Best Toddler Travel Beds for Safe Slumber on the Go
Sleeping arrangements for your little one can get a little complicated when your family is traveling—especially as your child enters toddlerhood. Travel cribs are typically recommended for use up until 3 years old, but many children outgrow the height and weight limitations well before then. Typically, portable cribs have a weight limit of around 30 pounds, and the Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) recommends children no taller than 35 inches use them for sleep or play. Travel cribs can also become unsafe at an early age if your little one discovers how to climb out. So if they’re too big to sleep safely in a travel crib and too small to slumber in a regular bed, what’s the in-between?
Enter toddler travel beds. These portable toddler beds come in a variety of selections, but they’re all designed to provide a safe and comfortable sleeping environment for your growing child. In addition to accommodating children who have phased out of travel cribs, toddler travel beds are also a much more portable option, as they tend to be both lighter and more compact than a travel crib. Many toddler travel beds also have a high weight capacity and can be used for older children, making them a versatile choice. Here’s a closer look at the different options, what factors to consider when choosing and which are the best toddler travel beds out there.
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There are a variety of toddler travel beds on the market. Here’s a breakdown of the different types:
- Inflatable. The most common type are inflatable toddler beds, which resemble air mattresses. These are a popular choice because of their easy portability (since they can be deflated when not in use) and comfort—but they often require a pump to inflate, which may or may not be included. Additionally, children 15 months of age or younger should never sleep on an inflatable mattress, per the CPSC.
- Folding cots. Foldable travel beds offer one of the easiest setups (no inflation necessary) and are commonly used in childcare settings for naps. They keep your little one off the ground while sleeping, but they typically don’t have any side protection (which may not work for all sleepers).
- Portable bed rails. Another great option in terms of portability, bed rails are an easy way to make any bed safe and secure for a toddler to sleep in. Make sure there’s a mechanism to secure them in place and that they don’t lose inflation when in use.
- Tents. For little ones who like to block out the world while they sleep, tents are a solid choice. They’re one of the few toddler sleep options that provide an enclosed location for your child to sleep, making it ideal for little escape artists. However, note that the interior mattresses are often not super thick or padded.
Keep these factors top of mind before deciding on a portable toddler bed:
- Set up. Investigate how simple it is to both set up and break down the toddler travel bed you choose. Also, take a look at what’s required (any additional pumps or parts) to make sure you’ll have it on hand if it’s not already included.
- Portability. Many toddler travel beds fold down to a compact size and come with their own travel bags for easy transport. For families on the go, this is essential.
- Care. Whether it’s a nighttime accident or a camping mess, you’ll want a toddler travel bed that’s easy to clean. Look for materials that can be wiped down or protective sheets that are machine-washable.
- Safety. A safe sleep environment is the top priority, whether at home or elsewhere. Keep an eye out for features like built-in bumpers to help keep your toddler secure, and make sure there are no loose parts or pieces that can present a hazard. You can also check the CPSC website for the latest regulations and guidelines.
Read on for our top picks in toddler travel beds, from budget-friendly to easily portable and everything in between.
The folks at Stokke thought of everything when they designed this toddler travel bed. It easily inflates in less than a minute, thanks to a built-in manual pump, and only takes one adult to operate. Full-length bumpers along the sides will keep your little one secure at naptime or nighttime. It also has a weight capacity of up to 150 pounds, making this a travel option you can use well past toddlerhood. The real standout feature, though, is the fold: Guidelines help show you exactly how to fold up this inflatable travel bed (no having to stuff it back into the bag), and the double-layered zipper bag is compact enough to fit into a backpack or purse.
- Includes a washable, removable mesh cover to help regulate your child’s temperature while sleeping
- Integrated pump means no extra or loose parts are required for inflation
- Water-repellent bottom is easy to wipe clean
- Can deflate over time, according to some users
The Hiccapop Inflatable Travel Bed will keep even the most active sleepers secure, thanks to four sides of extra-long and extra-tall bumpers. Welded seams and ultra-thick vinyl mean it can withstand the roughest of circumstances, and it’s covered by a lifetime guarantee, even against accidental damage. And with a weight capacity of up to 310 pounds, this is a travel bed that will be with you for the long run.
- Bumpers on all four sides offer extra security
- Includes a patch kit in case of accidental punctures
- Easy to transport thanks to a carry bag and weight of 8 pounds
- Odor reported by some users
- Doesn’t come with a sheet
The Regalo My Cot Portable Toddler Bed is a great non-inflatable option. The durable frame unfolds to provide a sturdy yet comfy resting place. At nine inches off the floor, it keeps your little one comfortably away from the ground, but it’s not high enough that they can injure themselves. The cot is made of a durable nylon material that’s also washable, and it comes with a fitted sheet for comfort. Whether it’s a sleepover, camping trip or even a nap at daycare, the Regalo My Cot is a versatile and convenient pick. No wonder it has nearly 30,000 positive reviews!
- Quick and easy set up
- Washable fitted sheet
- Only suitable for younger children ages 2 to 5, given its length (48 inches) and weight capacity (75 pounds)
This inflatable toddler travel bed from Enerplex checks all the important boxes: 13-inch bumpers on three sides for security, puncture-resistant material for durability and a coil-beam inner mattress for comfort. But where this toddler travel bed separates itself from the pack is the included car adaptors for the electric pump, making it perfect for camping trips (or anywhere you find yourself caught without a plug).
- Included electric pump comes with three universal nozzles (meaning you can use it on other inflatables)
- Weight capacity of 150 pounds
- Bulky despite the backpack-style carry case
- Sheet not included
This toddler-sized tri-fold mattress from Milliard is ideal for short-term sleep on-the-go. Set up is next-to-nothing—simply unfold wherever you’d like your little one to rest. Three inches of foam guarantee your toddler will be comfortable while they sleep, and the soft bamboo cover is both removable and machine-washable. When rest time is over, fold it into thirds and tuck it away—it’s as simple as that.
- Set-up requires no extra parts or pieces; just unfold
- Inner mattress can be spot-cleaned
- Ultra-comfortable—even for adults—according to users
- Carry case sold separately
- Takes 48 hours after removing it from the box to reach its full comfort level
Whether staying at a hotel, AirBnB or a friend's house, the Hiccapop Inflatable Bed Rails are a quick and easy way to make any bed (from a twin to a king) safe and secure for your child. After inflating the pair of bumpers, a no-slip silicone bottom flap keeps each rail securely in place underneath a fitted sheet. When it’s time to go home, the bumpers deflate with the push of a button, and an included travel bag makes for easy portability. These inflatable bed rails are so convenient and simple to use, they’re even a great option for the transition to a big-kid bed at home.
- Only inflatable bed rails to pass all federal bed rail laws
- Only bumpers with a secure, no-slip flap (as opposed to traditional strips)
- Work on any size bed and with any sheets, making them a versatile option; no need to worry about height or weight capacities
- Inflation is manual
Napping and sleeping outdoors comes with its own set of challenges, particularly around keeping your child protected from the elements, but that’s where the Joovy Gloo Portable Kids Travel Tent comes in. It’s ideal for everything from naps on the beach to a full-on family camping trip. The breathable zippered enclosure offers UPF50 sun protection as well as a barrier from bugs and moisture. A self-inflating mattress pad will make your little one forget they’re sleeping on the ground, or just keep them comfy while they play. Plus, the whole setup is machine-washable (which takes care of any and all outdoor messes).
- Suitable for children as young as 6 months all the way up to 5 years
- Weighs just 5.5 pounds and collapses into an included travel bag
- No extra parts or pumps are needed to set it up, thanks to the self-inflating mattress
- Can be tricky to fold
- Loud zipper enclosure, according to some users
This inflatable air bed from Intex is no-frills, but if you’re looking for a solid, budget-friendly option, it hits the mark. It comes with a carry bag and patch kit and can handle children up to 10 years old (lasting you well beyond the toddler years). Not bad for just a $20 investment!
- 100 pound weight capacity
- No bumpers or side protection for younger toddlers
- Indoor use only
- Doesn’t come with a pump
Toddlers will sleep soundly in this inflatable travel bed, thanks to the curved guard rails on the sides and an inner air mattress that allows you to tuck in their favorite crib sheet and blankets from home. The quiet and squeak-free material on the mattress guarantees that anyone else in the room will also get quality sleep—a sleepover win-win!
- Equipped with its own pump and carry bag
- Weight capacity of 300 pounds (one of the highest of those on the market)
- Difficult to get back into the travel bag