If you’ve got any kind of overnight stay planned and you have a baby or toddler in the family, you’re going to need a travel cot.
Travel cots provide your little one with a portable, safe place to sleep while you’re away from home. They’re a baby travel essential – lightweight, with collapsable sides, they fold into a portable package which usually has a carry handle.
You’re definitely going to want to invest in one of these for family holidays, breaks and overnight stays – buying one means you won’t have to worry about sleeping arrangements at your chosen destination. They also provide a familiar – and safe - sleeping environment for your little one, meaning that everyone sleeps better.
If you’re wondering which is the best travel cot for your child’s needs, we’ve got all the info for you – keep reading!
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A travel cot is a baby travel essential you'll want to invest in
What do I need to look for in a travel cot?
When choosing the best travel cot for your baby or toddler, there are several factors to consider. Firstly – age suitability is important. Most travel cots are suitable from birth – but you should check the manufacturer's recommendations carefully. We’ve included details in our list to make it easier for you.
You also need to look at the weight of the travel cot – they vary from 6kg to 11kg – and consider how this fits with your needs. For example, if you’re throwing it in the back of a car, the weight is going to be less of an issue than a travel cot you’ll be carrying on a train or even plane. Check our list for the weights of each option to find the best travel cot for you.
Are travel cots suitable for newborns?
The majority of travel cots are indeed suitable to be used from birth, but you should check the manufacturers' instructions carefully. Some even have a built-in bassinet which provides an elevated sleep environment for newborns.
Are travel cots suitable for toddlers?
Travel cots are just as appropriate for toddlers as they are for newborns and very young babies. But of course, you need to check the age appropriateness of each particular model. Some travel cots are suitable to use until age three and a half.
Best travel cots for 2022 at a glance
Best travel cot for newborns – Joie Kubbie sleep compact travel cot
Best travel cot for toddlers – Maxi-Cosi Iris 2-in-1 travel cot
Best travel cot for flying – Deryan travel cot
Best travel cot budget option – Red Kite black sleep-tight travel cot
Best travel cot for easy assembly – Bugaboo Stardust
Best pyramid-style travel cot - Micralite Premium travel cot
Best travel cot for newborns
Joie Kubbie Sleep Compact Travel Cot, £115, Argos
Weight: 8.79 kg
Suitable: from birth till 15kg
The drop-down side on this model makes it popular with new parents looking for the best travel cot for newborns. It also features a bassinet, which are recommended for newborns. Once you’re out of the newborn stage, the mattress can be lowered so it becomes a good-sized travel cot and playpen for an older baby / toddler.
Top review: “Bought this for grandchild so daughter can stay over at night with new baby. Adjustable height very useful to allow baby to be by the bedside. Easy to erect and fold away. Very pleased.”
Best travel cot for toddlers
Maxi Cosi Iris 2 in 1 travel cot, £158, Amazon
Weight: 5.6 kg
Suitable from: birth to approx 3.6 years old
The big advantage of this travel cot is the fact that when it’s set on the floor it has no weight limit, and it’s high sides mean it’s difficult for a toddler to climb out. At 5.6kg it’s one of the lightest on the market and easy to transport, folding down into a super compact travel bag. There’s also a newborn setting, with the matress raised higher – so you can put younger babies down for a nap without bending low to the floor.
Top review: “This travel cot is great - assembles easily in minutes, straightforward to switch between the two heights. The cot doesn't look like a travel model and feels (and looks) high quality, with wooden legs and a well padded grey bumper. The mattress is lovely and thick and seems comfortable for our 7 week old; it also seems like it'll be water repellent if there are leaks or accidents. I was also pleasantly surprised by how roomy this bed is, and am confident it'll last well into toddlerhood.”
Best travel cot budget option
Red Kite Black sleep tight travel cot, £45.95, Amazon
Weight: 6.99 kg
Suitable from: birth until 15kg
This travel cot is a great budget option that doesn’t compromise on quality. It’s sturdy and features a padded top rail and breathable mesh sides. It’s also very easy to assemble and put down and put away. However the mattress is quite thin, so you may want to consider buying an additional one if it’s going to be used for an extended period of time.
Top review: “Having now used this multiple times, I’m really impressed with it - it’s good quality and not too bulky when folded so fits easily into my small car boot along with all the other baby paraphernalia needed for a night away!
“It’s really easy to put up and take down and it’s so helpful that the instructions are printed onto the underside of the mattress - what a great idea (these sleep-deprived parents are very grateful for this design feature!) You must put it up/take it down in the right order or you will struggle to get it folded correctly.”
Best pyramid-style travel cot
Micralite Premium travel cot, was £150 now £124.99, Amazon
Weight: 6.74 kg
From: Newborn (with insert, sold separately) to 15kg
Some parents prefer a pyramid-style travel cot because it encourages little ones to stay in the lower part of the cot and discourages them from trying to climb out. This cot scores top marks for its portability and ease to put up and down. The black colourway is also a godsend to avoid stains being a problem
Top review: "We really like the fact that you can unzip one end so the baby can call in and out if it is not being used as a cot and we find that the baby really likes this and takes her toys into it. The structure itself is incredibly strong and stable and again because of the pyramid-style design, it will be impossible for it to topple.
"It is really easy to fold up and put away and when in its bag incredibly compact ideal for taking to grandparents or friends if you are having a night away."
Best travel cot for easy assembly
Bugaboo stardust travel cot, £225, John Lewis
Suitable from: birth until 15kg
One second to unfold, three seconds to fold – when it comes to easy assembly this wins the best travel cot badge, hands down. The mattress is firm and comfortable and the additional zip-in carry cot makes it suitable from birth.
Top review: Very quick and easy to assemble (it really is a matter of seconds) and feels sturdy once assembled. Bulkier to store than some other travel cots, but does fold fairly flat and comes with a useful carry case. The mattress is better than any other travel cots we have tried and doesn't need extra padding like the concertina-style mattresses other cots have. Our 10-month-old sleeps happily in this.”
Best travel cot for flying
Deryan travel cot, £68.38, Amazon
Suitable from: birth to two years
If you’re looking for the best travel cot you can take as hand luggage, this model is a great option. It’s a pop-up beach tent style with a slef inflating mattress which features a breathable zip up mesh cover which protects against insects and mosquitos. The reviews do mention that the matress is a thin one, so this cot is better suited to occasional short trips when taking a more sturdy travel cot isn’t possible.
Top review: “I bought this travel cot mainly due to the small size and portability as were flying to visit family. It is light weight, compact and easily fitted in our suitcase without taking up too much room. If you didn't need to pack it away, it can be easily carried using the strap.
“The cot itself it so easy to assemble - it's basically a pop up cot. The self inflate mattress then fits inside and you zip the cover sheet over the top with a velcro tab to secure the zip fastens. Simple! It has mesh sides providing good ventilation and this feature also gives you a good view of your child.”
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