The Pros & Cons of Metal Cribs

By Kristina Barroso
Metal cribs are usually more ornate than wooden ones.
Metal cribs are usually more ornate than wooden ones.

As the place where your baby spends a lot of time and the focal point of her nursery, the crib needs to meet current safety standards and ideally improve the aesthetic appeal of the room. Metal cribs are less common than wooden ones and are typically made from heavy-duty steel. Reviewing some of the pros and cons might help you decide if a metal crib is right for your baby's nursery.

Pros

One of the great things about metal cribs is that they are typically handcrafted and therefore easier to customize. If you are looking for a particular design to match your nursery’s theme, a metal crib can be personalized to suit your needs. While some people worry that they may not be as safe, metal cribs manufactured after June 2011 provide the same safety features as other modern cribs made of different materials. Metal cribs are also easy to clean and sanitize. Another advantage is their durability. Metal is more resilient than wood, making a metal crib more likely to last a longer period of time than its wooden counterparts. Once your child outgrows her crib, you can save it for future children or pass it along to other children in the family.

Cons

One of the biggest disadvantages in buying a metal crib is the hefty price tag. Most metal cribs are significantly more expensive than wooden cribs. If cost is a major factor in your decision, a metal crib may not be right for you. Metal cribs also tend to be bulky and heavy. A metal crib might prove to be too weighty if you plan to move it often from one room to another. Nevertheless, some metal cribs come with wheels, which make it easier to move if necessary. Availability can be a problem when searching for the right metal crib. Since they are less common than wooden cribs and more likely to be custom-made, metal cribs may not be as widely available and can take a long time to arrive when custom-ordered.

Safety Considerations

While a crib is intended to be a safe place for your baby to sleep, cribs that fail to meet certain safety requirements can lead to serious injury or even death. According to the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission, cribs manufactured before 2011 may not meet current safety standards. When buying a crib of any material, make sure that it meets or exceeds the current federal safety guidelines.

Cribs should have fixed side rails. Adjustable side rails may be convenient for getting baby in and out of the crib, but they also pose a serious risk of injury or death if your baby becomes trapped. As of June 2011, drop-side cribs are no longer being manufactured or sold in the U.S. Cribs should have properly spaced slats. Ensure that the distance between slats does not exceed 2 3/8 inches. Slats that are too far apart are dangerous to infants or toddlers who can become wedged between them. Cribs should properly fit a standard-sized crib mattress; ensure that your baby’s mattress fits snugly in the crib. An improper mattress fit poses a danger to your baby because she may slip between the mattress and the crib sides.

Tips

Opt for a new crib over a hand-me-down if possible, since new cribs are more likely to adhere to current safety standards. Choose your baby’s crib placement carefully within the room. Avoid placing a crib near curtains or drapes so that your baby does not get tangled in window blinds or cords.

About the Author

Kristina Barroso is a full-time teacher who has been freelance writing since 1991. She published her first book, a break-up survival guide, in 2007 and specializes in a variety of topics including, but not limited to, relationships and issues in education. She earned a Bachelor of Arts in Psychology from Florida International University.