Parents who are always on-the-go are faced with the challenge of having to put their toddler or baby to sleep during their travels. This is where travel beds come in. Traveling in general is an exhausting experience and can take a lot of energy out of a toddler or baby. Fortunately many renowned brands have responded by making baby beds that are specially designed for travelling. A good baby travel bed should fold into a compact size for easy storage. There is, of course, no such thing as the best baby travel bed because each toddler has different requirements. There are many good travel beds on the market, each with their own pros and cons.
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Our Top 5 Best Baby Travel Beds
The Shrunks Toddler Travel Bed
Our Choice Item
If you’re looking for a reliable product from a well-respected brand, you can’t go wrong with The Shrunk’s lineup of potable inflatable beds. They’ve consistently bagged the coveted “Toddler Travel Bed” award since 2007 and show no signs of stopping. This popularity led to plenty of copycats stealing The Shrunk’s mattress design and branding to sell off as the real thing. The link we are sharing is the real deal. Don’t like waiting several minutes for air mattresses to reach full size? This inflatable mattress takes only 2 minutes to reach full size, if you do things right that is. Fortunately, using the electric pump is easy to use and doesn’t require you to read boring instruction manuals. The best part is that it nicely folds up in a tiny lightweight bag made of durable nylon.
Made using safe materials and completely devoid of toxic substances
Small design allows it to be carried anywhere
Only 2 minutes to reach full inflation
Has a weight capacity for 68 kg, which is more than enough
Might be a bit heavier than some people’s liking for a travel crib at 3kg
Latest deal: The Shrunks Toddler Travel Bed
Baby Lounger and Baby Nes
Top Quality Item
Designed for toddlers between 0 to 12 months old, this baby lounger by Sunflower store is the ideal choice for toddlers with common allergies. It features a slick design that is not only functional but also looks aesthetic. The bed consists of adjustable cords that allow the baby lounger to grow with your baby. Loosening the cord is as simple as tugging at it to adjust the size of the crib. One common problem with most baby travel beds is difficulty in keeping maintenance. This mattress solves the problem by using machine washable cotton fabric that does not lose its functionality when washed.
Weighs only 2.5 lbs allowing you to carry it anywhere
Materials used are non-toxic and hypoallergenic
If you are looking for an inflatable mattress, this might not be the best choice
Latest Deal: Baby Lounger and Baby Nes
EnerPlex Kids Inflatable Toddler Travel Bed
Best Value Item
Most inflatable mattresses for toddlers rarely, if ever, have warranties, but the next entry on our list by EnerPlex comes with a whopping two year warranty. By the time the warranty nears its end, your toddler will have outgrown the mattress. This mattress is large at 66” by 44” by 33”, which means you probably won’t be able to squeeze it in your car’s trunk. The good news is that when it’s fully inflated (done in two minutes only!), the air mattress feels like any conventional mattress. Even more impressive is its size when you deflate it. This bed will easily fold up in a compact size and won’t take up too much space. It comes with an oversized carry bag to help you comfortably store it in a safe place when not in use.
The removable inner bed lets you place a sheet (or blanket) inside
Inflate the mattress to full size in only 2 minutes
2 year warranty to give you peace of mind
Large in size when fully inflated
Latest Deal: EnerPlex Kids Inflatable Toddler Travel Bed
Baby Delight Snuggle Nest Afterglow Infant Sleeper/Baby Bed
Snuggle Next is designed specifically for travel and will save you a lot of hassle in the future. It is intended for use with smaller toddlers between 0 to 4 months old, larger children will have outgrown it. If you’re facing difficulty in keeping your child asleep during travel, this mattress may just come to your rescue. Its mattress is super soft and comfortable, allowing your toddler to fall asleep in no time. Perhaps more importantly, the side panels of the mattress will prevent your child from rolling out of place. Despite being tough and durable, the side panels feature a structural mesh for better air circulation in and out of the bed. This keeps the ambient temperature comfortable for your child and keeps humidity at bay.
Weighs only 3.2 pounds
Ultra compact design for easy transportation
Comes with a free carry bag
Limited size variation
Latest deal: Baby Delight Snuggle Nest Afterglow Infant Sleeper/Baby Bed
Lotus Travel Crib
Upwards of $200, but it is well worth the price when you look into the pros and cons (almost no cons). It protects your investment with a generous 2 year warranty. Moreover, the mattress has a thick pad for unparalleled comfort. One of the more important selling points about the Lotus is the mesh side door which can be opened and closed using a functional zip. This is important for when you want to reach out to your child and lie down by their side, to perhaps lull them to sleep, or rub their back. You can keep a protective eye over your toddler without having to lean all the way over and down for support.
Can be set up in only 13 seconds
Uses safe materials that are free from phthalates, heavy metals, and PVC
Can be easily folded in a carry bag
Very expensive at over $200
Latest deal: Lotus Travel Crib
Best Baby Travel Beds Buyers Guide
Considerations for Baby Travel Beds
A high quality travel bed allows your toddler to sleep and rest in a comfortable environment away from home. Make sure to choose a travel bed that is easy to use and transport when you need to travel. Since your outdoor bed is going to be exposed to harsh elements, the bed should be easy to clean and sanitize. The best baby travel beds are built around your specific needs, how often you travel, how old your baby is, and the features that you want. Here are a few helpful suggestions you should consider before purchasing a travel bed for your baby.
Ease of Use and Convenience
If you are traveling, chances are that you already have a lot of luggage in your arsenal, including your toddler’s stuff. It is inconvenient to carry bulky items that take up lots space and weigh a ton (figuratively speaking of course!). So your first priority is to see how easy it is to carry the travel bed. Travel beds come in a various sizes and styles. Some of them are easy to fold, such as portable beds, while others fold into a tent or mini cocoon. Air mattresses are by far the easiest beds to store because when they lose a significant amount of size and weight when deflated. Your priority should be to select a mattress that is compact, lightweight, and easy to set up. Here’s a rule of thumb: if it can’t fit in the trunk of your car, you should look elsewhere.
Safety and Comfort
Nothing is more important than your child’s safety. The best baby travel beds are designed in such a way that they make it difficult for children to escape from their closure. The bed should make it impossible for children to accidentally roll over. Some travel beds have very thin mattresses to reduce weight and manufacturing costs. Others may have poor air flow. Thin mattresses won’t provide enough cushioning to your children, while poor air flow means that the temperature inside the cot could get very uncomfortable.
The Baby’s Age and Size
Some travel beds are designed for older toddlers, others are only big enough for newborns. Many manufacturers found a healthy workaround for this limitation: cords that can be adjusted to increase and decrease the bed’s overall size.
Easy to Assemble
Let’s face it; you will be carrying the portable bed around with you a lot during your travels. It makes sense to find a bed that is easy to set up in just a few minutes. If it takes more than 10 minutes to set up, you probably should find something else.
Most travel beds come with a carry bag or travel bag to help you store your accessories with ease. Once again, the trick is to find a product that doesn’t weigh a lot, with or without a travel bag. The bag lets you unfold the travel mattress when not in use. Out of sight and out of mind, as the saying goes.
Types of Baby Travel Beds
There are two main types of baby travel beds: the fold-up cots for toddlers and inflatable baby travel beds. There are several subtypes of toddler air mattresses and inflatable beds.
1) Inflatable Travel Beds for Babies
As the name suggests, these beds require inflation and deflation. An electric pump is used (may require batteries to work). If you choose an inflatable toddler bed, make sure it has rails with raised sides that form bumpers to prevent your toddler fro rolling over the mattress. When you deflate the mattress, it reaches a compact and lightweight package. There is one big disadvantage with these mattresses though: they are easy to puncture if the manufacturer used low quality materials. In many cases, you can repair punctures using a repair kit (often comes with the inflatable mattress).
2) Air mattresses for Babies
If your child isn’t very active in the night, you could go with a regular air mattress without any protective built-in rails. This travel bed is not safe for very small children who will probably twist and turn during sleep.
3) Folding Travel Bed
Apart from inflatable beds, you can also use folding travel beds for use with your toddler. These beds require no assembly and bear great resemblance to tents. The only problem is that it takes long to set them up and, depending on the quality, may be heavy.
Question To Assess Before Buying a Bed
What is Your Budget?
While your child’s safety is of utmost importance and non-negotiable, you should be able to find a fairly safe option even if you’re on a limited budget. The mattresses we have available on this list are an excellent choice and extremely affordable. Typical prices vary from $50 to over $200.
How Old is Your Child?
Not all travel beds are universal in size. And not all toddlers are the same size or grow at the same pace. They have features that may or may not accommodate your child’s height, age, and weight. You need to know these metrics before searching for a bed to ensure you select the best fit for your toddler.
Travel Crib for toddlers
Toddlers are naturally curious and will cause lots of chaos in their beds. To prevent any damage to the crib (and to your toddler) find something that is both durable and easy to clean. It goes without saying that regular maintenance will play an important role on your child’s safety. Make sure the crib’s side is breathable and well ventilated to avoid suffocating your child and allowing the free flow of air.
Travel Cribs for Twins
What’s expected of the baby travel bed drastically changes if you have twins or more than one toddler to care for. The last thing you want is for your toddler to be squeezed in their cribs and increase the likelihood of getting suffocated. Don’t be afraid of getting two separate cribs if a single crib is not spacious enough for the both of them. The same rules apply: the crib should be lightweight and super stable so it doesn’t tumble over.
Frequently Asked Questions
Should I Use a New Mattress for Each Baby
It is advisable to buy a buy a new mattress for your baby, especially if the used mattress was second-hand from another home. There is enough research to suggest that second hand mattresses contain toxic bacteria linked to sudden infant death syndrome.
How do I Know if My Toddler Can Sleep on a Toddler Bed?
Most companies advertise the ideal age ranges that are best compatible with their beds. But you can still check to see if the travel bed is the ideal size for your toddler by seeing if they settle well on the bed. If not, try to find a new travel bed. You can always borrow a friend or family member’s toddler bed to test it on your toddler.
Head of Content at Sleepedia
Lauren is Sleepedia's Head of Content and is a certified sleep therapist who loves her sleep. Lauren helps people to get back to those deep, dream-filled nights they once had by helping to identify problems with their routine and sleep setup. Whether it's a mattress or pillow, Lauren researches the best products in the industry to provide you with an in-depth review of everything you need to know to encourage your buying decision.