If you’ve spent any time looking for a baby bassinet, you’ve already seen the wide range of styles available, with each bassinet looking totally different from the last.
But choosing a bassinet doesn’t have to be a tiresome process because we’ve already done the dirty work for you.
In this article, we’ll discuss the pros and cons of all types of bassinets and answer any questions you may have. We’ve also reviewed the best bassinets currently on the market to help you make the perfect choice for your little one and offer you both a little rest.
- Stable base
- Compatible with a wide range of beds
- Includes machine washable fitted sheet
- Mesh sides for ventilation
- Assembles in minutes
- Good for tiny bedrooms
- Gentle rocking ability
- Ultra portable
- Transparent mesh fabric
- Easy to transport
- Requires minimal assembly
- Breathable mesh fabric
- Great choice for traveling
- One-second open & fold system
- Fabric parts are machine washable
- Unique snap system
- Waterproof mattress
- Can be rocked
- Easy to carry
- Modern, space-saving design
- Grows with your child
- Easy fold up button
- Includes a toy bar
- Includes storage basket
- Easy to set up
- Excellent air circulation
Should I Buy a Bassinet?
Bassinets are like a scaled-down version of a crib. They are beds designed specifically for young infants.
Keep In Mind
Bassinets are ideal for several situations, including:
- If you want your baby to sleep in your bedroom but don’t have enough space for a full-sized crib. They are a safer alternative to co-sleeping (1).
- While saving for a crib, a bassinet is a safe, affordable option.
- If you need a safe place for your baby to sleep at a caregiver’s house.
- If you have lingering back issues from childbirth or stitches from a C-Section, making it difficult to lift your baby in and out of a crib.
- If you want to keep your baby nearby while they nap.
- If you want an easy sleeping arrangement for your baby while traveling.
Types of Bassinets
This type is like a mini-crib that sits against the side of your bed and typically opens on one side, giving you easy access to your little one. You essentially get a baby-sized extension to your bed. This is an excellent choice for breastfeeding moms or those with babies who may need a little extra TLC.
Compact, lighter, and foldable, travel bassinets are ideal for storing away when not needed and can be taken on trips as required. Many come with a handy tote to lug them around in.
Traditional or Bedside Bassinets
These are usually static, free-standing units that can be placed alongside your bed or moved to different areas of your home. They can sometimes rock, and they often come with a canopy. Many have wheels for added portability. These may be larger and sturdier than co-sleeper models, although some convert into a co-sleeper if desired.
A pack ‘n play style bassinet is an add-on to a traditional playpen. You can also use the top as a changing table, and many models come with added extras to make a complete baby station that will serve your baby longer than a traditional model will.
Bassinets with Extras
Some bassinets come with additional features for convenience or to help soothe your baby, such as music, automated gentle rocking, mobiles, or vibrations. These are great for fussy sleepers or colicky babies.
How to Choose a Baby Bassinet
Choosing a bassinet requires some forethought. You shouldn’t base your decision on appearance alone. The highest priority should be the safety of the bassinet.
Here are some features to look for:
Bassinets aren’t as big as cribs, so there isn’t as much room for your baby to spread out or roll around. If your baby manages to roll onto their side and your bassinet doesn’t have mesh walls, their airflow will be limited, posing a suffocation risk. Mesh walls also allow for better air circulation, keeping your baby cool.
Thin, Hard Mattress
Parents like to surround their newborns with softness, but when it comes to a bassinet mattress, harder is better. Firmer, thinner mattresses have been shown to decrease the risk of SIDS (2). Don’t worry about your baby not being comfortable. Firm surfaces don’t seem to bother them.
Make sure your baby doesn’t exceed the bassinet’s weight limit. If you tend to have heavier babies, or you want to keep your baby in the bassinet for a while, you may want to avoid a model that only supports babies of up to 15 pounds. If your baby weighs 10 pounds at birth, it won’t be long before they exceed the 15-pound weight limit.
Bassinets are generally more portable than cribs, but some are easier to move than others. Having wheels makes it easier to move from room to room. Wheel locks are necessary so your bassinet won’t roll away when you want it to stay put.
Many cribs use standard-sized crib sheets, but it can be harder to find a sheet that fits your bassinet properly, especially if it’s an odd shape. Make sure you have more than one sheet, just as you would with a crib, to deal with any accidental leaks or spit-up incidents. Ensure the sheet is made to fit the bassinet. Never use an oversized sheet as this can lead to suffocation or strangulation.
Mattresses can be made of potentially harmful materials like toluene and formaldehyde. If you’re worried about what your baby’s surroundings could be doing to their health, look for organic or non-toxic options.
Some bassinet models play music, vibrate to soothe your baby, or have an attached baby mobile to keep them amused. Not every option will have these extras, so you’ll have to decide if you’re willing to pay more for them.
Rocking bassinets can be handy as the gentle motion can go a long way to soothing a fussy baby. If you opt for a rocking model, make sure it has a good lock so it remains level when you don’t want it to rock.
The Best Bassinets of 2021
Here are the top bassinets currently on the market.
1. Halo Bassinet Swivel Sleeper
This stylish unit offers a lot of versatility for new parents. The adjustable stand can rotate and swivel over 360 degrees, which means you’ll be able to find a position to get your baby right next to you when you sleep.
The side wall lowers to give you easy access to your baby for comforting or feeding.
The Halo Bassinet Swivel Sleeper has a four-point base that is compatible with beds that range from 24 to 34 inches high. The base legs will fit right underneath your bed, allowing your baby to sleep even closer to you.
The mattress pad is waterproof and doesn’t use any toxic flame retardants.
- The base is stable.
- It comes with a machine washable fitted sheet, so there’s one less thing to buy.
- It’s compatible with a wide range of beds.
- It’s expensive.
- The large base takes up a lot of room.
2. Arm’s Reach Concepts Cambria Bassinet
This handy sleeper attaches to your bed, keeping your child an arm’s length away. It uses an adjustable strap that fits under your mattress, preventing gaps between the sleeper and your bed.
If you’re nursing your baby or you want to get to your child before their cries awaken the other people in your household, this may be the right pick for you.
The sides can be left down for when you want to use it as a co-sleeper, but you can also put them back up if you’re going to use it in another room during the daytime.
It has a bottom shelf that’s great for storing wet wipes, diapers, and an extra change of clothes in case your child has an accident.
This bassinet also has wheels so you can easily cart it around from room to room, but it also has a brake so no older siblings will be able to push your baby around when you’ve turned your back.
- It has mesh sides for safe ventilation.
- The bottom storage shelf is great for baby changing supplies.
- Can be assembled in a couple of minutes.
- Good for tiny bedrooms.
- Sheets are hard to find and pricey because of the odd size.
3. BabyBjorn Cradle Bassinet
Although this cradle looks simple, it has many features moms will appreciate. It’s designed primarily to provide a safe and peaceful sleep for newborns and babies up to six months old. As young babies need a lot of rest, you can help them get it with this cradle while also achieving peace of mind.
It’s compact and lightweight, so you can easily carry it from room to room as needed. There are no bars or moving parts that could trap your baby’s precious little fingers, and it features a transparent mesh fabric.
One of our favorite features is the ability to gently rock the cradle back and forth. The motion is small enough to prevent any tipping or falls but ample enough to lull your little one to sleep. Your baby can even initiate the rocking with their movements, helping them self-soothe.
- The gentle rocking ability helps your baby sleep better.
- Compact and lightweight design makes it ultra-portable.
- Mesh fabric allows you to monitor your baby.
- Materials contain MDF (which contains formaldehyde) and polyurethane.
4. Dream On Me Karley Bassinet
The Dream On Me model can support babies up to 25 pounds, so it’s a lasting option. But it’s surprisingly lightweight, which makes it an excellent choice for newborns. Moms will be able to carry it to whatever room they need it in.
If you travel with your baby, you’ll be able to pack this up and bring it with you easily. This product even works well for camping as it has a double canopy that can keep bugs away from your baby.
Since it only requires light assembly, you can set it up in no time, which is nice if you’re setting it up in the later stages of pregnancy or immediately after birth.
- It’s affordable.
- It’s easy to transport.
- Made with bright printed fabrics.
- It’s hard to find sheets that fit.
- The canopies aren’t detachable.
5. MiClassic 2-in-1 Bassinet
Keep your baby comfortable and cool with this 2-in-1 bassinet. The breathable mesh fabric helps air circulate freely to regulate your little one’s body temperature. It works as another great tool to prevent overheating, especially in hotter climates.
It pops up and folds down in seconds, making it a great choice for traveling, whether you’re going across the country or just to your backyard. Plus, we really like that it helps your baby stay cool outdoors. However, without any form of sun cover, you’ll have to put it in the shade or purchase an add-on.
The mesh allows you to communicate more with your baby. If you like to keep your bassinet closer to your bed, you’ll be able to engage with your child when you’d like. This is especially good for nighttime when you’re both going to sleep.
Other features include a rocking mode and a carrying bag.
- Helps air flow freely to keep your baby cool.
- Allows you to communicate with your baby.
- Easily pops up and folds down in seconds.
- The mattress pad isn’t fully removable, which can make cleaning difficult.
6. Chicco LullaGo Portable Bassinet
Built on a sturdy frame and featuring a sweet, stylish design, this bassinet is a wonderful addition to any nursery. Moms will love its easy setup, mesh side panels, and neutral, sandy color.
Many bassinets feature parts you can’t remove, making them hard to clean. In contrast, this bassinet stands out because of its easy-to-clean solution that helps you enjoy more time with your baby while keeping them safe.
All the fabric parts of this bassinet are removable and machine washable. The snap-together frame and wooden base only require an occasional wipe down with a damp cloth. Even the large mattress has a zip-off pad for machine washing.
- All fabric parts can be removed and machine washed.
- Sets up in seconds with a unique snap system.
- Waterproof mattress.
- Has a strong odor upon unboxing.
- A large crease in the mattress may bother babies.
7. Fisher-Price Rock with Me Bassinet
With this Rock ‘n Play model from Fisher-Price, a gentle rocking motion will help your baby drift off to sleep. All you have to do is give it a little push. But if you don’t want the rocking option, you can lock the feet, and it won’t budge.
You can fold it and take it with you in the car or around the house, which is perfect for moms who are frequently on the go or working outside the home.
It comes with a little rattle and mirror for your baby, and the pad can be cleaned in the washing machine and placed in the dryer in case of any diaper blowouts.
This can hold babies that weigh up to 25 pounds, so it’s a good option for parents who have chunkier babies at birth.
- Bassinet folds almost completely flat when not in use.
- It’s quick and easy to fold and unfold.
- Simple to put together.
- The mirror doesn’t detach, which some parents don’t like because their babies hit it accidentally.
- The pad that comes with it shrinks in the wash.
8. SwaddleMe By Your Side Sleeper Bassinet
This bassinet has a modern, space-saving design that lets you pull it close to your bed. The legs even slide under your bed, making it a tighter fit.
It has a two-position incline you can adjust to suit your baby’s needs. The leg height is also adjustable.
You can manually rock it to soothe upset babies or get them back to sleep quickly after a night feeding.
The all-around mesh sides let your baby breathe easily even when they roll to the side, and they allow you to see your baby at all times.
This comes with a clip-on unit that has a nightlight, soothing sounds, and two speeds of vibration, which might be all you need to soothe an upset baby late at night.
- You can manually rock it.
- The all-around mesh sides are a good safety feature.
- The insert fabric is machine washable.
- The liner is not removable for washing.
9. Graco Pack 'n Play On The Go Playard
When you want a lot of room for your baby to grow into, this combination bassinet and playpen is a great option.
This popular Graco model can be used for much longer than your baby’s first three months. The full-sized playpen means you won’t have to worry about your baby getting too cramped.
If you need to take it on the road with you, it folds easily with the push of a button. And if you want to move it from room to room, it has wheels that allow you to do that easily.
- It’s affordable.
- You’ll get a lot of use out of the pack ‘n play.
- The wheels make it easier to move around the house.
- The wheels don’t lock.
10. Big Oshi Indoor and Outdoor Travel Bassinet
This modern dual-canopy bassinet will protect your baby from mosquitos when they’re in the great outdoors with you because nothing can turn a great camping trip into a nightmare faster than a screaming baby covered in bug bites. In hot and sticky weather, they’ll still get excellent air circulation with the partial mesh sides.
It has a storage basket underneath, so you’ll have quick access to your baby’s essentials when away or at home. It folds up well and can easily fit in the trunk of your car along with your other camping gear.
You can rest easy knowing this bassinet exceeds all safety standards for infant products.
- The canopy will protect your baby from bug bites.
- It’s easy to set up.
- The legs will be steady even on uneven ground.
- The zipper is hard to get to when the canopy is closed.
- Zipping the canopy sides together requires an extra set of hands.
When Can Baby Start Sleeping In a Bassinet?
Bassinets are perfect for newborns, so you can start using them as soon as you bring your baby home from the hospital. I did with my second baby, and it worked out well. I loved that I could always be close by.
If I was asleep, he was in my bedroom with me, sleeping in his bassinet. When I was washing dishes, he was in the dining room next to the kitchen, where I could keep my eye on him. I just felt better when he was in sight.
The Benefits Are Real
If you decide to use a bassinet, you’ll need to watch for signs your baby is outgrowing it. Remember, they’re only meant to be used for a limited time. Also, make sure you know the weight limits and note when your baby is getting close.
Weight guidelines are not the only way to tell if your baby is too big, though. If they can crawl when they’re on their bellies, prop themselves up on their arms, or sit up, they’re too big for a bassinet.