What is the best co sleeper?
Deciding on where your baby sleeps can have a huge impact on your family. Whether you choose to co-sleep by bed sharing or room sharing one aspect is vital – safety. Like all parents, you’ll want to make sure your baby is safe as they sleep. Baby co-sleepers allow you to sleep side by side whilst giving your little bundle the safety of their own space.
Pin for later
When you don’t know where to start the choice of co-sleepers can be overwhelming. The trick is knowing what features you need to focus on to find the best co-sleeper for your family. We’ve created this guide for parents, like you, who want to make a great choice when buying a co-sleeper.
If you’re in a hurry, then these are the topics we’ll discuss:
- Co-sleeper Comparison Chart
- 6 Best Co-Sleeper Reviews
- Pros and Cons of Co-Sleepers
- Recommendations for
- Buying Guide
- Safe Co Sleeping
Let’s get started by comparing what’s available on the market.
Baby Co-Sleeper Comparison Chart
|Baby Bath Tub||Model||Type||Age Range||Nightlight||Price||Rating|
|The First Years Close And Secure Sleeper||Bed Sharing||0-4m||Yes||$||4.0 Stars|
|DockATot||Bed Sharing||0-9m||No||$$$||4.5 Stars|
|HALO Bassinest||Side Sleeper||0-5m||Yes||$$$||4.1 Stars|
|SwaddleMe By Your Side Sleeper||Bed Sharing||0-5m||No||$||4.2 Stars|
|Arm's Reach Concepts Clear Vue||Side Sleeper||0-5m||No||$$||4.4 Stars|
|Summer Infant by Your Side Sleeper||Bed Sharing||0-5m||No||$$||4.4 Stars|
|Babybay||Side Sleeper||0-6m||No||$$$$||4.5 Stars|
|Chicco Next to me||Side Sleeper||0-9m||No||$$$$||5.0 Stars|
6 Best Co Sleeper Reviews
The following co-sleepers are the ones we rated best. The right one for you will depend on your personal preference. It’s best to choose the co-sleeper which offers most benefits for you and your baby. There are great options available for all budgets.
The First Years Close and Secure Sleeper
- Type: Bed Sharing
- Age Range: 0- 4 months
- Colors: Cream
Pros: Affordable, good size, lightweight, nightlight, sturdy
Cons: Short length, non-adjustable foot rest
The First Years Close and Secure is the bestselling co-sleeper on the market. It’s a popular choice if you want baby to sleep in the bed with you. You can also use it around the house or for traveling. For the peace of mind, convenience and portability, it’s worth the price even for the short-term use.
Safety – It’s designed with a structured head rest which gives you and baby a protected sleep space. So no worrying if baby rolls near you, or you rolling onto baby. The foot rest also prevents baby from slipping down the bed and under blankets. Although many parents report this can be quite restrictive as baby grows.
Ease of Use – The bottom half has a soft mesh side to make it easier to feed or sooth baby during the night. If you are formula feeding, keep your equipment at your bedside. This way, you won’t even need to leave the bed. There is a built in nightlight which is gentle enough for sleepy eyes to use in the wee hours of the night.
Bedding – This co sleeper comes with an in build mattress and cover. It’s waterproof so can be easily wiped down. If there are any ‘explosive’ incidents, you can remove the cover and machine wash.
Portable – You can fold this co-sleeper in half and carry with the in-built handle. This makes is easier to use around the house for nap-time, babysitting at relatives or even traveling with your new-born.
Best for – We would recommend this co-sleeper for those with a kind size bed. It would still fit a queen size, but if you or your partner are on the larger side, you will struggle for space.
- Type: Bed Sharing
- Age Range: 0-8 months (larger size available for 9m-3years)
- Colors: 7 Fabrics
Pros: Soft fabric, breathable, portable, good size
The DockATot is the best and safest bed sharing co-sleeper. It gives your baby the security of a swaddled environment which helps them to sleep better. This co-sleeper comes highly recommend from parents who use it. Yes, it’s expensive, but it’s a great investment, and you get a lot longer use than other co-sleepers on the market.
Comfort – This co-sleeper has a raised bumper design that keeps baby snug inside. The material is soft and breathable, which makes it safe and easy to use for bed-sharing. As baby grows you can unclip the end so their legs can stretch.
Ease of Use – If you are breastfeeding the DockaTot is a lifesaver. You can position yourself on top of the soft raised edge, you won’t even need to move baby for a feed. It’s also great for transitioning baby to their own bed, so they don’t feel so alone.
Cleaning – The cover for the DockATot is completely removable. You can machine wash but it’s recommend to air dry to prevent shrinkage. The bumper pad need airing only. If your baby needs frequent night changes it’s recommend you put a muslin square on the mat to prolong the cover use. You can buy different covers to switch up the style or to use between washes.
Portable – This co-sleeper has handles attached to the cover for easy transport. It’s lightweight, soft and simple to store. When traveling it can be handy to use on the beach or by the pool.
Best for – We would recommend this co-sleeper for breastfeeding moms and long term bed sharers. If you have twins, the deluxe size is suitable for bed sharing with both when they are newborn.
Arm’s Reach Concepts Clear Vue
- Type: Side Sleeper
- Age Range: 0-5 months
- Colors: Cocoa or natural
Pros: Affordable, multi-use, breathable mesh sides, on wheels, compact
Cons: Doesn’t fold
The Arms Reach Clear Vue is a great all-rounder. Not only can you use it as a co-sleeper but also a regular bassinet and storage unit. The Arms Reach side sleeper range is the most popular in the USA. They allow you to sleep next to baby without the discomfort and safety risks of bed sharing.
This co-sleeper comes with an anchor plate to make the bassinet flush with your bed. This model also has extendable legs to adjust it to the same height as your mattress. The legs are on wheels; however, they all lock for stability. Mesh panels are used on all four sides so baby can breathe if the push up against the edge. This also makes it easier for you to see baby from any angle.
Ease of Use
The best thing about this co-sleeper is the convenience. You can use it as a co-sleeper or switch to a freestanding bassinet if you feel the set-up isn’t working for your family. There is no disruption to the whole bed when baby wakes. Just lean over to tend to them or easily pull baby into the bed with you for a feed. When baby goes back you both have your own space to sleep side by side. You can even keep feeding or diapering equipment in the handy storage basket for easy access during the night.
The co-sleeper comes with an inbuilt mattress that attaches to the base with velco. A fitted sheet is also included; however, you will need to purchase more for change supplies. The mattress is waterproof, and the sheets can be machine washed for quickness.
A big downside of this co-sleeper id the lack of portability. You can move it from room to room as the legs have wheels. It’s if you want a bassinet that allows baby daytime naps in the living room and then co-sleep in the bedroom at night.
We would highly recommend this co-sleeper for those who need a space-saving option. It can be moved around the house so no need for extra bassinets in each area. It’s fairly compact compared to other models and won’t take up too much floor space. We highly recommend it if you have a C-section. The dropped side and storage basket means minimal bending for your sore abdomen when tending to baby at night.
- Type: Side Sleeper
- Age Range: 0-5 months
- Colors: Grey circles or damask
Pros: Adjustable height, mesh edges, stable, nightlight, full rotation
Cons: Price, not portable
The HALO Bassinest is the perfect option if you want a co-sleeper which rates highly for safety and convenience. This model offers the benefits of a bed sharing co-sleeper without taking up space in your bed. It’s a great modern option with a basic model and premier range for music, vibration and nightlight features.
Ease of Use – The unique feature of this co-sleeper is the spring-loaded side that lowers when you lean on it. This gives you easy access to baby simply with the weight of your arms. With a 360⁰ swivel you can bring baby closer to you or push away to get out of bed. The sound and vibration will help you soothe baby back to sleep. The nightlight is handy for giving you a bit more visibility when tending to baby during the night.
Safety – It’s the safest room sharing co-sleeper on the market. The lowering side gives you easy access to baby without the worry of baby slipping between the mattresses. The base is very sturdy and can be adjusted to your mattress height. It comes with a side lock to prevent you accidentally pushing down the side as you sleep.
Bedding – The Bassinest comes with a waterproof mattress and a fitted sheet. The mattress is wipe clean, and the sheets are machine washable. You can also buy more separately for using between washes.
Best for – We recommend this bed for moms who have had a C-section. You have space for baby with ultimate control for mom. It is really easy to maneuver about. This means less pain for you whilst you tend to baby. It’s also great for tall beds as it expands right up to a 34” height.
SwaddleMe By Your Side Sleeper
- Type: Bed Sharing
- Age Range: 0-5 months
- Colors: White
Pros: Good Price, Sturdy sides, portable, long length, mesh sides
Cons: Large, noisy plastic mattress
The Swaddle Me By Your Side Co-sleeper is like a mini bassinet you place in your bed. It’s a really affordable option and gives parents peace of mind by having a clear view of baby. It’s not the easiest co-sleeper for access. However, it prevents parents from rolling onto baby when sleeping in the middle.
Safety – The metal frame of this co-sleeper is great for preventing rolling onto baby. Unfortunately, it makes it a little uncomfortable for parents if room is tight. The mesh side allows baby to breathe should they roll into the sides. You’ll also be able to see baby without sitting up.
Ease of Use – This co-sleeper doesn’t score too highly for access to baby. You will need to sit upright if you want to remove baby for a feed. Therefore, we wouldn’t recommend it for moms who had a C-section and not as convenient as other models for breastfeeding.
Bedding – This co-sleeper comes with a waterproof mattress and removable sheet. The mattress has a plastic feel to it which some find quite noisy. The fabric makes it easy to wipe clean. You can machine wash the sheets and buy replacements for a very affordable price.
Portability – This co-sleeper is extremely portable and lightweight to move around. It’s collapsible so easy to store. We love it as a space-saving solution for baby naps in other areas of the house.
Best for – We recommend this co-sleeper for parents who have a lot of space in the bed. It’s a perfect option for bed sharing without the risk of suffocating baby.
- Type: Side Sleeper
- Age Range: 0-6 months
- Colors: 4 wooden finishes
Pros: Adjustable height, sturdy, easy assembly, suitable for twins
The BabyBay is the best luxury co-sleeper on the market. The brand is new to the USA but a bestseller in Europe. It’s a very stylish option that gives a classic crib look rather than a metal frame.
Safety – The Babybay is the sturdiest co-sleeper on our list. The frame allows you to fix the dropped side to your bed frame with straps to keep it flush. The mattress height can be adjusted making it level with your mattress. There is also the option of a removable barrier if you want to be extra cautious about baby rolling between mattresses.
Ease of Use – This co-sleeper takes about 15 minutes to set up. Without the barrier, it is the perfect solution for breastfeeding moms. Pull baby over for a feed, then slide them back when you are done. It can be used as a freestanding crib in other rooms, but you’ll need an additional bed rail. The wheels make it easier for you to move around the house.
Bedding – The Babybay doesn’t come with a mattress provided, however, there are 4 options to choose from. The curved shape means you can’t use a generic brand. Separate machine washable sheets are also available.
Modular –Although not available for the US market yet there are accessories, which help you convert the baby bay into many different forms. This includes a playpen, highchair, child’s bench, desk and chair and freestanding crib. You may be able to have these item shipped over from Europe.
Best for – We highly recommend investing in the baby bay if you plan to have more children. It’s a sturdy piece of equipment and will see you through many years of use. The spacious design also makes it suitable to use for newborn twins.
Types of Baby Co-Sleeper
Bed Sharing Co-sleeper
This style of co-sleeper is designed for bed sharing with your baby. The idea is to eliminate the risk of parents rolling onto baby whilst you sleep. These co-sleepers allow baby to have their own space in the bed with raised side to prevent the parents of baby rolling. Bed sharing co sleepers come in two forms:
Framed – The co-sleeper has a fixed area with a framed support. This offer stability and is uncomfortable for parents if they roll into it. They make it easier to alert parents when they are too close to baby at night. They require a lot of space in the bed.
Contoured – This type is like a large pillow which contours around baby. The raised edges protect baby. They are very easy for breastfeeding moms to use. Although more expensive, this type often has a longer usage than fixed shape co-sleepers.
This type of co-sleeper is for parents who want baby to share the bed but with their own area off to the side. These offer easy access to baby without the risk of suffocation or overheating that comes with bed sharing. Modern side sleepers are available in two types:
Three sided – These look just like a regular bassinet or crib but with three sides. You attach the missing side to your mattress. This makes the co-sleeper your babies sleep area part of your bed. It’s essential the co-sleeper is securely attached, and any gaps between mattresses minimized.
Flexible Bassinet – This type is effectively a standalone bassinet that gives you easy access to baby. A regular bassinet requires you to sit up to tend to baby. The flexible sides of this type give the benefits of easy access whilst providing a safe barrier as you both sleep.
Benefits of a Co-Sleeper
The biggest risk of co-sleeping with a baby is the risk of suffocation. This may be for parents rolling or being stuck between, blanket, wall or headboards. A co-sleeper gives baby their own safe space so parents don’t need to make too many adjustments to their bed.
Having your baby right next to you gives you easy access for night feeds. It also makes you more responsive to their feeding cues. Feeding a baby during the night is a great way to boost your milk supply as your lactation hormones are highest in the early hours of the morning.
Modern co-sleepers have extra soothing features such as white noise, music or vibration modes. These can help baby fall asleep easier and ease the pressure on you to calm them.
You’ll get a lot more sleep as you won’t need to full wake so often. Having baby beside you makes for easier feeding and nappy changes. Some models make it so easy you don’t even need to fully wake to comfort or feed baby. Small storage areas and nightlights mean less disruption or searching about during the night which can cause unnecessary disruptions to your partner.
Most dad love the idea of sleeping but are petrified they might roll onto baby. Moms are more intuitive about sleeping with baby. Bed-sharing co-sleepers are particularly reassuring for dads to ease their worries. If your partner isn’t keen on bed-sharing, you can always compromise by opting for a side sleeper.
Save the Mattress
If you’ve ever changed a baby’s nappy, you will know they can sometime be, well…. explosive. A co-sleeper is a great way to minimize the damage to your mattress from unexpected pee and poo leaks. At the very least, it can cut down on your washing load, by changing tiny sheets rather than king-sized sheets.
Disadvantages of a Co-sleeper
Short Term Use
Most co-sleepers are recommended to use only for a few months. Usually, this is when baby can roll over themselves. You may not want to make a huge investment in a co-sleeper for such a short period of use. Even so, having a co-sleeper can reduce the risks of SIDS which is higher in babies under 14 weeks.
You may find that it’s difficult to find a co-sleeper for your bed. Bed sharing option often takes up a lot of space and can be uncomfortable unless you have a king-size bed. Consider the frame of your bed when buying a side sleeper as each model has different attachment style. Some will only be suitable for framed beds and not divan styles.
Just like adults babies have their sleeping preferences. This means that some babies might not like the co-sleeper that you choose for them. If your baby likes to be swaddled to sleep, then you shouldn’t bed share with them. Some babies, especially when breastfeeding, won’t settle unless they are snuggled beside mom.
Best Co-sleeper for …
Let’s look into the types of co-sleeper which will offer most benefit for your family’s lifestyle.
A co-sleeper which requires minimal movement for mum is best. This means less maneuvering of your tender abdomen. Most side sleepers are suitable for moms with a C-section wound. For bed sharing, you should opt for one with soft side rather than a fixed frame.
For breastfeeding you want a co-sleeper which offers easy access to baby. A side sleeper or soft bed sharer is the best option. These help to position baby at the breast without too much movement. You also won’t need to fully wake for a feed, which mean you can still snooze whilst baby feeds.
A spacious co-sleeper can be used for newborn twins to sleep together. The DockATot, Arms Reach range and BabyBay are all suitable for twin use. Newborn twins are often lower in birth weight than singletons. As your twins grow and take up more room, you’ll need to buy an additional co-sleeper or transition to a different sleep area for safety.
Baby Co- Sleeper Buying Guide
Let’s start by looking at all the features you should consider to find the best baby co-sleeper for your family.
- Newborn – Most co-sleepers are suitable for newborn babies until they are a few months old. This puts a short shelf life on these products so you may not want to invest too much for such short use.
- Older Baby/ Toddler – Some co-sleepers can be used for longer periods; however, they are often more expensive. Usually, they can be adapted for other uses as baby grows, such as playpens or tummy time supports.
- Frequent – If you plan to use your co-sleeper regularly, including nap time you want one which lasts. Invest in a high quality co-sleeper which you can use around the house or even travel with.
- Occasional – A co-sleeper which is only used for visiting or traveling purposes doesn’t need too much investment. Opt for one which is lightweight, portable and easy to assemble.
- New – Co-sleepers can range from $40-$500 depending on which features you want. A safe sleep space for baby is the most important feature over looks or modern gadgets.
- Second Hand – Buying a used co-sleeper can get you a higher spec for your budget. It’s important to make sure the co-sleeper has not been recalled by the manufacturer. If you are unsure do a quick internet search before buying. Check for any structural faults, which can make it unsafe for baby. We would highly recommend buying a new mattress for your baby.
This is hands down the most important feature of any co-sleeper. You should never compromise your baby’s safety for price or fancy gadgets. It can lead to serious injury for your baby.
All bedside sleepers need to conform to ASTM Safety Standards (available here).
- Structure – The Co-sleeper needs to offer baby a structured side which prevents movement onto baby. Side sleepers require a structure between the bassinet and adult mattress to prevent baby slipping between the surfaces. The base should be sturdy and secured to the bed frame.
- Flat surface – All co-sleeper should provide a flat and firm surface for baby to sleep on. This will allow your baby to have a neutral neck position which does not restrict their breathing. Soft structure co-sleeper should only be used on a flat, firm surface to support baby.
- Sides – They should be designed to allow airflow to baby. This prevents baby from suffocating should they press themselves against the sides. Modern co-sleepers have sides made from mesh or stats if there is a structures frame sides.
- Locks – Flexible or movable co-sleepers should have safety locks to prevent accidental movement. Pets and other children are curious and can put your baby at risk if safety locks are not utilized.
Ease of Use
Picture yourself during the middle of the night, sleep deprived and tender after birth. Do the features of the co-sleeper make life easier for you or offer no benefit?
- Set Up – How easy is the co-sleeper to set up to use. Some styles may need to be adjusted as baby grows, consider if you’ll need extra tools to do this.
- Size – This is important for bed sharing co-sleepers. Most of them are quite bulky to allow baby enough space. For those with queen-sized beds you may struggle with room to sleep if either parent is on the larger side. For side sleepers, consider how much room you have available at the side of the bed. Will it be easy for you to get in and out of the bed without too much maneuvering?
- Storage – you may occasionally need to store the co-sleeper when not in use. Look for a folding style which will save space.
- Portability – Bed sharing co-sleepers are the most portable option. These are even suitable for using out of the house such as when traveling, visiting or on day trips. The arms reach side crib range have a few styles which are portable. A lot of modern side sleepers have wheels so you can use them as a free-standing bassinet around the house.
Just like your own bed you should try to make your baby’s sleep environment as comfortable as possible.
- Mattress – A firm mattress will provide a good sleeping position for baby. Some mattresses are made from a waterproof material which can make them a bit noisy when baby moves around.
- Position – Some co-sleepers can offer a slight incline to ease the discomfort of reflux of colic. We do not recommend using this position unless you can fully supervise your baby. It puts baby at great risk of slipping down and under blankets.
- Space – This is a case of personal preference for your baby. Your baby may prefer a snug space to which reminds them of your womb. As your baby grows will probably like to move around more and hate to be restricted. If they are unable the stretch and kick, your baby will be uncomfortable when they get larger. You may want to opt for a sleeper with adjustable length to get as much use as possible.
Diaper changes, spit up or just general use mean that you’ll need a way of keeping your co-sleeper clean. This is what you should look for to make the process easier.
- Material – Mattresses should at least be wipeable, and some should be regularly aired to prolong the use. Non-removable fabrics should be wipeable to freshen the co-sleeper during washes.
- Machine washable – Removable sheet should be machine washable and dried. This helps to speed up the washing and keeps the crib fresh and clean.
Baby Co-Sleeper Safety Advice
When co-sleeping you need to provide a safe environment to reduce any risks to baby. Always adopt this safety advice when co-sleeping with your baby.
Never leave baby unsupervised
Always supervise your baby whilst they sleep. Regardless of where there are sleeping, babies are at greater risk of SIDS if left unsupervised whilst sleeping. You will be able to tend to baby’s needs quickly should they become distressed.
Smoking and Medication
If you or your partner is a smoker, it is best that you do not use a co-sleeper for your baby. Your baby will benefit more for sleeping in a freestanding bassinet in your room. This is due to the risk of second-hand smoke increasing your baby’s risk of SIDS.
Check the temperature
Your baby is at great risk of SIDS if the room is too hot. Ensure that room temperature is between 60.8-68⁰F. If you feel baby is too cold, add a layer of blankets. If you think baby is too hot remove layers of blankets or extra clothing such as cardigans.
Remove Excess bedding
Extra bedding such as pillow, blankets or big fully duvets put baby at great risk of suffocation. Your baby can become entrapped in these areas, and their airflow restricted. Remember to remove any toys from babies sleeping area when they are in it.
Use a firm surface
Your co-sleeper should always provide a firm, flat surface for babies to sleep. Poor neck control makes it easy to position a baby with their chin to their chest. As a result their airflow is restricted. Never use a bed sharing sleeper on a waterbed.
Place baby on back
Always place your baby on their back to sleep. Statistics have shown a 50% drop in SIDS related deaths when babies sleep on their back rather than side or tummy. Again, this is because the airflow is at greater risk of restriction in these positions.
No Pets allowed
Regardless of whether you are bed sharing or using a side sleeper, never let pets sleep on the bed. You will be unable to monitor their movements as you sleep, putting baby at greater risk of suffocation.
Knowing how to resuscitate your baby is a lifesaving skill to have. Knowing how to react in those precious few minutes can help to save your baby’s life. If your baby chokes on a toy or when weaning, you’ll be prepared with CPR skills. You never know when you may need it. Look into child-related CPR courses near you before your baby arrives.
We hope this guide was helpful enough to find the perfect co-sleeper for you. If you have any recommendation or tips for co-sleeping with your baby, please leave a comment below.