by Amy Venzke September 08, 2020 6 min read
Whether you call it a playard, travel crib, playpen or pack-and-play, most families want a portable place for babies and toddlers to sleep when you're on the road (or maybe just on the opposite end of your house.)
A playard should be easy to set up and even faster to fold—and it wouldn't hurt if it looked nice in your home, too.
Nuna and Bugaboo both offer stylish, high-quality travel cribs that fold compactly and can be used as a bassinet for a newborn or as a playard for toddlers to sleep and play.
The long-standing Nuna SENA series offers more choices, including two sizes (the full-sized SENA Aire and compact SENA Aire Mini), multiple colors and optional accessories, like a changing table that can be added to the top of the SENA Aire.
New to the market in 2020, the Bugaboo Stardust also has its advantages: It's lighter than both Nuna playards, and unlike the SENA products, you won't need to remove the mattress before folding the crib.
We'll compare the fold, features, dimensions and more in this Bugaboo Stardust vs. Nuna SENA Aire comparison.
After reinventing the luxury stroller 20 years ago, Bugaboo in 2020 introduced the Stardust, a compact playard that sets up and folds in a flash.
Thanks to its patented aerospace folding technology, the Bugaboo Stardust can be assembled in only one second and folded back together in just three seconds. The Stardust mattress folds with the playard, and a zip-in bassinet for newborns makes it easy to lift your newborn without bending over. The Stardust includes a velcro-closing storage bag that protects the playard during travel.
Nuna offers two sizes of its popular SENA playard: the full-sized SENA Aire, which offers plenty of room for toddlers to grow, and the compact SENA Aire Mini that's better-suited for travel and small spaces.
With its mesh sides, mesh floor and mesh mattress allowing air flow from every angle, the Nuna SENA Aire playards allow your child to sleep and play comfortably. Use the ventilated mattress on the upper position for a newborn bassinet before transitioning the mattress to the bottom of the playard for a toddler.
With its one-handed fold, the SENA Aire stows away easily for travel and storage (and folds with the bassinet attached). A travel bag is included with your purchase, as is an organic sheet.
Nuna's line of travel cribs also includes the Nuna COVE Aire, which includes a contoured topper with three-point harness and adjustable recline. The COVE Aire has a reduced width of 6 inches compared with the SENA, helping it fit in tight spaces or next to your bedside. Read our Nuna SENA Aire vs. COVE Aire comparison to learn more.
All three playards include a mattress that can be used either at a higher bassinet level for a newborn or on the bottom of the playard for a toddler, as well as a travel bag that protects the product from damage and debris.
One cotton sheet is included with purchase of the SENA Aire or SENA Aire Mini, while sheets are sold separately for the Stardust.
The Bugaboo Stardust is the lightest of the three playards, weighing about 3 pounds less than the Nuna SENA Aire Mini and 7 pounds less than the full-sized Nuna SENA Aire.
Both Nuna playards are longer yet more narrow than the Stardust, which is as much as 14 inches wider and 7 inches taller. Yet the Stardust has a reduced length by up to 16 inches compared with the Nuna products.
When folded, all three playards are compact enough to store in an included travel bag. Each of the products helps you save space for traveling or storage, but in different ways.
The Stardust is much more flat when folded, folding to a width that's half that of the SENA and SENA Mini, while the Nuna playards are about 14 inches shorter than the Bugaboo.
All three products can initially be used as a newborn bassinet, with the mattress attached in a higher position that provides easier access to the baby.
Once your baby is around 6 months, you'll relocate the mattress to the bottom of the playard, where your child can sleep and play for many months to come.
The Bugaboo Stardust and Nuna SENA Aire have similar usage recommendations up to 35" in height or 30-33 pounds, which most toddlers reach between ages 2 and 3. Given its smaller size, Nuna recommends using the SENA Aire Mini until your baby is approximately 18 months.
Here's a look at how to fold the Bugaboo Stardust, Nuna SENA Aire and Nuna SENA Aire Mini.
To fold the Stardust, press the white buttons on each side to fold the playard walls inward, then press up with your foot to fold the bottom of the crib. You won't need to bend over to fold the Stardust, as you will with playards by Nuna and other brands.
The mattress folds with the Stardust when configured as a playard. You'll need to remove the mattress when using the Stardust in bassinet mode, but the mattress can slide into the folded crib when inside the travel bag.
To unfold the Stardust, release the snaps on each side and pull the crib apart—it pops open in just one second. See this video for a look at folding and stowing the Stardust.
The Nuna SENA Aire and SENA Aire Mini fold with a one-handed motion: Pull up on a tab at the bottom of the crib, and the playard will begin to collapse. Push on the sides of the playard to complete the fold.
You'll need to remove the mattress from either the bassinet or playard position when folding one of the SENAs, but the mattress can be wrapped around the playard when stored in its travel bag.
To unfold the SENA, pull the short sides of the playard outward and push down on the bottom until the crib is fully opened.
Nuna also makes a few accessories for the SENA Aire and SENA Aire Mini that add features and convenience.
A changer (seen in the photo below) can be added to the top of the Nuna SENA Aire to convert your playard into a changing station. The changer doesn't fit the Mini version, but Nuna offers an adjustable topper (similar to that seen on the COVE Aire) that brings baby closer to you in the SENA Aire Mini.
All three playards promote maximum airflow to keep your baby comfortable, thanks to mesh panels on each side. Included with each playard is a padded mattress made of multiple layers for added breathability.
Strolleria is a family-owned and operated retailer dedicated to making the baby gear buying experience less overwhelming for parents. If you have more questions about the Bugaboo Stardust, Nuna SENA Aire or Nuna SENA Aire Mini, feel free to contact us by starting a live chat, calling 480-442-9433 or e-mailing firstname.lastname@example.org.
Amy Venzke founded Strolleria to help new parents find the baby gear that's right for their unique needs. Contact the Strolleria team with questions at email@example.com or 480-442-9433.