If I was a little taller, Ikea’s Sniglar Crib would be my favorite budget crib option. It costs just $80, is made with solid beech, and can easily be converted into a toddler bed (although this just means taking off one side, with no side rail to prevent rolling). Made to European safety standards, the Sniglar is an excellent choice if your primary concerns are budget and freedom from toxic chemicals.
Our Rating: 5 / 5 (See: How Leaf Score is calculated)
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- Entire crib is made with unfinished beechwood – no nasty toxic finishes or stains
- One of the lightest cribs around at just 40 pounds 9 ounces
- Great budget option, costing just $80
|Country of Origin:||Europe|
|Materials:||Beech (unfinished) and nylon (in the base, to hold the slats together)|
|Certifications:||Meets ASTM international and U.S. CPSC safety standards|
Not Greenguard Gold Certified (but made with solid wood and nothing else)
If you’re considering a more expensive crib because it feels like a crib this cheap couldn’t be safe, my advice would be to follow the lead of thousands of parents before you and get the Sniglar. That way, you can put your savings towards a fancy car seat, stroller, or really nice organic cotton bedding and a non-toxic crib mattress.
The Sniglar used to be made with a combination of beechwood and a pesky MDF mattress base. Thankfully, Ikea responded well to customer concerns and now make the entire crib with unfinished beechwood – no nasty toxic finishes or stains. As such, the Sniglar doesn’t have Greenguard Gold Certification, because, like most of the unfinished hardwood cribs I’ve recommended, there’s little risk of anything toxic lurking in the solid wood components. The Sniglar does comply with all ASTM and CPSC safety requirements, however, including the US standard 16 CFR 1219 for full-size cribs, meaning it has been tested for lead and phthalates, as well as for structural safety.
Consider the height of parents with this crib
One downside to the Sniglar is that it only has two mattress level options, so it may not be ideal if you’re shorter than around 5’3” or have difficulty reaching down to lift out an infant. It is only 33 1/8” tall though, so this may be better for some people, such as wheelchair users, in some respects.
One other downside to this crib is that it’s so popular, it frequently goes out of stock at Ikea! So, don’t rely on this as a last minute option if your more expensive crib hasn’t shown up in time. Instead, if you’re worried that baby might arrive before your fancier crib, consider getting a Sniglar when it’s in stock, leaving it in its packaging, and simply returning it if you don’t have cause to use it.
Sundvik and Gulliver cribs
The Ikea Sundvik and Gulliver cribs are very similar to the Sniglar, but these are made with beech and fiberboard, so beware. One thing I love about the Sniglar is that it has wooden slats instead of a metal mattress support. While it’s unlikely that good quality metal supports will sag, the wooden slats just feel more solid and supportive to me. You’ll want a crib mattress that measures 27½” x 52” with the Sniglar.
If you wanted, you could finish the Sniglar yourself with a food-grade non-toxic linseed oil or other non-toxic natural paint. Just make sure this is kid-safe, otherwise you’re undoing all the work of finding a non-toxic crib. Personally, I’d leave the crib unfinished or use linseed oil (food-grade), so there’s little to worry about when toddler teeth start doing their damage.
The Sniglar is also one of the lightest cribs around, at just 40 pounds 9 ounces, compared to 59 pounds for the Pottery Barn Kids Kendall Crib and 56 for the DaVinci Kalani. So, while technically not portable, you can probably pretty easily move this crib from room to room if you need to (just not while there’s an infant in the crib).
Ikea vs. Pottery Barn Kids, DaVinci, and Babyletto
The Sniglar is astonishingly inexpensive and arguably better than most eco-friendly and non-toxic softwood cribs. Most other hardwood cribs cost around nine times the price of a Sniglar, making this Ikea crib the best of the bunch in terms of freedom from toxic stains, finishes, paints, glues, and everything else you’ll often find in a crib.
Sure, you could shell out five or six times as much for the Greenguard Gold Certified Kendall Crib from Pottery Barn Kids, or three times as much for the DaVinci Kalani, but these cribs may still contain VOCs, lead, and other chemicals, even if only below permissible levels. The Sniglar is pure, solid, beech and nothing else (well, some metal hardware).
It would be nice if the Ikea Sniglar had Fair Trade Certification™ like the Kendall, but Ikea have a decent track record for ethics, as noted with a top rating from Ethical Consumer. In particular, EC noted that Ikea already source at least half of the wood they use from sustainable sources, with significant plans to increase this percentage.
Also, it’s nice to see that Ikea have a clear Chemicals Policy, including only adding chemicals if absolutely necessary and striving to “totally refrain from the use of chemical flame retardants […] and instead use techniques and materials with flame retardant properties e.g. wool.” Ikea also phased out all brominated flame retardants in 2000.
One key downside to the Ikea Sniglar is that there’s no toddler rail system for when you ‘convert’ the crib to a toddler bed. So, if you have worries that your toddler will tumble out of bed, either put a really nice squishy cushion by the bed (believe me, this works pretty well), or choose a different crib, such as the Babyletto Lolly, the DaVinci Kalani, or the Pottery Barn Kids Kendall, all of which have rails available. The Babyletto and DaVinci can also be converted into full sized beds, but not the Ikea Sniglar, nor the Kendall.
The Sniglar also only has two adjustable mattress positions, compared to four for the Lolly and Kalani, and three for the Kendall, but it is lower overall than these other cribs. Realistically, you’re only likely to use two, maybe three, of the available mattress heights, however, so it’s worth considering if that extra in-between stage is worth several hundred dollars.
In terms of design, the Sniglar is very minimalist and modern. It’s slightly less chic than the Lolly, but similarly understated. Compared to the Kendall and the DaVinci Kalani, the Sniglar is a lot less imposing and dramatic, so if you’re looking to make the crib a statement piece in the nursery, you’ll need to dress it up with some fun crib sheets, a crib skirt, and maybe some rail bumpers.
Personally, I prefer the natural pine look, and I love that the Ikea Sniglar is no-nonsense, low cost, and strong and sturdy enough to provide a safe sleeping environment without any toxic chemicals.
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