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Best travel cot 2021: Our pick of the best travel cots to buy

Victoria Woollaston Rachel Erdos
25 Jun 2021
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Travelling with your baby? Then why not let everyone enjoy a good night’s sleep with these best travel cots

If you’ve recently had a baby, chances are the thought of travelling is far from your mind, but sooner or later you’ll be journeying once more and in need of a travel cot for the little one. The same applies if you're yet to visit relatives overnight, or want to drop the baby off with a friend while you and your partner enjoy a much-needed date night.

Investing in a good quality travel cot is the best solution, but you don't need to spend a fortune. It all depends on what you're after. Do you need an all-singing, all-dancing cot or a simple pop-up model that's easy to use?

Many hotels and holiday homes supply cots, but buying your own means you can be confident in its quality and suitability. It also comes with the added familiarity and smell to reassure your baby, even when they're in strange new surroundings. Read on to discover our pick of the best travel cots and how to choose the best travel cot for you and your child.

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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 also want to consider how portable it is, how quickly you’ll be able to assemble it and how deep your pockets are.

Are travel cots suitable for newborns?

Most travel cots can be used with newborn infants, but you may prefer to get a smaller bassinet that’s designed specifically for young babies. This is because it's easier to place them in a higher bassinet (babies have what's known as the Moro reflex that causes their arms to jump if they think they're being dropped) and it feels more enclosed and cosy.

There are also bedside cribs now that can double up as travel cots. These are more expensive, as you'd imagine, but means it's only one investment rather than two.

Can a travel cot double as a playpen?

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

What else do I need to consider?

Make sure you’ve got all the necessary accoutrements. All the travel cots we’ve recommended come 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.

The best travel cot to buy

1. Bugaboo Stardust: The best travel cot for comfort and convenience

Price: £199 | Buy now from Natural Baby Shower

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 fault we can find with it. It tops our list of the best travel cots because it combines style, function, and comfort in ways we haven't seen before. 

Firstly, and this is a gamechanger, it "pops" open, like those pop-up tents you can buy, and similarly folds down in seconds at the touch of a button. Bugaboo claims this mechanism uses aerospace technology that builds on the opening and collapsing features used in its strollers. Plus, the fold buttons are safely out of reach of your child.

While this may make it seem like it would be flimsy, the Stardust is far from it. Plus, the Stardust can be folded and unfolded with the mattress inside. It's so simple. 

Speaking of the mattress, whereas many travel cots in this list either don't come with a mattress, or they ship with thin, uncomfortable slabs of material, the Bugaboo Stardust changes the game here too. Its built-in, multi-layered mattress is lightweight and comfortable. It can be raised, via a zip-in bed insert, that transforms this travel cot into a bassinet. Perfect for newborns or younger babies. 

Thirdly, the Stardust's pop-up nature means it doesn't require any fiddly assembly. There are no special techniques to master, nor do you have to rely on pieces all clipping and locking into place. And it folds down into one piece that can then be carried in a Velcro-closing bag that also comes with the cot. 

When you factor all of these features in, including the fact it ships with a mattress, bassinet insert and shoulder bag, the £199 doesn't seem quite so extortionate. Plus, we don't think you can put on a price on just how easy and quick this is to use!  

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

Buy now from Natural Baby Shower


2. Tutti Bambini CoZee: The best travel cot for style

Price: £158 | Buy now from Amazon

The CoZee bedside crib from Tutti Bambini can be used as a bedside crib until your baby outgrows it (it has a maximum weight of 9kg), or reaches six months. It has a single mesh and a side that folds down. When this side is folded down, the CoZee can be attached to your bed so your baby can sleep right beside you without the worries that come with co-sleeping. It additionally has a tilt function for babies who suffer from reflux or colic.

When not being used as a bedside crib, the CoZee bedside crib folds down and doubles up as a travel cot. It's incredibly simple to assemble – just click the legs into place, no screws or extras required – and just as simple to collapse. The CoZee comes with a bag to transport it in and is the most stylish of the cots in this list; available in grey, blue and white with wooden legs and rim. This makes a real difference when placed alongside some of the more ugly plastic cots.

As you'd expect, the CoZee doesn't come particularly cheap but if you think of it as one investment for two must-have items, it's worth the money. Being able to take the bed your baby sleeps in regularly on the road with you is also a godsend. Your baby (should) easily adapt to new surroundings while feeling safe and secure in his own bed. 

Key features - Age range: 0-6 months; Weight: 10.2kg; Cleaning: Hand-washable fabric; Time to assemble: 3 minutes

3. Joie Excursion: The best travel cot for value for money

Price: £160 | Buy now from Halfords

It's not the most compact, lightweight or easy to put together model in our list of the best travel cots but the Joie Excursion Change and Bounce gets a special shoutout for being such 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 placed either on top of the cot or as a standalone bouncer, as can the changing mat.

As with all of Joie's baby products, the Excursion Change and Bounce is highly practical and, while being a little fiddly to set up and use, once you've mastered it, you'll wonder how you ever did without the added extras. Feature-wise the travel cot comes with an ultra-secure frame with exposed tubing, two built-in wheels to help you easily move the cot around a room; mesh lining on all four sides (meaning it could double up as a playpen), an elevated, draught-resistant base, and a carry bag to store it all in.

On the side of the cot is a sound and light attachment that both vibrates the cot, and has five classical lullabies and five nature sounds, plus a nightlight with 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

Buy now from Halfords


4. Koo-di Travel Bubble Cot: The best travel cot for camping

Price: £49 | Buy now from Amazon

The Travel Bubble is hard to fault as a value travel cot. It’s extremely light, but the padded mattress helps give it stability and promises a good night’s sleep for your baby.

The sides zip down – or halfway down – so you can keep an eye on your beloved overnight, or zip up a flysheet so you know they won’t be going anywhere (or getting bitten by any flying nasties).

For longer trips and older, larger toddlers the design can get a little cramped. But with its tiny footprint and minimal weight it’s perfect for camping with a little one. It pops out of the bag like a festival tent and folds back in with an escapologist’s twist of the wrists – perfect for impressing your friends.

The Sun and Sleep version of the Koo-di bubble travel cot is slightly more expensive than the original because it has a more attractive design but the features and dimensions are largely the same.

Key features - Age: 6-18 months; Weight: 2.2kg; Cleaning: Hand-washable fabric; Time to assemble: 10 seconds

5. BabyBjörn Travel Cot: The best luxury travel cot

Price: £272 | Buy now from BabyBjörn

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, and then the mattress is dropped in. That’s a significant strength, as reaching the end of a journey often corresponds with parents reaching the end of their tether.

The mattress is thick and soft, is fully washable and looks good. There’s a range of cool colours to choose from and the mesh that surrounds the baby ensures good ventilation and all-round visibility for the parent. We bought this travel cot on the premise that once our little one started roaming around, it would be a safe playpen for him. The angle of the legs ensures that it’s also stable, even if your toddler leans on the sides as he grows.

One slight downside is the length of drop when placing your baby into the cot at bedtime. It's not a huge problem, but this travel cot doesn't come with a bassinet attachment and if you're short (like me), placing a 22lb child down can be tricky. It's not a reason not to buy this travel cot, but it is worth a thought.

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

Buy now from BabyBjörn


6. Hauck Baby Center Travel Cot: The best travel cot for first-time parents

Price: £130 | Buy now from Amazon

Straying away from home with a newborn can be daunting; this Hauck travel cot provides a raft of calming extras to make your night away as similar as possible to being in your nicely laid-out nursery.

It comes with a mattress (but no sheet), and a bassinet unit - basically a raised mattress that hangs halfway up, making it much easier for you to pick up your newborn. There’s also a padded changing table that sits on top of the cot, an accessory tray for wipes and nappies, and a musical mobile to help distract and entertain your child.

Basically, nothing has to go on the floor, and the stress of a first night away will be greatly reduced. Then, when you and your baby have got the hang of it, you can do away with the extras and use it as a more simple travel cot. It’s a heavy bit of kit, but if you’re looking for peace of mind, it might well be worth it.

Key features - Age: 0-3 years; Weight: 12kg; Cleaning: Sponge clean; Time to assemble: 5 minutes

7. Red Kite Sleeptight Travel Cot: The best budget travel cot

Price: £30 | Buy now from Asda

This may not be the lightest or prettiest travel cot, but it does the job for just over £30. It does come with its own mattress, although some parents prefer to buy an additional mattress (around £20) as the one provided is not too thick. Setting it up and down 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.

It has no bells or whistles: you just get the cot, a mattress and a bag. You’ll want a sheet for the mattress too, which you can buy from around £13. If you’re not travelling too often, or are a little short of cash, this cot will serve its purpose.

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