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Arm's Reach Clear-Vue Co-Sleeper ReviewPrice: $150.00 List | $149.98 at Amazon
Pros: Budget-friendly, super accessible and portable
Cons: Not as eco-healthy, frustrating setup
Bottom line: Great portable co-sleeping bassinet with a nice price
The Arm's Reach Clear-Vue Co-Sleeper is a bedside bassinet that can stand alone or be attached to your bed. This product is the most accessible in the group allowing parents to stay in bed while comforting or feeding baby in the sleeper next to them. The Clear-Vue is easy to move with a four-wheel design, and the mattress is the best in the review with a tight fit to the frame and firm support. We like the breathable side walls and the machine washable lining and sheets. This bassinet is an excellent choice for parents looking to safely explore co-sleeping or who want to keep an eye on baby without getting out of bed. This option is price friendly, and we think most families will like what it offers and the top performance that helped it earn an Editors' Choice award.
RELATED REVIEW: The Quest for the Best Bassinet
Our Analysis and Hands-on Test Results
Arm's Reach Co-Sleeper® brand bassinet began with new parent's need for a 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 is 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.
This comparison chart includes the overall scores for the bassinets we tested in this review. The Arm's Reach earned a higher rank and the distinction of an Editor's Choice award.
The individual metric scores are used to calculate the overall scores with an emphasis on ease of use and breathability. The sections below provide details on the performance of the Arm's Reach as it compares to the other products in this review.
Ease of Use
The Clear-Vue earned an 8 of 10 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 is designed to adjust for beds of various height, and it has a flat part that connects to the opposite side of your bed (above left) via a long adjustable strap (above right). This connection allows you to safely reach your baby when you are laying 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.
Never move a bassinet with your baby inside. No matter how tempting it may be, it is not safe to roll the bassinet with your baby on board.
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 need to be held while you screw them in and it requires balancing the parts with one 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 earned a 7 of 10 for breathability.
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 a 9 of 10 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 (above left) 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 (above right).
Arm's Reach provides the following warning in their user manual.
IMPORTANT NOTE: Arm's Reach® Co-Sleeper® brand bassinet does not meet the Federal sidewall height requirements to be called and or used as a crib. Never leave a baby unattended in an Arm's Reach® Co-Sleeper® brand bassinet.
The Clear-Vue earned an 8 of 10 for 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 earned a 6 of 10 for eco-health.
Arm's Reach offers more information on their materials than much of the competition. Their products include organic cotton, natural wool, and natural latex. Wool has inherent fire retardant properties that make the use of chemicals unnecessary.
Arm's Reach offers a few accessories suitable for use with the Clear-Vue.
Arm's Reach offers a several different bassinet/co-sleeping options that are similar in looks and design but offer different features and functionality and come in slightly different sizes.
— Juliet Spurrier, MD and Wendy Schmitz
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