which baby bed is best

Which Baby Bed Is Best?

Choosing your child's first bed can be a tricky purchase, especially if you don't know what to look for. After months of research and testing, we round up the best co-sleepers, cribs and Moses baskets for newborns.

Moses basket? Traditional cot? Co-sleeper? Cradle? Cot bed? Crib? With so many options to choose from, you'll be forgiven for feeling a bit duped.

Moses baskets and cradles are usually used during a baby's first few months, while co-sleepers, cribs and cots can last longer.

But which bed is right for you and your baby? After months of testing, the results are in.

The focal point of your nursery and the place your baby will spend about 14 hours of their early days (you hope) should take priority over every other baby product you intend to buy.

Moses baskets are usually used during a baby's first few months, while co-sleepers, cribs and cots can last longer.

It is advised that your baby sleeps in the same room as you for the first six months, so your first consideration should be the space you have available in your bedroom.

Unfortunately, the reality is that babies wake up even in the most expensive of beds, so the price shouldn’t be a ballpark for good quality.

Instead, consider where you want your baby to sleep; do you need the bed to be portable? A certain shape, size or even colour?

Height and drop sides are helpful for night feeds, especially if you're breastfeeding or recovering from a caesarean section.

Whatever you decide is the best option, it will need to be strong and sturdy and adhere to the latest safety standards.

Whether you are a first time parent or looking for a new bed for your growing child, there's something for everyone here.

You can trust our independent reviews. We may earn commission from some of the retailers, but we never allow this to influence selections, which are formed from real-world testing and expert advice. This revenue helps us to fund journalism across The Independent.

FAQs About Baby Bed

The mattress should be very firm and not sag under your baby's weight. It should fit snugly, with no space between the mattress and the crib walls. (Note: Your baby should never sleep on a water bed, sheepskin, pillow, sofa, armchair, or other soft surfaces.)

Both cribs and bassinets can be safe sleep choices for a newborn. However, they have several important differences. The most obvious is size — a crib takes up a lot more space than a bassinet so that a bassinet can be easier in a smaller house. Their smaller size also makes bassinets more portable.

These safest crib brands also offer the highest quality, best design, and convenient features.

  • Babyletto Hudson 3-in-1 Convertible Crib. 
  • Graco Benton 5-in-1 Convertible Crib. 
  • DaVinci Jenny Lind Convertible Crib. 
  • Union 3-in-1 Convertible Crib. 
  • Pottery Barn Kids Kendall Crib. 
  • IKEA Gulliver Crib. 
  • IKEA Sniglar Crib.

Bedside Sleepers. Bassinets are much more tightly regulated than beside sleepers and are considered a safe sleep environment. Bassinets, portable cribs, and cribs, however, are all proven to be safe options. Any sleep product you are considering for your baby should meet the standards set forth by CPSC.

The mattress or pad in a bassinet or cradle should be no more than 1½ inches thick. A thicker one is a suffocation hazard. Don't be put off by a "hard" mattress. Parents sometimes complain that the mattresses sold with bassinets are thin or hard.

 

Here are the four best newborn beds, as recommended by parents

Best overall newborn bed: Tutti Bambini Cosme

“We've got a Tutti Bambini CoZee and love it. We actually don't use it as a co-sleeper, but the mesh panel means DS and I can see each other easily, and I like the fact that you can tilt it for reflux or a cold. He settled into it from day one.” - Mumsnet user.

The Tutti Bambini CoZee is an easy-to-use bedside crib ideal for any new parent.

With a breastfeeding-friendly drop side, a 30-second open and fold mechanism and machine-washable covers, it offers everything a baby needs to sleep comfortably and safely during the day or night.

It is also small enough to be used as a travel cot whenever you're away.

Great for parents who

  • Want to try co-sleeping, but need extra reassurance
  • Need a bed that can also be used when travelling

Pros

  • Spacious and less bulky than other co-sleepers, such as the Chicco Next2Me Magic
  • Quick and easy to set up and fold down for travel
  • Height-adjustable to fit any bed – can be attached to the bed safely using straps
  • Incline can be adjusted to aid congestion or reflux
  • Drop-side is helpful for night feeds, especially if you're breastfeeding or recovering from a caesarean section
  • It can be used as a stand-alone crib
  • Mesh windows allow air to flow freely
  • Lightweight
  • Affordable

Cons

  • Doesn't have wheels, so it can be difficult to move up and down the stairs
  • Doesn't rock

Best Moses basket: Shnuggle Dreami Clever Baby Sleeper

which baby bed is best3

Shnuggle's Dreami Clever Baby Sleeper has all the benefits of a standard Moses basket but goes just that little bit further.

Like typical bassinets, it's portable, lightweight and cosy for a newborn, but it's also bigger, sturdier and much easier to clean.

Offering a modern take on a traditional baby bed, it looks sleek and stylish, and its hypoallergenic materials allow babies to sleep safely at all times.

Great for parents who

  • Need a bed that's lightweight and easy to carry
  • Like the sound of a Moses basket but want something a bit more modern

Pros

  • Light to carry and doesn’t rustle when moved, like wicker or palm baskets
  • Quick to assemble
  • Easy to wipe clean
  • Feels more secure and spacious than a traditional Moses basket
  • The stand has two height settings and is curved for gentle rocking
  • The liner is made with soft, breathable mesh, which is also machine-washable
  • Hypoallergenic base
  • Minimalistic design
  • Stand folds down easily for travel

Cons

  • No incline option
  • No drop side
  • More expensive than standard Moses baskets

Best bedside crib: Chicco Next2Me Magic

Safe, spacious and functional, the Chicco Next2Me Magic is a popular choice among Mumsnetters – and for a good reason.

This bedside crib will give peace of mind to parents – especially first-timers – who want to keep their baby close during the night.

With adjustable height settings, a one-handed drop side and safety straps to fit the co-sleeper securely to your bed, Chicco have thought of everything a baby and parent could need.

Great for parents who

  • Need extra reassurance when co-sleeping with their baby
  • Are breastfeeding
  • Have a higher budget

Pros

  • Drop-side can be lowered at the click of a button.
  • Four tilt options and a locking mechanism
  • More spacious than other bedside cribs, such as the SnuzPod
  • 11 height settings
  • Auto-retractable feet fit any bed.
  • Roomy with plenty of room for baby to grow and wriggle – much bigger than a Moses basket
  • Mesh covers let air flow freely throughout the crib.
  • Easy to comfort baby in the night when in side-sleeping mode as you don’t have to get out of bed – also promotes bonding and allows you to co-sleep safely
  • 3-in-1 – can be used as a stand-alone crib, side-sleeper and includes a travel bag so you can use it as a travel cot when away from home too
  • Has four wheels
  • Crib and mattress covers are removable for cleaning.

Cons

  • It can’t be rocked when it's in co-sleeper mode
  • Fairly heavy – some parents may find it too bulky to use as a travel cot

Best newborn bed for small spaces: Mamas & Papas Petite Compact Cot

Bigger than a crib but smaller than a traditional cot, the Mamas & Papas Petite Compact Cot won't take up too much room in your house.

It's a compact (as the name suggests) but a stylish bed that will compliment any bedroom while providing a safe, familiar place for your baby to sleep.

Plus, it'll last until around 12 months, offering greater longevity than many other newborn beds on the market.

Great for parents who

  • Are short on space
  • Want to keep their baby close but don't want to co-sleep
  • Like the idea of a traditional bed

Pros

  • It looks exactly like a standard cot but is smaller in size at just 0.61m²
  • Allows more room for a baby to grow and develop than Moses baskets or bedside crib – and will last longer too
  • Neutral in colour so it will suit any décor
  • Slatted bars make it easy to see the baby from your bed and offer all-round visibility
  • Two height positions to make picking up your newborn easier, which you can then adjust as your baby grows
  • Easy to assemble
  • Crib and mattress can be wiped clean

Cons

  • It can't be moved around the house – you may need a second bed for daytime naps
  • Not breastfeeding-friendly as there is no drop-side, so you will have to get out of bed to pick up your baby for night feeds or cuddles
  • Doesn’t incline or rock
  • No mattress included – must be bought separately
  • It can’t be used as a travel cot
  • It May does not last as long for bigger babies

How to choose the right newborn bed

We’ve compiled some tips to help you choose the right product for you – and ensure your baby sleeps safely.

Safety first

The Lullaby Trust advises that you check your chosen bed complies with British Safety Standards. I bought it second-hand, the bed and mattress must be in good condition.

Check that the bed is sturdy and well made with no gaps or loose parts and that it will keep your baby secure with enough room to grow.

When it comes to a baby's safety while sleeping, you'll also need to check the mattress:

  • Is it firm? Your baby’s head should not sink into it by more than a few millimetres
  • Is it entirely flat with no raised or cushioned areas?
  • Does it have a waterproof cover, so it is kept clean and dry?

Correct positioning

Babies must always be put to sleep on their back (never on their front or side) with their feet positioned at the end of the bed.

Any bedding and clothing covering them should not rest above shoulder height or cover their face or head.

Pods, nests, pillows, duvets, thick or bulky bedding, cot bumpers, hammocks or sleep positioners aren't recommended, and the bed should also be free of loose bedding and soft toys.

A newborn bed is a good buy for you if…

  • You’re looking for a separate bed for your baby
  • You have room for one in your bedroom or downstairs for daytime naps

A newborn bed is not for you if…

  • You would prefer to share your bed with your baby and co-sleep
  • You have a limited budget and would rather spend money on a cot bed that will last longer than, say, a crib or Moses basket – cot beds can eventually be converted into a toddler bed (yes, seriously)

How much do you want to spend?

Prices range from $20 to well over $400, so consider your budget.

If your baby isn’t sleeping well (and neither are you), it might be tempting to splash out on products that promise a better or longer night’s sleep, but the reality is that babies wake up even in the most expensive of beds.

The best bedside cribs and co-sleepers for safe sleeping for your baby

which baby bed is best2

A bedside crib is one of the most popular choices for newborn sleep, as it allows you to keep your baby close while still following safe sleep guidelines. In the first six months, when the risk of sudden infant death syndrome (SIDS) is at its highest, the safest place for a baby to sleep is on their back in their own sleep space, be that a cot, crib or Moses basket.

A bedside crib fastens to the frame of your bed on one side, so you’re effectively lying next to your baby. The side can usually be dropped down so you can see and reach over to your child. 

They’re sometimes referred to as side-sleepers or co-sleepers, but the key difference is that you’re not sharing a sleep surface or bedding. You and your baby can maximise the soothing benefits of proximity while minimising the risks associated with bed-sharing. Having your baby at arms reach also makes night feeds much easier.

There is a wide range of options to choose from, so at MadeForMums, we’ve analysed the bedside crib market closely to bring you the very best options. We’ve used feedback from our expert journalist reviewers and parent testers, combined with results from in-house MadeForMums testing, which looked at key features such as breathability, mattress firmness, ease of building as well as functionality.

For each bedside crib, we’ve listed the key technical features to help you compare across brands and models so you can find the best design to suit your needs.

Micralite sleep & go travel cot.

This was by far the easiest cot to assemble and put away. However, it is just a travel cot, so unless you’re moving around a lot or doubling it up as a playpen, this is an expensive buy for something that isn’t in daily use. The best feature is the newborn insert and the soft jersey, substantial mattress that raises your baby higher than floor level.

It’s hard to outgrow this design thanks to the innovative mattress that expands to fit the base of the cot (unzip to reveal a bigger mattress). 

We like the fact you’ll always have full visibility of your baby through the mesh sides, and there’s also a zip down the side for crawling babies to enjoy going in and out from.

John Lewis & Partners Alex cot bed

This is a reliable bestseller that doesn’t skimp on quality, design or practicality. It’s basic and simple to look at but has all the features of many of its competitors, such as three mattress height positions and teething rails. 

It’s made from solid pine wood and MDF, so it is a sturdy choice that’s also kind to your purse. However, even with full instructions, assembling may be tricky, so it’s worth noting this is a job for more than one pair of hands.

Snuz snüzkot Skandi cotbed

If you’re looking for an investment buy, go for this. It is suitable from birth to approximately 10-years-old (with the addition of an extension), so it will give you your money’s worth. 

Made with natural beech wood, the solid frame and sturdy design means it will last through lots 

of rounds of jumping on the bed and pillow fights with siblings. It also gives the nursery a modern finish. 

Vox vintage baby cot

With its retro design and beautiful finish, this cot is not just a resting place for your baby but a piece of furniture in its own right. Made from a high-quality laminated board with solid oak legs, this cot adjusts to three baby and toddler-friendly heights. 

For a bit more money, it may be worth investing in the Vox cot bed, so its lifespan goes that little bit further. And if you’re looking to decorate an entire nursery, we'd suggest checking out the other stunning pieces that match the Vox range. We’re obsessed.

The Little Green Sheep Moses basket and mattress

This classic design is featherweight and easy to move from one room to another without fuss. Its traditional weave design is surprisingly durable, and it’s made out of palm leaf, which is tougher than other maise Moses baskets. 

Although this may seem like an affordable option, your baby will grow out of this in weeks, and you’ll need a stand, too (which adds $25 to the overall price). 

We found the basket has a slight rustling movement, especially when the baby moves or stretches, which is not ideal at nap time. It does, however, come in five colourways and has a beautiful organic knitted liner that is machine-washable, bringing an added appeal to this timeless buy.

Stokke sleepi mini

This top of the range designer crib has an unusual oval shape that allows easy access from all sides, enables you to transport the cot from room to room without waking your sleeping baby, and gives it its wow factor. 

It can be used from newborn up to 10 years (with the extra conversion pack). It comes with a hypoallergenic oval mattress, which isn’t ideal if you already have rectangular fitted sheets (though Stokke sells oval sheets for the perfect fit).

Although it’s unarguably a beautiful crib to look at and unique in design, it’s an absolute nightmare to assemble and disassemble. There are a lot of unexplained bolts. It does, however, come in very attractive shades (from mint green to soft grey) that would look stunning in any nursery.

Dragons of Walton Street dragons cot bed

We’re not brushing over the fact that this cot bed has an eye-watering price. This is a very special buy, not only for its good quality materials but also for the made to order handprinted designs and the bespoke finish that parents and children will love forever. 

It has an adjustable base that’s easy to change, which allows the cot to turn into a bed for toddlers or those a little older (around four-years-old). We love the traditional finish and the beautiful paintings on either side of the cot bed (there are six themed artworks to choose from), and you can even have your child’s name painted on the cot. 

Dragons of Walton Street also offers a repainting service, so you can completely change the design for any child that may follow on. This is, without doubt, an heirloom to be handed from generation to generation and an unnecessary expense, unless, of course, it’s a baby gift to you.

Conclusion

We spend hours researching, speaking to parents, analysing data and listening to experts before testing products in a family home. Transparency is really important to us. We're always upfront about how we test the products we recommend.

We won't always recommend the cheapest products or the ones with the most extra features. We write about products that we feel offer the best value to most parents – the ones we'd recommend to our friends and family.

There's no incentive for us to be lazy with our research or testing process. There's no reason for us to respond to pressure from retailers or brands trying to promote new products. It's quite the opposite, and we think it's a good system, one that keeps us focused on making parents' lives easier.

 

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