Crib Mattress Vs. Pack N Play (Important Facts To Know)

Cribs, pack n plays, and bassinets are three things parents need for their kids. Your option depends on various factors such as the weight of your baby and your preference as a parent.

While bassinets are designed for babies ages o to about 4 months, cribs and pack n plays can be used for sleeping for a longer period.

What are the differences between a crib and a pack n play? Can a crib mattress fit inside a pack n play? Do you need to buy both a crib and a pack n play? We shall go through these questions and more in this article.

Before we run a comparison between these two sleeping environments for babies, let’s get a definition of what they are.

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Is Pack N Play Same Size As A Crib Mattress

What Is A Pack N Play?

A pack n play is a rectangular cabin with mesh sides designed for babies. It can serve as a sleeping surface as well as a playing ground for kids.

This portable sleeping environment with wheels comes with a mattress pad that is firm and flat for babies. Also, most of the brands you’ll find out there come with a bassinet in the upper section.

What Is A Crib

A crib is usually made of wooden material (a few are made of metal) and has rails around it to guard a child while sleeping. It is rectangular and in most cases, tends to be stationary in the home.

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What Is The Difference Between A Crib and Pack N Play?

Both a crib and a pack n play serve the same purpose, which is to provide a safe and comfortable sleeping environment for kids. However, some features make each of them unique.


In terms of size, a crib is usually bigger than a pack n play. This implies that a crib has a higher weight and height limit than a pack n play.

A crib is designed such that it can serve as an infant and toddler bed. Most crib mattresses have two different surfaces. One side is firmer and is meant for infants, and the other side is softer and is meant for toddlers.

On the other hand, a pack n play usually has a weight limit of about 30 pounds, which means it is suitable for infants up to about 2 to 3 years.

Judging from the above, a crib tends to be preferable because it can be used for a longer period.


In terms of versatility, you have to give it to pack n play because it comes with features that make it desirable to parents.

As it is always recommended, a bassinet is the best sleeping surface for newborns until they are about 3 to 6 months. Virtually all the pack n plays on the marketplace come with a bassinet section at the top.

This means that in the first few months after birth, your baby can use the bassinet. Once your little one reaches the weight limit of the bassinet, you detach the bassinet and use the lower section.

Apart from sleeping, a pack n play also serves as a nice play yard for your little one. The wheels of a pack n play make it possible to move the cabin to wherever you want it.

Also, a pack n play is portable and has folding feet and wheels, making it suitable for trips.

As for cribs, they are usually heavier than pack n plays and are designed for just sleeping. Although I have seen a few cribs with wheels, most of the cribs out there are stationary without wheels.

Many cribs can be converted to toddler beds, which means a crib can be used for kids up to 6 to 7 years.

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Is A Crib Mattress The Same Size As Pack N Play?

No, a crib mattress is not the same size as a pack n play. Since a crib is larger than a pack n play, it means that a crib mattress cannot fit inside a pack n play.

The dimensions of a standard crib mattress are around 27″ wide and 53″ long. Whereas, a typical pack n play measures around 28″ wide and 40″ long.

So, even though the widths of both are almost the same, a crib mattress is longer than the mattress pad of a pack n play.

Do I Need To Buy A Crib And A Pack N Play?

Although having a crib and a pack n play is not compulsory, it is never a bad thing to have both. If you have enough space in your home and money is not an issue, having a crib and a pack n play is good.

Different parents with different options for their little ones. I know of parents who use only cribs for their kids – from age zero to as long as the crib can serve.

If you enjoy camping a lot, having a pack and play would be handy. A pack n play is a good place for babies to play and sleep. Therefore if you want something versatile, getting a pack and play isn’t a bad one.

Just work with your preference. If you want a crib, a pack n play, or both, please, go for it as long as you have the funds and space for them. Your baby deserves the best!

Can A Newborn Sleep In A Pack N Play

Yes, a newborn can sleep in a pack n play, thanks to the bassinet that comes with the package. The bassinet will serve for the first 4 months or thereabout before switching to the larger lower section.

Peradventure your pack n play doesn’t come with a bassinet, you still might want to use it for a newborn. Although that’s not the standard, most parents do it without facing any issues.

Just make sure the pack and play is free from items that may lead to suffocation. In all that you do, make sure you check the weight limits for safety reasons.

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