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Best travel cots 2023: Comfortable cribs for babies and toddlers

Travelling with your baby? Ensure everyone enjoys a good night’s sleep with the best travel cots

If you’ve recently had a baby, then the thrilling thought of travelling anywhere, let alone abroad, is precisely why you began your search for the best travel cot. Buy the right one, and you’ll be journeying once more, on UK holidays or overseas, visiting relatives overnight, or dropping off your baby to a friend while you and your partner enjoy a much-needed date night. For all those scenarios, a good-quality travel cot guarantees that your baby gets a comfortable night’s sleep.

Investing in a good-quality travel cot needn’t cost a fortune, however. How much you spend will depend on your requirements: do you need an all-singing, all-dancing cot; or a simple pop-up model that’s easy to use?

These days, many hotels and holiday homes supply cots; but buying your own means you can be confident in its quality, and your baby will be comfortable and relaxed in their own familiar cot, even when they’re in new surroundings.

You’ll find our top picks in the At a glance list below followed by a handy explanation of all the key features to look out for in our buying guide. If you want a little more information before buying, then you’ll find a wider selection of bite-size reviews a little further down the page.

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Best travel cot: At a glance

How to choose the best travel cot for your child

There are some key questions to consider when buying a travel cot. Obviously, it needs to be appropriate for the age and size of your child, but you’ll also want to take note of how portable it is, how quickly it can be assembled – and how much you want to spend.

Are travel cots suitable for newborns?

Most travel cots will be just fine for newborn infants, but you may prefer to get a smaller bassinet that’s specifically designed for young babies. This is because it’s easier to put down a baby in a higher bassinet – babies develop what’s known as the Moro reflex, which causes their arms to jump if they think they’re being dropped; this could be felt if placing them lower down into a travel cot. In addition, a bassinet feels more enclosed and cosy.

You can also now pick up bedside cribs that can double up as travel cots. As you’d imagine, these will be more expensive, but it does mean you’re buying just one item rather than two.

Can a travel cot double as a playpen?

Indeed. Spending a little more on a travel cot that doubles as a playpen will increase its use, delivering value for money. Look for models that have four, rather than two, mesh sides to give you and your baby a better view. A travel cot can also function as somewhere safe to put your crawling, or walking, whirlwind while you grab a snack or go to the loo.

READ NEXT: The best baby cot to buy

What else do I need to consider?

Make sure you have all the necessary accoutrements. All the travel cots on our list are supplied with a mattress, but sheets aren’t included. You could use a pillowcase, but you may prefer a fitted sheet, and this may be available as an optional extra.

How we test travel cots

At Expert Reviews, we know that not all products are created equal, nor can they be judged on price and brand alone. This is the reason we test every product we recommend, so we can get first-hand experience of how it performs in real life. To put together this roundup of the best travel cots, each model has been assembled by the reviews, and out through its paces with their own children. As well as considering the age and size of child for which each cot is suitable, we consider how portable it is, how quickly and easily it can be assembled, and how much it costs. We also judge the comfort of each mattress by considering how well a child has slept on them, along with the overall design. At the end of each review, you’ll find a quick-view set of details including the age range for which a cot is suitable, its weight, assembly time and cleaning instructions.

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The best travel cots you can buy in 2023

1. Bugaboo Stardust: Best travel cot for comfort and convenience

Price when reviewed: £225 | Check price at Boots

Renowned, and highly regarded, for its range of car seats and stylish strollers (you can read more about these in our best pushchair guide), Bugaboo recently branched out with its first travel cot: the Bugaboo Stardust. It’s pricey, just like the rest of the Bugaboo range, but that’s the only negative. It tops our list of the best travel cots because it combines style, function, and comfort in ways we haven’t seen before.

First – and this is a gamechanger – it “pops” open, in the same way that a pop-up tent would, and similarly folds down in seconds at the touch of a button. It can also be folded and unfolded without removing the mattress, and the buttons are sensibly and safely positioned out of reach of your child.

While many travel cots either come without a mattress or ship with a thin, uncomfortable bit of material, the Bugaboo Stardust comes with a built-in, multi-layered mattress that’s lightweight and comfortable. It can be raised via a zip-in bed insert, and this transforms the cot into a bassinet that’s perfect for newborns or younger babies.

The pop-up design means that there’s no fiddly assembly required. There are no special techniques to master, nor do you have to rely on separate sections all clipping and locking into place. It folds down into one piece that’s carried in a Velcro-closing bag that’s also included in the box.

Factor in all of its features, and the included extras, and the £225 price doesn’t seem quite so extortionate. In fact, we don’t think you can really put a price on just how easy and quick the Stardust is to use.

Key features – Age range: 0-24 months; Weight: 6.7kg; Cleaning: Hand-washable fabric; Time to assemble: 1 second

Check price at Boots

2. Silver Cross Slumber: Best lightweight travel cot

Price when reviewed: £165 | Check price at Silver Cross

best travel cot - silver slumber cot

Silver Cross’s Slumber travel cot is contemporary and lightweight, with a pop-up design that can be assembled in seconds. It now comes with the newborn insert that sits at bed height and can be used with or without. This cot looks great, so we had no issue having it out in our living room for downstairs naps through a period of some noisy building work being carried out. Plus, it also doubles up as a great playpen, featuring a padded top rail and zip-down side.

Let’s be honest, babies don’t always sleep particularly well in travel cots, but we were pleasantly surprised during testing, as baby enjoyed a restful couple of nights on a recent trip to the grandparents. The Silver Cross Slumber is lightweight, too, so would be ideal for taking on holiday to create somewhere safe for baby to play in a villa or hotel room.

Key features – Age: 0-3 years; Weight: 7.7kg; Cleaning: Sponge clean; Time to assemble: 5 minutes

Check price at Silver Cross

3. Tutti Bambini CoZee: Best travel cot for style

Price when reviewed: £145 | Check price at Amazon

The Cozee Luxe is the latest update on Tutti Bambini’s Cozee bedside crib. Slightly bigger, it comes with more premium finishings than the original. It’s beautifully made, featuring soft quilted sides, a cotton lining, and sheer mesh sides that will keep baby visible at all times. It also has gold-tone-tipped walnut legs that add to its luxury finish.

The side can be easily zipped down so you can lift baby in and out of the bed for feeds during the night, or zipped up during nap times. The lining can also be removed and washed in the machine, which is always handy with a newborn baby.

Assembly proved quick and easy: it probably took us no more time than the 60 seconds suggested by the brand. This feels like a quality cot that we would be more than happy to have as a permanent by-the-side bed; it doesn’t feel at all flimsy in the way some travel cots do. If your baby regularly stay at the grandparents or a friend’s house, this would be a lovely option to keep out permanently.

Key features Age range: 0-6 months; Weight: 11.4kg; Cleaning: Inner lining and mattress cover are machine washable; Time to assemble: 60 seconds

4. Nuna Sena Aire: Best travel cot/playpen hybrid

Price when reviewed: £250 | Check price at John Lewisbest travel cot Nuna Sena AireWith its one-handed collapsible design and bassinet mode, the Sena Aire is the rival to the Bugaboo Stardust.

Nuna’s solution is more expensive and heavier, but comes with plenty of great features and more spacious dimensions of 103 x 76 x 73cm (LWH) – which means there’s more room to sleep and play.

The zigzag leg-folding design is super easy to use; folding it up is particularly satisfying, requiring a simple lifting of the strap in the centre of the cot. Like magic, it folds up into a very compact size, although you do have to wrap the mattress around the outside before putting it all in the carry bag.

The stylish cot is available in two colours, Charcoal (pictured) or Frost, and features an “Advanced air design”, including mesh sides to ensure airflow is optimal and safe. It’s sturdier than most, with skid-proof feet and padded edges.

Suitable from birth, the raised bassinet mode is super useful and can be quickly unzipped when you want to move the mattress to a lower position. The mattress itself sports a triple-layered mesh design and the internal boards are removable, so that the cover can be machine-washed and dried.

Key details – Age range: Birth to 15kg; Weight: 12.3kg; Cleaning: Spot-clean, air-dry mattress cover is both washing machine and dryer safe; Time to assemble: 1 second fold/unfold

5. Joie Excursion: Best travel cot for value for money

Price when reviewed: £190 | Check price at Boots 

It isn’t the most compact, lightweight or easy to put together model in this list, but the Joie Excursion Change & Bounce gets a special shout-out for offering great value for money. In addition to the sturdy, well-built travel cot itself, this good-looking setup comes with a full-size bassinet (that clips on and off easily), a changing table and a bouncer, all included in the price. What’s more, the bouncer can be used either on top of the cot or standalone, as can the changing mat.

As with all of Joie’s baby products, the Excursion Change & Bounce is highly practical. Although a little fiddly to set up and use, once you’ve mastered it, you’ll wonder how you ever did without the added extras. The travel cot itself sports an ultra-secure frame with exposed tubing, plus two built-in wheels to help you easily move it around a room. A mesh lining on all four sides means the Change & Bounce can double up as a playpen, plus it has an elevated, draught-resistant base, and comes with a carry bag for storage.

On the side of the cot is a sound and light attachment that vibrates. It plays five classical lullabies and five nature sounds, plus there’s a nightlight that offers three brightness settings. The bouncer adds a toy bar with two soft toys and a five-point harness. We’ve found ourselves using the BabyBjörn for the odd night away and this fantastic travel cot for longer holidays.

Key features – Age range: 0-4 years; Weight: 16.49kg; Cleaning: Hand-washable fabric; Time to assemble: 5 minutes

Check price at Boots

6. BabyBjörn Travel Cot: Best luxury travel cot

Price when reviewed: £249 | Check price at BabyBjörnbest travel cot babybjorn light

BabyBjörn gear isn’t cheap, and the fitted organic sheet adds an extra £20 to this already pricey travel cot. But if you’re willing to pay, it won’t disappoint. The travel cot takes mere seconds to assemble: the legs drop and lock as you open it, after which the mattress drops in.

The mattress is thick and soft, it’s fully washable and it looks good, too. Available in two colours, the mesh sides ensure good ventilation for baby and all-round visibility for parents. We bought this travel cot on the premise that once our little one started roaming around, it would make a safe playpen for him, too. The angle of the legs deliver good stability, even if your toddler leans on the travel cot’s sides as he grows.

One slight downside is the length of the drop when placing your baby into the cot at bedtime. It isn’t a huge problem, but note that this travel cot doesn’t come with a bassinet attachment – so, if you’re short, placing a 10kg child down into it can prove tricky. This isn’t a reason not to buy this travel cot, just something to consider.

Key features – Age: 0-3 years; Weight: 6kg; Cleaning: Machine-washable fabric; Time to assemble: 15 seconds

Check price at BabyBjörn

7. Red Kite Sleeptight Travel Cot: Best budget travel cot

Price when reviewed: £37 | Check price at Amazon

This may not be the lightest or most attractive travel cot here, but it does the job for a fraction of the cost of other models. It does come with its own mattress, although some parents may prefer to buy an additional mattress (around £20) since the one included is quite thin. Setting the cot up and packing it away again can be a bit of a challenge – make sure you follow the instructions carefully – but the sturdy, steel-framed design is reassuringly stable once erected.

There are no bells and whistles here; just the cot, a mattress and a bag. You’ll need to pick up a sheet for the mattress, too, which is available to buy for around £13. If you’re not someone who will be travelling too often with baby, or are on a tight budget, this cot will serve its purpose.

Key features – Age: 0-3 years; Weight: 8.5kg; Cleaning: Sponge clean; Time to assemble: 1 minute

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