Credit: La Redoute
The best cot beds suit a family’s budget and tastes, as well as matching their child’s stage of development. Cot beds are a brilliant buy because, unlike a conventional cot, your baby can sleep in a cot bed beyond toddlerhood, when you can convert it to a big kid’s bed. But how do you work out which are the best cot beds to consider buying? And how do you choose the right one for your baby or child?
For expert guidance, our consumer editor Heidi Scrimgeour shortlisted her pick of the best cot beds, then assembled a panel of mums to put them to the test. All the cot beds in this lineup are suitable from birth. Our testers tried them out over several weeks with their babies, all aged between 12 weeks and two years old. To help you decide which is the best cot bed for you, read on to find out what our testers thought of each one they tried.
Best cot beds at a glance
The Little Wren Cot Bed from Great Little Trading Company wins our vote in the overall best cot beds category. Its design appeal is off the charts. It looks like a luxurious, high-end product, but without a premium price tag. In particular, we like its stylish look and feel. You don’t need to buy any pricy extras because they’re all included. That’s a real bonus as no-one likes annoying hidden extra costs.
Best cot bed overall: Little Wren Cot Bed – £425 £340 Great Little Trading Company
Best premium cot bed: Willox Adjustable Cot Bed – £475 | La Redoute
Best budget cot bed: Mack + Milo Amburgey Cot Bed with Mattress – £154.99 £139.99 | Wayfair
Franklin Cot Bed – £489 | Mamas & Papas
Cot Bed Skandi Natural – £379 £322 | Snuz
Midi Cot Bed – £208 £145.60 | Mokee
Oasis Oval Cot – £359 £341.05| Boori
Coleby Mini Cot Bed –£149 Ickle Bubba
Things to consider when buying a cot bed for your baby or child
The benefit of a cot bed is obvious; it converts from a cot to a bed. This means you won’t need to buy a toddler bed when your baby outgrows the cot and is ready to start sleeping in a big bed. In other words, you’ll save money. And who doesn’t like doing that?!
But the other advantage of a cot bed is that it can help your little one to make the transition from sleeping in a cot to moving into a bed. It’s a big change for a little one, and the familiarity of going to sleep in the same piece of furniture can help to smooth this important transition.
Before you decide which is the best cot bed, remember that your baby should sleep in the same room as you for the first six months of life. That means it’s important to check the dimensions of the cot bed to ensure it will fit in your bedroom if you plan to use if from birth. Some cot beds are bulkier than others so if you’re short on space in your room, choose one of the more compact models.
Alternatively, you could use a Moses basket beside your bed for the first six months and then move your baby into a cot bed in the nursery. Finally, consider the design and style of your baby’s room. Since a cot bed will be in use for longer than a standard cot, choose one that will suit the look and feel of your little one’s first bedroom.
1. Best cot beds overall: Great Little Trading Company Little Wren Cot Bed
Credit: Great Little Trading Company
A robust and stylish contemporary cot bed
Star rating: | Dimensions: 93 x 145 x 74.5 cm | Mattress required: 140 x 70 x 10 cm
Classic, beautiful design
Safe, robust and sturdy
Easy to assemble and adjust
Drawer sold separately
Costlier than other cots – but worth it
VIEW AT GREAT LITTLE TRADING COMPANY | £425 £340
The Little Wren Cot Bed from the Great Little Trading Company is made from solid pine with a white painted finish. It’s suitable from birth to four years old. It has three mattress height settings, so you can lower the base as your baby gets older. This makes it easy to reach your newborn but also helps prevent adventurous toddlers from climbing out. The cot has fixed side panels and converts to a first bed, with a toddler rail included. The recommended mattress is sold separately (£125).
This is a timeless, stylish and robust cot bed. It will look beautiful in any nursery, according to our tester Donna, who is mum to seven-month-old Daisy. “There is a real sense of class about it,” she says. “It oozes quality and you can tell it will last many years.”
Donna found the instructions easy to follow when it came to assembling the cot bed. “I put it together on my own during one of Daisy’s shorter naps,” she says. “After putting the base too low to start with, I had practice changing the height. It was really straightforward to adjust.”
Although it’s expensive, Donna feels this cot bed is worth the price because it’s so well-made. “It has a solid pine frame and sturdy plywood base, and with the Nutkin mattress you have a beautiful, well-made cot bed which feels like it will last for years,” she says. “I previously looked at mattresses costing around £50 and the difference in quality is vast, showing it’s well worth spending more money for better quality.”
To convert the cot into a toddler bed, you simply remove one of the cot’s side panels and attach the toddler rail supplied. Under-cot storage drawers and a range of matching furniture are available to buy separately if you like the co-ordinated look.
“The stand-out feature of this cot is how robust it is,” says Donna. “It’s sturdy but light enough to move around when I’m changing Daisy’s cot sheets. And it really is beautiful to look at.”
Read our full review of the Great Little Trading Company Little Wren Cotbed
2. Best premium cot beds: La Redoute Willox Adjustable Cot Bed
A beautifully designed, vintage-style cot bed
Star rating: | Weighs: 88.5 x 75.5 x 149.5 cm | Mattress required: 70 x 140cm
Beautiful and unique
Usable for many years
This is a sturdy and stylish cot bed with three adjustable heights so that you can adjust it as your baby grows. Eventually, you can remove the bars altogether to create a bench-style bed.
Our tester Gemma Fromage-Crawford is mum to Boden, 13 months. She built the cot bed in an hour and found the instructions easy to follow. “The Willox Adjustable Cot Bed is available in two colours – off-white or green – and we opted for green as it looked very unique,” she explains.
“I was curious to see the colour in real-life as colours can look different online but I wasn’t disappointed. It’s a beautiful shade of green. Previously, I had only ever considered a traditional white cot bed but this has totally changed my mind. And even though it’s described as vintage, it’s a stunning, stylish piece that would look great in a modern nursery.”
At bedtime, the cot bed easily stood up to the ‘trampoline test’ inflicted on it by our little tester. “Like many other little ones, Boden loves to hold onto the frame and bounce up and down,” says Gemma. “He also uses the bars to pull himself up to a standing position, so the frame takes a lot of his weight. From an online description or photo, you can’t always judge how robust baby furniture will be, but the Willox seems very sturdy and well made.”
Overall, Gemma was wowed by this cot. “Boden seemed very happy and content in it – he drifted off easily and slept well,” she says. “The cot is a beautiful, unique addition to our nursery. The only problem is that now we’re tempted to buy all the matching furniture!”
3. Best budget cot beds: Mack & Milo Amburgey Cot Bed with Mattress
Star rating: | Dimensions: 90 x 65 x 124 cm | Mattress required: 60 x 120cm (included)
Sleek and stylish
Handy storage drawer
Toddler bed guard included
Less sturdy than other cot beds
This simple but stylish solid pine cot bed is suitable from birth to three years. It comes with a mattress included and has an in-built storage drawer. In terms of value for money, this is one of the best cot beds you could buy.
Our tester, Emma, wasn’t expecting this to be a premium product. However, she was pleasantly surprised when she put it to the test with her one-year-old son, Charlie. “The quality was beyond what I expected for the price,” she says. “It’s a lovely, simple design that looks great in my son’s room.”
The cot bed was easy to assemble, although the instructions are a little complicated. However, adjusting the base height and converting the cot to a toddler bed is very straightforward.
But the large storage drawer and adjustable base are what make this one of the best cot beds if you’re on a budget. “A storage drawer is a feature I’d expect on a premium cot bed, not a budget model – it’s so useful and helps make a busy toddler’s mess a bit more manageable,” says Emma. “I felt confident loading it with blankets, toys and all sorts of things I want hide neatly out of sight. I really like that there’s an extra base panel for when the mattress position is higher, too. This keeps the contents of the drawer covered, so the sleek, minimal design isn’t spoiled.”
Emma found the cot rattled when her toddler shook the sides. The finish is also a little less luxurious than other cots – something we’d expect, given that this cot bed costs less than £150. “The screws that hold the bed together are visible on the edges of the wood, which detracts a little from the overall minimal, stylish look,” she says. “The edge of the toddler bed guard also seems a little sharp on the corners.”
That said, if you’re buying a cot bed on a budget and want more than the basics in terms of style and design without spending more, this is definitely one of the best cot beds for you.
4. Mamas & Papas Franklin Cot Bed
A luxurious, sturdy cot bed with storage drawer and hanging rail
Star rating: | Dimensions: 91 x 75 x 155 cm | Mattress required: 140 x 70 x 10cm
Excellent build quality
Easy to convert to a bed
Under bed storage
Less compact than other cot beds
Expensive – but it’s a premium product
This cot bed is available in white or grey. It has an under-bed storage drawer to help save space and a handy hanging rail for storing muslins or blankets. It’s suitable from birth to four years, and the adjustable base has two height positions. Teething rails are included.
Annie Quinn, mum to 12-week-old Leo, put it to the test. “My first impressions were that it looked very stylish and the drawer would come in very handy,” she says. “The whole process from delivery to assembly couldn’t have been easier. This is a beautiful, stylish cot bed that will save you money and a lot of hassle in the long run.”
Happily, putting the cot together was a doddle. “We’ve put together many many flat packs in the past, but none of those compares to how easy this was to assemble,” she says. “The instructions were so easy to read and every element was labelled alphabetically, making it foolproof – even for those who’ve never put together flat-pack furniture!”
Our tester’s favourite feature is the storage drawer. “This may seem like a minor detail, but when you have limited storage space in your home, a drawer beneath the cot is a major help. I keep bed sheets, blankets, swaddles and towels in it.”
Overall, Annie feels this is a classy and well-made cot bed. “At first glance, this seems a bit pricey, especially if you’re on a budget,” she says. “But you can see the quality and craftsmanship the moment you look at it. It’s a real statement piece. I haven’t stopped talking about it or taking photos of it. I am genuinely so happy with this cot bed and would recommend it to anyone.”
5. SnüzKot Skandi Cot Bed
A beautiful, Scandinavian-style cot bed that can be used up to age ten
Star rating: | Dimensions: 72 x 133 x 89 cm | Mattress required: 68 x 117 (SnuzSurface SnuzKot Mattress)
VIEW AT SNUZ £379 £322
Will last a long time
Great quality mattress
Complicated to assemble
Expensive (mattress and extension kit additional expenses)
The SnüzKot is an elegant cot bed available in 16 different designs and an array of different colours. Longevity is its standout feature, as it can be used from birth up to age four, or until your child is 10 years old if you buy the extension kit (sold separately). The cot has three mattress settings, so you can adjust the height as your little one grows.
Kate Wills tested it with her son, Blake, aged six months. It took her a while to assemble, but it was worth the effort. “It took two of us about 90 minutes to put together but now it’s assembled, it goes really well in our nursery and looks amazing,” she says. “We’re really happy with it. My baby seems to like sleeping in it. I feel she’s really safe as it’s so sturdy. The recommended mattress (£150) is an expensive additional expense but it is very good quality.”
Although this is a fairly expensive cot bed, our tester thinks it compares well with other similar designs. “It’s significantly less expensive than many other similar Scandi-inspired cots, but the fact that it can be used up to age four (or even ten) makes it a true investment piece,” she says.
The finish on the wood wasn’t flawless, according to Kate, but that’s likely due to the fact that it’s made from natural beech wood with no MDF or veneer. The assembled cot looks “really beautiful” and Kate feels it looks more expensive than it is. “This is the ideal cot bed for anyone who loves stylishly designed products – if you can cope with it being a little fiddly to assemble,” she says. “And if you’re looking for a contemporary cot bed that’s the perfect balance of aesthetics and long-lasting functionality, this is it.”
6. Mokee Midi Cot Bed
A stylish, simplistic cot at a great price
Star rating: | Dimensions: 143.6 x 74.4 x 84 cm | Mattress required: 140 cm x 70 cm
VIEW AT MOKEE £208 £145.60
Slatted sides make checking on baby easier
Comfortable and cosy
Slatted base seemed less robust than other cots
The Midi Cot Bed from Mokee impressed us with its longevity – it’s suitable from birth up to age five. Highly affordable, it comes in four colours with lots of matching accessories available to buy separately. That’s handy if you’re kitting out a nursery and want to coordinate your look to match your cot. It’s made from high-quality beechwood with a removable panel to transform the cot into a toddler bed. It also has an impressive range of mattress base positions (seven in total), depending on the age and size of your baby.
Gabrielle Nash put it to the test with her daughter Milla, aged two. She instantly loved the “stylish but simplistic” design and found the cot easy to assemble. “The open, slatted design makes it easy to check on your sleeping child, and the mattress seems very good quality and comfortable,” she says. “We tested this as a toddler bed by removing the panel, and our daughter took to it really well. I think she likes the feeling of being in a cot whilst having the accessibility of a bed. She’s now had six nights’ undisturbed sleep, which is a miracle!”
There are times when a budget buy can be a false economy. There’s little point in buying a cheaper model if you’ll only end up replacing it because it doesn’t stand the test of time. But that’s not an issue with this cot bed. Whether you’re kitting out the nursery on a budget or just don’t want to spend over the odds on the cot, this is the ideal cot bed solution for saving money.
When it comes to value for money, Gabrielle was particularly impressed with this cot bed. “It combines affordability with style and safety, which is obviously so important with baby products. It’s excellent value for money but it looks great in our baby’s room.”
7. Boori Oasis Oval Cot
A curved, compact cot bed made from sustainable wood
Star rating: | Dimensions: 83 x 70 x 125 cm | Mattress required: 119 x 64 cm (Oval)
Very appealing, stylish design
More compact than other cot beds
Easy to assemble
Oval bedding and mattress are expensive extras
Less robust than heavier cots
Only two base heights
VIEW AT BOORI £359 £341.05
The Oasis Oval Cot by Boori is a distinctive, curved cot bed made from sustainable solid wood. It has two base heights; a high setting for babies and a lower level for pre-toddlers. It converts easily from a cot to a stylish toddler bed. Unlike any of the other cot beds we tested, this has lockable castors. This means it’s easy to move between rooms. Alternatively, you can position it close to your bed at night instead of using a Moses basket or bedside crib.
Jill Reilly, mum to Grace, aged six months, put this cot bed to the test. She found the cot “exceedingly easy” to put together. “That’s a real bonus for a time-stretched parent,” she says. The oval design was a particular hit. “When Robyn rolls around in the cot, she doesn’t get stuck in a corner as she might in a rectangular cot,” she says.
“The shape also means the cot bed can take centre stage in a child’s bedroom, rather than being shoved up against a wall. It’s also smaller than many cots, so it’s good for a smaller nursery. Also, the fact that it’s suitable from birth is a huge selling point. Since it’s so compact, it doesn’t feel too overbearing next to the bed. This means you could realistically use it instead of a bedside crib.”
Another advantage of the size and shape of this cot is the fact that it fits through standard door frames. This means it’s super easy to move into a nursery or toddler bedroom when the time comes for your little one to sleep in their own room.
And when your child becomes a toddler, one end can be removed and you can add a foot bar so the child can climb in and out. Later on, you’ll also have the option of removing the side to turn the bed into a child’s sofa. “I am a little nervous that entry via the foot of the bed may be slightly bizarre for a toddler,” says Jill. “Also, it may be tricky when she needs to get out of bed quickly. However, it’s great that you don’t have to worry about little ones falling out of bed, or buy a separate bed guard.”
8. Ickle Bubba Coleby Mini Cot Bed
An inexpensive, compact cot bed
Star rating: | Dimensions: 95 x 65 x 124 cm| Mattress required: 120 x 60 cm
Storage drawer not included
Patchy paint finish
This ‘mini’ model is smaller than standard cot beds, so it’s ideal for smaller bedrooms. It’s also a good choice if you’re looking for a neutral cot bed that will look good alongside existing nursery decor or furniture.
The Coleby Mini Cotbed is designed for use up to around four years of age. It has three mattress positions, meaning you can lower the base to prevent your little one from climbing out. When it’s time to move on from a cot, it’s easy to convert to a toddler bed. For extra storage, an under drawer is sold separately. A cot top changer is also available in the same range.
Our tester, Catherine Lofthouse, tried this cot bed out with her son Robin, aged 19 months. She liked the compact design and neutral colour. In addition, she found it easy to assemble.
“One of the screw holes hadn’t been drilled all the way through and the paint finish was a little patchy in places, but I had this assembled by myself in less than 50 minutes,” says Catherine. “It’s a sleek and stylish cot bed that would look good in any nursery. It’s also narrow enough to fit through a standard doorway without needing to be taken apart and reassembled. That means it’s handy if you plan to move it into another bedroom in future.”
If you’re looking for a cot bed that’s robust enough to suit an energetic toddler, this is one of the best cot beds you could go for. “It feels very solid and well built, with very little ‘give’ in the structure,” says Catherine. “My ‘wriggle bum toddler puts it through its paces by thrashing about at night and trying to wobble the sides when he wakes up. So far, it has coped with everything he’s thrown at it.”
Overall, this is a good choice if you have a small nursery or bedroom. It’s impressively sturdy and built to last, yet super affordable.
How to save money when buying a cot bed
We’re all about saving money here at GoodtoKnow so we’re sharing some of our top tips for buying a cot on the cheap.
Online vs in store: When it comes to buying a new cot, it’s always helpful to go to the shop and see it for yourself before you buy online. Sometimes stores offer discount prices when you buy in-store, and sometimes they have better deals online – either way, you should try to see the cot before you buy it if you can.
Second hand: Some baby products really are best bought from new but if you’re really short on money and can’t make an exception, second hand would work. Just make sure it complies with the safety regulations, has a BIS number and, if you’re buying online, collect it in person so you can make sure it’s in safe, working condition. You’ll need to buy a brand new mattress – a second-hand cot mattress is a big safety no-no.
Sales: Holding off until there are sales is a great idea – Black Friday, Boxing Day sales, January sales, and end-of-season sales are great for bagging a bargain.
Vouchers and discount codes: It’s always worth having a look on Google to find out if there are any recent discount codes for the store you’re buying from – even if it’s free delivery, it’ll make a difference to your overall budget.
Cot safety guidelines
All cots and cot beds sold must comply with British safety standards. If it bears the code BSEN716, the cot is safe to use. When buying a cot mattress, look out for the BSI number BS 1877-10:1997.
There are several important things to keep in mind when shopping for a cot for your baby, including the following:
Cot bars: These should be vertical, with a distance of no more than 6.5cm between the bars. This is to ensure your baby’s limbs don’t get stuck between the bars.
Depth and space: The distance between the top of the mattress and the top of the cot sides should be at least 50cm, to help prevent your baby from climbing out of the cot.
Circulation: Some experts recommend cots with four sides that have bars to allow air to circulate freely around your baby.
Mattress safety guidelines
Not only does the cot need to comply with a variety of rules and regulations; the mattress does too.
New is best: Buying a new mattress is strongly recommended. It must be clean, dry, free from cracks and tears with no sagging.
Firm: Choose a firm mattress rather than a soft one, and make sure it’s no thinner than 8cm.
Size matters: There are two sizes of cot mattresses – standard and continental. Check which one is compatible with the cot you choose.
Hygiene: It’s a good idea to choose a mattress with a removable, machine-washable cover. We hate to mention it, but nappies – and babies – sometimes leak! A mattress protector is also a good idea for the same reason.
For more information on both cot and mattress safety, our baby bed safety guide has all the info you need in regards to keeping your little one as safe as possible.
So-called budget brands are sometimes a cause for debate. It goes without saying that safety is a priority when shopping for a cot, but cheaper brands still have to pass product quality and safety tests and are sometimes manufactured by the same companies as more exclusive cot brands.
Second-hand cots are okay but do check that they comply with the latest British safety standards.
Anything else to consider when buying a cot?
Yes, think about where you plan to position your baby’s cot or toddler’s cot bed. A cot or cot bed should be kept well away from radiators to reduce the risk of your baby overheating. Never place a cot near windows or looped window blind cords either if you have them, as these are a safety risk.
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