With lots of options to fit your child’s size and safety needs, a great travel toddler bed may be just what you need to help everyone sleep better when away from home.
Toddler Travel Beds
Oh, toddlerhood. The age that seems to be the in-between stage for everything—as in, your toddler is probably just too big for that travel crib or pack n’ play—or about to be too big for it—but not quite ready for the twin bed at grandma’s house or in your vacation rental.
But don’t worry! Not only are toddler travel beds a thing, they also come in tons of options to fit both your kiddo’s needs and your budget. (They are perfect for road trips, camping, and the holidays.) You can carry many of them as luggage or stash them into the car for easy transport. (They can also be used at home for sleepovers or visitors, as needed.)
All portable toddler beds are low to the ground, have varying degrees of rails (or in some cases, you might call them bumpers) and are generally good for kiddos who have graduated out of their cribs at home. And comfort is key.
They all also fold up for easy storage, but some get more compact than others, so be sure to consider how you’ll be traveling and what sort of space you’ll have to pack this when choosing.
Here are six options we love—from travel toddler cots to toddler air mattresses and everything in between—along with the main features of each.
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Weighing in at only 6 pounds, your littles can actually carry this one to your destination themselves. (Ok, a mom can dream!) Seriously, though, this Joovy cot packs up into a 8-inch by 24-inch carrying bag so it’s easy to slide into a full trunk or even stick in the overhead compartment of a plane.
Because it’s a cot style, it sits off the ground which a lot of people like for camping. It also comes in four fun colors, and holds kids up to 75 pounds, so you can get a lot of mileage out of it. This is a favorite of all of the portable travel beds.
Priced at under $50
You know that feeling when you arrive somewhere past bedtime or with a ready-for-a-nap kiddo, and have to fight with a porta-crib to get it set up? There’s none of that here. This bed, which has a toddler mattress surrounded by soft foam bumpers, literally just folds open and you’re good.
This toddler travel cot is a little bit larger to travel with, but you can also store a blanket and pillow right inside. The velour interior is also a super-cozy touch in this kids travel bed, and the mattress cover and included sheet are machine washable.
Priced under $180
Another cot option at less than $30, this one is super affordable but still durable and safe. The cot pad itself is made of canvas, but it also includes a fitted sheet to go over it. The nap mat also folds up simply in an accordion style, which is quick and easy. The steel frame is sturdy, too.
If you have a taller kiddo, the company also makes an extra long version. I love the different types of this bed that can work for so many kids.
A toddler bed that’s inside a pop-up tent? Now that’s something your kids can get excited about! This portable toddler travel bed uses a tent-like construction to keep kids from rolling out of the bed, instead of the more traditional rails/bumpers.
It can be a great option for everything from naps at the beach (it’ll be nice and shaded inside!), to hotel travel where you want to make sure your child isn’t getting out of bed without you. It also weighs just three pounds and folds into a flat disc that can be packed into your suitcase.
Priced under $100
This option for kids ages three and up is wider than many of the others, so it can be good for kids who like to have some space to move around while they sleep. The bottom and side bumpers are made of foam, and the whole thing basically rolls up into a large travel bag.
This bed also is something you could use around the house, some kids like to fold it in half to use as a lounging pillow.
Priced under $120
Inflatable toddler mattresses have been popular travel beds for a while, and there are definitely options that are made specifically with your toddler in mind. This toddler air mattress one is great because it comes with a high speed pump that inflates the bed in 30 seconds flat. (My kids call this the “boat bed”.)
This inflatable toddler bed itself is in two pieces, including a base with the bumpers and then an interior mattress that you can basically pop out to easily put sheets on. It also comes with an electric pump for easy inflation. Bonus: The inflatable mattress part is the size of a crib mattress, so you can use standard crib sheets you already have.
Priced under $80
Frequently Asked Questions
Whatever one your child will actually sleep in! Try to choose something that’s as close as possible to what they’re used to sleeping in, and/or that they’ll be excited to use.
For example, if they nap on a cot at daycare you might want to consider a similar option from brands like Joovy or Regalo.
Toddler air mattresses, which generally blow up to the size of a crib-mattress with bumpers around it, are another good pick as are fold-up beds made of foam. A lot of beds also come in different colorsu002du002dso picking one in your kiddo’s fave can’t hurt.
Most air mattresses have a safety tag that will tell you what age they’re safe atu002du002dusually 15 months or olderu002du002dso be sure to check that before letting your child sleep on it.
(According to the Consumer Product Safety Commission, babies under that age of 15 months should not sleep on air mattresses because they are too soft and could cause suffocation if they started to deflate.)
Best Portable Beds for Toddlers in Cribs
If your kiddo still sleeps in a crib at home and you’re looking for a more traditional portable crib, we like the classic Graco (which you can use for babies and toddlers) and the deluxe Guava Lotus set.
Best Tips for Toddler Travel Beds
- Think through how you’ll be transporting the inflatable travel bed or cot it to ensure it’s lightweight and packable enough for your needs.
- Consider your kiddo’s sleeping preferences, and what you think they’ll find most comfortable. There are so many types of toddler travel beds.
- Check the safety information on each product to ensure that your child is a safe age for the bed.
- You can also use pool noodles as temporary railings on a twin bed (just slide under the fitted sheet on either side of the bed) or use these foam railings the same way.
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This post was first published April 2021.