The average apartment in America has shrunk by 5% in size over the last ten years. If you have a young family you may be trying to squeeze a baby’s crib into an already crowded space.
If upgrading is not an option then you have to be smart with your use of that space. Luckily, there is a range of baby cribs that have been designed to maximize function and minimize space.
All while adding a pleasing aesthetic to your home.
We have completed in-depth research to find the best mini crib on the market that provides a compact, but pleasant, place for a baby to sleep when you don’t have much space.
In This Post:
Note: most of the products noted as a convertible mini crib will require extra purchases in order to actually convert to another use. We have provided links in the reviews where this is available.
Also, all mini cribs on our list except for the budget pick have been Greenguard Gold certified (meets safety standards for chemical exposure in production by the Consumer Product Safety Commission). The budget pick is JPMA certified and does not carry any more risk.
So you can assume this to be the case unless we specify otherwise.
The following mini cribs are also reviewed in this article:
Best Mini Cribs for Small Spaces of 2021
The Kalani 2 in 1 by DaVinci is our top overall pick when it comes to the best mini cribs. Its clean lines and sturdy structure give it the feel of a traditional crib while still working for small spaces.
You can tell just by looking at the design of this crib that it is sturdy, which gives you peace of mind knowing that your baby is safe.
The finish is also an elegant addition to your home. This mini crib is made from New Zealand pine wood which presents beautifully and will compliment almost any surrounding style of furniture.
The clean lines of the design and availability in 4 finishes ensure that you will have something that fits your style and matches your other furniture.
With the purchase of the separate conversion kit from DaVinci, the sides of the crib can be converted into a headboard and footboard for a twin sized bed.
It will grow with your baby with its 4 mattress height positions as well.
- Solid and fashionable
- Can be converted to a twin bed
- 4 mattress positions
- Made with sustainable New Zealand pine wood
- Available in a crib mattress bundle
- Paint can chip easily if not looked after carefully
- Conversion kit sold separately
The Alpha from DaVinci is very unique in that it features a rounded bottom that allows the entire crib to rock.
This is perfect for the child that wants to be rocked to sleep, as it allows just that without creating the sleep association of needing to be held by a parent.
This crib is the best alternative to a bassinet due to its rocking ability.
It is also a portable mini crib. It comes with wheels that can be attached which allow for easy transport between rooms.
You need to be careful when your baby becomes more mobile, perhaps installing the locking wheels at this point, as this crib has the potential to tip over with enough force due to the rocking feature.
While the ability to rock and the removable wheels are both great features, they cannot be used at the same time, as the wheels will prevent the crib from rocking while you move around.
- Has the option to rock or be on wheels
- Available in 6 finishes
- Available in a crib mattress bundle
- 3 adjustable mattress height positions
- May tip with enough force
- Cannot use the wheels if you want it to rock
The Dylan model is the best folding crib option made by DaVinci for your little one.
Its design is fairly simple, which makes it a classy choice for your home. The rails feature straight lines, which also look nice when the crib is converted into a twin size bed after your baby outgrows this one.
The folding sides are convenient for small spaces or for traveling. You can either slide the frame to the side of the room when not in use, or you can pop it into your trunk to take to the grandparents’ house for your next visit.
- Has a folding frame to save space
- Available in a mattress bundle
- 4 adjustable mattress positions
- Attachable wheels for portability
- Can be easily scratched
- Screws need to be removed before folding
If you want a more modern look without a lot of frills, the Colby crib may be the best one for you.
The color scheme is simple. It is available in gray with white slats or just completely white.
The trundle feature is nice, especially if you need a little extra storage space for all things baby. Don’t be deceived by the verbiage though. It is only a trundle drawer, not a trundle bed underneath.
- Converts into a day bed and twin bed
- Available in a mattress bundle
- 4 adjustable mattress positions
- Made with New Zealand pinewood
- Trundle is a drawer, not a bed
- Conversion kits sold separately
The side rail can be removed to convert this crib into a daybed, which is ideal for your toddler.
This crib comes in 7 color options (black, cherry, espresso, grey, natural, white, and French white), which is more than most cribs offer.
It can also be converted into a toddler bed and twin size bed using the sides as the headboard and footboard as desired.
- Converts into a daybed
- 7 color options
- Available in a mattress bundle option
- Multiple conversion options
- Meets CPSC safety guidelines
- Finish scratches and chips easily
- Conversion kit isn’t available from the same brand
This crib is aptly named “Origami”, as it has the ability to fold up just like the Japanese paper craft. It is one of the best folding cribs, ideal for the parent who needs to move this crib around a lot.
This crib essentially folds in half, down to only 7 inches wide, which is great for taking along in the car for travel or for storing in a closet when it is not in use.
The locking caster wheels allow it to be easily rolled to another room if you want to transition to a nursery or have your baby nearby during nap time.
- Foldable for easy storage
- Wheels allow for transportation around the house
- Comes in 5 finishes
- Available in mattress bundle option
- Strong smell needs to be aired out
- Higher price point relative to other mini cribs
The Babyletto Gelato mini crib is one of the best if you are looking to add to a modern, minimalistic, or even boho style space.
The design of this crib is very sleek. It is available in two variations of natural wood and white, with interchangeable feet.
Just like with the Origami model, you can expect quality when it comes to Babyletto products. This crib is Greenguard Gold Certified and also comes in a mattress bundle option so there is no need to fuss over a separate purchase.
Unfortunately, this crib is a little more on the expensive side. It also does not convert into a toddler bed. It does, however, still have the option to convert into a stylish twin bed for your child.
- Sleek, minimalistic design
- Available in mattress bundle option
- 2 adjustable mattress positions
- Additional feet colors sold separately
- Does not convert into a toddler bed
- A bit more expensive than other mini cribs
This is basically the best mini crib that is comparable to the Babyletto Origami but at a much lower price point.
The wheels allow for this portable crib to move around the house. Its ability to fold to a width of 6 inches makes it perfect for storing between uses.
There is plenty of space under the crib to store boxes or bins of toys, books, clothes, or diapers. You can keep everything your little one needs close at hand without taking up any extra space in your home.
At a such a low price point, though, you can expect a few less than ideal features. There are no conversion options, not even into a day bed. It is very difficult to find the right size mattress to replace the thin one it comes with.
However, it is a great option for the budget conscious family who is looking for a smaller crib.
- Portable crib rolls and folds for easy travel and storage
- Tall enough for under crib storage
- Folds small enough to store when not in use
- Very inexpensive
- Meets CPSC safety standards
- Does not convert into toddler or twin bed
- Difficult to find a thicker mattress that fits
How to Choose the Best Mini Crib
The most important part of buying any piece of furniture is whether you like it and whether you can afford it!
But, with a specialized function like a mini crib there can be a lot more to finding the best one. Here are the main criteria we used when assessing what should be on our list of best mini cribs.
Most mini cribs are about the same size, but depending on the style, some may be a bit bulkier than others.
If you really want to save space, you may want to consider going with a folding model. This will allow you to put the crib away during the day when it’s not in use and have a little more space to walk around the room.
There are so many different styles available. It can honestly be a bit overwhelming. But the good news is you can likely find just what you’re looking for and end up with a piece that really adds to your room.
Be sure to look at lots of different models as well as all the colors they each come in.
It is crucial that your baby has a safe place to sleep, especially since they will be spending so much of their time in their crib. To ensure the safety of your little one, you should be looking for a mini crib that meets these safety guidelines followed by the Consumer Protection and Safety Commission (CPSC):
- Slats that are no more than 2 3/8 inches apart
- No decorative cut-outs
- Corner posts that are flush with the end panels or are very tall
- A firm mattress that’s the same size as the crib
Most cribs will be clearly labeled with the approval stamp of the CPSC. If you don’t see it, call the manufacturer or check reviews online. Failure to follow these safety guidelines can result in serious injury to your baby or even death.
Some mini cribs are portable. They may have lockable wheels that allow the whole thing to be rolled into a different room if necessary. Others may even have folding frames that help save space in the room when your baby is awake or even put the whole thing in the trunk to take to the grandparents’ house.
The fact that mini cribs are so small is also helpful if the time ever comes to move to a new house. It’s lighter and easy to move onto a truck to take to your next place.
Many mini cribs have the capability of converting into a day bed by removing one of the side rails and replacing it with a shorter half rail (which is typically included). And almost every mini crib can be converted into a twin bed by using a kit to attach the side rails as a headboard and footboard on a standard bed frame.
Having these convertible options allows you to get more bang for your buck and allows your baby to use their crib or bed longer.
Due to the fact that your baby will be growing out of a mini crib relatively quickly, you do not want to be paying at much as you would for a full sized crib.
Decide what is best for you and your budget based on how long the crib will be usable.
As mentioned previously, a lot of mini cribs don’t come with a thick mattress. Most only come with a waterproof pad that is about an inch thick, similar to what you will find in a pack and play.
You may want to consider looking for a mini crib with mattress bundle. This will ensure that you are getting a better mattress that will fit your crib’s unique size.
You can also check cribs at Ikea. Even if you don’t want to get your crib frame there, they have some great mattress options that are free from harmful chemicals and meet their strict safety requirements.
Ease Of Assembly
Last – but not least – you want something that is easy and straightforward to assemble. You don’t want to be fighting with a crib that has difficult to follow directions or thousands of pieces. You want to be able to complete it in a decent amount of time so you can relax before the baby arrives.
Why Choose a Mini Crib?
Mini cribs save space. They are about 20 inches shorter than a standard baby crib on average and even a few inches narrower. So the footprint needed is reduced.
Second, mini cribs offer an easier transition from co-sleeping. It is recommended that a baby sleeps with a parent (in a separate bed or co-sleeper in the same room) until they are at least 6 months old.
For parents starting with a co-sleeper, transitioning to a crib can be difficult. With a mini crib, your little one can stay in your room with you, making the transition much easier.
Another benefit of using a mini crib is the fact that most are convertible. This allows for longer use while your baby grows.
Some may only convert into a twin bed, with the sides of the crib being used as the headboard and footboard of the bed. Others may also convert into a toddler bed by removing part or all of one of the side rails and using the rest of the frame.
Mini cribs are also easy to move when necessary. Some may have wheels (with brake locks) that allow the crib to roll into a new room easily.
Finally, the best mini cribs are budget-friendly compared to a full size crib. Most are cheaper than the full size versions, but even those that aren’t are still better for the budget.
Because nearly every mini crib model is able to convert into a twin size bed, and most also work as a toddler bed or day bed, you get more value for your money spent.
Because of its smaller size, particularly the shorter length, your little one will likely grow out of their mini crib sooner.
Most cribs are long enough for children to sleep in up to three years old. However, the standard mini crib, which is about 32 inches long, may only accommodate your little one up to 2 years before they are ready for a toddler bed.
The different mattress size will also require special sheets to fit. Some cribs may come with a fitted sheet, but most of the time they are sold separately.
If you are unhappy with the mattress pad you may also have a harder time finding a compatible alternative. So you may be limited to the same manufacturer.
Is a mini crib a lot smaller than a standard crib?
Yes, mini cribs are smaller than a full size crib. Most standard cribs measure around 52” x 28” (9-11 sq ft) compared to 38″ x 24″ (6-7.5 sq ft)for most mini crib models.
What’s the difference between a pack and play and a mini crib?
The difference between a mini crib and a pack and play is that a mini crib is a permanent piece of furniture in your home, whereas a pack and play is more portable and designed to be packed up easily.
Mini cribs are also much sturdier than a pack and play.
How long can you use a mini crib?
You can use a mini crib until your child outgrows the length of the mattress, or they become too big for the crib to maintain stability.
A mini crib is shorter than a full size crib and will have a shorter period of use. However, the specific limitations will be specific to each model and the manufacturer’s guidance should be adhered to in order to ensure safe use.
Do you need special sheets for a mini crib?
Because a mini crib is about 20 inches shorter and a few inches narrower than a standard crib, you will need to purchase sheets specifically designed for a mini crib.
It is not recommended that you use a standard sheet since the excess fabric can be a suffocation hazard for small children.
While each of the mini cribs we viewed has their own strengths, we would have to say that the DaVinci Kalani is our top pick.
While it is very similar to the Dream on Me Aden — similar design and can be converted into a twin bed, comparable pricing, and easy to assemble — the fact that DaVinci offers a conversion kit won us over. It is a great choice for your baby’s nursery.
And remember, all but the last mini crib on our list is Greenguard Gold Certified and meets CPSC safety standards. So you can just pick the one you like most with confidence.
- GREENGUARD GOLD CERTIFIED: This product has undergone rigorous scientific...
- GROWS WITH BABY: Four adjustable mattress positions to lower as your baby...
- QUALITY MATERIAL: Made of solid sustainable New Zealand pinewood and TSCA...
Read more posts on nursery accessories:
- Best nursery mobiles to attach to your crib
- Best bassinet for newborn
- Best dual camera baby monitors