Best Cribs of 2023
Best Cribs of 2023
January 5, 2023

Best Cribs of 2023

Babylist editors love baby gear and independently curate their favorite products to share with you. If you buy something through links on our site, Babylist may earn a commission.
Pinterest logo.
Best Cribs of 2023.
The crib that helps your child sleep peacefully is the crib that helps you sleep peacefully.Best Cribs of 2023

Watching your little one peacefully snoozing in their crib is one of the greatest pleasures of parenting. Whether you use a crib from day one or transition into one later, most parents get years of use out of this nursery essential.

Do You Need a Crib?

In addition to a bassinet or a playard that’s approved for sleep, a crib is the safest place for your baby to sleep. What type of crib you select is up to you. Some parents opt for a full size crib from the start, while others go for a mini crib either because of space restrictions or preference.

No matter which style or brand of crib you choose, it’s important to always follow safe sleep guidelines. Your baby should be placed on their back on a firm sleep surface with a fitted sheet with no other bedding, blankets or soft objects like toys or stuffed animals.

When Do You Need a Crib?

The American Academy of Pediatrics recommends room sharing—when a baby sleeps in the parents’ room, close to the parents’ bed but on a separate sleep surface—for at least the first six months.

Although you can use a crib for your baby from day one, many parents choose to start off with their baby in a bassinet. Even if you don’t plan on using a crib right away, consider putting one on your registry since it’s an expensive item that friends and family may want to pitch in to get for you.

Types of Cribs

There are a few basic types of cribs to consider when doing your research on the best baby crib for you.

  • Traditional cribs, sometimes also called standard cribs, are full-size cribs with four sides.
  • Convertible cribs are cribs that convert to a toddler bed and sometimes even into a standard-sized bed frame or a daybed. (These cribs are also called 4-in-1 or 3-in-1 cribs.) Most convertible cribs require conversion kits to morph into different setups. Sometimes these kits are included with the purchase of your crib and sometimes they are not. Pro tip: buy the conversion kit at the same time you purchase your convertible crib! This will ensure it hasn’t been discontinued by the time you need it.
  • Mini cribs are just what they sound like: miniature versions of a full-size crib. Mini cribs are generally larger than a bassinet but smaller than a traditional crib and many come with wheels for easy portability. (Some can even be folded flat for storage.) Depending on the model, most mini cribs can take you from the newborn days until your little one is about two or three years old. A mini crib is a great option if you have limited space or want a crib that’s easy to move around.
  • Travel cribs are lighter in weight and easy to set up and break down and are perfect for travel or if you’re staying overnight away from home.

How to Choose a Crib

Most parents choose their crib by style, size, price or a combination of all three. Here are a few things to keep in mind while you’re shopping.

  • Safety. All cribs manufactured after 2011 are required to meet standards set by the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission(CPSC). Buying a crib secondhand isn’t recommended. That’s because cribs are held to extremely high (and constantly evolving) safety standards. Cribs also tend to weaken over time, especially after consistent use by an older child, so the only way to ensure the structural integrity is to buy new.
  • Recalls. Always check for any recalls associated with your crib. Stop using it immediately if you come across one and contact the crib manufacturer for follow up.
  • Integrity. Look over all crib components both before and after assembly to make sure everything is intact, stable and in good working order. Be sure there’s no broken or cracked slats, loose parts, etc. Measure the space between your crib’s slats; if they’re more than 2 3/8 inches apart (about the width of a soda can), the crib isn’t safe to use.
  • Mattress settings. Be sure the crib you select has at least a few adjustable mattress settings that allow you to lower and raise the mattress. When your child is an infant, you’ll want a mattress at a higher setting for easy access to them without having to bend all the way over. As they grow and start sitting and standing, you’ll want to lower the mattress so they can’t climb out.

Do all full-size crib mattresses fit all full-size cribs?

Yes, the CPSC regulates standard sizing for both full-size cribs and full-size crib mattresses, so even if you select a crib and a mattress from different manufacturers, they should work together.

There is one safety detail you’ll want to be aware of, however. While the interior dimensions of every crib manufactured in the U.S. must be a standard size, there is a little wiggle room on each side. (5/8 of an inch, to be exact.) To be extra safe, you’ll want to check the fit of your crib and crib mattress—especially if they’re from different brands—just in case. A good rule of thumb to follow is if you can fit more than two fingers between the mattress and the crib frame, you don’t have a snug enough fit, and your mattress could pose a suffocation hazard to your baby.

Learn more about how to choose a crib mattress in our Best Crib Mattresses guide.

Do you think this content is helpful? Let our editors know!

Best Modern Cribs

Whether you’re going for crisp, clean lines, a mid-century modern look or something in between, there are a lot of (gorgeous) modern cribs across all different price ranges. Most are gender-neutral and versatile enough to work across many different nursery styles if you’re not entirely sold on a modern look. Most also convert into toddler beds, daybeds or full-size beds once your child is old enough.

Best Affordable Cribs

You don’t have to spend a lot of money on a sturdy, stylish crib. And you don’t have to sacrifice features, either—many of these budget-friendly cribs convert into toddler beds, so they’ll be around for the long haul.

Best Traditional Cribs

Traditional, classic-style cribs often have features like curves, crown or other types of moldings, nailhead trim or upholstered sides. They fit any style of nursery decor and are most often found in white or natural wood tones.

Best Vintage Cribs

These cribs are a fun way to add a touch of vintage style to a brand-new nursery space. Two of the most popular styles are metal cribs (inspired by iconic American cribs of the past) and Jenny Lind-style spindle cribs. Vintage cribs are usually available in black and metallic finishes and sometimes even fun colors, depending on the brand.

Ready to Add a Crib to Your Registry?

With Babylist, you can add any item from any store onto ONE registry. Start your registry today and get a Hello Baby Box full of free (amazing!) goodies.

Best Luxury Cribs

Handmade. Limited Edition. Chic. High-end craftsmanship. If this is what you’re looking for in a crib, consider these luxury picks. Upscale cribs don’t come cheap, but if budget isn’t an issue or if you’re looking for an heirloom piece to use for multiple children, these high-end cribs might be right for you.

Best Mini Cribs

A mini crib is a smaller version of a full-size crib and shares many of the same features—just in a reduced size. Mini cribs are often portable and more compact than their full-size counterparts and are a good solution if you live in a small space or simply prefer a more minimal sleeping solution for your baby.

Best Storage Cribs

Another space-saving nursery option is a crib with built-in storage. These types of cribs often feature drawers or trundle-style storage spaces, changing tables and nightstands. Sometimes these add-ons detach (like a nightstand or a dresser, for example) so you can use them separately once the crib is converted into a bed.

This information is provided for educational and entertainment purposes only. We do not accept any responsibility for any liability, loss or risk, personal or otherwise, incurred as a consequence, directly or indirectly, from any information or advice contained here. Babylist may earn compensation from affiliate links in this content. Learn more about how we write Babylist content and the Babylist Health Advisory Board.