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9 best cot beds for babies and toddlers that offer a long-term sleep solution

These cosy beds will help your little one snooze comfortably for years to come

Danielle Wilkins
Friday 05 January 2024 14:15 GMT
<p>It goes without saying that life with a baby can be messy, so being able to wipe-clean the bed is a must</p>

It goes without saying that life with a baby can be messy, so being able to wipe-clean the bed is a must

Our Top Picks

While The Lullaby Trust recommends that your little one sleeps in your room for the first six months of life, those six months will indeed fly by, and it won’t be long until you’re thinking about making your next big baby purchase – a cot or cot bed.

For many parents, a cot bed is the smarter and preferred choice over a standard cot – the key difference being longevity. A cot will typically last you until your child is around two years old (or until they start to show signs of wanting to launch themselves over the bars – ahem). Cot beds, on the other hand, are designed to transform into a toddler bed when your child is ready to move into their first bed. This means cots are cheaper and often smaller than cot beds.

Those cot beds that come without expansion packs or add-ons will typically last another couple of years, until your child is around four. In some cases, expansion packs can be purchased separately to ensure the bed lasts even longer, sometimes to the ages of 8 or 10.

Some will come with extra features, too, including drawers that slide underneath the base for storage, hanging rails for towels and clothes, and baby-safe teething rails to stop your little one chomping down on the wood. In some cases, you can also purchase a baby changing station base to place on the top of the cot, which makes an excellent space saver.

Much of your decision will rest on budget, the features you want from a cot bed, and how much space you have at home, but thankfully there are a plethora of designs to choose from right now. We can’t promise it will always be plain sailing, but we’ve rounded up the best long-term sleep solutions for a safe and comfortable snooze night after night.

How we tested

Our parent testers reviewed dozens of cot beds, focusing on key features such as quality, durability, functionality, longevity, design, and how easy they were to build and later transform into a toddler bed. In some cases, where the bed came with a recommended mattress option, they also tested this for breathability, firmness and comfort.

We also contemplated the care and maintenance of the cot. It goes without saying life with a baby can be messy, so being able to wipe clean the bed is a must. Since most typically cost somewhere between £300 and £600, value for money was also a key consideration.

The best cot beds for 2024 are:

  • Best overall cot bed – Mamas & Papas coxley cotbed: £599, Mamasandpapas.com
  • Best value cot bed – Ickle Bubba Snowdon classic cot bed: £349, Icklebubba.com
  • Best cot bed for easy assembly – Boori Turin cot bed: £364.65, Boori.com
  • Best cot bed for quality – Silver Cross westport oak convertible cot bed to toddler bed: £475, Silvercossbaby.com
  • Best cot bed for extra storage – Venicci Forenzo truffle oak cot bed with underdrawer: £469, Venicci.co.uk

Mamas & Papas coxley cotbed

Mamas & Papas coxley cot bed.png
  • Best: Overall
  • Suitable from: Birth to four years
  • Mattress size: 140cm x 70cm
  • Extension kit needed: No

With everything you need from birth to four years, the supremely beautiful yet functional coxley cot bed was our top pick. Not only does it come in a neutral, hand-crafted design that lends itself well to existing nursery furniture, but it’s made from super-sturdy, durable oak, which feels solid and supportive enough to withstand the weight of an energetic toddler.

With two people and enough space to lay out all the parts, this was also a straightforward, fuss-free build. The cot offers three adjustable mattress heights, and we were impressed with the depth of the lowest setting. There are teething rails on either side, so you can rest assured that baby’s growing teeth won’t damage the wood, and there are practical hanging rails at either end of the cot, as well as a built-in space for items like books, toys and blankets.

If you’re building a nursery from scratch, there are matching pieces of furniture to choose from, too, including a changing table and wardrobe. And, when your little one is ready to make the transition, this cot converts well into an independent bed that both looks great and feels equally sturdy.

At £599, this bed isn’t cheap – and you’ll need to purchase a mattress separately, which already adds to the pretty healthy price. That said, this is, without doubt, a design that’s built to last and grow with your family, and we think it looks much more expensive than it is. Plus, the mattress is standard size, which makes it easier to look elsewhere for a less expensive option if preferred.

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Troll Torsten cot bed

Troll Torsten cot bed.png
  • Best: For design appeal
  • Suitable from: Birth to five years
  • Mattress size: 140cm x 70cm
  • Extension kit needed: No

Made from solid birch wood, with its cool, soft curves and contrasting-colour legs, this sleek, Scandi-inspired cot bed is both aesthetically pleasing and functional. We trialled the design in the hand-painted grey/teak colourway, which – as well as being glorious to look at – proved to be super robust and offered lots of space for our mini tester to roll around in.

The modern design offers three base heights as a cot, though the lowest position is probably the safest once baby can roll and pull themselves up, as this is shallower than some of the other designs we tried. It then transforms quickly and easily into a toddler bed with the included conversion kit, and the teak wax finish is wipe clean.

We didn’t find this the easiest to put together – the instructions weren’t the clearest in some areas – but the only item required is an Allen key, which comes included in the box. There were also one or two pieces that didn’t appear to line up. Despite these niggles, the quality and craftsmanship matches up to the price tag, with a weighty, solid frame and sturdy base.

Together with stockist CuddleCo’s recommended mattress (the Mother & Baby first gold anti-allergy foam mattress, £79.99, Cuddleco.co.uk), you have a beautiful, well-made cot bed that feels like it will last for years. The bonus, of course, being that you don’t have to purchase any extra parts to extend its life.

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Ickle Bubba Snowdon classic cot bed

Ickle Bubba Snowdon classic cot bed.png
  • Best: Value
  • Suitable from: Birth to about four years
  • Mattress size: 140cm x 70cm
  • Extension kit needed: No

For those who prefer a classic cot bed centrepiece, this elegant and well-made design delivers on every level, with a gorgeous pearlised white finish, sleigh-bed-style curves, and a handy drawer underneath that offers ample space for baby essentials, like bedding and sleepsuits.

It also comes with a wide choice of mattress options – we tested the hypoallergenic Finest pocket-spring mattress, which does raise the price somewhat but is still competitive with those brands that require the mattress to be purchased separately. It’s breathable, firm yet soft, with a machine-washable topper. Most importantly, our baby tester proved to be very comfortable on it, night after night.

Assembling this cot bed took around an hour and a half, and we were happy with the instructions and hardware provided to piece it together.

For the price point, it feels excellent quality – there are three mattress heights, the wood frame is solid, and the slats are durable, passing many a bounce test from our excitable 13-month-old tester. And once baby has grown out of the cot function, this converts swiftly into an equally sturdy toddler bed.

There isn’t a choice of colours, but if you’re looking for a classic white, handsome piece of furniture that offers excellent value for money, this is a good buy.

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La Redoute Willox adjustable wooden cot bed

La Redoute Willox adjustable cot bed.png
  • Best: Night to day cot bed
  • Suitable from: Birth to about four years
  • Mattress size: 140cm x 70cm
  • Extension kit needed: No

This stylish cot bed is perfect for anyone who wants to inject a spot of colour into baby’s room. We couldn’t get enough of the vintage 1950s design, which we trialled in the most beautiful shade of green (it also comes in an off-white hue).

As well as being easy on the eye, this cot bed proved to be sturdy and well-made, with the frame regularly bearing the weight of our 18-month-old tester, who enjoyed pulling themselves up into a standing position.

As a cot, it has three adjustable heights, which we found straightforward to get to grips with. It can then be converted into a bench-style day bed by removing the bars, as a cosy space for older toddlers to sit and read. We found the instructions easy to follow, getting this up in around 45 minutes.

The frame is made from solid birch (with an oiled and PU-lacquered finish that makes it simple to wipe down) and the quality is clear to see. Our only gripe is the price – sure, you won’t have to pay for a conversion kit, but you will have to purchase a mattress, and the day bed option won’t appeal to all families.

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Boori Turin cot bed

Boori Turin cot bed.png
  • Best: For easy assembly
  • Suitable from: Birth to five years
  • Mattress size: 132cm x 70cm
  • Extension kit needed: No

As a brand synonymous with craftsmanship and sustainability we had high expectations for Boori’s Turin cot bed, and we’re pleased to say it delivered on every front.

Made from FSC-certified solid wood, the cot has two base heights and converts easily into a stylish toddler bed or snug sofa by removing one side. You can also purchase a toddler guard separately to prevent any midnight tumbles, though we wouldn’t say the base height is so far off the ground that it’s a necessity.

We love everything about the design – the sleek and modern Nordic-inspired aesthetic, the playful angled feet, and the fact that it comes in five different colourways that extend beyond white and grey. The finish is excellent, too –there’s no doubt this is a piece of furniture that will withstand the bumps and knocks of family life year after year.

Of all the cots we tested, this was one of the easiest to assemble, with clear and concise instructions. It took around 45 minutes to put together single-handedly.

The only gripe we had was that adding a recommended mattress will bump up the cost anywhere between £149 to £299, and since the mattress size for this cot is slightly smaller than standard, you may be limited if you choose to look elsewhere. That said, you’ll have three high-quality Boori options to choose from. Overall, an impressively sturdy product that looks good and is built to last.

  1. £364 from Boori.com
Prices may vary
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Stokke sleepi bed V3

Stokke sleepi bed V3.png
  • Best: For longevity
  • Suitable from: Birth to five years
  • Mattress size: 136.4cm x 69.8cm
  • Extension kit needed: No

Stokke is renowned for its innovative children’s products, and this updated version of the best-selling sleepi crib is no exception. The oval-shaped design is made from solid beech wood, looks smart and is meant to mimic a mother’s womb – giving baby a sense of security that might help them sleep better at night. The curved edges also mean no sharp corners, and there’s a perforated mattress bottom to maximise air circulation.

This bed also has four mattress levels when it’s in cot mode – a clear upgrade on the three most cot beds have, while the lockable and removable wheels make this possibly the easiest cot ever to manoeuvre, should you want to start with it in your room before moving into baby’s nursery.

We trialled the sleepi V3 in natural wood, but there are three Scandi-inspired finishes to choose from, including white and grey. When it comes to transitioning into a toddler bed, all you need to do is remove part of the side rails. It certainly feels sturdy, like a piece of kit that’ll stand the test of time.

The higher price point does make this a luxury purchase, and it’s slightly let down by the fact there’s no mattress included within that total cost – you’ll have to purchase that separately for an eye-watering £199, and with its unique oval shape, you don’t exactly have a wealth of other options. However, if budget isn’t an issue, you can also pick up extras like the mesh liner, bedding and accessories to go with it.

For those looking to make the most of a smaller space, Stokke also offers the more compact mini V3, which can be converted to a toddler bed with the purchase of an extension pack.

  1. £529 from Stokke.com
Prices may vary
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Silver Cross westport oak convertible cot bed to toddler bed

Silver Cross westport oak convertible cot bed.png
  • Best: For quality
  • Suitable from: Birth to four years
  • Mattress size: 140cm x 70cm
  • Extension kit needed: No

If you’re looking for a robust cot bed that feels solid, is well-made and looks good, this westport design from Silver Cross is an excellent investment purchase. Founded in 1877, this renowned British brand is something of a go-to for royals and celebs alike, but its most recent collections are some of the most modern out there right now.

Thanks to the minimalist design, it took just over an hour to put together, with simple-to-follow instructions and an Allen key included. When it’s time to move on from the cot, switching it to a toddler bed proved to be equally straightforward, with a high-quality wood finish that’s second to none and clearly synonymous with Silver Cross’s craftsmanship. Plus, the statement white slats and warm oak finish guarantee it will look great in any nursery.

It’s at the higher end of the scale price-wise – particularly as the mattress is sold separately – but the quality of the materials and the luxurious aesthetic make it feel like a high-end product.

We also tested one of the brand’s mattresses and found that – compared to cheaper versions – the difference in quality is vast, so the extra spend could be worth it. Plus, if you like the matching look, you can pick up a selection of coordinating furniture, including a dresser, wardrobe and more.

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Snüz snüzkot skandi cot bed

Snüz snüzkot cot bed.png
  • Best: For smaller nurseries
  • Suitable from: Birth to 10 years
  • Mattress size: 117cm x 68cm
  • Extension kit needed: Only for junior bed (four to 10 years)

The award-winning snüzkot comes in a range of cool colourways, all featuring the brand’s signature curvy shape and stylish Scandinavian aesthetic. It’s also more compact than the other cot beds we tested, making it perfect for smaller nurseries or those with limited space.

As such, the internal dimensions aren’t standard size, which means you’re limited to purchasing the brand’s own snuzsurface mattress (from £139.95, Snuz.co.uk), though it’s won countless awards for its breathability and adjustable firmness, so you’re in safe hands if cost isn’t an issue. You’ll also find a selection of extras to choose from, including a wide range of bedding.

The instructions aren’t the clearest to follow, but with a little patience we had this up in just over an hour, with the help of an extra hand. It transforms easily from a solid and cosy cot with three adjustable mattress heights to a minimalist but equally sturdy toddler bed suitable for little ones aged up to four. It can then be adjusted into a junior bed for children up to 10 years old, with the separate purchase of an extension kit (£79.95, Snuz.co.uk).

At the cheaper end of the scale, this cool cot is without doubt value for money, particularly if you’re looking for a modern, space-saving design that’ll stand the test of time. It’s versatile, durable and functional, as well as being great to look at. A good investment piece.

  1. £379 from Snuz.co.uk
Prices may vary
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Venicci Forenzo truffle oak cot bed

Venicci Forenzo truffle oak cot bed.png
  • Best: For extra storage
  • Suitable from: Birth to four years
  • Mattress size: 140cm x 70cm
  • Extension kit needed: No

This simple yet stylish solid-wood number includes a few nifty features, including a handy drawer that slips underneath and three adjustable base heights. The sleek, somewhat traditional design and unique truffle-inspired colour mean it’ll fit seamlessly in most rooms. Plus, the quality of the wood is clear to see, and the drawer is strong and comes on wheels, making it easy to use.

The mattress is sold separately, but these are reasonably priced compared to many other brands (from £59.99, Venicci.co.uk) and promise to be hypoallergenic, odour-neutral and comes with machine-washable covers.

When your little one is ready to progress to the next stage, this cot bed converts brilliantly into a toddler bed or sofa without the need to purchase a separate extension kit. And, while there are some cot beds out there that lose their good looks when turned into a bed, this one still looks great. Plus, if you want to coordinate your nursery, there’s a host of other furniture options to go with it.

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Cot bed FAQs

What to look for when buying a cot bed:

Size: The most popular internal dimensions for a cot bed are 140cm x 70cm. However, some brands will vary in size, which will affect your mattress and bedding options. It seems an obvious thing to state, but always check that the cot fits in the nursery, with space to move it around if need be – you could be surprised by the size of some of them!

Length of use: A cot bed generally lasts up until the age of four years old, but there are options out there that extend to five, eight and even 10 years, with the additional purchase of an expansion pack. You’ll find that the cost of one of these is much less than having to purchase a whole new bed and mattress, so consider how long you might need it for.

Extra features: Some cots will come with extra features included, such as teething rails, under-bed drawers and lockable castors or wheels for moving around the house. You can also sometimes purchase extras separately – look out for items such as baby changing tops, which save you having to buy a changing unit.

Mattress: As your baby’s cot bed will likely be used for at least four years, it’s important to spend time choosing the right mattress. Most brands will recommend their own mattresses and often these are best, but in some cases, it could be more feasible to purchase one separately. Whichever option you choose, always make sure the mattress is firm, flat and fits snugly inside the cot, with no gaps either side. Never accept a second-hand mattress.

Ease of assembly: If you’re used to piecing together flatpack furniture, you should have no problems assembling a cot bed. However, some are notably easier to put together than others, and many will require you to store all the extra pieces that will allow you to later convert it into a toddler bed – so make sure you keep the instructions and any additional panels, nuts, bolts etc together in one place.

The verdict: Cot beds

When it comes to choosing the perfect cot bed, there really is something for every pocket and every style of nursery, so it pays to think about what is most important to you. The Mamas & Papas coxley cotbed was our overall winner, thanks to its quality, beautiful aesthetic, ease of assembly and because its mattress is a standard size (something that always makes buying bedding easier). That said, it is at the more expensive end of the scale and there are options out there like the Snüz snüzkot, which may suit smaller households and budgets.

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