We independently review everything we recommend. When you buy through our links, we may earn a commission. Learn more > 

5 Expert Tips To Choose A Convertible Crib

Designing a nursery for your baby is a fun and exciting task. One of the key things you will need to consider, though, is the crib. Choosing the right kind is arguably the most crucial decision you will make.

Yet, with so many different types and styles of crib available, picking the perfect one can be a daunting task. Here we have detailed some of the most critical points to consider helping make this a stress-free experience for you.

Table of Contents Hide

1. Which crib conversions should I consider?

Convertible cribs are a really great choice if you are looking for something that can last a long time. Unlike standard cribs that can only be used up until your child is around 2 or 3, convertible ones can be adjusted to suit your growing child's needs.

These cribs come with multiple conversion options built into the original design; so, even though they may be more expensive than other kinds, they are an ideal long-term investment. However, it may be the case that you don't actually need all of the conversions. Here are some questions to ask yourself:

  • Planning on having more children soon? => Crib to toddler bed

If you will be having more children within the next few years, then you probably only need a crib that can convert into a toddler bed. In that way, it can be repurposed for the new child, and you can look to buy something more suitable for the older one when the time comes.

Dark Brown Wood 4-in-1 Convertible Crib
4-in-1 Standard Convertible Crib in Grey
White Independence 4-in-1 Convertible Crib
Classic 4-in-1 Convertible Crib in Grey
5-in-1 Convertible Crib in Light Pink
Elegant 4-in-1 Convertible Crib in White
  • Worried about making the transition from crib to regular bed? => Crib to toddler bed and then daybed

Cribs that include a toddler bed are great for those who might be worried about placing their toddler into a full-sized bed. The switch between the two is so small, it usually just involves removing one of the sides and replacing it with a lower guard rail. This allows you are your child to have an easier time adjusting to the different bed.

Following on from this, the daybed provides the next step up. The headboard extends down along one side of the bed for safety. The other side is left open to allow your child to easily climb in and out of bed to go to the bathroom and get themselves up in the morning.

  • Looking for something you can use for many years with the same child? => Crib to toddler bed, day bed, and then to full-sized bed.

If you are aiming to use the same bed for a while, then you will certainly want to consider a convertible crib that has a full-sized bed option. This one has the potential to last well into your child's teens.

To make the change from crib to twin or full-sized bed, you will usually have the front and back panels of the crib as the head and footboards and make use of conversion or extension rails to support the larger mattress.

2. What are the best materials for a convertible crib?

Another essential factor to consider is the type of material that you want the crib to be constructed from. While various options exist, the two leading contenders here are wood and wrought iron, for their style and versatility.

There are absolutely no safety differences between these two great options, so the one that you select will be entirely based on personal preference and the style of the room the convertible crib is to be placed in.

  • Want something versatile, that looks great? => Wood

There is no doubt that a wooden crib can look absolutely stunning placed in the center of your nursery, and the available colors and treatments mean that it can be blended to any décor.

However, wood as an organic material is susceptible to changes over time. For instance, it responds to any moisture in the air, and this can cause it to expand or contract, which may lead to cracking. Also, if not correctly stored, wood breaks down much faster than other materials.

  • Want something durable, and a little different? => Wrought iron

Wrought iron, on the other hand, if properly sealed, is much less likely to alter in any way over time. It will generally retain its shape if correctly cared for and is far more resistant to environmental factors than wood. These cribs, being much rarer these days, offer a unique touch to your nursery.

However, for some people, wrought iron cribs can look severe and old fashioned. Plus, there are liable to be much fewer design options and convertibility choices when opting for this particular material over wood

Wooden Convertible Crib in Dark Brown
White Wood Convertible Crib
Dark Wood 4-in-1 Convertible Crib
Mini Convertible Crib in Purple
Wrought Iron Convertible Crib in Black

3. Are they any safety considerations to keep in mind?

As with any item of furniture, especially one designed explicitly for children, there are, of course, some important safety considerations that you are going to want to think about before you purchase your crib.

Things to keep in mind include the spaces between the bars, the presence of any cut-outs, the height of the mattress compared with the top of the crib, and the corner posts.

With regards to the spaces between the bars, these should be spaced no more than 2 and 3/8 inches apart to prevent your baby from slipping through. The crib should also have no cut-outs on the headboard or footboard, as these could cause your baby to get stuck.

The top of the crib rail should initially be at least 26 inches from the top of the mattress. You will need to periodically lower the mattress to prevent the baby from falling or being able to climb out of the crib as they get a little older.

The corner posts shouldn't exceed 1/16th of an inch in height, as they could catch on your baby's clothing and cause injury.

Before purchase, you are going to want to ensure that your convertible crib meets specific construction requirements and has the correct certification to ensure the safety of your baby. One quick way of doing this is to check whether it has ASTM approval.

ASTM has set out a list of Children's Furniture Standards to ensure that every item of furniture created for children has passed all safety regulations. You can learn more about this and see details on any product recalls here.

4. What other features do I need to look for in my convertible crib?

  • Looking for something that's ready to go?

If you want to purchase something that you can simply set up and go, then it's best to opt for a crib that has a mattress included. This way, you know that the mattress already perfectly fits the dimensions of the crib.

To make your life even easier, ensure the crib has an adjustable mattress height option so that you won't need to be swapping out the mattress as your child starts to grow.

  • Want to be fully prepared?

While some conversion cribs come complete with all the parts you need to convert them through every stage, with others, you will need to buy certain things such as the toddler bed guard rail and the bed extension rails separately.

If you are looking to ensure that you are fully prepared for converting the bed through each stage, and if you have storage space to house these additional items, it's best to either make sure that they are included in the initial purchase or to opt to buy all the parts in one go.

  • Like a little versatility?

Some cribs are multi-functional, featuring additional surfaces and storage space for your convenience. These are great to factor in if you are looking for a few more places to store items in your nursery, especially things that you want to have to hand when putting your child to sleep, waking them, or feeding them in the night.

  • Not so good at DIY?

For those who are not blessed with the magical touch of being able to effortlessly put together furniture, many cribs come with the option of already being assembled upon delivery. This saves you the hassle of needing to do it yourself.

However, if you are buying a convertible crib, keep in mind that you will need to make specific adjustments to the structure of the crib when transitioning it from one type of bed to another. The crib should come with specific instructions and, in some cases, even video guides on how to do this.

Convertible Crib and Changer in Brown
Mini Convertible Crib with Storage
Panel 4-in-1 Convertible Crib in Grey
White Convertible Crib and Changer with Storage
Light Wood Convertible Crib and Changer
Convertible Crib with Storage in White

5. What style should I opt for?

The style you select will be wholly dependent on your personal tastes and the way in which you have chosen to decorate the nursery. There are a few, although generally not a lot of color options, so this should be quite an easy thing to decide on.

With such simple colors as black, white, and various wood tones, gender is not a particularly important consideration. However, a good rule of thumb in terms of design is that wood and white are best for a more traditional, natural feel, and dark and metal is often good for something a little more stylish and contemporary.

Lily is a modern designer with great appreciation for sleek architecture, a love for art in its many forms, and a passion for sharing her experience with people. If you’re looking for advice on how to modernize your old-fashioned place or make your new restaurant a visual blast, she’s definitely the one to ask.