Union 3-in-1 Convertible Crib

Better Crib

Last updated: September 5, 2017

Better crib: Union 3-in-1 Convertible

Better crib review: The Union 3-in-1 Convertible is a $110 convertible crib made of New Zealand Pine. Its simple, clean lines plus unbelievable low price make it our better pick.

Cribs 101

Cribs have you confused? Check out our Cribs 101, which gets you up to speed on buying a crib for your baby. You’ll learn the three golden rules of buying nursery furniture and the truth about expensive cribs (spoiler alert: the $100 cribs you see in discount stores are just as safe).

How we picked a winner

We evaluate cribs with hands on inspections, checking models for overall quality and ease of use—for example, adjusting the mattress height. We also gather significant reader feedback (our book, Baby Bargains has over 1 million copies in print), tracking cribs on quality and durability. Besides interviewing parents, we also talk with retailers of nursery furniture to see which brands are most reliable.

We’ve been rating and reviewing cribs since 1994. As part of our research, we have also visited manufacturer facilities and met with safety regulators. We also look at consumer reviews posted on sites like Babies R Us and Amazon, as well as blogs that focus on nursery furniture.

The Winner for Better Crib: Union 3-in-1 Convertible

Union 3-in-1 Convertible Crib

Our Pick

Union 3-in-1

The Union 3-in-1 Convertible Crib is made by DaVinci (part of Million Dollar Baby empire) for Amazon. The simple $115-$125 crib is made of New Zealand pine and style-wise echoes the simple IKEA Guillver crib.

$109.00* at Amazon

* Prices change daily. Shop carefully.

 

Made by Million Dollar Baby exclusively for Amazon.com, the Union 3-in-1 Convertible Crib main selling point is its price. At $109, ($124 for the Lagoon blue version and $111 for the white) it’s tough to beat, especially if you have twins. It’s made of New Zealand pine and comes in five different colors. The Sunshine yellow and Lagoon blue seem to be most popular.

Union 3-in-1 convertible crib lagoon

Union 3-in-1 convertible crib sunshine

Parents also praise the Union’s easy assembly. Many a pregnant mom was able to assemble it in under 30 minutes. It’s the perfect height for shorter parents because it sits close to the floor. While it doesn’t have wheels, it is very lightweight, making it easy to move around the nursery if you need to redecorate. It’s spare design means it doesn’t take up much room if your baby’s room is tiny. Finally, we like the metal spring platform. Wood platforms can crack (especially if you have a rambunctious little one!), so metal is a better bet in our minds.

For all those reasons, we picked the Union crib as our choice for better crib.

Union, the brand

Million Dollar Baby (MDB) is one of the industry’s best survival stories—while many other brands faltered in the ups and downs of the nursery furniture market in the last 25 years, MDB successfully adapted to a changing market. Among the first to jump on the import bandwagon (the company launched in 1990), MDB has thrived by selling its wares in a large variety of stores under a series of aliases. It also didn’t hurt that the company was the first to see the potential of the Internet to sell furniture.

Even though this company got its start selling low-price Jenny Lind cribs to discount stores, you’ll now find it everywhere from Walmart to pricey specialty stores. The company’s cribs are sold under the aliases ABC in JCPenney and Baby Mod at Walmart.

DaVinci Jenny Lind crib
An example of the Jenny Lind style crib DaVinci’s parent company started making. This DaVinci Jenny Lind runs $200.

The company divides its line into six brands: DaVinci, Million Dollar Baby Classic (MDBC), babyletto, Nurseryworks, Franklin & Ben and ubabub. Union is made by the DaVinci brand of the company.

Flaws but not deal breakers

As for drawbacks, the claim here is that this crib has four uses—crib, toddler bed, day bed and full-size bed. The caveat: the toddler bed and full-size bed require the separate purchase of a toddler rail ($50) full/twin size bed rail ($78; it’s actually a DaVinci full size conversion rail kit).

And when converted to a twin or full bed, we’d bet the Union crib will look rather funky—that’s because the headboard and footboard are the same size. If you really want a convertible crib, the DaVinci Kalani ($200) might be a better bet as it has a headboard that is higher than the footboard. (Perhaps in recognition of this limitation, Amazon now refers to the Union as a 3-in-1 convertible crib; it used to be called a 4-in-1).

Also: this crib has exposed screws and screw holes. That doesn’t compromise safety; it’s just an aesthetic issue. More expensive cribs hide this hardware, but that is the trade-off to get the price so low. Here’s an example of the visible screw holes:

Visible screw on the Amazon Union crib—not a safety hazard, but some folks don’t like the look.

A final drawback: this crib is made from New Zealand pine. As we explained in the Million Dollar Baby review, this wood is soft and can easily scratch. Hence, take great care when unpacking and assembling this crib. Even rubbing a belt buckle against the crib rail will scratch it (when you lean into the crib to pick up baby, for example).

Also: if your teething baby decides to munch on the crib rail, the finish will most likely come off. It isn’t a health hazard (the paint is non-toxic), but this has alarmed more than a few parents. (If teething is an issue, you can use a cloth rail cover for $18 like this.)

We realize that a chewed on crib doesn’t look perfect, but having a baby in your house means everything will now be scratched, scuffed and chewed on—your crib will simply match the rest of your furniture. (“You can either have children or nice stuff!”—Dennis Miller).

 

Also Great

Eco-Chic Dorchester 4-in-1 Convertible Crib

$699.99* at BabiesRUs

* Prices change daily. Shop carefully.

Eco-Chic’s 4-in-1 convertible crib is Greenguard certified and includes an under crib drawer.

Eco-Chic Baby Dorchester 4-in-1 Convertible Crib

Another crib to consider

The Eco-Chic Dorchester 4-in-1 Convertible crib runs $700—it features bun feet and a sweeping headboard. Eco-Chic is part of the Baby Appleseed crib brand that is sold at Buy Buy Baby and other stores. We think the quality of this brand is very good.

To Sum Up

The Union 3-in-1 Convertible crib from Amazon.com is a simple design with a remarkable low price. If you have twins or are on a tight budget, this is a great crib to consider.

Union 3-in-1 Convertible Crib

Union 3-in-1

The Union 3-in-1 Convertible Crib is made by DaVinci (part of Million Dollar Baby empire) for Amazon. The simple $115-$125 crib is made of New Zealand pine and style-wise echoes the simple IKEA Guillver crib.

$109.00* at Amazon

* Prices change daily. Shop carefully.