When it comes to picking out a crib for your nursery or baby’s sleep space, new parents might be wondering if you should pick a mini crib or a full-size crib.
Are you wondering what the differences between a mini crib vs a crib are? While the main difference is obviously the size, there is more to consider as well when finding a safe place for your baby to sleep. They each have their pros and cons to consider as well as limitations. When you’re deciding what to pick for your baby, you’ll want to keep these things in mind!
When it comes to picking out a crib for your nursery or baby’s sleep space, you might be wondering if you should pick a mini crib or a traditional crib. In the United States, full-size cribs are more common, however, in Europe and other places across the globe where space is more limited, mini cribs or a small crib are quite common and practical choices.
Let’s learn more about the differences and when one over the other might be right for you.
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The Basic Differences Between a Mini Crib and a Crib
There are a few key differences between mini cribs and regular cribs that you should know about before making your decision.
For starters, mini cribs are smaller in size, which means they take up less space in your nursery and are idea for small spaces.They’re also typically more lightweight and portable, making them a an option for travel. Portable cribs are very handy whether you’re moving them around your house or traveling with them. Personally, we have a full sized crib and a separate travel crib.
Another key difference is that mini cribs typically have lower height settings than regular cribs. This can be beneficial if you have a smaller child or if you want to be able to reach into the crib more easily. However, it’s worth noting that some mini cribs don’t have adjustable height settings at all.
Additionally when it comes to mattress height, the standard crib mattress is typically taller than a mini crib mattress.
Finally, mini cribs typically have fewer features than regular cribs. For example, they may not have convertible crib options or built-in storage. But, they can still be a great option for parents who are looking for a smaller, more lightweight and portable crib for their nursery.
An In Depth Look at a Mini Crib vs a Crib
Let’s discuss more in depth the differences between cribs and mini cribs. Many of the main factors parents are concerned with include: construction materials, size, longevity, available styles, portability, functionality, and price.
Materials: Mini Crib vs Crib
The mini crib is going to be constructed out of similar materials as the regular crib. This includes a sturdy frame made of wood or metal. The mattress is also going to be similar, with a firm foundation and comfortable sleeping surface.
Some mini cribs may have composite wood instead of a solid wood frame. This can make them more affordable, but it also means they’re not as durable. If you plan on using your mini crib for multiple children or want it to last a long time, stick with one that has a solid wood frame.
No matter what you pick, you want to choose something that is Greenguard Gold Certified.
Size: Mini Crib vs Crib
One of the main differences between mini cribs and regular cribs is size. mini cribs are smaller in size, which means they take up less space in your nursery.
Mini crib sizes typically have dimensions of around 38” x 24” x 34”. This is about half the size of a regular crib, which typically has dimensions of around 56” x 29.5” x 42.5”.
When it comes to width, standard size cribs are mostly around 30 inches wide with some variance between 28.5 inches to 30 inches. They all still fit a standard crib-sized mattress safely.
Mini cribs, however, tend to have more variance in their length, ranging any where from 18 inches long to 24 inches long.
When it comes to height, mini cribs are slightly less tall, but not by much. You’ll see the typically mini crib fall somewhere between 32 inches and 36 inches. Whereas traditional cribs are likely somewhere around 34 inches and 39 inches.
And finally, when it comes to length, we see the biggest difference. Mini cribs are typically around 30 inches to 36 inches long. Regular-sized cribs tend to land somewhere around 52 inches to 54 inches long.
These differences can vary, but this gives you a general idea of the sizing differences.
Longevity: How long can you use a mini crib?
Given their size, mini cribs are designed to last for a shorter amount of time than regular cribs. They’re typically only meant to be used for babies up to 6-9 months old, whereas regular cribs can be used for babies up to 36 months old.
Once newborn babies are around the 6 month mark, they are often too long for the mini crib. Additionally once they can pull themselves up to standing, they are too big for the mini crib.
Mini cribs also have lower height settings than regular cribs, which means they’re not safe for toddlers who are starting to stand up and pull themselves up to standing position. However, some mini cribs do have adjustable height settings that allow you to use them for longer.
Most full size cribs can be converted into a toddler bed and then even onto to a full size bed. All you need to do this is your specific crib’s conversion kit. This is most likely sold by the manufacturer but also available at places like Amazon or BuyBuyBaby.
What’s nice about a mini crib is that they are often on wheels and fit through a door way. They are made to be rolled around! This is very nice if you live in a one-story home or apartment and want to move the crib from room-to-room. You can also roll it out of the way when you need extra space in your nursery or home.
Mini cribs are not as portable as playpens or pack and plays, but they’re more portable than regular cribs. If you plan on traveling with your mini crib or want to be able to take it with you on trips, look for one that’s lightweight and easy to fold up.
A mini crib can actually serve multiple purposes in your home. Obviously, the primary function is as a place for your new baby to sleep but they can also double as a changing station or even a playpen.
If you’re short on space in your small nursery, a mini crib is a great way to save space without sacrificing function. You can even find mini cribs that come with attached changing tables or storage shelves to maximize space.
Some mini cribs even come with built-in bassinets, which is a nice feature if you plan on using it as a playpen or want to have a place for your baby to sleep that’s close to the ground.
Mini cribs are usually slightly less expensive than full-size cribs but you can find both in the same price range.
Many full size cribs, however, can get up to around $500+ dollars. But there are plenty of models available around $200.
Most mini cribs, on the other hand, can run you anywhere between $130-$300, without the mattress. You will still need to purchase mini crib mattresses unless you purcahse a bundle.
Because standard cribs are most popular in the United States, there are far more options for bedding for a full size crib, however, there are still lots of options for mini cribs.
Both options still need a fitted sheet, which means regular crib sheets will not work in a mini crib. Standard crib sheets fit all standard size crib mattresses.
Pros and Cons of Full-Size Cribs
Pros of full size cribs:
- Can be used for a longer period of time
- More bedding options available
- More mattress options
- Larger range of styles available
- Can be converted into a toddler bed or full size bed
Cons of full size cribs:
- Not as portable as mini cribs
- Often more expensive than mini cribs
- Harder to store in between babies
- Larger footprint than a mini crib
Pros and Cons of Mini Cribs
Pros of mini cribs:
- Perfectly sized for a smaller space
- More affordable up front
- Possibly can be converted into a day bed and/or a twin bed
- Fold down for easy storage
Cons of mini cribs:
- Your baby will outgrow it more quickly
- Fewer bedding options
- Fewer mattress options
I hope this gives you some insight into whether a mini crib or a crib is right for you!
Mini Crib vs Crib FAQ
Here are some frequently asked questions about a mini cribs and cribs in general.
Are mini cribs convertible?
Some mini cribs can be converted into a day bed and then a twin size bed. You’ll just need to buy the specific conversion kit for your mini crib. These are typically sold by the manufacturer but also available at places like Amazon or BuyBuyBaby.
Can mini cribs be used as co-sleepers?
Yes, mini cribs can be used as co-sleepers. In fact, mini cribs are a great option for parents who want to use the family bed but also want their baby to have their own sleeping space.
In face, the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) recommends that babies sleep in the same room as their parents for at least the first 6 months (and ideally, up to 1 year).
A mini crib can be placed right next to your bed so that you can easily feed and comfort your baby during the night. Plus, it’s easy to roll out of the way during the day so you can have your space back.
What is the difference between a mini crib and a pack and play?
A mini crib is typically smaller than a pack and play and doesn’t have all the bells and whistles that a pack and play has. Pack and plays typically come with a bassinet attachment, changing station, and sometimes even speakers.
Are mini cribs safe?
Mini cribs are just as safe as regular cribs. In fact, mini cribs must meet the same safety standards as full-size cribs.
What is the weight limit for mini cribs?
Most mini cribs have a weight limit of around 30-35 pounds. But this can vary depending on the model so make sure to check with the exact model of what you plan to purchase.
The Most Popular Mini Crib vs Crib Options
The 10 Most Popular Mini Cribs:
There are the best mini cribs according to Amazon reviews:
- Dream On Me Aden 4-in-1 Convertible Mini Crib in White, Greenguard Gold Certified
- Babyletto Origami Mini Portable Crib Folding with Wheels in Washed Natural
- Dream On Me Aden 4-in-1 Convertible Mini Crib with Dream On Me 3″ Portable Crib Mattress
- Delta Children Folding Portable Mini Baby Crib with 1.5-inch Mattress – Greenguard Gold Certified
- Carter’s by DaVinci Colby 4-in-1 Convertible Mini Crib with Trundle Drawer in Grey and White, Greenguard Gold Certified
- Million Dollar Baby Classic Winston 4-in-1 Convertible Mini Metal Crib in Vintage Gold, Greenguard Gold Certified
- Babyletto Gelato 4-in-1 Convertible Mini Crib in Washed Natural and White, Greenguard Gold Certified
- DaVinci Dylan Folding Portable 3-in-1 Convertible Mini Crib and Twin Bed in White, Greenguard Gold Certified
- Davini Kalani 4-in-1 Mini Crib and Twin Bed in White with Complete Slumber Mini Crib Mattress
- DaVinci Alpha Mini Rocking Crib in Slate, Removable Wheels, Greenguard Gold Certified
The 10 Most Popular Full Size Cribs:
There are the best full size cribs according to Amazon reviews:
- Dream On Me Folding Full Size Convenience Crib
- Evolur Maddox Modern Crib
- Dream On Me, Full Size 2-in-1 Folding Stationary Side Crib
- Dream On Me Carter 5-in-1 Full Size Convertible Crib
- Delta Children Tribeca 4-in-1 Baby Convertible Crib, Bianca White/Natural
- Graco Benton 5-in-1 Convertible Crib (Pebble Gray) – GREENGUARD Gold Certified
- Graco Hadley 5-in-1 Convertible Crib with Drawer (Pebble Gray) – GREENGUARD Gold Certified, Crib
- Delta Children Twinkle 4-in-1 Convertible Baby Crib
- DaVinci Union 4-in-1 Convertible Crib in Grey, Greenguard Gold Certified
- Delta Children Emery 4-in-1 Convertible Baby Crib – Greenguard Gold Certified
In Summary: Mini Crib vs Crib
One is not necessarily a better choice than the other. The best option for a baby crib is truly what you will get the most use out of and what is the most practical for you.
If you have a small room, a mini crib is likely a better option for you rather than a full size crib. But if you have the space, a full size crib that converts to other types of beds is likely the best option. Good luck and congratulations on your new addition!
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