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A baby crib is such an exciting purchase. It’s the centerpiece of your nursery, and the place for naps and nighttime sleep — well, hopefully!

But shopping for a crib can be a little daunting. There are so many options and features to choose from — not to mention it’s also one of the more expensive items on your nursery-building shopping list. Plus, if you play your cards right, you might even continue to use it throughout your baby’s childhood years.

The crib you ultimately decide on depends on your wants, your needs, and your budget. We go over what you should look for in a crib, how much they cost, some important safety considerations, and of course, our picks for the best on the market.

Related: Bassinet or crib: Which one is better for baby?

All cribs sold in the United States must meet certain safety standards. For this reason, it’s usually a good idea to buy new versus using a family heirloom.

Guidelines are set and regularly revised by the Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC). If you’re ever wondering what the most up-to-date standards are, it’s a good idea to search their website for the latest information.

General features that make a crib safe:

  • Interior dimensions of a full-sized crib (the part that’s inside around the mattress) should be 28 ± 5/8 inches (width) by 52 3/8 ± 5/8 inches (length). While this varies slightly crib to crib, the important part is that the mattress that comes with the crib is a snug fit — no more than two fingers between mattress and crib. It should take effort to make the bed!
  • Crib slats that are no more than 2 and 3/8 inches apart. For reference, this is about the width of a soda can — any wider and your baby’s body may easily slip through.
  • Corner posts that are no more than 1/16th inches high — any higher and your baby’s clothing could get caught if they try to climb out.
  • Headboards and footboards that don’t have any cutouts. Again, this is so your baby’s head or body can’t get trapped.
  • While once very popular, those drop-side cribs are no longer manufactured and not recommended by the CPSC. So, if you come across one, it’s likely a good idea to pass on it.
  • Wooden slats should be made of strong wood that’s not easily broken.
  • Hardware should be made with anti-loosening devices so that it stays secure while in use and over time.

Beyond meeting the safety criteria, we evaluated the following cribs on their quality, added features, affordability, and — of course — style.

We also weighed customer reviews from people who’ve used these cribs, then shared the good, the bad, and the ugly.

It’s important to note that cribs range in price, sometimes wildly. Just because a crib is more expensive, however, doesn’t necessarily mean it’s any safer or better for your baby.

Dimensions listed are in inches.

Price guide:

  • $ = $100–$200
  • $$ = $200–$300
  • $$$ = $300–$400
  • $$$$ = over $400

Related: Are there benefits to co-sleeping with my baby?

Best crib overall

Graco Benton 4-in-1

  • Price: $
  • Dimensions: 56.7 L (length) x 29.8 D (depth) x 42 H (height)

Key features: The Benton crib by Graco is made from quality pine wood and approved composite materials. This popular option features three height settings and converts from a basic crib to a toddler bed, daybed, and full-size bed.

Reviewers say this crib is a sturdy and attractive option at a good price. It also comes in an array of nontoxic finishes (espresso, black, driftwood, pebble gray, and white) that will go with any nursery decor.

Considerations: A few reviewers mention that their crib shipped with missing pieces. Others say that the paint tends to chip over time and that, overall, the materials seem a bit on the cheap side. Some folks complain that the holes aren’t drilled perfectly, making assembly difficult.

Best convertible crib

Delta Children Emery Deluxe 6-in-1

  • Price: $
  • Dimensions: 55.5 L x 30.25 D x 43.5 H

Key features: Many cribs you’ll see on the market convert to toddler beds or even full-size beds. The Delta Emery is an overachiever in this area, converting from a crib to a toddler bed, daybed, sofa, full-size bed with headboard, and full-size bed with a headboard and footboard.

In other words — you have options as your child grows. And for the price, it’s a great value.

Considerations: Several reviewers mention that the slats rattle when kicked or otherwise moved, which may wake babies during sleep. Others say assembly takes quite some time. A number of shorter women say this crib is tall (over 43 inches), which makes it difficult to place baby down when the mattress is in the lower settings.

Best crib for storage

Delta Children Heartland Convertible

  • Price: $$$$
  • Dimensions: 71.5 L x 31 D x 35.75 H

Key features: Along with converting to a toddler bed, daybed, and full-size bed, the Delta Children Heartland crib features a bottom drawer, as well as a changing table with two drawers. The changer can even be detached for increased flexibility as your child gets older.

Color options include a fun aqua, bianca white, dark chocolate, and gray. Reviewers like this crib’s modern look and its lightweight, but sturdy construction.

Considerations: Some people have noted that while this is a convertible crib, it doesn’t initially come with the necessary rails and frames to make the switches (they must be purchased separately), which is a bit frustrating considering the crib’s relatively high price tag. Others say the bottom drawer’s design could be improved and that it breaks easily.

Best multipurpose crib

Storkcraft Steveston 4-in-1

  • Price: $$
  • Dimensions: 72.3 L x 28.9 D x 42.1 H

Key features: This crib not only converts to a toddler bed, daybed, and full-size bed, but it also includes an attached changing table with open shelving.

The pine construction comes in nontoxic finishes of white and espresso (gray may also be available on other sites). The mattress height adjusts to three different settings as your baby grows. Reviewers say this crib is easy to assemble and a good value for the price.

Considerations: This crib is on the taller end, so it may be difficult to use if you’re on the shorter side. And be sure to measure your space, since the changing table doesn’t detach and the piece is 72 inches long.

Reviewers share that the paint chips off with time and that the crib has a strong smell right out of the box. Several people say their cribs came dinged, dented, or otherwise damaged.

Best crib for small spaces

Delta Folding Mini Crib

  • Price: $
  • Dimensions: 39 L x 25 D x 37.25 H

Key features: Don’t have much space? There’s a crib for that. The Delta Folding Mini Crib is just 39 inches wide and folds flat for easy stow-away, making it an excellent option at a grandparent or sitter’s house. It’s also a good choice if you live in a small apartment or if you plan to have your baby sleep in your bedroom.

This crib has two adjustable height settings, wheels for mobility, and comes with a crib mattress. Available finish options include gray, white, dark chocolate, dark cherry, or natural.

Considerations: Parents say this crib tends to have a heavy chemical smell, at least in the early days. So it’s a good idea to let it air out before using it with baby. Others say this crib is good with newborns and smaller infants, but that larger babies may find it too small and get their limbs caught in the slats.

Best eco-friendly crib

DaVinci Kalani 4-in-1

  • Price: $$
  • Dimensions: 54.4 L x 35 D x 41.9 H

Key features: DaVinci cribs offer GreenGuard Gold certification, so they’ve been screened for 10,000 chemicals and volatile organic compounds (VOCs) that pollute indoor air. The Kalani 4-in-1 converts to a toddler bed, daybed, and full-size bed, and offers four different mattress height settings.

Its finish is created through a multi-step (nontoxic) painting process that’s free from lead and phthalates. Another important eco feature? This crib is made from New Zealand pinewood, which tends to be a more sustainable choice than other materials.

Considerations: Reviewers share that the wood of this crib is quite soft and prone to marks and scratches. A few explain that not all standard mattresses fit well in DaVinci cribs, so you may need to go with a DaVinci mattress to be safe. Oh, and you’ll need to purchase the conversion set separately with this crib if you want to use it beyond infancy.

Best crib for short moms

Babyletto Hudson 3-in-1

  • Price: $$$
  • Dimensions: 54 L x 29.8 D x 35 H

Key features: Standing at 35 inches tall, the Babyletto crib is shorter than many standard models and also offers some major style. This crib is also GreenGuard Gold certified with construction of sustainable New Zealand pine.

It features four adjustable mattress heights and converts from a crib into a toddler bed and daybed.

Considerations: Over 80 percent of customers rate this crib at 5 stars. Those who do report drawbacks say it’s expensive for what it is (comparing it to Ikea furniture), that it’s difficult to assemble (thanks to improperly drilled holes), and that the company’s customer service could be much better.

Best vintage-style crib

DaVinci Jenny Lind 3-in-1

  • Price: $
  • Dimensions: 54.8 L x 30.4 D x 41.4 H

Key features: While you may not want to use your actual grandmother’s crib, you can get a similar vintage style at a decent price with the DaVinci Jenny Lind crib. It features pretty turned spindle posts and wheels for portability.

This crib also comes in many fun colors, including blush pink, emerald green, lagoon blue, slate gray, white, and fog gray. And you’ll also enjoy DaVinci’s GreenGuard Gold certification and sustainable New Zealand pine construction.

Considerations: Reviewers love the style of this crib, but several mention it’s not the most sturdy or durable. Some people say the wood is very lightweight and prone to breaking when their children kick around. Several reviewers say they like the casters but would prefer if they were locking casters.

Most stylish crib

Million Dollar Baby Winston 4-in-1

  • Price: $$$$
  • Dimensions: 54.88 L x 30.5 D x 45.5 H

Key features: This crib truly does look like a million bucks. Made from steel with a power-coated finish, it comes in vintage gold, vintage iron, and washed white finishes.

It also converts like other cribs to a toddler bed, daybed, and full-size bed that will take some stylish tots to their teen years. The company states that these cribs are finished by hand, making each one unique.

Considerations: There aren’t many reviews of this crib and the ones that are out there are favorable. People like the sophisticated design and say it will transition well as their kids get older. A few people mention tiny dents and nicks in the paint. You’ll also need to purchase a separate conversion kit to use this crib as a bed.

Best splurge crib

Stokke Sleepi Adjustable Crib

  • Price: $$$$
  • Dimensions: 50 L x 29 D x 33.5 H

Key features: With a sleek oval design, the Stokke Sleepi crib is sure to be a central design piece in your nursery. And it’s not all looks — this crib boasts some impressive features, like lockable wheels for mobility, a removable side for toddler bed conversion, and a height adjustable mattress.

This crib is only 33.5 inches high, which is helpful for shorter parents. It’s made from beech wood and comes in four finishes: white, natural, mint, and hazy gray.

Considerations: Keep in mind that the mattress shape is unique, so you won’t be able to use standard crib sheets with this crib. A few reviewers say that the crib is beautiful, but that it isn’t the most sturdy. Several people mention that the customer service is lacking with the company.

Best budget-friendly crib

Union 2-in-1

  • Price: $
  • Dimensions: 53.5 L x 30.5 D x 33.5 H

Key features: The Union 2-in-1 crib is a good option if you’re really just looking for a safe, reliable crib. It has a simple, minimalistic design and will likely blend well with a variety of decor choices. It has four mattress level settings and converts to a daybed.

Although it’s lower in the price department than most other cribs in this list, it’s still made from sustainable New Zealand pine and has a nontoxic finish in multiple colors: ebony, lagoon blue, white, natural wood, espresso, and gray.

Considerations: This no-frills crib is sturdy and will get the job done. It’s just over $100, but unlike other cribs, you likely won’t use it much beyond your little one’s first or second birthday. Also, a few people mention that the colors depicted don’t exactly match the product they received.

Best travel crib

Guava Family Lotus Travel Crib

  • Price: $$
  • Dimensions: 42 L x 32 D x 25 H

Key features: If you’re on the go and need a quick crib setup, the Lotus Travel Crib is a nice choice. It’s compact and lightweight (13 pounds), making it easy (well, easier) for airport travel. It also reportedly sets up in just 15 seconds.

One of the neatest features that sets this travel crib apart is the quiet zipper door on the side. This allows you to breastfeed or cuddle your baby to sleep, which is often necessary when staying in unfamiliar places. This portable crib is GreenGuard Gold certified and is made with breathable mesh for optimal airflow.

Considerations: Reviewers say this travel crib does set up quickly, but that putting it away in the travel bag takes time and skill. A few people say it’s overpriced and may not be much better than similar products, like Graco’s Pack ‘n Play, which costs half as much.

Most cribs range in price from $100 to a whopping $3,000 for more custom models. But you certainly don’t need to break the bank to get a solid crib that will last for years.

It might be helpful to make a list of the things you want in a crib, the functions you need to address (storage, for example), and then any extras that you’d like.

Look for:

  • Certifications from safety groups like the CPSC, the Juvenile Products Manufacturers Association (JPMA), and the American Society for Testing and Materials (ASTM).
  • Storage and multipurpose features if you’d like an extra drawer or two on hand for all those sheets, burp cloths, and other linens.
  • Convertible options. Many cribs convert to toddler beds, daybeds, and more, but you may want to choose a basic crib that doesn’t convert if you know you want to purchase a different big-kid bed down the line.
  • Colors and finishes. You’ll see a lot of white, espresso, black, and natural wood cribs, but fun colors, too. It’s likely safer to buy a crib with a certain finish than to paint it yourself.
  • Matching furniture. Several companies make matching dressers, changing tables, nightstands, or bookcases that go with their cribs.

Related: 19 parenting hacks for the busy working parent.

Accidents happen. The CPSC shares that between 2006 and 2019, there were 1,108 crib-related incidents and 73 crib-related deaths. Most of these cases had to do with things like falls from cribs, drop-side accidents, wood issues (breaks in slats), mattress support issues, and entrapment.

Some unsafe sleeping habits could even contribute to sudden infant death syndrome (SIDS). That’s why it’s important to consider the following:

  • Buy a new crib. While tempting, it’s likely not the best idea to use a vintage crib or borrow one from a friend unless they purchased it very recently. If you do choose to go this route, be sure to look up any recalls.
  • Use a firm mattress that fits tightly into the crib frame. This ensures there are no gaps between the mattress and crib that would allow your baby to get trapped.
  • Survey your crib for any loose or broken screws or other hardware pieces essential for proper support. Same goes for broken or missing wood slats. Repair or replace as necessary.
  • Remove any stuffed animals, blankets, bumpers, pillows, or other objects from your baby’s crib that might pose a suffocation hazard. A tight-fitting crib sheet is all you need.
  • Always place your baby on their back to sleep.

You may want to buy your crib a few months before you have your baby to make sure that all the pieces are included in the box and that they’re free from damage. Setting up your crib in advance also allows you to air it out if off-gassing or odor is a concern.

Plus, let’s be honest: putting up the crib makes this whole baby thing a lot more real.

After you’ve weighed all the many options and made a purchase, be sure to have some fun daydreaming about your little one snoozing in their new crib!