Best Mini Cribs for Small Spaces in 2019

When a woman dreams of her future baby, she likely pictures the perfect pregnancy -- you know, where you do not gain weight and only have a belly, with no complications -- and creates Pinterest boards with ideas for the nursery, complete with all of the furniture and themed decor.

But let us face it: it is rarely like that. In fact, many families that are awaiting the arrival of a first baby may not have the budget or the space for a full nursery. They may live in a small, one bedroom apartment that they have to share with their little one.

For these families, the traditional crib is simply not an option. You could always go with a co-sleeper, but honestly, we all like our space and you may prefer that your baby has her own place to sleep. So, how do we make this work?

Thankfully, there are mini cribs. Designed with just these families in mind, the mini crib’s name speaks for itself: it is mini. Compared to the oversized 52” x 28” traditional crib, the mini crib cuts down on space by being only 38 inches long and 24 inches wide.

Mini cribs are also great for the budget conscious family. They tend to be much cheaper than full sized cribs, while still functioning the same. You are also not limited on styles, as you will see by the products we will be looking at in just a bit.

Mini Cribs Are Not For Everyone

Now, mini cribs may not be for everyone, and depending on what you are looking for, you may be better off with a full sized crib, or starting with a co-sleeper with the intention of an early transition into a toddler bed.

With its smaller size, mini cribs are not intended to last very long. Some parents like the option of having a crib that their child can sleep in through the first few years of her life. However, with a mini crib, you may be looking at 12 to 18 months maximum, depending on the size of your baby. On the other hand, for some parents this may not be a problem.

You will also need to be prepared to visit a baby store, which can be a bit more expensive that your local Wal-Mart, to buy any extra accessories, such as sheets or bumpers, due to the crib’s non-standard size. You can also order them online from sites like Amazon, if you do not mind waiting for shipping. Again, for some parents this will not be a big deal.

What to Look For

When selecting a mini crib for your baby, you may want to consider looking for a few key things before making your purchase.

Size and Style

Most mini cribs are about the same size, but depending on the style, some may be a bit bulkier than others. You want to make sure you measure the space in your home that you want to put your mini crib and find something that fits, both size-wise and style-wise.

Portability and/or Convertability

Some mini cribs are easily portable, either being fitted with wheels for easy maneuvering from room to room, or folding small enough to fit in the car to take to Grandma’s house.

Other mini cribs have the capability of being converted into a daybed, or having parts that can be attached to a toddler or twin sized bed. Being aware of these models and options will help you decide which crib is best for you, depending on how and where you want to use it.

Cost

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.

Ease of Assembly

Few things are more annoying than putting together furniture with unclear instructions or poorly made parts. Save yourself the headache by finding a crib that is relatively easy to assemble.

Best Mini Cribs

The Kalani 2 in 1 by DaVinci is our top overall pick when it comes to mini cribs. Its clean lines and sturdy structure give it the feel of a traditional crib while still cutting down on space. It is available in 5 finishes, and even has the option to convert into a twin sized bed (with a separate conversion kit sold by DaVinci).

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 clean lines of the design and availability in 5 finishes ensure that you will have something that fits your style and matches your other furniture.

With the purchase of the separate conversion kit (side rails) from DaVinci, the sides of the crib can be converted into a headboard and footboard for a twin sized bed.

Pro

  • Solid and fashionable
  • Can be converted to a twin bed 

Con

  • Paint can chip easily if not looked after carefully

This crib by Dream on Me is a top choice due to its ability to convert easily into a daybed for your toddler. Its design is similar to the Kalani by DaVinci, giving it a clean look and solid structure, and is available in 7 finishes.

The side rail can be removed to convert this crib into a daybed, which is ideal for your toddler.

This crib comes in 7 finishes (black, cherry, espresso, grey, natural, white, and French white), which is more than most cribs offer. However, the finish on this crib also chips and scratches easily. This may be unappealing on the darker finishes.

While this crib is advertised as 4 in 1, it really only converts into a daybed. The sides can be attached to a twin bed frame, but Dream on Me does not offer a conversion kit, which essentially means that a secondbed needs to be purchased.

Pro

  • Converts into a daybed 
  • Multiple finishes to choose from

Con

  • Finish scratches and chips easily
  • Should really be considered 2 in 1

The Alpha, which is a rocking mini crib, from DaVinci is very unique in that it features a rounded bottom that allows the entire crib to rock. This is perfect for the baby 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 a great alternative to a bassinet due to its rocking ability.

It also 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.

Pro

  • Has the option to rock or be on wheels

Con

  • May tip with enough force
  • Cannot use the wheels if you want it to rock

This crib is aptly named “Origami”, as it has the ability to fold up just like the Japanese paper craft. It is ideal for the parent who needs to move this crib around a lot, whether it is by wheels between the room of their own home, or in the car on vacation or to visit relatives.

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 casters allow it to be easily wheeled to another room if your want to transition to a nursery or have your baby nearby during nap time.

There is a strong odour upon opening the package, likely from paint, that needs to be aired out before putting your baby in it.

Pro

  • Foldable for easy storage
  • Wheels allow for transportation around the house

Con

  • Strong smell needs to be aired out
  • Higher price point relative to other mini cribs

This crib is aptly named “Origami”, as it has the ability to fold up just like the Japanese paper craft. It is ideal for the parent who needs to move this crib around a lot, whether it is by wheels between the room of their own home, or in the car on vacation or to visit relatives.

The wheels allow for easy transport around the house, and its ability to fold to a width of 6 inches make 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.

With the wide spaces between the slats, many parents have said they purchased a bumper after noticing their babies legs sliding through.

Pro

  • Rolls and folds for easy travel and storage
  • Tall enough for under crib storage

Con

  • Additional bumper is recommended

The Right Mattress

One of common issue we found with each of these cribs was with the mattress that is included. Actually, to call it a “mattress” is a bit of a stretch. Really, each of these cribs comes with a 1 inch waterproof mattress “pad” that is not the most ideal for sleeping on.

First of all, it is thin, which does not give your baby much support and is rather uncomfortable for them to lay on for hours at a time. Second, with it being so thin, it tends to curl up when a fitted sheet it put on, causing it to fit poorly in the crib.

Since this was a common issue with each of the cribs we looked at, we want to address it directly and help you find an alternative mattress that is just right for your baby. Included in this list are four different types of mattresses, all made by some the crib brands you saw above, that fit most mini cribs (38” x 24”).

Best Mattress for a Mini Crib

If a foam mattress is what you are looking for, try this one by Dream on Me. It is made of 3 inch thick high density foam, which makes it comfortable for your baby yet firm enough to reduce any suffocation risks. Being made of foam, it is also lightweight, weighing only 2.5 pounds, which allows for easy crib level adjustment and removal when using a foldable crib. It also includes a hypoallergenic waterproof cover which is easy to wipe clean when there is the inevitable mess.

This extra firm mattress is not made of high density foam, but rather polyester fiber batting fill. It is 100% non-toxic, and free from chemical flame retardants. It is firm enough to be comfortable without leaving any depressions that could be potential suffocation hazards for your little one. It also includes a waterproof outer lining and side ventilation to reduce moisture buildup and the development of mould and mildew.

If you are looking for a mattress that is 100% non-toxic and environmentally friendly, the Babyletto Pure Core is sure to satisfy. It is “non-toxic, free from polyurethane foam, ‘soy’ foam, vinyl, PVC, chemical flame retardants, dyes, allergens, phthalates, PFCs, synthetic latex, and off-gassing materials.” It is made from lightweight, fully recyclable polyester core, and includes a unique hybrid cover, which has a soft quilted cotton face and a waterproof backing, which eliminates that crinkly sound that most baby mattresses have.

Final Word

While each of the mini cribs we viewed have 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, can be converted into a twin bed, comparable pricing, and easy to assemble -- the fact that DaVinci offers a conversion kit won us over.

Being made by the same company, you can be sure that it will fit correctly with little to no hassle to you and be a great addition to your nursery.

Questions or comments about mini cribs? Let us know below!

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