive than buying a whole new bed, but just be aware of this when you choose your convertible crib.
So, with all that in mind, let’s start shopping!
10 Best Baby Cribs on the Market Reviews
Choose the best baby crib for your needs with help from our in-depth reviews.
1 Delta Children Canton 4-in-1 Convertible Baby Crib
Sleek and stylish, the Canton crib from Delta features a sleigh style silhouette and attractive curved legs, plus a 3-position mattress platform so it can adjust as your baby grows. This crib is not only beautiful, it is also cozy and welcoming for your newborn. It comes in black, grey, white, or dark chocolate to fit seamlessly with any nursery décor.
This crib is perfect for parents who are thinking ahead to kindergarten – it has four different configurations, including crib, toddler bed, daybed, and full-sized bed. It is easy to assemble and the kit comes with the Daybed Rail and Toddler Guardrail included for later style changes. You’ll only need to purchase the Full Size Bed Rails separately if you choose to use it that way.
The Canton crib is built durably and meets all required safety standards. It is JPMA certified to meet or exceed all safety standards as set by the CPSC & ASTM. But that’s not all. This crib is also tested for the presence of lead and other toxic elements to meet or exceed government and ASTM safety standards.
2 Delta Children Folding Portable Mini Baby Crib
If you are looking for a crib for small space needs, plan to travel with your crib, or are on a budget, Delta has a solution for that, too. This portable mini-crib folds flat for easy storage and transport. It also comes with a mattress included, which stores directly in the crib when it’s folded. There are two available positions for the mattress support platform. Wheels make it simple to move the crib from room to room as well.
Despite its small size, this crib is durably built from real wood and is JPMA certified to meet or exceed all safety standards set by the CPSC & ASTM. Like other products from Delta, it is also tested for lead and other toxic substances before being made available for purchase.
Choose the Delta Folding Portable Crib in a wide range of colors, including grey, light grey, white, Bianca white, dark chocolate, dark espresso, dark cherry, and natural.
3 Million Dollar Baby Classic Ashbury 4-in-1 Convertible Crib
The perfect combination of style and function, this crib features elegant curves, winged details, and an arched headboard. It also has a roomy under-crib drawer for critical storage. Adding to the functionality, you can move the height of the mattress platform between four different built-in stops. Made with New Zealand pine wood, the crib is both sturdy and luxurious.
This is a convertible model, and the toddler bed conversion kit comes included with your purchase. (Full-sized bed conversion kit is sold separately.) The look of your crib is improved with hidden hardware construction – no visible screws draw the eye, and no curious baby fingers will find their way inside.
The product meets ASTM international and U.S. CPSC safety standards, and is certified as lead and phthalate free with a non-toxic finish. The Ashbury crib is available in white, espresso, and manor grey.
4 Simmons Kids SlumberTime Paloma 4-in-1 Convertible Baby Crib
From Simmons Kids comes a lovely crib with rustic styling, perfect for an antique design scheme. The Paloma is a 4-in-1 convertible crib made of sturdy pine, finished with a hand-distressed, soft texture that guarantees each piece is one-of-a-kind. You can choose rustic grey or rustic driftwood finishes. If you really love the style, you can purchase a great crib and dresser combo – the baby dresser has a handy changing table top.
The sturdy construction and 3-position height adjustment make this a crib you can trust for many years. As baby grows into a toddler, preschooler, and beyond, the crib can be converted into a toddler bed with side rail, daybed, and finally a full-sized bed. However, you will need to purchase separate accessory kits for each of these conversions.
For safety, this crib is JPMA certified to meet or exceed all standards set by the CPSC & ASTM. Each product is also tested for lead and other toxic elements to meet or exceed government and ASTM safety standards.
5 Evolur Madison 5, 1 Curved Top Convertible Crib
For a touch of Neo-traditional elegance, check out the Evolur Madison 5. It is made of kiln-dried hardwood with fine veneers and features a solid backboard with curved top and intricate detailing around all edges. The hardware is hidden for added safety and a clean look. This is a great anchor for your baby room décor, as you can also buy matching double dresser, tall chest, 3-drawer chest, bookcase, nightstand, and mini bookcase.
There are 3 mattress height settings available to grow with your baby. This bed converts to toddler bed, daybed, and full-sized bed, but you will need to buy conversion kits separately. Color choices are antique grey or weathered grey.
This crib is designed and engineered to the highest safety standards to meet and exceed regulations set by the Consumer Product Safety Commission and American Society for testing and materials. All finishes are lead-free and non-toxic.
6 Graco Benton 4-in-1 Convertible Crib
Graco is a top name in affordable baby products, cribs included. This model is a 4-in-1 convertible crib that comes in five different finishes, including espresso, white, pebble gray, driftwood, and whitewash. It converts easily into a toddler bed, daybed, and full-sized bed with headboard, but all conversion kits are sold separately.
There are 3 mattress height positions for this crib, which fits most standard crib and toddler mattresses. Made with a combination of pine wood and some composites, the bed is JPMA certified and meets or exceeds all applicable ASTM and CPSC safety standards.
The styling is simple so as not to interfere with your nursery décor, and also to help it grow with your child as he or she expresses their own personality. This bed will safely accommodate a child until they exceed 50 pounds.
7 Union 3-in-1 Convertible Crib
If you are looking for a basic and very affordable crib, the Union 3-in-1 delivers excellent value for the money. Its no-frills design fits in easily with any décor, but its function is top notch, with 4 adjustable mattress levels. You can also convert this crib into a daybed or a toddler bed as needed (conversion kit sold separately).
Made with sustainable New Zealand pine wood, all finishes are non-toxic and guaranteed free of lead and phthalate. It meets ASTM international and U.S. CPSC safety standards so that you can rest easy when your baby is resting.
This crib appears to be currently available in white or grey finishes, but some users have mentioned blue and yellow as options that may be found at various times.
8 Babyletto Hudson 3-in-1 Convertible Crib
This adorable crib from Babyletto offers rounded spindle mid-century modern design for a truly unique product that you won’t see in every nursery on your block. It comes in 8 colors, including grey, white, black, espresso, and washed natural, plus two-tone options like grey and white, washed natural and white, and espresso and white.
As with many of the cribs on our list, it is made with New Zealand pine wood. However, it is heavier than some others and sits firmly on the floor. The product is GREENGUARD Gold Certified, which means that it has been screened for 360 VOCs and over 10,000 chemicals. It also meets ASTM international and U.S. CPSC safety standards.
The crib is a 3-in-1 convertible and the toddler bed conversion kit is included with purchase. That’s a nice bonus! While in crib form, there are 4 available mattress levels to adjust as your child grows.
9 Delta Children Abby Convertible Crib
This crib is a convertible model with a very handy changing table attached for all in one convenience. This can be great when space is limited. The changer has two shelves and two drawers for much-needed storage, and comes with a changing pad that has a safety strap attached.
When it is time to convert, the daybed rail is included, but you will need to purchase a kit to use the toddler or full-sized bed options. There are 3 mattress height positions to adjust as baby begins to stand on his or her own.
The construction is sturdy and the crib is JPMA certified to meet or exceed all safety standards set by the CPSC & ASTM, as well as guaranteed free of lead and other toxic elements. You can purchase this double-duty crib/changing table in grey, white, or dark chocolate colors.
10 Davinci Jenny Lind 3-In-1 Convertible Portable Crib
And finally, here is a portable crib that offers many of the same features of a stationary crib. It has wheels that make it easy to move, but also offers 4 adjustable mattress positions and the ability to convert it to a toddler bed and a daybed. (No kit is needed for the daybed but you will need to purchase one for the toddler bed.) However, it does not fold down and may not be the best for travel.
This crib comes in a signature heirloom style with round detailed spindles. It is available in 9 colors, including cherry, ebony, white, lagoon (blue-green), navy, blush pink, fog grey, emerald, and slate. Though the wheels do not lock, the crib may be put together with or without them.
The DaVinci Jenny Lind crib is made of New Zealand pine wood and GREENGUARD Gold Certified as well as lead and phthalate free. It is finished in a multi-step non-toxic painting process. If you are a fan of the style, you can also get a matching changing table to complement the décor.
By now we bet you have fallen in love with one or more of the cribs on our list, so the only thing left is to order it! While you’re waiting, we can help you brush up on the rules of safe crib use.
For starters, always use the manual when assembling your crib; it should be completely steady when properly put together. It’s okay to attach an entertainment device to your crib, such as a baby aquarium, mobile, or sound machine, but make sure that it is out of baby’s reach and remove it when he or she can pull on it.
The latest safety recommendations suggest a crib free of any blankets, toys, sleep positioners, or bumpers. You can use a dust ruffle if you like the style, but be sure to vacuum under baby’s bed often as dust mites collect quickly and be irritating to baby’s skin and nasal passages.
And finally, resist the temptation to buy a second-hand crib unless you can be absolutely certain that it meets all relevant safety standards. Any crib made before 2011 will not.
Congratulations to you, new and expectant parents! You’re off on an incredible adventure, one that starts with the purchase of the best baby crib for your little one.