When you picture your baby’s nursery, what is the first piece of furniture that comes to mind? There’s a good chance it’s the baby crib. The best baby cribs manage to balance aesthetic vibes and great functionality—with many convertible cribs even able to grow with your child for years and years. While the crib may be one of the bigger upfront investments, it’s worth thinking about how long the baby crib can serve your family.
From various prices to different sizes, here are a few things to know and questions to keep in mind while you search for the best baby crib for your little one.
How much do baby cribs cost?
You likely won’t be surprised to learn there is a wide range when it comes to how much baby cribs cost. The cribs listed here vary from $134 to $749—although there are options at a much higher price point than that, too.
It can be helpful to know that all baby cribs sold in the United States have to be compliant with regulations from the Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC). So while a $200 crib may be different in some ways than a $1,000+ crib, both meet the same baseline safety standards.
Note: Safety regulations continue to change. For example, cribs with drop-side rails were banned in 2011. If you buy a used crib, know that it may not be compliant with current regulations.
Choosing the best baby cribs to last
Finding a crib that will last is a matter of striking a balance between durability and functionality. First of all, you’ll want to look for cribs that are well-constructed—especially if you want to convert it into other sizes. If you have the chance to see a model of the crib in person, pay attention to how the crib is assembled.
For safety reasons, it’s recommended that you transition your child from a crib to a toddler bed if and when they start climbing out of the crib. Depending on how adventurous your little one is, this could happen before their second birthday or a while later. Regardless, you can extend the usability of your crib if you get one that also converts to a toddler bed, junior bed or even full-sized bed.
What’s the difference between a mini crib and standard crib?
When you add a baby to the family, you also tend to add a lot of stuff—which can be tricky if space is at a premium. Mini cribs are smaller versions of standard cribs, which can make them better options if you plan to room share, are using a non-conventional nursery space or just want more room. Mini cribs are 24 inches wide by 38 inches long, as compared to 28 inches wide by 52 inches long for conventional cribs.
What’s a convertible crib?
Convertible cribs allow for different configurations as your child grows. Common options include turning the crib into a toddler bed and then day bed and full bed, in which case this could be the only bed your child needs. Some convertible cribs include the hardware to make the adjustments while other companies require you buy the hardware separate. You will also need a different mattress size for the day bed+ options.
While convertible cribs are popular for good reason, they aren’t right for everyone. For example, if you plan to keep the same crib for multiple children, you may want your older child to graduate to another bed of their own when a younger child is ready for the crib.
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