The 10 Best Portable Toddler Beds
This wiki has been updated 29 times since it was first published in May of 2016. If you have a busy and active lifestyle that often includes taking your little one along, then you may be interested in these portable toddler beds, so your youngster doesn't miss out on an all-important naptime. These options range from inflatable air mattresses to sturdy cots, making them good for many environments. Always abide by weight and age restrictions to ensure a child's safety. When users buy our independently chosen editorial choices, we may earn commissions to help fund the Wiki.
August 25, 2020:
In selecting our portable toddler beds, we wanted to make sure our picks would be comfortable enough such that little ones wouldn't complain, and we aimed to include some cute designs that children would find appealing. Durable materials were also important since kids can sometimes be rough on their belongings. Any additional features that made these easy for parents to pack and lug were a bonus.
We appreciated the thick vinyl construction and reinforced seams of the Hiccapop Blow Up Mattress, and the fact that it accommodates standard toddler sheets was an added benefit. The Regalo My Cot was another one that stood out for durability, and it earned a place because of its strong steel frame. ON the opposite end of the spectrum, we decided to remove the Homca Twin during this update, as it tends to deflate quickly.
As for features little ones may find comforting, we like the built-in stuffed animal head on the Lulyboo LulyZoo. We also believe kids may feel at home snoozing atop the beloved characters on the Disney Easy Nap Pad.
While these are all designed for on-the-go use, the Milliard Travel Nap Mat stood out especially because it folds into a functional trunk parents can use to store toys or other belongings. The KidCo Peapod is another smart pick for those needing something very easy to pack and take anywhere, as it weighs less than three pounds and folds into a disc shape.
May 29, 2019:
The Hiccapop Inflatable takes the top spot because of its extra-high sides and length that exceeds other similar models in this category. In addition, this model is constructed with an extra thick vinyl and double-reinforced seams so it'll stand up to frequent usage and it isn't even the most expensive choice out there.
While the inflatable options tend to offer the most cushioning comfort, we included plenty of beds that don't require plugging in a pump to use it, including the Wildkin Nap Mat that toddlers can unroll themselves. This one is also highly recommended as the pillow and blanket are attached so they can't be lost.
Hammacher Schlemmer Child's Portable Bed The Hammacher Schlemmer Child's Portable Bed inflates via the included battery-powered pump, and, when deflated, packs down to about the size of a sleeping bag and goes inside the included carrying case. The raised sides can minimize the chances a child rolls off during the night, and the mattress is removable, which makes it easy to put a sheet on it. hammacher.com
Balma Home Portable Toddler Travel Bed The Balma Home Portable Toddler Travel Bed comes in several designs, ranging from solid colors to fun prints with anchors and pineapples. Its cover is made of 100% cotton and is removable for washing, and it has cushioned bumpers. Unfortunately, it's only suitable for little ones up to 24 months old, so kids will outgrow it quickly. balmahome.com
The Importance Of Sleep In Toddler Development
Another reason your toddler should get all the sleep he can is that, without it, he could develop serious behavioral problems.
If you have a toddler, then you know that when nap time hits, your little one cannot wait another minute to get into bed. If he does have to wait, the formidable tantrums will begin. But perhaps your toddler has good reason to kick up a fuss if he can't get his REM cycles, since sleep is particularly important for this age group. One of those reasons is that he needs to sleep in order to grow. While toddlers are asleep, their body produces the human growth hormone Somatotropin, which is critical in the development of their bones, organs, muscles, and even blood.
Another reason your toddler should get all the sleep he can is that, without it, he could develop serious behavioral problems. In fact, scientists have found a strong link between sleep deprivation and attention deficit disorder. Being exhausted could make it harder for your child to focus on school, retain information, and achieve good grades. Another behavior issue that can arise from a lack of sleep is mood swings (like those seen in the aforementioned tantrums). Essentially, a well-rested toddler is a well-behaved one.
If you're not yet convinced that you should put your toddler down for a nap the second he demands one, just consider this: sleep deprivation can weaken your child's immune system. Sleep deprivation causes this problem in adults, too, but at least adults do not crawl on the floor, pick up everything they see on the ground, and stick their fingers in their friend's nose, just for fun. Toddlers do all of that and more, compounding the dangers of a weakened immune system.
Times You'll Be Grateful For A Portable Toddler Bed
You may think that your life with your little one is so routine that he's always near his regular bed when nap time hits, but life can surprise you. Traveling with a toddler, for example, never goes as planned. You may select the flights that occur right between nap time, hoping to get your child to the hotel in plenty of time to doze off. But planes get delayed or canceled entirely all of the time. This can leave you with a sleepy toddler in the middle of an airport. All of the toddler books in the world won't distract him from the fact that he's ready for his nap. A portable toddler bed will be very useful at a time like that.
But what happens when you're staying with friends or family, and your little one doesn't want to stay in his designated room?
A portable toddler bed can also be an important part of setting boundaries between you and your child. If your child gets nightmares, he might try to sleep in your room. At home, you could have a stationary toddler bed in your room for this very reason. But what happens when you're staying with friends or family, and your little one doesn't want to stay in his designated room? He'll crawl into your bed, which interferes with your and your partner's sleep. Packing a portable toddler bed for those times you stay at someone else's house gives your toddler a way to stay in your room, without sleeping in your bed.
Having a portable toddler bed also means you don't need to be a hostage to your home. One study found that mothers are often alone when parenting (i.e., don't have other adults around), which can be emotionally trying. If you have a portable toddler bed, then you can bring your child over to a friend's house. This gives you the much-needed chance to interact with your peers, while still allowing your toddler to take a nap at his usual time. If you think about it, a portable toddler bed could be the answer to getting some essential you-time, without hiring a babysitter.
What To Look For In A Portable Toddler Bed
Your toddler is unique and, as such, not every portable toddler bed will be right for him. When picking out a model, safety should, naturally, be your first concern. If your child involuntarily rolls around in his sleep — a condition called rhythmic movement disorder — look for a bed with a high-rising and soft frame, to prevent him from falling out or injuring himself. If you buy an inflatable bed, make sure it is puncture-resistant, so your little one doesn't accidentally pop it. If you buy a pop-up bed, it should stand on sturdy frames that stay in place until you're ready to fold them down.
Others roll up like a sleeping bag and are made from fabric that compresses down.
It's also important that your child likes the style of his bed. After all, some parents need all the help they can get persuading their child to get some sleep. There are some adorable options that are shaped like your child's favorite animal, covered in your kid's beloved cartoon characters, designed to look like a car, and more. If your kid feels like his portable bed is just another fun toy, he'll be more prone to use it. Adorning the bed with some of your child's most precious belongings, like animal lovey blankets, can also help convince him to take a nap.
Packability is, of course, another very important feature of these beds. Regardless of how you travel, there is a model to fit your needs. Some fold up into a backpack you or your child can wear, giving you one less thing to hold onto. Others roll up like a sleeping bag and are made from fabric that compresses down. These are ideal if you're loading up a car for a camping trip. Many inflatable varieties deflate to a very thin material that you can fold up, just as you would a blanket. The quicker the inflatable ones can fill up with air, the better, since you already know that a tired toddler is an impatient one. Whether your main purpose for the bed is travel, or simply giving your kid a way to lie down while you're at a friend's house, there's an option for you.