The Best Baby Swaddles | Reviews by Wirecutter

The Best Baby Swaddles | Reviews by Wirecutter

Swaddling—wrapping a baby securely in a thin blanket—can help minimize the startle reflex, replicate the coziness of the womb, and calm a baby who’s overstimulated. To find the best swaddles, we had five families spend two weeks testing 11 of them with babies ranging in age from 2 to 12 weeks, and talked to four birth and postpartum experts. There’s no single swaddle that will work for every baby, and the right swaddle for one baby might even change between the newborn stage and later months. Still, we found that the Happiest Baby Sleepea is the most effective at keeping a baby securely wrapped, is among the easiest for parents to use, and is safe and comfortable for the baby.

Our pick

Happiest Baby Sleepea

The Sleepea is the most effective swaddle we tested. It keeps babies snug and secure with a unique interior Velcro panel and it’s safe, comfortable, and easy to use.

Buying Options

*At the time of publishing, the price was $24.

The combination of a unique interior Velcro panel and a compressive pouch makes the Sleepea harder for babies to break out of than other swaddles, which rely on just one layer to keep arms down. The Sleepea, made by child development and sleep expert Dr. Harvey Karp’s company, Happiest Baby, can be used with or without the interior Velcro panel, and in the medium and large sizes the shoulders unsnap to create optional armholes for one-arm-out or both-arms-out transitional swaddling. Other nice features, like mesh panels for ventilation and a roomy sack that promotes the frog position for a baby’s growing hips, also help make this our top choice.

Material: 95 percent organic cotton, 5 percent spandex, plus polyester mesh
Size: small fits 5 to 12 pounds, up to about 20 inches; medium fits 12 to 18 pounds, up to about 22 inches; large fits 18 to 26 pounds, up to about 24 inches


Halo SleepSack Swaddle

This all-cotton swaddle uses less-restrictive exterior wings, and it has armholes for extended wear. Its roomy cut makes diaper changes more convenient. The Velcro is loud, however, and it’s easier to escape from than our top pick.

The all-cotton Halo SleepSack Swaddle’s exterior wings may be easier for some babies to escape from than the two layers of swaddling provided by the Sleepea, and its Velcro panel is large and loud, but it’s a solid choice if you’re looking for a swaddle for a baby who doesn’t like a wrap as form-fitting as the Sleepea. The Halo also includes dedicated armholes for extended wear and a larger sack than the Sleepea’s for more convenient middle-of-the-night diaper changes.

Material: 100 percent cotton
Size: preemie fits birth to 5 pounds, 14 to 19 inches; newborn fits 6 to 12 pounds, 19 to 23 inches; small fits 13 to 18 pounds, 23 to 26 inches

Also great

Woombie Air

A form-fitting neck-to-toe sack, this swaddle leaves a baby free to move their limbs and keep their hands closer to their face than with other swaddles.

Buying Options

*At the time of publishing, the price was $20.

If you’d like to avoid the noise of Velcro, or your baby has proven adept at breaking out of it, or they prefer keeping their hands closer to their face, you may want to try the Woombie Air. This swaddle doesn’t have wings but instead simply zips up to encase a baby from neck to toes. It is super quick and easy to use: simply lay the baby inside and zip up the sack. The Woombie Air allows a baby to move more freely within the swaddle than our other picks, but may not work for babies who need a more restrictive swaddle. Also, it doesn’t have armholes, so can’t be used for as long as our other picks.

Material: cotton-spandex blend
Size: preemie fits 3 to 6 pounds, 16 to 17 inches; newborn fits 5 to 13 pounds, 20 to 22 inches; “big baby” fits 14 to 19 pounds, 24 to 26 inches

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