The Best Bassinets (Co-Sleepers & Bedside) of the Year

Laura Rubin
Our Review Process | Disclosure

 

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Quick Summary

While new parents may rush to assemble their new baby’s crib before their due date, the truth is that most babies don’t sleep in their cribs for the first few months of life. Many parents opt for a bassinet, which is a smaller sleeping area for newborns, similar to a cradle.

The American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) recommends that babies sleep in their parents’ rooms for at least their first six months, if not a full year. Fitting a full-size crib into your bedroom along with everything else is probably out of the question, but a compact bassinet can be an elegant solution. Bassinets allow young babies to sleep near their parents—even within arm’s reach—while remaining on their own sleep surface, which is what the AAP recommends. In addition to being the safest option, room sharing is also convenient. Your baby will be close by for middle-of-the-night feeding and soothing, and you won’t have to hop up to check on them whenever they make a noise.

Bassinets are typically designed for young babies. Because of their low sides and weight limits, babies should transition out of most bassinets by the time they can roll or push up on all fours, which is usually around three to five months.

In this guide, we’ll run through our top picks for the best bassinets as well as considerations to make when choosing a bassinet.

Best Bassinets of 2018

Editor’s Pick – Arm’s Reach Concepts Clear-Vue

Best Bedside Bassinet – Halo Bassinest Swivel Sleeper

Best Multi-Purpose Bassinet – Graco Pack N’ Play Reversible Napper

Best Portable Bassinet – Evenflo Loft Portable Bassinet

How We Decided

 

19 bassinets considered –– 45 hours of research –– 4 sleep experts consulted

The Best Bassinets of 2018

Arm’s Reach Concepts Clear-Vue – Editor's Pick

Highlights
  • Can be used as free-standing or co-sleeper
  • Leg height is adjustable
  • Wheels for easy mobility
  • Strap keeps bassinet attached to parents’ bed
  • Storage basket included

The Arm’s Reach Concepts Clear-Vue bassinet combines functionality and convenience at an excellent value. It can be used either as a free-standing bassinet or a co-sleeper by lowering one of the sides and placing it right next to your bed. The legs adjust between 24” and 30” at 2” increments, so the co-sleeper option can fit with a variety of beds. To keep the bassinet safely attached to your bed, a strap is included that runs under your mattress and stays in place using an attachment plate that sits on the opposite side.

The Arm’s Reach is equipped with wheels so you can easily move the bassinet if needed. A built-in storage basket will also help you avoid running into the nursery in the middle of the night for new pajamas, extra pacifiers and the like. Included with the bassinet are a mattress, fitted sheet, attachment strap and plate, and the bassinet can be used until your baby is five months old or can push up to all fours.

HALO Bassinest Swivel Sleeper – Best Bedside Bassinet

Highlights
  • 360° swivel
  • Sidewall lowers for easy access to baby
  • Adjustable base
  • Built-in nightlight, lullabies, white noise and vibration
  • Compact design fits in small spaces

The HALO Bassinest Swivel Sleeper offers the best of both worlds for many parents. Your baby can sleep right next to you while remaining safely in his or her own separate space. The bassinet’s 360° swivel design means you can customize your baby’s position next to you, and its minimal four-point base easily fits under most beds. The base is adjustable and fits beds between 24” and 34” high. The sidewall also lowers so you can easily tend to baby from your bed, which can be especially vital for nursing moms or those recovering from C-sections.

In addition to its convenience, the HALO comes with some unique features, including a built-in nightlight, lullabies, white noise and two levels of vibration. With all of these tools at your fingertips, you and your baby are sure to get some much-needed rest.

Graco Pack N’ Play Reversible Napper – Best Multi-Purpose Bassinet

Highlights
  • Can double as play yard or portable crib
  • Enables long-term room sharing
  • Bassinet insert flips to become changing table
  • Folds into carrying bag for easy portability
  • Storage pockets for wipes, diapers and other necessities

If you want a bassinet that’s still functional after your infant outgrows it, the Graco Pack N’ Play Reversible Napper and Changer is likely the one for you. This product is like a traditional portable crib, but includes a bassinet insert—or “newborn napper”—that clips onto the side rails. The bassinet has sloped sides to comfortably cradle your baby and can be used until your baby is 15 pounds.

The bassinet insert also flips to become a portable changing station made from wipeable fabric. This can be a great option for middle-of-the-night diaper changes so you never have to leave your room, or you can use it on the go. And because you can transition your baby out of the bassinet insert into the portable crib when he or she reaches the weight limit, you can easily keep your baby in your room for as long as you’d like.

Evenflo Loft Portable Bassinet – Best Portable Bassinet

Highlights
  • Weighs only 10 pounds
  • Easily folds for convenient portability
  • 20 pound weight limit is higher than many
  • Bluetooth speaker
  • Built-in nightlight and room temperature monitor

The Evenflo Loft Portable Bassinet is an excellent fit for families who are always on the go, or just want the flexibility of having their baby nap in any room in the house. At only 10 pounds, the Evenflo is light and comfortable to carry. It folds easily using clips on the side of the bassinet, so you can even throw it in the car to take to the grandparents’ house.

This bassinet also uses technology to help baby have the most restful night possible. A bluetooth speaker not only plays soothing nature sounds, but you can also play any music you’d like from a bluetooth-enabled device. A nightlight and room temperature monitor provide comfort and peace of mind. The bassinet comes with a fitted sheet and can be used until your baby is 20 pounds or can roll onto all fours.

Best Bassinets Buying Guide

Newborns sleep—a lot—so you want to find the perfect place for your little one to rest her head. We’ve outlined the most important considerations to make when purchasing a bassinet to take the guesswork out of finding the one that’s right for you and your baby.

Safety

Keeping your baby in your room for at least six months is the safest way for him or her to sleep. At the same time, the AAP recommends that babies sleep on their own sleep surfaces. For these reasons, the safest bassinet is one that will enable you to room share for as long as possible. Consider your space. Is a compact bassinet the best option, or can you fit something larger? Also think about how you’ll take care of your baby during the night. If you think you’ll prefer nursing in bed, you might want a co-sleeper bassinet to easily transfer baby after feeding and not risk falling asleep with baby in your bed.

All new bassinets must comply with safety regulations under the Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC), which outline standards around size, stability and mattress flatness, among others. To be on the safe side, you’ll probably want to purchase a new bassinet rather than finding on second-hand. Also make sure to choose an actual bassinet designed for sleep. Some newborn “holders” or seats do not meet the standards for safe sleep. When in doubt, remember that babies should sleep in a stable structure on a firm, flat surface.

Affordability

Bassinets are typically less expensive than cribs. That said, you’ll probably also use your bassinet for less time than you will your crib. Look for a bassinet that’s well-made but won’t break the bank, considering you’ll likely use it for about five months. Bassinets made from solid wood tend to be more expensive than those made from plastic, but they’re also more durable. You also tend to pay more for special features. Bassinets that play white noise or have built-in vibration will cost more than basic models. If these features help keep your baby asleep, though, you may decide the extra cost is more than worth it.

Design

The ideal design for your bassinet depends entirely on how you plan to use it. Here are a few points to keep in mind:

  • Co-sleeper Capability: While you can technically pull a standard bassinet right next to your bed, a co-sleeper is essentially an extension of your bed. Most have an open side that lines up with your bed or a side that can be lowered to achieve the same result. This can be a great option for mothers who want to nurse in bed or anyone who wants to bed share, but doesn’t want the risk. Your baby can be right next to you while sleeping in his or her own space. If you’re a very light sleeper and will wake up every time your baby takes a deep breath, then a standalone bassinet at the foot of your bed might suit you better.
  • Portability: Your baby may sleep in your room at night for the first few months, but that doesn’t mean he or she needs to nap in there. Many parents appreciate a bassinet that’s portable because they can move it around the house to keep baby close during naps. Look for a lightweight bassinet if you think you’ll want to move it around. Some even fold up for easy transport. Just remember never to move your bassinet while your baby is in it.
  • Versatility and Adaptability: If you don’t like the idea of putting your bassinet in storage after your baby outgrows it, you might consider one that doubles as a play yard, or portable crib. You’ll be able to use it as a play area or for travel long after your baby is finished with the bassinet element. Also pay attention to the weight limits on bassinets. While you should stop using any bassinet once your child can push up onto all fours, some have higher weight limits than others, which could enable you to use the bassinet for longer.
Special Features

Some bassinets come with add-ons that might make your life easier:

  • Nightlight: A built-in nightlight can be helpful when you’re tending to your baby in the middle of the night. A diaper change in the pitch black is nearly impossible, but turning on an overhead light will also probably ensure your baby doesn’t go back to sleep easily.
  • Sound: Many newborns sleep better with white noise because it reminds them of being in utero. Instead of purchasing a separate white noise machine, consider choosing a bassinet that is capable of playing white noise. Some will also play lullabies to help lull your baby to sleep.
  • Vibration: While babies are in the womb, they get used to constant vibration, so many find it very soothing once they’re out in the world. A bassinet with a vibration feature can help your baby fall asleep and can also help babies go back to sleep when they wake during the night.
  • Storage: The last thing you want to do in the middle of the night is wander through the house looking for pacifiers, extra diapers or burp rags. A bassinet with built-in storage can help you keep everything within arm’s reach.

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