Whats the Hype about Convertible Cribs?
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The Convertible Crib Buying Guide for Smart Shoppers

By Kim Proulx

You might have heard the term convertible crib and thought, what does that mean? A convertible crib is basically a baby crib that will transform into one or two different types of kids beds to last your child for many years. A convertible crib may transform from a crib into a toddler bed, a daybed and possibly even a full-sized bed. We have created this guide to help you understand everything about convertible cribs and their features because we were confused when we started shopping too!

After you've read all of the following information, you'll be able to decide if a convertible crib is right for you and your baby. If after reading this guide you have any questions please don't hesitate to ask, just click for live help on the top right of this page or contact our personal shopping service. We're here to make your crib buying experience a good one!

What exactly is a convertible crib? A convertible crib is just as it sounds - a crib that converts. It starts as a crib and can then be changed into any combination of a Toddler Bed or Day Bed, Twin, Full, and/or Queen Bed. Adult assembly is needed, but it is fairly easy.

Some manufacturers label their convertible cribs as 2-in-1, 3-in-1, or 4-in-1 convertible cribs. This can be confusing because there is no standard numbering system, so we recommend you read the crib description closely to determine the type(s) of conversions that are applicable to the crib and what additional parts for the conversion must be purchased separately.

Should I get a convertible crib?

Why should I buy one? There are many great reasons to buy a convertible crib. These cribs are quite cost effective. You pay once and you'll have a bed that will last from baby through childhood to college. Your days of shopping for beds will end with this one purchase. How great is that! Better yet, convertible cribs are both economical and environmentally friendly since this one purchase can last for years and years.

Why shouldn't I buy one? A convertible crib is generally more expensive than a standard crib so it is up to you to decide if the investment is worth it. Convertibles can cost more upfront, but they last for years to come so you won't have the future expense of buying additional beds for your child. Also, some parents feel that once their baby becomes a toddler it is time for a big kid bed, and they want to completely skip the toddler bed stage. And, if you don't have space for a full-sized bed in your child's room then that conversion option may not work for you.

What type of conversions can I get?

Daybed (toddler day bed): In the daybed conversion option you remove the front rail of the crib and leave the front of the crib open. This is a great option for older toddlers, but many people also use this as a toddler bed. This option allows your little one to enter and exit the bed easily and still allows you to use the same mattress and bedding as with the crib. Although we feel that using this option for your toddler is fine, for younger children there is a risk of falling out of bed and we recommend having a safety rail in place.

Toddler Bed: As your little one gets more active and big enough to escape the crib then it's time to convert the crib to a toddler bed. This is a simple conversion that requires you to remove the front rail or drop-side of the crib and replace it with a toddler bed safety rail / guard rail. You can use the same crib mattress with this conversion. We recommend toddler bed conversions over day beds, due to the added safety of the toddler safety rail.

Twin Bed: One of our favorite types of convertible cribs are Mini Cribs. These cribs are a little smaller than a full-sized crib, but will still last your child well into the toddler years. Many of these cribs will convert from a crib into a twin sized headboard and footboard which is perfect for families who want to use a twin bed before a full bed. You'll use the front and back panels of the crib as the head and footboard and secure them together with either wooden bedrails or a metal bed frame depending on what's available for your type of crib. (Bedrails and bed frames are usually sold separately) You will also need to purchase a twin or full size mattress for the conversion. If you buy the conversion kit when you purchase the crib the conversion process should be a snap.

Full Bed / Double Bed: As your cutie pie blooms into an independent child, a full/double bed conversion option is a great way to go. For this conversion you will use the front and back panels of the crib as the headboard and footboard. You'll also use the full bed rails or a standard full size metal bed frame depending on your crib type. You'll need to purchase a full size mattress and either full bed rails or a metal bed frame for this conversion. Let your child help choose their new mattress and bedding to make this transition a fun one.

Are conversion pieces sold separately?

Yes and No. What we mean by that is... sometimes a convertible crib is sold with certain conversion pieces included, but if you want even more conversion options you have the ability to buy additional conversion kits to transform the crib to alternate bed sizes. How many bed options you want is up to you! If you want the full package, from crib to full bed or somewhere in between, we recommend you check to see that your chosen crib offers all your desired crib conversions. We suggest that you purchase all conversion pieces or kits needed when you buy the crib because styles change and in 2 or 3 years your crib's rails may not be available.

Our Recommendations

  • Consider getting something that goes with the current decor of your home. We offer convertible cribs in the following styles: Modern, Traditional, Crib & Changer Combos, Boutique/Designer, Mini / Portable and Eco-Friendly.
  • Take time deciding what you plan to do when your baby becomes a toddler and is ready for a bigger bed. Will you use the crib for future siblings or do you want a convertible that will grow with your child?
  • Decide your crib budget and compare to the price of various convertible cribs. Cribs can be sorted by price on our site. Calculate the total cost of conversion kits or pieces you'll want to make sure that everything fits into your budget.
  • Think about the purchase of your dressers and/or changing table to choose options that can be used with the converted crib as your child gets older.

Still not sure what the best option is?

Ask us! We have trained Nursery Specialists (Personal Shoppers) available to answer any questions and give advice on which crib will best suit your needs. Click above to get Live Help from our online experts.

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