Arm's Reach Clear-Vue Co-Sleeper Review
Pros: Budget-friendly, super accessible and portable
Cons: Not as eco-healthy, frustrating setup
Manufacturer: Arm's Reach
Our Analysis and Test Results
Arm's Reach Co-Sleeper® brand bassinet began with new parent's need for safe sleeping space for their baby. Like many parents, they wanted to enjoy the advantages of co-sleeping but were concerned about the risk factors for baby-related to SIDS and other injuries. They created a way to have a baby within "arm's reach" but safely out of their bed and associated dangers. The result of their efforts can be seen in a variety of bassinets that stand-alone or connect to the parent's bed for increased bonding, easy late-night feeding, and the ability to carefully monitor infants without losing sleep.
Ease of Use
The Clear-Vue earned one of the highest scores for ease of use.
This metric includes the features and functionality that impact daily use.
The Clear-Vue is one of the most accessible bassinets in the group. It can adjust for mattresses of various height, and it has a flat part that connects to the opposite side of your bed via a long adjustable strap. This connection keeps the bassinet snug to the edge of your bed and allows you to reach your baby while you are lying down.
This product has four locking wheels and weighs 22.1 lbs. Despite the heavier weight, the wheels make it super easy to move from room to room without picking it up. It measures 34.8"H x 34.5"L x 20.3"W which means you'll have no trouble making it through interior doorways.
You can lower the side of this product to use it as a co-sleeper, and it has a storage bin under the sleeping area (above left) The ends also have small mesh pockets for storing essentials you may need in the middle of the night (above right).
Ease of Setup
This product took us almost an hour to set up because we had to start over. This set up was less than ideal. It isn't hard to assemble so much as the manual fails to offer essential details on how to put the parts together like what direction the side rails go on. It would also be easier for two people because several pieces require balancing while you screw them in, which is much harder to do with only one free hand.
Cleaning this product is a mixed bag. The mattress wipes clean only, and the lining and sheet are both machine washable. It can be an arduous process removing all the Velcro to remove the fabric from the frame, and you have to line dry them both.
The Clear-Vue is above average for breathability, but not among the top scorers.
The majority of the side walls on this bassinet are breathable mesh, but it does have some fabric panels on the corners and running the length of one side. The side panel is higher than baby's nose or mouth would be, and while the corner fabric is thicker and harder to breathe through, we don't think a baby could position themselves in such a way that they would only be breathing through the corner fabric.
The Clear-Vue earned an excellent score for the sleeping surface.
This mattress is very stable, with no low spots or shifting. It performed well in our compression tests with results better than the majority of products providing baby with a more supportive surface for cozy sleeping.
The mattress is one inch thick (the maximum allowed) and fits inside the frame snugly with no reasons we saw for concern. The pad secures to the bassinet floor bottom with Velcro attachment.
The Clear-Vue bassinet is one of the top products in terms of quality.
This product is sturdy with no tilt even with pressure applied to the top rails. The frame doesn't move when you press down on it, but it does rock slightly back and forth when you push on the sides. The mesh sides have a slick and smooth feel to them for easy cleaning, and we didn't observe any poor stitching or pulled threads on our product. Overall, however, this product looks frumpy and has a disappointing fit and finish. The fabric and Velcro are crumpled, and the warning labels look like someone balled them up before attaching them.
The Clear-Vue came in slightly above the average score for eco-health. None of the gear in this category scored very well in this metric.
Arm's Reach offers more information on their materials than much of the competition, which we appreciate. Their products include organic cotton, natural wool, and natural latex as potential accessories you can purchase to replace the standard mattress that comes with the bassinet. Wool has inherent fire retardant properties that make the use of chemicals unnecessary. The Clear-Vue lost points for eco-health because the mattress pad that comes with the unit is CFC-free polyurethane foam, which can off-gas, and therefore, is not our favorite but preferred over foam that is not CFC-free. Even the standard sheet is polyester, and we wish it were organic cotton.
— Juliet Spurrier, MD and Wendy Schmitz