More Green For Less Green

Living more eco-friendly for less money


Crib Part 1: Choosing an Eco-Friendly Crib

We have always planned on being a co-sleeping family during the nursing years, but figuring out how that would work logistically in our small bedroom took some time. Bed-sharing seemed like the most simple, logical option. After all, bed-sharing is a very safe, healthy way to sleep when done properly (info on how and why: here and here) and is the lowest-gear configuration. But, it wasn't a fit for us. I thought we'd be crowded in our queen-size bed and we don't have space for a king-size. So, we thought we'd borrow a full-size co-sleeper from a friend and keep that in our room for the long haul, plus have a crib and twin-size bed in baby's room just in case we needed to switch up our sleeping arrangements. As I realized how much effort I was putting into picking the healthiest crib and mattress, we eventually decided to ditch the co-sleeper plan and just sidecar baby's crib to our bed so he could get maximum usage out of the equipment we were putting so much thought and money into. Join me for a multi-part series on choosing a bed for baby: choosing a crib (this entry), choosing a crib mattress, and how to sidecar a crib to an adult bed.

Choosing a Crib

I knew that I wanted a crib that was made of solid wood rather than with pressed wood product like medium density fiberboard (MFD) or particle board. The glue used to hold together the bits of wood that makes up these composite materials contains formaldehyde (a probable human carcinogen) and they off-gas volatile organic compounds (VOCs) for several months. Many mass produced cribs are made with a blend of real wood parts (albeit often soft woods like pine) and composite parts (such as a drawer underneath) and off-gassing is a genuine issue with them.

Additionally, I wanted the wood to have either an eco-friendly finish or no finish. I was a crib gnawer as a baby, and I figured that our baby might also spend some time doing some soothing chomping on his crib rails (crib rail protectors exist, but are made of plastic which we avoid).

I consulted the ever-popular Baby Bargains book and got a list of green cribs and had sticker shock. I figured that as much we love cheap, simple living, this was one area that I was ok with splurging since a baby likely spends more time in a crib than any other single space, but wow. WOW!

  • Romina cribs are made of beech with a beeswax finish and range in price from $700 to $1,100

  • Pacific Rim makes unfinished wood cribs that are $1,000+

  • Stokke Sleepi is made of beech and is a lovely oval shape, but the round mattress and curved sheets make an expensive crib even pricier

  • Ducduc cribs are fabulously modern and run $1,000 to $2,000+

  • Capretti's green cribs Verde and Fino are $1,600-$1,900 and I am not sure that they are still in production

Thank goodness for the lone dirt cheap option: Ikea Sniglar. Sniglar* is a very basic crib made of solid, unfinished beech and is a mere $70. It does have a fiberboard base, but…well—I am just too cheap to pay a thousand bucks for a crib. This was in the realm of being a reasonable compromise. Especially because the Sniglar has some versatility: an adjustable-height mattress and one side can be removed to create a toddler bed (or, even better for us, a sidecar configuration on to an adult bed). Ikea has cuter cribs, but Sniglar is Ikea's only unfinished crib.

Before making a decision, I stalked Craigslist for used** versions of any of these cribs. Even though the Sniglar was cheap, a used one would be even cheaper and the base would probably be done off-gassing. Time went on and no Sniglar came up. A couple of the premium brand cribs came up but not for a price that was acceptable to us. So, we bought the Sniglar early enough that it could air out for a few months. When we went to pick it up, we were happy to see that it is a little more attractive in real life than the stock pictures make it out to be.

The Sniglar was fairly easy to put together, which was a good thing because I assembled it in the living room and it is wider than our bedroom doorways. Oops! Eventually we got it out of the living room and into the guest room (decorated to be baby V's room someday) where it aired out until we moved it in our room when he was born.

Sniglar airing out in the guest room/someday V's room

*There is a precautionary recall out on some Sniglar cribs. Ours was not impacted, but it looks like an extremely easy fix if you have one that is part of the recall.

**I am pro used cribs, but it is vital to make sure than any used crib meets current safety standards. Here are several resources: Crib Information Center (the latest information and a list of recalls), a summary of things to look for, and a long list on choosing a crib.

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At August 13, 2011 at 9:17 PM , Blogger Megan Jackson said...

Hi! I love the crib! Which Ikea did you get it from? I was checking the website and it only shows up on the Canada site, not the US site.

At August 13, 2011 at 9:37 PM , Anonymous -P said...

I got mine from the Ikea at Potomac Mills. I just checked the Ikea website and the Sniglar crib is no longer listed. :(

At November 22, 2012 at 1:19 AM , Anonymous Anonymous said...

How easy to it is to replace fiberboard with a hard wood in this Sniglar?

At November 23, 2012 at 8:19 PM , Blogger P said...

The earlier version of the Sniglar had solid wood slats instead of the fiberboard, so I think it would be quite doable. I saw the old version in-person on a floor model. The slats went width-wide. I have no idea why we didn't think of doing this ourselves. Great idea!

At December 2, 2012 at 8:24 PM , Blogger P said...

The earlier version of the Sniglar had solid wood slats instead of the fiberboard, so I think it would be quite doable. I saw the old version in-person on a floor model. The slats went width-wide. I have no idea why we didn't think of doing this ourselves. (P.S. When I responded before, I didn't do it as a reply to your post, so I do not know if you saw it.)

At July 31, 2013 at 5:42 PM , Anonymous Anonymous said...


I was wondering if the crib you purchased held up well over the past two years. I've purchased furniture from Ikea before that completely fell apart so I'm a little apprehensive but we simply cannot afford a $1,000 crib. Thank you for your post and your feedback. :)

At July 31, 2013 at 8:38 PM , Blogger -Pamm said...

Our Sniglar is still going strong! We've been giving it a workout recently: a toddler who sneaks in jumps before we stop him, redrilling holes to make the platform a new height to align with our new mattress, and just tonight I tied one of my woven wraps for babywearing on the side rails to make a hammock and about 50 pounds of baby swung from it.

At August 7, 2013 at 3:54 PM , Anonymous Anonymous said...

Thank you so much for your reply! We bought the crib on Monday:)

At January 31, 2014 at 12:10 PM , Blogger Jessi Brevard said...

Did you all put a finish on your Sniglar?

At January 31, 2014 at 7:35 PM , Blogger -Pamm said...

Hi, Jessi, we did not. To us, the unfinished wood was part of what made it such an appealing, natural crib. It's now been side-carred to our bed for three years and through two kids and still looks like new.

At April 4, 2014 at 9:16 PM , Anonymous Anonymous said...

How did you end up feeling about the mattress? We're thinking of doing the same thing...sniglar with a nice mattress. Did it fit OK? I've read some people having problems with the mattress being too short due to Ikea's wacky sizes. Thanks!

At April 5, 2014 at 8:58 PM , Blogger -Pamm said...

Hi. The Naturepedic seemed like a tight fit at first, but has settled in perfectly. We also had a Savvy Rest natural latex mattress in the Sniglar for a bit, too. So, no problems with standard-sized crib mattresses. ! By the way, you can visit the new version of this blog at


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