Graco Dream Suite Review
Pros: Easy to move, lower price, changing station
Cons: Not good for travel, hard mattress, breathability issues
Compare to Similar Products
Our Analysis and Test Results
In 1942, two men by the names of Russell Gray and Robert Cone co-founded Graco in Philadelphia, PA. They began by fabricating car parts. Years later, Gray decided to leave the company, and Cone hired an engineer to produce gear for babies. The new Graco's first product was an infant swing inspired by a coworker who used an outdoor glider, to soothe their crying newborn. Graco quickly became the world's leading manufacturer of baby products with a variety of strollers, high chairs, walkers, and more.
Ease of Use
The Suite Dream earned a perfectly average score for ease of use. This bassinet is can also become a changing station when you flip the sleeping area upside down. The flip is done with a handle at the foot of the bed and moves smoothly without much effort.
The smaller footprint means you can use this bassinet close to the bed, but the lower sleep surface height means you'll need to sit up in bed to access baby. This bassinet is not a true cosleeper where you can access baby as you lay down in bed.
This product is small and light with four locking wheels. These features make it very easy to move from room to room and potentially up or down the stairs. However, it is not suitable for travel and requires disassembly to transport.
This bassinet includes the underside changing table (above left) that can be used by rotating the bassinet upside down (above right). It offers two levels of vibration designed to help soothe the baby into sleep. It also comes with a light-filtering canopy that has two soft toys hanging from the edge.
Ease of Setup
This product took about 26 minutes to set up. Set up isn't tricky, but the directions are hard to follow. Despite pictures with captions, it still isn't clear what is happening. Because it has a reversible changing station, it is crucial to assemble the product correctly. We had the hardest time connecting the final rod in the bottom basket and felt there should be more details on how to do this in the manual.
The mattress cover is removable and machine washable. The rest of the bassinet and frame wipes clean with mild soap and water. Spot cleaning could make it tricky to get the mesh and sleep area truly clean should the baby have a blowout or vomiting issue.
The Dream Suite earned one of the lowest scores in the group for breathability. The majority of the sleeping area has fabric sides with only small panels of mesh near the baby's head. This design mimics crib bumpers, which are a potential SIDS risk. This makes the Dream Suite less breathable than the competition with full mesh sides. We think it would be better if the entire sleeping area were surrounded by a mesh with no fabric just in case the baby moves in the crib and ends up with their face pressed against the fabric areas.
The Dream Suite earned a slightly below-average score for the sleep surface. Our compression test results indicate this mattress compresses more than most of the competition.
The flimsiness of the mattress means the baby is likely to feel the base of the bassinet, and won't be very supported. The sleep surface isn't as stable as some given the flip-ability of the sleeping area.
The rotating nature of this product means it somewhat tilts to one side, and the baby could potentially roll into a corner. However, it is a snug fit on the frame with no gaps and doesn't shift or move.
The Dream Suite earned one of the lowest scores in the group for quality. This product isn't as stable as the competition with the ability to tilt the bassinet with pressure on the side and the flipping action, causing a continuous tilt. The base is a V pattern and will rock back and forth, which might be good for soothing the baby but might also put stress on the plastic connectors damaging them over time. The fabric and stitching are the best parts of this product with a good fit to the frame and soft feel. The mattress is hard compared to the competition indicating poor quality that isn't as comfortable.
The Dream Suite is at the bottom of the pack for this metric. Graco makes no comment on their website about the use of flame retardant chemicals in their products, which leaves us to assume they potentially use them. This bassinet uses 95% Polyester Fiber and 5% Polyethylene Foam. This kind of foam traditionally contains flame retardants and off-gases. The Center for Environmental Health (CEH) has given Graco a "fair" rating because they haven't responded to inquiries concerning chemicals despite customer service responses indicating they don't use them. Given that most companies brag about not using them, we find it odd Graco isn't, and it makes us wonder if they use flame retardants in some of their products. This bassinet is JPMA certified.
The Suite eco-health score is low, for a few different reasons. We failed to receive a response from the company when directly contacted, there is the possibility of the use of chemical flame retardant, and the mattress uses polyurethane foam.
— Juliet Spurrier, MD and Wendy Schmitz