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When you mention the brand Maxi-Cosi, car seats and strollers come to mind. But last summer, the company brought out a new home collection, which includes the Minla high chair, Kori rocker and the Iora bedside sleeper.
Renowned for its baby travel products since 1984, the Dutch brand only just branched out into the home baby product market. So has its innovative travel design translated well into this new sector?
The Iora bedside sleeper is marketed as a sophisticated bedside crib that can also be used as a standalone crib. As Maxi-Cosi’s strapline for the product is ‘at the end of the day, it’s all about comfort’, we had high hopes for this product.
Priced at £189, the Iora has lots of practical features including a generous storage basket, an easy-slide function that allows you to fit it to your bedside better, and 5 heigh adjustments to get the perfect height for any bed.
The product won bronze in our MFM Awards 2020, with judges loving its functionality and particularly its superior quality and style. Here we tested it in detail…
Georgina Probert is mum of 4-year-old Imogen and is pregnant with her second child, who is due in June 2020. She tested the Iora with the help of her brother Will and 5-month-old niece Chloe who slept in it at night and during daytime naps.
What were your first impressions of the Maxi-Cosi Iora?
My husband and I have very different taste to my brother and his wife, but we all liked the look of the Iora. It comes in 3 colours: Essential Graphite, Essential Grey (the colour we tested) and Essential Blue, which are all stylish and understated. The wood finish around the top of the basket looks smart and the muted colours will complement most bedroom schemes.
What age is the Maxi-Cosi Iora suitable for?
The Iora is suitable from birth to 9kg, approximately 6 months – or until your baby sits up. It is quite generous in size for a crib, so I think it should definitely fit a child that age.
How does the Iora compare to other bedside sleepers you have used?
The Iora is similar in functionality to the Chicco Next2me bedside crib, but it is much more straightforward to assemble and easy to attach to your bed. One problem my brother highlighted with the Next2me is that he had to fold and clip in the legs to fit it up close to his divan bed.
The other main difference between the two products is that the Next2me can be fully opened on one side, while the Iora has a barrier to stop your baby from falling out or rolling onto your bed.
We used an earlier incarnation of the SnüzPod 3 (£199.31 on Amazon) with our daughter in 2016. While it was very smart looking, it didn’t fit properly next to our bed, so we only used it as a standalone crib. Plus, our daughter ran out of space after a few months. We rate the Iora due to its larger basket, slide function that allows you to move it closer to your bed and the ability to change the height.
In terms of value for money, the Iora has very similar functionality and is priced similarly to the Chicco Next2me (RRP £179). However, compared to other luxury bedside sleepers, such as Jané Babyside Bedside Crib (£235), Halo Bassinest (£249.99) and the SnüzPod 3, the Iora feels like good value for money – although it doesn’t have a rocking function, for example, as some of those do.
What did you think of the storage basket?
The only feature that I and my brother disagreed on was the large storage basket at the bottom of the crib. He said that it looked a bit cheaper than the rest of the cot and was unnecessary. That did not bother me, and I felt that the basket could be useful for storing nappies and blankets – which is particularly helpful if you are short of space in your bedroom.
In fact, the storage basket was one of our MFM tester’s favourite features, “The basket under the crib makes storage easy, it has room for so much things!”
How do you assemble the Maxi-Cosi Iora?
It is tricky to assemble furniture at the best of times, but when you are sleep deprived and adapting to life with a new baby, the last thing you want to be stressing over is how to build your baby’s crib.
Thankfully, the Iora is really straightforward to put together. There are no nuts or bolts, and all of the pieces slot together. My brother Will – who initially tested it with his newborn daughter Chloe and is a first-time parent – found it easy to assemble using the online instructions. Being mum to a 4-year-old, and more experienced at assembling all manner of baby products, I decided to have a go at building it with no instructions. It was an absolute breeze. It was obvious which pieces go together, simple to build and had neat zips to keep everything in place.
How does the Iora fit to the bed?
The Iora has 5 height settings to enable it to stand level with your bed and you can easily change the height by pressing the buttons on the side of the basket to lift or lower it. Will has a particularly high divan bed and he was impressed that the cot was able to sit flush to the mattress. On the other hand, our iron-frame bed is somewhat lower than average, but the Iora also sat in the correct position with our mattress.
The Iora also has an easy-slide mechanism that allows you to slide it closer to the bed or further away. While we really like this function, it can only be fixed at two points either end of the slide – it would be useful to be able to fix it in an intermediate position.
The Iora comes with straps to attach it to your bed, and the solid frame means it can also be used with confidence as a standalone crib. We liked the versatility of this cot, especially as your needs may change as your baby grows.
Is the Iora comfortable?
The Iora comes with a foam mattress measuring 80cm x 50cm x 30cm, and baby Chloe seemed happy and slept well. The basket is large with dimensions of 74.5cm x 55.5cm x 93cm – this is particularly useful if you have a longer-than-average child, as there’s lots of growing room. Chloe is currently 5 months old and still has plenty of room to kick her legs without hitting the end of the crib.
Even though the cot is well-made and the materials are good quality, so all comfort-boxes are ticked on that front, we did miss the option of a rocking function or an incline. Newborns can suffer from reflux or struggle to be soothed to sleep, so everything helps – it’s a shame, the Iora doesn’t offer these.
How does the Maxi-Cosi Iora compare to a traditional moses basket?
I much prefer using a bedside sleeper to a moses basket, as it has space for your baby to grow. There is nothing worse than getting your newborn used to a moses basket and then having to adapt to a new sleeping environment a couple of months down the line.
The NICE guidelines recommend laying your baby on a firm mattress and keeping its sleeping area clear (from any extra bedding or soft toys). However, if you do decide to use a Sleepyhead or similar cocoon for supervised daytime naps, there is plenty of room for this to fit in the cot. Just make sure you follow advice on their safe use.
How was the Iora at night and for daytime naps?
One of the features of the Iora that we really like is the mesh window, as it allows you to see your baby even when the side is up. This is great if you want to check whether or not baby is asleep without hovering over the top of the crib.
You can have one side of the cot open by simply undoing the zips and unclipping the top bar of the basket (although there is an 18cm high barrier to prevent your baby from falling out of the cot). This is great for night feeds, as you can lean over and easily get your baby out, without having to get up and walk around the crib – a great feature for breastfeeding mums or those recovering from more traumatic births.
How easy is it to move the Iora from room to room?
Due to the Iora’s large size, it is fairly clunky and not that easy to move around the home. However, it is light enough that one person could carry it from one room to another.
Can you travel with it?
The Iora is very quick and easy to take apart and store in its travel bag. This is ideal if you are going away for the night or going on holiday in a car, as it folds very flat in the travel bag and weighs just 10.8kg (as comparison, the Chicco Next2me weighs 9kg when disassembled).
While it is flat, the bag is still quite large and it is not as compact as other travel cots on the market – we would be wary of taking it on an aeroplane or train journey.
This was also a feature MFM tester, Ella, praised, “I love the fact that it can fold away easily for way for travel, in a handy bag that I don’t think will rip or tear easily.”
How easy is it to clean the Maxi-Cosi Iora?
The covers are easy to remove and wash, but the outer fabric does crease easily, which we found after disassembling the cot and putting it in the travel bag. Let’s face it, new parents do not have time to spend ironing the covers of their crib.
What’s in the box?
The Iora comes flat packed and has to be assembled at home. It comes with:
- Iora basket/base
- Zip-off machine-washable inner fabric
- 2 x steel legs
- Travel bag
- Attachment straps
- Storage basket
Are there any other accessories you can get?
You can buy Iora bedsheets for £19.20, but you don’t really need anything else.
Where can you buy the Maxi-Cosi Iora bedside crib?
You can buy the Iora directly from Maxi-Cosi or other retailers such as Amazon and John Lewis
If you want to co-sleep with your baby, but are worried about being in the same bed, the Iora is the perfect compromise. Its functionality is great, it’s simple to build and easy to fit to different types of bed, so it’s very straight-forward even for sleep-deprived first-time parents. We would definitely recommend it for its size, easy of use and stylish appearance.
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