Bassinet vs Cradle (Which Is Better For Your Baby?)

Looking to get a bed for your baby but can’t decide between a bassinet vs cradle?

Some parents who prefer a SNOO but have a tight budget would probably opt for a cradle. 

It’s cheaper, it’s safe and it can rock a baby to sleep!

But how does a cradle fare against a bassinet? What’s the main difference between a cradle vs bassinet? And what’s the practical, best choice – a cradle or a bassinet?

You’ll get the answers in this article and more.

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Cradle vs Bassinet: Main Differences

If you’re in a hurry, here’s the key difference between a bassinet vs cradle.

  • All cradles can be rocked manually, at a steady pace, to lull a baby to sleep.
  • Some bassinets can also be rocked manually or automatically. But most are just stationary and don’t have any rocking mechanism features.

besrey Bedside Bassinet

Dream On Me Luna/Haven Cradle

Bassinet vs Cradle: Comparison Chart

This is best viewed on a desktop. Here’s a quick comparison guide on the features of the Cradle vs Bassinet.

SturdyYes (most brands)Yes
LongevityCan be used for a few months Can be used for a few months
PortableSome brandsSome brands

What is a Cradle?

According to Brittanica, a cradle is an infant bed furniture made of wood, wicker, or iron. 

In the olden days, they were suspended from a bar, hung from a frame like a hammock, or mounted on rockers.

They were made to rock or lull a baby to sleep.

Nowadays, they looked, more or less, like a rocking bassinet with wooden slats or rails. 

A few come with a mesh wall, like the BabyBjorn Cradle. Which is also considered a non-toxic bassinet! (By the way, check out my detailed BabyBjorn Cradle review here)

Most can also be made stationary if needed or have a mechanism to adjust their rocking, so it won’t rock at a certain angle.

Pros of Using a Cradle

  • Safe and sturdy
  • Lightweight and easy to move around
  • Rocks and glides to soothe a baby
  • Suitable for small spaces

Cons of Using a Cradle

  • Can only be used for a few months 
  • Not safe for older or mobile babies
  • Can only be used for sleeping or napping purposes
  • Rocking can sometimes be unsteady, depending on the flooring
  • Can’t be placed right beside the bed as it would hamper its rocking

What is a Bassinet?

A bassinet is a baby bed furniture that is also a great portable cribs alternative.

Most are lightweight and can be moved from one room to another. 

Some bassinets, like the SNOO, can auto-respond to your baby and rock them to sleep.

While most can either be rocked manually or are stationary.

Pros of Using a Bassinet

  • Safe and sturdy
  • Lightweight and easy to move around
  • Some can be placed right next to your bed or on it
  • Some can be easily folded for travel or storage
  • Some can come with accessories, eg. canopies, wheels, storage, etc
  • More affordable options

Cons of Using a Bassinet

  • Can only be used for a few months 
  • Not safe for older or mobile babies
  • Can only be used for sleeping or napping purposes

ANGELBLISS Bedside Bassinet

Dream On Me Luna/Haven Cradle

FAQ on Cradle vs Bassinet

Are cradles and bassinets the same size?

In the olden times, cradles were usually heavier and bigger than a regular bassinet.
But nowadays, they are more or less, have the same size and weight limit.

Do you need a bassinet and a cradle?

No, you don’t need both a bassinet and a cradle. It would be impractical to buy both, especially if your budget is tight.

Is a cradle safe for a newborn?

Yes, cradles are safe for newborns. They are actually intended for newborns, to help them sleep via their rocking and gliding motion.

How long can baby sleep in a cradle swing?

A baby can sleep in a cradle swing until they’re more mobile. 
If your baby starts rolling on their side or is starting to push themselves in a sitting position, it’s best to transition them to a crib, for safety reasons.

What is the difference between a cradle and a crib?

The difference between a cradle and a crib is its dimension and its rocking feature.
A cradle is smaller and lighter than a crib. It can be rocked manually to lull a baby to sleep. 

Bassinet vs Cradle – Which One Should You Get?

Cradles are great but there are a lot of bassinets nowadays that look like and can even rock like a cradle!

So I’d highly recommend just getting a bassinet.

Besides, bassinets have a lot more options to choose from!

Cradles have very limited models nowadays whereas bassinets are more varied. 

There are bassinets for tall beds, bassinets for reflux, small spaces, auto-rocking bassinets, and more!

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