Completing this comparison was a doozy because we’re talking about the two most advanced smart bassinets (or cribs) on the market.
The first closed Cradlewise launch took place in San Francisco in 2020.
The company started receiving nationwide pre-orders in March 2021, and they were expected to start shipping the bassinets in June.
No such luck.
They postponed the shipping to April 2022, but they’re still open for pre-orders.
The challenges of Cradlewise vs. SNOO comparison
There are two main challenges of comparing the two bassinets:
- Cradlewise is still not widely used, so we need more data on how the features meet the challenges of the real world.
- The Cradlewise website reads like it’s written to do one thing – announce to the world that “the new kid on the block” is better than SNOO.
It’s like watching that Pepsi commercial where the kid buys two cans of Coke just to stand on them and reach the Pepsi button.
I’m not saying that they did it intentionally.
Nor am I saying it’s not actually better than the SNOO.
I am saying, though, that I’m looking at the advertising claims with a grain of salt.
That’s why I really dug deep on this one and tried to make sense of it all, so you don’t have to.
How does the Cradlewise bassinet work
Cradlewise works by soothing the baby through bouncing when its sensors pick up signs of the baby waking up.
The “quiet phase” of the wake-up
Cradlewise stresses that their bassinet anticipates the wake-up in the “quiet phase,” and goes on to say that babies wake up in three phases: quiet, active, and crying.
It also stresses says that other bassinets only start the soothing through cry detection.
Since that’s exactly how SNOO works, it (again) feels like they’re saying their bassinet is better than the SNOO.
Time will tell if that’s the case.
If I’m being honest here and say that this is the first time I’m hearing about the three phases of the baby waking up. I just spent the better part of an hour looking for more information on these three phases of waking up and came up short.
Bottom line – even if the wake-up phases are a real thing, the only way to tell if the Cradlewise works better than the SNOO would be to compare the results head-to-head.
But it does sound awesome and, on paper, offers more features than SNOO – that much I can give them right now.
While the SNOO insists on mimicking the womb, Cradlewise takes a slightly different approach and uses up-and-down motion to mimic a mom (or dad) bouncing their baby.
You can either set the bouncing to be automatic or manually adjust the intensity.
White noise and music
Cradlewise gives you a range of soothing music and white noises to choose from – from eight lullabies and 6 white noises to 13 classical songs.
You can let Cradlewise go through its playlist or choose a sound your baby likes and play it on a loop.
Cradlewise‘s built-in mic and camera allow you to monitor your baby through the app on your phone.
It shows you the live feed of your baby at the home screen of the app.
If you tap the screen, you can choose what you want to monitor – video, audio, or both.
“Becomes” a crib after six months
Compared to SNOO, Cradlewise lasts longer since you can use it as a crib for up to 24 months.
This is potentially its most significant advantage over the SNOO.
The catch 22 is that it will have to perform as advertised in bassinet mode for parents to pay the premium buck.
Smooth and quiet starts and stops
There’s no sudden movement, and the bouncing starts and stops gently.
Moreover, the bouning mechanism is patented, and Cradlewise describes it as “quiet as a whisper.”
What I like about Cradlewise:
I’m talking about the concepts I like here since I didn’t use or see Cradlewise (opposed to SNOO, which I used for both my kids).
These are the aspects of Cradlewise that stand out:
- You can monitor what happens in the crib at all times without an extra baby monitor – a nice way to save anywhere from $50-200
- Natural materials of the mattress – natural latex and coconut coir – give you peace of mind knowing there’s no off-gassing.
- Gesture control – you can use simple gestures to control it (like push to start and hold to stop bouncing) – this makes it extra convenient to use.
- Detailed sleep insights comparable to sleep monitors – you can see pinpoint the potential problem areas.
- Prolonged use as a crib – up to 24 months – saves you money and makes the bassinet-to crib transition easier because it’s the same environment.
How does the SNOO bassinet work
When you cut through the clutter of confusing language, the basics of soothing are very similar – recognize when the baby is about to wake up and soothe them back to sleep.
Safest baby bed in existence
SNOO has now officially passed the 100 million mark of logged sleep hours without a single case of injury or SIDS.
The hero behind the achievement is the bassinet’s no-compromise swaddle and sack system that keeps the baby on its back at all times.
You read that right – at all times – 24/7.
Swaddle and sleepsack
The SNOO swaddle and sleepsack combo work in unison to give the baby all the soothing benefits of a classical swaddle without any of the risks. SNOO won’t start until the sleepsack is secured to the sides of the bassinet.
Related read: How to keep your baby warm in SNOO
SNOO defines their sensors as “cry detection,” but they can be set to 5 levels of sensitivity. Set to “Very High,” they will pick up even on the faint grunts of a newborn.
It gradually increases the motion and sound until the baby falls back asleep. If it doesn’t happen within three minutes, SNOO times out and stops.
Rocking, swaying, sound
The motion used to soothe the babies in the SNOO is “planned” by the famous pediatrician Dr. Harvey Kaarp.
Dr. Kaarp is also knowns as the Baby Whisperer; he’s the author of the now-classic book “The Happiest Baby on the Block.” He’s also the brain behind the 5S’s system of baby soothing.
There are five intensity levels – baseline and 1-4.
I can’t be sure until I see some data, but I don’t see the Cradlewise bouncing motion being superior to the swaying of the SNOO. It might be just as good, though.
The white noise used in the SNOO is “designed” around the idea of mimicking the womb.
Cradlewise vs. SNOO – a resume of the features
I still see SNOO as the kind of hill in terms of safety.
It’s still the only bassinet that will keep the baby on its back 24/7. It also has an impressive track record of 100+ million logged sleep hours without a case of SIDS.
Cradlewise has its work cut out when it comes to beating SNOO’s safety. Time and data will tell.
SNOO uses side-to-side swaying, while Cradlewise uses gentle bouncing. If we’re to believe the claims made by Cradlewise, the bouncing is almost completely silent.
If you ask me, that’s not a huge deal since noise has never been an issue with SNOO.
Price and value for money
If it works as advertised, Cradlewise will best SNOO in value for money for two reasons:
- SNOO currently costs about $100 more
- SNOO is a bassinet only (used up to 6 months), and Cradlewise doubles as a bassinet/crib (used up to 24 months)
What remains to be seen is how often Cradlewise will have discounts and if they’ll start a rental program. But, even if it never goes on sale, it’s still the better value because you’ll be using it four times longer.
Both bassinets are equipped with sensors that recognize fussing and kickstart the soothing functions. Cradlewise claims that their sensors react in the ‘quiet phase” of the wake-up.
How the Cradlewise sensors compare to the SNOO sensors (set to High or Very High) remains to be seen.
Sounds of the Cradlewise vs. SNOO
SNOO is more specific in its choices of sounds. The white noise imitates blood whooshing in the mom’s womb.
With Cradlewise, you also get lullabies and classical tunes.
My take – more doesn’t mean better when it comes to soothing sounds. Ultimately, comparing the soothing power of the two bassinets will come down to the data.
Related reads: How to travel with SNOO
Cradlewise is THE ONLY bassinet out there that seems like it’s gonna give SNOO a run for its money. It packs more features and costs less.
There’s still not enough data to conclusively say how the two compare in daily use.
I have my fingers crossed for Cradlewise because its success would mean competition, which is always good for the parent.
I’ll stay on top of things and update this guide as I get more data.