Which convertible cribs are best?
As babies grow, they graduate from their bassinets to cribs. As time passes and they continue to grow, they will eventually require a toddler bed and ultimately a twin or full-size bed. With each stage requiring a different sleeping arrangement, the expenses can add up. For that reason, many parents are investing in convertible cribs.
If you decide a convertible crib is right for your child, consider the highly-praised Babyletto Hudson 3-in-1 Convertible Crib, our top choice. The sleek, yet classic look and eco-conscious design of this convertible crib will grow seamlessly with your child.
What to know before you buy a convertible crib
The hallmark of a convertible crib is in the name. It converts from a traditional crib into a toddler bed. Some go even further and convert into a twin or full bed. One huge benefit of investing in a convertible crib is it will last longer. Some of the best convertible cribs could feasibly be used throughout your baby’s childhood and adolescence. Ultimately, this could save you a ton of money on furniture expenses.
The best cribs, whether convertible or not, should have at least a couple of settings for the crib mattress. You should have the option to raise or lower the mattress, depending on your baby’s size and their needs. As your child grows, you’ll need to lower the mattress to ensure your baby can’t climb or fall out.
An important step in the research process is checking for convertible crib recalls on any model you are considering. If you purchase a convertible crib that eventually has a recall, immediately stop using it and find another one.
The American Academy of Pediatrics recommends only using cribs that were manufactured after June 2011. The date is important, as it’s when safety standards were updated to ban drop-side cribs. Anything older than this likely won’t meet the current standards of safety.
Something else to keep in mind about older cribs is the strength of the crib. Although it can be tempting to use an heirloom crib or to purchase a convertible crib second-hand to save some money, the older the crib, the weaker it is from use. Whenever possible, purchase a crib new.
What to look for in a quality convertible crib
Current safety standards dictate measurements in construction of a crib. For instance, slats should never be more than 2.375 inches apart. Double-check current crib standards to ensure you know the proper measurements for the convertible crib you are considering.
A teething rail is a covering that goes over the top of the side rails of the crib. Because babies go through a teething phase and will explore things by chewing on them, a teething rail is crucial. Typically made of smooth plastic, it will help prevent any damage to your crib. It will also help ensure your baby doesn’t ingest any paint or material from the crib, nor damage their new teeth.
Wheels are a great feature that can make moving your convertible crib much easier. If the maneuverability that comes from wheels is important to you, make sure to double-check that it comes with brakes, especially if your crib will be on a hard surface.
A great design feature in some convertible cribs is the inclusion of storage, like drawers or shelves. Along with your convertible crib, you will have a collection of crib sheets, baby blankets and other bedding. This is a great way to store those pieces without taking up room in your child’s clothing dresser or closet.
Something to look for is whether your convertible crib comes with a conversion kit. If it doesn’t, you’ll need to buy it separately, meaning there’s an additional cost. While it can be cumbersome to store the conversion kit for years, it will make a huge difference to have it on hand when you need it rather than tracking down and waiting for the correct kit later.
How much you can expect to spend on a convertible crib
If you want a simple, basic convertible crib that will remain in the same room and doesn’t need storage, expect to spend about $100-$500.
If you can spend between $500-$1000, you’ll find convertible cribs made of better materials and with better construction. These typically also have more conversion options and often have more features, like a changing station or extra storage.
Should you choose to invest more than $1000, you’ll find convertible cribs made from the best-quality materials. These are also likely to be the most stylish and trendy designs, with more features and better, easier conversion kits.
Convertible crib FAQ
What’s the difference between 3-in-1 and 4-in-1 convertible cribs?
A. The main difference is in the conversion options. With a 3-in-1 convertible crib, you’ll likely be able to convert your crib into a toddler bed and eventually a daybed. With a 4-in-1 convertible crib, you can go a step further and convert it into a twin or full-size bed.
How long can a child use a convertible crib?
A. Generally speaking, most parents choose to transition their baby or toddler into a toddler bed anywhere between 18 months and 3 years old. The American Academy of Pediatrics says children should begin using a toddler bed at least by the time they reach 3 feet tall. If you can wait until your child is 3 years old to convert, you’ll enjoy the benefit of maturity and have a better chance of them staying in their bed during the night.
What size bed does a convertible crib turn into?
A. The size of bed depends greatly on the model and design you choose. All convertible cribs will turn into a toddler bed. Others are able to convert to a twin bed or even a full-size bed. When shopping around, check the product description for the number of conversions a model can make.
What are the best convertible cribs to buy?
Top convertible crib
What you need to know: The neutral design and durability of the Babyletto Hudson 3-in-1 Convertible Crib means it will fit in well with most any design aesthetic and last through the years.
What you’ll love: The Hudson can convert into a daybed and toddler bed. It has the mattress settings you’ll want as your baby grows so they can stay safe, no matter what conversion you’re using. It’s also a great size, and the manufacturer says it is large enough for twins.
What you should consider: Some users have reported chipping paint, so a teething rail is a must.
Top convertible crib for the money
What you need to know: With a simple design that works universally in most any home, the Graco Benton 4-in-1 Convertible Crib and Changer offers plenty of options at a great price.
What you’ll love: With four conversions, this is a convertible crib that could last into your child’s teen years. It also has a non-toxic finish in case your baby starts chewing.
What you should consider: A bed frame isn’t included, so if you plan to use part of the crib as a headboard when converting to a full-size bed, you’ll need to buy one.
Worth checking out
What you need to know: The DaVinci Jenny Lind 3-in-1 Convertible Crib is a vintage-inspired classic that has passed some of the most stringent testing.
What you’ll love: Along with the four mattress settings, this crib converts into both a toddler bed and a daybed. It’s constructed of solid pine wood sustainably sourced from New Zealand. It also has wheels so it’s easy to move around if needed.
What you should consider: The toddler bed conversion kit is sold separately so plan on buying that at the same time.
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Kasey Van Dyke writes for BestReviews. BestReviews has helped millions of consumers simplify their purchasing decisions, saving them time and money.
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