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10 of the best baby swaddles

Swaddling your newborn can help them drift off by creating a womb-like environment. From cotton muslins to structured sleeping sacks, here are our top baby swaddles, tested by parents

10 of the best swaddles
Published: February 28, 2022 at 10:58 am

Swaddling is a centuries-old practice of snugly wrapping babies in a blanket, muslin or structured sleep-suit to help them feel secure and (hopefully) sleep better! The tightly-fitting fabric of a swaddle will help to cocoon your baby and mimic the sensation of what life was like for them in the womb. With their secure, structured fitting, they can also prevent flailing arms (your baby’s natural startle reflex) from interrupting your baby’s precious sleep. Research from Ege University Faulty of Nursing¹ has shown that swaddling a baby can possibly help alleviate symptoms of colic, too.

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"A swaddle helps new babies feels calm and snug," explains certified sleep consultant and mum-of-3 Maria Murphy, owner of Baby Sleep the Night. "It can help them settle to sleep more easily and sleep longer because it keeps their legs and arms contained, meaning they are less likely to startle themselves with flailing limbs." Maria suggests being consistent by using a swaddle for all sleep time, from naps to night-time.

When your baby outgrows swaddling, you may opt for a sleeping bag. Check out the best baby and toddler sleeping bags to move into after swaddling.

We've asked real mum's what swaddle they used with their baby and researched the market to help you find the best swaddle wrap to suit you and your baby. There are a variety to choose from, ranging from; zip-up swaddle bags, to swaddle blankets. Whether you're a swaddling expert or a first time parent, there'll be something perfect for you.

If you want to look at more products to do with sleep, take a look at the best baby mattresses and best co-sleeping cribs and cots. If your baby is struggling to fall asleep or keeps waking in the night, the best sleep aids and white noise machines may be useful.

Best baby swaddles at a glance

  • Best swaddle for night time nappy changes: Happiest Baby Sleepea 5-Second Baby Swaddle, £32.95
  • Best swaddle for babies with colic: Miracle Blanket Baby Swaddle, £22
  • Best swaddle for an 'arm up' sleep position: Love to Dream Swaddle, £27.99
  • Best value swaddle: Summer Infant SwaddleMe Original Swaddle, £8.99
  • Best sustainable swaddle: ErgoPouch Cocoon Swaddle, £31.95
  • Best swaddle for easy use: Tommee Tippee The Original Grobag, £22.99
  • Best swaddle for transitioning from swaddle to sleeping bag: Purflo Swaddle To Sleep Bag, £29
  • Best swaddle for versatility: Aden + Anis Muslin Swaddles, £10.99
  • Best swaddle for the colder weather: The White Company Satin Edged Cellular Baby Blanket, £20
  • Best multi-pack of swaddles: Mamas & Papas 2-Pack Swaddle Wraps, £25

What to consider when choosing a swaddle

Age – Babies can be swaddled from day one. However, some swaddles, particularly swaddle bags have a suitable age, so it's important to check this before purchasing and using.

Size – The swaddle needs to be large enough that it isn’t wrapped too tightly once the fabric is folded around your little one. Most shaped swaddles – which could come as a triangular fabric, or a sleep sack style – will be sized so you can choose the right one for your baby’s age and weight.

Materials – It’s important that the material you use is breathable, so you’ll notice many muslins and sleeping sacks are made from cotton or bamboo.

Tog rating – Check the tog rating for your swaddle to make sure it's suitable for the time of year. The most popular in the UK is 2.5 tog which should work for most of the year. A 1 tog or 1.5 tog sleeping bag can also be useful for warmer nights, and a 3 tog is great if your house gets cold in winter.

Care instructions – Most are machine washable (we've indicated this for each swaddle in our round-up), but take care with some natural fibres as these can require a cold wash.

Cost – Prices vary across the market – there are swaddles for all budgets and needs. If you want something simpler like a muslin cloth to swaddle your baby, these tend to be cheaper than an actual swaddle wrap.

Is swaddling safe?

Yes, as long as you follow clear Safe Sleep guidelines, hip-friendly sleep positioning and use the swaddle as instructed.

Kate Holmes, Head of Support and Information at Safe Sleep Charity The Lullaby Trust, advises the following:

"To reduce the risk of sudden infant death syndrome (SIDS) when swaddling, never put your swaddled baby to sleep on their front or side.

"Stop swaddling (with arms wrapped inside the material) when your baby shows signs of rolling, as they could roll into their tummy and won't be able to roll back.

"Make sure your baby is not overdressed under the swaddle, that they have their head uncovered and do not have an infection or fever. Check your baby's temperature to make sure they do not get too hot.

"Swaddles should not be applied very tightly around the hips as this is strongly associated with developmental dysplasia of the hip. However, the swaddle should be secure enough not to come apart, as loose soft bedding can increase the chance of SIDS if pulled over a baby's head."

Safety advice for swaddling checklist

Below is a helpful list of the safety advice from our experts; sleep consultant Maria Murphy and Kate Holmes, Head of Support and Infomation at Lullaby Trust.
  • Always put you swaddle baby to sleep on their back
  • Stop swaddling (with arms wrapped inside) when your baby shows signs of rolling
  • Make sure your baby is not overdressed
  • Make sure that they don't have their head covered
  • Don't swaddle if they have an infection or fever
  • Check your baby's temperature, that they're not too hot
  • Do not apply swaddle too tightly around their hips
  • Make sure the swaddle is secure enough that it can't come apart
  • Do not swaddle above the shoulders

How long should babies be swaddled?

"Swaddling is most effective and best to use during the first 8 weeks of your baby's life," explains sleep consultant Maria Murphy. After the 8 weeks is up it's advised to leave one of your baby's arms out of the swaddle for a week or so and then make the transition to have both their arms out of the swaddle. Gradual weaning from swaddling makes the process less startling for your baby.

"Swaddles need to be removed before your baby may start to show signs of rolling because they could roll onto their tummy, and they won't be able to roll back," Maria stressed.

Here's our pick of the best swaddles for your baby:

1. Happiest Baby Sleepea 5-Second Baby Swaddle, £32.95

– Best for night time nappy changes

Happiest Baby Sleepea 5-Second Baby Swaddle being tested

Suitable from: Birth to 6 months | Type: swaddle bag | Fabric: 100% organic cotton | Machine washable: Yes in a cool wash

Dr. Harvey Karp, America's most celebrated paediatrician created the award winning Sleepea swaddle. It was designed with safety and parent sanity in mind.

It's ultra soft organic cotton makes it comfortable and breathable for your baby all night. It has special inner arm bands and leg flaps to keep your baby tightly secure throughout the night.

The International Hip Dysplasia Institute has given it the seal of approval, claiming it to be perfect for your baby's healthy, growing hips.

Does your baby prefer sleeping with their arms out? You have the option of removing the arms if so.

Its extra-quiet Velcro helps even the lightest of sleepers stay asleep during night time nappy changes. It also has a double zip, making nappy changes when you're half-asleep that little bit easier. MFM home tester Aarti, mum of 1 boy loved the "double zip and wide design" which she said, "really helped with nappy changes at night". She also liked that it has "nice material and lots of nice designs". You can get midnight planet design, stars and many more.

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However Aarti did mention how "over time after washing, the Velcro did start becoming looser", so, this may be something to consider, especially with the higher price point.

Pros: Velcro, double zip, good hip development
Cons: Velcro becomes loose, quite expensive

Available from: Happiest Baby

2. Miracle Blanket Baby Swaddle, £22

– Best for babies with colic

Miracle Blanket Baby Swaddle being tested

Suitable from: Birth to 14 weeks | Type: swaddle wrap | Fabric: 100% cotton| Machine washable: Yes on a cold cycle

You may be thinking miracle is a strong word for a swaddle. Well, sometimes, your baby sleeping through the night feels like a miracle.

The Miracle Blanket Swaddle was designed in the USA in 2003 by Michael Gatten to help his own baby overcome colic and sleep through the night.

The Miracle Blanket aims to help your baby drift off to sleep quicker and stay asleep for longer. If your baby has colic, it's designed to reduce the impact of it and help soothe your baby to sleep. With its long back panel supporting their neck to their feet, the leg pouch supporting their legs and the blanket arms that secure your baby's arms to their torso, your baby should feel comforted and secure when drifting off to sleep.

MFM home tester Aarti, mum of 1 boy, was recommended this swaddle by her sleep consultant and "liked how it had no zips or Velcro, purely soft material". She went on to say, it was "very easy to wrap" and she had "no issue with sizing, as it can be as tight or as loose as required." However, she did mention "as there are no zips, night time nappy changing would be hard".

The swaddle is made from 100% super-soft cotton knit, making it breathable and perfect for warmer climates, yet thick enough to keep them warm in the cold weather too.

Another plus is you can buy the Miracle Blanket in a variety of colours and designs.

If this Miracle Blanket doesn't work for you and your baby then Miracle Baby offer you a 30-day money back guarantee. So, if you're tempted, why not try it out?

Pros: Money back guarantee, easy to wrap, one-size, super-soft cotton
Cons: No fastenings, needs a separate cold wash

Available from: Amazon and MiracleBlanket

3. Love to Dream Swaddle, £27.99

– Best for an ‘arms up’ sleep position

Love to Dream Swaddle being tested

Suitable from: 0 to 4 months | Type: swaddle bag | Fabric: 93% cotton, 7% elastane | Machine washable: Yes

When we asked our group of MFM home testers what they used to swaddle their baby, this was one of the most mentioned and recommended items.

This ‘arms-up’ design (a natural sleeping position for babies) is one of the only models we’ve seen on the market that is designed for babies to sleep in this position. While the snug-fitting fabric will help to alleviate any arms flailing (MORO reflex) which might inadvertently wake them up, there’s enough room for them to touch their face or self-soothe, if they’re particularly tactile.

Designed by a mum-of-2, it’s a well-thought out swaddle/sleeping sack, and there’s even designs in the range which go up to 4 years. This particular sack is suitable for up to 4 months and helpfully comes in small (to fit 3.5-6kg), medium (to fit 6-8.5kg) and large (to fit 8.5-11kg) to suit babies of all shapes and sizes.

MFM home tester Emily used the Love to Dream swaddle with her baby and said, it's "super easy to use, literally pop them in and zip up, ready to go". She went on to explain "all mine have hated 'traditional' swaddling and prefer arms up, it literally worked like a dream to get some extra sleep". She also praised that it has 2 zips meaning "easy midnight changes!".

Rachael, another MFM home tester said her little girl "went from a number of wakings to maybe just once a night after starting to use the Love to Dream". MFM home tester Clare, mum of 1 agreed that it was effective, "it helped her to settle to sleep and reduce her startle reflex waking her up". Rachael also loved that "even though baby was in an arms up position she could still manage to get the sleeve to her mouth to suck which helped soothe her".

Our MFM home tester Charlene also used the Love to Dream swaddle after "our friend noticed that [our baby] always liked sleeping with his arms up" and recommended it to her. When she bought it, she loved that the "fabric was soft but also light".

If your baby loves sleeping with their arms up, this is the perfect swaddle for you, highly recommended by real mums.

Pros: Arms up position, variety of sizes, easy to use
Cons: Only suitable if baby likes sleeping in an arms up position

Available from: JoJo Maman Bebe, Love to Dream, Amazon, and Uber Kids

4. Summer Infant SwaddleMe Original Swaddle, £8.99

– Best for value

Summer Infant SwaddleMe Original swaddle

Suitable for: 0-3 months | Type: swaddle wrap | Fabric: 100% cotton | Machine washable: Yes

Wrap you baby securely in the Summer Infant Swaddle Me swaddle. It has extra soft, adjustable wings, making it a perfect fit for all babies. Recreating the safe comforting feeling of the womb, you prevent the startle reflex waking your baby from their slumber.

This swaddle was designed with leading safe sleep experts to ensure your baby has a comforting sleep.

The hook-and-loop Velcro closures make it quick and easy to wrap up your baby. Katie, a MFM home tester and mother of 1 little girl used this swaddle with her newborn for the first 7 weeks. Katie said, "although that doesn't sound that long, we found it invaluable at the time to help her settle at night". She went on to say how "the Velcro made it much easier to do each bedtime and nappy change" yet, "it held securely, never had to worry about it coming undone during the night". However, she did comment "you've got to get the knack of firmly wrapping and Velcroing in the right place to keep it best secure".

Another MFM tester called, Nirali, mum of 1 agreed with Katie, saying, she "loved how easy it was to use, especially since you're so sleep deprived in the early days". The only downside she thought of was that you "needed to get the baby's legs out to change their nappy, but it wasn't much of a problem".

As with most of the previously mentioned swaddles, it also comes in a variety of adorable designs and prints.

Pros: soft fabric, Velcro fastenings making it easy to wrap, adjustable wings, good value
Cons: Have to take legs out for nappy changing, need to get knack of wrapping so secure

Available from: Amazon

5. ErgoPouch Cocoon Swaddle, £31.95

– Best for sustainability

Suitable for: from birth | Type: swaddle/sleep bag | Fabric: GOTS organic cotton, bamboo viscose, elastane | Machine washable: Yes, gentle cold wash

This is an ideal option for those looking for a structured sleeping bag that also provides the benefits of swaddling. It’s secured with a straightforward zip-up design and when your baby is ready to sleep arms-out, the arms come with poppers that can easily be unfastened.

Our testers loved the well-thought ergonomic design such as the generous bell-shaped bottom design of the sack, which provides plenty of room for baby to adopt a natural ‘frog-like’ sleeping position. Plus, the stretchiness of the material – made from organic cotton and bamboo – is designed to make the fastening process easy and straightforward for mum. Tester Claire, mum of 2, also found it to be “gentle on newborn skin”.

For tester Georgina, mum of 2, it helped to make the night time feeds with her baby a lot easier. “It keeps my baby asleep on transfer and since using it she has even started doing longer stints at night too!” she said.

Pros: Made from organic cotton and bamboo, zip-up fastening, removable arms
Cons: Needs a separate cold wash

Available from: JoJo Maman Bebe and Scandiborn

6. Tommee Tippee The Original Grobag, £18.99

– Best for easy use

Tommee Tippee The Original Grobag being tested

Suitable for: 0-3 months | Type: swaddle bag | Fabric: 100% cotton | Machine washable: Yes

With your baby's arms close to their chest, they should feel snug and secure in this Tommee Tippee swaddle. It simulates the safety of the womb. The snuggly, soft and stretchy cotton wraps easily around your baby.

It has a hip healthy design. The shape of the bag ensures that your baby's legs are in a natural froggy-legged position whilst they sleep, to enable correct hip development.

One of our MFM home testers, Jennifer, mum of 2 girls explained that she "had a fair amount of trouble getting [her] daughter to sleep and was stuck in hospital alone for 5 days. [She] gave [the Gro bag] a go and [her daughter] actually slept in the crib and not on [her]".

The 2-way easy change zip makes night time changing quick and painless for you. Jennifer said, "the best thing about the Gro swaddles is that they're effortless to put on. I could let my partner put it on and not worry that he had wrapped her wrong". She went on to say she liked how "the swaddle opens at the bottom making it easier for changing nappies in the middle of the night". Vicki, a MFM home tester who has 3 children, agreed with Jennifer and said, "I like how simple the swaddle is to use, it's a simple zip to do up and undo".

If that's not enough, there are are variety of adorable patterns and colours to choose from.

Pros: Easy fastening, hip healthy design
Cons:

Available from: Boots, John Lewis and Amazon

7. Purflo Swaddle To Sleep Bag, £29

– Best for transitioning from swaddle to sleeping bag

Purflo Swaddle To Sleep Bag being tested

Suitable from: Birth to 4 months| Type: swaddle bag | Fabric: 100% cotton (body), 100% polyester (mesh panels) | Machine washable: Yes at 40° | Awards: Gold – Swaddle & Sleeping Bag, MadeForMums Awards 2022

This swaddle bag is a great way to help your baby transition from swaddle to sleeping bag thanks to the optional arms in or arms out style. It's a 2.5 tog material so can be used year round. The bag is made from cotton with mesh panels to increase airflow but it also has Dupont™ Sorona, which is a hypoallergenic and sustainable fibre.

The popper and zip openings make it really easy to use. Parent tester, Raine, tested this with their newborn baby and said, "It's super easy and simple to use thanks to its simple zip ups and poppers, easier than most sleepsuits and also very easy for nappy changes as the whole thing fully unzips".

Our testers also loved that the design of it meant it could be used in a car seat or pushchair, unlike many other swaddle bags. The swaddle bag has extendable length for healthy hip development. However, 1 of our testers did mention that it's on the small size and if you have a bigger baby it may not last up to 4 months.

When it needs to be washed, you can put it in the washing machine and tumble dry on a low heat, our testers said it washed really well and came out as good as new.

Parent tester Samantha tested this with their 10 week old baby (pictured above) and was shocked that it slept in the bag for 6 solid hours.

Pros: Arms in and out option, travel-friendly, easy to wash, unzips all the way for nappy changes, mesh panels for ventilation
Cons: Quite small and may not last all the way up to 4 months if have a bigger baby

Available from: JoJo Maman Bebe, John Lewis and Amazon

8. Aden + Anais Muslin Swaddles, £10.99

– Best for versatility

Aden + Anais muslin swaddles, Harry Potter and jungle

Suitable from: 0+ | Type: square swaddle | Fabric: 100% cotton muslin | Machine washable: Yes

Measuring 120cm x 120cm, these traditional swaddles, made from a lightweight breathable cotton, offer style on top of function.

The adorable muslins come in lots of different designs, ranging from; jungle, to koalas, to Harry potter if you're a wizarding world fan.

This swaddle is incredibly versatile. As it's a muslin square, it can be used as a burp cloth, nursing cover and much more.

The fabric is breathable and ensures ultimate comfort at bedtime for your little one. It's also machine washable, you can simply just throw it in the wash time and time again and it should remain just as soft as it started the day you bought it.

MFM home tester Krisztina, mum of a 16 month year old girl used Aden + Anais muslins to swaddle her baby and "loved the fabric, it's very soft and light". However, she did go on to say, she "didn't like half-asleep swaddling when doing night time nappy changes". As this is simply a muslin, it is slightly more complex to wrap your baby up in, compared to a swaddle with a zip or Velcro.

Pros: Gorgeous designs, versatile, soft fabric, machine washable
Cons: no fastenings make night time changes hard, quite expensive for its simplicity

Available from: Boots, Selfridges, Aden + Anais and Ocado

9. The White Company Satin Edged Cellular Baby Blanket, £20

– Best for the colder weather

The White Company Satin Edged Cellular Baby Blanket being tested

Suitable for: Birth | Type: Blanket | Fabric: 100% cotton | Machine washable: Yes

Cellular blankets have been used with babies for many years, they may even make you feel a bit nostalgic, remembering your very own cellular blanket.

Some people choose to swaddle their baby in cellular blankets rather than a muslin or a swaddle wrap/bag. MFM home tester Sammy, mother of 2 boys said, "we chose to use a cellular blanket to swaddle our second baby because it was winter when he was born and the blankets felt like a warm and cosy option". Although, she did comment how they're a "bit bulkier than a muslin".

Mariyam, mother of a 9-month year old baby boy also used cellular blankets to swaddle, "I was shown a safe way to wrap a baby in a cellular blanket and found it much easier for night time nappy changing".

Although you can purchase a cellular blanket from pretty much anywhere, we are suggesting The White Company's one as Sammy used this with her baby and said it was her favourite.

The blanket is made from pure cotton, gently brushed for extra softness. It has a silky satin edge that babies love to stroke. It's lightweight, yet has clever 'cell' construction which traps air to keep your baby warm in the winter and cool in the summer.

You can choose from white, blue, grey or pink to match your nursery too.

Pros: Thicker and warmer than other swaddles, soft, luxurious satin edge
Cons: Harder to wrap baby in that ready made swaddle

Available from: The White Company

10. Mamas & Papas 2-Pack Swaddle Wraps, £25

– Best for a multi-pack

Mamas & Papas 2-Pack Swaddle Wraps

Suitable from: 0 to 3 months | Type: swaddle wrap | Fabric: 100% cotton | Machine washable: Yes

These Mamas & Papas 2-pack swaddle wraps are made with 100% jersey cotton, meaning they should not irritate your baby's skin. The 2 swaddles are presented in a reusable 100% jersey cotton bag, making it eco-friendly.

The swaddles are not only soft, but they have sweet scallop print and hot air balloon themed designs.

Now, you may be thinking as this is a wrap and it has no fastenings such as a zip or Velcro, how easy is it to wrap your baby up in? MFM home tester Krupa, mum of 2 boys said, it's "so easy to use" and it "swaddled enough for him not to cover his mouth".

Pros: Get 2 in a pack, machine washable, cute designs
Cons: No fastenings

Available from: Mamas & Papas and Amazon

How did we choose our 10 of the Best?

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. 

We asked a group of real mums what they used to swaddle their baby and what they liked and disliked about it.

When testing swaddles we consider a number of factors including ease of use, material, comfort and value for 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.

Our Expert's Bio

Maria Murphy is a Baby Sleep the Night trained and certified sleep consultant. If you have a baby, toddler or child who doesn't sleep through the night then it really doesn't have to be that way! With Maria's help and personal support your sleepless nights can be a thing of the past within 10 days, often less. Maria offers FREE initial 15 minute phone consultations and weekly live Q&A's on Instagram. To find out how Maria can help you contact her today.

About the author

Chloe is a Digital Reviews Writer and Coordinator for Immediate Media's Parenting team. She researches and writes articles, recommending the best products for parents, ranging from best sleep aids to best playpens. She has a First-Class Honours Psychology degree where she developed a strong interest in child development.

¹ Didişen, N.A., Yavuz, B., Gerçeker, G.Ö., Albayrak, T., Atak, M. and Başbakkal, D.Z., 2020. Infantile colic in infants aged one-six months and the practices of mothers for colic. The Journal of Pediatric Research, 7(3), pp.223-229.

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