Choosing your baby’s first bed is so important, and it's probably something you've been thinking about a lot since finding out you're expecting. There are lots of different sleeping options for your baby, from a tiny crib for the first few months right up to a cotbed that can last years, so how do you choose what’s right for you and your baby?

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The NHS advises that your baby should sleep in the same room as you for at least the first six months of their life – longer if you can. This is because keeping your baby close by overnight can help avoid the risk of sudden infant death syndrome (SIDS), but, trust us, it’s also much more convenient for those night time feeds and nappy changes if you don’t have to trek into another room!

What should my newborn sleep in?

The Lullaby Trust says the safest place for your baby to sleep on is a flat, firm, stable surface. They recommend a separate cot, crib or Moses basket.

It's fine to put your newborn straight into a full-sized cot or cot bed, but many new parents prefer something smaller and more cosy. A Moses basket or crib makes a perfect first bed for your newborn, as you can have one in even the smallest of bedrooms and still give your baby their own sleeping space, plus they can often be moved to other rooms as you go about your day.

What's the difference between a Moses basket, a crib and a bedside/c0-sleeper crib?

A moses basket are usually smaller than a crib or bedside crib and some may only last until 4 months, compared with 6 months for a crib. It's portable and is usually placed on the floor, although some have stands available.

Cribs are larger and generally last until your baby is around 6 months and will be elevated on legs.

Bedside cribs fasten to the side of your bed and have a drop-down side for easy access. We have a separate guide for bedside (also called co-sleepers or even next to me cribs) – 10 of the best bedside cribs.

If you need help making the choice between a Moses basket, crib or bedside crib, see this feature that helps you understand the differences between them.

What should I look for in a Moses basket or a crib?

Size – Cribs and Moses baskets are specifically designed for newborns so by nature they are smaller and take up less space than a cot, but some may still need a lot of floor space if they have stands, legs or other accessories.

Portability – Many cribs and Moses baskets can be moved around the house so your child can sleep close to you at all times. Some are designed to be suitable for travel too. However, do note you shouldn't move a Moses basket or crib with the baby in it, always take them out first.

Mattress – The mattress is as important as the crib or Moses basket itself. Look for something firm, flat and breathable, and buy a replacement mattress if you use the crib for multiple children (see the end of this article for more on this).

Features – Many of the cribs and Moses baskets in this list have extra features such as the ability to rock, adjustable heights, even built-in sound or mobiles. These are handy but they're not necessary, so only invest if you think you will use these features a lot.

Fabrics and bedding – You will need a fitted sheet, or one that’s well tucked in and the right size for your mattress, which often means buying from the brand that produced your crib. Check if any fabrics or mattress covers can be removed and machine washed, as newborns make a lot of mess

The best Moses baskets and cribs at a glance

Best for smooth rocking: Babymore Air Motion Gliding Crib, £149
Best for a stylish look: Shnuggle Dreami Moses Basket and Stand, £134.95
Best for breathability: Purflo PurAir Breathable Crib, £199
Best for organic materials: Little Green Sheep Quilted Moses Basket, £144.90
Best for a traditional option: John Lewis Anyday Moses Basket, £49
Best for sustainability: Clair de Lune Sustainable Moses Basket, £119.99
Best for soothing your baby: Snoo Smart Sleeper, £1145.00
Best for travel: Kinderkraft Lovi, £89
Best for silent use: MoKee WoolNest, £124
Best for space saving: UPPAbaby carrycot, £299.99

Here are the best Moses baskets and cribs for 2023

1. Babymore Air Motion Gliding Crib, from £149

– Best for smooth rocking

Babymore Air Motion Gliding Crib

Suitable for: birth to 6 months / 9kg | Weight: 6 kg | Dimensions: 91 x 63 x 74 | Mattress size: 83 x 41 cm | Awards: Gold - Moses baskets & newborn cribs, MadeForMums Awards 2022 |

This innovative crib has a parent-operated gliding motion – just rock it back and forth with one hand to help your restless baby get to sleep. It will also move gently if your baby stirs, helping them to self-settle during the night. The lack of wires or batteries to contend with makes it simple to use and the bassinet can be locked in place when you don’t want it to glide.

Parent tester Miranda, who tested this with their one-month-old baby, commented: "I was pleasantly surprised how a gently rocking crib that could be set off by the child would be such a useful device...We are impressed with how happy our baby is inside it and she enjoys the movement it makes when she rocks it with her body, settling for sleep or a nap."

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The breathable mesh sides mean that you and your baby can easily see each other, which can be very reassuring in the early days, and the crib height of 74 cm means that putting your baby in or lifting them out is easy.

You have a choice of cream, grey or slate colourways, all with smart wooden legs that ensure the crib feels sturdy and safe even when it's rocking. These do give it quite a large overall footprint, but still much smaller than a standard cot.

Both the crib and mattress covers can be removed for washing, and the crib comes with a reflux wedge to allow you to raise your baby’s head a little if they have colic or reflux. We recommend speaking to your GP or health visitor for advice before using any kind of wedge or tilt.

When you are not using the crib, or if you want to travel with it or store it away, the lightweight bassinet folds and the legs can be removed and it’s all popped into its own travel bag.

Pros: Built-in rocking motion, washable fabrics, folds for travel
Cons: Takes up quite a lot of space

Available from: Babymore and Pramworld

2. Little Green Sheep Natural Quilted Moses Basket & Mattress, from £134.90 (static stand), £139.90 (rocking stand)

– Best for organic materials

Little Green Sheep Natural Quilted Moses Basket & Mattres

Suitable for: birth to 4-6 months | Weight: 3.4 kg | Dimensions: (basket) 82 x 42 x 40 | Mattress size: 28 x 74 cm

Designed in a range of modern, neutral colourways, the Little Green Sheep Moses basket impressed our parent testers with its luxurious but traditional feel. "This Moses basket is beautifully designed with high quality materials and is very stylish and aesthetically pleasing," said parent tester Aarti, mum to a newborn.

Woven from natural palm leaf, which helps to create a breathable sleep space, the Moses basket was praised by our testers for being light enough to easily move around the house and it has sturdy handles that have been tested for strength – though it’s always safer to move the basket and then place your baby in it. Parent tester Charlotte said "it was great as my son seemed to feel safe and cozy as it was small and it was also portable depending which room we were in."

Little Green Sheep has put a lot of thought into the materials it uses, eschewing unnecessary chemicals in favour of natural fibres. The organic cable quilted liner looks chic and is also super soft and breathable, which helps the air to circulate around your baby (it's machine washable too, though). The mattress is made from hypoallergenic wool and coconut coir, and feels is reassuringly firm.

This Moses basket is on the higher end of the price bracket, especially if you choose the rocking stand, but if organic materials and a high quality mattress are top of your shopping list, this is the one for you.

Pros: Organic, high quality materials, quality mattress
Cons: Baby may outgrow it before 6 months, expensive

Available from: Little Green Sheep, Amazon and Natural Baby Shower

3. Shnuggle Dreami Moses Basket and Stand, from £134.95

– Best for a stylish look

Shnuggle Dreami Moses Basket and Stand

Suitable for: birth to 6 months | Weight: 2 kg (basket) | Dimensions: 88 x 45 x 61 cm | Mattress size: 74 x 30 cm | Awards: Silver - Moses baskets & newborn cribs, MadeForMums Awards 2022

The Dreami is a very different approach to the traditional wicker Moses basket, as it has a contemporary look, is hypoallergenic and is made from a very modern material: non-toxic HDPE, with a breathable mesh liner. Its strong moulded shell can be wiped clean and is well ventilated with holes in the base – plus it’s around 10 per cent larger than some other baskets, so it can be used for longer; around six months.

What stands out about this for us is the clever way it converts from a fixed crib to a rocker, simply by inverting the stand. Sleep Consultant Chris McFadden pointed out, "this also makes it lower to the ground in height which is useful when there are excitable toddlers running around!" In both positions, it has a striking look that Chris said "would fit in any house from a design perspective."

You can move the Dreami easily around your home, it can be used for both day and night time sleeping and it could also be taken with you when travelling. It comes in three colours (white, grey and slate) and has woven cotton handles.

Parent tester Lucy, who tested this with their newborn, said: “"My eight-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."

Pros: Looks modern and stylish, converts to rocking basket
Cons: Quite large, child may outgrow it early as sleep space is small

Available from: Amazon, JoJo Maman Bébé and Shnuggle

4. Purflo PurAir Breathable Crib, from £199

– Best for breathability

Purflo PurAir Breathable Crib

Suitable for: birth to 6 months | Weight: 11 kg | Dimensions: H65-83 x 54 x 94 | Mattress size: 79 x 48 cm| Awards: Bronze - Moses baskets & newborn cribs, MadeForMums Awards 2022

A stand-alone co-sleeping crib, this is lightweight and easy to manoeuvre thanks to its curved frame. You can keep it close to your bed at night, or take it into another room with you during the day. It’s breathable and airy, with mesh sides that give almost total visibility of your baby, plus it has the firm, flat mattress that sleep experts advise.

Our testers liked its simplicity and robust manufacture, with mum of a two-month-old, Kayleigh, commenting: "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!"

The bassinet sits on a neat stand that has a small footprint, so it won’t take up much space in your bedroom or trip you up as you pass and there’s a handy storage space to keep a few bits and pieces in. The bassinet is removable, so you can take that wherever you are – even on a trip. The toy bar helps engage your baby’s attention when you are playing with them and when it’s sleep time, the 'soothing centre' (a little battery-operated box that clips onto the side of the crib) helps to prepare your little one for sleep, with its vibrations, lullabies, soothing sound and soft nightlight.

Pros: Breathable and airy fabrics, Easy to manoeuvre
Cons: Quite large with the frame, accessories may not all be useful

Available from: Purflo, JoJo Maman Bébé and Natural Baby Shower

5. John Lewis Anyday Moses Basket, £55

– Best for a traditional option

John Lewis Anyday Moses Basket

Suitable for: birth to 4-6 months | Awards: | Weight: 3.5 kg | Dimensions: 75 x 28 x 24 cm | Mattress size: 75 x 28 cm

For many parents, a simple, traditional Moses basket is all that's needed to keep their newborn safe and snug. They've been used for generations and offer a portable, safe sleep space at an affordable price.

This budget-friendly woven basket from John Lewis is made from long-lasting palm, with a neat, white padded liner and a mattress with a fitted sheet.

It comes fully assembled so it's easy to use from day 1, and can be easily transported around the home using the built-in handles. Our parent testers praised the fact Moses baskets like this can easily be popped in a car boot, making them a good choice if your baby needs to sleep in different places frequently.

It's super lightweight and easy to move around, but the smaller sleep space does mean a baby may outgrow it before the 6 month mark.

Pros: Affordable, easy to transport, lightweight
Cons: Baby may outgrow it early, need to buy stand separately

Available from: John Lewis

6. Snoo Smart Sleeper, £1,145

– Best for soothing your baby

Snoo crib tested with a newborn

Suitable for: birth to 6 months | Awards: | Weight: 17.4 kg | Dimensions: 82 x 91 x 48 cm | Mattress size: 90 x 48 cm

This smart and contemporary motorised crib claims to have got baby sleep down to a science. As well as keeping your child safely on their back all night long thanks to the clip-in swaddle, it also helps your baby to self-soothe with responsive rocking motions and calming white noise. Parents can customise the settings using an app on their phone.

MFM Consumer & Commerce Editor Gemma calls it “An exciting and innovative product that combines excellent safety features with exciting technology. It will appeal to tech-minded parents who want peace of mind and a little helping hand at bedtime (and throughout the night) and may also be a lifeline to parents struggling with sleep.”

The crib has simple metal legs, a wood effect trim and a white mesh crib section. The matching organic cotton swaddle, the Snoo Sack, is supplied in 3 sizes. There is also an organic sheet and a firm mattress with water-resistant cover.

The electronic unit has five levels of sound and motion, and rocks and soothes gently all night long. It then recognises when your baby is fussing and increases sound and motion to a higher level. Gemma, who used the Snoo with her newborn up to five months, acknowledged that it was a prohibitively expensive crib, “however, it offers a lot of features for that money. The safety aspect of it was important to me as I was very anxious about SIDS in the early days. As for quality of sleep, although I have no real way of knowing if my son would have slept for similarly long stretches in a regular crib, I do know that I would have spent a lot more time picking him up and soothing him in the middle of the night.

“Even if the Snoo didn’t give him extra sleep, it gave me extra sleep, which allowed me to be a better and more present parent during the day.”

Pros: Helps soothe your baby, keeps them safely on their backs
Cons: Very expensive, uses power all night long

Available from: Happiest Baby

7. Kinderkraft Lovi, £89

– Best for travel

Kinderkraft Lovi

Suitable for: birth to 4-6 months | Awards: | Weight: | Dimensions: 85 x 88 x 61 cm | Mattress size:

This is a very neat, lightweight and foldable crib that offers good value for money with lots of features: it has a hood, it can be folded down, it rocks and it has a built-in toy too.

Although it's sturdy enough to be used all the time, where this really stands out is as a travel crib, making it a good option if you visit family a lot or have holidays planned with your newborn. Folding and unfolding in a flash – Kinderkraft claims it takes just five seconds – it is a neat and small crib with a rocking base that is very useful for helping your baby get to sleep. The feet can also be changed to make it a static crib too.

It also has a built-in net that protects your little one from mosquitos and other biting insects, which could come in handy in the summer or on holidays to warmer climes. The removable hood will also keep bright light out of their eyes and create a cosier space for daytime naps.

The sides of the crib space are made from breathable mesh and fabric to ensure good air circulation, although the fabric on the sides does mean it's hard to see the baby from some angles. The mattress fits snugly and its cover can be removed and washed. The frame, though light, is made from durable steel.

Pros: Folds down small, rocking feature, mosquito net
Cons: Can't see baby from the side, may be fiddly to convert to static crib

Available from: Kinderkraft, Amazon and Pramworld

8. Clair de Lune Sustainable Moses basket, £119.99

– Best for sustainability

Clair de Lune Sustainable Moses basket

Suitable for: birth to 4-6 months | Awards: | Weight: 3.34 kg | Dimensions: 74 x 34 x 34 cm | Mattress size: 74 x 28 cm

When we asked members of our Top Testers Club about the Moses baskets they loved, Clair de Lune came up many times. Parent tester Tanya said, "it was great to put her in to sleep then I would fall asleep on the sofa. I had a C-section so the stand was invaluable. I wouldn't have been able to bend down to pick her up from the floor."

We particularly like the Moses baskets this brand has created from sustainable materials: they biodegradable paper rope to weave these classic-looking sleepers. The grey colour of this design will look good in most modern homes, and it will be just as suitable for a boy as a girl.

As well as coming with a deluxe rocking stand, you will also get a white machine-washable liner with grey bow detail that attaches it to the basket, and a firm hypoallergenic mattress. Fitted sheets can be purchased separately, or as part of a bundle.

Parent tester Hayley found a novel use for these Moses baskets with her twins. "They were handy because they stacked inside each other during the day...they also went easily in the car for grandparents house."

Pros: Sustainable materials, rocking stand, stackable
Cons: Expensive, child will likely outgrow before 6 months

Available from: Clair de Lune, Amazon and JD Williams

9. MoKee WoolNest Moses Basket, £199

– Best for silent use

MoKee WoolNest Moses Basket

Suitable for: birth to 6 months | Awards: | Weight: 3.1 kg | Dimensions: 71 x 36 x 28 (basket) | Mattress size: 70 x 35 cm

The brands claims this is the ‘hippest” Moses basket out there, and its contemporary grey fabric and contrasting bright trim (available in 4 colours) do make it look modern, and quite unusual compared to more traditional designs. Made from wool, it has contrasting handles and straps and can be used from the day your baby is born up to around six months, depending on how big your child grows. One big bonus of the wool fabric of this basket – compared to a palm, paper or wicker design – is that it will not creak if you touch or knock it, so you have less chance of disturbing a sleeping baby if you're checking on them.

The wool creates a cosy, comforting sleep space for your baby and will be ideal to have next to your bed at night, especially if you choose to use the matching foldable wooden stand.

You have a choice of two mattresses; one whose quilted cover is infused with Aloe Vera and that comes as standard with the crib, or you can upgrade to a natural latex, coir and lamb’s wool mattress.

Pros: Silent wool fabric, aloe vera mattress, modern design
Cons: Can't seen child, child may outgrow it quickly

Available from: MoKee and Amazon

10. UPPAbaby Carrycot, £299

– Best for saving space

Uppababy carrycot tested with a newborn

Suitable for: birth to 9kg | Weight: 4kg | Dimensions: H19 x W43 x D79 cm | Mattress size: 30 x 67.5 cm

Now here’s a thought: when you are considering buying your pushchair, why not think about one that has a carrycot that is suitable for permanent overnight sleeping? That way, you have an item of baby furniture that will be used every day on the pushchair, and also at night without the expense of a separate Moses basket or crib. Not only does it save money and space, it's also better for the environment.

Not all carrycots are certified for overnight sleep, so do check very carefully. The UPPAbaby Carrycot is one option that we really rate. It fits on its popular Vista, Cruz and Ridge pushchairs and is suitable from birth to around 9kg (or until your little once can roll or push themselves up on hands and knees). MFM reviewer Jade, who tested this with the Vista pushchair said, "the Vista carrycot is one of the biggest areas of praise for the buggy, with countless parents loving how comfy, snug and safe it is," and called the fact it can be used for permanent overnight sleep "a game-changer."

It has a ventilated base and removable, breathable mattress to make it safe for your newborn's sleep. Both the mattress cover and carrycot liner can be zipped out and machine washed. It has an extendable canopy that protects to UPF 50, with a zip-out mesh section for improved airflow and a bug shield too. You can even purchase a stand (£194.95) to make it into a full crib, and when your child has outgrown it, the stand can be repurposed as a laundry basket with the addition of an insert (£69.95).

Pros: Works as a pram or sleep solution, comfortable and high quality
Cons: Only really suitable if you have an UPPAbaby pushchair, stand is expensive

Available from: John Lewis, Pramworld, Natural Baby Shower

How did we choose our 10 of the Best?

When testing and selecting these cribs and Moses baskets, we considered design and aesthetics, size, comfort, extra features, mattress quality, breathability, longevity and whether the item was was worth the money.

Our 10 of the Best lists are compiled by qualified and experienced parenting journalists. They rely on a number of sources, including our independent reviews, testing undertaken during the MadeForMums Awards, and feedback from our home testing panel and Top Testers Club. Each year thousands of products are put through their paces by hundreds of parents across the country on behalf of MadeForMums, to ensure we’re bringing you honest and true reviews and recommendations.

Our list is not an ordered ranking from 1-10, instead it is a carefully selected group of tried-and-tested products, each of which we believe is best for a different situation or requirement. We don't just tell you what is best, we help you discover what is best for your family.

How to safely use a Moses basket or crib

Safe sleep guidelines

It’s important that you follow safe sleep guidelines and always refer to your crib or Moses basket manufacturer's instructions at all times. Make sure you use a fitted sheet or one that’s well tucked in and the right size for your mattress and either use a swaddle or sleeping bag that’s the right temperature for the time of year, or sheets and blankets that are tucked in so that they reach your baby’s shoulders – never higher. Place your baby in the feet to foot position on their back.

Can I use second-hand mattresses?

If you're buying or using a second-hand Moses basket or crib it's recommended that you buy a new mattress each time, even if you used it previously with your own older child.

Some research suggests that there could be a link between SIDS and second-hand mattresses. An old mattress might contain mould, bacteria and dust mites, which may be linked to SIDS. The ideal situation is to buy a new mattress for each new baby.

When should I move on from a Moses basket or crib?

These first beds are suitable for very young babies only. Once your baby can roll, pull themselves up, pull onto hands and knees or is getting too long for the crib or basket, you should move them into a larger cot or crib. You should also move on to a larger sleep space if your child has reached the maximum weight restriction of the crib or Moses basket (which is often 9kg).

Never leave your child unattended in a basket or crib, especially on a stand, if you think they might be able to roll and tip it over. Be aware though that this stage can happen very quickly, so always keep an eye on your child.

About the author

Parenting journalist, Sally J Hall, has worked on a range of UK baby magazines and websites writing features on pregnancy health, nutrition, fashion and baby product reviews. She is also the author of 2 parenting books – Eco Baby and Plant Based Baby. She lives in North London with her husband and 2 kids. 

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