BEST TODDLER BEDS | NOVEMBER 2017
Transitioning from a crib to a full-size bed can be rough for some children. A toddler bed is an economical option that can help ease the transition. Toddler beds use a crib mattress and have side rails for safety. To help you choose the right toddler bed for your little one, the ReviewLab team has performed in-depth research several models, looking at things like style, safety, quality of construction and ease of assembly. Learn more about what to look for when purchasing a toddler bed by reading our buying guide below. Read more about our methodology.
This beautiful solid wood bed has an upholstered head and footboard that adds a touch of style to a toddler's room. It’s lightweight enough for one person to move, provides a safe place to sleep and is small enough to leave plenty of room to play.Read full review.
The classic look of this toddler bed brings a touch of sophistication, making it ideal for those who want to put it in a parent’s room. Wood construction and a non-toxic finish make it safe and durable enough for a toddler.Read full review.
This simple, no frills toddler bed has everything you need: solid construction, color and finish options and easy assembly. The head and footboards have enough style to give it a touch of personality while the rails will keep your little one from falling out of bed.Read full review.
This toddler bed has just the right amount of style to make it stand out, but the simple design to fit in with any décor. Its low profile makes it easy for toddlers to get into bed on their own and the side rails keep little sleepers in place.Read full review.
Toddler Beds BUYING GUIDE
Ease of Assembly
All toddler beds require some assembly, but instructions and construction features make assembly easier for some than others. Beds that include a kit with all the necessary assembly tools cut down on assembly time, especially if you don’t have an extensive home toolkit. Some beds may require more than one person to line up holes or move the bed once assembled. Quality of control during manufacturing also plays an important role. Look for toddler beds that have all the holes for dowels and screws lined up appropriately. Clear instructions also play an important role in assembly ease. Instructions that include pictures and written step-by-step instructions usually produce the best results.
Let’s face it, kids are hard on stuff – including their beds – so you'll want to select a bed that can stand up to everything a toddler can dish out. Wooden beds tend to dent and scratch easily, but they also hold out better over time and have classic looks that do not get outdated. Metal and plastic beds don’t dent as easily and are simple to clean. Many plastic beds use sticker decorations as part of their charm, but they need to be durable enough to withstand a toddler pulling or sucking on them.
Longevity of Use
Toddler beds are about the same size as a crib so, depending on how big your child is, he or she may outgrow it relatively quickly. If you don't think your child will be in a toddler bed for a very long time, it may be worth considering a less expensive model. However, if you have multiple children who will use the bed over time, a classic, durable wood toddler bed may be the right choice. Another option is a toddler bed that converts to a day bed, couch, chairs, or a full-size twin. As long as you have the conversion kit, these beds will grow with your child, adding value to your investment.
For less than $50, you can find a few inexpensive toddler beds that are either wood or plastic. Your options on color, finish and style are limited at this range. These beds aren’t convertible and usually don’t include a footboard, but if you’re on a tight budget there are a few models that hold up well. In the $50-$100 range are wood frame beds with a headboard, footboard, and side rails. There are a few beds that convert from a toddler bed to chairs. You’ll also start to see a few day beds at this price range. From $100-$200, you’ll find toddler beds made of solid wood or character beds with more intricate designs. Convertible toddler bed choices increase at this price point. The toddler beds in this range are sturdier and come in more colors, finishes and styles. At $200 and up are more solid wood toddler beds and European designed beds that convert to twin beds. They have more intricate designs and often come as part of a furniture set.
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Style and sturdy construction set this toddler bed apart. It offers quality solid wood construction that can hold up to the exuberance of a toddler while adding a modern look. While not all color options are the same price for this toddler bed, they do offer you a way to personalize a room to suit your – or your child's – tastes. The design of this bed allows it be pushed against the wall without creating any gaps where books, toys, fingers or toes can get stuck.
Why We Recommend It
- Unique style with personality. The padded head and footboard give this toddler bed a look all its own. It offers a touch of personality that goes beyond the basics. Many users like the modern look this bed offered. It also comes in several colors that work for boys or girls.
- Sturdy build makes for good durability. Solid wood makes this bed durable enough to make it through the rough and tumble toddler years. The frame doesn’t flex and holds steady even with a wiggly toddler in it. While it has a 50-pound weight limit, some parents reported it withstood the weight of an adult without flexing.
- Flat edge design lays flush with wall. The design allows the bed to lay flush against the wall, eliminating any space between wall and bed. This not only prevents books and toys from falling between the wall and bed but keeps little hands and feet from getting stuck.
- Issues with holes lining up. Assembly with this bed can be finicky. Several users report that the holes don’t line up, which adds to assembly time.
This toddler bed has the look and feel to fit in a parent’s room without taking away from the sophistication of the décor. It comes in several colors and finishes, all of which are non-toxic. Beyond looks, it’s made of sustainable New Zealand pine, making it sturdy yet keeping it lightweight enough for one person to move. It comes with all the necessary hardware, though you’ll need your own tools. Assembly is made simple with clear instructions and can be done by one person in less than an hour.
Why We Recommend It
- Quality and safety of finish. The manufacturer offers several finishes and colors all of which have the quality to fit in with the décor in an adult room if needed. Non-toxic paint and finishes make it safe for kids that chew or lick the bed.
- Sturdy construction withstands toddlers. Many users appreciate the quality of the construction and wood used for this crib. For the price, it offers a sturdy bed that holds up under the test of a toddler.
- Easy and fast assembly. Assembly goes quick especially if you have two people. However, most users reported they were able to put it together on their own in less than an hour.
- Soft wood dents easily. While the New Zealand pine used to make the crib looks beautiful, some users found that it dented and scratched easily.
Simple yet stylish describes this little bed. It has just right amount design on the head and footboard to give it a little personality. Solid wood construction makes it sturdy enough to handle the regular activities of a toddler. It also offers versatility in color and finish options. There are boy, girl and neutral colors that can set the tone for your child’s room or fit in an adult color palette if the bed is used in a parent’s room.
Why We Recommend It
- Sturdy construction. Solid wood construction makes this bed sturdy and reliable. It can take a beating from a bouncy toddler. Many users note that a small adult can sit on the bed without it flexing or breaking.
- Simple design of head and footboard. The head and footboards have just enough design to add a modern feel. Most users report that they like the look of the bed and that it was both toddler and parent-friendly design.
- Color and finish options allow for personalization. It comes in several different finishes and colors which lets you get a bed that fits with the décor of an adult room, a child’s room or a home color scheme. Several users put the bed in an adult room and appreciated that it could be bought in colors that didn’t clash with the existing décor.
- Assembly may take a while. Reviewers say assembly can be tough, especially if you’re doing it on your own. Don’t be surprised if this bed takes a while to put together.
This simple bed comes at an excellent price, yet still has a touch of unique styling on the head and footboards. The low 6-inch profile makes it easy for toddlers to get in or out of bed and the side rails help keep them in place while they sleep. It comes in multiple colors and finishes. Though it’s small and simple, it’s still sturdy enough to handle a busy toddler. The slats are attached to the frame so they won’t slide or move while your little one bounces and wiggles.
Why We Recommend It
- Multiple color and finish options. Users like that it has both finish and paint color choices. With so many options, you’ll find something that fits your design plans.
- Sturdy build holds up to toddlers. For an inexpensive bed, it’s sturdy enough to take a beating. A bouncy, jumpy toddler won’t break this frame.
- Simple design for a low price. The head and footboards have a simple design that still gives this bed a bit of style. It’s classic and affordable.
- Problems with assembly. The bed slats have to be held in place on both sides during assembly and sometimes the holes don’t line up. It can be tough to do even with two people.
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Best Convertible Toddler Bed
Convertible toddler beds are among the most durable and versatile bed options for young children. Depending on the model, they can convert from a crib to a toddler bed with side rails. From the toddler bed, they can be converted into a twin bed frame. High-quality construction and materials make these a good investment if you can pay the higher price. In most cases, you’ll need a conversion kit to take full advantage of a bed's functionality. The kit is included with some beds while with others you’ll need to purchase it separately.
This bed has the build and classic design to last for years. When used as a crib or toddler bed, you can place it in a parent’s room without detracting from the décor. As long as you have the conversion kit, it can safely be used for your child up through their teenage years and beyond. Made of solid wood without any MDF or veneers, it’s sturdy enough to handle an active toddler. Impressive longevity and versatility make this a solid toddler bed choice.
Why We Recommend It
- Clean, classic design won’t go out of style. The classic style sleigh bed won’t go out of style by the time your child reaches his or her teenage years.
- Sturdy build holds up over time. This bed is meant for more than the toddler years. Accordingly, its sturdy enough to handle the jumping and tumbling of a toddler or the weight of a growing child as they become teenagers.
- Solid wood with no MDF or veneers. It has the quality to last for years. Longevity and versatility are hard to beat in a bed at this price.
- Open bolt ends. There are no plugs for the bolt openings. It’s not a safety concern, but some users find that it broke the uniformity of the bed styling.
The versatility of this bed is hard to beat. With seven conversion options, you have two toddler bed choices as well as two full twin configurations. It has the sturdy construction you’ll need for it to last for years. Assembly is easy, as all the necessary tools are included with the bed. The manufacturer offers several color and finish choices, which allow you to pick something that goes with the décor of your home. This bed also offers unique side rail design that gives it added personality. If you want something that will stand out, this bed is a good choice.
Why We Recommend It
- Seven conversion options. This bed converts from crib to toddler day bed, toddler bed with side rail, twin bed with headboard only or twin bed with head and footboard. The mattress has an additional four positions.
- Ease of assembly. Assembly instructions are easy to follow. Many users like that all the tools you need to complete assembly are included with the crib.
- Versatile color options. It comes in several colors, ranging from espresso to royal blue and everything in between. Parents looking for color and finish options especially like this bed.
- Unique side rail design. The side rail design gives this toddler bed personality. It’s perfect if you’re looking for something different.
- Missing hardware. A few units arrive without all the necessary hardware, according to reviews.
Best Toddler Daybed
Toddler day beds have three tall sides with an open front that may or may not have a short side rail on the open side to prevent falls. They fit nicely in corners and look more like a sofa than a bed. With many models, the side rails are removable so the bed can be used without them when the child gets older. Some day beds also include storage drawers or shelves underneath the mattress.
This classic daybed can easily in fit a parent or child’s room. It offers a sophisticated look in a small package that doesn’t take up the floor space of a full-size twin. One of its top features is the ease of assembly. It comes with all the necessary tools and can be put together in less than an hour. Not only does it save floor space with its small footprint, but it also offers a storage drawer for toys, books or clothes.
Why We Recommend It
- Ease of assembly. Clear, simple instructions make assembly a cinch. Even those without experience in furniture assembly report they no problems with assembly.
- Classic look in a small package. Open slats are a classic look that work with most bedroom décor. You can have a sophisticated look without taking up much space in your child’s room.
- Extra storage underneath. The underneath storage drawer is a user favorite. Extra storage is always a plus in a child’s room and this one can hold toys, socks, shoes or books.
- Wood is on the soft side. A few users reported the daybed arrived with damage. The soft wood can easily chip or scratch.
Best Character Toddler Bed
Character toddler beds are made of plastic or wood and feature action figures, cartoon characters and other kid-friendly designs. Most manufacturers offer a wide variety of characters and designs. Plastic models are typically less expensive and tend to be easy to clean. Character beds can be an enticing way to convince a reluctant child to leave a crib behind.
One of the benefits of plastic is durability. This bed can take the jumping and bouncing of a toddler. It’s also easy to keep clean; all you have to do is wipe it down. The lightweight frame makes it easy to move. You can pick from a wide range of characters for both boys and girls to find something your child loves.
Why We Recommend It
- Sturdy build withstands rough toddler play. Don’t let the plastic fool you. This bed holds up well to the jumping and playing that’s part of the everyday life of a toddler.
- Lightweight frame is easy to move. If you’re unsure of furniture placement or plan to move homes, this toddler bed is easy for one person to move.
- Character design options and bright colors appeal to kids. Users report that children who were reluctant to move out of their crib were excited to sleep in a bed with their favorite character.
- Plastic is easy to clean and maintain. The plastic cleans easier than wood and doesn’t get dented or scratched as easily.
- Stickers may fall off. A few users reported problems with the decorative stickers staying in place.
- Difficult side rails. Several users had trouble getting the side rails to attach properly.
Best Travel Toddler Bed
Toddlers may be too big for a portable crib but too small for a twin bed. Travel toddler beds are either inflatable or made of foam that can be folded for easy portability. Raised sides keep toddlers on the bed and give kids a safe place to sleep. Travel toddler beds are shorter and smaller than a full-size twin air mattress. They are inexpensive, portable and let your toddler sleep comfortably when on the go.
A portable toddler bed like this one needs to be compact as well as easy to inflate and store. The Shrunks can do all three. The included air pump fills the mattress in no time; it also comes with different size nozzles offering you multiple uses. You can keep all the accessories together in the included storage bag. The bed is the same size as a crib mattress so it doesn’t take up as much floor space a full-size twin air mattress. Side guards help keep little sleepers in place.
Why We Recommend It
- Air pump works fast. The included air pump makes quick work of filling the bed. It also comes with different sized nozzle for versatility. They are all easy to store in an included storage bag.
- It doesn’t take up much space. When inflated, it’s half the size of a twin-size air mattress. Frequent travelers appreciate that they can conserve floor space in a crowded room.
- Built-in, inflatable side guards. The design includes side guards to help keep your toddler on the bed while she sleeps.
- Holds air through the night. Holds air well, which means you don’t need to inflate it during the night.
- Discoloration of plastic. A few users reported that the plastic discolored with time.
- A few defective units. A small number of users had to repair an occasional leak.