What do you need to know about the difference between SnoozeShade for Pack ‘n’ Plays and the Slumberpod? Parenting expert Sally J. Hall discusses the pros and cons of each.
If you are looking for a better solution for your baby’s sleep when you are travelling away from home, you may have come across darkened fabric covers for your Pack ’n’ Play.
Here's a detailed breakdown of the two best and most popular sleep tents on the market at the moment; Slumberpod and SnoozeShade. I have examined the key differences between them, their price points and what makes each unique.
Why Do You Need a Sleep Tent?
Sleep tents can help reduce the amount of light that gets into your Pack ’n’ Play while your little one sleeps, especially if you end up in a hotel room or apartment with no drapes, or if you are in a time zone when the sun rises much earlier than you would like to! For many babies, they also act as a sleep cue, as they cut out all distractions and external factors that might cause your baby to fight off sleep. If you use a shade on your stroller, your baby may already be used to the darkened, calm environment that this offers and may sleep better in a sleep tent.
You can use a sleep shade at home too, so that your child gets used to it and gets consistently good sleep – the Holy Grail of parenting!
SnoozeShade vs Slumberpod – What’s the Difference?
Both of these products create a calm and dark space inside a Pack ’n’ Play or crib and have been specifically designed for these travel cribs. But how do they differ?
SnoozeShade is a darkened fabric cover that fits over most brands of Pack ’n’ Play and many cribs and cots too. It is a rectangular shape, with Velcro straps that attach to the legs at the base of the crib and a zip opening at the top so that you can have easy access to your baby.
Slumberpod is built like an actual tent, with poles. It can be used alone as a dark space, or over the top of the Pack ’n’ Play. It has a front section that zips open for access.
They are fairly similar in their purpose, except that SnoozeShade is always ready to go – no need to insert poles and erect a tent, it simply drapes over the Pack ’n’ Play.
SnoozeShade has a flat top, while Slumberpod has an arched top. While the latter might be better for toddlers who want to stand up in the crib, they will both act as sleep cues.
Which Products Do They Fit?
Slumberpod can be used over several types of baby bed such as a Pack ’n’ Play, cot, mini crib or even without a crib underneath, if your child is older. They might like to camp out with a sleeping bag under there.
SnoozeShade fits most popular brands of rectangular (up to 42”) and triangular (up to 46”) Pack ’n’ Plays and will also fit over smaller cots and cribs (up to 42”) too. It fits the Graco, Guava Lotus, Dream on Me, Babybjorn, 4Moms Breeze, Bugaboo Stardust, Phil&Teds, Micralite, Venture, Baby Trend, Maxi-Cosi Pack ‘n’ Plays and more.
SnoozeShade comes out as a clear winner on the use of fabric. Not only does it use a double layer of black mesh that offers a very dark interior, it is also made from a thoroughly scientifically tested air permeable material, so you will have no worries about your baby’s breathing and you have the peace of mind that they will not overheat. The fabric blocks 94% of light and has been endorsed by baby sleep experts all over the world. It even uses short straps and baby-safe certified poppers with has no choking hazards. It’s also the only baby shade that has been endorsed by the Melanoma International Foundation, to have won over 80 awards and to have no chemicals or nasties in its manufacture. It is washable too.
Slumberpod is made from an opaque washable black fabric that blocks 90% of the light. While it claims to be breathable, it is not made from mesh like SnoozeShade (though they have recently added a mesh section) and you are encouraged to add on a fan to your purchase - it can get pretty warm under there. There is a mesh pocket for a baby monitor inside and another for the fan.
SnoozeShade weighs 2 lbs.
Slumberpod weighs 6 lbs.
Both come with a storage pouch.
Slumberpod; just the tent itself costs $179.99. If you buy it with the fan, it is $199.99
SnoozeShade; the version for Pack ’n’ Plays costs $79.99 and there is a crib version that sells for $89.99.
SnoozeShade is the clear winner here.
Beware of Cheap Alternatives
When buying a product for your baby’s safety and sleep, make sure you always choose a product that has been thoroughly tested and that is safe for use. While you may come across much cheaper copies of these sleep tents, they will not be made from good materials and will not have been through rigorous testing to ensure that they are breathable. When it comes to your baby, safety is the most important thing of all.