The Best Bassinet

Best Bassinet

Last updated: October 10, 2016. The Best Bassinet. After researching bassinets for the last 20 plus years, we pick The HALO Bassinest as the best bassinet for parents of newborns. This bassinet achives two goals: allowing rooming in for newborns (to help with breastfeeding) while providing a safe sleep space separate from a parent’s bed.

New to bassinet shopping for baby’s room? Read our 7 Things No One Tells You About Buying for advice and tips.

The HALO Bassinest has side walls that squish down for quick access to the baby; it also sits on a base that allows you to rotate or swivel it 360 degrees. The Bassinest includes a waterproof mattress pad and sheet; extra sheets are $15.

The Bassinest comes in four versions: a basic model for $220 (called the Essentia), a deluxe version for $250 (Premiere), the Luxe for $280 and the Luxe Plus for $300. For the more expensive versions, HALO adds vibration, sounds and lullabies, nightlight and additional storage. While those frills are nice, we recommend going with the basic model—it’s all most parents need. Vibration and lullabies aren’t necessary for a newborn.

Here’s a quick video that goes over the HALO Bassinest basic features:

The Best Bassinet

HALO Bassinest Swivel Sleeper Bassinet

We pick the HALO Bassinest as one of the safest options for newborns up to five months of age. With a swivel basket and adjustable base, the Bassinest pulls up to your bed for convenient feeding in the night.  While the Bassinest is available in four different iterations, we recommend the basic Essentia version for $200.

Best Travel Bassinet

BRICA Fold N' Go Travel Bassinet

Best Travel Bassinet. Got a road trip ahead? Here’s a solution for hotel rooms. The BRICA Fold N’ Go travel bassinet is a decent buy at $36—it features a firm mattress with fitted sheet and mesh panels. As the name implies, it folds compact for travel.

FYI: Most bassinets work up to about five months of age, but the smaller BRICA  and can only be used for babies who are under three months of age and 15 pounds. FYI: BRICA is part of the Munchkin baby gear brand.

Why Trust Us

We’ve been rating and reviewing bassinets and other newborn sleep products since 1994. In addition to hands on inspections, we have also visited manufacturer facilities and met with safety regulators—and when we travel, we pay our all of our own expenses. 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

We evaluate bassinets with in-depth inspections, checking models for overall quality and durability. We also gather significant reader feedback (our book, Baby Bargains has over 1 million copies in print). Besides interviewing parents, we also regularly talk with retailers of nursery furniture to see which brands are most trustworthy and other key quality metrics.

The reliability of bassinet manufacturers is another key factor—we meet with key company executives at least once a year. Since we’ve been doing this since 1994, we have developed detailed profiles of major crib brands that help guide our recommendations. See below for links.

7 Things No One Tells You About . . .

7 Things No One Tells You About Buying A Bassinet!

1. No matter where you put your baby down for a nap or overnight, focus on the four basic safety rules for safe sleep:

  • Do not use any soft bedding in the crib/bassinet/cradle/Moses basket.
  • Place baby to sleep on his/her back, side or stomach.
  • Keep the room temperature in baby’s room at about 68° F.
  • Don’t overdress your baby. A light blanket sleeper is all you need.

2. Many stroller manufacturers sell bassinets as accessories.

If allowed by a stroller’s maker, you can use these detachable stroller bassinets as free standing bassinets in your home, not just on your stroller. You’ll find manufacturers like UPPAbaby, Peg Perego, and Britax enable you to use their stroller bassinet as a stand-alone sleep space at home. Stroller bassinets typically cost around $200 to $250, about the same as a free standing bassinet but with the added feature of attaching to your stroller too.

UPPAbaby bassinet

UPPAbaby’s Bassinet works with the Vista and the Cruz strollers and sells for $190 to $200. A stationery stand is also available for another $250.

3. Cradles are another option for newborn sleep.

If the idea of a plastic bassinet doesn’t appeal to you, consider a cradle. Unlike bassinets, cradles are typically made of wood and can be rocked. Prices range from $100 to $250 or more. If you plan on having more than one child, a cradle is a very sturdy option. You can also create a family heirloom with a cradle by passing it along to others in your family. Typically a cradle comes with a mattress pad, although replacement pads are available in a variety of sizes to fit different cradles.

Dream on Me Cradle

This Dream on Me cradle runs about $100. As is typical of cradles, the style is rather plain. Other than a sheet for the mattress pad, no other bedding should be added.

4. Moses baskets can only be used for a short time.

Moses baskets are woven baskets with liners and carry handles. You can put your newborn in a Moses basket for naps, and move your baby around the house without disturbing her. Unfortunately, these baskets are useful for only a few weeks before they reach their maximum weight limit. If you get one for a gift, it might be useful, but it probably doesn’t make sense to buy one on on your own. They typically cost around $50.

Badger Basket Moses basket

Badger Basket makes quite a few Moses baskets like this one averaging around $50.

5. Play yards now come with bassinet attachments.

If you’re going to buy a play yard anyway, consider buying a version with a bassinet attachment. You can find our top picks for play yards here.

Graco Pack N Play with Bassinet

Graco makes a number of Pack N Play play yards with bassinet features. This version, the Graco Pack N Play Playard Bassinet with Automatic Folding Feet sells for $76.

6. Mini cribs are yet another option for newborn sleep and can be repurposed at Grandma’s house.

Mini cribs are sized similarly to a cradle at about 38″ long by 24″ wide. For comparison, a full size crib is about 52″ long and 28″ wide. Mini cribs have to adhere to similarly stringent safety standards as full size cribs, so they are quite safe.

The disadvantage of mini cribs? Babies often outgrow them LONG before they are old enough to go into a toddler or big kid bed—that means you’ll have to then use a full-size crib.

Some mini crib manufacturers note their mini cribs can’t be used “when a child begins to climb.” Well, a typical child will hit that milestone around six to ten months, when they can pull themselves up to a standing position. A mini crib has lower rails then a standard size crib—and that makes climbing out easy for infants under a year old . . . which of course is dangerous.

The take-home message: a mini crib does NOT replace the need for a full-size crib. A mini-crib replaces a bassinet.

Babyletto Origami Mini Crib

Babyletto’s Origami Mini Crib ($270) might be an option for moms who want their newborns to room in. But you need to take baby out of the Origami “when your child begins to climb,” according to the instructions. This means you may need a full size crib by the time baby is as young as 6 months of age.

7. In the end, you can just use a full size crib from birth.

That’s right. After all our prattling on above, you really don’t have to purchase a bassinet, cradle, mini crib or Moses basket. A full size crib will do the trick . . . and save you some money!

But  . . . what if you don’t have room for a full-size crib in your bedroom? And you want your baby to room in to make sure breastfeeding is established during those first weeks? That’s where the bassinet comes in!

The Best Bassinet

HALO Bassinest Swivel Sleeper Bassinet

We pick the HALO Bassinest as one of the safest options for newborns up to five months of age. With the swivel basket and adjustable base, the Bassinest pulls up to your bed for convenient feeding in the night.  While the Bassinest is available in four different iterations, we recommend the basic Essentia version for $200.