Best Baby Co-sleepers Buying Guide
When it comes to actually picking a co-sleeper, you’ll want to focus on three key aspects: Type, safety and comfort.
It’s also important to consider how easy it is to clean a co-sleeper, and it might even be worth spending some time thinking about the aesthetics too – particularly if you’re going to give it pride of place in your bedroom.
To help you out, we’ve explored the three key considerations in more detail here:
There are two main types of co-sleeper:
- These are designed to sit next to your bed;
- These are designed to sit in your bed.
Generally speaking, sidecar-style bassinets are a little safer because you can’t accidently roll on to your baby. The best options in this style also have a roll-up side wall so that you can spend more time in contact with your baby while they’re drifting off, and handy extra features like storage shelves or wheels for easy transport.
That said, many of the lounger-style co-sleepers boast thick, foam sidewalls that are designed to offer plenty of protection, and the very best options also have plenty of internal padding which makes them just as comfortable as their side-car counterparts.
According to doctors like James J. McKenna, it’s only when mother and child are in very close proximity that you get a noticeable boost to things like heart rate, oxygen levels and body temperature.
So, the best type of co-sleeper will depend on your priorities as a parent, and your own sleeping habits. If you are looking for convenience and peace of mind, you’ll probably want to opt for a sidecar-style co-sleeper. But if you want to maximize bonding time and really nurture your little one, a co-sleeper that’s designed to sit in your bed might be the better option.
As mentioned above, numerous studies have shown that co-sleepers can reduce the risks of SIDS by around 50% – as well as helping your little one to feel more sheltered and relaxed.
The best co-sleepers will also be made from safe – non-toxic – materials, and any fabric covers will be securely anchored to prevent your little one from getting tangled up.
When buying sidecar style bassinets, it’s also important to look for strong locking clips and so on. These features guarantee that your co-sleeper won’t fall apart in the middle of the night, and help to prevent your baby from escaping once they learn to start pulling themselves around.
After safety, comfort should definitely be your second priority. Your little one has to be able to relax and unwind in their co-sleeper, which means that it’ll need a comfortable mattress or pad, cushioned sides and plenty of ventilation.
Don’t shy away from options with a firm base though: Some studies actually show that babies prefer the support of a relatively solid ‘mattress’ and there is some evidence to suggest that too much padding can actually hamper sleep quality in the early months.
Oh, and when it comes to ventilation, good air flow really is the key: Babies, like all humans, are actually conditioned to sleep better in cool spaces and a hot, stuffy co-sleeper is only going to encourage restless nights.
To help you find the perfect co-sleeper, we’ve explored four of our favorite options below.
Top 5 Picks of Best Baby Co-Sleepers
SwaddleMe By Your Side Sleeper
Designed to facilitate safe and secure bed-sharing, this ingenious co-sleeper is one of our favorite options.
It boasts a sturdy, metal frame that will shield your baby from harm, but its mesh side walls and soft color scheme keep it looking light, airy and comfortable.
This sleeper is incredibly light too; weighing it at just 6lbs, it’s easy to move it in and out of the bed between naps, and we also found that it was very easy to put together (or pull apart). This makes care, maintenance and transport an absolute breeze, and we think you’d be hard-pressed to find a more convenient co sleeper.
It doesn’t disappoint in terms of comfort either: The in-built mattress is quite thin but it still offers plenty of support, and all of the fabric parts are soft and tactile. In fact, we were impressed by the luxurious look and feel of this little co-sleeper, and the aesthetics don’t disappoint, despite the exposed metal frame.
Best of all though? It has low sides, and it’s small enough to fit into any bed. This means you’re all but guaranteed plenty of extra contact time with your baby, and you can keep them at arm’s reach throughout the night which is perfect for those early-morning feeds.
The only slight downsides are the thin mattress – which might not suit all babies – and the lack of waterproofing, which means that you might have to replace the inner parts if your baby’s diaper leaks. These concerns are somewhat mitigated by the low-price tag though, and we do think you’d be hard pressed to find better value for money.
Arm's Reach Cambria Co-Sleeper
The Cambria Co-Sleeper is the best bassinet sleeper we’ve reviewed, and a stand-out choice for anyone that would prefer their baby to sleep in a separate bed. It benefits from a robust design, and it has high vented sides that let it function as a stand-alone crib.
A Versatile Design
It does have a roll-down side too, which means you can install it next to your own bed and remove the side panel when you want to snuggle close to your little one. In conjunction with its handy wheels, this roll-up side makes the Cambria fantastically versatile and gives you plenty of freedom when it comes to choosing a sleeping position that suits your little one.
A lot of ‘user-friendly’ baby furniture tends to suffer from poor quality control and irritating flaws but we found the Cambria incredibly easy to put together the first time we used it, and it’s certainly strong enough to keep your baby safe.
The only slight downside is the fact that – unlike the lounger style co-sleepers listed here – the Cambria doesn’t allow you to get nice and close to your little one. This might not be an issue if you’re more concerned with convenience, but it does detract slightly from the appeal of a co-sleeper
It’s fair to say that this is probably the best possible option if safety is your biggest priority, but it does lag behind the competition in terms of bonding potential. It is well-built too though, so if you want something that’s guaranteed to go the distance, this might be your best bet.
DockATot Deluxe+ All In One Baby Lounger
At first glance, the DockATot looks like an incredibly plush lifeboat: It has strong, padded sides, soft fabric colors and a distinctive, oval profile that looks positively enticing. The DockATot Deluxe+ is actually a co-sleeper though, and an incredibly good one at that.
Get Closer to Your Love
Because it has such high sides, it can slot right into the bed next to you, and you never have to worry about rolling on to your baby.
Better yet, it’s womb-shaped, and designed to ensconce your little one in snug fabric that reactivates all those relaxation instincts that kept them happy and peaceful in utero. According to the manufacturer, this is one of the main reasons that the DockATot deluxe offers an unrivalled level of sleep quality and now that we’ve had one to try for ourselves, we have to say that we agree.
The only slight downside is the high price tag, and the fact that the DockATot does lack a solid metal or plastic frame.
This isn’t a major safety concern as long as you follow the manufacturer’s guidelines, but it may be an important consideration if you’re on the fence about co-sleepers – in which case we’d recommend a model with solid sides.
The Mumbelli is an unbelievable safe and snug little co-sleeper.
Designed to nestle right alongside you in bed, it boasts thick, foam padding at the sides, and a plush base that’s thick enough to ensure a good night’s sleep. The manufacturer has actually tried to imitate the sort of conditions that your baby experienced in the womb, and we did find that it provided unparalleled sleep quality.
Most of all though, we loved the fact that it allows for really safe and comfortable co-sleeping. The sides are high, but not so high that you’d struggle to see your little one at all times, or stroke their head when they wake at night.
Keeping Baby at Right Position
More importantly, the wedge inset and soft walls means that your little one is always kept at the right angle and there’s no risk of them hurting themselves whatsoever. Oh, and the quality of the fabric covers is definitely worth noting: Everything looks and feels like a top-end product and running your hand along the outer sides gives a real sense of luxury, which is exactly what you’d want for your baby.
Better still, all the covers are machine washable, and the whole unit is very easy to pick up and store. The only slight downside is a slight lack of durability: Although we never had any problems, some parents do report that the covers for their Mumbelli started falling apart after several hot washes, which might be an issue if you’re expecting heavy wear and tear.
All in all though, we think the Mumbelli is an absolutely fantastic co-sleeper, and a great choice if you want to keep your baby safe and snug in bed. It’s worth every penny of its price tag and its unrivalled in terms of comfort and support.
Scuddles 3-1 Portable Bassinet
The Scuddles 3-1 Portable Bassinet is a perfect choice for parents who are always on the move. It’s one of the only safe co-sleeper that packs into a handy travel bag and we were very impressed by just how convenient it turned out to be.
Safe and Maintenance-friendly
Now, when we first got our hands on this co-sleeper we were a little worried about safety: It doesn’t look to be as plush or padded as other co-sleepers and we were a little worried that its fold-out design would impair its ability to protect small babies.
Using the co-sleeper quickly put our minds at ease though. The manufacturer has invented a unique folding-rod design that provides plenty of structure and support once the bassinet section is unfolded.
We were very impressed with the build quality too. The materials are all premium, and the neutral grey tone makes it a great unisex product. There is a machine washable mattress pad too which really helps with maintenance.
The only slight downside is the lack of soft fabrics and foam padding. This is definitely a functional co-sleeper but it is obvious that it compromises comfort for ease of use, and fussy babies might find the lack of soft surfaces too much to handle.
All in all, we think it’s a great option if you need a travel-friendly co-sleeper, but if you are looking for comfort, there might be more suitable choices.
As you can see, there are good co-sleepers to suit every parent, whether you want a side-car option, a product that will nurture your baby or a bassinet that can travel the world with you. Hopefully reading through our reviews will help you to select the best possible co-sleeper, but if you’re still struggling to make a selection remember that it’s ok to take your time!
You want your little one to enjoy a safe and comfortable co-sleeper for the first 3-5 months of their life, so it’s worth sitting down and considering the pros and cons of each model before you make a final selection.
Last update on 2020-11-30 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API