4 Best Travel Cribs of 2023, According to Parents and Experts News2america

There are quite a few travel cribs on the market these days – some expensive, others cheap, some bulky, others lightweight – which can make it challenging to choose the right one for your pint-sized travel partner.

Taking into consideration safety, comfort, convenience for travel, and recommendations from parents and travel experts, U.S. News compiled this list of the best travel cribs on the market.

Note: All travel crib dimensions are listed in order of length by width by height.

Best Overall: Guava Lotus Travel Crib

(Courtesy of Guava Family)

  • Crib weight: 15 pounds
  • Folded dimensions: 24 x 12 x 8 inches
  • Age range: Newborn to age 3
  • Weight limit: None

Parents, grandparents and other caregivers agree the Guava Lotus Travel Crib is a worthy expenditure. Convenient for air travel, it is lightweight and can be worn like a backpack in an included carrying case with padded straps, then checked as a bag or packed in your checked luggage.

The Guava Lotus is also easy to set up (and take down): The sturdy aluminum frame’s hinges easily and securely snap into place. Once the frame is assembled, a fabric cover with mesh sides – including a zippered door for easier access to your baby – can be zipped on before you place the included waterproof mattress and sheet inside.

The Guava Lotus is GreenGuard Gold Certified, which means its emission levels are even lower/better than industry standards. The mattress is easy to wipe down, and the crib’s fabric portion is machine-washable.

While the Guava Lotus Travel Crib can technically be used from birth, you might also consider the Lotus Bassinet Kit for newborns.

What parents say: “Even if you’re not flying, the backpack straps are really handy for road trips or moving from hotel to hotel,” says Jasmine Alley, a travel blogger and mom.

Best Lightweight: BabyBjörn Travel Crib Light

BabyBjörn Travel Crib Light in navy blue

(Courtesy of BabyBjörn)

  • Crib weight: 13 pounds
  • Folded dimensions: 23.5 x 19 x 5.5 inches
  • Age range: Newborn to age 3
  • Weight limit: None

At 13 pounds, the BabyBjörn Travel Crib Light is one of the lightest travel cribs on the market.
The BabyBjörn Travel Crib Light comes with a mattress and carrying bag, and a fitted, organic cotton sheet is available for purchase. The crib fabric and mattress cover are machine-washable, and all materials meet OEKO TEX Standard 100, Class 1 standards for baby products – meaning the crib permeates low levels of chemicals and is also free from as many as 350 harmful chemicals, making it safe for a baby’s skin and curious mouth.

What parents say: “It’s so easy and intuitive that it can be set up in a minute,” says Marianne Perez-Fransius of Bébé Voyage, noting that she immediately bought this portable crib after borrowing it from a friend.

Best Budget: Dream On Me Nest Portable Playard

Dream On Me Nest Portable Playard in black

(Courtesy of Dream On Me)

  • Crib weight: 17 pounds
  • Folded dimensions: 28 x 8.5 x 8 inches
  • Age range: None recommended; for babies and toddlers less than 36 inches tall
  • Weight limit: 30 pounds

You can’t beat the quality of this travel crib given its surprisingly cheap price tag, which is why the Dream On Me Nest Portable Playard gets an average 4.5-star (out of 5) rating on Amazon. You can fully assemble the portable crib in two swift motions before placing the included mattress insert inside.

The Dream On Me Nest Portable Playard is available in six color variations and features mesh siding for breathability. It can be wiped clean with a damp cloth.

Best Multiuse: Graco Pack and Play on the Go Playard

Graco Pack and Play on the Go Playard in black

(Courtesy of Graco)

  • Crib weight: 21.43 pounds
  • Folded dimensions: 29 x 10.5 x 9.25 inches
  • Age range: None recommended; for babies and toddlers up to 35 inches tall
  • Weight limit: 25 pounds

If you’re looking for a travel crib that can be used at home and on the go, consider the Graco Pack and Play on the Go Playard. While many Graco cribs work well for travel, the On the Go Playard is especially ideal since it comes with a full-size bassinet insert that folds with the playard when it’s time to transport or put away the crib. Simply hit the push-button to disassemble (or assemble) the crib. Other features include a soft overhead toy bar and storage bag for additional toys and other essentials.

What parents say: “I love how well it consolidates into the carrying bag,” says Elizabeth Von Tersch, a mom and senior editor of travel at U.S. News. Nicola Wood, another mom and senior editor of travel at U.S. News, agrees, noting that the crib is also easy to clean. The only downfall of the Graco Pack and Play on the Go Playard is that its mattress is somewhat thin, notes Wood. “As our baby gets older and heavier, she seems a bit more uncomfortable sleeping in the pack and play because of it.”

Guava Lotus vs. Baby Björn

When choosing the best travel crib to purchase, the final decision for many buyers often comes down to the Guava Lotus Travel Crib and BabyBjörn Travel Crib Light since they’re so similar. Both cribs are lightweight and easy to transport, assemble, and clean. They’re also constructed of safe materials.

If you’re undecided between the two, see which crib wins in the following categories:

Category Winner
Lightest weight BabyBjörn Travel Crib Light
Portability Guava Lotus Travel Crib
Safety of materials BabyBjörn Travel Crib Light
Setup BabyBjörn Travel Crib Light
Unique features Guava Lotus Travel Crib
Affordability Guava Lotus Travel Crib

Your decision may ultimately come down to the type of traveler you are. If you frequently travel (especially by plane), the Guava Lotus is the best choice.

Travel Crib Accessories

When purchasing a travel crib, think about the other essentials your baby will need for restful naps and nights in your destination – especially since they’ll be in an unfamiliar environment. These might include:

Room-darkening curtains: If your little one is accustomed to sleeping in a pitch-black room at home, you’ll want to ensure your hotel room or vacation rental bedroom is as dark as possible. There are a few ways to do this:

  • Use foil and duct tape: It won’t look pretty, but covering the windows with foil and duct tape is a cost-effective option.
  • Invest in a Slumberpod: The highly rated SlumberPod ($180) is essentially a tent that goes over the travel crib, ensuring total darkness for a peaceful night’s rest. For a cheaper alternative, check out the Brolex Mini Crib Canopy Cover on Amazon.
  • Buy portable blackout curtains: Purchase a set of curtains that won’t take up too much space in your luggage. These portable blackout curtains from Amazon Basics are highly rated and come with a storage bag.

Why Trust U.S. News Travel

Amanda Norcross is a family travel expert who regularly travels with her toddler. Shortly after she found out she was pregnant, she excitedly bought the Guava Lotus Bassinet Kit & Travel Crib and – despite its hefty price tag – hasn’t regretted it once. The travel crib was first used as a bassinet at home and is now used as a portable bed for adventures near and far.

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