This year’s crop of sleeping and nursery products included everything from a minimal Moses basket to a beside crib that converts to a sofa. Our home testers and their children put dozens of different cribs and cots through their paces over 100s of hours, rating them for comfort and ease of use. Our internal testing focussed on sleep safety, as we looked at mattress firmness and breathability, tilting angles and (in the case of bedside cribs) drop-side functionality. We also made sure each one met the requirements of the latest safety standard (BS EN 1130:2019).
With sustainability on many people’s minds, convertibility was a huge trend with many of the products in this line-up, with a number of sleep spaces offering so many uses it was hard to know which category to place them in. Is it a newborn crib? A cot? A bed? Many of these are all of those, and more besides.
Then came the gadgets and gizmos, from baby monitors that track your child’s movement to electric rockers and sleep aids that flood the room with sleep-enhancing red light. These were rated for effectiveness and ease of use, with families across the UK testing them in real life settings and reporting back on battery life, features and value for money.
To round things off we tested nursery accessories, furniture, play mats and all the other items that will finish of your child’s sleep space perfectly.
See the winners in:
- Bedside/Co-Sleeper Crib
- Baby Cot/Cotbed
- Moses Basket & Newborn Crib
- Baby Monitor
- Night-Time Comforter/Sleep Aid
- Baby & Toddler Sleeptime Product
- Swaddle & Sleeping Bag
- Baby Bouncer/Rocker & Swing
- Nursery Accessory
- Play Mat
Key features we tested/judged: Mattress firmness, breathability (mattress breathability test), effectiveness, ease of build, drop-side functionality and safety, extra features, storage options and worth the money.
Joint Gold – Mamas & Papas Lua Bedside Crib, £229
Why it’s a winner: The Lua bedside crib combines many of the key elements that make a bedside crib great: an attractive design, built-in storage, breathable mesh sides, firm mattress, removable bassinet and the option to fold it down for travel. But what really made it stand out is the fact the design puts safety first. Our judges were impressed with the dropside’s one-handed retractable design, which has a built-in auto-return option for parents who choose not to fasten the crib to the bed, ensuring it’s never accidentally left in an unsafe position. Home testers said it was “a breeze to use” and “certainly makes life easier when baby wakes in the night.” Sleep expert Chris McFadden, founder of The Daddy Sleep Consultant, said, “It is a quality product: the mattress is excellent, the functionality is simple and easy.”
In the words of parent tester Keshia, who tested this with their 4 month old: “This is a fabulous product that made nap times for my little one so much easier. The adjustable heights are perfect as I can change the height of the cot depending on which room I’m in. This makes it easier to put her down no matter where I am. The side down feature is a lifesaver for a C-section mother, as you don’t have to bend as much to put a baby into the cot.”
Joint Gold – Tutti Bambini CoZee XL Bedside Crib & Cot, from £299
Why it’s a winner: For parents who want a bedside crib that’ll last longer than the standard 6 months, this innovative design will convert into a cot suitable up to around 2 years, and then with the addition of an extension pack (£189), into a junior bed and finally a sofa that can be used for years to come. Parent tester Katie, mum of a 5-month-old baby, said, “I love the idea of my daughter having the comfort of the same bed as she navigates being a baby and then into toddlerhood.” Our judges were happy to see that as well as delivering on longevity, it also performs from day one, with breathable sides, a decent mattress, a drop-down function that’s easy to use, and storage for nappies, muslins and other useful items. The wooden legs give it a modern look, and there’s an option to use it as a rocking bassinet with the purchase of an additional accessory kit (£30).
In the words of parent tester Jessica, who tested this with their 9 month old: “The cot feels very comfortable, and though my little boy can’t communicate yet, I take a good night’s sleep as a sign of comfort! The bedside crib/standalone crib that’s designed for up to 6 months that you can then turn into a cot is amazing in itself, and definitely worth the money. But then to add an expansion pack and be able to use it right up until they are toddlers, ready for a bed, is excellent and makes the entire purchase so worth it.”
Silver – Chicco Next2Me Magic, £239
Why it’s a winner: The Chicco Next2Me Magic is a competitively-priced bedside crib with one of the simplest and smoothest drop-side mechanisms on the market. Our judges loved that it can be operated with one hand. Couple this with a firm mattress that our sleep expert loved, breezy mesh sides for ventilation and smooth rocking mechanism, and there’s plenty to love. It’s not going to win any prizes for its appearance, but the slim legs and castors make it easy to wheel about, and it feels sturdy and safe. Home testers were impressed with its size, saying it “should last many months even with a tall child”. Chicco recently launched the Next2Me Magic 2, an updated crib which features a slightly different design for activating the rocking mechanism. It’s otherwise the same crib, so shopping via the links below will take you to the newer version.
In the words of parent tester Becky, who tested this with their 1 month old: “It is a brilliant crib, a great size, works well when it’s attached to the bed as a co-sleeper and when it’s free-standing. It couldn’t be easier to use: the height adjustments take seconds and you can raise the side one-handed.”
Bronze – Venture Hush+ Bedside Crib, £179.99
Why it’s a winner: In a category that can be pricey given the short lifespan of the product, this bedside crib represents good value while still offering many of the same features as cribs that cost up to £100 more. Our judges felt the mattress was firm and good quality, it has breathable mesh panels and great storage, and everyone was in agreement that it looks stylish and well-built. While our testers found the drop side function is not as simple as some, it’s a great value buy particularly if you want a bedside crib that stays attached to your bed permanently.
In the words of parent tester Holly, who tested this with their 1 month old: “It’s a stylish, sturdy, easy to use yet affordable crib which can be used to facilitate safe co-sleeping or as a standalone crib. It’s lightweight and the wheels mean it can easily be moved around the house. It is quite large but this does mean there is ample sleep space for growing babies!”
Shortlisted: Silver Cross Voyager
Key features we tested /judged: Ease of build, quality of materials, design, effectiveness, sleep quality, extra features/accessories, convertibility and / or longevity and worth the money
Gold – Obaby Maya Cot Bed, £329.99
Why it’s a winner: “Extremely modern,” stylish and sturdily built according to our judges, the Obaby Maya range wins for the second year in a row, this time for its full-sized cot bed. Both home testers and judges love the Scandinavian-inspired look of this convertible cotbed, which will take your baby from birth to around 4 years old with 3 base heights and 3 bed configurations. “The guard rail option is brilliant and gave us such peace of mind when first transitioning our son into a bed,” said one home tester of the clever staggered design of the toddler bed. Available in two colourways (we love the slate grey) it makes a great centrepiece to a nursery and our testers felt it would last for years.
In the words of parent tester Emily, who tested this with their 19 month old: “The quality, design and look of the cot bed means that I would happily stretch the budget to buy this product. We have proudly shown the bed off to friends and family, all of whom have commented on how beautiful it looks. Its simple yet chic design means it could slot into any nursery perfectly.”
Silver – Obaby Stamford Luxe Sleigh Cot Bed, £439.99
Why it’s a winner: “Versatile”, “elegant” and “classic” were amongst the words our judges and home testers used to describe this cotbed, which delivers traditional style with plenty of modern design details. “The quality is certainly there in the build,” said parent tester Ruth, whose 2 year old tried the transitional function that’s halfway between a cot and cotbed, something Ruth felt was “a huge plus over other models.” Details like a teething rail and underbed storage make this practical as well as pretty, and our judges all felt the sturdy built and timeless design justify the price tag.
In the words of parent tester Hayley, who tested this with their 1 year old: “It looks incredible in the nursery, is definitely made from good-quality wood, and is thoughtfully designed to make transitions easy. The day bed feature means that it is an investment piece well beyond being used as a bed.”
Bronze – Kinderkraft Koya Baby Cot, £279
Why it’s a winner: This convertible 4-in-1 cot starts out as a bedside crib and even has the option to be used with a drop-down side, before converting to a larger cot that’s safe for use up to age 2. Home tester Aimee tried it in this configuration and said, “the next-to-me cot has been a hit for our son and that it allowed us to have a small cot not much bigger than a Moses basket in our room before moving into the nursery.” Judges loved the castors that move it around easily, and the simple, modern two-tone design. Although it’s reportedly not the easiest item to put together (read those instructions twice!), once constructed, it feels sturdy and stable, and offers a great way to get the most for your money.
In the words of parent tester Tanpreet, who tested it with their 9 month old: “It is a multi functional cot that grows with your child which is great, and it can also be used as a playpen after your child has outgrown it for sleeping. It looks very modern and stylish. The wheels on the cot are very useful and make it easy when cleaning the cot and the surrounding areas. I would definitely recommend it to new parents who are looking for a cot with more than one function.”
Shortlisted: Obaby Nika Mini Cot Bed
Key features we tested/judged: Mattress/base firmness, breathability, effectiveness, ease of build, sleep quality, extra features and worth the money
Gold – Babymore Air Motion Gliding Crib, £149
Why it’s a winner: Simple, great value, and well-designed, the big selling point of this crib is its gentle and silent rocking motion, which can be operated by a parent, or – as our testers found – will begin on its own when your baby stirs or rolls, gently soothing them back to sleep (the crib can also be locked so it doesn’t rock if you prefer). Although it lacks some of the customisation options you may get with a cot or bedside crib, our home testers felt the fixed height was perfect, and really liked the simplicity of the design. The mesh sides offer great ventilation and the mattress feels firm and safe.
In the words of parent tester Miranda, who tested this with their 1 month old: “We are impressed with how happy baby is inside it and she enjoys the movement it makes when she rocks it with her body, settling for sleep or a nap. Happy baby, happy parents!”
Buy from: Babymore
Silver – Shnuggle Dreami Moses Basket and Stand, £134.95
Why it’s a winner: If appearance and modern design are just as important at functionality to you, this Moses basket definitely delivers. Our judges loved the clever stand which can be inverted to either rock the basket or secure it like a crib, depending on your preference. Sleep expert Chris McFadden described it as “a stunning product” and felt that “the quality and design are to a high standard, making the extra investment absolutely worth it.” The gently sloped sides of the ventilated basket – coupled with a good quality mattress and bedding – ensure it’s a safe sleep space, and it’s easy to transport around the house during the early months after birth.
In the words of parent tester Lucy, who tested this with their newborn baby:“My 8 week old is not a good sleeper and she’s been willing to do some naps and a bit of overnight sleep in this so far, which I count as a win! It fits in really well in our living room and bedroom and looks lovely. I wasn’t convinced I needed a Moses basket but I’ve actually packed away our side sleeper to use this full time instead.”
Bronze – Purflo PurAir Breathable Crib, £189
Why it’s a winner: Our home testers loved the ease and simplicity of this crib, which features a slim metal frame with a removable bassinet that can be taken out and moved around the house. “Robust” and “stylish” were among the words used to describe it. The mesh sides were a big hit not just for breathability but for the fact they mean you can see your baby from all angles, and it has a firm, safe mattress. Additional accessories like a storage basket and vibrating music box give it further functionality, although our expert judges did point out the toy bar could easily be mistaken for a handle!
In the words of parent tester Kayleigh, who tested this with their 2 month old: “Despite usually crying whenever I set her down, my baby was very settled and happy in this. I would absolutely recommend it to any new mum: it’s so safe and secure, so easy to use on the go, and I love that it allows me to see my baby at all times. On top of all that, it’s so stylish. An absolute must-buy!”
Key features we tested/judged: Ease of use/setup, quality of display, battery life, connection and range, extra features, worth the money and effectiveness
Joint Gold – Nanit Pro Baby Monitor, from £299
Why it’s a winner: From the easy to follow instructions to the distinctive look (“One visitor even thought it was a fancy lamp,” a parent tester said), the Nanit Pro really stands out for the ability to customise and expand it to suit your family. As well as choosing from a number of mounts and stands, you can also add specially-printed wearables such as a band or swaddle to track your child’s breathing in the newborn months, without the need to put an electronic device on or under them. Although there’s no screen and tracking is through an app, parent tester Bianca, who tested this with their 5 month old, said “I always thought I’d prefer a separate monitor that wasn’t linked to my phone via an app but actually, it’s so much easier having it all in one place.”
In the words of parent tester Bianca, who tested this with their 5 month old: “This is the best baby monitoring system I’ve come across and I’ve already recommended it to every parent I know. It’s sophisticated, reliable and high-tech. The app is amazing and the sleep insights are fascinating. For us, the best feature is the video clips. The app collates a ‘night summary’ video, showing you your baby falling asleep, your visits and clips of them stirring. It’s really helpful to look back on in the blurry haze of the morning.”
Joint Gold – Cubo AI Plus Smart Baby Monitor, £189
Why it’s a winner: This “absolutely gorgeous” monitor does a lot more than just look good. There’s some impressive tech inside that cute bird-shaped casing, with our home testers specifically calling out the clever functionality that goes beyond the first 6 months, like the ability to tailor the ‘Covered Face and Rollover Alerts’ for older tummy sleepers, or set alarms for “danger zones” once children are old enough to climb out of bed. The picture is sharp, audio is strong, and even the built-in lullabies and white / brown noise got the thumbs up. This is another monitor that uses an app rather than a separate parent unit, but out testers found it connected quickly and provided great insight for free, with the addition to pay a subscription for further enhancements.
In the words of parent tester Janet, who tested this with their 5 month old: “The Cubo is so much more than just a baby monitor. The other features are perfect for taking care of your child’s wellbeing as a whole. Considering the longevity of the product and its capabilities, this is worth spending money on.”
Silver – Angelcare AC327 Baby Movement Monitor With Video and Sound, £199.99
Why it’s a winner: A movement sensor pad that sits under the mattress is the defining feature of this baby monitor, which also comes with a high-quality camera and a separate parent viewing unit. Parent tester Luke, who tested this with their 6 month old, felt this was “a great feature for peace of mind.” The whole system operates without the need for WiFi or an app, which impressed our judges who know not all parents want their baby monitor hooked up to their home network. Home testers found the sensor to be reliable, and were also impressed by the range on this camera: the screen could be taken out into the garden of some homes.
In the words of parent tester Lucy, who tested this with their 8 month old: “The monitor is very well made and looks good in my little boy’s nursery. The quality of the screen is excellent which means I can clearly see my baby. I like how you can see the temperature of the room and can dress your baby accordingly for safe sleep. It’s reassuring having the added sensor pad in the middle of the night.”
Joint Bronze – BabySense HD Split-Screen Baby Monitor, £179.99
Why it’s a winner: “This is a brilliant baby monitor and it has all the features I was looking for and they function reliably,” said parent tester Alexandra, who tested this with their 2 year old. With two cameras and a split-screen function on the parent unit, this is a great option for growing families, as multiple children can easily be monitored from the same parent unit, whether they’re in the same room or different. Judges and parent testers were impressed with the plug-and-play functionality (no WiFi or apps needed), good quality audio and video, and the overall ease of use, and considered it great value given the fact it comes with two cameras.
In the words of parent tester Elizabeth, who tested this with their two children: “I would definitely recommend this product for parents that have or are planning to have more than one child; in that sense, it is far better value than monitors on the market. In addition to the split-screen mode, which I can no longer live without (!), it also has a fantastic picture, great movement, an ultra-long range, a temperature alert, white noise function and customisable VOX settings. It’s easy to set up and easy to use, whilst looking good in the process.”
Joint Bronze – VTech RM7767HD Smart 7″ Video Baby Monitor, £199.99
Why it’s a winner: The generous 7-inch screen is the key selling point of this monitor – a must for parents who’re addicted to watching “baby TV” – but it also packs in a whole load of other useful features, such as sound and movement monitoring, a built-in nightlight on the camera itself, temperature and humidity sensors and a good wide-angle lens. The downside of the large screen is that it drains the battery quickly but VTech has built in an “auto wake” function to preserve battery life, activating the screen when the child moves or makes a sound. Our judges also liked the fact this monitor can be used with or without WiFi, with the option to view the camera feed via a free app as well as the parent unit if needed.
In the words of parent tester Tara, who tested this with their 8 month old: “It has features I didn’t even realise I needed until now. It provides peace of mind so I no longer need to run upstairs to check on my baby – I can see him in HD from wherever I am. I love its quality visuals, how easy it is to zoom in, and the fantastic two-way talk function. I’m going to recommend it to all my pregnant friends.”
Key features we tested/judged: Quality of product, key features, effectiveness / effect on sleep, child’s reaction and worth the money
Gold – Jaspar the Dreamy Elephant, £49.99
Why it’s a winner: Our home testers and editorial judges were impressed by Jaspar’s many functions but particularly the option to add your own recording of up to 20 minutes – singing, soothing or just speaking in a familiar voice – which makes him truly personalised. Other simple details, like clear embroidered icons for each button were also welcomed, as so often sleep aid toys require a bit of trial and error when pressing buttons. “The sensory designs are fab for brain development,” said expert judge Jacqui Nancey, a Baby Sleep Specialist Midwife. As well as the personalised sound, it also has 6 other options. Parent tester Sarah said, “We’ve been trying to transition my 3 month old into her own bedroom for naps rather than contact naps. The white noise has helped this transition to be a bit smoother.”
In the words of parent tester Tulsi, who tested this with their 5 month old: “There are two features which set this apart. Firstly, the ability to record your own message – or in my case a song! My little one loves it when I sing her a particular lullaby so the fact that I could record it and use it as a comfort and sleeping aid made my life easier. The second features is that there wasn’t a single-button sound unit. Each part of the elephant is clearly marked with an icon and has its own touch button for activation.”
Silver – Tommee Tippee Dreammaker, £29.99
Why it’s a winner: Science and simplicity are at the heart of the Dreammaker, which is compact in design but stuffed full of research-backed features, including the pulsing red light that’s said to encourage the production of the sleep hormone melatonin, and the perfect pitch of pink noise. “The pulsing light is calming for nap time and bedtime,” said parent tester Chantal, who tested this with their 3 month old. It’s designed for use with newborn babies, and our parent testers did find it to be soothing and helpful in those early weeks. Editorial judges loved the addition of features for parents too: once their babies finally do sleep, the red light can be switched to an adult setting to help anxious parents drift off too.
In the words of parent tester Carly, who tested this with their 3 month old: “I would recommend this product to other mums. It’s light, portable, has some handy features and is good value for money compared with other sleep aids on the market. It’s very easy to set up and very easy to use, once you get to know the icons on the buttons!”
Bronze – MAM Air Night Soothers, £7.35
Why it’s a winner: “I’ve watched my son wake up in the night and locate one of these in seconds, thanks to the glow in the dark feature,” said MFM judge Gemma Cartwright. All our testers liked the simple design, designed to maximise airflow to the skin while still being solid enough to stay in the mouth. And parent tester Rebecca, who tested these with their 6 month old, said, “The ability to sterilise the dummies in their own case (which then stayed sterile for up to 24 hours) was a big bonus. No need to plan ahead with a steam steriliser!”
In the words of parent tester Gabriella, who tested these with their 8 month old: “I love the case – it is so convenient. I can sterilise in just 3 minutes. My son took to the soother straightaway, and thanks to the glow in the dark features, it was so easy to find the soother at night time.”
Shortlisted: Babymore Air Motion Gliding Crib | Wooshh – the miniature sound soother
Key features we tested/judged: Ease of use, quality and design, worth the money, effectiveness
Gold – Purflo Sleep Tight Baby Bed, £120
Why it’s a winner: Portable, lightweight and easy to use, this portable baby bed stands out thanks to the firm base and sides, which passed retention, breathability and rigidity tests for safety. Testers loved that it could be taken anywhere, and fulfil the same purpose as a Moses basket during the early months. They also liked the fact that all the fabric elements are fully washable, and the base can be easily wiped clean. “It has been one of the most handy and useful products we have used since our boy was born,” said parent tester Andrea, mum of a 2-month-old baby. By incorporating a firm base and ultra-breathable sides, Purflo has gained certification that the Baby Bed is safe for overnight sleeping.
In the words of parent tester Azraa, who tested this with their newborn: “The Purflo bed is stylish, sleek and is a great size. I’m glad plant-based materials have been used and have been sustainably sourced. It’s fully washable too, so any leaks can be managed easily and quickly.”
Silver – Sue & Samuel Moses Basket Sheet, £12.99
Why it’s a winner: Available in a number of interesting prints (“my 2 year old wants to spot the animals and tell his baby brother what they are,” said parent tester Kim) these high-quality handmade sheets scored highly with testers for their practicality, beauty and ease of care. Not only do they fit a Moses basket, they also work in most pram carrycots, and “didn’t come off with baby who likes to toss, turn and kick.” All our parent testers felt they were worth the initial investment, as they wash well without bobbling or fading, and our judges loved the 100% cotton fabric.
In the words of parent tester Sally, who tested this with their 1 month old: “I can confidently say that it is one of the best sheets I have used for my babies. After a wash, it remains super soft and still fits perfectly. My baby has actually slept really well the last few nights – maybe the sheet has something to do with it? Either way, it’s beautiful and I’ve fallen in love.”
Joint Bronze – Tommee Tippee Dreammaker, £29.99
Why it’s a winner: “The Dreammaker does very well at soothing my baby to sleep,” said parent tester Lyndsey, who tested this with their 4 month old. Our testers thought this light and sound sleep aid was “super easy to use” with great one-touch operation and simple functionality. The red light was praised for helping to aid sleep for parents too, while the pink noise was just the right level to be safe for a baby and not to distracting for parents. It also got the thumbs up for being compact and fitting well on a small bedside table.
In the words of parent tester Kirsty, who tested this with their 3 month old: “My baby had always settled pretty well when I was next to her but, when we started doing bedtimes on her own, she was much more fussy – which is where the Dreammaker came into its own. Having this there to help her relax into sleep with comforting noise and light has made this process much easier.”
Joint Bronze – Tommee Tippee Connected Sleep Trainer Clock, £49.99
Why it’s a winner: Putting a new spin on the toddler training clock, this clock is app-enabled, so parents can make changes to it from their phone at any time, and uses different colours to help kids identify night and day. Our editorial judges were impressed with the curvy, minimal design, and the fact it can be charged up so it’s wire-free during use. “The device has a child lock too, so stops little fingers changing settings,” said parent tester Rachael, who tested this with their 2 year old. Although it won’t work for every child, our testers felt it was definitely worth a shot and the soothing sounds and extra functions just add to the appeal.
In the words of parent tester Emma, who tested this with their 3 year old: “The simple concept of one colour being night time and the other colour being morning worked brilliantly and my son understood well. We chose a nice blue light for night time and this has doubled up as a night light. The clock has been absolutely brilliant! Our son has stayed in bed until 6am (the morning time we set) around 9/10 times. We are so impressed and thankful!”
Shortlisted: Take Five Aromatherapy Dream Easy Pillow & Room Spray
Key features we tested/judged: Ease of use, quality of product, worth the money, extra features / design details, comfort for baby, ease of washing, fabric choice and effectiveness.
Gold – Purflo Swaddle to Sleep Bag, £26
Why it’s a winner: Hailed as “a fantastic alternative to a blanket or swaddle blanket” by our testers, the Purflo Swaddle to Sleep Bag is designed for use from birth to 4 months. It’s a versatile choice, offering the option of swaddling your baby with arms in or out. Parent tester Samantha, who tested out the bag with their 2-month-old baby, said “it gives parents peace of mind that if their baby does a little wriggle in bed they will be safely snuggled into a sleeping bag”, rather than worrying about blankets. Our other parent testers praised the soft and snuggly material, how well the bag washed in the machine and how it’s car seat and pushchair compatible (with arms out).
In the words of parent tester Raine, who tested this with their newborn baby: “I found this easier than most sleepsuits to get on and off and loved how the whole thing fully unzips for nappy changes. It’s stylish and has washed with no fading or shrinkage but, above all, my newborn is happy, so I’m happy.”
Silver – Merino Kids Standard Weight Go Go Bag, from £75
Why it’s a winner: The luxurious quality of this merino wool sleeping bag won our parent testers over, with Alex, mum of a 22 month old, commenting “it’s of the highest quality, feels really soft and my little boy always chooses this bag for bedtime.” Our parent testers and judges were impressed by the temperature-regulating properties of the merino wool, which mean the bag can be used all year round, which they agreed made it feel more cost-effective vs buying multiple sleep sacks with different tog ratings. Simple to get on and zip up, our mums gave it the thumbs up for washing well at 30°, with tester Alex adding that after multiple washes “it feels just as soft as when it was brand new”.
In the words of parent tester Sammy, who tested this with their 22 month old: “It’s incredibly soft, has a thoughtful design and feels luxurious. I love the generous sizing and the seatbelt access outlet – I wish more sleeping bags had this as standard as it’s so handy.”
Buy from: Merino Kids
Bronze – Purflo Baby Sleep Bag, from £39
Why it’s a winner: This sleeping bag won over our testers thanks to its unbeatable comfort, with one parent tester declaring “I can’t think how a sleep bag could be any comfier!” The clever zip on/zip off sleeves make this a fantastic all-season option for parents, which our testers felt made it super value. Machine-washable and suitable to throw in the tumble dryer, it impressed our parent testers by “maintaining its shape, colour and softness” and the beautiful designs and unisex patterns were a hit across the board. “”It’s my go-to new baby gift for all my friends now,” said parent tester Stacey, who tested this with their 4 month old.
In the words of parent tester Ruth, who tested this with their 4 month old: “Sometimes you come across a product and think, ‘Why doesn’t everyone have one of these?’ It’s just so, so soft, and the great curved zip allows for easy night time changes when your eyes are half closed.”
Key features we tested/judged: Effectiveness, ease of use, quality of product, extras/accessories and worth the money
Gold – Munchkin Bluetooth Enabled Lightweight Baby Swing, £199.99
Why it’s a winner: This swing really lives up to its name in terms of being lightweight, and it’s also easy to fold down flat. “We found using the chair during visits to other people’s houses was ideal, since it can be collapsed and taken apart and takes up very little room,” said parent tester Andy, who tested this with their 4 month old. Despite being streamlined, there is plenty of innovation inside that easy-to-transport smooth plastic frame. The swing can be operated by remote, and you can also connect your phone by Bluetooth to play your own choice of music or soothing sounds from your phone. The motion is smooth and silent, and the seat and harness keep your child safe.
In the words of parent tester Stephanie, who tested this with their 3 month old: “This swing really saved the day. I think that we both enjoyed this equally. My son was instantly settled in this and I was able to do a few bits of housework and make dinner knowing he was safe and secure.”
Silver – Babymoov Swoon Motion 360° Electric Swing, £189.99
Why it’s a winner: This swing definitely delivers in the looks department, with parent testers and editorial judges agreeing that it looks stylish, with soft fabrics and high end touches. As the name would suggest, it has the ability to swing a full 360°, which does mean it takes up a reasonable amount of space, but it packs in plenty of features and settings as a result. “The motion detector is extremely useful,” said one parent tester; when the swing detects the baby fidgeting and crying, it’ll automatically start up and try and soothe them. The colourful toy bar was also welcome addition, although testers did report that it dropped a bit low in some positions.
In the words of parent tester Kimren, who tested this with their 3 month old: “I really like this product. It looks expensive, feels high-end with the choice of materials and we like the rocking and 360° rotation modes. My baby seemed very happy and comfortable.”
Joint Bronze – Chicco Rhythm n Sound, £99
Why it’s a winner: As parent tester Jenna, who tested this with their 4 month old, put it, “I feel like the swaying action makes it unique to other standard bouncers, and a lot cheaper than other swaying equipment.” It doesn’t have the multiple settings of a swing but, as a result, it’s far more affordable and still has a motorised glide to gently soothe your baby, and built-in lullaby sounds. “It’s very attractive-looking, sleek and the colours are nicely muted,” said one parent tester, and our judges agreed it delivers on the looks front. It also folds flat for storage and takes up less space than others in this list.
In the words of parent tester Robie, who tested this with their 3 month old: “This is a great product and easy to use. My baby is very settled when we put him in the seat. He likes the music and how the chair rocks gently.”
Joint Bronze – Kinderkraft Luli, £99
Why it’s a winner: At half the price of some of the rockers on this list, this boasts a toy bar, a nicely padded seat, a rocking motion and 12 different lullabies. Although our testers did feel the budget price was reflected in terms of functionality (it only goes side to side which doesn’t work for all babies) when it worked, it really worked, with one parent tester saying, “compared to the other chair both my daughters have used, the Luli is better in every way”. The muted colours were also a hit across the board.
In the words of parent tester Desi, who tested this with their 2 month old: “It is secure and sturdy, and I love the design of it. My daughter always looks happy and comfortable when she’s in it, which allows me to get on with things or to simply have a break from holding a baby all day long. I wish I’d known about it when I had my first baby!”
Key features we tested/judged: Effectiveness, design, usefulness, ease of use, quality of product and worth the money
Gold — Tommee Tippee Groegg2, £29.99
Why it’s a winner: An iconic nursery accessory, and for good reason; the Tommee Tippee Groegg2 is an updated version of a classic. The instantly recognisable egg-shaped device works as a room thermometer and a night light in one, and our testers agreed it’s an invaluable addition to any baby’s room. Parent tester Jennifer, mum to an 8-month-old baby, loved how it instantly helps you work out what to dress your baby in for bedtime or what tog sleeping bag to use, with a quick glance at the colour of the light or temperature reading. Our other parent testers liked the modern and stylish design and found the dimmable night light handy for night-time nappy changes, too.
In the words of parent tester Trusha, who tested this with their 7-month-old: “The colour display means I don’t necessarily need to read the temperature display, which makes life a bit easier as you can see it from a distance. The USB plug and straightforward instructions make it really easy to use.”
Silver — Obaby Reclining Glider Chair and Stool, £229.99
Why it’s a winner: Our parent testers couldn’t fault this “very well made, high-end” chair on looks or usefulness, with parent tester Katherine, mum of two, adding, “it offers extreme comfort when feeding or soothing your baby. I wish I had invested in it first time around!” The chair effortlessly glides to give a soothing rocking motion, perfect for comforting a grizzly baby, while the multiple recline options mean you can easily find a position to save your aching back. Our testers found the stool – which also glides – a welcome addition, and thoughtful touches like side pockets and comfortable cushions scored highly.
In the words of parent tester Samantha, who tested this with their 2 month old and toddler: “This was very effective at helping to rock my 10-week-old baby to sleep, and our toddler loves to read stories with us in the chair. It’s very easy to build, it looks stylish and feels like a quality purchase.”
Joint Bronze — Flexi Air 360 Pro, £54.99
Why it’s a winner: Hailed as “a game-changer” by our parent testers, this freestanding baby monitor holder means you can always get a perfect view of your baby, without having to drill into the walls or create a tower of books to get the right angle. The clean and versatile design of the Flex Air 360 Pro means it will seamlessly fit into all styles of nurseries. Our parent testers reported that it was very easy to set up and ready to use in minutes, and loved how it kept the monitor out of baby reach. Although it’s not cheap, it’s sturdy and well made, and makes getting the perfect view a breeze.
In the words of parent tester Tara, who tested this with their 8 month old: “Set up was super-fast and pain-free, which is exactly what new parents need when time is limited. It’s a really flexible solution and I like how the base has a real weight to it, which means it won’t fall over, even when knocked.”
Joint Bronze — DockATot Deluxe+, £130
Why it’s a winner: Sleek and modern, this distinctive, multi-use baby dock impressed our parent testers with its versatility. Emily, mum of 2, said, “My baby really enjoys lying in it for periods throughout the day and it’s a safe space for him away for our destructive toddler.” Suitable for supervised lounging, play, rest and tummy time, our testers found it a great portable way to help you keep baby close while doing chores and rated its super soft comfiness and breathable materials. They also liked how it easily fitted into its original bag for storing away or travelling.
In the words of parent tester Emily, who tested this with their 2 month old: “It definitely makes life easier as it’s a comfy and familiar space for your baby, so wherever it is placed they can feel happy, safe and content. I like how the cover can be easily zipped off and washed, too.”
Shortlisted: The Gilded Bird Fitted Cot Sheet | Babymore Air Motion Gliding Crib
Key features we tested/judged: Effectiveness, design, comfort for baby/child, ease of cleaning, ease of use, quality of product and worth the money
Gold – Babycare Playmat from Mataplay, £148
Why it’s a winner: This double-sided playmat absolutely wowed our parent testers who were instantly impressed with the high quality and fantastic good looks. Parent tester Beverly commented that having one side with a “elegant, child-friendly design” and the other with a more neutral pattern meant t would “blend in well in most rooms” and she loved how it was interchangeable. Wipe clean and waterproof – music to the ears of parents of toddlers in the midst of potty training – the playmat was widely praised for its comfort and practicality.
In the words of parent tester Kelly, who tested this with their 12 month old: “I love how you can change the atmosphere of the room with just flip of the mat. It’s extremely stylish and modern, and I can see it lasting a long time.”
Buy from: Mataplay
Silver – Taf Toys Savannah Super-Size Foam Playmat, £49.99
Why it’s a winner: Perfect for creating a large play area, this super-size foam playmat was a hit with our parent testers, thanks to its great price point and portability. It’s simple to fold up, despite its size, and parent tester Tulsi, who tested this with their 5-month-old baby, said she had no problems packing it up and taking it to her baby’s grandparents’ house for a playdate . She added, “It’s great if you do not want a permanent playmat in your living space.” Our other parent testers loved the thick, soft foam material of the reversible playmat, which features a sweet animal design on one side and a more modern print on the other.
In the words of parent tester Madison, who tested this with their 6 month old baby: “The Safari print is fun for babies and provides a sensory element with the bright colours and textured alphabet and numbers. I love how simple it is to clean and how easily it can be stored away. And the milestone cards included are fun, too!”
Bronze – Munchkin & Bear Luxe Padded Play Mat, from £95
Why it’s a winner: “Super-stylish and practical” was the verdict of our parent testers, who thought this playmat would make a very welcome addition to any home. Despite being lightweight and easy to roll out, our testers were so impressed with its thickness and how comfy it was to sit and lie-on – in fact, one parent tester even used it as an exercise mat! It’s fully wipeable (our testers found it a breeze to keep clean) and the reversible design was a big hit, offering some versatility depending on your interior style preferences. Parent tester Anna, who tested this with their 11 month old, thought it was a great all-rounder and “a safe, practical and well-designed mat for a young family.”
In the words of parent tester Hannah, who tested this with their 9 month old: “As silly as it may sound, this product has certainly changed my life for the better. As a first-time mummy of a young child who is finding their feet and exploring, it’s ideal. I don’t have to worry about messy floors or bumped heads!”
Buy from: Munchkin & Bear
See all our MFM Award winners:
- Prams, pushchairs, lightweights and double buggies – 2022 winners
- Baby carriers, slings and wraps – 2022 winners
- Family health, bathtime and skincare products – 2022 winners
- Breastfeeding and bottlefeeding products – 2022 winners
- Nappies, changing and potty training products – 2022 winners
- Products for your pregnancy – 2022 winners
- Lifestyle, travel, fashion, books, toys and gifts – 2022 winners
- MadeForMums Special Awards – 2022 winners
- MadeForMums Editor’s Choice Awards – 2022 winners
The MadeForMums Awards editorial team is led by Consumer & Reviews Editor Christy McGhee, Consumer & Commerce Editor Gemma Cartwright, and Editorial Director Susie Boone and comprises Janet Mtima, Emily Longman Wall, Chloe Brightwell, Catherine Ball, Janet Martin, Sarah Dawson, Gabrielle Nathan, Claire Belle Freed, Lucy Waterlow and Cheryl Freedman who have created, written and edited these pages after rigorous testing and judging by our panel of home testers, experts and editorial judges. Images by Emma Winchester. With thanks to Danielle Graph, Emma Onuma, Tayla Emmons, Helen Brown, Helen Salter and Amber Newlands.