I was no expert by any means when it came to swaddling my babies. My husband, on the other hand, was a master, and without him, I’m not sure either of our sons would have slept well as infants. These blankets definitely made our lives easier.
Based on our personal experience with swaddles, I knew what to look for when putting this list together. Below you will find out which swaddle we used and how it became our life saver. You’ll also see which blankets other parents love and why.
There are many baby products out there that keep baby calm and cozy while they sleep and swaddle blankets are best for giving them a safe environment. The transition from the womb is often hard for many babies, and your pediatrician will agree that these products are extremely helpful.
Keep reading this article or feel free to jump straight to our number #1 pick here.
Table of Contents
- What Should I Look For in a Baby Swaddle?
- Here’s How We’ve Determined the Best Baby Swaddles
- Our Top Picks for the Best Baby Swaddle of 2021
- #1: Halo SleepSack Swaddle (Best Value)
- #2: Merlins Magic Sleepsuit (Best Overall)
- #3: Aden + Anais Classic Swaddle (Best Lightweight)
- #4: Summer Infant SwaddleMe Original Swaddle (Best Low Cost)
- #5: Miracle Blanket Swaddle (Strongest Swaddle)
- #6: SwaddleMe pod (Best for Preemies)
- #7: Love to Dream SwaddleUp Original Swaddle (Best for “Arms Up”)
- Are You Supposed to Swaddle a Newborn at Night?
- What Kind of Blanket Can You Use for Swaddling?
- What Is the Difference between Receiving Blankets and Swaddling Blankets?
- Verdict: Your Best Baby Swaddle
What Should I Look For in a Baby Swaddle?
When shopping for a baby swaddle, there are very important features that it will need to have. All of the swaddle blankets on our list have these basics but also other things that make them unique. Let’s dive in and go over what’s essential in Swaddlers for babies.
No baby will want anything to do with a swaddle blanket if it isn’t soft and comfy. They are designed to be cozy and to help your baby self soothe, so they can get a good night’s rest.
Ease of Use
Most swaddles aren’t complicated to use and are extremely helpful when dealing with a fussy baby. Still, it’s good to keep in mind that you want something very easy to use so you can quickly swaddle your baby when it’s time for them to sleep.
Protecting your baby’s hips is important during the newborn stage of development. The flexibility in the fabric will allow your baby to stretch their legs into a comfortable position. Be sure to talk to your baby’s pediatrician, if they have hip dysplasia or other problems, before purchasing a swaddle blanket.
Many parents agree that being able to access the diaper if their baby needs changing, is important. You’ll see that many of these swaddles make that very easy.
Here’s How We’ve Determined the Best Baby Swaddles
Doing everything you can to ensure that your baby gets enough rest is a top priority as parents. They are plenty of tools out there that mothers swear by and most of these are worth trying. This is no exception when it comes to swaddling blankets for babies. Though I’ve only used one brand, I took into consideration what I would have wanted if I had branched out and tried other blankets.
After some research, it was clear what parents love the most for their babies, and you will see this as you read on. All of these are some of the best swaddle blankets on the market, each for their unique features.
Our Top Picks for the Best Baby Swaddle of 2021
#1: Halo SleepSack Swaddle (Best Value)
No matter where we looked, the Halo SleepSack was on top everywhere. It’s fairly inexpensive, and parents swear that if it wasn’t for this swaddle, their baby would have never gotten as much sleep in the newborn stage. There are a lot of really great things about its design, and it’s so incredibly easy to use. Being able to swaddle baby’s arms down and the lower price point are the main reasons that this beat out the Merlin’s Magic Sleepsuit for the #1 spot. Read on about the main reasons this is our top pick.
It’s the Only 3-Way Swaddle
You will see that this is the only swaddle blanket on our list that can be used in 3 different ways. The traditional swaddle puts the baby’s arms at their sides. With this one, you can also keep the baby’s hands near their face or have one or both arms out to help with their transition out of swaddling. It’s great to have these options, because as your baby grows, this sleep sack will grow with them, giving you so much use out of it.
It Promotes Healthy Hip Development
Now, this is an important one. As you probably know, babies can develop hip problems based on their sleeping position. The SleepSack doesn’t constrict the baby’s legs, allowing them to adjust while they sleep. This product is even recognized by the International Hip Dysplasia Institute as being a great tool for hip development.
Traditional swaddle blankets don’t give you the option to change your baby’s diaper without completely undoing the swaddle. This isn’t the case with the Halo SleepSack. It has an inverted zipper, making it a breeze to handle the middle of the night diaper changes. Your baby will stay calm and cozy, so getting them back to sleep is quick and easy.
What are some other features of the Halo SleepSack?
- Adjustable fasteners
- 100% cotton with no added chemicals
- Comes in 2 sizes and multiple patterns
- #1 choice of hospitals nationwide
- Can be used until baby is 6 months old
- Machine washable
This sleep sack is truly a lifesaver when it comes to sleep deprivation. Not only does your infant need enough sleep, so do you. Many parents can testify to the fact that Halo is one of the best swaddle blankets on the market because of how easy it is to use and how versatile it is. So, this is such a great choice for the value, since you really get the most for the price.
#2: Merlins Magic Sleepsuit (Best Overall)
When first looking at this sleepsuit, you’ll notice just how different it looks. Instead of having your baby’s arms swaddled down, they are gently held down with the weighted sleeves to prevent the startle reflex from being triggered. You won’t see this type of swaddle anywhere else on this list. You might choose this over our #1 if you have more money in your budget and if you prefer the zipper-only design. Let’s move on to the reasons why this one is the best overall.
It’s the Best for Swaddle Transition
Of course, you realize that your baby won’t need a swaddle blanket forever. The Merlin’s Magic Sleepsuit was made for when that time comes. It still provides the security your baby needs while also helping them get ready to move on from it. Keeping them in a safe sleeping position is the goal, and this product does that without the need to keep baby’s arms down.
Eliminates the Need for Blankets
As a parent, you must be aware of how to provide the safest sleep environment possible for your baby. This includes making sure that your baby always sleeps on their back. You also don’t want any loose fabric in their baby crib or in their bassinet. Examples of these are blankets, sheets, and pillows. A fitted sheet and a swaddle like the Merlin Magic is all your little one needs to get a good night’s rest.
Here is what else this Sleepsuit has to offer your baby.
- Double zipper for easy diaper changes
- Covers for the zipper to prevent injury
- Open hands and feet
- Cotton inlayer and polyfill layer
- Available in 2 sizes and 3 colors
The biggest reason to purchase this over our top pick is obviously if your budget allows but also if you prefer the design. If you would rather your baby have their hands free and only the sleeves to restrict the startle, then this one is for you. Those 2 things are the major differences between our #1 and #2 and will probably be the deciding factor when you’re ready to make your purchase. The bottom line is that either choice is a great one.
#3: Aden + Anais Classic Swaddle (Best Lightweight)
The Aden + Anais is unique. You’ll notice it is the only cotton muslin swaddle. It falls in the middle when it comes to price, so it is a very affordable option. This blanket is soft, gentle, and stretchy. It doesn’t have any fasteners, so you’ll need a real pro to make this one work for your baby. Keep reading to see why this one comes in at #3.
It’s Very Breathable
This swaddle blanket made our list because it’s the most breathable. The cotton muslin material is a finely woven fabric that helps prevent your baby from overheating by allowing them to regulate their temperature. If you are looking for the best swaddle for a warmer climate or just in the summer months, then the Aden + Anais is probably your best bet.
This Is an Actual Blanket
The most notable difference you will see, compared to all of the other top products, is that this muslin swaddle can be used as just a blanket to wrap around your baby as they get older. Lots of babies have a security blanket or an item they need to keep with them to feel safe. This could definitely be it, after you stop swaddling. With every wash, it gets softer and softer making it as cozy as the first use, if not more so.
Let’s talk about some other features of this wearable blanket.
- Machine washable
- Can be used to swaddle until your baby rolls over
- Velcro free
This is a great blanket for swaddling. It’s simple, adorable, and can be used beyond the baby stage. It is such a great choice if you are looking for a swaddle blanket that’s free of bells and whistles. All you have to do is feel comfortable with practicing your technique. Once you fall into a routine with your baby, you will be a master in no time.
#4: Summer Infant SwaddleMe Original Swaddle (Best Low Cost)
I used these swaddling blankets by Summer Infant with both of my boys. They were on my baby registry, and I fell in love with them after I had my first child. We used both a cotton muslin blanket and these interchangeably. My husband, as I mentioned earlier, was an absolute pro at swaddling, but I didn’t have the same knack for it. So, the SwaddleMe Original swaddle was a lifesaver. I hadn’t done any research prior, so we got lucky with being so happy with these. They are very inexpensive – the cheapest of all my picks here, in fact. Let’s go over the features that make it worth trying for your baby.
It Has Hook and Loop Closures
These closures make sure that your baby is snug and secure in their swaddle. This makes it easy to wrap your baby and keep them from breaking out. Then you won’t have to worry about them waking up in the middle of the night from being startled. It’s truly a perfect fit. Plus, they also have integrated velcro.
It Makes Them Feel Like They’re in the Womb
That familiar and cozy feeling really does help your baby develop healthy sleeping habits early on. This Summer Infant SwaddleMe blanket is a product that provides the security that babies need, especially when that startle reflex gets them, while they’re trying to sleep.
There’s a Slit in the Back with a Special Purpose
When I first used this swaddle, I had no clue what the slit in the back was even for. I had to look it up. It’s there so you can use this swaddle blanket in a bouncer or a swing. If your baby is extra fussy, swaddling helps calm them down. This, paired with a bouncing or swaying motion, can help newborns feel more at ease. Just make sure never to use a swaddle in your baby’s car seat.
So, what other features put this on our list?
- Made of 100% organic cotton
- Comes in multiple sizes and patterns
- Easy to use
- Baby’s legs aren’t restricted
This is a simple but effective swaddle. It is great for a small budget but still is a great choice for your baby if you don’t know where to start. You would probably want to choose this one over the Aden + Anais, if you want something with fasteners, like the hook and loop closure. However, it isn’t as ideal for diaper changes, because it doesn’t have an inverted zipper like the Halo SleepSack. Still, it’s a great product for the cost.
#5: Miracle Blanket Swaddle (Strongest Swaddle)
If your baby often struggles to stay swaddled, then the Miracle Blanket Swaddle could be a great choice for you. Not every baby enjoys it and will take any opportunity they get to undo it and get their arms free. Trust me, I went through this with both of my kids. However, swaddling is for their benefit and truly helps them to get the best night of sleep possible. This miracle blanket was designed to prevent your baby from breaking out but also keeping them comfortable and secure at the same time.
Here are the top reasons that this is one of the best blankets for swaddling, especially for your little magician.
Triple Patented Arm Flaps
The flaps of the Miracle Blanket are longer and stronger compared to any of the other swaddles included on our list. They’re designed solely to keep your baby wrapped. Parents strongly feel that this swaddle wrap has the strongest hold and recommend it for babies who struggle the most.
This is a great feature for two reasons. The first is that it moves with your baby. It isn’t tight and allows your baby to have free movement while staying swaddled. Next is that it stands up to multiple washes. No matter how many times you have to clean this product, it will stay as stretchy and soft as the first time it was used.
What are some other features of this wearable blanket?
- 100% knit cotton
- Very breathable
- Comes in many patterns
- Easy to use
You probably won’t want this swaddle blanket if you are set on having one with a zipper. One of the only cons is that this swaddle doesn’t make diaper changes as easy as the Halo SleepSack or the Merlin’s Magic. If those aren’t dealbreakers for you, then this would be a great option. Of course, this is also the best one to keep baby snug and secure without the risk of it coming undone.
#6: SwaddleMe pod (Best for Preemies)
Not all babies are the same size, and this is especially true for preemies. It is completely safe to swaddle your preemie when you get to bring them home. Of course, most standard or small size swaddle blankets will not be the right size for your little one. Some blankets are made for preemies, and the SwaddleMe Pod is what most parents recommend. Although the design is simple, it’s perfect for even the tiniest infant.
Let’s talk about what is most important about this swaddle blanket.
It’s a Compression Swaddle
The compression recreates the cozy feeling of the womb, allowing your baby to feel safe and secure. It is super cozy and allows for natural movement while having the arms down. Plus, the simple design means no wrapping required. It is very easy to use, and your infant will be so snug.
It Has a Two-Way Zipper
This is one of only two swaddles on our list with a two-way zipper. You will find that this makes diaper changes effortless. I imagine that if you have a preemie at home, making sure they get enough sleep so they can grow and develop is important. Not having to worry about unwrapping your baby from a swaddle in the middle of the night is a great help to both them and you. You can let baby sleep while you unzip the bottom zipper and then place them back in their crib or bassinet when you’re done.
So why else is the SwaddleMe Pod ideal for preemies?
- Comes in one size that’s made for the smallest babies
- Machine washable
- Easy to use
The second zipper at the bottom of this sleep sack is one of the most notable features. The zipper makes diaper changes extremely easy. However, with its small size, it is perfect for preemies and even the youngest babies. As your baby grows, you will have to purchase a larger size, as with any other clothing or baby product.
#7: Love to Dream SwaddleUp Original Swaddle (Best for “Arms Up”)
You will notice that what you get with this swaddle is in the name. The Love to Dream Swaddle is famous for keeping your baby’s “arms up”, a term that they have trademarked. Not all babies enjoy having their arms down. This swaddle is best for them. Their arms aren’t free, but they aren’t restricted at their sides either. Keep reading to find out what else this swaddle has to offer.
Ideal for a Moderate Climate
These swaddles are made of a single layer fabric, which helps your baby easily regulate their temperature. You’ll notice on the Love to Dream official website that they give recommendations on which products to use at which temperatures. This can be really helpful because you will be able to choose the best swaddle blankets for where you live.
You will notice that this swaddling sack has won many awards, including the 2020 bounty for the best swaddle. It is also the only other swaddle blanket to be certified hip-healthy by the International Hip Dysplasia Institute besides the Halo SleepSacks.
Why else did this make our list of the best swaddling blankets?
- Machine washable
- Available in 3 sizes and multiple colors and patterns
- Double zipper
- Very easy to use
Just like the SwaddleMe for preemies, this has a two-way zipper that is ideal for changing a diaper quickly. Your baby can also keep their hands near their face without the fear of scratches. Keep in mind that swaddling is important for enforcing healthy sleep habits in babies, and this product is great for that. However, the best on our list is still the Halo because it can be used in 3 different ways.
Are You Supposed to Swaddle a Newborn at Night?
If you can swaddle your newborn, do it. Swaddle blankets are so helpful in getting your baby to sleep and allowing them to stay asleep. It has been proven that swaddling is effective in keeping your baby cozy and calm. The snug feeling reminds them of being in the womb and gives them so much comfort as they get used to being on the outside. The first 3 to 4 months after birth is a transition time for your child and wrapping them in a tight swaddle makes it so much easier.
What Kind of Blanket Can You Use for Swaddling?
You will want to choose a breathable fabric. Some examples include cotton or muslin, which you will notice were mentioned above. It must also be stretchy to an extent, to ensure that you can secure it properly. Make sure that there aren’t any loose ends, before you put your baby down to sleep, to prevent any risk of suffocation.
You should also keep in mind that most pediatricians recommend that you discontinue swaddling once your baby can roll over onto their tummy. It will be difficult for them to roll back if their arms are held down by the swaddle. This also can lead to suffocation.
What Is the Difference between Receiving Blankets and Swaddling Blankets?
Receiving blankets are vastly different from swaddling blankets. They are not designed to be used to swaddle your baby and put them down to sleep. Instead, they are most ideal for just wrapping your baby up to keep them warm while you are still holding them. This type of blanket comes from an old custom where a newborn would be wrapped in it, and their mother would “receive” them for the first time. So, they’re great for keeping the baby warm, but not meant to be left with them while they sleep.
Verdict: Your Best Baby Swaddle
Here is the takeaway for finding the best swaddle for your baby.
If you want the best value for the money, pick the Halo SleepSack Swaddle. You can swaddle your baby in 3 different ways.
For a higher budget, the best overall is the Merlins Magic Sleepsuit. It has a unique design and provides the same security as other swaddles, just without restricting arm movement.
If you need the best lightweight, pick the Aden + Anais Classic Swaddle. It has the most breathable material out of all of the other swaddles for babies on our list. Plus it’s the only truly wearable blanket.
If you want to keep the spend under $15, pick the Summer Infant SwaddleMe Original Swaddle. Don’t let the cost fool you, it’s a favorite among parents of all of the swaddle blankets.
For the strongest swaddle to best contain your little Houdini, pick the Miracle Blanket Swaddle. It has the stretchiest material and the longest flaps to keep your baby swaddled all through the night.
If you are looking for the best swaddle for your preemie, pick the SwaddleMe pod. It is the smallest and one of the easiest to use with its double zipper.
For the best Arms Up swaddle, pick the Love to Dream SwaddleUp Original Swaddle. Parents love this as an option for an easy zip-up swaddle.
Each of these swaddle blankets has its own specific purpose, and that makes the decision so much easier. By now you should have a clearer picture of what product you’re looking for. Most of these options are very budget-friendly, so you will ultimately have to decide what’s best for your baby.
If you are confident enough to master using the cotton muslin blanket by Aden + Anais, then go for it. Otherwise, the Halo SleepSacks have a zipper, and the SwaddleMe Original have fasteners. Is money not a worry? Give the Merlin’s Magic a try. There is something for everyone on this list of the best swaddle blankets out there, so be sure to add some to your baby registry.