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What Are the Best (Nice-Looking) Cribs for Babies?

Photo-Illustration: Courtesy of the Retailer

A crib is one of the biggest purchases you’ll make for your baby. It’s where they’ll sleep for at least a few years (longer if it converts into a big-kid bed). But it’s also one of the purchases with the biggest footprint in your home — if you don’t like your crib, there’s no hiding it. Aesthetics aside, it’s useful if the mattress height is adjustable. It’s also useful to have a convertible crib. (All the cribs in this story are convertible, so they transform into toddler beds, twin beds, or even full beds.) We spoke to several tasteful people to get our crib recommendations, including parents, nannies, and baby sleep consultants. Below, you’ll find the best classic cribs, the best contemporary cribs, the best mini-cribs, and the best acrylic cribs.

Best classic cribs

For a no-frills, affordable crib that would look great with the rest of your home’s mid-century-modern décor, you really can’t beat Ikea’s Sniglar crib. “If you’re looking for a crib that is relatively budget-friendly and will last you years, the Ikea Gulliver served our family exceptionally well,” remarks Chad Montgomery of Parent Intel. “The crib lasted us through three kids and was more than worth the cost.” “It’s the best deal out there,” says Britt Zunino of design firm Studio DB. “The all-natural finish has a Scandinavian vibe that’s perfect for gender-neutral nurseries.” It’s also interior designer Penelope August’s pick, and she likes it because it’s “inexpensive, basic, and can be dressed up with cute sheets.” Not only does it cost a very reasonable $119 and is constructed from solid beech, it can also adapt to your growing child’s needs. Montgomery advises that you will need to buy a bed rail for the crib when your child becomes a toddler. “When your baby is old enough to climb out, the crib converts to a toddler bed by having one side of the crib removed.”

“We used the Pottery Barn Larkin for both of our girls,” says Evan Porter, editor at Dad Fixes Everything and father of two. Not only is it “super sturdy,” according to Porter, it’s also “absolutely gorgeous.” It is made from solid wood and has a classic design with five color options to pick from — stone gray, simply white, chocolate, heritage fog, and soft gray. There are four mattress-height levels to accommodate babies as they grow. Porter appreciates that the Larkin is “really easy to convert from crib to toddler bed all the way to a full-size bed.” He admits that it is expensive, but “it can realistically be your child’s bed from birth until they move out one day.”

If you’re looking for an upgrade of the Sniglar, Babyletto’s Gelato is a popular and not-so-expensive option. Keren Richter of the White Arrow has the Gelato for her daughter and says that you can’t go wrong with its classic design, which comes in a natural finish with white feet or a white finish with natural feet. The co-founders at Lewis like the Hudson, which has a thicker fame and mid-century-modern-inspired feet. It also comes in a range of color combinations and converts to a toddler bed, daybed, and a full-size bed with a separate conversion kit. We like this crib so much, it made it onto our Ultimate Baby Registry.

Best nontraditional cribs

Sarah Hollingsworth, CEO and founder of parenting resource Poppylist, describes this crib as “a revelation for parents seeking versatility and style.” Parenting blogger Barbara Mighdoll of New Modern Mom appreciates its versatility. She especially likes that the bassinet setting has wheels “for easy transport,” so you can move your child from room to room with ease. When the time comes to expand, the Yuzu comes with all the necessary conversion kits as standard. The Yuzu comes in five colors, including pale natural wood, walnut, and white.

“When I had my first baby girl, I knew nothing about cribs, even though I was a Stanford-trained pediatrician practicing medicine for half a decade,” says Dr. Whitney Casares, CEO and founder of Modern Mommy Doc. It wasn’t until her daughter got her leg trapped between the slats of her first crib that Dr. Casares began to research cribs more closely. The Lolly was the new crib she chose, partly because of its “appropriately spaced, rounded slats to reduce the risk of limb entrapment.”

You can choose from five finishes, including black, white, and navy, all with a natural wood finish on the slats. It has a clean, modern look complete with hidden hardware, which Dr. Casares is a fan of. She also likes the “adjustable mattress settings” — there are four, which are easy to switch between as your baby grows.

Considered by many designers as the platonic ideal of a crib, Kalon Studios’ Caravan Crib is made in Pennsylvania from solid American maple and features rounded edges and smooth, tapered legs that make it feel more like a piece of handcrafted furniture than a place for baby to sleep. The Caravan Crib was recommended to us by Gabby Slome, co-founder of parenting platform Cooper. Slome wanted a crib that was “neutral to go with a lot of different décors.” She adds, “I love the detailed curved wooden legs and sleek overall-looking design. It fits in with the rest of my apartment furniture.” It’s also owned by Strategist writer Lauren Ro.

It’s not just about looks, though. “I wanted something organic given how much time my kids would be spending sleeping in their crib,” explains Slome. This crib is finished with an organic, plant-based oil to seal the wood — or you can buy it made from raw wood if you want to finish it yourself. It’s a durable choice that will last. “This crib has now been handed down and used by all three kids,” Slome notes. The crib also converts into a divan, but you’ll need to buy the conversion kit separately.

The Babyletto Palma is a bed that truly grows with your child — and can move with him to his first apartment as a full-size bed — thanks to its high headboard and dark-walnut paneling that give it more heft than the other, airy-feeling cribs on this list. “Beyond its sleek and modern design, it transforms from a crib, to a toddler bed, a daybed, and even a full-size bed,” says Maisonette’s CEO and co-founder, Sylvana Ward-Durrett. “This is the ultimate style-meets-function choice.”

Best mini-cribs

If space is tight, try a mini-crib, which measures on average 24 inches wide and 38 inches long (a standard crib is about 28 inches wide and 52 inches long, for comparison). Mini-cribs often have wheels so that they can be easily moved, and some even fold up for storage, like this one from Babyletto that Zunino recommends. “I love the Babyletto Origami Mini-Crib for its compact size, wheels for portability, and fun color options,” she says. “It’s the perfect crib for a small nursery or if you’re sharing a room with your little one. The mini-crib folds flat too, which makes it ideal to have on hand for visiting babies.”

Parents short on space might appreciate the smaller footprint of the Gelato Mini, which measures around a foot less in length than an average full-size crib. “My nursery was on the smaller side, living in the city,” explains Emily Hosie, founder of baby-product marketplace Rebelstork — so she loved the Gelato Mini’s compact size.

It might be small, but it’s still convertible — into a toddler bed, daybed, or twin bed with the appropriate conversion kits (both of which are sold separately). “My daughter just transitioned into the toddler-bed conversion, and it was beyond easy and seamless to convert from a crib to a toddler bed,” notes Hosie. It has a height-adjustable mattress and comes in four colors, including white and walnut.

“The Cloud Crib by Nestig is my absolute favorite,” says Tamiz Ahmed, CTO of baby resource and registry Poppylist and a father of two under 2. “It’s beautiful, made from sustainable sources, and grows with my child.” It starts life as a mini-crib but comes with conversion kits to turn it into a full-size crib and a toddler bed.

It comes with a mini-crib mattress, but you’ll need a full-size crib mattress if you choose to convert it. Ahmed likes that it comes with wheels, so he can easily move it from the nursery, where his baby naps, to his bedroom for nighttime. “It’s so easy, even my toddler can do it,” he adds.

Jada Rashawn, nanny expert at Sittercity, recommends another Nestig model. “I’ve helped assemble a ton of cribs over my years as a nanny, and my favorite is the Wave Crib from Nestig,” she says. “The design and quality make it a standout.” Rashawn likes that “it’s slightly higher than the average crib.” That and its three adjustable mattress heights make it easier to pick up and put down your baby, especially in the earlier days. It has a simple but stylish design that comes in natural-wood or white finishes. A mini-crib mattress is included as standard, but you need to buy a larger mattress if you want to convert it to a full-size crib.

Pediatric sleep consultant Brittany Sheehan recommends this see-through crib. She likes that the transparent sides let you keep a close eye on your baby as they sleep and let your baby look around when lying awake in their crib. Sheehan also likes that this crib has no bars, which “eliminates the fear so many parents have of their baby getting an arm or leg stuck in the slats.”

The Nifty has four adjustable mattress heights, which makes it easier to use for younger babies as well as older babies and toddlers. It also converts to a daybed and a toddler bed — although the toddler-bed conversion kit is sold separately.

Additional reporting by Lauren Ro

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What Are the Best (Nice-Looking) Cribs for Babies?