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Best cot bed 2023: Sleeping solutions to help your toddler transition with ease

Find the best cot beds to help your toddler with their new bedtime routine and find a long-term sleep solution that works for everyone

During pregnancy, parents will have to think about where their baby will sleep once they’re born. For the first six months, many choose to have their little ones sleep in the same room to reduce the risk of SIDS. Once they reach that half-year milestone they can be moved to their own room, and this is where the best cot bed comes in.

Some parents choose to use a Moses basket, or bedside crib, for those first precious months and then purchase a cot bed later on. Whatever you decide, a cot bed can save you a lot of money in the long term, as it can be used all the way from birth and last for several years thereafter. With many on the market having slimline designs, they can be kept in your bedroom for the first six months, then easily transferred to the baby’s room when the time comes.

Most cot beds weigh less than 30kg and some even have swivel wheels for easy manoeuvrability. These types tend to measure around 140 x 70cm and usually require a mattress to be purchased separately. Some cot beds are made with added storage, others have two or three mattress height options, and some have only two sides with rails on. From Ikea models to beds from Mamas & Papas, we’ve reviewed a selection of top cot beds below. We’ve also provided a brief guide about what to look out for when shopping around for the best cot bed for your baby.

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Best cot bed: At a glance

How to choose the best cot bed for your child

One of a cot bed’s greatest features is that it can convert from a cot to toddler bed in a few easy steps. This means that once your baby outgrows their cot, a new “big bed” can be introduced much more easily into their sleep routine. This new sleeping experience needs to be handled with care, and there are some brilliant cot beds on the market to help.

The journey from purchasing a cot to witnessing this new “big bed” take shape can be emotional, so ensuring you purchase the right cot bed for your family is important. What’s more, a cot bed offers your child the familiarity they crave at this fragile age. Though they’re technically changing to a bigger bed, it’s still the same bed that they’ve grown used to.

Do I need an adjustable mattress base?

The default for most cot beds is to have the base set up high as this helps the parent or guardian place the child in and out of the cot with ease. However, by the time the baby is six months old many have already gained new skills, one of these being the ability to sit and pull themselves up. At this point, it’s time to immediately lower the base position to either the middle or even the lowest position in order to keep your little one as safe as possible.

What safety aspects do I need to be aware of?

In addition to making sure the mattress height is lowered as soon as a child can (or is about to) sit up, the cot’s bars should have no more than a 6.5cm distance between them, to ensure your baby’s limbs don’t get stuck. Also, the distance between the top of the mattress and the top of the cot’s sides should be a minimum of 50cm, to ensure the child can’t climb out.

It’s also hugely important to think about where you’re going to place the cot bed. A cot bed, or any sleep solution, should not be placed near a radiator to ensure that the baby doesn’t get too hot. You should never place a cot bed near windows or window blinds, either, as this can also be a safety hazard.

It’s also widely recommended that a new mattress is purchased with each cot bed, as this is believed to help reduce the risk of SIDs. Cot bumpers are not recommended as they can reduce airflow in the cot, and there should also be no toys, pillows, teddies or anything else inside the cot bed with your baby. You can read more about the NHS’s recommendations for SIDs prevention here.

Are there any added features or accessories I need for my toddler’s cot bed?

The main thing that you need is a mattress protector. Cleaning a mattress (even a small one) is a huge pain. From baby to toddler, a mattress protector can protect the cot bed from any dribbles or nappy leaks, and prolong the lifespan of the mattress. Another great feature to look out for in a cot bed is a teething rail, as this can help soothe a baby’s sore teeth and gums – and make sure they don’t take chunks out of the side of it. It’s also worth thinking about storage – there are plenty of cot beds on the market that come with built-in shelves, which are perfect for sheets, blankets and extra mattress protectors.

How we test cot beds

At Expert Reviews, we know that hands-on testing delivers the most complete information about a product. All the cot beds we review are tested by parents, who assess the various features on offer, the mattress heights, and any accessories that may be supplied with a cot bed. Where cot beds are recommended for a particular age group or size of child, we test on that particular group to ensure we make an accurate recommendation.

When assessing cot beds, we examine ease of assembly, comfort levels, mattress firmness and overall sturdiness. We also take into consideration how well the cot beds meet rigorous safety features. Finally, we confirm the measurements and weight limit of the product.

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The best cot beds you can buy in 2023

1. Silver Cross Nostalgia: Best cot bed for most people

Price when reviewed: £360 | Check price at Silver Cross

Well-known and trusted baby brand Silver Cross is up there with the best of them as far as good-quality baby gear is concerned. From pushchairs to baby carriers, the company delivers functional and durable products, and the Nostalgia convertible cot bed is certainly one of them. This product transforms into a stylish, minimalistic toddler bed that mimics a traditional single bed style, and its satin white finish pairs well with any bedroom decor style.

It’s extremely sturdy, too. Both rail sides can be completely removed and the base of the cot is adjustable to three positions as required. We love that this cot has round edges and is made from solid wood. It fits children until they’re around four years old and, although the mattress is sold separately, it’s cheaper than some other high-end cot beds of this calibre.

Key specs – Age: Birth to four years old; Mattress height: Three adjustable positions; Size: 78cm x 148cm x 85cm (cot bed); 75.5cm x 148cm x 64.6cm (WLH) (toddler bed); Material: Solid wood; Other details: Mattress sold separately; compatible with Silver Cross TrueFit mattresses

Check price at Silver Cross

2. Silver Cross St Ives: Best luxury cot bed

Price when reviewed: £375 | Check price at Silver Cross

For those looking for a stylish cot bed to fit their modern decor, the St Ives from Silver Cross is just that.

Arriving in a stunning navy blue, the cot features a high-quality matte finish with an oak-style base. The feet, too, are made from solid oak and overall build quality is exceptional; it’s unlikely to look tatty even after your child has been using it for years.

And that’s good news, because while the St Ives is suitable from birth, its modular design means it can evolve with your baby until they reach the age of around four. In cot form, you can choose between three mattress heights, and once they’re ready, the sides and the top section of the ends come off to create a toddler bed.

Just about the only thing missing is a teething rail, but you could add your own with relative ease.

Key specs – Age: Birth to four years old; Mattress height: Three adjustable positions; Size: 75cm x 145cm x 92cm (cot bed); 75cm x 145cm x 54cm (WLH) (toddler bed); Material: Mix of chip and solid wood; Other details: Mattress sold separately; compatible with Silver Cross TrueFit mattresses

Check price at Silver Cross

3. Mamas and Papas Melfi: Best cot bed with mattress set

Price when reviewed: £585 | Check price at Mamas and Papas

For a premium cot bed and mattress set that doesn’t cost over £1,000, the Melfi from Mamas and Papas is a solid contender. This chic cot bed set adds a modern touch to any nursery, giving it a very on-trend feel. We absolutely adore the colourways it comes in: midnight blue and forest green. It’s suitable from birth to four years old and once it transforms to a toddler bed, guests would never be able to guess that it was previously a cot.

It’s sleek and elegant, yet playful and practical. The price buys you multiple years of use and includes one of the most advanced mattresses on the market. The premium pocket spring mattress will not only provide your little one with added comfort, it’s also treated with “purotex technology”, which is supposed to help actively fight against dust mites and allergens. The bed also has a convenient drawer for storage.

Key specs – Age: Birth to four years old; Mattress height: Three adjustable positions; Size: 75cm x 145cm x 89cm (WLH); Material: Foil wrapped; brushed metallic handles; Other details: Mattress included; meets British safety standard: BS 8509:2008+A1:2011 and European safety standard: BS EN 716-1

Check price at Mamas and Papas

4. SnuzKot Skandi: Best minimalistic cot bed

Price when reviewed: £379 | Check price at Snüz

An easy-to-assemble, very sturdy, beautifully made cot bed that fits your baby from birth up to four years old, the SnuzKot perfectly merges Scandinavian design with practicality. If an additional attachment is purchased, this bed’s clever design means that it will serve your child till they are around ten years old.

We love the fresh, modern feel this cot bed gives to any nursery and that it doesn’t take up as much space as a traditional cot bed. It’s available in five different designs too (including a unique ombre) that are all equally timeless and stylish (it’s actually hard to pick one). It arrived in several boxes, which made it handy when transporting up the stairs and moving from room to room until it was time to set it up.

Key specs – Age: Birth to four years old; Mattress height: Three adjustable positions; Size: 72cm x 133cm x 89cm (WLH); Weight: 35kg; Material: Solid wood and plywood frame with stainless steel fixings; Other details: Meets British safety standard BS EN 716-1:2017 and in toddler mode meets BS 8509:2008+A1:2011 safety standard; mattress not included

Check price at Snuz

5. Ikea Sundvik: Best budget cot bed

Price when reviewed: £169 | Check price at Ikea

To keep things simple (and costs down), you could always just go to Ikea, but is the brand’s cot bed worth it? Our answer is yes. Joining the ranks of the company’s classic go-to products, the Sundvik is a well-made cot bed and although it doesn’t come with a mattress, you can purchase one from Ikea for around £70 (the 10cm depth Skonast is recommended).

Ikea cot bed mattresses also come with removable covers; a perfect and easy way to keep them clean as you can simply pop them in the washing machine. The Sundvik itself, which comes in grey and white, is super easy to wipe clean, too. It has two mattress base heights and transitions into a toddler bed easily. It comes in two boxes and, compared to some other Ikea products, is actually very easy to put together.

Key specs – Age: Birth to around four years old; Mattress height: Two adjustable positions; Size: 76cm x 145cm x 85cm (WLH); Weight: 20kg; Material: Solid beech, paper foil and fibreboard; Other details: Comes packaged in two boxes; mattress sold separately

Check price at Ikea

6. Scandiborn Gaia Baby Serena Complete Sleep: Best splurge cot bed

Price when reviewed: £600 | Check price at John Lewis

This is a splurge but it’s a super stylish, unique and practical one. One of our favourite features on the Scandiborn Gaia Baby Serena – apart from its awesome silver legs – is that you can completely remove the sides of this cot bed once your baby turns into a toddler. This product has four stages with two mattress heights. When all sides are up, it’s suitable for newborn to three-year-olds. From three to four years old, you can remove the front side and give your tot their first experience of a “big” style bed.

Thereafter, the two rail sides can be completely removed to mimic a traditional-looking single bed up until your kid is five years old. This bed comes in two colour variants: all white and white/natural. The mattress is sold separately but you can purchase the recommended Serena Cot Bed mattress (£130), which has temperature regulation and an anti-allergy cover with a waterproof wipeable layer, and slots into the frame perfectly without leaving any gaps.

Key specs – Age: Birth to five years old; Mattress height: Two adjustable positions; Size: 71cm x 140cm x 98cm (WLH); Material: Sustainably sourced solid birchwood; Other details: Meets BS EN716 / BS8509, ASTM F406/F1821, AS NZS 2172/No.6 2005 safety standards; mattress sold separately. The Gaia range also includes matching rocking chairs and footstools to add to a nursery

Check price at John Lewis

7. CuddleCo Clara: Best classic cot bed

Price when reviewed: £399 | Check price at CuddleCo

CuddleCo has some extremely comfortable, sturdy cot bed designs in its range, and the robust Clara is no exception. It’s well made, with three adjustable base positions, and feels like it will stand the test of time. The instructions weren’t a nightmare, either: it’s an easy-to-assemble sleeping solution for your tot. Available in white or white and ash, this will see your child all the way till they’re five years old. It also has a curved wood aesthetic, which looks and feels high quality.

This cot bed can be purchased as part of a set with other matching CuddleCo items or nursery furniture, such as the Clara wall shelf (£50), the Clara three drawer dresser and changer (£190) and Clara two-door double wardrobe (£310).

Key specs – Age: Birth to five years old; Mattress height: Three adjustable positions; Size: 82cm x 156cm x 88cm (WLH); Other details: Mattress not included; fits 140cm x 70m mattress; includes two-year manufacturer warranty

Check price at CuddleCo

8. Stokke Sleepi: Best evolving cot bed

Price when reviewed: £454 | Check price at Stokke

To have a cot bed that can last until your child is ten might seem outdated, however it works with the Stokke Sleepi. This aesthetically pleasing cot bed has a simple, cute and fun design that’s practical and adjusts as your child grows. It might seem quite pricey but it’s a top quality product that’s durable, it will last for years and years, and the price includes the mattress, which is made of hypoallergenic PU foam and has a removable and washable cover.

The initial cot bed is suitable from birth to around three years old and with Stokke’s Junior Extension Kit (sold separately) you can prolong the lifespan of the cot. The oval design makes this feel unique and we love the swivel wheels, which help move it from room to room, for naps and safe playtime, with ease. In the mini size, it’s brilliantly compact and saves you having to buy a Moses basket, then effortlessly extends to toddler mode when the time comes.

Key specs – Age: Birth to 10 years old (with conversion kit); Mattress height: Three adjustable positions; Size: 74cm x 127cm x 86cm (WLH) (in standard cot bed mode); Material: Solid beech wood; Other details: Mattress included; Includes seven-year extended warranty

Check price at Stokke

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