For every question I get about other bassinets, I get two about whether the SNOO is worth it.
And I get it.
If you are spending that kind of money (even if it’s for renting a used SNOO Smart Sleeper), you better know every tidbit about it.
The problem is this – the information out there is vague.
I have to be blunt…most of it is platitudes from people who never used the SNOO bassinet. They go on and on without directly answering the all-important question, “Is the SNOO worth it?”
That’s why I created this guide – from a parent who grew two kids in the SNOO to the parent thinking about it – you.
I’ll be direct, concise, and focus on the math behind the decision.
By the end of this page, you’ll have your answer; I can (almost) guarantee it.
TL;DR: I would recommend purchasing the SNOO Smart Sleeper Bassinet if you’re looking t have more than one baby. However, renting it is a great option if you want to try it out. Dr. Harvey Karp certainly knew what he was doing when he made this bassinet!
Two aspects of the SNOO dilemma
There are two ways to approach the analysis of the SNOO – the commercial aspect (what makes it better compared to cheaper bassinets) and the personal aspect.
With that in mind, I’ve split this guide into two sections – my story with the SNOO and the detailed analysis of its features and benefits.
I believe it’s the only way to paint a clear picture about the SNOO‘s worth.
My story with the SNOO Smart Sleeper Bassinet
The first time I heard about the SNOO, I pretty much laughed at the idea of paying almost $1600 for a bassinet.
It was clear that our son would be a restless daredevil, but we already had a pretty good bassinet.
There’s no way replacing the bassinet was going to solve our problem.
A few weeks later and things were looking bleak.
My wife and I were getting a few hours of sleep per night, and we were at the end of our ropes.
I found myself visiting the Happiest Baby website once every few days. I read and re-read reviews trying to figure out why was this thing so darn expensive.
Weeks without sleep went by, and I was honestly losing it.
We’re an average-income family, but at that point, I was grasping at straws.
In hindsight, my decision-making was probably affected by the sleep deprivation…to the point where I had no problem typing those credit card numbers in.
Even now, years later, I start sweating like a sinner in a church when I think about what could’ve been if I didn’t get the SNOO.
My sleep aside, I was seriously worried about my son’s health. He just refused to sleep for longer than 40 minutes.
Why I decided SNOO was worth it for us
The point of no return was reading about all the potential consequences of not getting enough sleep in those first months – especially the emotional disorders that sleepless babies are prone to.
I could handle a few weeks of poor sleep. But there was just no way I could handle the idea of harming my child through inaction.
So, I decided to get the SNOO Smart Sleeper and just return it if it didn’t work.
If this is your first time on my website, let me tell you, I’m a conservative buyer if there ever was one. Spending so much money on a bassinet did feel crazy, but my perception shifted only a few weeks into using it.
I turned into a SNOO believer.
Is it worth buying the SNOO?
If you got the SNOO without waiting for sales or looking for deals, you’d pay about $1600.
At times, SNOO is on sale (typically for Valentine’s or President’s day). The discount is typically about 20% on their Pottery Barn or Amazon website.
If someone in your family is a healthcare professional or in the United States military, you can get the 20% off at any given time.
So, it’s fair to say that you can get the SNOO for $1300.
Related: SNOO sales
My ‘SNOO worth’ math
Let me share some math I used to decide if SNOO is worth it.
For the time being, let’s ‘forget’ the potential cost of sleep deprivation for our son and just look at our sleep.
So, let’s say that you pay the full price of $1,600, take decent care of it, and then sell it on eBay.
A used SNOO smart sleeper goes for $700-1,000, so I’ll go with the median – $850.
If you only used the SNOO for one kid and then sold it, your total cost would be:
- $450 of you get it on a sale (1300-850)
- $750 if you pay the regular price (1600-850)
Suppose you use it for six months (approximately 182 days)
That brings the total cost of the SNOO to $2.47-4.13. The former is for the sale price and the latter for the full price.
Finally, preparing a used SNOO Smart Sleeper for sale might set you back $100 if you want to be diligent about it and get a professional to clean it.
The good news – you can now rent it
If I was getting the SNOO bassinet today, this is what I’d do – rent it for a month to make sure it works for us and then buy it if it does.
If you take my advice here, make sure you don’t overlook the delivery times.
Ideally, the bassinet should be with you before the baby arrives. That gives you a few weeks to use the SNOO and figure out if it works for you and buy it if it does.
I can almost hear you thinking, “But if I do this, how do I know cheaper bassinet wouldn’t do the trick, too?”
In this scenario, you don’t.
But that’s beside the point because SNOO is not just about the sleep hours – it’s about safety, too. If you’ve ever read any bassinet recommendations from a sleep consultant, you know how hard it can be to find a bassinet that’s 100% safe for infant sleep. The American Academy of Pediatrics doesn’t recommend keeping anything in a bassinet (besides baby in a sleep sack); the majority of regular bassinets don’t have any rocking motion capabilities, leaving you to comfort your baby by yourself whenever they get fussy. The sleep deprivation that puts most new parents through is rough enough, but things can get even harder when baby hits a sleep regression.
I’d argue that safety is the single most significant selling point of the SNOO – even more so than soothing and sleep. I’ll get back to that in a minute…
Is it worth renting the SNOO?
It costs about $149 to rent the SNOO for months 1 to 4, and $30 for months 5 to 6.
That brings the average cost of renting the SNOO for the entire six months to just under $110, which is over $3.6.
I’d say that renting the SNOO is only worth it in two scenarios:
- You’re late to the party and want to rent it for a month or two
- You want to try it out and see if it works for you
For most people, I’d recommend buying and then selling it used.
If there’s a chance you’ll be using it for more than one kid (like I did), I’d go with buying.
The third option – buying a used SNOO
The option of getting it used and selling it after you’re done is naturally the cheapest.
Let’s say that you got it for $950 and sell it for $700. You’re down only $250.
Personally, I wouldn’t go down this road because I’m prone to ‘where-has-this-been’ thoughts.
But how is that different from renting it?
It is. It’s very different.
I know how they prepare each rental unit.
They call it reconditioning, and (apart from replacing the mattress and the SNOO swaddle) it means that each bassinet is:
- Sanitized with hospital-approved cleaning products
- Steam cleaned on ultra hot
- Vacuumed by a high-powered vacuum
- Tested and re-certified
You can’t say any of that for a used SNOO.
If I were to ever go down this road, I’d have to buy a replacement mattress and new sleep sacks and get it professionally steam-cleaned.
Those three things would probably set me back $200-300, which means I’d only be saving like 300 bucks.
Moreover, there’s always a chance of getting a faulty unit.
The risk and the hassle just weren’t worth the price difference for me.
SNOO and baby sleep – features and benefits
If you found your way here, you belong to one of two groups:
- You know everything about the SNOO and only need first-hand advice
- You’re still in the early days of your SNOO research
If you belong to the latter group, the section below is for you.
I’ll go into detail about SNOO’s features and benefits compared to cheaper bassinets.
First things first – what’s different about SNOO?
SNOO has two types of competitors:
- ‘Veteran’ bassinets that aren’t as complete but cost less
- New bassinets that look good on paper but still have to stand the test of time (and aren’t necessarily safe)
All things considered, I still feel that SNOO is the king of the hill.
Designed by a “baby whisperer”
The mind behind the SNOO is Dr. Harvey Karp, aka. Baby Whisperer.
Dr. Karp is also known as the pediatrician behind the 5S of baby soothing and the author of The Happiest Baby on the Block.
SNOO is the safest baby bed ever made
SNOO’s built-in swaddle and sleep sack keep the baby sleeping on its back at all times – that’s unique on the bassinet market.
A baby should ONLY sleep on their backs up until their first birthday.
Still, SNOO is the only bassinet on the market that keeps the baby on its back at all times.
If you’re a safety zealot when it comes to baby sleep (like I am), that fact alone is a good answer to the question, “Is the SNOO worth it?”
Related: SNOO swaddle review
Millions of sleep hours without SIDS
In 2019, SNOO had a track record of 50 million sleep hours without a case of SIDS. By early 2020, that number was at 75 million.
I don’t have the exact number for 2021 but, based on the 2019-20 numbers, it’s likely well over 100 million sleep hours without a single case of SIDS.
If anything changed, I’d know about it because running this site means I have to stay on top of things.
But even if we didn’t make any projections – the last reported number of 75 million is impressive enough.
It all begs the question – why isn’t controlled back sleeping the golden standard for bassinets?
I don’t have the answer to that, but I believe it will happen sooner or later.
A smart bassinet that keeps your baby sleeping
The soothing station of the smart bassinet combines white noise, gentle rocking, and vibration to improve your baby’s sleep.
- The gentle swaying motion is controlled through the app. You can set it to one of the five levels – baseline and 1-4.
- Cry detection – the sensors’ recognize’ fussing and crying and initiate the white noise and swaying as SNOO gently rocks your baby back to sleep.
- White noise, paired with the gentle rocking, noise imitates the womb.
- The swaddle – the SNOO swaddle allows you to make the most out of swaddling without any of the risks. You close it, zip the baby up and attach the sack hoops to the sides of the bassinet.
Benefits we saw
Within a few weeks of using the SNOO, the app showed regular sleep cycles, and my wife and I were starting to get a life beyond parenting.
Most decent bassinets feature some type of soothing, including white noise…I get that.
Bottom line – SNOO helps your baby fall asleep and keeps them sleeping, with minimal intervention from you.
I used and reviewed dozens of baby sleep apps.
I find the SNOO app more intuitive than most, which is surprising given the number of functions it controls.
You use the app to control everything – from turning it on and off to the motion and white noise levels.
It also keeps detailed logs of the baby’s sleep patterns.
The weaning mode is designed to prepare the baby to transition to a crib. It does so by only turning on the soothing when it registers the crying of your sleeping baby.
The sound is still on through the night.
So, is the SNOO bassinet really worth it?
Yes, SNOO is worth it. And that goes double if you have a restless baby on your hands or if you have a zero-tolerance policy about safety.
If we look at the cost alone, the option that makes the most financial sense to me is renting for a month to try it out and then buying new. Once you sell it, the average cost will go under 3 bucks per day.
We can talk money ’till the cows come home but, ultimately, it all comes down to one question “How much is a parent’s peace of mind worth?”
It’s not something you can put a price tag on.