What Is The Best Porta Crib?

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I live about three hours away from my family. It’s one of those drives you can’t do all the time, but when I do I like to stay for a couple of days. Having the right porta crib is so essential while I’ve over there. In the beginning, I would just bring along her Rock ‘n’ Play or her bassinette. But as she grew older, it became clear she needed more room. That’s where finding the best porta crib comes into play, and here are some of my top picks.

Key Features

Basic is best when buying a new crib. In accordance with SIDS recommendations, you don’t want fancy cushions, bumpers, etc. Just a firm surface will do, thank you very much. Buying new is also advised, because older models may be damaged or no longer meet safety requirements.

After those safety essentials are covered, it’s going to be all about convenience and style. Is is something you can fold and put away in a closet? Does it need to be a certain color to match the decor in the room? Are there wheels on it if you want to be able to travel easily from room to room? How easy or difficult is the assembly?

Best Porta Crib Picks

Name/Image Learn MoreRating
Delta Children Portable Mini Crib

Delta Children Portable Mini Crib

view pricesfull reviews 4.5 Star Average Rating
Graco Travel Lite Stages Manor

Graco Travel Lite Stages Manor

view pricesfull reviews 4.5 Star Average Rating
Lotus Travel Crib

Lotus Travel Crib

view pricesfull reviews 4.5 Star Average Rating
Dream On Me 2 in 1 Portable Folding Stationary Side Crib

Dream On Me 2 in 1 Portable Folding Stationary Side Crib

view pricesfull reviews 4.5 Star Average Rating
Baby Bjorn Travel Crib Light

Baby Bjorn Travel Crib Light

view pricesfull reviews 4.5 Star Average Rating

5 Best Porta Cribs

Delta Children Portable Mini Crib

Strong and sturdy, this model is constructed out of wood and is JPMA-certified. It has a stationary front and back rail and a two-position mattress height adjustment. Lightweight and foldable, it comes with a 1-inch mattress pad, and measures 6 inches when folded flat. It has wheels and is available in multiple colors (natural, cherry and white).

The mattress may be a little on the flimsy side for some. If this crib is going to get some heavy use, you may consider buying your own mini travel mattress and swapping it out. However, if it’s just for the occasional tip to grandma’s, then it may not be a problem for you.

See The Delta Children Portable Mini Crib On Amazon.

Graco Travel Lite Stages Manor

The Graco Travel Lite Stages Manor is a versatile travel crib. It converts easily into a portable playard. Weighing less than 20 pounds, its height also grows with your baby. Like the Delta, it is very nice and compact when folded. There are three stages – newborn, infant (under 20 lbs) and toddler (over 20 lbs up to 35” tall). It’s 20% smaller than traditional playards if you’re trying to gauge how big it is compared to the Pack ‘n” Play (they sound similar, right?). If you’re concerned about having to buy too much baby gear as your child grows, this could be a great addition.

Make sure you’re getting sheets that are size appropriate. In fact, Graco sells sheets that will fit the mattress exactly. This can actually be a safety concern, so don’t skimp on getting sheets that are the right fit. Some parents even use changing pad covers, but for me personally I would want the extra reassurance that the sheets are specifically marketed for the mattress.

See The Graco Travel Lite Stages Manor on Amazon.

 

Lotus Travel Crib

The Lotus Travel Crib takes 15 seconds to set up, and can be transported as a backpack that even passes the carry-on test on airplanes. If you’re environmentally conscious, it’s free of flame retardants, PVC, phthalates and lead. Clocking in at only 13 pounds, it also also has a side door. (That the side door sounds super appealing as somebody who has to bend pretty far down now when I’m placing my girl at the bottom of her playard.)

Just like the Graco Travel Lite, you’ll need to consider buying the sheets specifically marketed for the crib. In other words, you aren’t going to be able to buy Pack ‘n’ Play sheets and have them fit well on the mattress, which again is a safety hazard. This Lotus Travel Crib is commonly compared to the Baby Bjorn Travel Crib Light, which I get to further down on my list.

See The Lotus Travel Crib On Amazon.

Dream On Me 2 in 1 Portable Folding Stationary Side Crib

The Dream On Me has a patented rail system and folds flat for storage or travel. It can be converted to a crib or a playpen and conveniently comes with a mattress pad. The crib can fit easily under a bed, and it only takes three steps to get it bed-time ready. The adjustable height option gives you two levels, and front-locking wheels keeps the crib from moving around on its own. Dream On Me complies with ASTM standards and is available in multiple finishes.

Marketed as a “convenience space-saver for the urban parent”, this one’s great for apartment dwellers or “millenial ‘on-the-go’ families.” Like many of the of the other models, if this is going to be your child’s primary sleeping space, you may consider purchasing a separate mattress. You also may have trouble assembling this one, so this one’s probably best for somebody who has access to somebody who knows their way around a toolbox.

See The Dream On Me 2 in 1 Portable Folding Stationary Side Crib on Amazon. 

Baby Bjorn Travel Crib Light

Easy to carry and use, the Baby Bjorn porta crib is often compared to the Lotus travel crib. They’re both even 13 pounds. This portable crib is JPMA certified and has safe, breathable mesh sides. It’s washable, and can be used for babies and children from 0 to 3 years old.

If you’re a frequent flyer, you may want to consider the Lotus instead, as the Baby Bjorn can’t be checked in as a carry on. If you really want simple, quick assembly, on the other hand, then the Baby Bjorn may be better for you. While it costs a little more than the Lotus, the Baby Bjorn has a slightly better mattress and already comes with a fitted sheet.

See The Baby Bjorn Travel Crib Light on Amazon.

Conclusion

When trying to find the best porta crib for your needs, you’ll first need to determine how often your baby is going to be using it. This will help you decide whether you want to also buy a better mattress. From there, it’s all about convenience and style. The options range from wooden, traditional-looking cribs you can fold away to those what look more like playards that you can carry on a plane. It all goes back to why you’re seeking a porta crib in the first place.

Loading up on baby gear? Be sure to check out our best baby scales for breastfeeding and favorite baby food makers! We also have super useful guides on the best affordable baby swings and the top rated baby swings.


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