Cubby Nursery Awards 2024

We Asked 1,000 Parents to Tell Us What Crib to Buy, and There Were 4 Clear Winners

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 of course, we know you’re also thinking about one of the most important purchases you can make for a nursery: the crib. We asked over 1,000 parents to make a case for the best crib for the nursery, and the recommendations come pouring in. One crib brand (with multiple styles) came up over and over, but parents also had high praise for a classic crib style and a fantastic budget basic. 

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 with 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 — like 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 crib they bought for their baby, and why or why not they’d recommend it to other parents. We received over 1,000 responses.

We took the top recommended cribs from that 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 those criteria lined up — strongly recommended by parents, approved by the AAP, and/or also personally used for a significant period of time (with positive results!) by one of our editors — it made it to this list!

Credit: Babyletto
The Hudson Crib from Babyletto

We were surprised (but, not really) to see one brand in particular sweep the crib category. A whopping 25% of parents surveyed said they bought a Babyletto crib for their nursery, with the Hudson 3-in-1 Convertible Crib, the Gelato 4-in-1 Convertible Crib, the Lolly 3-in-1 Convertible Crib coming in as the most popular convertible models. Our survey parents most loved the combination of style, safety, and affordability of Babyletto cribs, with many parents citing the modern, clean lines, GREENGUARD gold certification, and under-$500 price point as important factors. Parents also loved the convertibility from crib to toddler bed and the quality construction, which enabled them to use the crib over many years and through multiple kids. 

Credit: babyletto
The Hudson Crib from Babyletto

What Parents Said About Babyletto Cribs in Our Survey

On the Babyletto Hudson Crib

““We love this crib so much! We got it secondhand from a neighbor and it has now slept 4 different babies and is still in great condition. (New mattress).”

“We are still using it and my daughter is almost 20 months. Aesthetically pleasing and easy to adjust the height of the mattress.”

“It has held up really well and is cute and modern but hasn’t gone out of style over the 5 years we’ve had it.”

“It’s super easy to put together, quite sturdy and a lovely modern design. I had this in grey for my older kids and now have it in white/beige for my baby.”

“I loved that it is eco friendly and non toxic, the aesthetic is still sweet and modern. The quality is great (my toddler used it as a toddler bed up until 3) and it was easy to put together.”

“I am very short, so I was looking for a crib that I wouldn’t have to fall into in order to put my baby in or out. The Hudson was a recommendation I found and it worked out great for us.”

Credit: Babyletto
The Gelato Crib from Babyletto

On the Babyletto Gelato Crib

“It’s beautiful, doesn’t take up a lot of space, and can be transitioned into a toddler bed and twin bed.”

“It was easy to assemble, coordinates well with any decor, we’re able to raise and lower mattress easily as baby grows, and the toddler rail included was a perfect transition before the big kid bed.”

“It has held up well and we’ve used it as a crib and toddler bed and converted it back and forth!”

Credit: Babyletto
The Lolly Crib from Babyletto

On the Babyletto Lolly Crib

“The crib is very sturdy and visually appealing. I like that the mattress sits toward the middle of the crib and not all the way at the bottom. It makes it simple to get baby in and out. I also like that it will be convertible for future use as my child grows.”

“I’m still using it for my second and it was a hand-me-down. It has now been used by 3 kids and is in great shape, goes with any theme! I love it.”

“We used this crib for both of our daughters. Our first daughter used it in all three capacities until she outgrew it. Our second daughter is 12 months old and still using it as a crib, but we will convert it for her when the time comes. We like the crib for the style and functionality. It looks great and converts easily.”

“It’s a nice and neutral looking crib and has worked well at various heights and ages for us so far. We appreciate that we can use it as a toddler bed by removing a side when she’s ready.”

Credit: babyletto
The Origami Mini Crib from Babyletto

The Best Mini Crib: The Babyletto Origami Mini Crib

Babyletto’s portable Origami Mini Crib also made an impressive showing, which is why it’s our top crib for super-small spaces. Our survey parents loved its small footprint, its fold-down ability, and how easy it was to move it between rooms

What Parents Said About the Origami Mini Crib in Our Survey

“It’s so great for a small space. We didn’t need to start with a bassinet and could quickly and easily move it between rooms.” 

“The mini crib was a great space saver and served as an easy transition to a motionless crib. It also had wheels which made it easy to move from room to room.”

The Only Downside

You may be asking: How many years can you use a mini crib? A few parents noted their babies were able to stay in the mini crib till they were between the ages of two and three. If space is a big concern, a mini crib might be the way to go for those early years. But if you have the space, we’d recommend just going for a full-size convertible crib from the get-go!

Credit: Pottery Barn Kids
The Kendall Crib from Pottery Barn

The Classic Crib: The Kendall Crib from Pottery Barn

While Babyletto cribs seemed to be the popular choice for more modern, clean-lined crib design, parents looking for a timeless, traditional crib chose the Kendall Convertible Crib from Pottery Barn. Our survey parents loved its solid, simple design, its high-quality build, and the easily adjustable platform heights (three in total!).

What Parents Said About the Pottery Barn Kendall Crib in Our Survey

“It was easy to put together, sturdy, and comes in a range of colors!”

“Very classic. Ours was a hand-me-down and is about to be used for its fourth baby, and has held up well with some scuffing (but PB sells the touch up paint).”

“I like that it will grow with my child and has a classic look.”

“It was great and we ended up using it as a toddler bed until our daughter turned 5.”

The Only Downside

A few parents noted the Kendall Crib might not be great for shorter parents. It stands 44 inches high, compared to 35 inches for the Babyletto Hudson Crib and Babyletto Gelato Cribs. On the other hand, if you’re a taller parent, you may appreciate the extra height!

Credit: IKEA
The SNIGLAR Crib from IKEA

The Budget-Friendly Basic: The SNIGLAR Crib from IKEA

We were also very unsurprised to see IKEA make a strong crib showing in our survey, with 20% of parents opting for one of its budget-friendly basic designs. The GULLIVER crib and the SNIGLAR crib were neck-to-neck, but at only $119, the SNIGLAR won out in the end for its inexpensive, stylish, and sturdy design. Parents also loved SNIGLAR’s minimalist profile and its untreated solid beech wood construction. The simple style will also coordinate with almost any decor.

What Parents Said About the SNIGLAR Crib in Our Survey

“The design was clean and modern and we were easily able to stain the crib to our preferred wood tone. It was easy to put together and very inexpensive.”

“It’s inexpensive, has great safety ratings, and we love the natural look. We are buying a second one for our upcoming baby as well.”

“Love the style, looks great anywhere, easy to stain, converts to toddler bed!”

“We liked that it was neutral and natural and felt like it could go with the other medium wood tones we had in our boys rooms. And they’re both still using them at 2.5 and 3.5 as they convert to cute toddler beds.”

What Cubby Editors Say About the SNIGLAR

Cubby’s Executive Editor, Cambria Bold, bought the SNIGLAR for her first daughter. Here’s what she said about it: “I first bought the SNIGLAR crib back when it was only $79, which basically made it a steal of a steal. I used it for both kids for a total of about six years before handing it down to a friend. If I were to do it all over, I’d absolutely buy it again. For the price, it’s a fantastic bargain. So versatile, so simple, so sturdy. I absolutely loved it.”

Stay tuned for more Cubby Nursery Award winners!