What are the best bassinets for a bedside? We looked at several bassinets designed to sit right next to your bed, allowing easy access for nursing. Judged on ease of use, quality and affordability, we pick these bassinets as the best of the bunch. A quick safety note: some of these bassinets have fold-down sides. When baby is put down to sleep, we recommend having all the sides of a bassinet in the full, upright position. That prevents baby from rolling toward an open side and possibly becoming entrapped between the bassinet and an adult bed. Only use the included mattress in the bassinet—never add additional padding or bedding.
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After researching bassinets for the last 20 plus years, we pick the HALO Bassinest as the best bassinet for parents of newborns. This bassinet achieves two goals: allowing rooming in for newborns (to help with breastfeeding) while providing a safe sleep space separate from a parent’s bed.
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 available separately.
Here’s more on why we like the HALO as the best bassinet overall:
What We Liked
• Different versions for different folks. The Bassinest comes in three versions: the basic model (called the Essentia), a deluxe version (Premiere), and the Luxe. The latter two versions add vibration, sounds and lullabies, nightlight and additional storage. Those are nice—but if you just want a no-frills bassinet, the basic model would do fine as well.
• Easy to use and set up. Quality is very good.
• Mesh sides for airflow. We prefer this to bassinets that have closed or fabric sides, which restrict airflow.
• Quiet! When you push down the side, it doesn’t make any noise.
• A twin version also available. Basically, this is a larger version of the Bassinest with a divider down the middle for twins. It has the same basic features as the Bassinest.
What Needs Work
• Heavy and bulky with wide base. Yes, there a few negatives to the Bassinest to note—and as such, it may not be the perfect solution for everyone. First, it is rather heavy and bulky with a large base. As a result, you can’t move it easily from room to room. It basically needs to be set up next to a bed and left there. (On the plus side, the heavy weight keeps older kiddos from accidentally knocking it over).
• Easy to trip over legs. For stability reasons, this bassinet has long legs on its base—and those are easy to trip over in the middle of the night.
• Tilt feature causes some confusion. Yes, a few folks are surprised by Bassinet’s tilt feature—which means the baby can roll to one side or another if it is not perfectly flat. That can be caused by an uneven floor in your bedroom or by simply accidentally knocking the unit (and sometimes by a baby scooting from one side to the other). But this happens very infrequently, in our analysis.
• Hard to clean. To clean the cloth parts of the bassinet, you have to remove them by unscrewing various screws. HALO could make this process easier.
Accessory to skip: HALO Bassinest Newborn Insert
While we recommend the HALO Bassinest, we say pass on their “newborn insert,” an accessory designed to create a smaller space inside the bassinet for newborns. This inserts attaches to the side of the bassinet and has mesh sides.
HALO takes great pains to point out that this insert is not a baby hammock, as it has a firm flat sleeping surface at the bottom. Still, we think this concept is too close for comfort to other baby hammocks on the market—which we do NOT recommend.
We don’t see the point of this accessory—a newborn is perfectly safe and secure in the Bassinest, no insert needed.
Sometimes, the simpler the baby product, the better. Case in point: Fisher-Price’s Soothing Motions Bassinet. Basically, this is a simple bassinet with mesh sides, swing motion, vibration and lullabies. It came out tops in our testing for ease of use and overall quality. Here’s more:
What We Liked
• Easy to put together. Assembly took under 15 minutes.
• Cute extras. In addition to a sturdy bassinet, this model features a cute mobile and light/vibration module.
• Mesh sides for air flow.
• White noise generator includes such sounds as bird noises.
What Needs Work
• No wheels. As such, this bassinet isn’t very mobile. And it is so wide, it doesn’t easily fit through smaller doorways.
• No fold or squish down side. You access baby from the top of the bassinet. It’s easier to do this if the bassinet has side that squish or fold down; this bassinet doesn’t have that feature.
• Motion can awake a sleeping baby. When you put a sleeping baby down to sleep, the bassinet can move—and that can startle some newborns.
• No height adjustment.
• Sounds/lights turn off after 30 minutes. This is a battery saving feature, of course. But it also means kiddos can wake up when this stops!
• 20 lb. limit.You can only use this bassinet until your baby hits 20 lbs., which is a lower limit than other bassinets we tested.
Most bassinets aren’t very portable—moving them from room to room is surprisingly difficult. That’s why we liked this bassinet: Mika Micky’s Bedside Sleeper. It was tops in our tests for bassinets with wheels. Here’s more:
What We Liked
• Height adjustable with seven positions
• Storage pockets on side for diapers, etc.
• Narrow enough to fit through most doorways.
What Needs Work
• Mesh doesn’t extend down to mattress. While this bassinet has mesh sides, the mesh doesn’t extend down to the mattress. That means baby could roll up against the side and not have airflow. Care should be taken to make sure baby is placed in the center of the bassinet. Transition the baby out of the bassinet before they can roll over (usually around four months).
• Not for houses with uneven floors. Because this bassinet lacks mesh sides down to the mattress, if your bedroom has uneven floors, the bassinet could tilt to one side or the other. This would be a hazard.
• Hard to assemble. Compared to other bassinets we tested, the Mika Micky was much harder to assemble.
• Wheels can lock on their own.
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.
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.
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 her back.
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 a couple hundred bucks, about the same as a free-standing bassinet but with the added feature of attaching to your stroller too.
The only caveat? These bassinets have solid sides, which can be a safety hazard if baby scoots to one side or the other. We prefer bassinets with mesh sides for airflow. So the stroller bassinet trick might work for newborns who aren’t moving around yet and you need a solution for one night at the in-laws. But we wouldn’t recommend it as a long-term sleep solution.
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 typically range from one hundred to two hundred bucks. 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.
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. Again, our biggest concern here is with safety—the baskets have solid sides. We prefer mesh for airflow in case baby scoots to one side or the other.
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. Here’s an example:
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.
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!
Why Trust Us
We’ve been rating and reviewing products for the home and families since 1994. We do hands-on testing—we buy the products with our own money and evaluate with an eye toward quality, ease of use and affordability.
Here's another key point: we don't take money from the brands we review. No free samples, no sponsors, no "partnerships." Our work is 100% reader-supported!
BabyBargains.com is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to Amazon.com and its related sites. As an Amazon Associate, I earn from qualifying purchases.
We obsess over gear for families . . . so you don't have to. Baby Bargains has one mission: help you find the best gear for your family and home with unbiased reviews by experts with 20 years of experience. At prices that don't break the bank. When you purchase a product from links on this site, we make a small affiliate commission. Learn more about our work and how to support our site.
BabyBargains.com is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to Amazon.com and its related sites. As an Amazon Associate I earn from qualifying purchases.
Why trust us
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 reviews of products for the family, parents and the home. We’ve been writing and reviewing gear since 1994.
But don’t take our word for it: The New York Times called Baby Bargains “the bible for new parents-to-be!” Baby Bargains has been featured in the Wall Street Journal, Good Morning America and NBC’s Today Show.