What Is The Difference Between Crib And Playpen? The 8 Best Baby Cribs

Helen Skeates
Helen Skeates
24 min read

Today, we’ll compare and contrast the features of a Playpen and a Crib.

In the end, what’s more important? It comes down to this: both!

We’ll cover in-depth on how to utilize both a Playpen and a crib in the future (and why you should).

With addition, you’ll find our top picks for both travel playards and full-size cribs to assist you in making the right decision.

Let’s get this party started…

What is considered a standard crib?

The inside measurements of a full-size crib must be 28′′ broad and 52 3/8′′ long. These dimensions can vary by plus or minus 5/8″. In order to fit within these confines, all standard crib mattresses are designed to be a little smaller than their original size.

For a full-size crib, the inside measurements must be 28 inches broad and 52 3/8 inches long. There is a +/- 5/8′′ tolerance on these measurements. In order to fit inside these confines, all typical crib mattresses are intended to be a little smaller than their normal size.

Before making an online purchase, carefully review the product details to ensure the front crib rail will come off. This is a common problem with full-size cribs sold as “non-convertible”.

Only parents who don’t want to switch their child from a crib to a toddler bed can use this method. For some families, a queen-sized bed is the ideal size for a toddler to sleep in.

Pack and Play vs Crib: Which Do I Need? - The Greenspring Home

What is a playpen?

Children and babies can be kept entertained and safe in a playpen when their guardians are away or engaged with other tasks. Playpens are small, portable enclosures with bars or nets on their walls and an opening on the top.

Wooden furniture is the most common material used to construct playpens, making them portable and easy to relocate.

Wood is also the material of choice due to its lighter weight, greater decorative flexibility, and increased safety.

It provides a secure haven for children to play and entertain themselves in a world that isn’t dominated by technology.

A playpen is different from a crib in that it is more easily moved around the room than a crib, which is often housed in a single location.

What’s the main difference between the two?

The primary benefit of a pack and play is its portability.

As a result, you can use it as a bassinet in your bedroom, or even for overnight visits to grandma.

It is evident that a standard crib cannot be simply moved. To get it through the doorway, you’d have to disassemble it completely.

However, both the pack and play and the crib exceed the American Academy of Pediatrics’ safety criteria for baby sleeping.

The risk of sudden infant death syndrome can be considerably reduced if you follow all AAP recommendations.

When would I use a mini crib?

It’s not the same as a pack and play because a small crib is not portable.

To put it simply, a mini crib is a smaller version of the conventional crib, therefore you’d buy one if you wanted your kid to sleep in a little area.

When it comes to a nursery, many parents only have one room to work with, and a full-sized crib, a glider rocker, a dresser, and other necessities can all take up too much space.

Mini cribs come in a variety of sizes, but most are between 36 and 43 inches long and 24 to 28 inches wide when fully assembled.

In the market for a little crib? Everything you need to know about them can be found here.

Various ages that are suitable for playpen;

  1. By no later than four months, a baby should be exposed to the playpen and learn that it is a safe place for him to explore and learn. Leaving the baby in an enclosed area may cause the newborn to feel unsafe.
  2. Between the ages of six and eight months, the baby is beginning to acquire several milestones, and a playpen is the best setting for them to do so because it is safe and secure. At some point during the process, it is necessary to provide new toys so that the child can learn to stand or sit on their own as they extend to acquire them.
  3. Eight to ten months old, the kid is capable of crawling or standing on its own. Their sense of exploration may be curtailed if they are confined. Playpens aren’t always the ideal option for children, so it’s important to give them room to explore.

Different uses of a playpen


When a toddler needs a nap, a playpen is a great solution.

When a child can sleep wherever he or she chooses, the benefits are numerous.


Toys in the playpen can be available for a child’s use when he or she is playing independently for a period of time.


Having a playpen on hand while traveling will make it easier to carry a baby in your arms.

It frees up the parent’s time, allowing them to carry out other tasks while the baby is in the playpen or napping.

Playpens can also double as a bed in a limited space, allowing parents or guardians to use the bed while the baby plays in the playpen.

Use a playpen to protect children from harmful or contaminated pets and electrical wires in the home, such as in rooms with open electrical outlets or in rooms where dogs are kept (infections).

The baby’s weight is one consideration before making a purchase or acquiring a playpen.

It’s critical to pick a playpen that won’t topple over when the baby is inside, whether they’re playing or napping.

Another factor to consider is the baby’s weight.

It is important that a playpen has enough room for the child or toddler to be able to play without being constrained by their surroundings.

The design of the playpen should make it easier to move around.

When not in use, the playpen should fold or hang for easy storage.

Playpen dimensions are also an important consideration when deciding where to put it.

Buying a huge playpen for a small room is a bad idea since it will impede the movement of other members of the household.

Another consideration is whether the playpen bundle includes optional extras such as wheels for easy transportation, diaper stacking, or a place to keep the baby’s belongings.

You can also use a rocking attachment to soothe a baby to sleep.

It is important to keep in mind that a playpen is only going to be used for a short period of time and so needs to be reasonably priced.

Why You’ll Want a Standard Crib

1. Safe Sleep Surface in Their Own Bedroom

After six months, you’ll be able to put your child in a crib in his or her own room.

This migration may occur early for women who are light sleepers so that they can obtain more sleep.

When a baby is old enough to fall asleep on his or her own, the crib will serve as a safe haven for him or her.

It’s possible that you’re wondering, “Why not utilize a pack and play for the rest of my life?”

For the simple reason that as they develop, they will outgrow the pack and play’s width. Keep in mind that they are not as large as a standard sized crib.

2. Fortress to Keep In Climbing Toddlers

Because the sides of a pack and play are not as high as those of a crib, many toddlers begin to climb out of it.

If they do manage to get out of the huge crib, you can raise the crib rails by as much as six inches by lowering the mattress all the way to the ground.

This gives you some breathing room before you have to make the switch to a toddler bed!

2. Focal Point for the Nursery

The crib is usually the center of attention in the nursery, acting as a sort of fulcrum for the rest of the decor.

First-year parents spend a lot of time rocking their babies to sleep… So why not relax in a space that reflects your personal style?

Designing a nursery can be challenging. Creating the nursery of your dreams has never been easier thanks to this comprehensive how-to.

Playard vs Crib - Which is Best in 2022?

7 Best Baby Play Pens for Safe Fun

1.Graco Pack N Play

The Graco Playpen’s adaptability is what makes it so excellent. It’s not only cheap, but it can also be used as a tiny play area for your baby, a travel crib, or a bassinet, depending on your needs. The mattress pad may be relocated to the bottom of the playpen by removing the bassinet attachment, making it more of a standard playpen for older babies. The attachment can be removed.

Only babies who weigh 15 pounds or less and are unable to lift themselves up on one knee should use the bassinet option.

Families on a tight budget that want to get the most out of their playpen by using it for several purposes.

2.YOBEST Baby Playpen

This is why: The YOBEST Baby Playpen is a child’s dream come true. Soft, roomy, and robust describe this playpen. Even plastic balls are included, so you can turn it into a ball pit right away. As a safe and entertaining play place for children of all ages, you’ll get many years of enjoyment out of this product. To keep your baby safe, the mesh side panels are constructed of eco-friendly natural fabrics and have zippered doors that can be closed or opened as needed.

Due to its size, this playpen may not be the best choice for a family on the go. Having one at home for your infant or toddler to play in is a terrific idea.

Suitable for: Large spaces and active children.

3.Regalo My Portable Play Yard

It’s fantastic because: The Regalo Portable Play Yard is a terrific travel playpen because it’s lightweight and easy to set up. The accompanying carrying case makes this playpen easy to toss over your shoulder (even if you’re carrying a baby on your hip) wherever you go. In addition to being water-resistant, this playpen can be used both inside and outside. It’s easy to assemble this playpen because it’s already pre-assembled.

Because it’s intended for babies 6 to 24 months old, this playpen isn’t appropriate for infants under that age range.

Older babies and toddlers can benefit from this.

4.Toddleroo 8 Panel Play Yard

It’s fantastic because: The Toddleroo 8 Panel Play Yard helps create a super spacious, safe play area for your baby. Set up is a breeze with this portable gated play area, which provides 34.4 square feet of usable floor space per child. There is a choice between an 8-panel play yard and a six-panel play yard, so you may tailor the size of the play yard to your needs. Carrying straps and safety features like skid-resistant pads make this playpen easy to transport, and it is safe for your child.

Multiple children and toddlers are the ideal audience for this product.

5.Fisher Price On the Go Baby Dome

It’s fantastic because: On the Go Baby Dome is a must-have accessory for new parents with tiny children. Play areas like this one may be put up anywhere and can even double as a safe spot for a snooze. Sensory play is aided by the inclusion of hanging toys. With this playpen, you can take your baby with you wherever you go. To get some fresh air with your infant, set it up outside with a canopy that protects your child from the sun and mosquitoes.

Keep in mind that this portable playpen is intended for infants between the ages of 0 and 5 months, so it isn’t appropriate for children older than that.

Good for: Babies that are more active and on the run.

6.Albott 14 Panel Play Yard

It’s fantastic because: The Albott 14-Panel Play Yard may be set up in a variety of ways, which is one of its most distinctive features. Set it up in a square, circle, hexagon, or any other shape that suits in your space to keep your kids engaged. As a result of the suction cup design, this playpen is both durable and safe. When not in use, it can be folded up and stored in a small space.

As a result, you’ll need to either set up the playpen on a soft carpeted area for your kid or buy a separate play mat to place underneath it.

Good for: Babies of all ages and larger areas.

7.Hiccapop PlayPod

Good for: Babies of all ages and wider regions.

Keep in mind that this playpen, at 4.5 feet when put up, isn’t as large as some other options for toddlers and newborns to play in. A good choice for parents who plan to take it on the road and for smaller households.

The 8 Best Baby Cribs

Best Overall: Babyletto Hudson 3-in-1 Convertible Crib with Toddler Bed Conversion Kit


  • Four different mattress heights
  • Begins life as a newborn and develops into a toddler.
  • There are a variety of color options available.


  • Cons
  • Cons

As your child grows, the Babyletto Hudson 3-in-1 Convertible Crib with Toddler Bed is a great option. With the accompanying conversion kit, this top selection transforms quickly from a cot into a comfy toddler bed or a daybed at an affordable price.

The metal mattress platform, which serves as a crib, can be adjusted to four different heights to accommodate your child as he or she grows. The six color selections, ranging from single basic hues to two-color combinations, will be appreciated by stylish parents who want to match any nursery decor.

53.5 x 29.5 x 35 inches; weight: 54 pounds; maximum child weight: 50 pounds

Best Budget: IKEA Gulliver Crib


  • Affordable
  • To be used as a toddler bed


  • There’s only one color to choose from.
  • One of two heights is available.

You can rely on IKEA to provide you with a classic crib that is both affordable and of high quality. The foundation has two heights, and one side of the crib can be removed to change it into a toddler bed, making it a highly rated and simple design. This crib is only available in white, but it won’t cost you a fortune.

Dimensions: 53.5″ x 29.5″ x 33″ | 44 lbs. | Not Listed Maximum Child Weight

Best Convertible: DaVinci Kalani 4-in-1 Convertible Crib in Espresso


  • There are a variety of color options available.
  • a total of four different conversions are at your disposal.


  • Kits for making the change are supplied separately.
  • Some people have difficulty putting the system together.

For children who plan to stay in their own room for an extended period of time, a convertible crib is a wise investment. Change the bed to reflect the child’s changing needs. This alternative is built to last, converting from a crib to a toddler bed, a daybed, and a full-sized bed in a matter of minutes (toddler and full-size bed conversion kits sold separately).

For children up to 50 pounds, the chair’s dimensions are 54.5 inches wide by 35 inches long by 42 inches high.

Best Acrylic: Pottery Barn Kids Sloan Acrylic Convertible Crib


  • Slats with a clean design.
  • Convertible into a toddler bed
  • Durable


  • A separate conversion kit is available for purchase.
  • Costly

Acrylic cribs are a modern take on the traditional infant crib. Makes the nursery feel more open and breezy thanks to the use of translucent slats that allow light to shine through. There are just two mattress height options with this crib, and an additional toddler conversion kit is required.

It has dimensions of 54 x 30 x 36.5 inches and a weight capacity of 83 pounds.

Best Mini Crib: Babyletto Gelato 4-in-1 Mini Crib


  • Conveniently sized
  • Stains and paints that are safe for the environment
  • Four distinct ways of converting


  • a selection of two hues
  • Kits for making the change are supplied separately.

A little crib can be used from the time a baby is born until he or she is around 18 months old, making it a safe place for a baby to sleep. This alternative, despite its diminutive size, doesn’t skimp on aesthetic appeal. 4-in-1 cot can be used as a crib, daybed, or twin bed depending on the needs of the child (conversion kits sold separately). For a little crib, you will need a mattress and linens that are specifically developed for this smaller crib.

A maximum of two years old or 35 inches tall is required for this crib’s maximum child weight and dimensions (width x height).

Best for Travel: BABYBJORN Travel Crib Light


  • Portable
  • The setup process is simple and straightforward.


  • Some bundles do not include a piece of paper.

When you’re away from home, make sure your baby has a safe, pleasant, and comfortable area to rest their heads. This portable cot is almost identical to a normal crib in terms of comfort and convenience for parents. Easy-to-assemble, fold, and transport are all major selling points for parents.

The mattress, mattress cover, and compact carrying case are included in the package, which can be used from birth to roughly 3 years of age (or until your child is able to jump out).

With a total weight of 13 pounds, it measures 44 x 32 x 24 inches and can hold children weighing up to 3 years old.

Best Alternative Shape: Stokke Sleepi Crib


  • Wheels that swivel and lock
  • Panel that can be removed to accommodate various-sized cribs


  • Costly
  • Crib mattresses aren’t made for their standard mattresses.

Indulge your young one in the comfort of this Scandinavian-designed, oval-shaped crib. An adjustable mattress foundation and swivel-wheeled casters make it easy to transfer from room to room. When your baby is an inquisitive toddler, take one side of the bed off so he or she may get in and out of bed on his or her own.

The Stokke mattress must be oval in order to match the unusual shape of the bed.

A total weight of 44 pounds, it measures 29.1 x 33.6 x 50 inches. The maximum weight for a child is 176 pounds.

Best Foldable: Dream On Me Jett Non-Full Size Folding Crib


  • Removeable casters
  • Foldable


  • There’s not much padding on this mattress.

In the event that you need to store a full-sized crib somewhere other than your own home, a folding crib can come in handy. It folds flat and includes lockable wheels, making it easy to move around in a small space.

Baby’s growth can be accommodated by the mattress’s three positions. This crib comes with a 1.5-inch mattress pad that folds flat inside the crib when not in use. It is available in five different colors. Buying a second crib mattress is required.

Inches, pounds, and maximum child weights: 38, 26, and 50.


Do I need to get a playpen for my baby?

In order to be a good parent, you don’t have to do anything at all. It’s also a good idea to have a playpen for your infant. Playpens are in handy since they allow you to set up a safe space where you may leave your baby if necessary and still have a place to return to. Many playpens can be used in a variety of ways, and some of them can last a child for several years.

Crib Vs Pack N Play - Get One Or BOTH? (Pros, Cons & More)

How much do baby playpens cost?

The price of a baby playpen varies widely, so it all relies on the one you choose for your child. Playpens can cost as little as $70 – $100, while more expensive models can cost up to $200 – $300. Finding a low-cost choice without compromising on quality is absolutely a possibility.

Are playpens good for babies?

A safe place to put your baby to sleep is essential if you want to give yourself and your infant some time apart. While it is possible to leave your infant in a playpen alone for long periods of time, we do not suggest doing so. In circumstances where you need to leave your child alone for a short period of time, such as taking care of a pet or another child, playpens are an excellent option.

Which baby playpens are the best?

In order to get the greatest baby playpen, consider your family’s specific requirements. In the market for a playpen that can double as a travel crib, the Graco Pack N Play might be the best option for you. In contrast, the Albott 14-Panel Play Yard may be a better option if you’re seeking for something with more inside space for your own home.

Are baby playpens washable?

A lot of playpens can be cleaned, but this relies on the sort of playpen that you have chosen. It is possible to spot clean some of the fabric alternatives or to remove the removable covers and wash them in the washing machine. To clean the plastic baby gate-style playpens, you can use whichever cleaning chemicals you like. More specific cleaning recommendations can be found in the owner’s manual for your infant playpen.

Are baby playpens useful for travel?

Yes! Having a portable baby playpen is one of the finest benefits of owning one. Because most hotels aren’t baby-proof, packing a safe, easy-to-set-up playpen ensures your baby has a secure space to sleep in while you’re away.

When should a baby be transitioned to a crib?

The decision to move a baby from a bassinet to a crib is purely personal. The first place some babies sleep is in a crib, while others prefer a bassinet or play yard. Between the ages of three and six months, most newborns are ready to begin sleeping in a crib on their own.

How long should a baby stay in a crib?

Babies are unique in their own way. Some babies may peacefully sleep in their cribs until they are 3 years old, while others will complain or even jump out of their cribs at the age of 18 months.. Try to keep your child in a crib as long as you can, as there is a degree of maturity and appropriate sleep patterns required to sleep in a big-kid bed all night.

Helen Skeates

Helen Skeates

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