I bought it b/c I didn't realize my bed was to soft to co-sleep (has a pillow top). It works very well for us. I dont' know anyother way, as this is our first baby and she is only 3 weeks old. But I did see my sister co-sleep w/both of her sons. She didn't have the soft bed and didn't need it. She did introduce me to the Humanity bed though.
Shop around. My friend helped us get it much cheaper than we originally thought it would be (she got a business discount). She found many different prices though. Google it and check lots of sites. Good luck.