In-depth baby product reviews led by a Pediatrician

HALO Bassinest Essentia Review

Great for c-section moms and parents who'd like a safer alternative to co-sleeping
HALO Bassinest Essentia
Credit: Abriah Wofford
Editors' Choice Award
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Price:   $240 List | $199.99 at Amazon
Pros:  Mesh breathability, swivel versatility, easy access to baby bedside
Cons:  Spot clean only, hard to move from room to room
Manufacturer:   HALO
By Juliet Spurrier, MD and Wendy Schmitz  ⋅  Jan 20, 2019
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73
OVERALL
SCORE


RANKED
#4 of 13
  • Ease of Use - 35% 6
  • Breathability - 25% 8
  • Sleep Surface - 20% 8
  • Quality - 15% 9
  • Eco-Health - 5% 5

The Skinny

The HALO Bassinest Essentia is a versatile and adjustable bassinet that is great for mothers with c-sections and parents looking for a bedside bassinet for a safer co-sleeping environment. We like the breathable mesh fabric in the sleeping area of this product and the dip side access that makes reach baby a breeze. The height of this bassinet adjusts to most beds, and we think parents will love that it can swivel around and smoothly moves when you need to get out of bed. With a reasonable price point, there isn't much to dislike about this bassinet, and we think it is an excellent choice for most families and an especially wise choice for mothers with limited mobility.

Compare to Similar Products

 
Awards Editors' Choice Award Editors' Choice Award Editors' Choice Award  Best Value Award 
Price $240 List
$199.99 at Amazon
$290 List$200 List
$192.99 at Amazon
Check Price at Amazon$100 List
Check Price at Amazon
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Pros Mesh breathability, swivel versatility, easy access to baby bedsideNatural materials available, adjustable height, easy to reach babyQuick setup, portable, easy access to babyMesh breathability, budget-friendly, bedside capableBudget- friendly, versatile, better mattress
Cons Spot clean only, hard to move from room to roomExpensive, hard to moveHas some flex in the frameHard to move, unstable mattress, poor eco-healthHarder to use, some breathability concerns with corner fabric
Bottom Line Great for c-section moms and parents who'd like a safer alternative to co-sleepingEasy access to baby in a quality wood co-sleeper that looks greatOur favorite bassinet for most people works well as either a co-sleeper and a stand-alone optionHard to use option that is hard to move from room to roomInexpensive, versatile option good for travel and bassinet
Rating Categories HALO Bassinest Esse... babybay Bedside Sle... Baby Delight Beside... Fisher-Price Soothi... Graco Pack 'n Play...
Ease Of Use (35%)
6.0
6.0
8.0
4.0
4.0
Breathability (25%)
8.0
10.0
8.0
9.0
4.0
Sleep Surface (20%)
8.0
7.0
8.0
4.0
7.0
Quality (15%)
9.0
10.0
7.0
6.0
7.0
Eco Health (5%)
5.0
6.0
5.0
3.0
3.0
Specs HALO Bassinest Esse... babybay Bedside Sle... Baby Delight Beside... Fisher-Price Soothi... Graco Pack 'n Play...
Assembled Weight 33 lbs 28.6 lbs 17.5 lbs 22.3 lbs 22.8 lbs
Open Dimensions 36.9"H x 45.3"L (base) 33.8" (bassinet) x 21.8"W (bassinet) 37.1"H x 36"L x 20.7"W 26"-30.5"H x 39"L x 27"W 28.3'H x 36.2"L x 22.4"W 28.8"H x 41.1"L x 28.6"W
Age/Height/Weight Limit 5 Months or 20 lbs
Discontinue Use When Infant:
Pushes Up On Hands And Knees, Pulls Up, Rolls Over, Sit Unassisted, Can Move Out Of The Security Of The Walled Sleep Area
5 Months
Discontinue Use When Infant:
Pushes Up On Hands And Knees
Discontinue As An Attachable Baby Bed When Infant:
Rolls Over Or Pulls Up To A Kneeling, Sitting Or Standing Position
5 Months or 20 lbs
Discontinue Use When Infant:
Pushes Up On Hands And Knees
20 lbs
Discontinue Use When Infant:
Pushes Up On Hands And Knees
15 lbs
Discontinue Use When Infant:
Pushes Up On Hands And Knees
Product Care Sheet: Machine Wash
Base and Mattress: Spot Clean
Wipe Down Machine Wash Mattress Cover: Machine Wash
Frame and Mat: Spot Clean
Spot Clean
Bassinet Mattress Height Above Floor 26.5"-33" 3"-27"
Adult Mattress Height
10"-31"
14" - 19"
Adult Mattress Height
18.5"-24"
17.6" 19.7"
Special Features Rotates 360 Degrees, Sidewall Lowers Made From Solid Wood Foldable Calming Sway Motion, Optional Lock-Out to Minimize Swaying Motion Travel Crib Accessory
Modes Bassinet
Bedside Sleeper
Bedside Sleeper Bedside Sleeper
Bassinet
Bassinet Portable
Chemical Flame Retardant Free Yes Yes Yes Not Specified Not Specified
Portable Design No No Yes No Yes
Wheels No No Yes No Yes
Mesh Sides Yes - Full Wood Slats Yes - Full Yes - Full Partial - Fabric on Ends
Included Accessories Fitted Sheet None Sheet Deluxe Overhead Mobile, Light Projection Unit, Music and Sounds Unit, Calming Vibrations Features on certain models: Toy Bar, Storage Bag, Fitted Sheet
Available Accessories Fitted Sheet, Mattress Pad, Mobile Sleepy Owl, Mobile Whimsical Birds, Storage Caddy, Newborn Insert Classic Mattress, Cooling Comfort Mattress, Eco-Organic Mattress, Cloud Comfort Mattress, Cooling Comfort Jersey Sheet, Snuggle Comfort Terry Sheet, Dry Comfort Mattress Protector, Classic Comfort Mattress Pad with Cotton Cover, Cooling Comfort Mattress Pad with Dry Comfort Mattress Protector, Organic Comfort Mattress Pad with Dry Comfort Mattress Protector, Cloud Comfort Mattress Pad with Dry Comfort Mattress Protector, babybay Organic Babynest, babybay Patterned Babynest, babybay Solid Colored Babynest, Bassinet Conversion Kit, Rolling Casters, Canopy Holder, Organic Canopy, Patterned Canopy, Solid Colored Canopy, Bed Frame Anchor, babycare Organizer Waterproof Fitted Sheet None None
Set Up Time 27:10:00 39:14:00 6:50 13:20 5:02
Materials Polyester Fiber, Polyester Fiber Batting, Polyurethane Foam Beechwood, Water-Based Finishes, CFC Polyurethane Foam Polyester, Polyester Fiber Batting Polyester Fiber Batting. Polyurethane Foam Polyester Fiber , Polyurethane Foam

Our Analysis and Test Results

The HALO Bassinest Essentia is a unique side sleeper that can swivel...
The HALO Bassinest Essentia is a unique side sleeper that can swivel over the bed for superior access to your bad bedside.
Credit: Abriah Wofford

In 1991, Bill and Cathy Schmid lost their daughter, Haley, to Sudden Infant Death Syndrome (SIDS). After the loss, Bill began researching the latest medical information and recommendations for safe sleeping environments for babies to help other families avoid the same tragedy. As an engineer, Bill became devoted to creating new ways to limit sleep risks. With the loose fabric risk in mind, he started HALO Innovations and developed the SleepSack Wearable Blanket. The SleepSack is sleeveless and worn over pajamas replacing blankets and other bedding. The HALO SleepSack is the nation's bestselling wearable blanket and is used in hospitals nationwide. As an advocate for safe sleep, HALO continues to use innovation to create safer products, including their Swivel Sleeper bassinet that lets parents sleep close to baby while reducing the risks of bed-sharing.

Performance Comparison


The locking mechanism for the HALO side wall is hidden under the...
The locking mechanism for the HALO side wall is hidden under the frame fabric but still easy to access.
Credit: Abriah Wofford

Ease of Use


The HALO came in close to average for ease of use.


This metric includes the features and functionality you will encounter in everyday use of your bassinet.

It is easy to reach in for little ones when using the HALO bedside.
It is easy to reach in for little ones when using the HALO bedside.
Credit: Abriah Wofford

Accessibility


This bassinet is one of the best options for accessibility. The bottom of the stand can slide under your bed, and the height is adjustable to fit your preference.

The side wall on the HALO can lock in place or be dipped down for...
You can adjust the height of the Halo for your specific bed or...

If that isn't enough, it swivels 360 degrees, so it is accessible both from the bed and a standing position. The side dips down slightly for better access to your baby when lying down. This dip makes it an excellent choice for C-sections mothers who will want to avoid getting out of bed or lifting baby while standing. The height also easily adjusts to match the parent bed.

The HALO has a sturdy metal base that makes it very stable but...
The HALO has a sturdy metal base that makes it very stable but difficult to move on a regular basis.
Credit: Abriah Wofford

Portability/Mobility


This product weighs 33 lbs, measures 36.9"H x 45.3"L (base) 33.8" (bassinet) x 21.8"W (bassinet), and has no wheels. This weight and size make it heavy and awkward to move regularly, so you'll want to set it up where you plan to use it and leave it there. It also isn't good for travel, but it doesn't claim to be, nor does it need to be.

The HALO has a mesh side pocket for storage but it isn't large...
The HALO has a mesh side pocket for storage but it isn't large enough for the items you may really need like diapers and wipes. It will fit a pacifier and diaper creme.
Credit: Abriah Wofford

Additional Features


The Essentia model only comes with storage caddies on each end of the bassinet. For additional features, HALO has three other variations of the Bassinest, with a wide variety of included options from baby soother centers to waterproof mattress pads.

Ease of Setup


It took about 27 minutes to set this bassinet up for use and unpacking the parts consumed almost half of that time. The assembly itself requires attaching the legs to the base and connecting the sidewalls and clicking in the bassinet. It looks much worse than it is and is relatively easy to put together.

Cleaning


Unlike the BabyBjorn Cradle with machine-washable fabric and mattress, this product allows spot cleaning only, including the mesh and bedding. The bed and frame wipe clean without a hassle, but a blowout or spit-up on the mesh will be a more significant undertaking.

The sides of the HALO are primarily made of a mesh material for good...
The sides of the HALO are primarily made of a mesh material for good breathability.
Credit: Abriah Wofford

Breathability


The HALO earned an excellent score for breathability.


This product has mesh side walls with two seven inch panels of fabric, one at the head and one at the foot of the bassinet. This design is similar to the BabyBjorn Cradle, which has two four-inch panels. There is also an additional strip of fabric in the middle of one side. Both the mesh and fabric are taut and do not appear as though they would impede or limit breathability.

The sleep surface of the HALO performed well compared to the...
The sleep surface of the HALO performed well compared to the competition.
Credit: Abriah Wofford

Sleep Surface


The HALO has a superb sleeping surface. It earned one of the highest scores in the metric.


The mattress on the HALO is .8 inches thick where the maximum allowed is 1 inch. This mattress is the firmest in the group with the least amount of compression in our tests. This perk will keep baby comfortable while still providing a safe and stable place for them to sleep.

The HALO mattress is the least compressible option we tested...
The HALO mattress is the least compressible option we tested offering more support for your infant's body.
Credit: Abriah Wofford

This limited compression could translate to potentially better support for little bodies. The bassinet is very stable and has a tiny tilt when you press on the sidebars. The side is designed to do this and doesn't impact the bassinet's overall stability.

We weren't really able to fit fingers between the mattress and the...
We weren't really able to fit fingers between the mattress and the side wall of the HALO.
Credit: Abriah Wofford

The mattress pad fits snuggly inside the bassinet frame, and we are unable to get many fingers in the crack compared to the competition.

We were impressed with the quality of the materials used to...
We were impressed with the quality of the materials used to construct the HALO and the apparent attention to detail in the manufacturing process.
Credit: Abriah Wofford

Quality


The HALO earned an outstanding score for quality. It is one of the best in the group and stands out with very few bassinets earning a higher quality score at a lower price.


This product has a stable design with sturdy metal legs that allow for tilting and swiveling without concern. It also has smooth edges, taut mesh, and no imperfections with apparent attention to detail. The overall fit and finish are simple, functional, and clean.

Because your baby will spend so much time sleeping, it is good that...
Because your baby will spend so much time sleeping, it is good that HALO has used some healthier materials in the construction of this bassinet.
Credit: Abriah Wofford

Eco-Health


The HALO earned score for eco-health, which is slightly below the high of 6 for the group. Thanks to the use of polyurethane foam in all of the bassinets, none performed that well in this metric.


This product is JPMA certified and conforms to ASTM F2906-11, ASTM F2194-12a, CPSC, Health Canada, SOR/2010-261 (Canada). HALO describes the materials used in this bassinet as:


"The polyurethane foam mattress pad and fabrics used in the Bassinest Swivel Sleeper do not contain any toxic flame retardants. Additionally, all the plastic and paints used on the Bassinest are lead, phthalate, and BPA free. The Bassinest is independently tested and certified to meet all Consumer Product Safety Administration and California chemical standards for flame retardants."

This bassinet earned points for the lack of flame retardants, but the foam type and lack of third-party certifications hurt it in the end.

Manufacturer Video



Juliet Spurrier, MD and Wendy Schmitz