This is a review of the best swaddlers and sleep sacks of 2016. To see our reviews of swaddling and receiving blankets, click here.
Our focus groups with moms revealed six primary brands who make recommended swaddlers, and these include: Halo, Nuroo, Miracle Blanket, Summer, SwaddleDesigns, Munchkin, and Aden + Anais. Here's how the 2016 ratings and reviews of these swaddling blankets stacked up:
#1. Halo Sleepsack Swaddle. The Halo swaddlers use the velco-style wrap design (like the SwaddleMe), and this is not to be confused with the regular Halo Sleepsacks, which do not swaddle. Most moms reported using a micro-fleece 100% polyester version of the Sleepsack Swaddle, and others using a 100% cotton version. In both cases, they liked its zipper and velcro design. They also liked how it could be used as a basic sleepsack (arms out) or a swaddler (arms in). This is helpful as the baby grows, as most babies after 3-4 months will figure out ways to wiggle their arms out of a swaddle anyway, and Halo recommends ceasing swaddling between 4-6 months. The Halo Sleepsack Swaddle comes in 3 sizes: Premie, Newborn, and Small. They also come in multiple colors, with both classic gender-specific and relatively neutral hues. The micro-fleece version is heavier weight than most other swaddlers, so are reportedly great for the colder months. The 100% cotton versions are much thinner and more breathable, so they are better for the warmer months. Are you not comfortable doing the old fashioned swaddle wrap, or just want to save some time? Moms report these Sleepsacks being a big time saver. Once your baby seems strong and nimble enough to break out of the swaddle, stop using it - otherwise there appears to be some risk of them pushing the velcro "wings" right up over the face. Note that buckling into car seats with this type of swaddler (or even just a sleepsack) can be difficult at times, particularly for the buckle between the legs. These are the micro-fleece Sleepsack Swaddles: HALO SleepSack Micro-Fleece Swaddle, and here are the lighter-weight cotton Sleepsack Swaddles: HALO SleepSack 100% Organic Cotton Swaddle
#2. Summer Infant SwaddleMe. Just like the Halo, the Summer SwaddleMe uses the velco-style wrap design. Summer makes their swaddlers in some really cute designs, and several moms mentioned the cute monkey and other animal designs. These swaddlers use a two-tab velcro flap system (the Halo uses one large velcro pad), and some suggest that this design gives a more customized fit. Unlike the Halo, this particular swaddler does not have arm holes to allow arm-out usage. This swaddler comes in 2 sizes: Small/Medium and Large. However, many have complained that the sizing isn't always correct, and might vary by the fabric type and even within a single package; so be sure to try out the size before ripping off the tags and washing them! They also come in multiple designs for both boys and girls, with several cute patterns to choose from, and several different cloth types (cotton or microfleece). The micro-fleece version is heavier weight than the cotton swaddler, just like with the Halo. It has a very convenient loop on the back to help you secure it into a bouncer or swing. Note that, also like the Halo, buckling into car seats with this type of swaddler (or even just a sleepsack) can be difficult at times, particularly for the buckle between the legs. These are the cotton SwaddleMe Blankets: Summer Infant SwaddleMe Swaddling Blanket, and here are the micro-fleece SwaddleMe Blankets: Summer Infant SwaddleMe Microfleece
#3. Nuroo Swaddler, Three Sizes in One. Nuroo is a relative new-comer to the baby carrier and swaddler market, and they are making quite a splash! With high quality fabrics, adorable colors and patterns, and an awesome design, the Nuroo Swaddler is a fantastic addition to our baby swaddler list! At a basic level, the Nuroo functions quite a bit like our #1 Halo Sleepsack, using leg pockets and wings that tighten around the arms and attach using Velcro, and allowing your baby's arms to be either in or out depending on their sleep patterns. But the Nuroo goes beyond just a basic swaddler, incorporating a unique three-in-one design that adjusts to suit your growing baby. Its secret is in the three leg pocket sizes: use the Size 1 pocket from birth to 18" height, then the Size 2 pocket from 18-24" height, and then the Size 3 pocket from 24-28" height. It uses removable grow seams that take about 5 minutes to remove and extend to the next length. We all loved this feature, and thought it was an awesome way to get around having to buy a new swaddler size every few months. There's some extra pocket change we could all use! We also thought the Nuroo was the most flexible fabric on our list, making it both soft and ultra flexible for an easy and comfortable wrapping routine. It's also one of the more resistant to the baby Houdini routine, preventing most babies from wiggling their arms up and out. Cons? Well, early versions of this wrap received some complaints for the Velcro quality, though the one we tested worked quite well. Be sure that when you machine wash it, you close the Velcro fully before throwing it in the wash! Also, though it is great to have so much flexibility in the fabric, some parents might find it a bit too flexible for those super wiggly escape-artist babies. Overall, we think this is an excellent new addition to our swaddler list and highly recommend it! We found it for about $25 online.
#4. Miracle Blanket. Unlike the Halo and SwaddleMe, the Miracle Blanket does not use any velcro. Instead, they use a unique (and some say complicated) design that involves a somewhat elaborate wrapping process. The first step is to secure the arms into the blanket using two little flaps, then you wrap a short flap over the arms and tummy, then wrap the big flap around the entire body to secure it all. The moms who use the Miracle Blanket are really positive about their experiences with the blanket, and highly recommend it to friends. Others, however, think that the velcro-style swaddlers are less time consuming and easier to use. To our knowledge, there is only one size Miracle Blanket, so unlike the SwaddleMe and Halo they are a bit less customizable to your baby's unique growth. The Miracle Blanket tends to be one of the best solutions for parents who have babies that wiggle their arms out of other swaddlers. Compared to some of the other swaddlers, the Miracle Blanket comes in a rather restricted range of colors and patterns, but they likely have a "cute enough" option for most people. Most moms reported using a cotton version, and none mentioned anything about micro-fleece, so it's unclear how many cloth options there are. Given that you wrap this blanket several times around the baby, parents report that it is warm even despite their light-weight fabric. Note that, like the Halo and SwaddleMe, buckling into car seats with this type of swaddler (or even just a sleepsack) can be difficult at times, particularly for the buckle between the legs. Here is the Miracle Blanket (it comes in a variety of colors): Miracle Blanket Swaddling Blanket
#5. ERGOBaby Lightweight Swaddler. This ERGOBaby is probably most similar to the Nuroo in terms of functionality and quality, but without the three-in-one sizing feature. It uses a hip positioner to ensure the proper placement of the swaddler to keep the legs free to move and encourage healthy hip development. Like most of the others, it uses Velcro to securely close. We thought the fabric was nice and soft and showed a good amount of flexibility without being too stretchy. We also liked the simple, contemporary style of it, with soft subtle colors like stone and lilac. Fits babies from 6 to 15 pounds. Cons? Well, many parents think the hip positioner ring is too thick and possibly uncomfortable for their baby. And unlike the SwaddleMe, it doesn't have the loop on the back to help attach to a swing or bouncer. We also thought that overall, the arm wings don't really hold the baby's arms quite as securely as the other swaddlers. Overall, a good swaddler that deserves its spot on our top #5 list among the best, but doesn't receive our highest praise. Usually about $25 online.