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Cribs Buying Guide

What Kind of Material Should I Select for My Baby's Crib?

When choosing a crib for your baby's room or nursery, style is important, but how its made and how durable it will be should also be a consideration. A crib sould be strong and stable; it shouldn't wobble or shake. Available in a variety of types and materials, many manufacturers make cribs that include levelers.

Engineered woods are processed by using heat and pressure to glue wood fibers together. One type of engineered wood is medium density fiberboard or MDF. MDF is more affordable than solid wood, but just as strong and durable. For nursery furniture that is sturdy and easy to care for, select a crib made of MDF and a combination of veneers or laminates; the MDF will give the piece of furniture strength and the veneers or laminates will allow for easy cleaning.

Laminates are produced by pressing layers of plastic, metal or wood together, then sealing them with a thermosetting resin. They are commonly used to make home furnishings because they are durable, easy to care for, and economical. Since laminates don’t fade and have no grain, they are easier to match when adding additional pieces to your child’s room, as they grow and their furnishing needs change.

Wood veneers are created by a similar process as in the making of laminates. Thin slices of real wood are glued to the piece of furniture using heat and pressure. Since it can be applied to any smooth, flat surface, this is a popular material for children’s furniture. It is not as expensive to manufacture, while giving furniture the texture and appearance of genuine solid woods.

Considered to be the most durable material for furniture, solid wood furnishings are constructed from wood cut from the trunks of trees like pine, mahogany or oak. They are more expensive than engineered wood products. If your budget allows for a crib set made of solid wood, it will be a treasure that you can enjoy for many years.

Metals are a popular material for cribs because they are strong and easy to keep clean. Pure metals are generally too soft, too brittle or chemically reactive. Alloys refer to metals made by combining two or more elements. The purpose of creating an alloy is to make the metal stronger and more stable. Choose a durable finish or one that is resistant to corrosion. Frames made from sheet metal are more solid than ones made from tubing, but a crib made from heavy gauge tubing will retain strength and durability, while being lighter and less expensive to ship.

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