Different Types Of Baby Cribs

Learn everything about different types of baby cribs. We’ll guide you through a variety of crib options, highlighting the unique benefits each type brings to the table.

Different Types of Baby Cribs

When looking for a new crib, you’ll quickly realize that there is more to consider than just its appearance. Do you need a crib that can grow with your baby or one that is portable? What material should you choose? Will it fit in your home? These are just a few of the things you need to consider before making a purchase.

Thankfully, the juvenile furniture market has adapted to meet the needs of different families, and there are now many brands, types, and models of cribs available. This is great news because anyone can find the best crib for their needs.

However, with so many different options to choose from, it can be a bit confusing. By learning about the different types of baby cribs and their features, you will easily find the one that fits your needs and home perfectly.

Overview of Crib Types:

Convertible Crib

A mini or full-size crib that grows with your baby by converting into various beds. It is not portable.

Combo Crib

A mini or full-size convertible crib with an attached changing table. It is not portable.

Best Convertible Cribs With Drawers Underneath
Price: Graco Hadley

Crib with Drawer

A mini or full-size convertible crib with a storage drawer underneath the mattress area. It is not portable.

Portable Crib

A mini or full-size crib on wheels. Some can fold down for easy storage. Generally, it is not convertible.

Pack ‘N Play

Crib with a lightweight frame surrounded by mesh. It can be used as a crib alternative, play area, or travel crib.

Guava Lotus Everywhere Travel Crib
Price: Guava Lotus

Travel Crib

Lightweight crib that you can take wherever you go.

Different Crib Types: Traditional Non-Convertible Crib

Non-Convertible Crib

Traditional mini or full-size crib without additional features. It is not portable.

Different Types of Baby Cribs: In-Depth Descriptions and Explanation

Non-Convertible Cribs

This type of crib is a classic option for your baby, available in both mini and standard sizes. It doesn’t come with any extra features, such as convertible options, storage space, or rolling feet. It’s just a simple crib that can typically be used until your baby is 18-24 months old.

Nonetheless, a standard-sized, non-convertible crib has the same safety standards and sleeping space as any other full-size crib. This ensures that it is both comfortable and safe for your baby.

Since it doesn’t have any add-ons, it’s generally lighter than other crib types and is also the most affordable option on the market.

With parents expecting more from their baby’s cribs, there is less demand for this basic type of crib, and therefore, manufacturers are no longer producing them in large quantities.

Convertible Cribs

A convertible crib is a type of crib that can transform into different bed configurations as your child grows. They can convert into a toddler bed, daybed, twin bed, full-size adult bed, or even a queen bed. The number of beds they convert into determines how they are marked, with a 2-in-1 convertible crib converting into one bed, a 3-in-1 model into two beds, and so on.

Delta Children Essex 4-in-1 Convertible Crib
Delta Children Essex 4-in-1 Convertible Crib

It’s also important to note that not all convertible cribs of the same subtype (2-in-1, 3-in-1, or 4-in-1) convert into the same beds. The combinations of available beds vary depending on the model you choose.

In most cases, you will need to purchase additional parts to complete the conversions. However, some convertible cribs, such as those from Babyletto, come with a toddler bed safety guardrail included in the package.

As for the full-size bed conversion kit, it is never included, so you must buy it separately. Additionally, you will also need a full-size bed mattress.

Convertible cribs are available in both mini and full sizes and come in various materials like wood, acrylic, and metal. Due to their versatility and additional features, they generally cost more than non-convertible cribs. However, they can save you quite a bit of money in the long run as you won’t need to purchase beds repeatedly.

RELATED: Best Convertible Cribs

Combo Cribs

A combo crib, shorter for a combination or multifunctional crib, is a convertible crib with an attached changing table. Depending on the model, the changer can be attached to the left or right side of the crib, have shelves or drawers, or a combination of both.


  1. If your combo crib converts into a full-size bed, check if the changing table also converts into a matching nightstand.
  2. This type of crib is available in mini or full-size options.
  3. There are also combo cribs with an under-crib storage drawer, a crib type with the largest storage capacity.

A combo crib can be a convenient option for parents who want to make the most of their space and have all the baby’s essentials within one piece of furniture. It is important to note that while combo cribs take up more space than other crib types, they are, in fact, space-saving furniture. Why? Because the footprint of a combo crib is smaller than the combined footprint of a separate standing crib and changer! 

DaVinci Kalani 4-in-1 Convertible Crib and Changer Combo
DaVinci Kalani 4-in-1 Convertible Crib with Changer

When considering a combo crib, carefully assess your needs and available space. Some parents find combo cribs practical and space-saving, while others may prefer separate pieces of furniture for more flexibility in arranging their nursery.

RELATED: Best Convertible Cribs with Changing Table

Cribs with Under-Crib Drawer

A crib with an under-crib drawer is a type of baby crib equipped with a built-in storage drawer beneath the crib mattress platform. These are usually convertible cribs that use otherwise unutilized space under the crib, which is excellent for those with space issues.

The functionality of the under-crib drawer adds practicality to the crib, allowing parents to maximize the use of space in the nursery and keep essential items within arm’s reach.

Best Convertible Cribs With Drawers Underneath
Graco Hadley 5-in-1 Convertible Crib with Drawer

The drawer is integrated into the crib’s design, maintaining an aesthetically pleasing appearance, which looks better than storage boxes underneath the crib. Some cribs have a single large drawer that spans the entire width of the crib, while others come with two smaller ones. The larger drawer is often further divided into two equal parts, enabling better organization.

Crib designs with under-crib drawers are popular choices for parents who value both style and functionality, as they provide a dual-purpose solution for baby care and storage needs.

Most cribs with under-crib drawers are of standard dimensions, but there are also a few great mini models. You might like the Carter’s by DaVinci Colby 4-in-1 convertible mini crib with a trundle drawer if you need one.

RELATED: Best Cribs with Under Crib Drawer

Portable Cribs

Portable cribs are a type of crib that can be easily moved around, either by pushing or carrying when folded. This group includes mini and full-size cribs on wheels, Pack ‘N Plays, and travel cribs.

However, Pack ‘N Plays and travel cribs are much different from ‘classic’ cribs on wheels. Therefore, we will treat them as individual types of cribs.

Babyletto Maki Full-Size Portable Folding Crib with Toddler Bed Conversion Kit
Babyletto Maki full-size 2-in-1 Portable Crib

Let’s focus on portable cribs on wheels. They are made of wood or metal and are available in mini and full sizes. However, the selection of mini portable cribs is much more versatile. It makes sense because the main feature of this type of crib is mobility; moving a smaller, lighter crib is much easier.

Another great feature of portable cribs is a folding mechanism. Not all portable cribs have it, but those that do can be folded down flat without disassembly. Consider this feature if you need to put the crib away during the day.

Some portable cribs are even convertible. When your child outgrows the crib stage, you can remove the wheels and convert the crib into a toddler bed.

RELATED: Best Portable Cribs

Pack ‘N Plays

A Pack ‘N Play, also known as a playard or playpen, is a portable and collapsible crib/playpen combination designed for babies and young children. It provides a safe and enclosed space for babies to sleep, play, or rest.

Graco Pack 'N Play Travel Dome LX Playard
Graco Pack ‘N Play Travel Dome LX Playard

A typical Pack ‘N Play consists of a plastic or aluminum rectangular frame with mesh sides and a thin, slightly padded mattress. It is lighter than a crib and a bit heavier than the travel cribs described below. It can also be easily folded for storage or travel, making a Pack ‘N Play a convenient option for parents on the go.

Pack ‘N Plays often include additional features such as a bassinet attachment for newborns, newborn rockers and bouncers, storage units, toy arches, crib mobiles, musical boxes, etc.

RELATED: Best Pack ‘N Plays

Travel Cribs

A travel crib is a portable and lightweight bed designed for infants and toddlers, typically used during travel or when you need a temporary sleeping arrangement for your child.

It is easily foldable, compact, and convenient to carry in an included carrying bag. That makes it a perfect crib type for use in hotels, relatives’ homes, or other places where a regular crib may not be available.

A typical travel crib is made of a lightweight plastic or aluminum frame and surrounded by mesh. It has a mattress placed on the floor and a design with a slightly narrower top. Such a design provides stability and safety to the crib’s lightweight structure.

BabyBjörn Travel Crib Light
BabyBjörn Travel Crib Light

It’s important to note that while travel cribs are convenient for travel, they are not suitable for long-term or everyday use.

RELATED: Best Travel Cribs

How to Know Which Crib Type to Choose?

When choosing a crib type, consider your needs, preferences, space limitations, and long-term goals for your baby’s sleeping arrangements. Think about the factors below, and you will be able to narrow down the options to a crib type that best suits your needs.

Key considerations to help you determine which type of crib is the right choice for you:

  1. Assess the available space in your nursery: If you have limited space, consider a mini crib. Additionally, a combo crib or a crib with an under-crib drawer may be a practical space-saving solution. Portable cribs, especially mini ones, are great for maneuverability in tight spaces.
  2. Consider how long you intend to use the crib: If you want a crib that can grow with your child, pick a convertible crib.
  3. Evaluate the functionality you need: A combo crib might be convenient if you need a multifunctional piece of furniture. Cribs with under-crib drawers provide built-in storage. If you value mobility, consider portable cribs.
  4. Travel Requirements: For those with travel requirements or needing a crib for temporary arrangements, a Pack ‘N Play or a travel crib would be suitable options.
  5. Personal Preferences: Lastly, consider the design, material, and features that resonate with your style and parenting preferences.

Crib Types: Comparison

Let’s finish with the comparison table. I find it to be the most user-friendly and understandable method for showcasing all crib types available in the market. The table highlights the main differences between crib types and provides links to the best models in each category.

CRIB TYPECONVERTPORTABLEVersatilityWorth considering
Non-ConvertibleNoNoSingle-use as a crib/
ConvertibleYesNoLong-term use as multiple bedsBabyletto Hudson
ComboYesNoMulti-functional long-term useStorkcraft Steveston
With DrawerYesNoLong-term use with storageDaVinci Colby
PortableSomeYesPortability tied to the homeBabyletto Origami
Pack ‘N PlayNoYesCrib alternative, travel, play, sleepGraco
TravelNoYesTravel, play, sleepBabyBjorn
Table: Comparison of Different Crib Types

I hope this article helped you decide on the right crib type, reduced your stress, and made your crib-buying experience more pleasant and fun.

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