In-depth baby product reviews led by a Pediatrician

How We Tested Bassinets

By Juliet Spurrier, MD & BabyGearLab Team
Tuesday June 22, 2021
Credit: Abriah Wofford

We tested each product over three months using a hands-on side-by-side comparison method. Using the products alongside one another allowed us to compare more thoroughly. We scored each bassinet according to five separate metrics, which we further broke down into subcategories for greater accuracy and detail.

The BabyBjörn is small enough and lightweight enough that it can...
The BabyBjörn is small enough and lightweight enough that it can easily be moved around your home.
Credit: Molly Hutto

Testing Ease-of-Use


We ultimately wanted to assess how well each product performed day-to-day. We looked at details such as accessibility from the parent bed, size, and weight as it relates to the ability to move the product from room to room or for travel, ease of cleaning, and any extra features and how well they functioned.

The Classic mattress we tested on the babybay is the thickest in the...
The Classic mattress we tested on the babybay is the thickest in the review and fits the space well with no low spots or movement.
Credit: Abriah Wofford

Testing Breathability


We considered the materials in and around the sleeping area and whether or not these materials could impair or inhibit a baby's ability to breathe. This observation focuses primarily on the design and construction of the sidewall materials. While most of the options had mesh sidewalls or wood slats, some have fabric surrounds, and at least one has a padded inner liner covered in a thick canvas exterior.

Our compression test is designed to determine which mattresses offer...
Our compression test is designed to determine which mattresses offer support and which compress so much they limit support and could potentially impact breathability.
Credit: Abriah Wofford

Sleep Surface


We tested the mattress and fabric of each product as it comes without accessories. We measure compression using a 15 lb weight to imitate the infant's weight and use formulas to find the difference in height between compressed and non-compressed sections of the mattress. We assess the fit of the mattresses inside the sleeping area. Using the two-finger rule: if we could fit more than two fingers between the edge of the mattress and the sidewall, the product got a lower score.

Being able to push the pad aside or to push the side walls out to...
Being able to push the pad aside or to push the side walls out to fit multiple fingers between the two (as seen here in the Graco) can indicate a potential location where a baby may have difficulty breathing should their body find itself in that location.
Credit: Abriah Wofford

We also made efforts to push the mattress to one side or place pressure on the sidewalls, attempting to mimic a sleeping infant's possible movements. We wanted to determine if a baby could position themselves in such a way that could potentially cause injury or death. Though not foolproof or a guarantee, we think it is a good start and valuable information.

We paid close attention to the overall quality of each product...
We paid close attention to the overall quality of each product, giving consideration to the finer details.
Credit: Molly Hutto

Quality


We take a close look at the finer details of each product to assess things like sturdiness, the integrity of the materials and craftsmanship, and attention to detail and indications of quality control. The scores pull from a side-by-side comparison of the bassinets and how they appear and function as a standalone product. While this is somewhat subjective, the difference between products is evident.

BabyBjorn provides more information on their product materials than...
BabyBjorn provides more information on their product materials than much of the competition.
Credit: Molly Hutto

Eco-health


We've researched each product with their eco-health in mind, specifically what materials they use and what those materials may contain, like concerning chemicals or substances that can potentially off-gas or be harmful to babies. These include but are not limited to flame retardants and VOCs from MDF materials.