Difference Between 2-in-1, 3-in-1, 4-in-1, and 5-in-1 Convertible Cribs

Your little one is growing up fast and growing out of everything! They need bigger clothes, bigger diapers, and a bigger crib. But, is there a way for your baby’s crib to adjust and grow with them?

A baby’s convertible crib is designed to adjust to their changing needs. Depending on the style of crib you choose, it may have up to six different configurations. Read the descriptions carefully when purchasing; while a versatile crib may seem like the most economical choice, you will likely need to purchase additional pieces for the conversions.

So what is the real difference between different convertible crib models? Keep reading below to learn about different variations and some recommendations for convertible baby cribs!

Differences between convertible cribs

The main selling point of convertible cribs is the versatility they bring to parents.

The main difference between the ranges of convertible models is how long your little one can use the bed as they age. Depending on what you buy, the crib can convert to a toddler bed with a safety rail, a toddler bed without a rail, a daybed, a twin bed, and even a full-size bed. 

Convertible cribs are great if you want your child’s bed to grow with them, but they’re not right for everyone. If you plan to have more kids and would want to pass the crib down to them, or if you plan to change up styles in your child’s room as they get older, a convertible crib may not be the right choice for you.

Regardless of the style of crib you decide to use, all of them will have similar things in common. None of them will have drop sides. All cribs will be phthalate- and lead-free for your baby’s health and be constructed of solid and non-toxic parts. No matter your budget or the number of potential configurations, all cribs are required to meet minimum government safety standards.

You have a lot of choices when it comes to your baby’s convertible crib. So let’s dive in and take a closer look at the different varieties you can pick from!

What is a 2-in-1 convertible crib?

A 2-in-1 convertible crib is the most straightforward convertible style you can find; however, there are many varieties available even with these.

This bed style can convert from a crib to either a toddler bed, a daybed, or a twin/full-size bed. When purchasing the crib, make sure you find out if the pieces necessary for the conversion are included or if you need to buy them separately.

A typical 2-in-1 convertible crib will have the following configurations:

  • Crib
  • Toddler bed

One great option for a 2-in-1 baby crib is this Dream On Me model that converts to a toddler bed!

There most likely will be additional costs if you decide to get a crib that converts to a twin or full-size bed. Most cribs will require you to purchase a conversion kit, as well as a larger mattress to fit the changing bed size.

What is a 3-in-1 convertible crib?

Your little one is getting bigger every day.

A 3-in-1 convertible crib is going to allow you to keep your growing baby in a proper fitting bed for some time.

A typical 3-in-1 convertible crib will have the following configurations:

  • Crib
  • Toddler bed
  • Daybed

Again, the toddler bed will have options of rail or no rail, depending on the company. And, this will be a running theme: you may need to purchase a conversion kit for specific brands.

A fabulous choice that includes a conversion kit is the Babyletto Modo 3-in-1 convertible crib. With hidden hardware keeping bolts and screws out of view and Greenguard Gold certification, this crib will be a safe and stylish addition to any nursery.

What is a 4-in-1 convertible crib?

If three is good, four has to be better, right? The 4-in-1 style is one of the more popular convertible crib options out there.

A typical 4-in-1 convertible crib will have the following configurations:

  • Crib
  • Toddler bed
  • Daybed
  • Full-size bed

This bed could conceivably be used for your child’s entire life! You will definitely need to purchase a new mattress down the line and possibly a conversion kit as well.

A beautiful choice for a 4-in-1 crib is the Graco Benton convertible crib. As long as your little one doesn’t chew up the headboard portion of the bed (like mine did), this convertible crib is going to fit well in the nursery or dorm room later in life!

What is a 5-in-1 convertible crib?

A 5-in-1 convertible crib is essentially a 4-in-1 with a bit of twist.

This convertible crib will go from a crib to a toddler bed with a safety rail, a toddler bed without a safety rail, a daybed, then finally, a full-size bed. It is not a massive difference from the previous style, but it provides a bit more safety against your little one rolling out of bed.

A typical 5-in-1 convertible crib will have the following configurations:

  • Crib
  • Toddler bed with safety rail
  • Toddler bed without safety rail
  • Daybed
  • Full-size bed

You often will have the option to have a full-size bed with or without a footboard.

The Dream On Me Cape Cod 5-in-1 convertible crib is sleek and stylish. The sturdy good looking headboard will have your adult baby telling their friends, “yeah, I grew up in that!”

What is a 6-in-1 convertible crib?

If you go with a 6-in-1 crib style, you can have some pretty neat options.

You most likely will have the standard crib, a toddler bed, daybed, and full-size bed. Depending on the crib’s brand, you can have options to transform the crib into a sofa or love seat!

A typical 6-in-1 convertible crib will have the following configurations:

  • Crib
  • Toddler bed
  • Daybed
  • Full-size bed with headboard and footboard
  • Full-size bed with headboard only
  • Sofa

If you want your crib to be a sofa someday, the Delta Children Westminster 6-in-1 convertible crib is a stylish choice. It makes a great option that offers function and versatility.

Is a convertible crib worth it?

No matter what variant you may be looking to buy, convertible cribs are often more expensive than a stand-alone crib.

If the upfront cost is a factor, a convertible crib may not be your best option. Even with a convertible baby crib, you will have the added expenses of conversion kits, bed rails, and mattresses. 

Convertible cribs do offer versatility and can be with your baby throughout their life. There is something very special and sentimental in looking at my older child’s headboard and seeing teeth and bite marks from when they were little and starting to cut teeth.

If functionality, versatility, and holding on to a piece of your baby’s past are important to you, a convertible crib will definitely be worth the purchase.

After the extra initial expense of the convertible crib, you will be saving money on at least two additional beds, if not three, you would have needed to buy for your child as they get older.

How long can you use a convertible crib?

Depending on your choice of convertible crib, it is a purchase your child should be able to take with them when they decide to move out of the house.

How will my baby use their crib

Type of CribLongevityThings to Consider
Traditional1½ - 3½ yearsOnce your baby starts climbing regularly, it's time for a toddler bed.
2-in-16 months - 2½ yearsToddlers typically move into a twin bed at around 4 years
3-in-16 months - 2½ yearsA daybed may extend the usefulness of the crib base, but you'll still need to purchase a new bed for your child.
4-in-114+ yearsWhen properly taken care of, a full-size bed will be with your child until they no longer need it.
5-in-114+ yearsLike the 4-in-1, this bed will last throughout your child's adolescence.
6-in-114+ yearsOnce you're done using this crib base as a bed, you can convert it into a sofa or daybed for continued use.

If taken care of properly, there is no reason your child’s crib could not last from infancy to college.

What size bed does a convertible crib convert to?

Convertible baby cribs can be adjusted in size to fit whatever stage of development your child is currently in.

Once your baby outgrows their baby bed, you can easily adjust the layout to toddler bed size. From here, you most likely will need to purchase bed rails to convert the toddler bed into either a twin-size or full-size bed.

This will depend on the manufacturer and style of the crib bed you purchase.

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