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Mini Crib Vs Crib: What Are The Differences And Pros And Cons?

Mini Crib Vs Crib: What Are The Differences And Pros And Cons?

Can’t decide between the crib vs mini crib? It’s time to find out the true winner of this competition!

The crib has been one of the most traditional sleeping accommodations for babies for hundreds of years.

Of course, through time, its size and shape has changed, but the basic design has remained the same.

Nowadays, mini cribs are taking over because they require a lot less space than traditional cribs.

However, it can’t be ignored that regular cribs still have a lot of advantages over the smaller versions.

Deciding the winner of the mini crib vs crib showdown wasn’t an easy choice, but the decision has been made.

As always, I invite you to make your own choice based on your preferences, budget, and living space.

Keep reading if you want to find out who the winner is of the mini crib vs crib battle.

Mini Crib Vs Crib: Which One Is Better?

newborn baby sleeping in a crib covered with blanket at night

Before having a baby, you probably never knew there are such things as a mini crib and a full-size one.

When you become a parent, you enter the magic world of baby equipment and finally learn what all those things are for.

Buying baby items might seem like an easy task to someone who has never done it before but it’s quite tricky, and you might end up spending tons of money on gear you don’t need.

One of the most important things that should be chosen with great care is the baby’s sleeping area.

Newborns and babies spend large quantities of time in the crib or a bassinet.

The quality of the sleeping area may affect the development of your little one, which is why it should be one of the main investments.

The distinction between a crib and an infant bassinet is quite clear and shouldn’t cause much confusion.

However, that’s not the only division. There are two types of cribs as well, a mini and a regular crib.

Standard crib

baby boy lying in crib with one leg hanging through the rails

Just like the name says, a full-size crib is the standard version with exact dimensions governed by U.S. law:

• The width should be 28 inches ( ± 5/8)

• Length should be within 52 inches ( ± 5/8)

All sleeping areas with smaller dimensions are considered to be mini cribs.

Standard size cribs are meant as a permanent solution for nurseries.

Once purchased as a crib, this sleeping area can transform into a toddler bed and a kid bed later making it a perfect long-lasting investment.

Even though all models are required to have the same dimensions (with slight alterations), there are different types of cribs when it comes to equipment and design.

Standard cribs usually have a mattress, headboard, footboard, and sideboards.

However, there are models that contain additional compartments under the crib or shelves on the side.

Standard cribs are quite limited when it comes to customizations, at least in terms of the size.

Regular cribs may have wheels, but it’s quite rare as cribs are commonly considered to be non-movable baby furniture so wheels are not really necessary.

However, there are non-standard cribs that come with wheels, for all parents who prefer such models.

The weight of the standard crib is not strictly defined, but it may be up to 100 pounds.

However, if you insist on these types of details, you contact the manufacturer for the exact dimensions and weight of the crib.

Regular size cribs offer comfort and safety for a long time and they’re quite practical, especially when it comes to mattresses.

​The mattress

cute happy baby boy standing in the crib holding for rails

Regular crib mattresses have specific measurements as well.

The Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) requires the thickness of the mat to be 6 inches precisely (not an inch higher or lower) and measure 27 1/4 x 51 1/4 inches for width and length.

Even though this might sound inconvenient, it’s actually great when it comes to sheets and bedding.

Stationary cribs have standard mattresses, so they all fit the same sheets.

So, if you receive crib sheets or bedding, you won’t have to worry about whether or not it will fit your crib mattress.

There might be a slight, almost unnoticeable difference in sheets and bedding as the measurements may differ, but the variation will always be less than an inch.

Mini crib

adorable baby girl playing with her foot in the crib

A mini crib is any crib that’s not manufactured according to the official measurements.

Everything less than 28×52 inches is considered to be a small crib, which means that mini cribs have far more variety when it comes to shapes and sizes.

Small cribs are not as strictly regulated as the standard ones, so it’s no surprise to see models with wheels on the bottom.

This is a great feature that enables mamas to move the crib easily whenever they need to.

They’re also great because they don’t take up too much space and fit perfectly in small nurseries.

They’re also very convenient for short mamas who can’t lean over a big crib.

These cribs are often called portable cribs as well because they’re lightweight and can be transported easily.

A mini crib also makes a great sleeping area at a grandparent’s house as it doesn’t require much space.

Most parents feel uncomfortable about holidays because they don’t want to clutter other people’s houses with baby items. (God knows how many things there are, but they’re all necessary!)

However, you’ve got at least one thing covered with a small crib that can stay in your parent’s house without fear it will be too big or in the way.

​The mattress

baby boy with pacifier lying on tummy in the crib

Mini crib mattresses are customized to the size of the crib and don’t follow any specific rules like the standard ones do.

The thickness of a small crib mattress can be anywhere from 1 to 6 inches, depending on your personal preference and the depth of the crib.

Although there are no specific rules regarding the size of the crib, CPSC strongly recommends buying the small crib along with the mattress because it might be difficult to find the perfectly sized mattress for a customized baby furniture item.

The most important part of finding the perfect crib mattress is ensuring it’s big enough to prevent the baby from getting trapped between the sideboard and the mattress.

Mini cribs require customized sheets and bedding because of the different lengths, widths, or depths of the mat.

This may not be a great issue, but it definitely limits you, at least with the choice of designs and colors and you’ll lose the comfort of buying cute organic crib sheets for standard cribs.

Also, I’m afraid you’re going to have to pass that cute bedding gift to someone else because standard crib sheets never fit small crib mats.

Excess parts of the oversized sheet are a choking hazard for the baby.

Fitted bedding should never be loose, but rather firm, snug, and breathable.

It may be tough to find the perfect sheets for the crib, but assembling a compact crib shouldn’t be too difficult.

They’re usually assembled like the regular ones, but less weight surely makes the assembly much easier.

Most of them weigh somewhere between 50 and 75 pounds, depending on the model and the overall design.

Essentially, mini cribs are just smaller regular cribs – they even share the same appearance (with possible variations in design).

A fun-size crib is a great choice for parents who want a more unique and freestyle design.

What are the differences between a mini crib and a pack ‘n play?

A lot of people mix these two up and consider them to be the same thing.

However, even though they’re both smaller in size than the standard crib, a playpen or pack ‘n play is not the same thing as a compact crib.

The main areas of difference between the smaller cribs and a pack ‘n play are the size and storage, as well as the materials they’re made from.

The mini crib is usually smaller than the pack ‘n play.

Even though it’s foldable, the folding mechanism is different from the pack ‘n play.

There are some crib models with breathable mesh instead of classic sideboards, but this feature doesn’t turn it into a playard, which is mostly made of different fabrics and a steel frame.

Best Full-Size Baby Cribs

1. ​Graco Asheville Full-Size Crib

This full-size crib is one of the models that will follow your child through her early childhood.

It’s designed as a stationary crib that can be turned into a toddler bed, daybed, and standard bed.

This model completely adjusts to your child’s needs with a comfortable bed and three different levels of height.

Graco is recognized as one of the most popular brands and leaders in the category of baby products.

Its quality is undeniable and it’s made from baby-safe materials such as pinewood for the construction and non-toxic dyes, which are very important because babies love to chew on crib rails.

This convertible crib may not save you any extra space but it might save you some free time while your little one sleeps comfortably in her crib.

2. Dream On Me Full-Size Crib

This model of the stationary crib is a perfect blend of tradition and modern style.

The crib has been made of high-quality materials such as pinewood, steel, and plastic.

It can be turned into a toddler bed and a daybed as well.

The mattress has four height levels that follow the baby’s development and offer additional safety.

It’s very important to know when the crib should be lowered to prevent your little one from falling out of it.

The crib is JPMA Certified and meets all CPSC/ASTM security standards.

This model will go well with any mattress that has been Greenguard Gold certified.

The weight limit is around 50 pounds and should not be exceeded, even though manufacturers always leave room for a few extra pounds.

RELATED: How Much Weight Can A Crib Hold? (With Safety Guide For Cribs)

This stationary crib is perfect for a newborn baby because of the comfort and safety it offers for parents and babies.

3. ​Million Dollar Baby Full-Size Crib

This is one of the most interesting cribs I have come across.

I love vintage stuff and this crib looks adorable, but it’s not on this list just because of its looks.

This vintage gold crib has four mattress positions that adjust to the baby’s physical development.

The crib is made from high-quality materials including premium steel with a beautiful finish.

It’s completely safe for your baby, as it’s not made from any harmful substances.

Best Mini Cribs

1. Dream On Me Jayden Mini Crib

Lately, fun-sized cribs are the most popular sleeping areas for babies.

These smaller versions of the standard cribs are cute, but they’re very practical as well.

The Dream On Crib can also be converted into a daybed or even a twin bed (additional rails are sold separately).

This beautiful crib is very convenient for parents as well because it has plenty of storage space, including shelves and drawers.

However, that’s not the only addition to this small crib!

There’s also a changing table which will make every parent’s life a bit easier and save a lot of space, especially in smaller nurseries.

It comes with a Greenguard Gold certificate and meets all of the safety standards in the U.S.

However, it doesn’t include a conversion kit so it might take a bit more time to convert it into a toddler or kid bed.

But, you can find all the details in the manufacturer’s instructions.

2. Babyletto Origami Mini Crib

This Greenguard Gold certified mini crib is a simple and great solution for all parents who prefer a classic crib look with a modern twist.

The Origami mini crib comes with a 1-inch mattress pad, so it does require additional mattress support.

The manufacturer recommends the brand’s Pure mattress that perfectly fits this particular crib size.

Just like other models, Babyletto’s convertible mini crib has adjustable mattress heights.

This model has a foldable bed frame, which makes it a perfect solution for small spaces or the grandparents’ house.

The crib is equipped with a set of wheels as well, which can be very convenient for moving the crib around the house.

My favorite thing about this crib is the sustainable production.

The frame is made from environmentally-friendly pine wood and painted with a non-toxic dye.

It doesn’t contain phthalates either.

3. DaVinci Portable Mini Crib

This classic crib design is perfect for small spaces and it also comes with a number of great features!

All parents who find portability an important feature will be more than satisfied with this model.

The DaVinci crib comes with a set of wheels that may not be the prettiest wheels you’ve ever seen but will serve the purpose.

This crib is indeed mini as it’s completely foldable as well, so it doesn’t take up lots of space.

Almost all compact cribs are convertible, just like the stationary ones, but they’re smaller in size and might not be suitable for your little one for very long.

It does come with the additional crib safety standards of four mattress positions which will prevent your little one from falling over the rails when she stands in the crib.

4. Delta Children Baby Crib

One of the simplest might be one of the best mini cribs on this list.

Delta’s crib doesn’t have wheels and it’s not foldable like most of the other models.

But, this crib can be converted into a twin bed and comes with a 1.5 inch mattress, which is waterproof, hypoallergenic, and non-toxic.

It has been thoroughly tested for any type of harmful chemical or other substances that might put your baby’s health in danger.

The manufacturer states that it’s made from New Zealand Pine, which is one of the most sustainable trees.

This crib has won tons of awards as well, which is another testament to its quality.

5. Dream On Me Aden Mini Crib

Another great compact crib model from the brand Dream On Me has taken a top place among the best mini cribs on the market.

High-quality materials and a classic design seem to be a winning combination in the world of cribs, at least according to the two last models on the list.

Some parents pay more attention to aesthetics than practicality and, after some time, realize the mistake.

This model has a simple design aesthetically, but it can be converted in four ways into a crib, daybed, twin bed with headboard only, and twin bed with both headboard and footboard.

This crib model is tested and certified according to all safety standards and is completely safe for the baby.

It fits small nurseries as well without taking too much space.


Can I leave a newborn baby in the crib?

smiling young mother cuddling sleeping baby tummy in the crib

Yes, a newborn can safely sleep in both the mini crib and the standard one.

However, there are a few precautions that have to be taken before putting the baby in the crib.

First of all, the bedsheet has to be as firm as possible but soft at the same time.

You should remove everything else from the crib, including her favorite toy, a pillow, bedding – anything that might represent a danger for your little one.

How long can I keep the baby in a mini crib?

A newborn can sleep in a mini crib from the first day up until she reaches the weight or size limit.

If your child reaches the weight limit, even though she’s still not tall enough, you should get her a bigger bed.

Using the small crib after the weight limit has been reached is considered to be unsafe and poses a threat of injury.

Mini Crib Vs Crib: Final Decision

Design: Mini crib

cute baby boy in pijama lying in crib on his back

The winner of the mini crib vs crib design battle would have to be the mini crib.

Even though there are some beautifully designed full-size cribs, mini cribs are always a step ahead because they don’t have limited measurements like stationary cribs.

Smaller size cribs can be done in different shapes and sizes, which opens up numerous possibilities for unique designs.

Full-size cribs have specific measurements that can’t be breached or else they turn into small cribs.

Therefore, there’s not much room for customization, so most of them end up looking the same, just with slight differences.

It was quite difficult to choose the winner in the mini crib vs regular crib design competition because there are some well-designed full-size regular cribs, but in general, compact cribs can do it a lot better.

Space: Mini crib

This one almost goes without saying – mini cribs won in this category without any doubt.

Most small cribs are foldable, which means you can put them in various places like behind the couch, bed, or any other place you find convenient enough.

Size: Crib

baby crib with colorful rail and pillows

Yes, this category is quite similar to the previous one, but there’s a major reason why size can be an advantage and disadvantage as well.

In this case, size is a big pro for standard cribs, because most parents don’t actually mind the space, but what they do mind is having to buy a new sleeping space for their little one every two years.

Although some mini cribs are convertible, meaning they can function as daybeds and toddler beds as well, they’re smaller, so babies outgrow them quite soon.

Mattresses & bedding: Crib

This category proves that bigger size and specific measurements are pros in most cases rather than cons.

Having a standard size for the crib enables you to find a perfect mattress in no time because they’re all the same size.

Because small cribs can be customized and produced in different mattress sizes, it’s a lot harder to find a mattress that fits those measurements.

The same goes for the bedding and crib sheets.

Standard cribs have standard crib mattresses which means you can use any crib sheet or bedding that’s suitable for regular crib mattresses.

However, mini crib mattresses usually require specifically tailored sheets that will fit the mat perfectly.

It’s extremely important that you do not use standard crib sheets for compact cribs as the excess material may lead to suffocation.

Practicality: Mini crib

baby wearing cotton sack and sleeping in crib

When it comes to practicality, the mini crib takes the victory and concludes the great battle of mini crib vs crib!

A standard crib is definitely a reliable place for sleeping and has been used for hundreds of years for this purpose, but even the best things need a bit of polishing and small alterations.

Small cribs are definitely more practical in the sense that you can fold them and store them almost anywhere.

Also, mini cribs usually have wheels for easier portability.

Babies also love it, so you could entertain your little one sometimes when she’s in the crib.

However, don’t let her get too used to it, otherwise, you’ll need to do it all the time!

Final Thoughts

sweet baby boy sitting in crib on white mattress

As you have no doubt already realized, the winner of the mini crib vs crib competition is the mini crib.

Even though the mini crib is essentially a smaller version of the crib, it did have more advantages over the good, old, standard crib.

However, that doesn’t mean that regular cribs belong in the past.

These models have a lot of pros, and one of the most important ones is that they can be used for a longer time than mini cribs.

​Therefore, a stationary crib might be a better solution for parents who are looking for long-term investments rather than switching cribs and beds every year.

The mini crib won mostly because of its practicality.

Most crib models are foldable and compact which is a dream come true for every small room.

Of course, the mini crib is smaller in size, which is why it can essentially fit anywhere.

What is always important to remember is that this is purely based on my own opinion and it might not suit your circumstances – every parent and every household has different needs.

Either way, I hope this at least helped you weigh up the pros and cons and figure out what will work best for you, mama.


• Consumer Product Safety Commission. (N.D.) “Full-Size Baby Cribs Business Guidance & Small Entity Compliance Guide.” CPSC Website.

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