Top critical review
Researched many alternatives in detail. This poorly engineered product is the best of a bad field.
Reviewed in the United States on May 9, 2018
1 - The Munchkin Sleep Bed Rail was well packaged from the factory and all parts were present in the carton. This time, Amazon even shipped me an item in a suitable box that prevented damage in transit, which is about a 50-50 proposition from Amazon these days.
2 - The exposed bed rail assembly (including frame, netting and hinge mechanisms) has a pleasant appearance and seems both durable and likely easy to clean when necessary.
3 - The hinges and hinge lock/release buttons work fine and feel strong enough to remain functional and reliable for a long time. Time will tell, though.
4 - From what I saw when researching competing products, the Munchkin Sleep Bed Rail offers the clear advantage that the hinges are designed so there is no way for children's body parts to get caught in them.
5 - The device is easy to learn and easy to use.
6 - The rail rotates down 180 degrees to be flush with the side of the bed when "open". Very nice. However, the consumer needs to consider the dimensions of the product and the intended bed it will be used on to ensure this feature will work properly. I measured my installation. The bottom of the red rail's legs (the parts that go under the mattress) have to be installed at least 7.5 inches higher than the floor for the gate to rail to swing down 180 degrees without hitting the floor.
7 - After completing the struggle to install and tighten the under-mattress straps, the bed rail seems quite tightly and securely situated on the bed.
1 - The Amazon (or manufacturer?) description states, "Easy, 1-minute assembly." At best this is an oversight that does not include the at least 10 minutes of struggle and gymnastics necessary to install the device on a bed. At worst, it simply is a misleading lie.
2 - I did detailed research on this and similar products prior to ordering, including researching how products are installed. The Munchkin Sleep Bed Rail appeared to be the least stupidly designed product readily available on the market. However, the hook and strap design is a poor concept. I give the concept 6 on a 10-point scale, where 6 is minimally passing.
3 - The product description posted on Amazon has no photos showing the ridiculous mounting system. Nor does it state anything about that ridiculous design. I researched the Munchkin site, which also is mute regarding the design on its main product page. Persevering, I found a link to a product installation page that finally revealed the not-so-clever design. The design seems to solely consider low-cost manufacturing and minimal shipping costs and quite ignores ease of installation and changing of bed linens by the consumer.
4 - Good luck easily changing linens and mattress pads without having to struggle with the bed rail and/or to remove and re-install it.
5 - The quality of the advertised "Strong safety straps" that "eliminate gap between mattress and bed rail" is about the minimum anyone could get away with. The strap clamps are quite poorly engineered and difficult to access under a mattress--the tiny release clamp is on the far side from the user too. The straps are flimsy and get jammed up in the clamps as one pulls them tight.