Sleep usually is easier to figure out once your baby becomes a toddler. EXCEPT when you’re traveling.
Chances are they will outgrow their travel crib or portable bassinet much sooner than their crib at home. If you’re shopping for a portable toddler bed for travel, you will want it to be big enough and last long enough to justify the expense.
Here are our recommendations for the Best Toddler Travel Bed:
The Shrunks has kind of cornered the market when it comes to inflatable travel beds for toddlers. Their beds do not contain phthalates, BpA, or lead and they don’t squeak. The design includes raised sides so your child feel snug and safe and is less likely to roll off of it. The Shrunks original beds are compatible with standard crib sheets and blankets and they also offer a full twin size. Each inflatable travel bed comes with an electric pump and carry bag. The twin bed weighs just over 10lbs and the regular size weighs 6.6 lbs. When deflated, the bed and pump fit into the carry bag and can be easily packed.
The Shrunks sell a number of custom accessories separately, and extend a 2-year warranty on their products. The maximum weight capacity is 150lbs, so you can get a lot of use out of this purchase. Online reviews for this and all The Shrunks‘ products are very favourable.
If you (or your toddler) would prefer a more traditional-style cot, the Regalo My Cot is a great choice. It can support the weight of a child up to 75lbs. Its steel construction is very lightweight at just four pounds. The nylon cover is washable and it includes a cotton fitted sheet and a carry case. According to reviews it is easy to fold and unfold, and in its folded state can easily fit into a suitcase for travel.
Although the Regalo My Cot is affordable and durable, they do caution that it’s not meant to be stepped or jumped on. Its hammock-like effect helps restless sleepers to stay on the bed, but if they do roll off it’s very low to the ground.
The Joovy FooCot is another great camping cot-style toddler travel bed that is lightweight, durable, and affordable. It is for children up to 48″ tall or 75lbs, and folds up into its own carrying case. There is also a storage pocket that would be handy for a flashlight or book or sippy of water. The cover does not remove for washing, but it can be spot-cleaned. One reviewer said regular crib sheets fit just fine, but Joovy does sell cot sheets for it as well.
The Joovy FooCot weighs just over six pounds, and the dimensions when folded into its carry case are 24.5″x8″x6″ — plenty small enough to fit into a suitcase or overhead bin. It comes in a variety of fun colours and reviews suggest that kids find it comfy. Most reviewers are very happy with this purchase.
This portable toddler bed for travel is kind of a compromise if you’re not too sure about an inflatable toddler bed and don’t think your child is quite ready for a camping-style cot. I like the idea of this bed also being used as a play space and possibly to assist with co-sleeping younger babies safely in a (king-sized, obviously) hotel bed. The Milliard Portable Toddler Bumper Bed looks pretty cosy with 7″ high bumpers and soft velour fabric lining inside. The cover is machine-washable and a fitted sheet is included.
The Milliard Portable Toddler Bumper Bed is just over 10lbs and folds down to 25″x27″x14.5″ inches–not tiny but may be ok to pack for a road trip. Once folded you can store stuff inside, like pjs and a teddy. Reviews are very favourable and suggest this is an ideal toddler travel bed for younger children making the transition from crib to bed who aren’t comfortable with the idea of a blow up bed or a camping cot.
If you’re looking for a portable toddler bed you don’t necessarily need to stick to products specifically for children. The IDeep Ultralite Portable Camping Cot is a full-sized cot that can support the weight of an adult up to 240lbs but only weighs 4lbs and folds down super-small into it’s carry case that’s 18″ by 6″. The hammock-style is similar to the toddler cots above, so falling out would be no more of an issue than with either of those choices.
The IDeep Ultralite Portable Camping Cot is a bit more expensive than the children’s options mentioned previously, but you will have use of it for a very long time and for more than just your child. According to online reviews, it is pretty easy to set up. But, pay attention to how it disassembles into its case. One reviewer had difficulty with it on uneven ground. But, if you’re using it for home or hotel use, that is unlikely to pose a problem. And if camping is your jam, you’ve got another bed to use!
These portable bunks are not for toddlers under three but if you are avid campers and/or need extra beds frequently, the Disc-O-Bed Portable Bunks are a great–albeit heavier and bulkier choice. The bunks can be assembled separately or even as a couch. Together they weigh around 45lbs and each bunk’s weight limit is 200lbs. These portable beds for travel may last your children well into their teen years.
Most parents end up choosing the Disc-O-Bed Portable Bunks because of the increased weight and durability of these travel beds. The reviews are all mostly favourable, and accept the increased cost as worthwhile. Even some shorter adults claim they have a decent night’s sleep on them in a pinch.
Perhaps easier than traveling with a full-on toddler travel bed, bed rails can make any bed a safer way to put your toddler down for the night. The Shrunks Inflatable Bed Rails (sold in a set of two) attach to the mattress with a grippy side and the fitted sheet goes over top. As with The Shrunks Inflatable Toddler Bed, their inflatable bed rails come with a pump and carry-case that can easily fit into your suitcase.
The total weight of the two bed rails, the pump, and the carry case is around two pounds. So it is a really easy way to ensure a safe sleeping spot for your toddler. Most online reviews for The Shrunks Inflatable Bed Rails are favourable, although some complain of leaks that seem to spring up from nowhere. A patch is included with the rails. However, traveling with an extra patch kit or even a roll of duct tape can save the day mid-vacation.
The Bed Buddy Bed Rail Guard is also a travel bed rail but it is made out of foam instead of being inflatable. It does squish down to fit in its carry case, and it weighs less than a pound. It installs under the fitted sheet to create a barrier and the foam is free of BPA, phthalates, and flame retardants.
The Bed Buddy Bed Rail Guard is not sold in pairs, so if you want a barrier on either side you will have to order two. They are light but they do take up a bit more space than the inflatable ones. The online reviews are almost entirely positive. Please note that it takes a few minutes for the foam to expand to its full size after being compressed.
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- The Complete Guide to Baby Travel Gear