How We Tested Bassinets

How We Test
By:
Juliet Spurrier, MD, Molly Hutto, and BabyGearLab Review Team

Last Updated:
Sunday

We put eight of the leading bassinets on the market through the ringer to see just how well they performed against each other.
We put eight of the leading bassinets on the market through the ringer to see just how well they performed against each other.
Our rating results stemmed from a four month-long period of hands-on testing during day-to-day use and abuse. Using the bassinets side-by-side gave us a rare glimpse of how they truly compared to each other. We set them up, broke them down, moved them around the house and more, all while carefully noting our findings and asking critical questions so you wouldn't have to. We scored each under five general categories, many of which were broken down into subcategories in order to come up with the most accurate results possible. Each product was then give a score of 0-10 under each category. Read on for further detail of how we tested and scored each contender.

Health and Safety


We love how the full mesh sides of the Bjorn really up the safety factor  helping to insure good air flow while baby sleeps.
We love how the full mesh sides of the Bjorn really up the safety factor, helping to insure good air flow while baby sleeps.
Since newborn babies spend more time sleeping than anything else, we felt that the health and safety of this type of product was more important than any other rating category. We paid very close attention not only to the structural safety of each item, but especially to the safety of the materials, as many are manufactured with materials (such as flame retardants) that can potentially leech chemicals. Ultimately, the units with full-surround mesh walls, certifications that guarantee cleaner fabrics, no flame retardants, a thin and firm mattress, and CARB Phase 2 MDF (which emits lower levels of formaldehyde) did best in our review.

Ease-of-Use


The BabyBjörn is small enough and lightweight enough that it can easily be moved around your home.
The BabyBjörn is small enough and lightweight enough that it can easily be moved around your home.
We wanted to ultimately assess how well each performed day-to-day. We looked at details such as its ability to be safely placed bedside, its size and weight, ease of cleaning, as well as any extra features and how well they performed. Since most were designed with very specific purposes in mind, we looked at how well they performed their intended uses in addition to their performance as a "basic" bassinet around the home. As it turns out, the ability to move and relocate with ease is a very important detail! If your baby truly insists on being near you those first few days, this is something you will appreciate as much as we did.

Portability


The Fold 'n Go is a portable option for a parent who would like to take their child different places  but it may not be the best option for general use  as it can only be safety used directly on the floor.
The Fold 'n Go is a portable option for a parent who would like to take their child different places, but it may not be the best option for general use, as it can only be safety used directly on the floor.
The ability of a product such as this to break down with relative ease for transportation can make a world of difference for new parents who are just itching to get out of the house. Having a safe place for your baby to sleep while visiting friends or family is imperative. There's no better way to assure you get back out into the world after baby arrives than to be prepared. Most bassinets are portable to varying degrees, but their materials vary, and if you plan on taking it out of the home often, you will want to be sure to find one that you can easily toss into your car.

Quality


We paid close attention to the overall quality of each product  giving consideration to the finer details.
We paid close attention to the overall quality of each product, giving consideration to the finer details.
The word "quality" can mean a lot of different things to different people, but we at BabyGearLab took a close look at the finer details of each product to assess things like sturdiness, the integrity of the materials and craftsmanship, as well as the merit of the mattress, which play a key role in sleep safety for infants. It was no surprise that the units which scored highest in quality also scored highest in health and safety.

Ease of Set Up


Most of the bassinets were relatively easy to set up.
Most of the bassinets were relatively easy to set up.
Considering there's a good chance the person setting it up will be a (very) pregnant woman, we looked for the most simple set-ups possible. We considered the clarity of the instructions, the amount of pieces and tools, and how long it will realistically take one person to set up the bassinet on their own.