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Cribs Buying Guide

Choosing a Crib

What Kind of Crib Do I Need?

A crib, also known as a baby bed, will be approximately 28” wide and 52” long. Since your child will be sleeping in one from birth to the toddler years, the crib you choose should as safe and as comfortable as possible. Any crib on the market today will comply with industry and voluntary safety standards. These standards ensure that the crib you purchase will be safe, and will regulate features like the space between each slat and hidden hardware. There are a wide variety of styles and materials to choose from, including cribs that can be converted to toddler and twin size beds as your child grows.

The most common type of crib is the standard crib. It usually has a single or double drop side, which simply means either one side or both sides have the capability of sliding up and down. The railing of the crib you select when lowered should allow you unobstructed clearance when lifting your child in and out of the crib. Consider selecting a standard crib with an adjustable mattress mechanism that will allow you to alter the mattress height as your baby grows.

A convertible crib is a standard crib that can be converted into a toddler bed; some models can even be changed into a day bed for use by an older child or an overnight guest. This type of convertible crib designed for multiple uses can be expensive; however, it might be more economical in the long run, since it will eliminate purchasing a new bed for each of your child’s developmental stages. Depending on the manufacturer, the conversion rails and footboard attachments that convert it from a crib to a day bed might be optional and not included in the price: check product descriptions for specific details before buying.

Mini and portable cribs will have many of the same features as a standard crib, while being smaller and lighter. These kinds of cribs are ideal space savers; some models are foldable or collapsible, making them easy to store and convenient for traveling. Mini and portable cribs can be up to 35 percent smaller than standard cribs. They can also feature casters or wheels for mobility and practicality. Some mini and portable cribs will come with the mattress included, and others will not, depending upon the brand and the manufacturer. For portable cribs designed specifically for travel, ensure that the cardboard base is well-padded or there is enough room to add an additional mattress to make it more comfortable for your child.

What Type of Crib Should I select?

Round cribs with a single drop side are ideal for decorating nurseries where space is an issue. Not only do they give the room a unique look, while providing most features available in standard cribs, they take up less floor space than rectangular ones. Placed in the middle of a room, the round crib will allow you to utilize the walls to maximum potential. Because of their shape, round cribs naturally reduce many child safety concerns, including corners and concussion points. This type of crib has become increasingly popular in the past decade.

Sleigh cribs are standard cribs based on the Victorian sleigh bed style, while combining traditional elements with contemporary comfort. Typically, these cribs will be slightly taller than standard cribs, and have curved headboards and footboards. Detailing such as carved lines and inset panels can add interest and sophistication to a baby’s room. Even though this type of bed is most closely associated with the traditional style, sleigh cribs come in a variety of different finishes, including lighter ones that will fit in with any nursery décor, both classic and modern.

Canopy cribs have four posts which supports a metal frame usually covered in fabric that hangs over the sleeping area. It is a classic choice for a baby’s room, giving it an elegant, softly romantic atmosphere. Usually considered traditional, today’s canopy cribs come in a variety of styles, including canopies made of a roped wire detailing. For a more romantic feel create a canopy with plenty of draped material or a canopy with a frill and ribbon border. A canopy frame can be added to most four poster cribs where the posts of the crib are of equal height. Most canopies will not include the material; this will allow you to match it with any bedding or window treatments you already have on hand.

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