Mini Cribs vs (Regular) Cribs – DETAILED Comparison


When you bring your baby home for the first time, one of the most important things you have to arrange is a comfortable and safe place for a baby to sleep. In this article, I will compare standard (regular) full-size cribs and mini cribs.

Buying a baby crib can be a daunting task, as there are so many things to consider. I am going to talk about the differences and similarities, pros and cons for these 2 types, as well as give some recommendations.

What is a Crib and Why you Need One

The crib is a small bed designed for a baby or a young child. It has high bars around the sides that prevent a child from falling out of the crib. A full-size crib’s measurements are standardized. The interior dimensions must be 28 x 52 inches (71 ± 1.6 cm) in width x 52 3/8 ± 5/8 inches (133 ± 1.6 cm) in length.

A crib is an essential piece of furniture for every household with a newborn baby. It is the safest place for a child to sleep. Their manufacturing is regulated. Buying a crib that meets safety standards will save you a lot of worries.

Safety standards for both full-size and mini cribs are outlined by the Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) and the American Society for Testing and Materials (ASTM). Cribs manufacturers get certification from the Juvenile Products Manufacturers Association (JPMA) to prove that their product adheres to safety standards.

Pros and Cons of a Full-Size (Regular) Crib

Buying a full-size crib has its pros and cons. Here are some points you might want to consider.


  • Sturdy – full-size cribs may be expensive, but they are built to last
  • Safety – the manufacturing of cribs is regulated. There are a lot of safety standards that have to be met. Look for products that are certified by the Juvenile Products Manufacturers Association (JPMA).


  • Takes up space – such cribs can take up a lot of space. So, if you don’t have much room, you might want to consider buying a mini crib.
  • More expensive – full-size cribs are more expensive than the mini versions. But you can consider it as an investment.

Differences Between a Crib and a Mini Crib


The measurements of a full-size crib are standardized. The size of a mini crib, however, will vary depending on the model and manufacturer.

Sheets and bedding

Since full-size cribs have a standard size, it is easier to find sheets and bedding for them. Mini cribs and their mattresses come in different sizes, so you will have to look for sheets and bedding that will fit the particular model that you’ve purchased.


The mini cribs often have wheels for portability. This feature is also available for some full-size models, but it’s a lot less common.


The mini cribs are lighter, due to their size and the fact that they are designed to be easily portable.

When to Buy a Mini Crib

They are perfect if you don’t have much space at home. Maybe your nursery is small or you have two children sleeping in the same room. Unlike full-size models, mini cribs vary in shape and size, so you can choose the one that suits your particular situation best. In general, they are cheaper. So, if you are on a budget, they are a great alternative. In addition, mini cribs are designed to be portable. They often have wheels and are lighter. If you need a crib that can be easily moved from one room to another, then a mini version is for you.

Pros and Cons of a Mini Crib

To determine whether opting for such a crib is the right choice for your household consider the pros and cons of buying one.


  • Size – one of their obvious advantages is a smaller size. It is perfect if you don’t have much room.
  • Price – they tend to be cheaper than the full-sized options, so if you are on a budget, the mini version is for you.
  • Portability – most of them are designed to be easily portable. They weigh less, often have wheels
  • Assembly – Easy


  • Size – their biggest drawback is that babies quickly outgrow them. In this case, you might want to look for a convertible mini crib that can transform into a toddler and/or twin bed when you need it.
  • Less sturdy and durable – you may find full-size cribs to be of better quality. They are often better built and will last longer than the mini versions which are cheaper.
  • Sheets and bedding – because mini cribs have a non-standard mattress size, finding right sheets and bedding can be a headache.

Things to look out for

Mattress Height

Whether you choose to buy a standard or a mini crib, you need to consider the size of a crib mattress. To prevent head entrapment and suffocation between the mattress and crib sides, the mattress must not be too small for the crib. According to the Consumer Product Safety Commission, a mattress in a full-size crib must be at least 27 1/4 inches x 51 1/4 inches.

As for mini cribs, they must be sold with the mattress included. While the size of a mattress for a mini crib will vary depending on a model, it is generally 24 x 38 inches. If you want to check whether the mattress is safe, test the gap between the mattress and crib sides, which shouldn’t exceed 1 inch.

In addition, the mattress should not be thicker than 6 inches. If the mattress is too thick, it will reduce the side height causing your child to fall out. According to the CPSC, the distance between the top of the mattress and the top of the crib side has to be at least 20 inches.

Drop Sides

Look out for drop-side cribs. These crib models have drop-down sides that can be lowered for taking your baby out. Drop-side cribs have been blamed for the deaths of at least 32 infants since 2001. Due to the safety issues, the Consumer Product Safety Commission banned the manufacturing of the drop-side cribs.


The CPSC  updated standard crib safety standards in 2010, and non-full-size crib standards in 2011. So, whether you opt for a full-size or a mini crib, as long as it meets the CPSC requirement and is produced after 2011, you are good.

My Top Picks

Here are my Top Picks which feature 2 mini cribs and 2 standard cribs.

Dream On Me 4 in 1 Aden Convertible Mini Crib

Dream On Me Aden 4-in-1 Convertible Mini Crib In White, Greenguard Gold Certified, Non-Toxic Finish, New Zealand Pinewood, With 3 Mattress Height Settings

This mini crib is perfect for small spaces. It is sturdy and comes in several styles. The greatest advantage of Dream on Me 4 in 1 is its design. It allows you to adjust the mattress height as your child grows. When your kid outgrows the crib, it can be transformed into a daybed and twin size bed. It can also be used as a co-sleeper. By removing the front side, the crib can be pushed against your bed, so that a kid can sleep by your side.

Product Info:

  • Size: 39 x 23 x 36 inches
  • Weight: 20 pounds
  • Weight recommendation: 6 – 40 pounds
  • Colors: white, black, cherry, espresso, french white, grey, natural


  • Sturdy
  • Easy to assemble
  • Easy to convert
  • Adjustable mattress height
  • Meets government and ASTM safety standards


  • Mattress sold separately
  • Twin Size Rail Bed frame, Bedding, and Mattress sold separately
View on Amazon

Delta Children Folding Portable Mini Baby Crib with Mattress

Delta Children Folding Portable Mini Baby Crib with 1.5-inch Mattress - Greenguard Gold Certified, White

If you are looking for a portable baby crib that is perfect for smaller spaces than this crib could be for you. It is foldable and includes casters for easy travel and storage. It also features 2-position mattress support, so that you can adjust the mattress height as your baby grows. The manufacturer puts safety first. It is JPMA certified to meet the CPSC and ASTM safety standards.

Product Info

  • Size: 39 x 25.2 x 39.5 inches
  • Weight: 34.2 pounds
  • Weight recommendation: 6 – 35 pounds
  • Colors: white, dark cherry, dark espresso, grey, natural


  • Portable
  • Sturdy
  • Folds flat for easy travel and storage
  • Adjustable mattress height
  • JPMA certified


  • Mattress included is of low quality
  • Because of the non-standard size of the crib, finding a better quality mattress that fits the crib can be a hassle
View on Amazon

Graco Benton 4-in-1 Convertible Crib (White)

Graco Benton 5-in-1 Convertible Crib (White) – GREENGUARD Gold Certified, Converts from Baby Crib to Toddler Bed, Daybed and Full-Size Bed, Fits Standard Full-Size Crib Mattress

It is a sturdy, elegant crib that makes a very good sleeping place for your baby. This full-size crib is an excellent choice if you are looking for a crib that will grow with your child. It converts easily from crib to toddler bed, daybed, and full-size bed. It is a great investment, as this piece of furniture is built to last and will serve you for years to come.

Product Info

  • Size: 56.7 x 29.8 x 43.2 inches
  • Weight: 41 pounds
  • Weight recommendation: max 50 pounds
  • Height recommendation: max 35 inches
  • Colors: white, black, driftwood, espresso, grey, pebble grey


  • Convertible – from crib to toddler bed, daybed, and full-size bed
  • Adjustable mattress height
  • Easy to assemble
  • Strong build
  • JPMA certified
  • Stylish


  • There have been complaints about crib’s paint that chips easily and splinters
  • Mattress sold separately
View on Amazon

Babyletto Lolly 3-in-1 Convertible Crib with Toddler Bed Conversion Kit

Babyletto Lolly 3-in-1 Convertible Crib with Toddler Bed Conversion Kit in White and Natural, Greenguard Gold Certified

Beautifully designed, this full-size crib from Babyletto is a great addition to your household. It has 4 adjustable mattress positions and converts effortlessly into a toddler or daybed. This crib exceeds ASTM International and U.S. CPSC safety standards. It is also tested for over 10 000 chemicals known to pollute indoor air. What makes it stand out is that this company is really dedicated to creating a healthier environment for your baby to sleep, play and grow – just take a look at all their certifications.

By the way, I did a Babyletto Hudson vs Modo vs Lolly comparison if you want to learn more about this crib.

Product Info

  • Size: 53.6 x 30.2 x 35.2 inches
  • Weight: 50 pounds
  • Colors: black and washed natural, grey and washed natural, navy and washed natural, white and natural


  • Convertible – from crib to toddler bed and daybed
  • Greenguard Gold Certified – the crib meets chemical emissions standards; tested for 10 000 chemicals known to pollute indoor air
  • Beautiful design
  • Adjustable mattress height
  • Easy to assemble
  • Strong build


  • Mattress fitting problems – normally standard crib mattresses fit a full-size crib such as this one. In this case, however, you would probably have to buy a mattress from the Pure by Babyletto line of crib mattresses recommended by the crib’s manufacturer. Other standard mattresses not from Babyletto don’t seem to fit the crib.
  • Paint chips off if the baby bites on the rail
  • More expensive
View on Amazon


If you are looking to arrange a safe place for your baby to sleep, cribs are a great solution.

Whether you choose to buy a full-size or a mini crib depends on your particular situation. If you don’t have much space at home and you are on a budget, a mini crib may come in handy. On the other hand, children tend to outgrow them quickly. Buying a convertible mini crib may be an option, but it is going to be more expensive. In this respect, you might want to consider buying a full-size crib that is better built and will last longer.

Whichever crib you choose to buy, remember to always check if it meets the CPSC and ASTM safety standards. Also, pay close attention to trying to get one of the best mini crib mattresses or crib mattresses. It should be the right fit for a crib to prevent entrapment.

And now have fun shopping and then putting your child to a night of good sleep. By the way, did you know there are things hanging above the crib that can make the evenings easier when trying to put your baby to sleep?

Last update on 2024-05-23 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

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