In-depth reviews guided by a Pediatrician

Arm's Reach Clear-Vue Co-Sleeper Review

Great portable co-sleeping bassinet with a nice price
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Price:   $170 List
Pros:  Budget-friendly, super accessible and portable
Cons:  Not as eco-healthy, frustrating setup
Manufacturer:   Arm's Reach
By Juliet Spurrier, MD and Wendy Schmitz  ⋅  Jan 20, 2019
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78
OVERALL
SCORE
  • Ease of Use - 35% 8
  • Breathability - 25% 7
  • Sleep Surface - 20% 9
  • Quality - 15% 8
  • Eco-Health - 5% 5
RELATED: Best Bassinet

The Skinny

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 has a four-wheel design that is easy to move, and the mattress is the best in the review with a tight fit to the frame and firm support. We like the breathable sidewalls 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.

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.

Performance Comparison


The wall side attachment points on the Arm's Reach are hidden under the fabric and click in place on the frame.
The wall side attachment points on the Arm's Reach are hidden under the fabric and click in place on the frame.

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.

Accessibility


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.

The Arm's Reach has locking wheels to prevent the accidental movement of the bassinet when you don't intend it to.
The Arm's Reach has locking wheels to prevent the accidental movement of the bassinet when you don't intend it to.

Portability/Mobility


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.

The Arm's Reach has the deepest storage bin in the group and can hold lots of essential items.
The Arm's Reach has a side pocket for storage but it won't hold all your supplies just the barest of essentials.

Additional Features


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


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 Arm's Reach mesh sides provide great breathability.
The Arm's Reach mesh sides provide great breathability.

Breathability


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 Arm's Reach has the best sleeping surface in the group.
The Arm's Reach has the best sleeping surface in the group.

Sleep Surface


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 Arm's Reach pad is one of the best in the group.
The pad on the Arm's Reach attaches to the bassinet with Velcro.

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.

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 fabric on the side walls secures to the end fabric with Velcro. The consistent stitching  the softness of the materials  and the way it all comes together give a high-quality appearance.
The fabric on the side walls secures to the end fabric with Velcro. The consistent stitching, the softness of the materials, and the way it all comes together give a high-quality appearance.

Quality


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.


Eco-Health


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.

Manufacturer Video



Juliet Spurrier, MD and Wendy Schmitz