*Note: HALO has just launched a new version of its Bassinest, the BassiNest 3.0 — ultimately, this model will replace the baseline Halo Essentia Bassinest. The 3.0 (~$219) is 30% lighter than the previous model and specifically designed to be more practical and portable, with a removable bassinet you can use as a lounger around the house (no extra parts/pieces required).
In the meantime, the Essentia is still available on Amazon, so we’re leaving this info up. And since the 3.0 is *brand-spanking new, we’ll be updating the page as we get more intel and experience with the new iteration. Thanks!
Planning on having your baby sleep in your room for a while? The Bassinest Swivel Sleeper is one of the centerpiece products from HALO, a company that believes safe sleep and innovation don’t have to be mutually exclusive. This has been one of our favorite bedside bassinet options for newborn sleep during the “fourth trimester” for a while now. We especially love that it allows for “almost bed-sharing.”
If you’re willing and able to spend this kind of money ($199+) on an item that only lasts 4 or 5 months, it’s well worth investing in quality (and safety) of sleep for you and your baby. Trust us — moms are crazy for this thing.
The Bassinest was the first co-sleeping product to make it feel like the baby’s in your bed, but without actually bed-sharing. It’s really the best of both worlds.
When setting it up, you adjust the height to fit just over the top of your bed (below), and the swivel arm allows the bassinet to encroach into your bed space — all while maintaining baby’s safe sleep area.
The swivel arm also makes it really easy to push away so you can easily get in and out of your bed. Other co-sleeping products, like the original Arm’s Reach co-sleepers, are fixed to your bed and require mom to scoot down to the end of the bed to get out, something that’s rather inconvenient (if not downright painful) when you’re recovering from delivery.
Please note: A number of readers and reviewers have expressed safety concerns about the new version of the HALO, for being slightly tilted when it’s swiveled all the way out. Here’s what HALO says about this:
“Because [the Bassinest] swivels 360° and rotates, there is sometimes a slight tilt. Some people interpret this tilt as problematic, but it is well within the standards of accepted angles for these types of products. In addition, the front sidewall that lowers is slightly shorter than the back sidewall, which can create the perception of additional tilt. Rest assured that the BassiNest Swivel Sleeper meets all applicable CPSC, ASTM and Health Canada requirements for the U.S. and Canada. It carries the JPMA (Juvenile Products Manufacturers Association) certification seal. The BassiNest has met and exceeded all regulatory testing, and we actually submit to additional testing beyond what is required for Bassinets and co-sleepers… To minimize the perception of tilt, you can try moving the BassiNest to its lowest height setting and placing the sleep surface in the non-swiveled out position. This will help to minimize slight tilt. Again, while the BassiNest is still completely safe in the highest position and when swiveled out, perception of tilt may be greater since there is naturally more of an angle.”
Another nice perk for the postpartum period: the side railing pushes down easily, which enables you to scoop up your baby for middle-of-the-night feeds without having to stand up. Can we get a hell yess!!!? This may seem like a minor thing, but it makes such a huge difference in the middle of the night.
The mesh sides all around allow you to easily see your baby as well, which is always reassuring. Plus, it makes this bassinet extra breathable, so you don’t have to worry about overheating.
Remember to keep babies’ sleep surfaces completely clear and free of blankets. HALO was actually founded by a father who lost his baby to SIDS, and the company’s first product was their quintessential Halo safe sleep sack. We cover the HALO SafeSleep Wearable Blanket, and others like it, in our Wearable Blanket Smackdown.
The Bassinest may look top-heavy, but its X-shaped base is actually VERY sturdy and heavy — like, that thing is not going anywhere. In fact, some parents complain that it is too heavy.
The weight is purposeful because the Bassinest isn’t meant to be portable. It’s intended to be — and stay — at the bedside. In short, there’s no moving this sucker around the house willy-nilly like with a more portable bassinet, such as the Fisher Price Portable Bassinet.
If you’re really excited about the HALO but also want something with more portability, you could consider also purchasing the HALO Bassinest stand ($49), which enables you to simply move the top part (the bassinet) around much more easily.
Moms who are dedicated to the Halo brand are loving the stand option for travel or for just easy use around the house.
The Bassinest swivel sleeper comes in various versions:
- The Halo BassiNest Glide Sleeper ($169) is a (somewhat) more affordable option, but without the swivel feature. The bassinet is the same as the classic hourglass model, but the stand glides across the floor (yes, that includes carpets) so you can push the whole apparatus away from the bed and pull it back towards your bed quickly and easily (using the little handle at the base of the bassinet). If you’re looking for a great, safe, practical bedside co-sleeper and don’t specifically need or want the swivel feature, this is a wonderful option.
- The “Essentia” version ($199) is the entry model Bassinest (with swivel arm).
- The “Premiere” version ($289) comes with a control panel that includes a night light, sounds/music, a nursing timer, and vibration. IMO, the vibration option is a nice last resort for a fussy baby (and perhaps, a much cheaper option than the SNOO co-sleeper), but the other features are really not all that impressive. I used this model and the nursing timer was too quiet to ever wake me up, for example. Plus, it runs on three AA batteries, which is somewhat unfortunate… the vibration setting chews through batteries, so stock up! Too bad it doesn’t have a plug.
- The “Luxe” version ($349) comes with all the Premiere features as well as a floor light and an extra setting on the nightlight and vibration components. Most users do not think the upgrade is worth the price. The floor lighting is dim, and frankly, many moms don’t find the features all that impressive to begin with. And even if you did, again: the batteries. Buy in bulk.
- There’s also a twin sleeper, if you’re expecting multiples.
You may also want to purchase extra sheets for the “signature” HALO hourglass mattress pad.
Bottom line: In the world of bassinets, the HALO Bassinest is somewhat on the expensive side — not a good thing for an item that is short lived. But it’s a safe, convenient place for baby to sleep for the first 4 months (or until he can roll over/sit up), and, as far as baby gear goes, it’s an attractive piece. Moms really, really love it, and I loved it too. I especially loved having my baby very close to me. If that’s important to you, we say: Bassinest, FTW!
See it in action! (seriously, the video does a really nice job demonstrating the HALO features).
Hi! Thank you for all of the helpful reviews and recommendations–truly a lifesaver! Our first baby is due this May, over the moon excited but also overwhelming trying to figure everything out. For the Halo (this is top of my list and Im so excited for this!)–is the infant insert necessary or just an optional add on? Can my newborn sleep in the Halo without it?
Hi, Claire! Congratulations! The infant insert is absolutely NOT necessary for the HALO. I used the HALO without it and loved it, and would definitely suggest trying it on its own, especially given so many of the recent recalls for “hammock-like” products — just my personal take. Make sure you get a good swaddle product, though — that’s key!
I’ve read reviews that shared that the Halo doesn’t stay level when swiveled, this creating an unsafe sleep situation because the baby can roll over due to the incline. Did you find this as well?
Hi, Emily — That’s interesting and I haven’t come across that issue from others; I certainly did not experience this in my own personal experience and use with the product. Thanks for asking!
I have heard the same complaint over multiple different platforms. Its definitely a common complaint on Amazon. I am looking into this bassinet for my baby due in August. I know that they recently released a “new and enhanced” version of this bassinet but I wonder if the tilting problem was addressed in the “enhancement”. I am tempted to contact their customer service team to inquire but I have also seen multiple people say that they haven’t heard back from their customer service team. All of that said, I am super skeptical with the high price tag and the mixed reviews. Although the design and concept is super ideal for my family.
This happened with me and my baby as well. It is only level when swiveled in a certain spot and even then it is slightly crooked and my baby slides one way because of it.
I’m wondering if you have heard anything about the MySnuggly newborn insert that is marketed for this bassinet? They say they have been tested and approved by CPSC standards and it has amazing Amazon reviews. Does your team have any thoughts?
Hi, Sadie — This is totally up to you — we don’t single it out as a recommendation here because it’s not necessary — and because we haven’t tried it firsthand. The product video on Amazon does specify that it’s a firm flat surface, which is super important. Let us know what you decide!
Where can you purchase a replacement cover for the actual bassinet for a second child?
I’m not sure — but I’d start with contacting HALO directly to ask about that. Good luck!
Echoing past comments-the Halo Bassinest is unsafe and does not stay level when swiveled. There are multiple reports of this filed on the Consumer Product Safety Commission website: https://www.saferproducts.gov/PublicSearch/Result
Please learn from our past experience and select a safer product.
Was the issue at the top of the article from 8/2020 ever resolved? We like this bassinet but are concerned with the slanting.