Chances are you already own a baby travel cot for visiting relatives or vacations, but what do you do when your toddler has outgrown it?  Read on for the low-down on travel beds for toddlers.

Whether your toddler isn’t ready for a full-sized bed, you are going camping, or you just need the extra space at a relative’s house there is a solution. They are also extremely useful for toddler sleepovers, naps at daycare, or even to help with the transition between a cot and a regular bed. If you can bring your own toddler travel bed when staying in hotels it can save money over booking a family room.

I’ve researched the various options and tried them out in the field so I can share my reviews of the various types of toddler travel beds.

Fold up Toddler Bed Review

A simple canvas over a collapsible aluminium frame. They typically come with a storage bag and are made of a wipe-clean durable material.

Good for:

  • Quick set-up – it literally takes seconds, just fold open like a deck chair and you’re done.
  • Camping / Beach / Flea-infested relatives home (!!) – anywhere you want you toddler to be raised up off the ground.
  • Messy or potty-training Toddlers – wipe clean material.

Not so good for:

  • Wiggly Toddlers – there’s nothing to stop them falling off the sides and it’s not the most comfortable if you end up lying across the frame.
  • Air Travel – they are too heavy and take up too much space to be practical for anything other than throwing in the car.


Inflatable Toddler Bed Review

Like an adult airbed, but smaller in size. Some models come with raised sides and foam mattress inserts too. An electric air pump for inflation is highly recommended.

Good for: 

  • Fussy Toddlers who need a comfortable, roomy bed.


Not so Good for:

  • Toddlers who like to jump!
  • Air Travel – it’s a little heavy and bulky to pack in your suitcase.
  • Camping – or anywhere you might not have access to a power socket for the air pump.


All-in-one Sleep Bag and Air Mattress Review

These offer an all-in-one solution to toddler travel sleeping arrangements, comprising a sleeping bag zipped onto an air mattress, with side bolsters.  A foot pump and carry bag are included too. They come in a range of designs often featuring popular children’s’ characters from books and TV.

Good for:

  • Convenience, everything you need including the bedding is in one package.
  • Compact spaces, take up much less floor area than a toddler inflatable bed and pack away smaller too.
  • Any kid that loves Peppa Pig/Gruffalo/Paw Patrol etc.

Not so good for:

  • Toddlers who like to sprawl out or kick off the covers.
  • Older Toddlers, it’s recommended up to 4 years.


Toddler Self Inflating Mattress Review

Also known as SIMS, these are exactly the same as an Adult Self-Inflating Mattresses except smaller. The lightweight foam mat can be rolled up and compressed to be packed away in a small space.

Toddler Bed for Air Travel

Good for:

  • Air Travel or other travel where your packing space is limited.

Not so good for:

  • Toddlers who won’t lie still in one place.
  • Camping, not much separates your toddler from the floor so they may be a little uncomfortable.


JetKids BedBox Review

Jet Kids Bed Box I haven’t had a chance to try these out but from my research, I have learned that a JetKids BedBox is a fold-out bed and mattress which fits around the airplane seat to convert it into a lie flat bed (first class travel!) for a toddler up to around 6-7  years old. When not in use the bed packs away into a ride-on suitcase with space for a few other toddler essentials.  It looks a little over-engineered and isn’t of any use as a bed after you’ve reached your destination.

Good for:

  • Long-Haul Air Travel.

Not so good for:

  • Anything else.
  • Not allowed on some airlines.



Overall Winner

My top recommendation would have to be the All-in-one Air Mattress – it’s the most versatile and would work for all the travel scenarios listed. The only downside is that it would be a little too small for older toddlers, however by this age most would be ok to sleep in a regular twin bed anyway. (A clever hack for adding side support to an adult bed is to put a couple of pool noodles underneath a fitted sheet)

It’s may not be the most exciting gift but a toddler-sized travel bed is extremely useful and practical.  It’s a great idea for a gift from granny and grandad if they want to encourage more frequent visits and sleepovers from their grandchildren.

In my opinion, it is a must-have gift for any jet-setting toddler, the outdoors-obsessed kid who is always camping, or a social butterfly who loves a sleepover!

What do you think about toddler travel beds? Leave me a comment if you have any questions or wisdom to share!