Bassinet Vs. Pack n Play: Which Is Better?

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While you may have heard of both bassinets and pack and plays, you may not realize that both have advantages and disadvantages. A bassinet can keep your baby safe and sound, limiting your ability to move around. A pack-and-play can be used in a range of different locations, but it can be difficult to use it in a home without enough space.

So, which should you choose between a bassinet vs Pack n Play? It’s necessary to spend time making this decision.

Your baby needs a comfortable, relaxing, and safe place to sleep during the first months. We will help you contrast these items. Then, you can determine which works best for your baby.

The Differences Between Bassinets and Pack N Plays

A bassinet is a bed designed primarily for newborns between birth and six months. It’s often oval and has mesh walls.

Pack n Play is a combination of a bed and a play yard. You can use it as a place for your baby to sleep and play.

These items are different in their definition, applications, designs, and many other features.

Main Differences

Before we dig into the details, let’s take a look at what defines the two types of items and where they meet.

The following are the main differences between a Pack n Play (also known as Playard) and a bassinet:

  • Babies use bassinets to sleep, and they use playards to play and sleep.
  • You can use bassinets for young kids (often under six months). Meanwhile, playards can work for three-year-old kids.
  • Many people consider a playard the upgraded version of a bassinet since it includes a bassinet set it.

These items have some characteristics in common. For example, they have a firm foundation for babies to rest on and four walls to secure them.

In the past, bassinets were preferable because they could save a lot of space and the Pack and Plays were troublesome. However, thanks to advancements in both products, the gap has shortened.

Graco Pack-n-Play Dome
Graco Pack-n-Play Dome


The good news is that both items are safe. The Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) in the United States has tested baby products to ensure their safety.

These devices are safe to use while sleeping if you obey the maker’s instructions. The essential thing is to handle your baby’s goods correctly to avoid accidents. Furthermore, please stay away from bassinets built for use in a grownup because they do not meet CPSC safety criteria and are unsuitable for infant rest.

The most important thing is to use the item you chose correctly. It means:

  • No extra cushioning
  • No additional mattresses
  • No blankets
  • No alterations
  • No stuffed animals
  • No positioners

SIDS is a big concern for every parent. To minimize its risk, you need to:

  • Place your infant on his back and adjust his posture whenever he rolls over.
  • Stop swaddling as soon as you notice symptoms of rolling.
  • Layer your baby’s clothes properly to avoid overheating.


A bassinet has all of the features you’ll want for comfort, such as vibration, music, nightlight, and a canopy. All these accessories soothe and protect your baby.

Some pack-n-plays come with these features, but they don’t give the coziness and mother’s feeling that bassinets do because you don’t place the pack-n-play next to your bed. The bassinets even have height-adjustable features for this purpose.

A pack-n-play has several purposes. It also has different functions that assist you in doing baby chores, such as a napper changing, a playroom, and a relaxing kit. However, bassinets share the same features.

SNOO Smart Bassinet
SNOO Smart Bassinet


Longevity should also be one of the factors to consider when choosing between the two options. Typically, a pack-n-play can last six times longer than its competitor.

How long can you use a bassinet? You’d better get rid of this sleeper when your infant:

  • Can sit and pull up
  • Can rollover
  • Exceeds the recommended height and weight

Bassinets work best for babies until they are six months old. Meanwhile, Pack-n-Plays still suffice until your child’s toddlerhood. Often, a three-year-old child may outgrow this playpen.

A pack-n-play can’t fit your baby if he:

  • Weighs more than 30 pounds
  • Reach or exceed the height of 36 inches
  • Can get out himself


A regular bassinet takes up significantly less room than a playard. It’s small enough to act as a bedside sleeper.

Playards are large and heavy, making them hard to move in narrow spaces such as alongside your bed or through a hallway to go from one room to another.

You can check out the dimensions of some of the popular bassinets and pack-n-plays below.

Pack n Play Vs Bassinet Dimensions (L x W x H)
Graco Pack ‘n Play Travel Dome LX 27″ x 29″ x 37″
Graco Pack ‘n Play Anywhere Dreamer 41″ x 28″ x 31″
Baby Trend Pack n Play Lil Snooze Deluxe 2 ‎42″ x 35″ x 41″
Baby Trend Retreat Nursery Center 41″ x 29″ x 29″
BABY JOY 5-in-1 Pack n Play ‎43″ x 30″ x 22″
BABY JOY 3-in-1 Pack and Play 40″ x 29″ x 44″
4moms Breeze Plus 43″ x 30″ x 32″
ADOVEL Bedside Pack and Play 50″ x 27″ x 29″
Dream On Me Princeton Deluxe Pack n Play ‎43″ x 30″ x 30″
Dream On Me Karley Bassinet ‎34″ x 19″ x 37″
SNOO Smart Sleeper Baby Bassinet 36″ x 19″ x 32″
mamaRoo Sleep Bassinet ‎29″ x 24″ x 39″
Graco Sense2Snooze Bassinet 26″ x 19″ x 41″
Fisher Price Luminate Bassinet ‎36″ x 22″ x 32″
Maxi-Cosi Iora Bedside Bassinet 37″ x 22″ x 29″
Chicco Close to You 3-in-1 Bassinet ‎34″ x 28″ x 46″
Halo Swivel Bassinet ‎47″ x 47″ x 45″
AMKE 3 in 1 Baby Bassinet 37″ x 23″ x 32″
Ingenuity Dream & Grow Bassinet ‎35″ x 27″ x 34″
MiClassic All Mesh Foldable Bassinet 37″ x 24″ x 28″


The portability of these accessories is one of the reasons why so many parents like them. However, one is superior to the other.

With a smaller size, you can quickly move a bassinet throughout the house, from room to room. However, taking it on a trip seems impossible. As a result, it’s excellent for parents looking for something lightweight.

Although a pack-n-play is big and comes with many accessories like a bassinet and a changing table, you can still fold it and fit it into your storage bag to carry around. For example, with the Graco Pack ‘n-Plays, you just need to press a button to fold yours to take anywhere. As a result, Pack and Plays are best for outdoors and travel. However, this feature can’t make it suitable for daily use.

Other features

A pack-n-play may have more multifunctional features, while a modern bassinet may have more sleeping facilities. Make sure that you choose high-quality products for extra features.

Some outstanding features to look for in a bassinet are:

  • 360 swivel: This feature is perfect if you don’t want to get out of your bed to reach your baby.
  • Storage space: This extra room is a lifesaver when changing the diaper and handling butt cream during the night.
  • Rocking motions: If your baby is a restless sleeper, some vibrations in the bed can help him fall asleep easier.

Although pack-n-plays don’t offer as many sleeping features as their competitors, they are helpful in other terms, such as:

  • Detachable sleeper: You can disassemble the sleeper to carry it around.
  • Elevated bassinet: You will love this feature when your child outgrows the bassinet and needs something that fits your room until he is ready for the crib.
  • Playard: It’s great to have one tool that helps your kid play and sleep.
Sense2Snooze Bassinet vs Pamo Pack n play
Pamo Pack-n-play Vs. Sense2Snooze Bassinet


Depending on their brand, construction, and features, these models can be cheap or expensive. In general, their prices are reasonable for most parents.

A Pack-n-Play is cheaper than a sophisticated bassinet. You can use it longer, making it a more cost-effective option.

Nowadays, infant bassinets have developed to the point where you may buy some that cost thousands of dollars. Nevertheless, higher prices do not always reflect outstanding quality.

Bassinets are often $250 or sometimes less. Some models come with cry sensing and a swaying motion, while others are only for storage.

On the other hand, you rarely pay more than $250 for a pack-n-play. The price is also for the changing table, play yard, and sleeper that come with the set.

Comparison Table

We have compared the two items. Check this summary table before making your purchase.

Criteria Bassinet Pack N Play
Safety Yes Yes
Comfort Excellent Moderate
Longevity Limited Longer
Dimensions Length: 26-37 inches

Width: 19-47 inches

Height: 28-46 inches

Length: 27-50 inches

Width: 27-35 inches

Height: 22-44 inches

Portability Best for remaining in a fixed position Highly portable
Other Features 360 swivel

Storage space

Rocking motions

Detachable sleeper

Elevated bassinet


Price $100 to $1,000 $100 to $300

Is It Better to Get a Bassinet Or Pack N Play?

Both are safe options for your infant, but each has its own unique characteristics.

Bassinets are ideal for your baby to sleep in while they are still too young to sit up, but you can only use them for five years. Some models allow you to carry around. However, this feature is not available in all products.

On the other hand, pack-n-plays can work for years. They are heavier and bulkier, but they offer enough space for a three-year-old kid to sleep in.

If you can afford them, buy both because they serve different purposes. But if you have to choose one, go for the pack-n-play.

Frequently Asked Questions

Parents have many questions when it comes to using the two items for their babies. Let’s check the answers and learn some tips!

1. Are Pack n Play and bassinet safe for sleeping?

Yes. The two items meet CPSC safety standards. The surrounding nets enhance their security, protecting your baby while sleeping.

2. Can a Pack n Play be used as a bassinet?

The top of most Pack and Plays has a bassinet attachment so that you can use it as a sleeper. The infant is higher up in the cot, making them quicker to reach. You can use the lower part as a crib for traveling when your child grows.

3. Can a newborn sleep in a Pack n Play without a bassinet?

Yes. For newborns, the lower part of a playard is safe and comfortable to sleep in.

4. Can you add a bassinet (attachment) to a Pack n Play?

Yes, some models have an extra slot for a bassinet. You can easily attach and remove it when necessary.

5. Can a baby sleep in a Pack and Play with a changing table attached?

Yes. The changing table can remain attached to the pack-n-play, and your infant can sleep in the bassinet comfortably. Remember to place his head opposite the table.


Bassinets are also suitable for the first months of your child. However, they come in handy and are easily portable. Besides, playards are cheaper. They can accommodate a three-year-old kid, making them a good long-term investment.

Hopefully, you can find this article helpful. No matter what product you choose, consider your baby’s comfort, safety, and the item’s durability.

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