Moses basket? Traditional cot? Co-sleeper? Cradle? Cot bed? Crib? With so many options to choose from, you'll be forgiven for feeling a bit bamboozled.
Moses baskets and cradles are usually used during a baby's first few months, while co-sleepers, cribs and cots can last a bit longer.
But which bed is right for you and your baby? After months of testing, the results are in.
How real-life comparative testing makes Mumsnet Reviews unique
We commissioned Gemma Wilcock, a journalist and parent, to research and write about newborn beds.
Gemma has 14 years of experience working in the magazine industry and, with two young children, she knows only too well the importance of providing a safe, comfortable space for a baby, whether they want to sleep or not.
Partnering with parent tester, Anna, a busy mum of three with a newborn and two four-year-old twins, she put 12 products to the test, including cribs, cots, co-sleepers, Moses baskets and bassinets.
For continuity, we think it’s best to get one tester to use all the products. This not only reduces any potential variables during testing, but ensures that our reviews are based on like-for-like comparisons.
Five products were then awarded a Mumsnet Best badge – these are the products that we feel offer the absolute best value for most parents.
And the results are in…
Here are the five best newborn beds, as recommended by parents
1. Best overall newborn bed: Tutti Bambini CoZee
“We've got a Tutti Bambini CoZee and love it. We actually don't use it as a co-sleeper, but the mesh panel means DS and I can see each other easily and I like the fact that you can tilt it for reflux or a cold. He settled in it from day one.” - Mumsnet user
The Tutti Bambini CoZee is an easy-to-use bedside crib that's ideal for any new parent.
With a breastfeeding-friendly drop side, a 30-second open and fold mechanism and machine-washable covers, it offers everything a baby needs to sleep comfortably and safely during the day or night.
It is also small enough to be used as a travel cot whenever you're away from home.
Great for parents who
- Want to try co-sleeping, but need extra reassurance
- Need a bed that can also be used when travelling
- Spacious and less bulky than other co-sleepers, such as the Chicco Next2Me Magic
- Quick and easy to set up and fold down for travel
- Height-adjustable to fit any bed – can be attached to the bed safely using straps
- Incline can be adjusted to aid congestion or reflux
- Drop side is helpful for night feeds, especially if you're breastfeeding or recovering from a caesarean section
- Can be used as a stand-alone crib
- Mesh windows allow air to flow freely
- Doesn't have wheels so it can be difficult to move up and down the stairs
- Doesn't rock
2. Best Moses basket: Shnuggle Dreami Clever Baby Sleeper
Shnuggle's Dreami Clever Baby Sleeper has all the benefits of a standard Moses basket but goes just that little bit further.
Like typical bassinets, it's portable, lightweight and cosy for a newborn, but it's also bigger, sturdier and much easier to clean.
Offering a modern take on a traditional baby bed, it looks sleek and stylish, and its hypoallergenic materials allow babies to sleep safely at all times.
Great for parents who
- Need a bed that's lightweight and easy to carry
- Like the sound of a Moses basket but want something a bit more modern
- Light to carry and doesn’t rustle when moved, like wicker or palm baskets
- Quick to assemble
- Easy to wipe clean
- Feels more secure and spacious than a traditional Moses basket
- Stand has two height settings and is curved for gentle rocking
- The liner is made with soft, breathable mesh, which is also machine-washable
- Hypoallergenic base
- Minimalistic design
- Stand folds down easily for travel
- No incline option
- No drop side
- More expensive than standard Moses baskets
3. Best bedside crib: Chicco Next2Me Magic
Safe, spacious and functional, the Chicco Next2Me Magic is a popular choice among Mumsnetters – and for good reason.
This bedside crib will give peace of mind to parents – especially first-timers – who want to keep their baby close during the night.
With adjustable height settings, a one-handed drop side and safety straps to fit the co-sleeper securely to your bed, Chicco have thought of everything a baby and parent could need.
Great for parents who
- Need extra reassurance when co-sleeping with their baby
- Are breastfeeding
- Have a higher budget
- Drop side can be lowered at the click of a button
- Four tilt options and a rocking mechanism
- More spacious than other bedside cribs, such as the SnuzPod
- 11 height settings
- Auto-retractable feet fit any bed
- Roomy with plenty of room for baby to grow and wriggle – much bigger than a Moses basket
- Mesh covers let air flow freely throughout the crib
- Really easy to comfort baby in the night when in side-sleeping mode as you don’t have to get out of bed – also promotes bonding and allows you to co-sleep safely
- 3-in-1 – can be used as a stand-alone crib, side-sleeper and includes a travel bag so you can use it as a travel cot when away from home too
- Has four wheels
- Crib and mattress covers are removable for cleaning
- Can’t be rocked when it's in co-sleeper mode
- Fairly heavy – some parents may find it too bulky to use as a travel cot
4. Best newborn bed for small spaces: Mamas & Papas Petite Compact Cot
Bigger than a crib, but smaller than a traditional cot, the Mamas & Papas Petite Compact Cot won't take up too much room in your house.
It's a compact (as the name suggests) but stylish bed that will compliment any bedroom while providing a safe, familiar place for your baby to sleep.
Plus, it'll last until around 12 months, offering greater longevity than a lot of other newborn beds on the market.
Great for parents who
- Are short on space
- Want to keep their baby close, but don't want to co-sleep
- Like the idea of a traditional bed
- It looks exactly like a standard cot, but is smaller in size at just 0.61m²
- Allows more room for a baby to grow and develop than a Moses baskets or bedside crib – and will last longer too
- Neutral in colour so will suit any décor
- Slatted bars make it easy to see baby from your bed and offer all-round visibility
- Two height positions to make picking up your newborn easier, which you can then adjust as your baby grows
- Easy to assemble
- Crib and mattress can be wiped clean
- Can't be moved around the house – you may need a second bed for daytime naps
- Not breastfeeding-friendly as there is no drop-side, so you will have to get out of bed to pick up your baby for night feeds or cuddles
- Doesn’t incline or rock
- No mattress included – must be bought separately
- Can’t be used as a travel cot
- May not last as long for bigger babies
How to choose the right newborn bed
We’ve compiled some tips to help you choose the product that’s right for you – and ensure your baby sleeps safely.
1. Safety first
The Lullaby Trust advise that you check your chosen bed complies with British Safety Standards. If bought second-hand, the bed and mattress must be in good condition.
Check that the bed is sturdy and well made with no gaps or loose parts, and that it will keep your baby secure with enough room to grow.
When it comes to a baby's safety while sleeping, you'll also need to check the mattress:
- Is it firm? Your baby’s head should not sink into it by more than a few millimetres
- Is it entirely flat with no raised or cushioned areas?
- Does it have a waterproof cover so it is kept clean and dry?
Babies must always be put to sleep on their back (never on their front or side) with their feet positioned at the end of the bed.
Any bedding and clothing covering them should also not rest above shoulder height or cover their face or head.
Pods, nests, pillows, duvets, thick or bulky bedding, cot bumpers, hammocks or sleep positioners aren't recommended, and the bed should also be free of loose bedding and soft toys.
2. A newborn bed is the right buy for you if…
- You’re looking for a separate bed for your baby
- You have room for one in your bedroom or downstairs for daytime naps
3. A newborn bed is not for you if…
- You would prefer to share your bed with your baby and co-sleep
- You have a limited budget and would rather spend money on a cot bed that will last longer than, say, a crib or Moses basket – cot beds can eventually be converted into a toddler bed (yes, seriously)
4. How much do you want to spend?
Prices range from £20 to well over £400 so consider your budget.
If your baby isn’t sleeping well (and neither are you), it might be tempting to splash out on products that promise a better or longer night’s sleep, but the reality is that babies wake up even in the most expensive of beds.
Why you should trust our reviews
All Mumsnet product reviews are written by real parents after weeks of research and testing. We work hard to provide honest and independent advice you can trust – brands can’t pay to be featured in our articles or win a Mumsnet Best award.
We spend hours researching, speaking to parents, analysing data and listening to experts before we test products in a family home. Transparency is really important to us, that's why we're always upfront about how we tested the products we recommend.
We won't always recommend the cheapest products, or the ones with the most extra features. We write about products that we feel offer the best value to most parents – the one's we'd recommend to our own friends and family.
There's no incentive for us to be lazy with our research or in our testing process. There's no reason for us to respond to pressure from retailers or brands trying to promote new products. It's actually quite the opposite, and we think it's a good system, one that keeps us focused on making parents lives' easier.