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The Best Baby Cribs of 2016

Our research team, with the assistance of Kimberlee Mitchell, a nationally recognized child safety expert, reviewed nine cribs across 12 key data points in order to settle on the very best on the market today. The top three overall were the Pottery Barn Kendall Crib, the Stokke Sleepi Crib, and the Babyletto Mercer Crib.

 

Overview of Research

Kimberlee assisted our team as we compiled an initial group of cribs and evaluated each across 12 key data points selected for their importance to parents and other baby product users.

kimberlee
Kimberlee Mitchell

Child Safety Expert

Kimberlee is the founder of Boo Boo Busters Professional Babyproofing Services and a nationally recognized child safety expert.

The final ranking was determined by a weighted methodology. The methodology consisted of the 12 data points we researched, which were categorized into four core metrics: crib safety and security (35%), crib performance (30%), cost and consumer reviews (20%), and customer support (15%).

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The Best Baby Cribs of 2016

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Methodology

Our Expert

Kimberlee Mitchell is the founder of Boo Boo Busters® Professional Babyproofing Services. The home childproofing business serves both Los Angeles and Orange counties and has childproofed more than 7,000 homes since 2002. The company was featured in the Universal Picture’s film “Baby Mama,” starring Tina Fey and Amy Poehler, both of whom have had their homes childproofed by Boo Boo Busters.

Mitchell has appeared as a child safety expert on CBS’s “The Early Show,” “Fox & Friends,” E! Entertainment Television’s “E! News;” VH1; and PBS’s “A Place of Our Own” and “Baby Makes 3” airing on PBS member stations in 2016. She has served as a child safety consultant and corporate spokesperson for juvenile products manufacturer Safety1st, Dorel Juvenile Group, Verizon, and the non profit organization the American Cleaning Institute, to name a few.

While Ms. Mitchell served as general advisor to the project, the Rankings.com team independently chose the list of reviewed cribs and developed the methodology used for scoring and ranking.

How We Selected Our Test Group

To determine the list of cribs to be reviewed, we started by consulting major test-based crib assessments from the past year, in particular those released by the Consumer Product Safety Commission, Consumer Reports and Parenting.com. We also performed our own independent survey of established crib brands and the customer reviews associated with each of their products.

Here is our complete list of sources:

How We Narrowed Our List Down

Our team established minimum criteria for all cribs reviewed:

  • Must meet all applicable federal safety requirements
  • Must have no outstanding recalls.
  • Must not have extremely poor customer reviews
  • Must provide a detailed rundown of the product’s features and warnings
  • Must offer customer support services

 

Once these criteria were taken into consideration, we were left with nine cribs.

 

  1. Baby Mod Olivia Crib
  2. Babyletto Mercer Crib
  3. Bonavita Metro Crib
  4. DaVinci Jenny Lind Convertible Crib
  5. Delta Canton Crib
  6. Honest 4-in-1 Crib
  7. Land of Nod Archway
  8. Pottery Barn Kendall Crib
  9. Stokke Sleepi Crib

Applying our methodology, which we detail below, we then assessed each stroller and determined the scores for our key metrics.

How We Selected the Data to Use in Our Methodology

Our team chose 12 data points to grade each crib against. These data points were selected using federal safety guidelines, recommendations from existing baby product reviews, and our initial research.

We then organized the 12 data points as sub-metrics under four core metrics. This allowed us to group similar data points together and weigh certain metrics over others, based on their overall importance.

Safety and security were chosen as our most important core metric because, when shopping for cribs, safety is by far the most important concern. With parents spending hundreds on a crib, they should be certain they are buying a product they can trust. Performance, as our second most important core metric captures all the non-safety elements of a crib, such as style and size.

Here are the four core metrics and their 12 sub-metrics:

Metric 1: Crib Safety and Security (35%)

  • Meets Federal Standards
  • Consumer Reports Safety Rating

Metric 2: Crib Performance (30%)

  • Style
  • Size
  • Wood Type

Metric 3: Cost and Consumer Reviews (20%)

  • Price
  • Average Website Reviews
  • Consumer Reports Score

Metric 4: Customer Support (15%)

  • Toll Free Phone and Email Support
  • Online Registration
  • Website Services
  • Warranty

How We Scored Our Methodology

To get core metric scores for each crib, we reviewed the 12 sub-metrics spread across the four core metrics, looking at how our nine cribs compared in each sub-metric. The cumulative performance of a crib across the various sub-metrics that made up a core metric gave us the crib’s score for that core metric.

Let’s look at the Pottery Barn Kendall Crib, our number one overall crib, to see the methodology in practice. The Kendall finished third in the Crib Safety and Security core metric, based on its performance in two sub-metrics: federal standards and their consumer reports safety rating. We compared the Kendall to all other cribs in these sub-metrics, and it tied for first in both. This, in turn, earned it an 10/10 score for the Crib Safety and Security core metric.

In order to get a final, overall score, we took each crib’s score in the four core metrics, multiplied each by their respective percentile weights, and then took the sum. This sum became each crib’s final score.

Here is how the Pottery Barn Kendall Crib finished in the four core metrics:

  • Safety and Security – 10/10
  • Performance – 7/10
  • Cost and Consumer Reviews – 10/10
  • Customer Support – 7/10

With the appropriate weights applied to each core metric, the Kendall’s final score was 8.7/10, the highest final score amongst all cribs reviewed, making it our number one.

Drawbacks of Our Methodology

The major drawback worth noting is that we focused on cribs relatively new to the market, meaning those that came out starting in 2014. While this helped us look at the cutting-edge in crib safety, it did limit the scope of our review. There are a number of reliable seats that have been on the market for longer and stood the test of time. Before committing to any one, we recommend doing your own in depth research to identify the seats that have been market mainstays for the past five plus years.

Understanding Crib Features

1. Crib Safety and Security back to metric

Very Important

35.00% of our methodology score

Why this is very important: With 35% of the weight, safety and security is the most important of our four key metrics. With parents leaving their child in their crib overnight and for several hours at a time, they need to be able to trust their chosen product completely.

The good news is, that thanks to federal standards, dangers associated with cribs in decades past, such as dangerous bars, sharp corners, or dropping gates, all of which have been virtually eliminated, thanks in part to the stringency of the Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC). Every crib on our list has been certified safe by the CPSC.

So, in order to distinguish the safety of one crib over another we relied on the Consumer Reports stress test method of assessing safety; each product tested by Consumer Reports receives a safety rating, from Excellent to Very Good (anything below Very Good is unacceptable). Three products received Excellents from Consumer Reports, meaning all of them earned our top safety scores: the Pottery Barn Kendall Crib, the Babyletto Mercer Crib, and the Bonavita Metro Crib.

Important caveats and notes: Most legitimate manufacturers and retailers selling cribs maintain an informative, user-friendly website with links to information about safety features. Some products were not included because safety and security specs were not readily available for web users. Any products with outstanding recall notices were withdrawn from consideration.

Cribs Sorted by Safety and Security
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2. Crib Performance back to metric

Very Important

30.00% of our methodology score

Why this is very important: Cribs’ score in the performance metric accounted for 30% of their overall score, making it the second most important of our core metrics.

In terms of performance, the convertibility of a crib was a key sub-metric. Today’s cribs are built with longevity in mind, meaning as a child ages they can be converted from a traditional crib to a toddler’s bed to a daybed or even a full-sized bed. In addition, we also looked at the overall weight and size of a crib, favoring compact cribs that can be converted into larger beds as needed. Lastly, we looked at the type of wood used for the crib (all but one reviewed were wooden), cribs made of high quality woods, built to last, were favored ― quality materials include cherry and beech.

With all that in mind, our top crib in terms of performance was the Stokke Sleepi Crib, which is a 4-in-1 convertible crib made of beech wood and with dimensions of 50″Wx29″Lx34″H, making it the second most compact crib on our list.

Important caveats and notes: The tables below reflect general quality of construction. For cribs, a baby’s height and weight will be a key deciding factor. Available space in the home is another important consideration.

Cribs Sorted by Performance
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3. Cost and Consumer Reviews back to metric

Important

20.00% of our methodology score

Why this is important: Cribs cost hundreds of dollars and, depending on your budget and taste, can quickly jump well over a thousand. In the interest of finding you a high quality, yet affordable crib, we looked at how the price point of each crib on our list compared to the product’s overall consumer reviews.

We first started by collecting the cost of each crib as listed by the manufacturer. In the event they did not list a price or did not sell the crib directly, we relied on the price of the crib on Amazon.com.

As far as consumer reviews go, we started with any reviews posted on the manufacturer’s site and then referred to the reviews logged on Amazon. From there, we factored in the scores released by Consumer Reports in their own assessment of cribs.

The cheapest crib on our list is the Baby Mod Olivia Crib, totaling to $208 on Amazon. Two cribs were tied for most expensive, costing $799 each: the Land of Nod Archway and the Stokke Sleepi Crib. As far as reviews are concerned, the DaVinci Jenny Lind and Delta Canton cribs impressed ― each has been reviewed over 300 times on Amazon and both hold average ratings of well over 4.5 stars. The Pottery Barn Kendall, our top overall crib, received the highest Consumer Report score with an 87, though it should be noted that less than half of all cribs received a Consumer Report score at all.

Important caveats and notes: If reviews on these sites were not available and the crib was not found on Consumer Reviews, then it was withdrawn from consideration in this metric. All prices and customer reviews listed were lifted from manufacturer product pages unless otherwise noted.

Cribs Sorted by Pricing
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4. Customer Support back to metric

Somewhat Important

15.00% of our methodology score

Why this is somewhat important: Customer support rounds out our core metrics, receiving only 15% of the total weight. While this is our lowest weight, it still has a sizable impact on a crib’s overall score.

For our review team, customer support was almost exclusively focused on the quality of each company’s online support team as well as the usefulness of their site. The four sub-metrics for customer support surveyed companies’ toll free and email/live chat support, their online product registration service, the presence of an on-site FAQ and product manual, and the warranties on their cribs.

The Land of Nod, makers of the Archway Crib, finished first in overall customer support. In addition to toll free and email support, Land of Nod offers 24-hour live chat, a standout level of customer commitment when compared to the other brands we reviewed. The warranty is also exceptional, lasting 18 years ― the second best warranty on our list was less than half that long. Stokke’s is another standout site, proving an all-in-one experience via a host of helpful FAQs, crib manuals, and a selection of videos on the installation and upkeep of their Sleepi Crib.

Important caveats and notes: Some of these cribs do not currently have product pages on their original manufacturer’s websites. We did not evaluate the customer support offerings on Amazon.com and other major retailers because we believe these sites do not reflect the company’s quality of service.

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Editor's Awards

Pottery Barn Kendall Crib

A tried-and-true household brand delivers our top pick for baby napping accommodations.

Safe and stylish in equal measure, the Kendall offers all the necessary amenities of a crib at a significantly lower price-point than its competitors. It features a classic, craftsman-inspired design and poplar wood construction for a frame that’s both durable and easy to move. Three settings let parents adjust the mattress height as their baby gets bigger, and the Kendall also transitions into a larger bed once the child reaches toddler age.

The Kendall is one of only a few cribs to earn an “Excellent” safety rating from Consumer Reports (along with an overall score of 87). Additionally, the product has been certified for safety by the US Product Safety Commission, the American Society of Testing Manufacturers, and the Canadian Cribs and Cradles Regulations.

Drawbacks:

  • No customer reviews exist on the Pottery Barn’s product pages and the Kendall isn’t available through retailers, which may give some shoppers the impression that this crib isn’t up to snuff. However, Consumer Reports shows a 4.1 average star rating among site reviewers.
  • The Kendall is wider and higher than most of the cribs we looked at by a margin of three to four inches. However, this will only be an issue for parents with strict space limitations.

Rankings:

  • Safety and Security – 10/10
  • Performance – 7/10
  • Cost and Consumer Reviews – 10/10
  • Customer Support – 7/10

Last Updated on May 24, 2016

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