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Best Travel Crib: Safe Cribs for Use Away from Home


According to the CDC, there are about 3,500 sleep-related deaths among babies every year in the United States. This makes education about safe sleep practices important. One thing that you can do as a parent is to make sure you keep your little one safe in their bed—even when they spend a night away from home.

Travel cribs make sleeping safe away from home possible. Whether you are traveling with your family or need something for the occasional sleepover with your child’s grandparents or another relative, the best travel crib is going to provide a safe, comfortable sleeping environment for your little one. Here, we’ll take a look at our top picks.

Why It's BestMom Rating
Baby Delight Snuggle Nest Sleeper with Incline WedgeBest travel bassinet with extra features♥♥♥♥
Lulyboo Bassinet To-Go Bassinet To-Go MetroEasiest travel bassinet to clean♥♥♥♥♥
Lotus Travel Crib LiteEasiest travel crib to carry♥♥♥♥♥
Nuna Nuna Sena Aire Travel CribMost comfortable lightweight design♥♥♥♥♥
Graco Travelite Crib with StagesBest grow with you travel crib♥♥♥♥♥
Hiccapop Inflatable Bed with Safety BumpersBest inflatable bed, best bed for toddler plus♥♥♥♥

The Best Travel Cribs in 2020

Even though several of the travel cribs in the next list can also be used for infants, these are designed especially for your little one when they are less than a year. Many function similar to a bassinet but may have a flat bottom for safe bed-sharing practices.

Since these are designed smaller, they generally have a cocoon-like design rather than a crib-like design. Your child will grow out of them sooner, but they usually have a lower price tag to reflect the shorter period of use.

SwaddleMe By Your Side Sleeper

SwaddleMe By Your Side Sleeper

The SwaddleMe By Your Side Sleeper is fairly affordable but you can only use it until your baby starts pushing themselves up or rolling over. You will not be able to use it as long, however, it’s lower price tag reflects it’s shorter life.

A Closer Look

One of the things that your baby will appreciate is the mesh sides. The sides are sturdy but allow airflow that stops your little one from overheating. Additionally, they are clear so you can them clearly while they are laying inside.

Another major benefit of the SwaddleMe Sleeper is that it gives you the option of having your little one sleep by your side at home. A metal frame stops you from rolling over onto your baby while sleeping. There are a fitted sheet and mattress included.

One thing to note is that the dimensions of the inside (29.5 by 13.5) and the shape of the mattress can make it hard to find sheets. If you are out and about, you don’t want to worry about your child making a mess and having to find a washer. Fortunately, the mattress fits inside a standard pillowcase toojust tuck the edges under.

Something else to note is that this is designed to set on the bed. One problem with the design is that it is large. Even though this is comfortable for your baby, you might have trouble lying next to your spouse if you sleep in anything other than a King-size bed.

Pros

  • Affordable option when your child is a baby
  • Comes with a fitted sheet and mattress
  • Mesh sides to allow airflow
  • Metal bar stops you from rolling onto your little one

Cons

  • Hard to find secondary crib sheets
  • A little bulky for bedsharing if you have a partner

Baby Delight Snuggle Nest Infant Sleeper with Incline Wedge

BABYBJORN Travel Crib Light - Silver

The Baby Delight Snuggle Nest Infant Sleeper with Incline Wedge is perfect for babies that need to be propped at night, especially if you want to keep them close. This infant sleeper is small and compact, coming with several convenience features that make bedsharing more pleasant.

A Closer Look

This is packed full of features that your little one will love. In addition to having a soft, comfortable foam mattress inside, there is a sound and light unit. This can help lull your little one to sleep listening to the sounds of the inside of a womb or Brahm’s lullaby. It also has five-level volume control and automatic shut off.

Even though your little one is completely exposed and can see you, the soft sides keep them safe. This is also a good choice for babies who suffer from reflux. The recline helps keep stomach acid and liquids in their stomach where they belong, however, the wedge can also be removed if your little one cannot sleep well on it.

When on the go, the mattress folds in half and attaches to itself. A convenient carrying handle on the outside lets you pick it up and go.  

For parents worried about clean up, this has a waterproof foam mattress that will repel moisture and other hard-to-wash substances. The fitted wraparound cover can be put in the washing machine.

Finally, this is safer for bedsharing because it has two rigid, vented wall units. This keeps your baby away from the adult bedding that can suffocate them. It also prevents parents from rolling over on top of their little ones. However, this is a little flimsier than some other units and it can be easy for your little one to fall to the side or over the wall if you are too close to them on the bed.

Pros

  • Sound and light unit for regulating the sleep environment
  • Very easy to fold up and take on the go
  • Waterproof foam mattress and incline wedge included
  • Rigid, vented units for better airflow and safety
  • Wedge is good for babies with reflux

Cons

  • Baby might roll over the sleeper if their parents sleep too close

Lulyboo Bassinet To-Go

Nuna Sena Aire Travel Crib - Night

The Lulyboo Bassinet To-Go features a fold-up design and can be carried as a backpack. Another major benefit is the machine washable cotton cover that comes with this bassinet.

A Closer Look

The base of this has a design that is easy to clean, which makes it perfect for indoor or outdoor use. This means you can enjoy yourself at cookouts, the park, or anywhere else you might want to take your little one. Three is also a three-position removable canopy that provides sun protection while outdoors.

One downside compared to some other bassinets is that this does not have mesh siding, so there is not as much airflow. It does have a waterproof base that easily wipes clean and comes with 100% cotton sheets. Additionally, the liner is removable and can be machine washed.

A convenient buckle lets you fold this in on itself and then clip together and hold. Then, just throw it on your back and you can take it anywhere. Another benefit of its functionality is that it can be used as a cosleeper in your bed and functions as a  changer.

Pros

  • Flexible uses
  • Easy to fold up and carry in backpack mode
  • Extremely lightweight
  • Adjustable, removable canopy for sun protection
  • Easy to wash and keep clean

Cons

  • Not as much airflow as some other bassinets

Munchkin Brica Fold N’ Go Travel Bassinet

Munchkin Brica Fold N' Go Travel Bassinet, Grey

The Munchkin Brica Fold N’ Go Travel Bassinet is convenient to fold, easy to carry, and very affordable. It has an updated design with added features for comfort and safety, so be sure to choose the updated model when you are shopping for the best travel crib online.

A Closer Look

The updated model of this bassinet has breathable fabric on either side of the bassinet and a mesh overlay that covers the top. A comfortable, water-resistant mattress pad makes it easier to protect from messes. A included sheet sits over the mattressthis is machine washable.

This bassinet folds in half when it is not in use. Then, you can use the convenient carrying handle to bring this lightweight bassinet wherever you need it.

The hardware features a four-point Safe-T-Lock system that prevents the frame from closing or pinching little fingers. It is strong and durable, so you don’t have to worry about it being damaged during use.

Something to note is that this bassinet is designed only for smaller babies. You cannot use it past three months or whenever your little one starts trying to push themselves up. It is not the best investment if you want something that you can use longer.  

Pros

  • Safe-T-Lock system prevents the bassinet from closing while in use
  • Easy to fold
  • Has carrying handle for portability
  • Mesh panels for good airflow

Cons

  • Can only be used up to three months of age

Best Travel Cribs for Toddlers

Many of these options can be used from birth. However, they will last the first several years of your baby’s life. Often, parents choose one of these when they do not want to worry about needing to buy a new travel crib as their little one grows.

Lotus Travel Crib Lite

Nuna Sena Aire Travel Crib - Night

The Lotus Travel Crib Lite excels at offering a convenient, portable sleeping environment for your little one. It folds into a convenient backpack for travel and weighs just 13 pounds.

A Closer Look

One of the major benefits of the Lotus crib is that it folds compact to be stored in a backpack carry case when it is not in use. This lightweight pack makes it easy to carry the crib even when you are dragging luggage through an airport.

For parents worried about chemical smells or harmful ingredients, there is the added benefit of this crib having GreenGuard Gold non-toxic certification. This means it is free of VOCs (volatile organic compounds), lead, PVC, heavy metals, phthalates, and other toxic ingredients.

Your baby will appreciate how comfortable this is. A thick foam mattress that is designed for use from 0-3 is included with the crib. This comes with a machine washable cover. The entire thing is also surrounded in mesh which allows good airflow and makes keeping an eye on your little one easier.

Finally, this is nice because it has a zipper door on one side. You can leave it open completely and snuggle with your child or give them room to roam or zip it shut when they are sleeping. One thing to note is that the zipper is a little loud, so you may wake your baby if you zip it up after they are already sleeping. Additionally, even though the price is steep, there is also an included 2-year warranty.

Pros

  • Only weighs 13 pounds
  • Full mesh design allows a good amount of airflow
  • Zipper door on one side
  • Has a backpack-style that makes it easy to carry
  • Comes with a 2-year warranty

Cons

  • A little expensive
  • Zipper is very loud

BabyBjorn Travel Crib

BABY JOY Baby Playpen, Ultra-Light Aluminum Portable Foldable Travel Crib with Comfy Mattress & Oxford Carry Bag, Gray

The BabyBjorn Travel Crib is another more expensive option for safe, lightweight travel. It folds into an option that looks a little like a briefcase and can be folded in under a minute once you are familiar with what you are doing.

A Closer Look

The design of this is angled, with a bottom that is a little larger than the top. While inside, your little one has plenty of room to play.

Something to note is that the design of this makes it look a little bulky. If you are traveling on an airline, there is a good chance you will not be able to use this as a carry-on. Even though the briefcase-like shape when folded can be bulky, the whole thing only weighs 11 pounds.

Something that parents might appreciate is that they can easily buy extra sheets for the mattress. If you are buying from Amazon, the sheet option is on the same page. The sheets are machine washable for easy cleanup.

The manufacturer recommends the use of this from age 0-3, so it can work as a travel crib until your little one is ready to sleep in a toddler bed when you’re on the road.

One thing to note is that the crib is designed tall. Since it does not have a zipper opening in the side like the previous model, you’ll need to bend over and pick up your little one. If you are on the shorter side (less than around 5’5), then it can be hard to reach them when they are laying down.

Pros

  • Very easy to set up and takedown
  • Lightweight, easy-to-carry design
  • Easy to clean
  • Mesh outer for better airflow
  • Roomy play area

Cons

  • Expensive
  • Stands tall- not a good option for shorter parents
  • Cannot be carried on an airline

Nuna Sena Aire Travel Crib

BABY JOY Baby Playpen, Ultra-Light Aluminum Portable Foldable Travel Crib with Comfy Mattress & Oxford Carry Bag, Gray

For parents who spend a lot of time on the road with their little one, the Nuna Sena Aire Travel Crib will help their baby get a perfect night of sleep every time. Parents might be a little shocked by the price tag, however, it is the best choice if you want something compact that doesn’t sacrifice on comfort.

A Closer Look

Something that sets the Sena Aire apart from its competitors is the breathability. It has air circulation from the mesh sides, floor, corners, and even the mattress. This means that comfort and safety are top priorities.

Another major advantage is how easy this is to clean. The mattress cover, sheets, and even the mattress itself can be put into the washing machine and then air-dried.The crib also comes with an organic crib sheet. For parents who want a safe place to change their little one, there is also an option of purchasing a changer accessory for a complete portable nursery.

It is very easy to put this crib up and down. It is similar to what you’d do for a pack-n-play. This is not quite as compact as some of the other options, however, it is still lightweight. There is also a carrying case included. For parents worried about size, there is a more compact version of thisthe Nuna Sena Aire Mini Travel Crib.

Pros

  • Very simple to put up and takedown
  • Breathability from all sides
  • Option to purchase changer for nursery-on-the-go
  • Mattress and mattress cover are both washable
  • Good choice if you spend a lot of time on the road

Cons

  • Very expensive
  • Bulky when folded

Graco Travelite Crib with Stages

Graco Travel Lite Crib | Travel Crib Converts from Bassinet to Playard, Lauren

The Graco Travelite Crib with Stageshas a unique height-adjustable bassinet that can be moved lower as your little one grows. It weighs around 20 pounds which is not too heavy and has a compact fold that is perfect for moving from place to place.

A Closer Look

When you bring your little one home from the hospital, you can use the first stage until they are 15 pounds. Then, move the bassinet down for use up to 20 pounds. Once they are larger, you can remove the bassinet completely and use it as a play yard for up to 35 tall. There is a mattress that sits on the bottom.

Something to note for parents who are looking for a larger play yard that will accommodate a busy toddler when they are older may not want this because of its compact design. It is approximately 20% smaller than the average pack-n-play, however, this is good for traveling and it does not take up as much space in the room as a traditional play yard.

For comfort, this has airy mesh sides and a comfortable (but safe) mattress and bassinet. This increases airflow through the play yard and makes it safer for your little one.

Finally, there are a few other nice features. This is a lot more affordable than some of the other travel cribs mentioned. It also has bonuses like wheels that make it easier to move from room to room and a toy bar to keep your little one entertained when they are using the bassinet.

One major downside, however, is that the mattress and other parts are not machine washable. Toddlers can be messy and having to handwash everything can be an issue. Additionally, it is hard to find a mattress cover and sheets aside from the ones offered by Graco that fit the smaller-sized mattress.

Pros

  • Very affordable
  • Has wheels to make moving around easier
  • Small, compact design
  • Easy to set up and takedown
  • Uses stages as your little one grows

Cons

  • Hard to find sheets
  • Mattress and other parts must be hand washed

KidCo Peapod Infant Travel Bed

KidCo Peapod Infant Travel Bed, Sky

The KidCo Peapod Infant Travel Bed is designed for use by children between 1 and 5. It weighs less than three pounds and has everything your little one needs to take a nap in comfort. The Peapod can be used indoors or outdoors.

A Closer Look

The Peapod has a unique tent-like look and comes with a sleeping pad that keeps your little one comfortable. The open mesh design is perfect for stopping insects, however, there is enough coverage that it will also shield your little one from the light.

Something to note is that the name infant bed’ can be misleading. Generally, infants are considered children under the age of 1. This is why we have included this infant bed’ in the toddler’s section of this article.

The infant bed zips up and has a large panel opening that your little one can crawl in and out of. It is ideal for hiking to the beach or camping in the woods because it is so lightweight that it is not a hassle to carry. A carrying bag is also included.  

The included sleeping mat can be washed in the machine on the delicate cycle. It is also easy to wash the bottom of the PeaPod, which is important when you are outdoors.

Pros

  • Large zipper on the side of the sleeping area
  • Removable pad is machine washable
  • Mesh areas allow airflow and protect from bugs
  • Designed for ages 1-5, so more use than the average pack-n-play
  • Very lightweight

Cons

  • Some children may not like the enclosed setting
  • Active kids may roll the tent over
  • Misleading product name

Baby Joy Baby Ultra-Light Portable Play Pen

BABY JOY Baby Playpen, Ultra-Light Aluminum Portable Foldable Travel Crib with Comfy Mattress & Oxford Carry Bag, Gray

The Baby Joy Baby Ultra-Light Portable Play Pen is packed full of comfort and safety features without sacrificing weight. It weighs just 10 pounds and features a soft, comfy mattress, mesh sides, and durable aluminum poles.

A Closer Look

This takes less than a minute to fold this Baby Joy playpen up and take it on the go. It folds into a bag that looks similar to a briefcase. However, this is large enough that you cannot take it as a carry-on item on a plane.

Something that is nice is that you can adjust the sides of the playpen as needed. There is an adjustable nylon strap tethered to the removable plastic foot of the playpen.

Unlike many other playpen mattresses, this one will be comfortable to sleep in. The foam mattress is between 4 and 5-inches thick. This, paired with the breathable mesh outer, makes it comfortable to sleep on.

A major downside is that you cannot remove the mattress pad to wash. It can become yellowed around the edges with long-term use and there is no way to remove the sewn on sheet. The mattress can also be hard to use with a cover since there is no way to secure it and it will just get pushed around.

Pros

  • Foam mattress pad is very thick and comfortable
  • Well ventilated
  • Lightweight and easy to put up and take down
  • Adjustable nylon straps are tethered to the legs

Cons

  • Cannot wash the mattress or mattress sheet
  • Cannot take on a plane as a carry on item

Butterfly Craze Kid’s Floor Pillow Bed Cover

Butterfly Craze Kid's Floor Pillow Bed Cover - Use as Nap Mat, Portable Toddler Bed Alternative for Sleepovers, Travel, Napping, or as a Lounger for Reading, Playing. Cover Only!

If you just want something to take on the go anywhere, the Butterfly Craze Kid’s Floor Pillow Bed Cover is a great choice. Something to note is that this only comes with the coveryou add 5 pillows to the segments inside of the cover and turn any spot into an area where you can sit, read, or nap.

A Closer Look

Something nice about this bed is that it is sold in Queen or King size, which is plenty long enough for ages toddler and up. The queen fits standard-sized pillows and the king fits larger pillows, which are zipped inside to keep them secure. Keep in mind that the price is for the cover onlyyou’ll need to purchase the pillows separately or use some that you already have on hand.

You can easily wash this as you need them in cool water. Since it is fade-resistant, you should be able to maintain the bright, vivid designs with proper washing. There are several designs/colors available that will interest both toddlers and older kids. Since this is durable, they’ll likely use it for years to come.

When not in use, these simply fold up almost as if you are stacking the pillows on top of each other. Some kids even sit on the stack once it is folded for easy comfort. IT is nice how flexible these are to use.  

If your child is rougher, then there is a possibility that the seams will rip a little over time. It is possible to sew the material back together, but it would be nice if it was a little more durable.

Pros

  • Machine washable
  • Comes in bright, vivid colors
  • Easy to fold up and store
  • Can be sat on or folded up and laid on
  • Perfect for relaxing, sleeping, and more

Cons

  • Seams might tear with rough usage
  • Pillows are not included

Hiccapop Inflatable Toddler Travel Bed with Safety Bumpers

If you are looking for a toddler bed that can easily be taken on the go, here’s a look at our top choice.

hiccapop Inflatable Toddler Travel Bed with Safety Bumpers | Portable Blow Up Mattress for Kids with Built in Bed Rail - Navy Blue

The Hiccapop Inflatable Toddler Travel Bed with Safety Bumpers is a great way to let your toddler know they are old enough to sleep outside of a pack-n-play. It has everything you need to get started, including the mattress and guard rail, an electric turbo pump, and a carrying bag.

A Closer Look

One of the biggest worries parents usually have when buying something inflatable for their kids is if they will get use out of it before it gets a hole in it. The Hiccapop Inflatable Bed is made using an inlay-enforced vinyl that is thicker than competitors. It is very difficult (and almost impossible) to accidentally puncture. It also has a heavy-duty air valve and reinforced weld seams.

Even though this has an unpleasant chemical odor coming out of the box, it just smells from the factory. The mattress is free of contaminants like phthalate, BPA, and lead.

On top of the mattress, a soft velour material cradles your little one to sleep. It has plenty of room for them as they grow, having a total length of 62 (which is just over 5-feet). There is also a 310-pound weight limit.

Even though this is made using thicker vinyl, there is still a risk of defects or damage. Fortunately, the Hiccapop customer service team has good response and can make replacements when needed. This does come with patches, however, it can be hard to patch if a pinhole develops in the seam.

Something else to note is that this also works well as a transitional bed. Some toddlers just aren’t ready between 18-24 months for a bigger bed and this can be used after they outgrow their crib and before you invest in the bed they’ll use for the next few years of their life.

Pros

  • 310-pound weight limit and 62 long
  • 40% thicker vinyl to prevent holes and leaks
  • Comes with a powerful pump that inflates in less than a minute
  • Free of harmful contaminants
  • Good transitional bed

Cons

  • Has a chemical smell when it first comes out of the box
  • Can develop pinholes or tears even with a thicker design

Travel Crib FAQ’s

Before we get to the buyer’s guide for travel cribs, here’s a look at some questions you may have. 

What is the Difference Between a Travel Crib and Portable Crib?

Portable cribs are designed small, sometimes with wheels, and are convenient for moving from room-to-room in your house. Some also fold up small, though they are not usually as small as travel cribs. Travel cribs are lightweight, easy to fold, and some are even so compact that they can be carried on planes as hand luggage. Even if you are primarily going to be moving the crib around your house, some parents prefer the smaller, lightweight design of travel cribs to portable cribs.

Why Do I Need a Travel Crib?

Getting out of the house doesn’t always mean leaving your little one at home. The best travel crib is going to help you feel secure in sleeping outside of the house at hotels, friends’ houses, and even sleepovers. The soft bedding that is commonly used in beds away from home can be a choking hazard. Additionally, travel cribs make it easier to lie your baby on their back and keep them there.

Travel cribs encourage safe-sleeping practices when you aren’t at home. Even if you are at a hotel, you’ll want to follow the same safe practices as you would at home.  Place your little one on their back while sleeping and keep soft toys and bedding out of the travel crib.

Can I Use a Travel Crib with a Toddler?

One of the challenges when choosing the best travel crib for your child’s age range is that you’ll need a sturdier, larger design to keep them safe during sleep away from home. Toddlers are more likely to climb than younger children and are also larger. This makes cocoon-style beds a poor option. For some families, travel cribs are unacceptable.

Toddler travel beds are a good option for traveling with a toddler. Some are made to inflate and might have bumper around the outside to stop your little one from rolling out at night. These are not made to keep them contained, but to support the independence that children often have as a toddler.

Buying a guardrail and attaching it to an existing bed might already be an option. However, this will only work if you know the bed will accommodate this type of safety feature.

 

Travel Crib Buying Guide: What to Look for in the Best Travel Crib

There are several factors to consider when looking for the best travel crib. You want something that is going to keep your little one safe and comfortable while they are away from home. Here is a closer look at some features to watch for.

Type of Travel Crib

Travel cribs are usually modeled after one of two styles. The first folds and unfolds and has the style of a traditional crib. The second is a softer, cocoon-style bed. Cocoon travel cribs are generally smaller and more compact, however, they do not have space for your child to stand and play. Older kids are also more likely to climb out of a cocoon-stye crib.

The cocoon-style might be best for traveling to hotels or when your baby is young. This is especially true if you travel with a pack-n-play or other play area already. Older babies might prefer the travel crib, especially since it is more secure and has room to play.

Safety

The safety of any product should always be the first priority. In a travel crib,  it’s most important that the crib is sturdy once it is erect. You also want to look for any gaps that your child might fall out, including spaces between the sides, mattress, and any ventilation. Finally, consider if your child will be able to climb out of or crawl out of the crib and how well the mattress sheets will fit around the mattress.

Another major factor in safety is your child’s age, weight, and height. You should always be sure they are within the proper range for the travel crib. This is important as they grow, especially for families that travel a lot and want to continue using the crib for the first few years of your child’s life.

Crib Size, Weight, and Portability

The biggest appeal of travel cribs is that they are lightweight, portable, and hopefully easy to use. You don’t want to have to deal with the hassle of lugging a piece of furniture between relatives’ houses or whenever you go on vacation. Think about how easy it will be to carry the crib. In addition to considering the overall weight of the crib, think about

Often, the total weight of a crib or other baby item depends on the number of extra features included. You want it light enough that it isn’t a hassle to carry around. However, you also want your baby to sleep well at night.

Comfort

If your little one is not comfortable in their travel crib, nobody is going to get a good night of sleep. The mattress thickness and softness affects how comfortable your little one will be. You’ll also want to consider things like airflow and the amount of space that your child will have when they sprawl out.

Total Value

As you evaluate the cost of the crib, think about how often you’ll be traveling with your little one and how often the crib will be used. For frequent travelers, it might be important to spend more on a model that is going to last longer. Something else to consider is how long the model can be used.

Final Take

The last thing parents want to do away from home is spend their time getting up and down all night with a cranky baby. With a travel crib, you know your little one is safe and secure all night long. As you consider the overall design, think about how comfortable your little one will be in the crib and how long you’ll be able to use it for. Hopefully, this guide has helped you find a crib that makes traveling easier instead of more of a hassle.  

Samantha Davis
Samantha Davis
Samantha Davis is a part-time writer and a full-time mommy of two boys, Apollo (age 3) and Adrien (age 5). She has been working as a writer for five years and one day plans to run her own writing company. For now, Samantha is content working as a writer and spending all her free time with her little boys. They live together with dad in Ohio and spend their free time crafting, hiking, and baking.

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