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Mini Crib vs Standard Crib Guide: Differences, Pros and Cons, Plus Recommendations!

Are you having a ‘mini crib vs standard crib’ debate in your head and can’t seem to pick a side? Well, don’t worry, we are here to help you make a choice.

Babies spend a large portion of their time sleeping in a crib, so parents must choose the right one. We will tell you all that you need to know about mini crib vs crib in this article so you can make an enlightened decision.

Are All Cribs The Same Size? Differences Between Mini Crib Versus Full-Sized Crib

What is standard crib size? According to the law of the United States, all full-sized cribs should have these same interior dimensions [1]:

  • Width: 28 ± 5/8 inches (71 cm ± 1.6 cm)
  • Length: 52 3/8 ± 5/8 inches (133 cm ± 1.6 cm)

Now you’re probably asking yourself, ‘what is a mini crib?’. Well, anything smaller than these dimensions can be categorized as a mini crib, but most mini-cribs have these dimensions:

  • Width: 24 inches (61 cm)
  • Length: 38 inches (96.5 cm)

Mini cribs are also referred to as portable cribs due to their size.

Length from the top of the mattress support (in the lowest position) to the lowest part of the top rail is the height of the crib. A full sized crib is required to be at least 26 inches (66.04 cm) high, and a mini crib is around 20 inches (50.8 cm) high.

Because mini cribs don’t follow any specific measurements, this means that they come in a variety of shapes and sizes. They might come with wheels and extra added features. They’re compact and small, and ideal for parents with less space, and also for short moms.

Standard cribs also have their benefits. Because of the standardized size, they are more practical and will last a long time.

What is the difference between a mini crib and a regular crib?

The answer is simple. Their difference is in size – a mini crib is smaller and a regular crib is bigger. But this further implies other differences, which we will get into in the following section.

Mini Crib vs Standard Crib Comparison Explained

There are many ways a mini crib vs regular crib comparison can be made. These comparisons determine which one is well suited for your lifestyle.

Crib Dimensions and Mattress Size

Let’s start the comparison with mini crib vs standard crib size and mini crib vs crib dimensions. Which one is more compact?

Comparing the baby crib dimensions, the standard crib size is 28 x 52 3/8 inches, while mini crib sizes are anything smaller than that. It can be difficult to answer how big is a mini crib, since mini cribs can have different sizes.

It is required by CPSC (Consumer Product Safety Commission) for a full size crib mattress to be 6 inches thick and have the dimensions of 27 ¼ x 51 ¼ inches. This is beneficial because all regular cribs have the same dimensions as well, so the crib mattresses can be used in every crib.

Unlike standard cribs, the mini crib mattress size is not standardized. They are customized according to the size of the crib and can vary in thickness, anywhere between 1 and 6 inches, depending on whatever you personally prefer. It is convenient to usually buy the crib mattress along with the crib because finding it elsewhere would be difficult.

Mini cribs weigh less than regular cribs, making them portable and easy to manage. They weigh around 50 and 75 pounds, depending on the design and extra added features. For regular cribs, there is no standard weight, but because of its bulky build, it can weigh up to 100 pounds.

Mini crib vs crib dimensions differences - Full sized crib vs mini crib - Baby Journey
Mini cribs in general are smaller in size than standard cribs, making them a good choice as space saving cribs.

Age and Weight Limits

It is fine for your baby to sleep inside a regular-sized crib until they reach a weight of 45 pounds. If your baby exceeds this weight limit they should be transferred to a bigger sleeping space [2]. A standard crib is suitable for babies until age between 24 and 36 months, and the height limits are between 31 and 39 inches.

The size and weight limits of a mini crib are not specified, as they depend on the model of the crib you’re using. But generally, the mini crib’s maximum age is two years old, though it depends more on the health and weight of your child.

Portability

Because of their smaller dimensions, mini cribs offer more portability than a regular crib. It is lightweight and easy to carry. This makes it easier for parents who make frequent trips or want to switch up the nursery arrangement more often. Standard cribs are larger and hence it is harder to move them around.

Mini cribs usually come with wheels. This makes them very convenient for parents who want to keep moving the crib around. Standard cribs are rarely seen with wheels, because of their standardized size. So, in the mini crib vs full size crib debate, mini crib wins for great portability if this factor is important to you.

Conversion Options

Mini cribs can be converted into a standard baby bed, a twin size bed without a footboard, and even a twin bed with a headboard and footboard. However, before purchasing a crib you must read up on what it has to offer. Conversions kits are different for different mini crib models and brands.

Standard cribs can convert into toddler beds, with or without a safety rail, a daybed, and a full-size adult bed with a headboard, with or without a footboard. Although most standard cribs offer these conversions, it isn’t a surety. It depends on the brand and model. Before purchasing a crib, parents must read on whether it comes with a conversion kit or has to be purchased separately.

In the mini crib versus regular crib conversion options category, the latter wins.

Mini Cribs Pros and Cons

Let’s take a look at the list of pros and cons of mini crib.

Pros:

  • They take up less space. This is very convenient if you have a smaller space or want a crib at a grandparent’s house.
  • They can be used as an alternative to baby bassinets, as they can be used for longer.
  • They are affordable compared to standard cribs.
  • Because of their compactness and wheels, they are more portable than regular cribs.
  • Many mini cribs are lightweight, hence, easy to carry.
  • In the case of twins or sharing the room with an older sibling, mini cribs are perfect, as mini crib size is smaller.
  • It is easier to store

Cons:

  • As the dimensions of a mini crib are not standardized, finding mini crib bedding and crib sheets will be a hassle. Bedding for mini cribs has to be customized.
  • Most mini crib mattresses according to the varying dimensions can be difficult to find.
  • Young babies outgrow it sooner than they would outgrow a standard crib.
  • It will be necessary to purchase a bigger crib later on.

Standard Cribs Pros and Cons

Pros:

  • Your baby will be able to use it for longer.
  • Standard cribs have more conversion options, which makes it possible for this crib to be the only bed for your kid.
  • A full size crib has a sturdier and more durable build.
  • Finding regular crib sheets and bedding is very easy because of its standardized dimensions.
  • Crib mattresses for a full size crib are also very easy to find.
  • There’s more variety in full size cribs than in mini cribs.
  • Traditional cribs have better value for money. You get more for your money compared to a mini crib.

Cons:

  • A larger crib has a higher price
  • Standard cribs have low portability
  • They take up more space in the nursery
  • Standard cribs weigh more compared to mini cribs
  • It is harder to store

Standard Crib vs Mini Crib Comparison Summary

This table will make it easier to compare both cribs head-on.

Features
Mini Crib
Standard Crib
Length and Width
Can be anything less than 52 3/8 x 28 inches (133 x 71 cm), but the most common dimensions used are 38 x 24 inches (96.5 x 61 cm)
52 3/8 ± 28 inches (133 x 71 cm)
Height
Around 20 inches
At least 26 inches
Mattress Height
1 to 6 inches
Precisely 6 inches
Weight
Between 50 and 75 pounds
Up to 100 pounds
Storage
Easy to store
Hard to store
Portability
High portability
Low portability
Possible conversion options
3
5
Ease of finding sheets and bedding
Very hard
Extremely easy
Features
Mini Crib
Length and Width
Can be anything less than 52 3/8 x 28 inches (133 x 71 cm), but the most common dimensions used are 38 x 24 inches (96.5 x 61 cm)
Height
Around 20 inches
Mattress Height
1 to 6 inches
Weight
Between 50 and 75 pounds
Storage
Easy to store
Portability
High portability
Possible conversion options
3
Ease of finding sheets and bedding
Very hard
Features
Standard Crib
Length and Width
52 3/8 ± 28 inches (133 x 71 cm)
Height
At least 26 inches
Mattress Height
Precisely 6 inches
Weight
Up to 100 pounds
Storage
Hard to store
Portability
Low portability
Possible conversion options
5
Ease of finding sheets and bedding
Extremely easy

When Should You Choose Mini Crib vs Crib?

The much more conventional, and maybe even practical choice of a crib is a standard crib, but these are some cases where mini cribs will be much more suitable:

  • If you don’t have enough space in your living space, mini cribs, because of their smaller dimensions, will be a good choice.
  • If you want your baby to share a room with your older kid. This will help create a space for your baby without interrupting the space of the sibling.
  • These are perfect cribs to keep at grandparents’ house or even a secondary caregiver’s place. They can be stored away easily when not in use.
  • In the case of twins, two mini cribs are perfect for the nursery as they occupy less space.
  • If you want your baby to share a room with you, a mini crib will be a perfect way. Mini cribs are sturdier compared to bassinets, hence are a safer option and can be used for a longer time compared to a bassinet.

Popular Mini Crib and Regular Crib Options

Here are some of the best mini cribs and best standard baby cribs:

DaVinci Kalani Mini Crib

DaVinci Kalani 4-in-1 Convertible Mini Crib in White, Greenguard Gold Certified

This mini baby crib is a 4-in-1 convertible crib, with four adjustable mattress positions. The mini crib mattress can be lowered as the baby begins to sit up. It can convert very easily into a toddler bed, a daybed, and a twin bed (the conversion kits are sold separately).

The exterior of the crib is made using New Zealand pine wood and TSCA-compliant engineered wood. The wood is sustainable and sturdy, making the crib durable and safe. The paint used on the finishing is completely non-toxic, making the crib a perfect and safe home for your baby.

The mini crib measurements for length, width, and height are 40.00 inches, 28.63 inches, and 38.13 inches respectively. It is perfect for small spaces.

Babyletto Origami Mini Crib

Babyletto Origami Mini Portable Folding Crib with Wheels in Black, 2 Adjustable Mattress Positions, Greenguard Gold Certified

This portable micro crib is made out of pinewood. The foldable frame and the locking wheels make this crib perfect for an urban lifestyle, as it makes the crib easy to store and carry. This compact crib is suitable for babies between the ages of a newborn baby to beyond 18 months and will make a perfect nursery mini crib.

This crib features two adjustable mattress positions, which ensure the comfort of your baby and help him rest. The crib mattress is 1 inch thick, however, extra support is recommended. The crib is finished using a non-toxic painting process.

Bloom Alma Mini Crib

Bloom Alma Mini Crib - Crib vs Mini crib - Baby Journey blog

This foldable and portable crib is easy to carry and easy to store. You can start using it as an alternative to a baby bassinet, and can use it up to the time your little one turns 12 months old.

This small crib for babies is ideal for parents who want their baby right next to their bed, which makes breastfeeding convenient. Its 360-degree breathability allows full airflow, and the two mattress positions make the crib compatible with the growth of your baby.

This mini crib on wheels is easy to take from room to room as per the parents’ convenience, and the compact design allows this crib to be able to pass through small and narrow doors.

dadada Soho Crib

dadada Soho 3-in-1 crib - Mini crib vs crib - Baby Journey

This full size crib can convert into a toddler bed and a day bed, although the conversion kit is sold separately. The maximum weight limit of this crib is 59 pounds, and the weight of the crib itself is 60 pounds. The adjustable mattress heights come with 3 positions to ensure your little one’s comfort.

This crib is convenient and safe for the baby because a standard crib mattress can fit into it and it’s lead and phthalate-free. There’s also an instructional video available to make it easy for the parents to construct.

For more details, check our full dadada Soho Crib review!

Babyletto Hudson 3-in-1 Convertible Crib

Babyletto Hudson 3-in-1 Convertible Crib with Toddler Bed Conversion Kit in White, Greenguard Gold Certified , 53.75x29.75x35 Inch (Pack of 1)

This convertible mini crib converts to a toddler bed and a daybed using the included conversion kit. It has four mattress positions that help the crib be usable for a long time. The paint and staining process is lead and phthalate-free, making it a safe choice for your little one.

This traditional crib is constructed using sustainably sourced pinewood. It’s one of the most renewable woods out there which makes the crib good for both, your baby and the environment. It’s a front-runner when it comes to baby small cribs.

Dream On Me Ashton 5-in-1 Convertible Crib

Dream On Me Ashton 4-In-1 Convertible Crib in Grey, Greenguard Gold Certified

Dream On Me never disappoints parents, and this product is no exception. This crib converts to a toddler bed, a daybed, and a full sized bed. However, the guard crib rail, bed frame, and mattress are sold separately.

It has a 4-position mattress support system. The weight of the crib is 49 pounds, and the weight limit is 50 pounds. The durability is guaranteed because of its pinewood interior.

FAQs

Are mini cribs safe for newborns?

Mini baby cribs are perfectly safe for newborn babies, but parents have to take some safety measures. Make sure that the mattress fits the crib from corner to corner. As mini cribs’ sizes aren’t standardized, finding such a mattress can be difficult. But otherwise, they are ideal for newborns.

You may be interested in: Best Crib Bumpers

How long can baby sleep in mini crib?

If you’re wondering ‘how long can you use a mini crib?’, they are suitable for babies under two years. After that, your kid will surely outgrow it and will have to be shifted to a standard crib, or maybe even a toddler bed. However, some kids don’t shift to a toddler bed until the age of three, or maybe even later.

Is a mini crib big enough for a baby?

Yes, they are. They might look small and compact, but mini cribs are capable of holding babies up to the age of two and weight of 45 pounds. However, they are compact so after your kid reaches a certain height and weight, mini cribs might not be big enough.

Is a mini crib bigger than a pack n play?

A pack n play and a mini crib, both are smaller than a standard crib. Although they both come in variable sizes, they are averagely around the same size.

Can you use standard crib sheets on a mini crib?

No, not at all. It is highly inadvisable to use standard crib sheets on a mini crib. It’s unsafe and dangerous. The excess loose sheets can get into the baby’s mouth, and block their airway passage. It is a big choking hazard, so it’s better to get crib sheets that are customized to the size of the mini crib mattresses.

Do all mini cribs have the same size?

No, they do not. Mini cribs come in variable sizes. They are all smaller than a regular crib, but there are no standardized measurements for a mini crib. However, the most commonly used dimensions are 96.5 x 61 cm.

Are mini cribs worth it?

Mini cribs are cheaper than a standard crib, but they have much less to offer in terms of lasting time and conversion options. In terms of the value of money, they are not worth it, but it depends upon the requirements of each parent.

Conclusion

All-in-all, mini cribs are a smaller version of a standard crib. It can be a good way to manage a small nursery or a good sleeping arrangement at grandma’s place. These lightweight and portable cribs make them easy to manage and store.

A full sized crib is larger, occupies more space, and is harder to carry and store. However, it offers more benefits like easily available bedding and mattress. The many conversion options also allow for a much longer use.

But if you’re a parent who has a small nursery, mini cribs will be more convenient. If you want the baby next to your bed, a mini crib won’t crowd your own room. If you have twins, two mini cribs will be perfect. But otherwise, in crib comparison of practicality, full size cribs win.

At the end of the day, what crib you should get depends on your preferences and lifestyle. We hope this helped you in making an informed choice. May you get the best crib!

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Last update on 2022-10-04 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

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