This no-frills crib is made of New Zealand pine and style-wise echoes the simple IKEA Guillver crib—at this price, it is easily our pick for best budget-friendly crib.
What We Liked
• Easy to assemble. We clocked assembly time at just 30 minutes, which is better than most cribs.
• Variety of finishes. The Union crib comes in five finishes, including blue and yellow, which is unusual at this price point. Typically, affordable cribs are offered in only one or two colors. The caveat to this is that we’ve noticed that some finishes are more popular than others and may run out at times. So if you have your heart set on a particular finish and see it in stock, we wouldn’t wait to order it.
• Solid, sturdy crib. Yes, this is a very affordable crib, but it is well made—solid and sturdy.
• Good brand reputation. The Union crib is made by Million Dollar Baby, a Los Angeles-based crib importer with a strong safety record. We’ve been tracking nursery furniture brands since 1994 and Million Dollar Baby is one we’d recommend.
What Needs Work
• Some colors don’t have matching toddler rails. If you get one of unusual colors, like Lagoon blue, you won’t be able to find a matching toddler rail. Only white and grey have matching rails.
• Not convertible into full-size bed. This crib does not convert into a full-size bed for older kiddos, as does our top pick above.
• Exposed screws and screw holes. That doesn’t compromise safety; it’s just an aesthetic issue. More expensive cribs hide this hardware, but that is the trade-off to get the price so low.
• Soft wood can scratch. This crib is made from New Zealand pine, which is soft and can easily scratch. Hence, take great care when unpacking and assembling this crib. Even rubbing a buckle against the crib rail will scratch it (when you lean into the crib to pick up baby, for example).
Also: if your teething baby decides to munch on the crib rail, the finish will most likely come off. It isn’t a health hazard (the paint is non-toxic), but this has alarmed more than a few parents. (If teething is an issue, you can use a cloth rail cover).
We realize a chewed-on crib doesn’t look perfect, but having a baby in your house means everything will now be scratched, scuffed and chewed on—your crib will simply match the rest of your furniture. (“You can either have children or nice stuff!”—Dennis Miller).