Sleep. It’s the holy grail of child-rearing isn’t it? So you can’t afford to make a duff decision when it comes to ensuring your baby sleeps like an, erm, baby, when you put her down for the night.
To help you in that elusive quest for a full 12 hours (okay, even a full four hours some nights), we handpicked 10 of the best baby sleeping bags currently on the market. We selected those 10 by browsing your thoughts and recommendations on the Mumsnet Talk boards, looking at which brands had recently won awards, and then searching for the most highly rated across both Mumsnet and the rest of the internet.
Through some thorough testing, we then whittled those 10 down to five, choosing one as the Mumsnet Best and four winners in their respective fields. And believe us, we tested the sleeping bags to their absolute limit to get to the final results.
We gave our tester a wide range of sleeping bags to use, from hypoallergenic ones to transitional bags, so she could get a good idea of the different types of products available and their differing price points. We also encouraged her to be as heavy handed as she liked, to really put them through their paces in a range of real-life situations that will help you work out which is the best bag for your (and your baby’s) lifestyle.
Which baby sleeping bags did you test?
Grobag (Mumsnet Best)
Mori (Best for Style)
Snuzpouch (Best for Innovation)
Superlove Merino (Best for Luxury)
Silentnight Safe Nights (Best for Budget)
Aden + Anais Multi-layer Muslin
Slumber Sack Sleeping Bag
Ergopouch Sleeping Bag
Aden + Anais Silky Soft Swaddle
Who tested the product?
Our tester is a first-time mum with a seven-month-old baby boy, called Rupert. We chose a parent new to all this so we could get a real feel for how easy it is to grapple with all the information out there – even in a sleep-deprived state – and we wanted someone with no preconceived ideas about which brand was best.
Unlike many other websites that might use several parents to test just one product each, we make sure that all of our products in each category are tested by the SAME parent and the SAME baby. This makes it much easier to form comparative judgements and evaluations as well as to give recommendations about which model is best for which lifestyle. It also means we minimise factors that might have an impact on our results, for example differing babies’ sizes or sleeping habits.
What did you consider when testing sleeping bags?
In short, everything – we were looking for those products that not only work for your baby but also make parents’ lives easier somehow, too. As well as comfort and cleanliness (and obviously safety) we looked at all of the different tog ratings with each model, and made sure every last one of the materials and fastenings was up to top standard, pulling at every seam, zip and popper to ensure it was robust enough to withstand anything.
We also thought about the look and feel of the product because, let’s be honest, there’s something lovely about a soft, snuggly sleeping bag that also looks gorgeous – it might not be top of your list of requirements but these things matter.
Our tester researched any added extras a sleeping bag might offer. She even took the sleeping bags away with her on holiday to see how they fared being lugged through Heathrow and how they worked in another country and climate.
Finally, she looked carefully at which sleeping bags offered real value for money – not just which were budget buys but whether (whatever you paid) you would be getting real bang for your buck.
How did you test day-to-day (aka night-to-night) usage?
We believe real-life situations are as important as lab testing and we didn’t take it easy on the sleeping bags in that respect. Each one was put through its paces as we attempted to get screaming bodies into them, fiddled with zips to make sure they could hold up and battled with a baby desperately trying to avoid sleep. We even put them through the midnight nappy change test, by changing Rupert while he was asleep, in the dead of night.
All of our winners scored highly in terms of ensuring a good night’s sleep for Rupert, but they also all performed impressively in the following categories: safety, ease of use (getting it on and off), cleanliness and hygiene, aesthetics and value for money.
How did you test for comfort and cleanliness?
Of utmost importance was making sure our tester's baby nodded off easily so we rated the bags by quality of materials and how soft and comfortable they felt to the touch.
We also analysed the materials used for safety, studying everything from the sturdiness of the zip (yes, we yanked each one to within an inch of its life) to which fabrics would be best in both hot and cold weather. We also rated the information given with the sleeping bags – did the product explain clearly to new parents about tog ratings and sleep safety, for example?
Each sleeping bag was laundered a minimum of 20 times to see how it stood up to a washing machine, and our tester also noted whether each could be tumble-dried (always a bonus, but particularly in winter when it’s harder to get laundry turned around quickly). We also carried out a spaghetti Bolognese test to see just how easy they were to clean after the dreaded spag bol had been spilt on them.
Impressively, each of our winners scored top makes for cleanliness and comfort.
How much choice is there when it comes to style?
Plenty these days. Parents are demanding more design credentials than ever and the sleeping bag market has stepped up to the plate (or cot). Stylish baby, stylish parents, right?… Or maybe that’s the other way round… Obviously safety and comfort are front of mind when testing a product like this but we also scoured the market for the bags that offered the best options when it came to colour, design and pattern. We picked out the brightly coloured, the cartoon-laden and the simple and stylish to ensure there was something for everyone and our winners passed all aesthetic tests with flying colours (literally).
Are there any “added extras” to look out for with a sleeping bag?
Some sleeping bags do more than just offer a good night’s sleep for your baby. From Merino wool versions, which promise to keep your baby cool in the summer and warm in the winter, to models with transitional travel features (where you can move your baby from their cot to their pram in one swift move), there was lots on the market to impress. All of the bags in our top five won because they had a special feature that made us go: “oooooh!” or were simply such good value for money that they deserved the accolade.