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A bassinet is a bed for babies from 0 to about 4 months old. It differs from cots which are infant beds suitable up to the age of 3 years. Lighter, portable bassinets are often baskets made from wicker - sometimes called 'Moses Baskets'. Sturdier ones are also available, but may be less portable. In both cases, the baby can be carried from room to room to be close to a mother or father. In the home, they are often raised on a platform to reduce back strain when bending over to tend to the baby. Some bassinets, even have wheeled bases.

A firm mattress is the currently recommended as it reduces the risks to the baby - please note this is a furniture website, and up-to-date recommendations should be gained elsewhere.

Once a baby can roll over by themselves, bassinets are no longer safe as they could tip themselves out. So an infant bed must be used instead.

An excellent modern example of a bassinet is available from Ooba, (lead picture above). Their nest bassinet offers an excellent way for parents to rest soundly knowing their baby is safe and comfortable next to their bed. Like many modern bassinets, it is multifunctional - this one can convert into a play table.

Modern takes on the bassinet are few and far between. Offi have created a multifunctional bassinet that can be carried, placed on a stand, or converted into a rocker. Inspired by Shaker furniture, the Offi bassinet debuted at the International Contemporary Furniture fair in New York, May 2007.

Monte design group was founded when Ralph and Michelle Montemurro had their third child; the nursery items they had were not congruent with the modern aesthetic of their new home. Not willing to sacrifice form for function, they began developing nursery products that would offer beautiful and simple design.

They believe that bassinets shouldn't look like poufy 1980's wedding dresses, so they designed a streamlined and practical example. The Ninna-Nanna Bassinet is made from water repellent fabric and stain resistent suede microfibre, the removable basket nestles into a dark brown solid wood rocker base.

The YiAhn bassinet (pronounced e-ahn), takes the bassinets concept considerably further. Concerned that as babies outgrow bassinets after around 3 months it becomes a useless and expensive object, Chl Min Kang designed a piece of furniture that transforms from a bassinet into storage - e.g. a toy bin - a chair and a table. The YiAhn bassinet's lifespan is thus extended up until the child is 8 years old.

It is made of Plyboo bamboo plywood, stainless steel, chrome metal and 100% cotton sheets. The mattress is 2" thick and is fire and moisture resistent.

It is a 2007 winner of the coveted Red Dot design award.


The Museum of Modern Art, New York, has an art nouveau take on the cradle by Jacob & Joself Kohn. Their child's cradle was designed c. 1895 in Vienna, and was made from ebonised bentwood. Highly elaborate, it was lined with thick cushions to create a soft, sheltered, egg-shaped bed for an infant. The long vertical arm supported draped netting - popular at the time.

Bentwood furniture was made by steaming lengths of wood and then bending them and placing them in metal molds to dry. The resulting standardised sections were assembled with hardware instead of the traditional hand-carved joints. The idea of standardized elements revolutionized the principles of furniture production.


Recommended Reading

Modern nest bassinet manufacturer.

Multifunctional bassinet manufacturer.

Modern nursery furniture

Multifunctional bassinet designer.

J & J Kohn cradle
Museum of Modern Art, NY

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uk modern furniture

Recommended Reading | Articles | Design Ideas | Soft Furnishing | News | Resources