Smart bassinets are here to stay. While some parents swear by them, others are skeptical of the benefits. Two of the top dogs in the smart bassinet space are the Happiest Baby SNOO smart sleeper and the 4moms mamaroo sleep bassinet.
Let’s break down the SNOO vs mamaRoo bassinets and see how these two smart bassinets compare.
Both the SNOO and the mamaRoo smart bassinets are premium products and they come loaded with features. However, there are some major differences between them.
The company Happiest Baby started a craze a few years ago when they launched the SNOO Smart Sleeper – a smart bassinet that soothes and puts your baby to sleep when they wake up crying.
Since then, a few other companies have tried to emulate the SNOO’s success but none came even close. That is until 4moms decided to enter the game.
Built on the backbone of the extremely successful mamaRoo and rockaRoo smart baby swings, the 4moms mamaRoo sleep bassinet is here to go head-to-head with the SNOO.
Main Differences Between mamaROO vs SNOO
- mamaROO doesn’t have the ability to hear if your baby is crying, where as the SNOO automatically starts rocking once your baby gets fussy
- SNOO Sack is a custom swaddle that comes with the SNOO, whereas the mamaROO sleep doesn’t offer this
- mamaROO Sleep bassinet is under $400, whereas the SNOO is over $1,500
- mamaROO bassinet is lighter and smaller compared to the SNOO
- SNOO doesn’t have an adjustable height, whereas the mamaROO does
mamaRoo vs SNOO comparison table
|Motion||YES||YES, 5 modes|
|Sound/white noise||YES, 3 modes||YES, 4 modes|
|Washable, water resistant mattress||YES||YES|
|Integrated storage||NO||YES, optional|
|Age/weight limits||6 months, 25 lbs||6 months, 25 lbs|
Dr. Harvey Karp, the well-known California pediatrician who founded the Happiest Baby company, designed the SNOO bassinet. The 4moms mamaRoo is part of the Pittsburgh-based Thorley Industries, which hired a team of engineers to develop the mamaRoo sleep bassinet.
Both products underwent strict quality testing, safety approvals and continue to be improved by the manufacturers.
Both the SNOO and the mamaRoo sleep are high-quality products with useful features (like cry detection) that will help your baby (and you!) get sleep better.
How Does the SNOO Smart Sleeper Work?
SNOO smart bassinet is the most advanced smart crib on the market today. You snuggle your baby into a sleep sack and swaddle the baby into the bed securely. Manufacturer Happiest Baby advises putting your child down after the baby has fallen asleep on his own for two weeks.
This routine helps the little ones get used to the motion and the white noise generator. To make the transition easier, Happiest Baby also advises starting with one of the louder white noises before putting the baby down. Once babies become used to the crib, they’ll sleep for longer stretches at a time.
The SNOO Smart Sleeper Bassinet has a voice recorder embedded into it for the cry detection feature. The system’s algorithm can distinguish between noises your baby makes and general sounds outside. The SNOO Smart Sleeper Bassinet understands what your baby’s cry sounds like, and the bassinet begins with sway motions.
The rocking motion is similar to what the baby experienced in the womb and helps them settle down. It’s identical to having someone rocking them to sleep, except that the rocking bassinet is automatic. The SNOO Smart Sleeper Bassinet also has soothing sounds with 4 white noise options to soothe baby. w
Pros and Cons
- Scientifically proven to extend baby sleep (and help a new parent get more sleep)
- Patented swaddling system ensures that the baby doesn’t roll around, supporting safe sleep practices
- Has a firm flat sleep surface, keeping your little one safe while they’re sleeping
- The bassinet detects your baby crying and adapts the motion and sound accordingly
- The app makes it possible to track sleeping patterns and adjust the motion
- Bassinet includes features to improve sleep and to wean baby off rocking as they transition to a crib
- Expensive to buy outright, but it’s possible to rent one
- Big and heavy – not easy to move around
For comprehensive review of the SNOO Bassinet, check our my full review.
How Does the mamaRoo Sleep Bassinet Work?
The mamaRoo Sleep bassinet comes in at a significantly lower price point – around $1000 cheaper to be exact. The mamaRoo offers many of the same features as the SNOO and in some ways even more. It rocks the baby to sleep by working through a range of motions, and it uses white noise to soothe the child.
The innovative settings of the mamaRoo include five different movement patterns. They even have a motion that emulates a car ride if your little guy happens to love the car and falls asleep while you’re driving. You can preprogram the sleep cycle or control it through the mobile app as you prefer.
To get started, plug it in and download the app from 4Moms. Follow the instructions on the app and you will be fully set up in minutes.
For more information on this cool smart bassinet, check out my full review of the mamaRoo sleep bassinet. I also put together a list of mamaRoo alternatives to help narrow down your choices.
Pros and Cons
- Affordable bassinet to support infant sleep
- Works with a mobile app and timer
- Has a built in white noise machine
- Uses five innovative movement patterns
- Caters to those who prefer to allow baby freedom to move
- No weaning feature for this rocking bassinet
- No cry detection
The SNOO vs. mamaRoo Comparison
A Few Observations
One place where the mamaRoo differs from SNOO is that it has no built in voice technology for cry detection. The mamaRoo cannot pick up the sounds of your baby crying and therefore won’t soothe them automatically as the SNOO will.
Another point of difference is that the SNOO comes with a custom swaddle (the SNOO sack) that is designed to keep your baby on his back while in the bassinet. The mamaRoo doesn’t have this feature and allows parents to have their baby swaddled or unswaddled.
Vibration and Movement
The SNOO provides several movement levels that you may adjust as you prefer. When it detects the baby crying, it will start running through each group, gently rocking the baby back to sleep.
As not all children like being rocked, you may set the motion limit to stop the movement when it reaches the preset intensity.
If you’re concerned about your baby rolling in the crib, the swaddling straps will hold them securely.
Babies become accustomed to movement in the womb, and so rocking soothes them. The mamaRoo has a series of five motions that include:
- Car ride
In addition to choosing the movement type, you may also adjust the speed. In this respect, mamaRoo is more customizable than SNOO.
Sounds and White Noise
The SNOO smart sleeper provides five levels of white noise to soothe tired babies. The level and intensity are fully adjustable for your baby. Simply adjust the settings in the app once you know what your baby prefers.
If your baby soothes better with softer sounds, turn the volume down. When the SNOO goes off automatically, it will cycle through the settings.
The mamaRoo uses four white-noise types that include the ocean, rain, shh, and fan. The programs seamlessly move from one to the next without significant noise increases between them. The SNOO has a more abrupt change from one sound to the next that has been noted to upset some babies sensitive to noise.
One of the most significant selling points with the SNOO is that it incorporates a swaddling blanket. The sleep sacks come in three sizes to accommodate your growing baby. You swaddle the baby in the sack and then strap them into the bassinet.
For parents concerned about their children rolling in the bassinet, the swaddling feature provides extra reassurance.
The mamaRoo bills itself as a natural way to promote healthy sleep. Manufacturer 4moms didn’t include a swaddling feature. It is up to the parents to choose whether to swaddle their baby or not.
If your baby likes to kick and move at night, the mamaRoo provides more freedom to do so.
Both bassinets can be controlled from a smartphone app or the device itself. The SNOO connects via Wifi whereas the 4moms mamaRoo uses bluetooth technology.
The SNOO app allows for easy monitoring of your baby’s sleep patterns and records each wake up and motion of the bassinet. It’s a far more advanced app for a more refined product.
If you need something simple, the mamaRoo app is easy to use. Change the settings or set a timer through the app. Motion and sound levels can be controlled from the app.
The SNOO detects your baby’s cry and instantly springs into gear, which can save you many sleepless nights. When your baby starts fussing, the SNOO plays white noise and starts to rock the cradle.
The mamaRoo has no in-built cry detection. You can program the smart bassinet for up to four hours to help your baby fall asleep. Some parents prefer this method as it teaches babies to self-soothe.
Mesh sides are standard in all bassinets now for a good reason. They allow plenty of airflow while still providing your baby with a level of protection. Both models feature mesh sides to allow for good visibility and better airflow.
The SNOO’s mesh has an open design but seems more substantial than that of the mamaRoo. It looks like the pattern covers slightly more of the interleaving spaces between the gaps and appears to be a higher-quality mesh, softer to the touch.
The mamaRoo seems to provide better visibility, and the mesh seems lighter overall. It’s still excellent quality, but not as thick as the SNOO.
Both models feature water-resistant mattresses rather than waterproof ones – a little inconvenient but far better for your baby’s health since waterproofing doesn’t breathe. The crib accessories for both bassinets are machine-washable.
You can run the SNOO’s sleep sacks and sheets through a normal washing cycle. The crib’s mesh sides and base are easy to wipe down and clean with a mild detergent and damp cloth. To clean the mattress, wipe it down and air it out once in a while.
The upper surface of the mattress is water-resistant. You can run the sheets through the wash as usual and spot-clean the crib and sides.
The weight and age limits for both models are the same – 6 months or 25 pounds. Both manufacturers warn that their bassinets are not designed for babies that are able to sit up on their own.
While the frames are sturdy, once your baby starts to climb, they won’t provide enough protection to keep the child in. An agile baby will be up and over the top in the blink of an eye. If your baby is showing signs of sitting and climbing, it’s time to transition to a crib.
Use until your child is 6 months old, weighs 25 pounds, or can start pushing themselves up.
The weight and age limits for the mamaRoo are 6 months or 25 pounds just like the SNOO
Let’s talk about the main reason that many people choose the mamaRoo over the SNOO – price. There’s about a $1000 difference in the cost between these two smart bassinets. But here is the kicker – you can rent the SNOO for much less than the purchase price
Check out my full review of the SNOO rental including parent’s testimonials and tips on how to get the most from your SNOO rental.
Buying a SNOO is an investment that most parents claim is worth every penny. It is definitely worthwhile if you’re just starting your family and plan to use it for more than one child. Happiest Baby understands that the price may be prohibitive to some families, so the company also provides a rental program at a much more affordable rate.
The mamaRoo still comes in cheaper than renting the SNOO six months rental, but you’ll sacrifice on some features, namely the cry detection. If you don’t need all the bells and whistles, the mamaRoo provides much better value for the money.
The SNOO or the mamaRoo Sleep Bassinet — Which One is Best?
Who wins the ultimate showdown? Does the lower cost of the mamaRoo bassinet win out over the cool features of the SNOO bassinet? Initially, I might have said, “Yes.” Building my child’s college fund will give me sleepless nights, so why not start by saving on the crib?
Then SNOO came up with their rental plan, and I perked my ears up. By leveling the price difference, SNOO gives you access to automatic noise detection.
For new parents, the cry detection and automatic start up is the best feature. It’s like having personal assistants who’ll get up and check on the baby at three in the morning. SNOO has a better track record and a lot more features with which to play.
Meanwhile, the mamaRoo provides an alternative for babies that like to wriggle at night since it does not require a swaddle.
Both the SNOO or mamaRoo sleep bassinet will help babies and parents get some much needed Z’s. Now that you’ve seen how these two smart bassinets compare the choice is yours. Which one do you like best?
Paul is a passionate dad who founded Upside Dad to share his parenting journey with other new parents. He graduated from Concordia University and worked as a test engineer for over a decade. Paul loves dad jokes and craft beer.
Learn more about Paul and Upside Dad here.