The nursery furniture business has seen several adult furniture makers come and go over the last decade. First there was Young America by Stanley (2003-2014), which was followed by Home Meridian’s Creations line (2005-2013).
Both of those adult furniture makers lost millions of dollars trying to crack the upper end of the juvenile business. A common problem: making cribs and dressers is apparently much more difficult and challenging than teen furniture like bunk beds and desks. Most upper-end nursery furniture is sold by special order—quite a different business than selling truckloads of furniture to large adult furniture chains.
Despite the challenges, furniture maker Universal is giving the nursery market a go. Universal’s Smartstuff line of youth and teen furniture offers nine cribs designs (called Smartcribs) that convert to toddler and full-size beds. Smartstuff cribs also coordinate with the vast array of Smartsuff youth furniture (desks, night stands, etc).
As for style, Smartstuff plays it safe with mostly traditional designs albeit with some decorative touches (turned feet on the cribs, for example). One new look, the myRoom crib has a high back rail of solid wood with a rustic finish for a more modern aesthetic. The finish choices with Smartstuff are limited—most styles have only one or two options.
So what does a Smartcrib cost? Hope you’re sitting down. These cribs run all run $700-$900. That doesn’t include all the parts to convert them from cribs to toddler beds and full size adult beds (at a minimum you’ll need to purchase bed rails). You can also buy a toddler rail and an optional footboard.
As for quality, we have yet to see this furniture in person. The main selling feature of an adult furniture brand’s juvenile offerings are the touches more common in the adult word: built-in night lights under the night stands, self-closing drawers with full extension glides, etc. Given the specs of these cribs, however, this looks like another over-priced nursery offering.
Rating: Not Yet.