Back in the day, cribs were designed with bars set much further apart today, which led to many babies and toddlers getting their head or a limb stuck between the bars—a true nightmare for parents. Thus, crib bumpers were born. Crib bumpers are large pieces of firm, plush, or padded fabric that lines a crib’s internal perimeter. Though crib slats are now set much closer together to help prevent this risk to babies, some people still use crib bumpers as a barrier between their child and the hard wooden or plastic bars of the crib or to prevent their child’s arms or legs from getting stuck in between them. Crib bumpers can also be another decorative addition to a nursery or baby’s room, as they come in many different patterns and designs.
What to Consider in a Crib Bumper
If you’re looking for a crib bumper for your baby’s nursery, here’s what to think about before purchasing:
- Material: Crib bumpers are traditionally made of cotton, but mesh is also a popular choice for crib bumpers, as they’re thought to be more breathable in case a baby or toddler rolls face-first into one while sleeping.
- Type: There are three main types of crib bumpers on the market. Rectangular wall-like slabs of reinforced fabric or mesh (the most common and traditional sort), stuffed pillow-like models, and thick braided ones. They essentially all function the same. The only real difference among these models is that rectangular ones are often taller, so it all depends on whichever look you like best or fits your nursery’s motif.
- Design: You can find crib bumpers in just about any solid color or pattern you might want to match your nursery’s color scheme or theme. Are your crib sheets polka-dotted or striped? Is the room painted with jungle animals or sea creatures? Do you want the crib contents to match the room’s trim? All of these and more are options when it comes to buying a crib bumper that best suits your child’s room.
Best Mesh Bumper: BreathableBaby Classic Breathable Mesh Crib Bumper
This is a lightweight imported 100% polyester mesh crib bumper for any parent worried about their child’s arms and legs getting stuck between their crib slats. The bumper is layered but thin and free of padding with the intention of not restricting your child’s airflow, thanks to the air channel technology. The material is completely free of formaldehyde, harmful chemicals, flame-retardants, and other toxins. The long and short panel will tidily slide in and adjust to most four-sided slatted and solid-baked cribs for simple, efficient installation. It’s available in five pastel colors to suit the gentle tones of a nursery. The bumper is machine washable for your convenience, either alone or with like colors. It’s suitable for babies 12 months and older.
Best Plush Option: Wonder Space Soft Knot Plush Pillow
Here’s a white, pink, and gray braided crib bumper that can serve several of your child’s needs. The light colors and soft texture can help to soothe restless sleepers and build a secure sleeping environment for your baby. The strong yet soft non-static cotton material is completely skin-friendly and can fit most standard cribs. Place and arrange it in the crib quickly and easily, and it will fit alongside any other crib accessories. This crib bumper has no ties for your baby to get caught in and injure themselves by mistake, unlike some other models. Besides protecting your child from the hard crib bars, this woven braid can be used to support your baby’s head during feeding and can be easily transported for use in any room or space you need it to, be it the car, changing table, a toddler’s bed, or the couch. To wash, spot clean or machine wash it on a gentle cycle, then tumble dry, both in low temperatures. Add some color and style to your child’s room while creating a safer sleep environment for them.
Best Design Options: EXQ Home 4-Piece Crib Liner Protector
Lots of nurseries have animal motifs. They’re cute, decorative, and happy. If you’ve designed your child’s room with such a theme and you want to match as much of their bedding and belongings as possible, this set of four crib bumpers is a perfect choice. You can buy these bumpers in a koala, deer, fox, or Santa pattern, whichever best suits your nursery’s look. If you like this set but would prefer a solid color to a pattern, you can also buy them in lavender, mustard, or bright yellow as well. The material is 100% microfiber polyester for a soft, smooth sensation ideal for toddlers’ sensitive skin. It will also become softer and fluffier with each wash. Padded with very dense microfiber filling, these bumpers will do an admirable job of protecting your child’s head from bumping hard crib rails and their arms or legs from getting stuck between the bars. This set comes with four bumpers, two long and two short side detachable panel segments, to fit standard cribs. Each bumper has several 8.5-inch ties to keep them secure and prevent sliding out of place. It’s machine washable on a cold, gentle cycle.
Most Adjustable: Caroeas Babycare Crib Bumper
Most crib bumpers are marketed to fit standard cribs, but what if your child’s crib is larger or smaller than average-sized ones? You might worry that you’re out of luck, won’t be able to find a set of crib bumpers that fit it. If you’ve encountered this problem, these crib bumpers just might be the perfect solution. The Velcro on each piece allows you to set a custom, adjustable length during installation. Simply wrap the longer bumper around the inside of the crib, adjust to a suitable length with the Velcro, insert the shorter panel to cover whatever area is left, and tie the six straps over the top of the crib to hold them in place. The bumpers are padded in three layers, while the 100% cotton and microfiber mesh are soft and hypoallergenic to be safe for your child’s sensitive skin. The bumpers are machine washable for your convenience.