What are co-sleepers, and which ones are worth looking at? Everything you need to know about co-sleeping, in a single article.
Whether you’re expecting your new bundle of joy any day now, or you’re looking for an alternative to the crib in the nursery you’ve decided you’re not thrilled with, co-sleeping is probably a concept you’ve at least heard of – whether online or from real-life mom friends.
But between the myriad options, all of which are the “best co-sleepers” and the confusing sub-categories, you’re really not sure which one to pick.
You want it to be safe, that’s certain. You’d like it to be cheap – or at least affordable. You need it to be comfortable and convenient for you to use. You’d like to be able to clean it. And if possible, you want it to look nice as well.
And which co-sleepers are safest? Is co-sleeping safe at all, or is it one of those “do at your own risk” things, where you’re either dangerously perfect or perfectly dangerous?
In this article, we’ll address the issue of co-sleeping and how to do it safely, as well as what to look for in a co-sleeper and what to avoid.
We’ll also go through the ten best co-sleepers, and help you choose the best one for you.
Ready? Let’s start.
Table of Contents
- Best Co-sleepers of 2021
- 1. SNOO Smart Sleeper by Happiest Baby (Best Luxury Co-sleeper, Best Overall)
- 2. Halo Bassinest Swivel Sleeper – Premiere (Best Value)
- 3. Arm’s Reach Concepts Clear-Vue Co-Sleeper (Best For Budget, Bedside)
- 4. SwaddleMe By Your Side (Best In-bed Co-sleeper)
- 5. DockATot Deluxe+ (Most Designs)
- 6. Mumbelli Infant Bed (Best For Budget, In-bed)
- 7. Lulyboo Bassinet To-Go Infant Travel Bed (With Canopy And Toys)
- 8. Scuddles 3-1 Portable Bassinet (Best For Travel)
- 9. BabyBjorn Cradle (Easily Rockable)
- 10. Snuggle Me Organic Patented Sensory Lounger (Best Organic)
- What is co-sleeping?
- In-bed co-sleepers vs bedside bassinets
- Safe sleep rules
- Does co-sleeping reduce the risk of SIDS?
- The bottom line?
Best Co-sleepers of 2021
1. SNOO Smart Sleeper by Happiest Baby (Best Luxury Co-sleeper, Best Overall)
Type: Bedside There’s no question the SNOO Smart Sleeper is top-of-the-line for modern parents: Happiest Baby’s bedside co-sleeper “hears” your baby’s cries and responds by increasing the level of white noise and motion, so you don’t need to pick baby up – unless your baby needs you, in which case the SNOO will let you know via its app.
With its breathable mesh sides and organic cotton sleep sacks and included sheet, this co-sleeper claims to boost the amount of shut-eye for both parents and babies by 1-2 hours a night.
The good: The SNOO claims it helps keep babies on their backs, as per the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) safe sleep guidelines. It also has a preemie setting and a setting to help babies adjust to sleeping in a crib.
The not-so-good: For all its frills, the SNOO only offers a one-year warranty. On the other hand, one year is all you need, since your baby can’t use this co-sleeper past age six months.
The best: Happiest Baby offers a 30-day trial: If you’re not happy, simply return your SNOO and you’ll get your money back – cost of shipping included.
Is it for you? If you’re looking for a co-sleeper that can soothe your baby for you, and you don’t have a spending limit, the Happiest Baby’s SNOO Smart Sleeper is the co-sleeper for you.
* offers an app
* offers personalized motion and white noise
* one-year warranty
* includes 3 sizes of sleep sacks
* includes organic sheet
* free trial, with return shipping expenses paid
* option for use with app
* preemie and crib transition settings
* suitable for babies up to 6 months
2. Halo Bassinest Swivel Sleeper – Premiere (Best Value)
Type: BedsideThe only co-sleeper that can swivel 360 degrees, Halo’s Bassinest Swivel Sleeper offers much of what the SNOO offers, but for a fraction of the price. Unlike the SNOO, which sits flesh up to the side of your bed, the Halo’s foot can slide under the parent bed, allowing the co-sleeper to overhang the side of the bed.
Not only is it easier for you to take baby in and out of the co-sleeper, it also allows you to fit the co-sleeper into spaces that would be prohibitive for other models.
The good: Halo’s Bassinest offers soothing sounds, music, and motion, as well as a nightlight. Even better, it all goes off automatically after half an hour – perfect if you’re liable to fall asleep with your baby.
Also, the Bassinest includes two pockets and comes with a fitted sheet, and a leg that can be adjusted to the height of your bed. Its foldable side can be locked into place upright, so there’s no fear of baby falling out.
The not-so-good: The Halo’s biggest downside is how short a time you can use it for: Like many bassinets, as soon as your baby starts rolling over or pushing up, it’s time to pack the Bassinest away and move to a crib.
The best: With its fold-down side, overhang, and full swivel, the Bassinest offers news parents the ability to keep baby close but in a separate bed – and an easy way to get in and out of their own bed.
Is it for you? If you’re looking for a top co-sleeper that offers comfort and convenience at a decent price, Halo’s Bassinest is the perfect co-sleeper for you.
* 360-degree swivel
* foldable side
* offers soothing motion
* offers soothing sounds and music
* automatically turns off
* includes fitted sheet
* includes 2 pockets
* relatively inexpensive
* adjustable leg
* includes nightlight
* foldable side locks upright
* only good until baby starts rolling over
3. Arm’s Reach Concepts Clear-Vue Co-Sleeper (Best For Budget, Bedside)
Arm’s Reach Concepts’ Clear-Vue bedside co-sleeper offers parents three options for use: bassinet mode, co-sleeper mode, and playpen mode. Slim and with mesh sides, this co-sleeper allows you to keep baby close and in sight, both at night and during the day.
The good: The Clear-Vue Co-Sleeper bassinet comes with a fitted sheet. It’s also made of a clear mesh for breathability and visibility, and can be height-adjusted for use beside your bed. In playpen mode, the Clear-Vue can be used until baby reaches a height of 35” (89 cm), at about 18-24 months.
The not-so-good: Arm’s Reach only offers a 180-day warranty.
The best: Arm’s Reach’s Clear-Vue co-sleeper is wheeled and slim enough to fit through most doorways, and comes with an included nylon strap and plate to attach it to your bed.
Is it for you? If you’re looking for a co-sleeper that you can wheel from room to room, or you want a no-frills co-sleeper that won’t cost an arm and a leg, Arm’s Reach’s Clear-Vue Co-Sleeper is the one for you.
* three modes
* drop-able side
* slim enough to fit through doorways
* extendable legs
* includes fitted sheet
* includes carrying case
* includes nylon strap and plate for fastening to parent bed
* for use with babies up to 5 months
* 180-day warranty
4. SwaddleMe By Your Side (Best In-bed Co-sleeper)
Type: In-bed A top in-bed co-sleeper, the SwaddleMe By Your Side has mesh sides and folds flat for easy travel and storage. While this lightweight, airy, co-sleeper can’t be used past about three months, its low price tag and easy storage make it a good buy even for just two or three months of use.
The good: With its small oval shape, this co-sleeper gives your baby room to wiggle a bit, while still offering a more contained feeling than larger co-sleepers, bassinets, and cribs.
The not-so-good: Parents have complained that this sleeper is too large to fit comfortably in a bed smaller than a king if two adults are in the bed, and that the co-sleeper tilts towards whichever adult is nearest.
The best: With its compressible sides, it’s easy for parents to reach out and rest their hand on baby throughout the night – and there’s no need to pull the SwaddleMe’s side back up afterwards.
Is it for you? If you’re looking for a lightweight in-bed co-sleeper with firm sides, the SwaddleMe is the co-sleeper for you.
* metal frame folds for travel
* includes mattress pad
* includes fitted sheet
* compressible side wall
* too large for a small parent bed
* low age limit
5. DockATot Deluxe+ (Most Designs)
Type: In-bed A popular in-bed co-sleeper, DockATot’s Deluxe+ comes in two sizes: Deluxe+ (0-8 months), and Grand (9-36 months). With raised sides that provide baby with his own little space, this co-sleeper helps baby feel snugger than the standard “bassinet-style” co-sleeper.
The good: DockATot offers a variety of colors and patterns, making it easy to find a co-sleeper to match your décor.
The not-so-good: This co-sleeper cannot be used inside a crib, and many parents have said that it does not offer more value than similar but less expensive models. Also, even though the company says it doesn’t harbor heat, a few parents said their babies got too hot in the DockATot.
The best: The DockATot’s cover is machine washable, and the co-sleeper itself is easily portable.
Is it for you? If you’re looking for an in-bed co-sleeper that can be used after baby starts rolling over and sitting up, this is the co-sleeper for you.
* can be used until baby is 8 months old
* machine washable
* variety of colors and patterns
* great for tummy time
* comes pre-washed
* travel bag available (sold separately)
* doesn’t have high sides
* supervision required during use
* not officially approved for sleep
6. Mumbelli Infant Bed (Best For Budget, In-bed)
Type: In-bed An in-bed co-sleeper, the Mumbelli has high sides and a non-slip bottom, allowing parents to place their baby in their own bed. “Womb-like,” the Mumbelli aims to mimic pregnancy conditions, with an infant insert designed to make newborns feel snug and reduce startling movements.
Though the Mumbelli doesn’t have BPA, lead, phthalates, latex, or other harsh chemicals, it isn’t made of cotton – it’s made of foam and polyester.
The good: With its unique shape, it’s easy to believe Mumbelli’s claims that the co-sleeper reduces fussiness and crying and encourages babies to sleep more soundly. And in addition to its use as a co-sleeper, the Mumbelli can be used as an insert for a crib or a portable baby lounger.
The not-so-good: One mother wrote that her Mumbelli fell apart after its first washing, and another said the bottom of the mattress started growing mold. It’s also not clear what the warranty is.
The Mumbelli comes with an “anti-reflux” wedge that the company says helps babies breathe easier. However, current sleep guidelines caution against wedges, since babies can slip down and become unable to turn their faces so they can breathe.
The best: Mumbelli offers a 14-day trial – if you don’t like it, they’ll offer a full refund. Also, it has an insert for newborns, so they’ll feel snugger and cozier than in a larger bed, and the Mumbelli meets or exceed the Consumer Product Safety Commission’s (CPSC) regulations for infant products.
Is it for you? If you’re looking for an inexpensive in-bed co-sleeper that will hug your baby tight and mimic the cramped quarters he had before birth, the Mumbelli is the co-sleeper for you.
* comes with carrying case
* comes with wedge
* machine washable
* 14-day trial
* no-slip grip
* meets or exceeds CPSC regulations
* no harsh chemicals
* adjustable for newborns
* not clear if wedge is safe
* warranty unclear
* doesn’t include fitted sheet
7. Lulyboo Bassinet To-Go Infant Travel Bed (With Canopy And Toys)
Type: In-bed Lulyboo’s Bassinet To-Go Infant Travel Bed is an all-in-one baby lounger, changing pad, co-sleeper, and travel bassinet. With an included activity bar and two plush toys, this bassinet will keep baby comfortable both while sleeping and at playtime.
The good: The Bassinet-To-Go has an outer pocket and a machine-washable cover, and it converts into a lightweight backpack for easy travel.
The not-so-good: There’s no information on how long the Lulyboo Bassinet’s warranty is, nor on what its weight or age limit is. And even though it’s travel-friendly, some parents have complained that it doesn’t recover its shape after being unfolded.
The best: Lulyboo’s Bassinet To-Go has a hood and a waterproof base, making it perfect for use on the grass, beach, and everywhere else.
Is it for you? If you’re looking for a co-sleeper “bassinet” that’s lightweight, portable, and will shade your baby from the sun, Lulyboo’s Bassinet-To-Go is the one for you.
* folds for easy travel
* waterproof bottom
* includes activity bar and toys
* includes outer pocket
* no information on warranty
* no information on age or weight limit
* doesn’t always regain shape immediately
8. Scuddles 3-1 Portable Bassinet (Best For Travel)
Type: In-bed Scuddles’ 3-in-1 Portable Bassinet is marketed by the company as a travel bassinet, perfect for diaper changes, on-the-go sleeping, and use as a diaper bag. While the company calls it a “co-sleeper” exactly once, it’s not clear if this product is truly intended for in-bed co-sleeping.
The good: At less than $50, the Scuddles offers parents on the go a compact product that saves carrying a lot of baby gear: zippered pockets can hold gear while your baby sleeps in the bassinet, and it all folds up into a diaper bag.
The not-so-good: In all honesty, though this is technically an in-bed co-sleeper, it’s not clear if that’s what it should be used for. Also, we couldn’t find information on either the warranty or how to wash it.
The best: The Scuddles Bassinet has a high age limit – up to 12 months – and the bassinet expands to two feet, bringing it to the top of the list for co-sleeping solutions for older babies.
Is it for you? If you’re looking for a travel bassinet that will reduce the load you’re carrying instead of add to it, the Scuddles Portable Bassinet is the one for you.
* can fold into a diaper bag
* can be used as a changing table
* good for babies up to 12 months old
* special bottle warmer pocket
* removable pad
* several zippered pockets
* lots of storage space
* no information on warranty
* not clear how to wash it
* bottom is not firm
9. BabyBjorn Cradle (Easily Rockable)
Type: Bedside Modeled after the classic cradle, BabyBjorn’s Cradle allows parents to rock their baby, or allow baby to rock himself back to sleep with his own movements. With its relatively small size, this cradle can be carried from room to room, allowing baby to sleep next to you throughout the day.
The good: Simple, classic, with mesh sides, the BabyBjorn fits both beside a parent bed and anywhere else in the house – and it can be rocked without any electronic equipment.
The not-so-good: Its 18-lbs weight limit is the absolute shortest. Then again, many babies won’t reach that weight before age six months, anyways. Also, there’s no information on the warranty.
The best: With its removable and washable mesh sides, this cradle is unique among bedside co-sleepers in that all of it – not just the mattress – can be easily removed for washing.
Is it for you? If you’re looking for a classic-style cradle and don’t mind the low weight limit, BabyBjorn’s Cradle is the one for you.
* machine washable – including mesh sides
* easy to fold
* washable mattress
* folds compactly
* can be moved from room to room
* easy to assemble
* non-slip feet
* low weight limit
* no information on warranty
10. Snuggle Me Organic Patented Sensory Lounger (Best Organic)
Type: In-bed A popular co-sleeper and lounger, Snuggle Me Organic’s Patented Sensory Lounger seems like a fraternal twin of the DockATot: Both products can be used as loungers, both offer a variety of colors, and both come in two sizes – newborn and toddler.
The good: Snuggle Me Organic’s Sensory Lounger is lightweight and comes with your choice of cover, as well as a canvas carrying bag. Plus, it can be used for tummy time and play time, as well as supervised sleep.
The not-so-good: The bottom of the lounger is relatively thin, and there’s no information on its warranty.
Also, Snuggle Me Organic writes on its site that, “Baby loungers should not be used as co sleeping devices due to the padded sides” and adds, “The safest place for a baby to sleep overnight is in a crib with a fitted sheet.”
While neither of these statements are unique to Snuggle Me Organic’s lounger – both of them probably apply to any in-bed co-sleeper that doesn’t have bassinet-type sides – they do emphasize that this product is not intended for use in a parent’s bed. Honestly? Kudos to the company. That’s brave of them.
The best: Organic fabric and a washable cover and product mean you can be satisfied that you’ve provided your child with the cleanest product on the market.
Is it for you? If you’re looking for an organic product for baby to play, rest, and nap in, Snuggle Me Organic’s lounger is the one for you.
* includes canvas bag
* includes washable cover
* relatively high age limit
* certified organic fabric
* bottom is relatively thin
* no information on warranty
* probably not intended for overnight sleep
Want to see how the technical details compare?
|Type||Weight||Age limit||Cleaning instructions||Warranty|
|SNOO Smart Sleeper||Bedside||38 lbs (17.27 kg)||0-6 months or 25 lbs (11.36 kg)||Spot clean with a soft cloth, warm water, and mild soap.||One-year limited warranty.|
|Halo Bassinest Swivel Sleeper – Premiere||Bedside||28 lbs (12.7 kg)||Up to 20 lbs (9.1 kg) or when baby starts to show signs of rolling over or pushing up on hands and knees||Wipe clean with a damp cloth.||One-year warranty|
|Arm’s Reach CLEAR-VUE CO-SLEEPER||Bedside||26 lbs (11.8 kg)||Co-sleeper and bassinet modes: 0-5 months or when baby starts to push up on hands and knees.||No information||180 days, original owner only. Limited.|
|SwaddleMe By Your Side||In-bed||6.5 lbs (2.95 kg)||Up to three months, or until baby starts to push up or roll over.||Wipe clean with a damp cloth, air dry.||1 year warranty|
|DockATot Deluxe+||In-bed||3 lbs (1.36 kg)||Up to 8 months, or between 5-22 lbs (2.27-10 kg)||Outer cover- machine wash warm in garment bag, hang to dry. Pad – hand wash in cold water, lay flat to dry. Inner sleeve- machine wash cold, hang to dry. Inner tube – machine wash cold in garment bag, tumble dry low, lay flat to dry if still wet.||1 year warranty|
|Mumbelli Infant Bed||In-bed||2.5 lbs (1.14 kg)||Up to age 3 months or when baby begins to roll over.||Machine washable cover||No information|
|Lulyboo bassinet-to-go||In-bed||Less than 4 lbs (1.8 kg)||No information||Machine washable cover||No information|
|Scuddles 3-1 Portable Bassinet||In-bed||Not clear. One customer wrote 2 lbs (0.9 kg)||Up to 12 months of age||Not clear: Either wipe down, or machine wash cold.||No information|
|BabyBjorn Cradle||Bedside||13 lbs (6 kg)||0-6 months, or up to 18 lbs (8.18 kg)||Machine wash, do not tumble dry.||No information|
|Snuggle Me Organic Patented Sensory Lounger||In-bed||3 lbs (1.36 kg)||0-9 months||Machine wash gentle cycle, cool dryer or air dry.||No information|
What else do you need to know?
What is co-sleeping?
Though the term “co-sleeping” is often understood as sharing a bed with your baby, in fact that is just one type of co-sleeping. Properly used, co-sleeping can refer to any arrangement in which the baby and parents sleep in the same room.
In other words, the term “co-sleeping” includes two main sub-categories: bed-sharing, and room-sharing.
Co-sleepers, divided into two categories to match the two types of co-sleeping, offer parents solutions for both easy and convenient room-sharing and (hopefully) safer bed-sharing.
In-bed co-sleepers vs bedside bassinets
Co-sleepers come in two types: In-bed co-sleepers, which aim to provide a safe sleep solution for parents who want to bed-share with their babies, and bedside bassinets, which provide a solution for parents who want their little one easily accessible but in a separate bed.
In-bed co-sleepers usually have raised sides to prevent the parents’ pillows and blankets from covering the baby, as well as to prevent baby from rolling out of the co-sleeper. Though these may be convenient, older babies can still roll or climb out and fall off your bed, so you’ll need to find a solution for that.
Some of the in-bed co-sleepers are foldable and portable, so they can be brought with you anywhere, allowing your baby to sleep in a familiar bed no matter where you go. While this is convenient, remember that often when the co-sleeper unfolds, it doesn’t stand as firmly as it did previously. Also, co-sleepers don’t usually fold small, so you’ll need to either put yours in a bag or be sure you have your back free to carry it.
Bedside bassinets differ from conventional cribs in that they are usually smaller, cozier, and often more versatile. While cribs are large and can only sit next to a parent’s bed, bedside sleepers are smaller and can often rotate, tilt, and tuck under the parent’s bed.
Also, while cribs are no longer made with a drop-able side, many bedside (and in-bed) co-sleepers do have a side that can be folded down and then back up again.
It’s worth noting that co-sleepers are not always small enough to fit through doorways, so if you’re bent on bringing it into the living room during the daytime, look for one that’s small enough, or consider buying another sleep solution for your living room or play room.
Safe sleep rules
No matter where your baby sleeps, there are some “safe sleep” rules you’ll want to follow to ensure baby’s safety.
Never give your baby a pillow or loose blanket. In the first few months, swaddling is considered safe, but after your baby learns to undo the swaddle, he or she can get entangled in the blanket. To keep your baby warm on chilly nights, use an age-appropriate sleep sack.
Always put your baby to sleep on a firm surface. The softer mattresses may look more comfortable, but they are not safe if baby accidentally rolls over while sleeping.
Always place your baby on his or her back to sleep. Babies placed on their sides can roll onto their tummies, and while tummy-sleeping may be more comfortable, it’s not considered safe and raises the risk of SIDS considerably.
Place your baby in a bed without any extra fabric. This means no stuffed animals, no pillows, no blankets, only a tight-fitting sheet, no dangling curtain cords, and no extra blankets or clothes in the bed.
Crib bumpers are very cute and often match the room’s décor, but they are extra fabric and baby’s head can get caught between the bumper and the crib’s slats. Honestly, I’m not sure why they haven’t been banned yet, but they haven’t been (in at least 48 states), so parent beware. If you’re gifted one, either toss it or upcycle it into something else.
Be sure to purchase a crib or co-sleeper which meets current safety standards.
Don’t use a wedge between the mattress and sheet to lift your baby’s head up, even if your baby has a cough or stuffy nose. Babies can and do slip down, and the angled wedge can obstruct breathing. The wedge also means the sheet won’t be as tight-fitting and will come loose more easily.
Pacifiers and breastfeeding have both been shown to reduce the risk of SIDS. Smoking and drinking have been shown to raise the risk of SIDS: the number of SIDS cases consistently spikes just after holidays when adults tend to drink more alcohol.
Never let anyone smoke around your baby. If you smoke, know that breast is best even for babies of smokers. Your baby will be exposed to your cigarette smoke second- and third-hand regardless of whether you breastfeed or formula-feed, so medical consensus is that baby may as well reap some of the benefits of breastfeeding – and hopefully some of the protective effects as well.
Don’t overheat your baby – or your house. Even in the heater when you’re using a heater, keep the temperature at 20-22 degrees Celsius (8-72 degrees Fahrenheit). If you’re worried about your baby’s body temperature, feel his or her chest: Newborns have relatively poor circulation, so hands and feet aren’t the best barometers of body temperature. A rule of thumb is to dress baby in one more layer than you’re comfortable wearing.
When using a bedside co-sleeper, place the co-sleeper flesh up against the side of the parent bed, with no more than a half-inch (13mm) gap between them.
When using an in-bed co-sleeper, never place the co-sleeper less than 12 inches from the edge of the bed. Never place a co-sleeper on an adult mattress that is not firm and stable even when the adult is lying down.
Also, don’t place a co-sleeper in bed beside a child, and always place the co-sleeper beside the headboard.
Does co-sleeping reduce the risk of SIDS?
While room-sharing is proven to cut SIDS risk in half and encouraged by the AAP, bed-sharing is strongly discouraged due to the risk that the parents may roll over onto the baby, or that the parents’ pillows or blankets may cover the baby’s face and cause death.
This, once believed to be SIDS, is now understood to be a sleep-related accident, falling under the broader category of SUID, or sudden unexpected infant death.
Whether or not baby should share your bed is controversial: In many cultures, bed-sharing is still the norm, and supporters of the practice say it encourages breastfeeding and supports both exclusive breastfeeding (EBF) during the first six months of baby’s life, as well as extended breastfeeding later on.
However, even supporters of the practice agree that parents who drink, smoke, or use other types of drugs should never sleep with their babies afterwards.
It’s important to emphasize that safe co-sleeping – i.e. room-sharing – is supportive of extended breastfeeding and having your baby beside you, in arm’s reach, but safely in a separate bed will allow both of you to sleep and provide you with the peace of mind that baby is safe next to you.
It’s also important to emphasize that there have not been sufficient studies on in-bed co-sleepers to determine if they offer a reduced risk of SIDS when compared to conventional bed-sharing. At this point, bed-sharing is bed-sharing, and we know of no reduction of risk when an in-bed co-sleeper is used.
The bottom line?
If you’re looking for a top co-sleeper that’ll shush and rock your baby back to sleep, go for the SNOO or Halo’s Bassinest. If you want an in-bed co-sleeper with firm sides, go for the SwaddleMe By Your Side. Want a lounger? Choose the DockATot or the Snuggle Me Organic.
Looking for something budget-friendly? Go for Arm’s Reach’s Clear Vue, the Mumbelli, or Lulyboo’s Travel Bed. For a more classic bedside look, choose the BabyBjorn cradle, and if you need something for the airport, go with the Lulyboo or Scuddles.
Do you have any of these co-sleepers? Love it? Hate it? Have something else to say? Know a co-sleeper that should’ve made the list but didn’t? Let us know in the comments!