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When you start to consider everything that must fit into your new baby’s nursery—changing table, dresser, glider, bookshelves and toys—you may wonder where you’re going to put a crib. For many families, a mini crib offers a perfect solution.
Mini cribs are exactly what they sound like—cribs with a smaller footprint than a standard crib, and they’re great for a variety of uses. Apartment dwellers love the petite profile of mini cribs. They’re also a good fit if you’d like to room share when your baby is young but don’t want to purchase a separate bassinet and crib. Mini cribs can be perfect for babies who share rooms with older siblings or for multiples. You might decide to keep a mini crib at Grandma and Grandpa’s house, too, because many fold up flat for convenient storage.
The average mini crib is 24” wide by 38” long, compared to a standard crib at 28” wide and 52” long. Most can be used until your child is ready for a toddler bed, usually around two years old, but be sure to pay attention to specific weight limits.
This guide will explore considerations you’ll want to make when purchasing a mini crib as well as our top picks for the best mini cribs.
Best Mini Cribs of 2019
Editor’s Pick – Babyletto Origami Mini Crib
Best Convertible Mini Crib – DaVinci Kalani 2-in-1 Mini Crib
Best Multi-Purpose Mini Crib – Dream On Me Casco 3-in-1 Mini Crib
Best Petite Mini Crib – Bloom Alma Mini Crib
The Babyletto Origami Mini Crib is a highly functional mini crib that also has a sleek design. Not only is the crib petite, it has lockable wheels so you can easily transfer it from room to room. The crib is a great option for the nanny or grandparents’ house because it collapses flat. Simply remove the mattress, pull up the base and push in the sides.
Like most mini cribs, the Babyletto Origami comes with a 1” mattress pad, but you’ll probably want to purchase an additional mattress. Any standard-sized mini crib mattress will work, up to 5” thick. Your child will be able to use the crib until he or she is 35” tall or can climb out, which is comparable to standard cribs. The crib comes in a variety of colors, including black, grey, light green, pink and natural.
Just because mini cribs are smaller than standard cribs doesn’t mean they can’t be functional in the long term. Like standard convertible cribs, the Davinci Kalani 2-in-1 Mini Crib becomes a twin bed (with separate conversion kit) when your child is ready to move out of the crib. Considering that it’s one of the lower priced cribs on our list, it provides excellent value because you can use it for years to come.
The Davinci Kalani Mini has a classic design with elegant sleigh-bed styling and comes in ebony, espresso, chestnut, grey and white. It’s also GREENGUARD Gold-certified, meaning it’s been screened for 360 VOCs and over 10,000 chemicals. It comes with a 1” mattress pad, but you can purchase a thicker mattress separately. While this mini crib is less portable than other options, its longevity more than makes up for it.
If you’re very short on space, the Dream on Me Casco 3-in-1 Mini Crib might be the perfect fit for you. Not only is the crib itself small, it also includes a built-in changing table atop three roomy drawers. That capability will make middle-of-the-night diaper changes a breeze, especially if the crib is in your room for the first few months.
When your child outgrows the crib, you can turn it into a mini daybed or standard twin bed, using a conversion kit (sold separately). The changing table can also be removed using a conversion kit, and the top can be used as a shelf once your child is out of diapers. The Casco has a simple design and comes in black, cherry, espresso, white and grey. A 3” mattress is sold separately, or you can use any standard-sized mini crib mattress.
The Bloom Alma Mini Crib is the mini crib of mini cribs. At about 5” narrower than most mini cribs and equipped with lockable wheels, the Alma is designed with portability and small spaces in mind. If you live in an old apartment with narrow doorways, you can easily navigate this crib from room to room so baby is always near you during naptime. The crib can also be collapsed flat to save space when not in use.
The Alma has a minimalist design with unique rounded slat spaces. It comes in a variety of colors, including cappuccino, grey, natural, oak, white and bright green. Because it’s narrower than standard mini cribs, you’ll need to purchase the corresponding mattress from Bloom.
Buying a mini crib is similar to picking out a standard crib, but there are additional considerations to keep in mind.
Like regular cribs, standards for mini cribs are set by the Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC). They prohibit drop-side rails, require strong slats and mattress supports, require high-quality hardware and outline rigorous testing methods. For mini cribs that can be collapsed, the CPSC also specifies that locking mechanisms be failsafe and that detachable bases be secure. Because the latest standards were released in 2011, it’s a good idea to purchase a new mini crib rather than relying on hand-me-downs that could have been built to outdated specifications.
In addition to CPSC standards, mini cribs can help ensure safe sleep for your baby in another way. The American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) recommends babies sleep in their parents’ rooms for at least six months, if not a year. For most parents, fitting a full-size crib in their room just isn’t an option, but a mini crib will likely fit just fine. Many families are even able to fit a mini crib next to their own bed, which can make tending to a newborn during the night much simpler. Choosing a mini crib can help you safely keep your child in your room as long as possible.
While most mini cribs come in a standard size (24” wide by 38” long), some are narrower than others. Keep this in mind when choosing your perfect mini crib. Even if your little one doesn’t hit the height limit for a mini crib, he or she might feel cramped if the crib is too narrow. Also consider how you plan to use the crib. If portability is very important to you or you have an especially tight space, you may want a narrower mini crib. If you want your child to be in the crib for as long as possible, opt for the standard mini crib size. Either way, make sure you purchase a mattress and fitted sheet that match the size of the mini crib.
Unlike standard cribs, many mini cribs are designed with portability in mind. Especially when your baby is very young, you’ll likely want to be near him or her during naptime. Instead of feeling chained to your room, look for a lightweight mini crib that can be easily moved from room to room. Many mini cribs are equipped with wheels for exactly this purpose. Just be sure the wheels have locks so your child can’t move the crib as he or she gets older.
You may also want the ability to take your crib with you in the car, or tuck it away when it’s not in use. If that’s the case, look for a mini crib that can be collapsed. Many will fold flat once the mattress is removed. This can be a great option for anyone who only needs a crib part-time (grandparents or nannies), or if you want to store the crib to save for your next child. Most cribs that can be collapsed are capable of doing so without any tools required.
Depending on design, most mini cribs can be used until your child is one to two years old. If you opt for a convertible mini crib, however, you’ll be able to use the components for several years. Some mini cribs can become a mini daybed by removing one of the rails. Other models come equipped with a toddler rail or can even become a standard twin bed with the addition of a twin mattress. If you’re choosing a mini crib so you can avoid purchasing a bassinet plus a separate crib, then it follows that a convertible mini crib is a good fit for you.
Even if you decide a convertible mini crib isn’t what you’re looking for, you’ll want to make sure the crib includes the capability for different mattress positions. Look for a mini crib that allows for at least two, if not more, mattress levels. When your baby is a newborn, you’ll want the mattress at the highest level so he or she is easy to reach. Once baby can sit up, and especially when he or she can stand, you’ll want to move the mattress to a low position for safety.
Because your child may be in his or her mini crib from birth into toddlerhood, you want to make sure you’re purchasing one made from quality materials. Opt for solid wood if you can, and make sure that the mattress support is thick and sturdy. Some mini cribs also come with a metal mattress support for added durability. Remember that most mini cribs come with a 1” mattress pad, but you’ll probably want to purchase a separate, thicker mattress.
Another benefit of mini cribs is that many are more affordable than standard cribs. Most fall between $100 to $300, though there is a fair amount of variability. Mini cribs with multiple features, like collapsibility and wheels, tend to cost more than simple models, but they’re also more versatile. Convertible mini cribs aren’t necessarily more expensive than their non-convertible counterparts, and they provide a great value considering they grow with your child.
A mini crib is a great option for any family, but it’s especially well-suited for certain applications. You should consider a mini crib if any of the following apply to you:
It’s important to consider safety when choosing a mini crib, and equally vital to practice safe sleep once you have the crib. The following guidelines will help you create a safe sleep environment: