What’s The Best Porta Crib?
Published: September 11, 2017
I live about three hours away from my family. It’s one of those drives I can’t do all the time, but when I do I like to stay for a couple of days. Having the best 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.
For any families with a little one there are plentiful reasons to invest in a porta-crib. Their space saving design makes them great for apartment life or when sharing a room with a sibling. Frequent flier? Many porta cribs are lightweight and fold up for easy transport, even as carry-ons. Going on a vacation soon? Instead of using a borrowed cot or crib from the hotel, bring a porta crib so your babe has a comfortable, familiar place to rest their head at night. Regular weekend trips to the in-laws or grandparents house? Many porta cribs have easy set up and fold down when not in use, making them perfect for compact storage at your usual destination. Even daycares can benefit from porta cribs, as their small measurements take up much less room than a standard crib, and space is important when caring for multiple children.
With many different options on the market today, it was important to find a porta-crib that was safe and provided comfort. After researching multiple options and reading many reviews I was able to compile a list of my top picks, all great options when needing a space-saving crib that offers the needed features you expect from a full-sized one.
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. That means you may want to think twice before buying a crib from a garage sale or online ad, even if it’s at a great price.
After those safety essentials are covered, it’s going to be all about convenience and style. Is it 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 allowing for easy travel from room to room? How easy or difficult is the assembly? Can I travel with it or is it better suited for staying at one residence.
10 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, since it’s only an inch thick. 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. The crib supports weight of 6-35 pounds, meaning this crib will suit your needs from infancy through toddlerhood, as long as your child doesn’t exceed 38 inches. Also, the Delta Children Portable Mini Crib weighs just under 35 pounds, making it a better choice for being a sleeping option at one place, instead of traveling around on adventures far and wide.
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, it is easy to transport, just pick it up and go. And with the signature push-button fold found on many Graco products, setup and takedown are super easy. The Graco Travel Lite is also height adjustable, allowing it to grow with your baby from birth to toddler. It comes with an attachable canopy with a darling toy bar to keep baby interested and amused. The sides are constructed of breathable mesh, providing easy visibility and safety. 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.
Lotus Travel Crib
The Lotus Travel Crib takes 15 seconds to set up, and can be easily transported as a backpack that even passes the carry-on test for airplane travel. If you’re environmentally conscious of the potential dangers and toxins in your home, especially around your child, The Lotus Travel Crib will ease your worried mind about being free of flame retardants, PVC, phthalates and lead. Clocking in at only 13 pounds, it’s a lightweight option that means is good for use wherever your family ventures. It also has a side door that zips open, allowing easy entry for putting baby down or easy exit for the busy toddler eager to crawl out. (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.) The sides are composed of mesh from top to bottom, allowing you to keep a watchful eye on your sleeping baby, while the top is nicely padded to keep baby safe.
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. The available sheets designed specifically for this crib have cutouts that fit the velcro straps that attach to the crib, allowing the mattress pad to stay securely in place. This Lotus Travel Crib is commonly compared to the Baby Bjorn Travel Crib Light, which I get to further down on my list.
Dream On Me 2 in 1 Portable Folding Stationary Side Crib
The Dream On Me has a patented rail system that allows you to change it from crib to playpen with one hand. The hinged back rails allow the crib to be folded flat for storage under a bed, travel, or for instant space saving. It is multifunctional as a crib, changing table, or playpen and conveniently comes with a 1-inch mattress pad. A three step setup process makes it easy to go from folded to ready for naptime or bedtime in no time. 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 free from phthalates, lead, latex, and BPA. It is available in 5 finishes (black, white, espresso, natural wood, and cherry), making this crib an easy fit with any style or look.
Marketed as a “convenient space-saver for the urban parent”, this one’s great for apartment dwellers or “millenial ‘on-the-go’ families.” Weighing a little over 30 pounds means this crib won’t be traveling along with you on any grand adventures like some of the other picks, but it would be an ideal choice for places frequently visited like Grandma’s house, or even used in a daycare setting. Like many of the of the other brands featured here, if this is going to be your child’s primary sleeping space you may consider purchasing a separate mattress. An easy to follow instruction guide included for assembly, but it may take a bit of time to put this crib together. If you know your way around a toolbox or know someone who does, assembly would be a breeze.
Baby Bjorn Travel Crib Light
Easy to carry and easier to use, the Baby Bjorn Travel Crib Lite is often compared to the Lotus travel crib in terms of style, design, and usability. They’re both lightweight at 13 pounds as well. This portable crib is JPMA certified, meaning it conforms to the highest safety standards and has safe, breathable mesh sides which are certified to be safe from harmful substances and allergens. Both the mattress cover and crib fabric are washable, making messes an easy fix. Mesh panels surround the crib sides, making it possible to keep an eye on your sleeping child from any angle. This crib measures 44 inches in length, making it possible for use from birth up to age 3, or until your child can climb out.
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. However, the Baby Bjorn does fold up into a compact package, so packing in checked luggage would definitely be possible. 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. This crib is available in five simple colors, appealing for both boys and girls.
DaVinci Alpha Mini Rocking Crib
This space saving crib exceeds all ASTM/CPSC safety standards in load strength, lead content, and its absence of phthalates. Their Greenguard Gold Certification means this crib has been tested for the presence of over 10,000 chemicals and been certified as low-emitting. When it comes to a environmentally friendly and safe option for your little one, the DaVinci Alpha is a great choice.
This crib has four adjustable mattress positions and comes with a 1-inch waterproof mattress pad (with an optional 4-inch custom fitting mattress available for an additional cost). By removing the wheels the crib is able to rock, gently swaying your baby to sleep in a soothing motion. This lightweight crib weighs in at 25.5 pounds and its narrow design allows it to easily fit through doorways. It is a breeze to set up, only requiring a screwdriver and around 30 minutes of your time. Although not collapsible for easy storage, with the quick setup time moving this crib around as needed is next to no hassle. It’s a wonderful choice for keeping at a not-too-distant relative’s place for the times you pop in for a weekend visit.
Six appealing color options are available, along with the option to purchase a crib and 4-inch mattress combo, ideal for when using as the main sleeping space for your baby.
Babyletto Origami Mini Crib
The Origami Mini Crib is a modern, high-quality, space-saving crib perfect for small spaces or for being used as a crib-away-from-home while traveling. Equipped with an uncomplicated folding mechanism, you will be able fold this crib flat in no time for easy storage. Locking rollers allow you to move the crib throughout your home and easily lock them when the crib is in use.
A 1’ mattress pad is included with the purchase of this crib, however, a non-toxic, waterproof mini crib mattress is also available for purchase from Babyletto. Two adjustable mattress levels allow you to choose the appropriate height for your child. This crib is recommended for use from the newborn stage to around 18 months, meaning you won’t get the extended use that many other cribs on this list offer.
Constructed with New Zealand Pine and free from phthalates and other toxins, this is a safe option when concerning your child’s health in relation to environmental risks. With six different color options, all perfect for matching with your nursery or space, you will definitely be able to find a crib that suits your tastes and style.
L.A. Baby Deluxe Holiday Folding Metal Crib
This crib is perfect for weekends at Grandma’s house. It arrives at your residence already fully assembled and easily folds up for storage placement. It’s a bit reminiscent of the old-fashioned style of cribs often shown in movies, and is the only crib on this list made of metal. A three inch thick mattress is included with purchase, which is a huge perk since many cribs on this list only come with an inch-thick mattress pad or offer thicker options for an additional cost. As stated earlier, It is constructed of metal and has a non-toxic powder coat finish that cleans up well and won’t scratch. At slightly over 42 pounds, this isn’t a crib you’ll be taking with you on flights or to hotels (unless you really want to lug it down hallways and up stairs). Another possible downfall is that the Baby Deluxe Holiday Folding Metal Crib is only available in white. A great color for matching with anything, but not always a great option when wanting a more personalized look to your nursery or home.
This crib is able to be rolled wherever necessary with sturdy castors, and an added bonus of foam bumpers that means you won’t dent or damage any doorways or walls the crib may bump into. You can keep this crib dust and dirt free while in storage by purchasing the optional nylon storage cover. All in all, this crib may not be the most visually appealing on this list, but it stands up to wear and tear and it’s instant assembly can’t be beat.
Valco Baby Zephyr Travel Crib
This travel crib comes with a handy carrying case, and with its lightweight design of a whopping 14 pounds, it’s super easy to carry from place to place. Just unpack when needed, secure the legs, and flip over. Put in the included mattress pad and voila! The crib is ready for baby’s nap or bedtime. While the mattress pad may be on the thin side, reviews state it is actually very comfortable for baby.
The Baby Zephyr also includes an insect net, perfect for keeping the bugs out while enjoying a day outdoors. A handy pocket holds the net when not in use and can also store the carrying case as well. A mesh half-panel circles the sides of the crib, granting you a mostly clear visual of your child from a distance. Only available in two color options, this travel crib may not have the customization options of some other cribs on the list, but its speedy setup and handy travel case make it a great choice for families that travel often by car or plane. At 34 inches in length, this crib will last well into the toddler stages, making it a great investment for long-term use.
phil&teds Traveller Crib
This is a great crib for any frequent flier families. Composed of lightweight fabric and frame, the Traveller Crib weighs in at only 6 pounds. Even better, it folds up into an ultra-compact carry-on bag perfect for air travel or it can be neatly added to your suitcase and still leave plenty of room for other travel necessities.
The Traveller Crib comes with a self-inflating mattress (which is a very unique feature not seen with the other cribs on this list) and its own sheet (also a rare occurrence), ensuring you have a perfectly safe fit for your baby. A zip open side lets your little one crawl out easily after an afternoon nap, while the mesh side panels surrounding the frame allow parents to keep an eye on their sleeping child. The fabric is washable, allowing for easy cleanup and is also certified to be free from potentially health hazardous materials. With only one color option, variety isn’t a strong point for this crib. And although accurate dimensions are not provided, it isn’t the biggest porta crib on this list and may not fit children over 2. However, for hotel stays, outdoor adventures, and easy travel, especially to faraway destinations,this Traveller Crib sits right near the top for its convenience.
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. Some of the heavier cribs on this list may be more appropriate for use in places frequently visited and stored there, as opposed to being packed up and brought with time and time again. The lightweight options on this list are ideal for frequent travelers and they all have easy set-up and generally pack up compactly. Determining the cribs usage will also help you decide whether you want to buy a better mattress or stick with the included mattress pad (in most cases). From there, it’s all about convenience and style. The options range from wooden, traditional-looking cribs you can fold away to those that look more like playards that you can carry on a plane. Another important aspect to consider is price. These cribs are spread out over a large range of prices, so there is a little variety in finding the perfect crib that fits into your budget. And finally safety. Many parents find comfort in certifications and safety testing, helping to ease their minds about providing a safe and secure sleeping environment for their child. Many options of this list have specific safety certifications displayed in bold, making an effort to put safety concerns first. So, all-in-all, it goes back to why you’re seeking a porta crib in the first place.
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