Cubby Nursery Awards 2024

We Asked 1,000 Parents to Tell Us What Bassinet or Bedside Sleeper to Buy, and the Answers Were Definitive

published Mar 22, 2024
We independently select these products—if you buy from one of our links, we may earn a commission. All prices were accurate at the time of publishing.

Parenting is hard, but discovering what baby essentials to buy shouldn’t be. If you’re looking for nursery ideas, you may be focused on pinning all the baby boy nursery ideas or baby girl nursery ideas you can find. But we know you’ve also got baby gear — like a bassinet! — on the mind. Should you get one? If so, which one and why? We asked over 1,000 parents to make a case for the best bassinet or bedside sleeper to put on a baby registry, and boy, did they deliver. Two bedside bassinets came up over and over, and we second the recommendations wholeheartedly. 

Why You Should Trust Us

This is a best list that comes with real chops. Cubby is helmed by a small yet vibrant team of design-savvy parents who are unusually invested in finding the best products for life at home with kids, beginning with the nursery. Faith Durand (SVP of Content at Apartment Therapy Media, two kids, pro pinner of all the things), Cambria Bold (Executive Editor of Cubby, two kids, hobby designer, avid product researcher), and Laura Schocker (Chief Content Officer at Apartment Therapy Media, one kid and one on the way, small space / city living expert) have 40 years of digital editorial experience between them. They’ve already read about, researched, and purchased many of the baby products that you, as a soon-to-be parent, are wondering about right now. They’ll tell you exactly what you need to know about what to get. 

If they don’t know the answer, they know plenty of people to ask — fellow editors, parenting experts, designers, and Cubby readers — so you can be sure that these recommendations come from real-life experiences.

Most importantly, we don’t just “office test” these products (read: order a bunch and shake ‘em around in our office “lab” with a fake baby doll) because that is helpful to approximately no one. The products we recommend here are ones we or fellow parents have actually purchased ourselves for our nursery and used for at least a few months (and sometimes way longer). The rave reviews are real.

How We Chose These Products

We asked readers (and parents!) of Apartment Therapy Media, which includes Cubby, Apartment Therapy, and The Kitchn, to tell us what bassinet or bedside sleeper they used (if any) with their baby, and why or why not they’d recommend it to other parents. We received over 1,000 responses.

We took the top two recommended bassinets or bedside sleepers from this survey, cross-checked those products with the safe sleep recommendations outlined by the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP), and then assessed our own firsthand experiences with the product.

If all three of those criteria lined up — strongly recommended by our survey parents, approved by the AAP, and/or personally used for a significant period of time (with positive results!) by one of our editors — it made it to this list!

Credit: Halo

The Safe, Affordable Standard: The Halo BassiNest Swivel Sleeper 3.0

The first of our survey’s top two recommended bassinets or bedside sleepers is the BassiNest Swivel Sleeper 3.0 from Halo. Our survey parents most loved BassiNest’s swivel feature that brings it close to the bed, its see-through mesh sides, and its overall sturdiness. Many parents also noted that the push-down wall feature was “a lifesaver” for mothers recovering from a C-section, because it didn’t require having to fully sit up to reach the baby.

What Parents Said About the BassiNest in Our Survey

“The swivel function is so helpful for postpartum and also later in the middle of the night so you don’t have to scoot or get up to put the baby down. You just pull the bassinet towards you.” 

“I used it with all 3 of my babies. It sits nicely next to the bed, at mattress level; the side lowers for easy access (especially as a recovering C-section mom), and the mesh sides allow for seeing the baby at all times.”

“I loved that the basket detached from the stand and I could move it around the house!”

“It’s lightweight, the mattress is waterproof, and I loved the mesh sides.”

A Great Alternative

Readers also loved the just-slightly-different BassiNest Soothing Swivel Sleeper 3.0, which is just like the Swivel Sleeper except it comes with built-in vibration and white noise features. As one reader said: “It’s chic, affordable, sturdy, and has an easy-to-use soothing center with buttons for white noise, night lights, and vibration. It easily swivels right next to the bed, bringing my baby as close to me as he can get without being in my bed. Baby loves it!”

The Only Downside

While Halo’s BassiNest was very popular, some parents took issue with its slightly large footprint, making it less than ideal for super-small spaces. A few called it “a bit bulky.”

Credit: Happiest Baby

The Most Worthwhile Splurge: The SNOO Smart Sleeper Bassinet

If you’ve been wondering if the SNOO Smart Sleeper Bassinet is really worth the cost, the parents in our survey who used one say: Absolutely! Most were unequivocal in their praise of this smartly designed bassinet created by pediatrician Dr. Harvey Karp, famed author The Happiest Baby on the Block. Our survey parents most loved the SNOO’s rocking and soothing noise features, particularly for fussy sleepers; its sleep sacks that attach to the sides, and the automatic response feature that starts soothing the baby when it senses fussiness.

What Parents Said About the SNOO in Our Survey 

“I would recommend a SNOO 100%, and wish I had used it from birth. My daughter was only sleeping for 45 minutes at a time, and then would take 90 minutes to get back to sleep. The SNOO immediately stretched her sleep to 2-3 hours at a time and was a total lifesaver.”

“My son slept surprisingly well in those first few months, I think largely due to the SNOO rocking and noise functions.”

“The built-in sound machine, the little wiggle, and the SNOO sack were really helpful and soothing our baby when she stirred lightly.”

“Yes, [we’d recommend the SNOO] emphatically! Our little guy started sleeping through the night at 8 weeks. He’s almost one year old now and is a great sleeper, and I think it’s because the SNOO helped him learn to go back to sleep without parental intervention.”

“The SNOO is basically the Rolls Royce of baby products. It helped my child get on a schedule and gave me peace of mind knowing he would stay on his back all night long. It also did provide a little bit of extra sleep. If I had just fed him and he happened to stir due to a pee or something minor, it would rock him back to sleep.”

“It helped our baby go back to sleep without having to get up every night. For the extra sleep during those particularly tough early weeks, it was absolutely worth the money. Just being able to swaddle her on her back attached to the SNOO was a huge peace of mind as well, knowing that she was safely cocooned in there.”

“Absolutely. It is definitely specific to each child, but we used it for both kiddos and really liked the peace of mind we had from using the SNOO sleep sacks that latched on to the SNOO so your baby cannot roll over. Our daughter liked the shushing feature more than our son, so we used this for her for 6 months and used the transition setting as well with her.”

“Yes, the SNOO is everything. The automatic movement was key. Our daughter loved it and slept so soundly. It also made us feel safe knowing she was zipped in.”

What Cubby Editors Say About the SNOO

Apartment Therapy’s Chief Content Officer, Laura Schocker, said this about her experience with the SNOO:

“After a lot of research, we decided to get a SNOO. I didn’t really get it for the first two months or so, but once my daughter started sleeping longer chunks, I noticed it could soothe her back to sleep when she started fussing. Since we didn’t have any extra help, it was a huge help. And I like how safe it is for sleeping. If you know a doctor or nurse, you can get a medical discount. And the resale value is really great on them. You can also rent them, but we did the math and decided with the discount, it was just worth buying. Make sure you get extra sheets and sleep sacks so you don’t end up in a pinch while you’re doing laundry!”

The Only Downside

At $1,695, the SNOO is definitely pricey. However, many parents noted that the resale value is high, so if it doesn’t work for you or you don’t plan to keep it for other children, you’re likely to get back a fair bit of what you spent upfront. Another option is renting a SNOO

Happy baby registry shopping! Stay tuned for more Cubby Nursery Award winners!