Wood vs Metal Cribs: Which One Is Better?

Are choosing between a wood vs metal crib for the nursery room? 

Both are great in general but they do have disadvantages you might not consider from the get-go.

So in this article, I’m going to dive deeper into the differences and similarities between iron vs wooden cribs. 

I’m going to discuss its pros and cons, what parents are saying about both types, and which would better suit your family in a specific way.

Let’s start with a quick feature comparison guide between a solid wood crib vs metal crib.

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Wood vs Metal Cribs: Feature Comparison Table

This is best viewed on a desktop. This is a general quick comparison guide between metal vs wooden cribs. 

FeaturesWood CribsMetal Cribs
SafeYesYes
DurableYesMore long-lasting than wood
HeavyYesHeavier than wood
Convertible modelsAvailableAvailable
Various designsAvailableAvailable
Easy to cleanYes, to a degreeCleans easier than wood
Add-ons eg. diaper changing table, storage, etc.AvailableNot available
Can create noiseYesMore so than wooden cribs

Similarities of Metal vs Wooden Cribs

Safety

Parents nowadays are wiser and more discerning with their purchases, especially when it concerns baby products.

A lot now knows about certain safety certifications that baby gears and items must have.

So almost all cribs in the market nowadays – metal or wood – have been certified safe by the federal government.

Some carry the Greenguard gold certificate, which indicates that a crib is considered nontoxic and perfectly safe even for newborns.

So in general, a metal crib is as safe as a wooden one.

Sturdy.

Both wooden and metal cribs have generally sturdy and strong materials.

A lot of families have used the same crib for several of their children, so longevity for most models and types of a crib is not an issue.

Convertible

Both have available brands and models that can be converted into toddler beds, daybeds, and more.

Differences Between Solid Wood Baby Cribs vs Metal Nursery Cribs

Consider these differences between metal and solid wood cribs before making your decision.

Durable

Real, organic wooden cribs tend to change over time. 

Don’t get me wrong, they can last for years, some have used them for their 2nd, 3rd babies, and they’re generally safe and sturdy.

But a crib made of solid, natural, organic wood is different, compared to a metal crib.

Its material can expand and contract, depending on the moisture in the air, which can cause it to crack or break down eventually.

Especially if you have been wiping it clean with a damp cloth because of spit-ups, diaper blowouts, or disassembling and storing it several times.

Wooden cribs are also prone to chipping and paint peeling.

And if you have a particularly nibbly little one, they can bite, leave marks, or worse, chew your wooden crib!

You don’t need to worry about that with iron or metal cribs.

If they’re properly sealed and painted, they will be able to resist chipping and even rusting. 

And with time, they will become more formidable and indestructible than a wooden crib.

This means you can pass this on to the next generation, as an heirloom gift!

Cleaning

Metal cribs clean easier and better as they repel moisture, compared to natural wood cribs, which absorb wetness.

Heavier

Metal cribs are just heavier than wooden ones. 

The material just weighs more, so putting it together, disassembling, and moving it from one to another can be a challenge.

Some pregnant moms have shared assembling a wooden crib on their own, which is possible. Especially if you’re putting together a smaller crib or a mini crib.

But metal cribs? I think you’d need someone to help you assemble that.

Noisy

This might seem trivial but imagine your child growing up a bit, playing in the crib and holding a toy that they can bang against the crib.

Which do you think is more annoying to listen to, the sound of a toy hitting a wooden crib OR that toy clanging against the metal crib?

So consider that amusing yet possible scenario when considering a metal crib vs a wood crib.

Design and Accessories

Wooden cribs offer more variety when it comes to design, color, and even accessories.

You can see wooden cribs that have built-in storage, diaper-changing tables, and even some toy mobiles.

Some can come in sets, which look amazing, especially if you have a nursery theme in mind!

Metal cribs, on the other hand, have a limited set of designs and accessories. 

Some can be converted into a toddler bed or daybed but in general, they offer less variety when it comes to looks, color, and add-ons.

Price

Wooden and metal cribs offer more or less the same price.

Depending on the design and brand, there’s not much cost difference between these 2 types of crib materials.

Both in general can be affordable, super expensive, or in between.

Pros and Cons: Wood Cribs vs Metal Cribs

Pros of Wooden Cribs

  • Offers more design, colors, and accessories
  • More lightweight to assemble and move

Cons of Wooden Cribs

  • Paint tends to chip
  • The material tends to change and warp over time

Babyletto Hudson 3-in-1 Convertible Crib

Babyletto Sprout 4-in-1 Convertible Crib

Delta Children Bentley S Series 4-in-1 Convertible Baby Crib

Pros of Metal Cribs

  • Material is more durable than wood
  • Easier to wipe clean

Cons of Metal Cribs

  • Can turn into a noisy instrument for a baby fond of clanging toys in the crib
  • Too heavy to move

MILLION DOLLAR BABY CLASSIC Abigail 3-in-1 Convertible Iron Crib

MILLION DOLLAR BABY CLASSIC Noelle 4-in-1 Convertible Crib

MILLION DOLLAR BABY CLASSIC Winston 4-in-1 Convertible Iron Crib

FAQ on Iron Cribs vs WoodCribs

Is a metal or wood crib better?

A metal crib is better when it comes to having a long-lasting, indestructible material that won’t change or warp over time.
A solid wooden crib is also great when it comes to having more design options and accessories, which can help you take care of your baby.

Are metal cribs OK for babies?

Yes, metal cribs are OK and safe for babies. 
Most carry a Greenguard Gold certification, indicating that they have been tested for harmful toxins and are considered a non-toxic crib.

What is a non-toxic crib?

A nontoxic crib carries a Greenguard gold certificate indicating it’s been tested for toxins and is considered free from harmful chemicals that might affect your baby.

Do you need a Greenguard-certified crib?

It’s ideal to get a Greenguard Gold certified crib, to give you peace of mind, knowing that your child is not inhaling harmful chemicals and toxins that are being emitted by the crib.

Tips on Getting and Using Metal vs Wood Crib

  • Get a metal crib with wheels

So you can easily move it around from one room to another when needed.

  • Consider unfinished wood crib

If you don’t want to deal with paint peeling and chipping in a wooden crib, get one that’s an unfinished wood crib.

  • Get a crib guard

To prevent your little one from gnawing and biting at the wooden crib, try getting a crib guard and putting that all over the crib railings.

  • Kids will learn their lesson

Children will learn quickly not to chew on metal or bump too hard on wood.

So don’t worry too much if they bonk their head inside the wooden crib or if they cried after trying to bite a metal crib.

As long as they don’t have any other health issues, they will quickly learn how to adapt to their surroundings and will know how to deal with a wood or metal crib.

The Bottom Line on Wood vs Metal Cribs

If you want something that will last for generations and be passed down as an heirloom gift, I recommend getting a metal crib.

If they’re painted and coated right, they will last longer than a crib and can be passed down to your relatives.

But if you don’t like the idea of assembling and moving a heavy metal crib, and you want more design options and accessories, then a wooden crib would be better for you.

Bottom line is, it’s a matter of preference. 

Some parents like the vintage look of a metal crib, while some think it looks literally like a jail. 

Others dread the idea of their baby in a metal crib, banging noisily inside it! 

Some people prefer the classy, traditional appearance of a wooden crib. 

It’s familiar, it can come with certain accessories like storage or a diaper changing table. And it has more variety when it comes to color and design.

So it all depends on what you like to see and use every day in the nursery room.

Just remember to always follow baby sleep safety guidelines and I hope this article has helped you decide between a metal crib or a wooden crib.