Mini Crib Vs. Crib: Choosing The Right One For Your Baby

mini crib vs. crib

Parenting is full of choices. You can find dozens of brands, styles, and options for every product you need. It's no different when it comes to your baby's bed. One of the first decisions you'll need to make is mini crib vs crib.

To empower you to pick the right one, let’s look at the differences between the two. We'll also examine each option’s pros and cons.

Table Of Contents

What Is A Mini Crib?

 mini cribs for twins

A mini crib looks just like a regular crib but is smaller. While there are legal requirements for standard crib sizes, these rules don't apply to mini cribs. Instead, they’re available in different measurements.

However, most mini cribs are about two-thirds the size of a standard crib. They typically measure between 36-43 inches in length and 24-28 inches in width.

These cribs are perfect for small nurseries. Since they're more portable, they're easy to move from room to room. Some even have wheels for extra convenience.

Mini cribs are also great for parents who want their baby close by at night because it's much easier to fit a smaller bed in your room than a full-size crib.

What Is A Crib?

A crib is the classic baby bed. It's what you likely slept in as an infant, and it's the standard for most nurseries. They are large enough for your child to sleep in comfortably but small enough to fit into most rooms.

By law, cribs must be within two inches of the following dimensions: 28 inches wide by 52 3/8 inches long. This standardization makes purchasing a mattress simple.

These beds can last several years, making them a cost-effective investment. So, if you have the space for it in your nursery, a crib can be a good choice. You may also want this option if you plan to have another child since cribs will usually last through multiple babies.

Mini Crib Vs. Crib: Pros And Cons

Now that you know what mini cribs and cribs are, it’s time to examine the pros and cons of each option.

Pros Of A Mini Crib

 baby standing in a mini crib

Here are some of the benefits of choosing a smaller, portable crib.

Budget Friendly

Since they're smaller pieces of furniture, mini cribs are typically more affordable than regular cribs. So, if you're having a baby on a budget, this can help save money.

More Compact

Mini cribs are smaller than standard cribs, too. This makes them perfect for small nurseries or rooms.


If you've ever tried to move a full-size crib from one room to another, you know how challenging it can be. With a mini crib, this isn't an issue. It’s portable, so you can quickly move it from one part of the house to another.

Some mini cribs also fold down, making it easy to bring along with you on a road trip or another family adventure. Letting your little one sleep in a familiar bed can help ease any anxiety they may feel while away from home.

Cons Of A Mini Crib

Despite their many benefits, there are a few potential drawbacks to consider before choosing a mini crib.

Non-Standard Size

As mentioned above, mini cribs come in multiple sizes. This can make things more complicated when purchasing a mattress or sheets. Make sure to measure your mini crib before shopping for bedding.

Shorter Lifespan

While you can use a mini crib for more than one child, they typically don't last as long as regular cribs. They're just not as durable.

You’ll need to check for wear and tear more frequently and replace them sooner.

Your Baby Will Outgrow It Sooner

Since they’re smaller, mini cribs aren’t going to last your child as long. As they grow, they’ll quickly reach the height or weight limit for the bed, and you’ll need to purchase another, larger option.

Pros Of A Crib

 baby standing in a crib

Here are some of the reasons you may consider choosing a regular crib over a mini crib.

More Durable

As they're larger and more solid, cribs are typically more durable than mini cribs. This can be a big advantage if you plan on using the same bed for multiple children.

Standard Size

Because all cribs must meet specific size requirements, you know that any mattress or crib sheets you purchase will fit. If you plan on adding these to your baby registry, you won't have to worry about specifying the size you need, which makes it simple for gift-givers.

Your Baby Can Sleep In It For Years

If you choose a regular crib, your child can sleep in it well into toddlerhood. This means it’ll get a lot of use, and you won't have to buy another bed as soon.

Many Convert

To piggyback off of our previous point, while babies can only use most mini cribs for a short time, many cribs can be converted to toddler beds or day beds. This gives them a much longer lifespan.

For example, the Newton Baby Soho Convertible Crib grows with your child. When they’re older, it becomes a toddler bed and then a daybed.

More Safety Regulations

It’s important to keep in mind that crib manufacturers must follow strict safety guidelines. These are constantly being updated to ensure your child is as safe as possible.

While mini cribs must meet specific safety requirements as well, they're not subject to the same stringent regulations. This is something to keep in mind if safety is your top priority.

Cons Of A Crib

Though cribs are a great option for some families, these beds come with their own potential drawbacks.

More Difficult To Move

As we mentioned above, because they’re larger and more solid, cribs can be pretty heavy. This makes them difficult to move around. You aren’t going to move this bed from room to room quickly.

Harder To Store

Since most cribs don't fold down, they're much harder to hang onto long-term. So if you know you're not done having babies yet and want to store your crib away until your next one comes along, it can be tough to find a place to keep it.

Costs More

While some lower-priced options are available, cribs can be expensive. You may spend several hundred dollars on a quality crib, which isn’t in everyone’s budget.


Since cribs aren't mini in size, they aren't going to fit in every nursery. If you're tight on space or expecting twins and need to put two beds in the same room, you may want to choose a mini crib instead.

Safety Details To Consider

 mini crib vs. crib

No matter what type of crib you pick, keep these safety details in mind before purchasing one.

Check For Recalls

Even if you're buying a brand-new crib, it's still possible that it could have been recalled at some point. Always check the Consumer Product Safety Commission website to see a list of recalls.

Buy The Right Crib Mattress

The mattress in your baby's crib should fit snugly, without gaps. This means there should be no more than two fingers’ width of space between the mattress and the side of the crib. If you can fit more than that, it’s too small, and your baby could get stuck in the gap.

The Newton Baby Crib Mattress is the perfect size. It's available in both standard and mini crib sizes. In addition, it's 100% washable, so you don't have to worry about stains or stink if your baby has a blowout in the middle of the night.

Avoid Bedding And Pillows

While you might have seen lovely pictures of baby cribs decked out with all sorts of cute bedding, it's important to avoid this.

Babies under one year old should never have pillows, quilts, comforters, or any other type of soft bedding in their cribs. These items can increase the risk of SIDS.

Always follow safe sleep guidelines.

Mini Crib Vs. Crib: Which Should You Choose?

When deciding between mini crib vs. crib, these questions can help you prioritize your needs so you can pick the one that’s right for your baby and family.

  • How much space do you have? Mini cribs are better for smaller areas.
  • Do you need a portable bed? Standard cribs are behemoths. They don't move easily.
  • Are you having more children? Cribs are more durable and typically last longer.
  • What's your budget? Mini cribs are often cheaper, though that's not always the case.
  • Do you want your baby's bed to convert? While a few mini cribs convert, most do not. However, cribs often convert into toddler beds or daybeds.

The Perfect Bed For Your Baby

 Crib with a newton baby crib mattress

There isn’t a correct answer in the mini crib vs. crib battle. You really can't go wrong with either option. It all comes down to your personal preferences and your baby's needs.

Both cribs and mini cribs offer a safe place for your baby to sleep, which is the whole point. If you follow safe sleep guidelines and buy a quality mattress, like the Newton Baby Crib Mattress, your baby will have the perfect bed to sleep in.

Happy shopping!