Top positive review
Lotus vs. Bjorn
Reviewed in the United States on June 10, 2016
Like many others out there, I could decide between the BabyBjorn and the Guava. I did A LOT of research, so this is going to be a lengthy review. :)
Let me start by saying, you really can't go wrong either way. Personally, I was looking for a travel crib not for travel as much as just to replace my old pack n play that I no longer wanted to keep due to wanting to get rid of all of my baby gear that contained flame retardants. From my research, the only pack n play replacements currently on the market that do not contain flame retardants are: BabyBjorn Travel Crib Light, Guava Lotus, and the Nuna Sena. The Nuna Sena has the perk of being more like a traditional pack n play because it has two levels (one for a newborn), and it does not sit on the floor like the travel cribs. It also is bulky like a normal pack n play and isn't as easy to haul around. The Sena is also the most expensive choice at $250. It also is bulky like a normal pack n play and isn't as easy to haul around. You can find the Guava for $189 on their website, and the Bjorn averages in the $219-250 here on Amazon.
First I bought the Bjorn because I couldn't resist the thicker mattress that everyone raved about. I will say that this is a VERY good travel crib. It is very nicely made, super easy to set up and take down, and the mattress is super comfy as others have stated. The footprint is slightly smaller on the Bjorn (see photo. The legs don't stick out quite as far as the Guava). The mattress is slightly wider than the Guava (see photo). The mesh of travel crib gets narrower as it gets to the top of the crib, making the top opening smaller than the Guava (see photo), so this makes the Bjorn not as good of a play space in my opinion, because it feels a little more closed in than the Guava does. To clarify to anyone out there that is wondering, the Bjorn mattress is made of polyurethane, not polyethylene (same is the case for Guava). I had seen a couple of reviews saying that it was polyethylene, but it is not. Also, the Bjorn is not completely made in Sweden. It says that the textile is made in China, and that the crib is "finished" in Sweden. The textiles are Oeko Tex Certified, which means that the materials used have been tested and certified to meet certain parameters. The tests for harmful substances cover:' legally banned and controlled substances, chemicals known to be harmful to the health (but not yet legally controlled), ' parameters for health protection. The Guava is not currently Oeko Tex Certified, but is Green Guard Gold Certified. The Bjorn is the clear winner for you if: 1. Your baby will be doing a lot of sleeping in the crib, as the mattress is definitely thicker and more plush than the Guava. I would also say that it does have a slight edge over Guava as far as quality, but not by a far stretch. There are currently no accessories to go with the Bjorn. It folds up compactly into a suitcase, whereas the Guava folds into a backpack.
The Guava Lotus is another great choice for a non-toxic travel crib. I emailed the company, and they told me they are looking into Oeko-Tex certification, but are currently instead Green Guard Gold Certified. I was told "GreenGuard Gold standard that tests the actual product in a sealed chamber for 7 days to make sure there is no un-healthy offgassing occurring." The Guava mattress is about half as a thick as the Bjorn, and a bit firmer. Some people may actually prefer a firmer mattress for their baby, so this isn't a "con." I would still say the mattress is better than a standard pack n play mattress. The Guava is made in China, which is a bummer...but what isn't anymore?! I do appreciate that Guava is a small company out of California, and I have been happy with the customer service I have received from them thus far.
Things that make the Guava a clear winner for you: 1. You travel a lot and want to be SURE that your crib can be carried as a carry on (in my experience airlines have always shipped my giant pack n play for free, but according to other reviewers this is not always the case. I guess I have been lucky ;)). 2. You want to use it as a play space (The Bjorn has a narrower top, making it a more claustrophobic feeling space for playing. Guava also makes a "Fun shade" that turns the crib into a fun play space to be used outside or inside as a fort of sorts. 3. Your baby wakes up when trying to lay them down (it's a long way down to the mattress on these travel mattresses, and sensitive babies are sure to wake up on the way down!). The Guava has a zipper opening that you can use to gently lay them down. 4. Your baby nurses to sleep. The zipper opening allows mom to lay down with baby if needed. 5. You have a bad back, you're short, or you are using the crib for the grandparent's house. Leaning down to pick up a baby that cannot yet stand up gets old really quick. My mom is 69 and about 5'1 and hated the Bjorn because she could barely lean in to pick my son up or lay him down. The Guava zipper solves this problem once again.
Did you make it through this review?! I hope this helps someone, as I tried to cover some areas that other reviewers did not. I ended up returning the Bjorn, as I wanted the crib primarily as a safe play space at home that I could put baby when I needed to do something around the house. One last note: The American Baby Pack n Play sheet fits both of these mattresses, and is a lot cheaper than the ones made specifically for each crib. :)
Feel free to ask me any questions, and I will try my best to answer.