The Best Crib Bedding 2017

Best Crib Bedding 2017

Last Updated: Aug 11, 2017 @ 3:04 pmThe Best Crib Bedding 2017. After comparing and testing more than 60 different bedding sets and sheets, we picked Carousel as the best crib bedding you can buy.

Scroll down for our picks for Best Budget-Friendly Crib Bedding and Best Quick Change Sheets, Best Blankets and Best Play Yard and Bassinet Sheets. New to bedding shopping for baby’s room? Read our 7 Things No One Tells You About Buying Crib Bedding for advice and tips.

Carousel’s (babybedding.com breadth of options is universally praised by our readers. Yes, you can custom design a look using Carousel’s patterns or fabric of your choosing.

Bonus: you can also buy fabric by the yard from Carousel in case you have a relative that offers to sew you matching accessories for the nursery, or Carousel can use your fabric if you prefer.

(Scroll down for a detailed review of Carousel/Baby Bedding Online)

The Best Crib Bedding

Carousel/Baby Bedding Online

Carousel’s quality is universally praised by parents. They love that one can custom design a look using Carousel’s patterns or fabric of their own. Prices are on the higher side with sheets at $30 per sheet, but they wash well with elastic all-around.

 

Carousel/Baby Bedding Online: More details

Carousel/Baby Bedding Online used to sell its line of bedding exclusively through retail stores at premium prices. Over a decade ago, however, they decided to change to an Internet-only sales model online at BabyBedding.com (and through Amazon.com as well).

Prices are on the higher side: sheets run $30 each, but  let’s talk quality: Carousel’s sheets are 200 thread count, wash well and have all-around elastic.

Carousel/Baby Bedding Online used to sell its line of bedding exclusively through retail stores at premium prices. Over a decade ago, however, they decided to change to an online sales model online at BabyBedding.com (and through Amazon as well). Smart move.

The site sells all its bedding as separates plus other decor items like matching window valences and lamp shades. Have a desire to outfit a nursery in the colors/logos of your favorite college football team? Yep, they have that too.

What if you want to custom design your baby’s bedding? That’s Carousel’s secret sauce. The site’s Nursery Designer tool allows parents to mix and match any of the patterns and colors available, using drop and drag swatches. For example, let’s say you plan to get a comforter (not for use in a crib, but for play on a floor). You can pick a fabric for the front then a different fabric for the back. Or another color/pattern for the sheets. Or you might like your sheets to come in two or three different patterns. The crib skirt can also be customized.

Then you’ll be able to see the final nursery on line with all the different patterns and colors. When you pick your first pattern, the site will recommend some solids and patterns that go together—but you can pick anything you like. Prices are similar to Carousel’s ready made designs.

Craousel Design 3-Piece Baby Bedding set

Here’s an example of a three-piece bedding set from Carousel. Note: never hang a blanket or comforter over a crib rail like this. Also: that curtain is too close to the crib.

Bargain tip: check out Carousel’s “sale” tab, with clearance and sale items at 30% to 50% off.

Bottom line: good designs, great quality and affordable prices.

One minor quibble: Carousel still displays their sets of crib bedding online with bumpers and blankets draped over a crib rail or teether pads tied to a top rail. While it is still legal in most locales to sell items like bumpers, it would be more socially responsible if Carousel didn’t mercandise these items that way. 

Also Great: Aiden + Anais

Aden + Anais Crib Sheets

Aden + Anais makes sheets in cotton muslin, bamboo rayon, organic cotton and cotton flannel for $22 to $40.

Aden + Anais first came to our attention when we saw their excellent muslin swaddle blankets. Parents love them, so when they expanded into more crib bedding items, we were intrigued.

Aden + Anais (A+A) makes crib sheets, blankets, towel/washcloth sets, changing pads and sleep sacks (called sleeping bags). Their classic crib sheets are made of cotton muslin ($29), organic sheets are certified organically grown cotton muslin ($40) and their bamboo sheets are made of rayon derived from bamboo fiber ($35). Cotton flannel sheets are also available for $23.

Patterns are simple including leaf prints, dots, stars and dragonflies plus a few solid sheets. A+A don’t offer bumpers (yea!), but muslin quilted blankets (“dream blankets”) are available in cotton or rayon from $35 to $60 each (never for use in a crib for a baby under one year of age, in our opinion).

What’s the feedback from parents? Universally, A+A is praised for super softness and cute patterns. They wash well too, although we hear a few complaints that some items can snag in the wash. This brand is on the expensive side, especially if you choose the organic cotton option. But like anything organic, you have to pay a premium.

Bottom line: if you’re looking for super soft, adorable prints, A+A may be the perfect option.

Also Great: Pinzon by Amazon

Pinzon by Amazon crib sheet

Amazon’s Pinzon in house brand sells both full size crib sheets and mini crib sheets at amazing prices for 300 count cotton.

How does $8.31 to $10.99 for a 100% cotton percale, all-around-elastic, 300 thread count crib sheet sound to you? Unbelievable? Yeah, that’s what we thought. Pinzon, an in-house brand from Amazon.com, is exactly that. While their crib sheets are rather new to the market (they debuted in May, 2017), they’ve been selling adult sheet sets under the Pinzon name for a while now, and the ratings are very positive.

Because they are so new, feedback is thin for these crib sheets but mostly positive. There are a few negative reviews noting the sheets are not very soft. We’ll revisit this review as we get more feedback.

Pinzon makes both crib and mini crib sheets ($8.44 to $9.99) in nine colors and patterns. Typically, if can find a 300 thread count sheet, it’s in one or two colors like white and blue.

Best Budget-Friendly Crib Bedding

American Baby Company Crib Sheet

Best Budget-Friendly Bedding.
American Baby is one of the most affordable brands offering excellent quality 100% cotton percale and jersey sheets.

Starting at $13 (some on sale for as little as $10) per sheet and going up to $20, American Baby makes separates as well as three– and six-piece sets starting at $30.

Don’t bother with sets that include bumper pads as we don’t recommend using them (see our 7 Things below for more on bumpers). American Baby makes waterproof mattress pads, changing pad covers, crib rail covers, mini crib and cradle bedding sets. They even have a few organic cotton options. Colors and patterns are basic. Bottom line: our readers like American Baby overall and are happy with the quality and price.

Best Quick Change Sheets

 

QuickZip Crib Sheet

Best Quick Change Sheets. The QuickZip Crib Sheet is our top pick for best quick change sheet.

What are quick change sheets? As the name implies, these sheets have a zip-off top layer to make changes quicker. You place it on the mattress like any fitted crib sheet, but if your baby’s diaper leaks in the middle of the night, you don’t have to struggle with removing the sheet and replacing it. Simply zip off the top platform and zip on a clean, dry one. Voila! Minimal hassle.

Ok, that convenience comes at a price: the sheets run $40 for the sheet with base and $25 for just the zip on top. (You buy the $40 set and then a few $25 top sheets).

Also great: Summer Ultimate Crib Sheet, which lays on top off a regular fitted sheet and is snapped to the crib slats. Just unsnap it and replace it with a clean, dry sheet. It’s less expensive than the QuickZip at $32 for two sheets.

What’s the difference between the two? Unlike the QuickZip, Summer has a waterproof backing. But we find the QuickZip easier to use than Summer’s snaps.

 

 

Best Blankets (Swaddles, Wearables, Receiving)

Aden + Anais Classic Swaddle Blankets

Aden + Anais has a terrific reputation for great quality muslin swaddling blankets with cute patterns.

Best Blankets. Our top pick for swaddle blanket (also called Swaddles) is the Aden + Anais classic muslin swaddle, in a four pack for $50. Excellent quality and a generous size makes swaddling easy for novices. And they come in cute patterns too!

Halo SleepSack wearable blanket

Halo SleepSack practically created the blanket wearing concept.

For wearable blankets, we recommend the Halo SleepSack, an all-cotton wearable blanket for $17.50 (prices range from $12 to $30 depending on color).

Bobbleroos Receiving Blanket

Bright colors are a hallmark of Bobbleroos excellent receiving blankets.

And if you want a traditional receiving blanket, check out  BobbleRoos. These 100% cotton flannel blankets ($15) are great to have around the house or throw in the diaper bag.

Best Play Yard and Bassinet Sheets

American Baby Play Yard Sheet

While the color may not be dazzling, this organic cotton American Baby play yard sheet shines at only $10.

Best Play Yard and Bassinet Sheets. Play yards are handy, but they have one drawback: they only include one sheet. So if your baby’s diaper leaks, you’ll need a  backup play yard sheet or two.

Our pick in this category is American Baby Company’s fitted play yard sheet, which fits the Graco Pack N Play bassinet/play yard  mattress (as well as many other brands). At $10, it is a good deal and is made of organic cotton.

Why Trust Us

We’ve been rating and reviewing crib bedding since 1994. In addition to checking fabric content, washing instructions, and quality features like all-around elastic, we have extensivly researched how to create safe sleeping spaces for baby. We also evaluate consumer reviews posted on sites like Babies R Us and Amazon, as well as our own message boards.

Here’s another key point: we don’t take money from the brands we review. No free samples, no sponsors, no “partnerships.” Baby Bargains is your independent and unbiased source for expert baby gear reviews. We’ve been writing and reviewing baby gear since 1994. Yes, that long!

How we picked a winner

Baby sleeping

We evaluate crib bedding with in-depth inspections, checking models for quality and and safety—for example, testing for washability and softness. We also gather significant reader feedback (our book, Baby Bargains has over 1 million copies in print), tracking crib bedding on quality and durability. After all, if that cute crib sheet falls apart after three washings, why bother?

Besides interviewing parents, we also regularly talk with retailers and consumer safety experts to see which brands are most trustworthy and other key quality metrics.

7 Things No One Tells You About . . .

7 Things No One Tells You About Buying Crib Bedding!

1. We DO NOT recommend crib bumpers.

bumpers

Avoid bumpers, especially thick, fluffy ones.

Do not use bumpers in your baby’s crib, cradle or bassinet. A landmark investigation by the Chicago Tribune detailed a link between crib bumpers and two dozen infant deaths in the past decade. The article (“Hidden Hazard of Crib Bumpers,” December 12, 2010) prompted the CPSC to open a review of the safety of crib bumpers. An earlier study by a Washington University pediatrician, Dr. Bradley Thach “concluded that 27 babies’ deaths were attributed to bumper pads from 1985 to 2005.” This study, however, has been largely ignored by both the industry and the CPSC, although it prompted the American Academy of Pediatrics to discourage parents from using bumpers.

As a side note, Canada has discouraged bumper use for many years. One Canadian reader noted: “We are not supposed to use bumper pads due to the increased risk of SIDS. No one I know uses them. When the health nurse comes to visit you in the home, she checks to make sure you don’t have bumper pads.”

It’s time parents in the U.S. followed similar guidelines. Now we know what you’re thinking: “What if my baby hits his head on the hard wood slats?” or “What if she gets her arm or leg stuck between the slats?” First, these issues are rare—few kids are injured by knocking their heads against the slats and even fewer get limbs stuck.

However, there are a couple of bumper alternatives if your little baby decides getting a leg stuck in the crib slats is fun: Wonder Bumpers and BreathableBaby Railguard. Most of these items are either breathable mesh or firm, shock absorbing foam that don’t pose a suffocation risk. Again, most folks will not need these bumper alternatives. The best advice is go without any bumpers in the crib at all.

2. Some crib sheets will shrink in the wash.

Check the labels carefully on the sheet or bedding set you’re thinking of buying. If a sheet recommends washing in cold water and line drying, chances are it’s going to shrink. And if it shrinks, it won’t fit the mattress properly. This is a suffocation hazard if the sheet should come off at one of the corners.

Once you’ve checked the washing instructions, look for elastic around the bottom of the entire sheet. Cheap sheets only use elastic on the ends.

3. There are several other hallmarks of quality to look for when buying crib bedding.

  • Ruffles should be folded over for double thickness–not a single thickness ruffle with hemmed edge.
  • Colored designs on bedding should be printed or woven into the fabric not stamped on (like a screen printed t-shirt).
  • Make sure the pieces are sewn with cotton/poly thread, not nylon, which can melt and break.
  • Check for tight, smooth stitching on appliqués.
  • If possible, try to buy sheets with a 200 thread count. Frustratingly, most crib sheets do not label thread count, but if you can count the individual threads when looking at a crib sheet up to a light, that’s probably a sheet with a low thread count.

4. You shouldn’t use any soft bedding in baby’s crib.

This is an extension of the bumper discussion in Tip #1. Studies on Sudden Infant Death Syndrome (SIDS, also known as crib death) have linked SIDS to infants sleeping on fluffy bedding, lambskins, or pillows. A pocket can form around the baby’s face if she is placed face down in fluffy bedding, and she can slowly suffocate while breathing in her own carbon dioxide.

The best advice: put your infant on her back when she sleeps. And don’t put pillows, comforters or other soft bedding or toys inside a crib.

The Consumer Product Safety Commission now recommends that parents not use ANY soft bedding around, on top of, or under baby. If you want to use a blanket, tuck a very thin blanket under the mattress at one end of the crib to keep it from moving around. The blanket should then only come up to baby’s chest. Safest of all: avoid using any blankets in a crib and put baby in a wearable blanket for warmth (see photo below; our wearable blankets recommendation is above).

Baby Sleeping ohio.gov

HelpMeGrow.Ohio.gov posts this and other examples of safe sleep habits for parents.

One mom wrote to tell us about a scary incident in her nursery. She had left a blanket hanging over the side of the crib when she put her son down for a nap. He managed to pull the blanket down and get wrapped up in it, nearly suffocating. Stories like that convince us that putting any soft bedding in or near a crib is risky.

How much bedding is too much? A new father emailed us this question: “With all the waterproof liners, fitted sheets and ultimate crib sheets we’re worried that our firm mattress is now becoming soft and squishy. How many layers are safe?” Good point. We know that some parents figure it is easier to change crib sheets at 2 am if they simply pile on several layers of sheets on the crib mattress. (This way, you simply remove the top wet layer when changing the sheets). While we admire the creative thinking, we suggest NOT doing this.

Our advice: one sheet over a waterproof crib pad is enough. Or use a QuickZip sheet or an Ultimate Crib Sheet (see recommendations above). The take-home message: any more than TWO layers on top of a mattress is dangerous

5. Avoid electric blankets and heating pads.

Baby diapers often leak (sorry, fact of life) and an electric blanket or heating pad shouldn’t get wet! Also, overheated babies have a higher risk of SIDS. If your baby seems cold, add an extra layer under her wearable blanket for warmth. Don’t turn the thermostat up over 68° though. A too warm nursery is dangerous.

6. Take care if you are swaddling your baby, you could be wrapping her too tight.

swaddled baby

It’s fine to wrap your baby’s arms snugly but leave the legs loose enough for him to move them around. Experts advise this technique to possibly prevent hip dislocation from spending hours wrapped like a mummy!

And stop swaddling after two months—your baby will need to move around and stretch out after that age.

7.  Let’s talk about how much bedding you really need.

Start with three to four fitted sheets. This gives you enough for quick changes without doing laundry every day. Next you’ll want a couple waterproof mattress pads (one to use, another spare one when pad #1 is in the wash). You don’t want your baby’s pee to soak into the mattress or its seams. We also recommend some light blankets. A few for swaddling, a few to throw on the floor to play on.

Additional but not necessary bedding options include dust ruffles and curtains—these are optional decor items. (Never put a curtain near the crib).

You definitely don’t need diaper stackers (fancy fabric case for diapers), pillows (can’t use them until about age 3) and thick baby quilts. Wall hangings might be nice for decor but they aren’t necessary. An optional teething rail (shown in the picture at the top of this page) should only be used for older babies who are standing and they should be secured tightly to the crib.

In the end, all you really need are sheets and blankets (or wearable blankets).

Reviews of 60+ Crib Bedding Manufacturers. Yes, 60+!

The Best Crib Bedding

Carousel/Baby Bedding Online

Carousel’s quality is universally praised by parents. They also love that they can custom design a look using Carousel’s patterns or fabric of their own. Prices are on the higher side with sheets at $30 per sheet, but they wash well (durability is excellent) with elastic all around for a secure fit.