A bedside crib is one of the most popular choices for newborn sleep, as it allows you to keep your baby close while still following safe sleep guidelines. In the first 6 months, when the risk of sudden infant death syndrome (SIDS) is at its highest, the safest place for a baby to sleep is on their back in their own sleep space, be that a cot, crib or moses basket.A bedside crib fastens to the frame of your bed on one side, so you’re effectively lying next to your baby. The side can usually be dropped down so you can see and reach over to your child. They’re sometimes referred to as side-sleepers or co-sleepers, but the key difference is that you’re not sharing a sleep surface or bedding. You and your baby can maximise the soothing benefits that proximity brings while minimising the risks associated with bed sharing. Having your baby at arms reach also makes night feeds much easier.
There are a wide range of options to choose from, so at MadeForMums we’ve analysed the bedside crib market closely to bring you the very best options. We’ve used feedback from our expert journalist reviewers and parent testers, combined with results from in-house MadeForMums testing which looked at key features such as breathability, mattress firmness, ease of building as well as functionality.
For each bedside crib we’ve listed the key technical features, to help you compare across brands and models so you can find the best design to suit your needs.
Best bedside cribs and co-sleepers at a glance
- Best bedside crib with an easy drop-down side: Chicco Next2Me Magic, £239
- Best bedside crib with a removable bassinet: SnuzPod 4 Bedside Crib, £199.95
- Best bedside crib for smooth rocking: Tutti Bambini CoZee Air Bedside Crib, £185
- Best bedside crib for longevity: Shnuggle Air Bedside Crib, £199.95
- Best bedside crib for extra storage: Maxi-Cosie Iora Bedside Sleeper, £189
- Best bedside crib for one-handed operation: Joie Roomie Glide, £169
- Best bedside crib for travel: Silver Cross Voyager, £199
- Best value bedside crib: Kinderkraft Neste-Up, £109
- Best bedside crib with 360 swivel: Halo BassiNest Essentia, £189.99
What is the new safety standard for bedside cribs?
All new bedside cribs manufactured since November 2020 have to meet a new safety standard (with the catchy name BS EN 1130:2019) that introduced new and more rigorous safety requirements for bedside cribs. However, you may find some older versions of cribs are still on sale that only match the previous safety standard. Slowly these will disappear from stores and the only ones available will meet the new standard.
The most significant new requirement for BS EN 1130:2019 is for a 120mm high barrier to be present around the sides of the crib, to ensure your baby is not able to roll off their own mattress onto yours. This means that new bedside cribs can no longer have complete drop-down sides – many now have ‘half-height’ walls instead.
This allows your baby to be positioned next to you with the crib lined up to your bed, but their mattress will be sunk a little lower, providing more of a protective barrier. All the cribs featured in our list comply with these new BS EN 1130:2019 safety requirements.
What to look for when buying a bedside crib
Will it work with your bed? – Certain bed frames can be trickier to use with a bedside crib. For example, if you have a divan bed you will need longer straps, and may not be able to tuck the legs of the crib underneath the bed and may need to look for a model that has foldable legs or works with your bed style.
Height of your bed – Most bedside cribs have adjustable heights to give you an almost perfect fit on most bed frames, but if your bed is particularly low or high, do check the measurements. Also check the size of the crib and whether it will fit next to your bed while allowing you to get in and out easily and safely. This is particularly important for those first few days and weeks after giving birth when your body is still recovering.
Mattress – The mattress needs to be firm, flat and breathable – this is a key safety feature. Don’t be tempted by a super soft mattress – your baby will sleep deeply and most importantly safely on a firm mattress.
Drop-down side – How easy is it to remove the side? Can you do it with one hand? As you may be doing this in the middle of the night, are there lots of noisy zips and clips? Can it safely be left down while you sleep? Do check this as the rules differ depending on the product.
How easy is it to assemble – Are there lots of parts to screw together? Will you need 2 people to build it? We’ve tested how easy different bedside cribs are to build in our reviews.
How easy is it to keep clean – Does the mattress have a waterproof cover to protect from leaky nappies, baby sick and dribbles? Is the fabric machine washable or will you have to hand wash it?
Portability – Is the crib light enough to move around your house? If you want to take it away with you does it crib fold flat and/or come with a storage bag?
Extra features – Does it rock (useful for fussy sleepers), tilt (remember to use tilting with care), detach to become a moses basket or turn into an older baby cot or playpen? These extra features may not be necessary, but they could be useful.
How to do the baby mattress firmness test
Press your hand on the centre and the sides of the mattress
A firm mattress shouldn’t mould to the shape of your hand and you’ll feel resistance – it will obviously move beneath the pressure but your hand shouldn’t sink in
When you remove your hand, the mattress should snap back and regain its shape
For more safety information we’ve also covered breathability, bedding and how to use the tilting function here.
What are the benefits of using a bedside crib?
Safe sleep charity The Lullaby Trust, advises that the safest place for your baby to sleep is on their own sleep surface, in the same room as you, for at least the first 6 months. Bedside cribs allow you to have your baby sleeping right next to you at night, but in the safety of their own crib. This means you can still be close to your baby without bed-sharing, which carries a risk of suffocation and overheating.
Bedside cribs enable you to lean over and easily pick up your baby when feeding at night. This is especially useful if you’ve had a difficult birth or a c-section and find getting out of bed painful. You can also easily comfort your baby if they are fussing and have a good view of them while they are sleeping.
From a practical perspective, bedside cribs are smaller and more compact than most cots, which means they take up less space in your bedroom than a full-sized cot or cotbed.
Do I need a bedside crib for my baby?
You don’t have to buy a bedside crib. It’s completely safe to put a baby in a regular cot from birth. But they’re a great option if you want your baby as close to you as possible at night, and for saving space. The downside is that most of these cribs only last up to 6 months and you’ll then need to move your baby into a full-sized cot or cotbed. A moses basket is a more economical option, but these can last even less time, and do not have the added features of a bedside crib such as a drop-down side, tilt, or multiple heights.
How much does a bedside crib cost?
It is possible to buy budget bedside cribs for under £100 but the majority we have reviewed are between £150-£300. Certain features, such as a rocking function or one-handed drop down side, tend to push the price up slightly.
How did we choose these bedside cribs?
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.
When testing bedside cribs, we consider size, ease of build and fitting, mattress quality and breathability, ease and safety of the drop-down side mechanism and other features, comfort for baby, design and quality, and whether it’s worth the money.
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.
Here are our top 10 bedside cribs for 2021
1. Chicco Next2Me Magic, £239
Best for easy drop-down side
The Chicco Next2Me Magic is the latest update to the original Next2Me side-sleeping crib, which has won fans for its versatility. It can be used from birth as a bedside co-sleeper, as a standalone crib or possibly as a travel cot, but at over 13kg it’s not a light carry.
It is slightly more expensive than some other models, but standout features include a really easy drop-side that can be operated with one hand, 11 height levels, a lockable rocking function, 4 tilt options to help reduce reflux, and wheels to make it easy to move around your home.
A large sleeping area means more room for a bigger baby, plus a travel bag is included.
MFM tester Lucy says: “I found the Chicco Next2Me Magic a breeze to move around and set up, but also substantial and sturdy. The clever one-handed drop-down mechanism on the side panel can be used while holding your baby in your arms, which is brilliant.
“I’ve even used the Chicco in my kitchen for safe day naps when I need to be more focused on my older child.”
Pros: Firm and breathable mattress, retractable legs to fit any bed, quiet side zip, easy to transport
Cons: Tricky to initially assemble, mattress cover is hand wash only
Read our full MadeForMums Chicco Next2Me Magic bedside crib review
Latest deals from trusted retailers
2. SnuzPod 4 bedside crib, £199.95
Best for removable bassinet
The latest iteration of Snuz’s much-loved bedside crib, the Snuzpod4 features a new breathable system (called ComfortAir) that aids the flow of air around the crib and your baby. It offers more side vents, breathable mesh liner and mattress, plus a ventilated base.
But the key thing that we’re delighted to see is that the Snuzpod4 has a firmer mattress than previous versions – as well as good breathability. Plus Snuz claims that the SnuzPod4 fits more different heights of bed than any rival, as it will now work with beds up to a maximum adult mattress height of 73cm. It’s also designed to be compatible with a range of bed types – divan, ottoman and framed bed bases.
Made from sustainably sourced beech solid wood, the Snuzpod4 looks good. MFM mum home tester Mehack commented on “how stylish and contemporary the design is,” praising how it “fits perfectly with the room decor”.
We love its versatility – the two-part design includes a lift-off bassinet that can be moved around the house so you have a portable safe sleeping space for your baby, whichever room you’re in. The bassinet also has a manual rocking function, as does the crib and the bassinet. There’s an optional riser that can be added to create a slight incline to help babies with reflux, but for safety reasons, when the cot is tilted this stops the rocking function from working.
Pros: Stylish, removable bassinet, great storage
Cons: Can be difficult to put together
Latest deals from trusted retailers
3. Tutti Bambini CoZee Air Bedside Crib, £185
Best for smooth rocking
While it is at the more expensive end of the market, what makes the Cozee Air stand out from the competition is its smooth rocking function. It comes with easy-to-remove caster wheels which you can switch with rocking bars, that easily attach to the legs of the crib. As a safety feature, the CoZee can also only be rocked when it is set up as a standalone crib – when used as a bedside crib, it has flip-out feet which prevents it from doing so. “The rocking feature is fantastic and really helped me to settle my baby when she was overtired fussing,” said MFM tester Tara.
MFM testers also rated the crib highly for its portability – it is ideal as a travel cot, as despite its large size, it is compact when folded. A 30-second open-fold mechanism allows for a quick set up and it comes with a travel bag for easy transportation.
While the multiple mesh windows are great for breathability and being able to see your little one, there’s a curtain attached to one side of the crib that you can roll down one side to protect your baby from drafts during colder months. This still leaves one mesh side open to allow for plenty of air flow.
When it comes to cleaning, the fabric lining can be removed and put in the washing machine, while the foam mattress can be machine washed if necessary. We also like the addition of a storage shelf that is useful for holding essentials such as baby wipes, nappies, clothes and muslins.
Pros: Smooth rocking, quick to collapse down, storage shelf
Cons: Higher price point
Read our full MadeForMums Tutti Bambini CoZee Air Bedside Crib review
Latest deals from trusted retailers
4. Shnuggle Air Bedside crib, £199.95
Best for longevity
While most bedside cribs on the market are only suitable for babies up to 6 months old, the Shnuggle Air stands out by offering 3 products in 1. It can be used as a standalone cot or bedside sleeper and then it transforms after 6 months into a full-sized cot when you buy the additional conversion kit (£109.95) and cot mattress (£50), which will last your child up until around 2 years old. This makes it a great long-term investment.
MFM judges and testers were particularly impressed with the firmness of its hypo-allergenic airflow mattress. This crib has dual-view mesh sides giving it maximum breathability; this also means you can easily see your baby when both sides are up. This was also a feature that stood out to MFM reviewer Tara, who used it with her 6-month-old daughter Elodie. She said, “Elodie slept very soundly and she loved being able to see through the mesh sides.”
The drop-down sides are easily removed for nighttime access by releasing the safety catch on the top bar and undoing the zips. However, during the awards testing, it was noted that the safety catch makes a loud click. This was echoed by a MFM user reviewer who said: “The side makes a noise when you click it back in and that can wake up baby!” Unlike most of the others on this list, the side of the Shnuggle Air cannot be left down during sleep, it’s simply there for access.
The Shnuggle Air is relatively heavy at 13.4kg, and doesn’t have wheels, so it’s not easy to move around your home. “I’d say once the Shnuggle Air is set up, it’s staying put!”
Pros: Long-lasting, highly breathable, spacious
Cons: Not easily portable, side is noisy when released
Read our full MadeForMums Shnuggle Air Bedside Crib review
Latest deals from trusted retailers
5. Maxi-Cosi Iora bedside sleeper, £189
Best for extra storage
With its choice of muted colours, sleek design and quality materials, the Maxi-Cosi Iora is sure to fit in with most room schemes. The large storage basket at the bottom of the crib is great for parents who are short on space as it can easily hold numerous blankets, baby sleeping bags, nappies, wipes and spare clothes.
The Iora’s easy-to-adjust height (5 positions in total) and slide function (2 positions in total) also means it can fit snugly against most types of bed when used with the straps. “Our iron-frame bed is somewhat lower than average,” said MFM reviewer Georgina. “But the Iora also sat in the correct position with our mattress.”
One feature that our reviewer Georgina particularly liked was that when the side is down, there is a 7-inch (17.78cm) high barrier to stop your baby from rolling out. She said: “The Iora allowed me to sleep as close to my daughter as possible, but I was also safe in the knowledge that she was in her own sleeping area and I wasn’t going to squash her!”
This crib is extremely straightforward to assemble (one of the quickest during MFM testing) and MFM reviewer Georgina managed to put it together speedily without using the instructions. She explained: “It was obvious which pieces go together, simple to build and had neat zips to keep everything in place.” A handy travel bag also means it can easily be used as a travel cot, especially as it folds down flat. Keep in mind that Georgina did find the outer fabric was prone to creasing when unpacked from the travel bag.
Pros: Extra storage, easy height and slide adjustments, portable, smart appearance
Cons: Mattress cover hand wash only, outer fabric prone to creasing
Read our full MadeForMums Maxi-Cosi Iora review
Latest deals from trusted retailers
6. Joie Roomie Glide, £169
Best for one-handed operation
The single-handed ‘glide’ function is the exciting element of the Joie Roomie Glide. More controlled than the head-to-toe rocking functionality of cribs like the SnuzPod 4, the one-handed motion gently slides the bassinet from side to side, helping parents to soothe a newborn without leaving their own bed. One MFM home tester said, “I pop my baby to bed awake, so the ability to rock her gently is great.”
One-handed operation is at the heart of this crib’s design, as it’s also been factored into the controls of the drop-down panel. You should be able to simply click the handle to lift and lower, although one of our home testers commented that this is more difficult than it looks.
The crib’s also on (lockable) wheels so you can move it around the home during the daytime. It has a tummy tilt for reflux / colic, which our home tester with a reflux baby loved, saying “the ability to have one side raised has helped her to sleep better at night.” There are also 11 height adjustments to fit most beds.
Pros: Gliding rocking function, tilt function for reflux
Cons: One-handed operation is fiddly
Latest deals from trusted retailers
7. Silver Cross Voyager, £199
Best for travel
A new addition to the market, the Silver Cross Voyager combines some of the key features of any good bedside crib – including a reflux tilt, a storage shelf, 7 adjustable heights and a drop-down side – with one added extra: it can be folded down flat and stored in its own carry bag.
A drop-down mesh side allows easy access to your baby for feeds and soothing during the night. Zip this up to turn the unit into a standalone crib. The crib comes on lockable wheels so you can easily move it around, but if you’re planning to use the drop-down element there are straps to fasten it securely to your bed.
For parents who travel a lot, or those who want to keep their baby close to them all day during those first few months, the easy and quick fold and portability of this crib make it a really tempting option. It’s also one of the few cribs that have removable fabric that can easily be washed.
Pros: Folds down flat for travel, washable fabrics
Cons: Can’t be rocked, still large when folded.
Read our full MadeForMums Silver Cross Voyager review
Available from: Silver Cross
8. Kinderkraft Neste-Up, £109
Best for value
Coming in at around £100 (depending on the retailer) the Kinderkraft Neste-up offers really great value in a category that can be prohibitively expensive. However, the great price doesn’t mean there’s a compromise on features. “The price is impressively low, considering the quality, with some nice details – like the small but handy pocket at each end, for stowing muslins and other late-night essentials,” said MFM tester Elizabeth.
The crib has a tilt function, washable covers and even comes with a fitted sheet so it’s ready to use straight out the box. It’s on wheels, so it can be moved around the room or away from the bed with ease, and it also folds down to a more compact size for travel, although our testers felt it was not really a travel cot in the traditional sense, and is still quite bulky and heavy in its carry bag.
Although there’s no rocking function, it has a drop-down side that’s simple to operate and delivers on everything most families need from a bedside crib.
Latest deals from trusted retailers
9. Halo BassiNest Essentia, £189.99
Best for 360° swivel
Suitable from: birth to 5 months/10kg | Crib size: H114cm x W61cm x L114cm | Mattress size: L85cm x W55.8cm | | Tilt: yes | Rocks: no | Washable mattress cover: machine-washable sheet included
American brand Halo has finally brought its swivel sleeper to the UK, and it offers a slightly different way to sleep closely but safely with your baby. Rather than fastening on to the side of the bed, the BassiNest is a standalone crib with a central stand that slides beneath the bed.
Parents can then swivel the crib 360° for easy access, with one MFM home tester pointing out this also “makes it easy to get in and out of bed without disturbing the baby.” There’s no drop-down side, instead the mesh side has enough give that you can push it down to reach in and get your baby. “This really helps in the early days especially if you have had c section, tear or episiotomy,” said one home tester.
Compared to cribs with open sides that sit flush with the bed, the BassiNest is more of a hybrid product, sitting somewhere between a moses basket and a bedside crib. This may not suit everyone, with one of our home testers saying, “I would prefer something where the side could permanently be down and baby is closer,” but it is very safe: Halo has partnered with the Lullaby Trust as part of its commitment to safe sleep.
Pros: Flexible, useful when recovering from birth
Cons: Not a true bedside crib, stand has a big footprint
Latest deals from trusted retailers
How do you use a bedside crib safely?
The most important piece of advice for safe sleeping is to lie your baby on their back to sleep. Indeed, since the Back To Sleep campaign was launched in the UK 30 years ago, SIDS [Sudden Infant Death Syndrome] has fallen by 80%.
When using a bedside crib, you should ensure there is no gap between the adult’s and baby’s mattress. Your baby’s mattress should be firm and flat, and sit snugly in the crib with no gaps.
Also look for a mattress that is breathable. There’s a simple test you can do for this:
Our at-home mattress breathability test
- Pick up the mattress and place it close to your mouth
- Breathe in and see how easy it is to breathe out with the mattress near your mouth
- If it’s easier this should mean the mattress offers good ventilation
Most cribs come with a mattress as standard, but if you are given the crib by someone else or buy one second-hand you will need to buy a new mattress – even if the existing one appears to be in good condition. Second-hand mattresses may increase the risk of SIDS and are less likely to be supportive after losing their shape over time. Always use the mattress designed to fit your bedside crib – most retailers sell them separately should you need a replacement.
When it comes to a safe sleeping position, position your baby in the crib with their feet at the end of the crib – called the feet-to-foot position. This reduces the risk of their face or head slipping down under the covers if you’re using a blanket.
How to use tilting and rocking features safely
Some bedside cribs offer a tilt option, which may help babies with digestive issues, colic or reflux. If you are going to tilt your baby, you must do so with great care and only at a slight angle, to avoid your baby slipping down. We recommend speaking to your GP or health visitor for advice before using the tilt function.
Tilting (and rocking) can only be used when the bedside crib is set up as a standalone crib – for safety reasons, you should not tilt or rock the crib when the side is down, as there is a chance your baby could fall out.
What bedding can I use with a bedside crib?
The Lullaby Trust advises: “Firmly tucked in sheets and blankets (not above shoulder height) or a baby sleep bag are safe for a baby to sleep in.” Make sure you buy the correct size sheets that exactly fit your mattress. You may also choose to swaddle a newborn. The Lullaby Trust does not advise for or against swaddling, but it does have some basic swaddling guidance. You must stop using a swaddle as soon as your baby learns to roll.
Not all baby sleeping bags and swaddles are created equal, so make sure the brand you buy adheres to safety standards, is the correct tog for the room temperature and season, and is the right size for your baby, so they can’t slip down inside.
Don’t use any soft or bulky bedding and never use pillows, duvets, baby bumpers or baby positioners. You should also remove any soft toys from the crib before your baby sleeps.
- 14 of the best baby and toddler sleeping bags
- 14 of the best car seats from birth
- Bednest: NCT says there is a “small but plausible risk” when using the co-sleeper
About the author
Gemma Cartwright is Consumer and Commerce Editor at MadeForMums and a journalist with over 15 years experience in lifestyle, fashion, entertainment and tech. She is mum to a toddler.