The best travel cots are easy to put up and fold away, don’t weigh the same as a baby elephant and give your baby or toddler (and you!) a good night’s sleep. When my two were tiny, we had the most annoying travel cot in the history of parenthood.
It was a NIGHTMARE and meant we were stressed every single time we traveled. It was a folding travel cot that took a degree in engineering to operate and hefting its bulk on and off the trains we needed to catch resulted in my husband booking an expensive appointment with a chiropractor!
We would have loved a travel cot with wheels with which to drag it along. I’d have wept happy tears if some kindly soul had offered me a pop-up cot that was ready for a tired and grumpy baby in seconds.
Happily, there are now plenty of well-designed and useful travel cots available to buy and we’re going to help you choose the best one for your family.
Why do I need a travel cot?
You will be visiting family and friends, EVERYONE will want to meet the gorgeous new addition to your family. Sadly, not everyone will be able to travel to you…or maybe that’s a good thing?! Whichever, you will need a travel cot from birth if you have relatives to visit regularly.
Planning a holiday? Yes, I know that a trip away from home feels like an impossible task right now. So much stuff you’d need to take! A potentially disastrous change of routine! Ugh.
Well at some point in the years that your child will need a crib or portable cot to sleep in, you’re going to want to go away. A family wedding, Christmas at the in-laws or a weekend break to the seaside. The brave and adventurous amongst you might even go abroad, if you do, a lightweight travel cot for flying will be needed.
A travel cot can be used as a secure playpen for older babies who can crawl at what feels like 100 miles an hour. When my daughter was tiny, she could go from kicking her little legs happily in the air on the floor to wedged underneath the coffee table in seconds. Don’t judge, she was chasing the cat and I’d had the audacity to take my eyes off her to close a window.
Travel cot accessories you might need
- A travel cot mattress is essential. Most baby travel cots will come with a mattress, but they aren’t often particularly comfy. A luxury travel cot might have a mattress with a softer feel, but many will have a polyester texture that ‘rustles’ as the child moves around. In my experience, that noise, right next to their tiny ears, wakes them up, not good!
- A travel cot with changing table is a great idea, especially if it will be used often. Having somewhere to change your baby and/or store changing bits and pieces is so useful and it will save your back aching from leaning over.
- A travelling cot that comes with a travel cot bassinet is the perfect choice for parents of newborn babies. Imagine leaning deep into a travel cot to lift your precious bundle, it would be awkward and not at all good for your back.
- A bassinet travel cot will be slightly less portable (they tend not to ‘fold in’ with the rest of the travelling cot) but it will be worth it for the comfort and convenience for both you and baby.
- Planning on using your travel cot bed as a playpen for an older baby or toddler? Maybe you simply need a safe space to put your baby down while you get some life admin done? Yep, us too! A travel cot mobile is a fun way to entertain your child.
- Bedding. A soft fitted sheet in travel cot size is essential. Most travel cot beds will be too wide even for standard cot bed sheets.
Potential safety issues
- A travel cot, when it is used within its guidelines is safe from birth to the age at which your child becomes able to climb out of the cot or reaches the weight limit of that model of cot.
- A travel cot with adjustable height. Make sure you are following the guidelines and lower the level of the cot as your child grows, becomes able to sit, reaches the standing stage and (horror!) the climbing out and waking the parents at 5am stage.
- A travel carry cot or portable baby cot should NOT be moved with the child in it.
- Follow sleep safety guidelines. Choose bedding of the appropriate size and season.
Can it be used as a playpen too?
- Travel cots make great playpens for older babies and young toddlers. They offer a safe, comfortable space which they can happily play in and you know that they can’t escape from.
- Choose an extra-large travel cot for maximum longevity. The travel cot size you choose will ideally still be large enough for a 2-3-year old to play in.
- A travel cot and playpen combined must be cleared of all toys before being used as a sleeping space.
Our pick of the top travel cots
You could spend hours trawling the internet reading travel cot reviews to find the best travel cot. But who wants to do that when there are rambunctious toddlers to entertain and baby purees to be made?!
As ever, we’re here to take the graft out of finding the best baby kit and we’ve put together a list of the best travel cot products out there. You’re welcome!
Phil and Ted’s Traveller V4
Approx £139.99 from John Lewis and Mothercare
- Suitable from birth to approximately three years.
- This is the lightest travel cot on the market at an incredible 2.8kg. Phil and Ted’s even boast that their product is even lighter than the baby! That’s one light travel cot!
- It is a super foldable carry cot and is ingeniously compact. This is the best lightweight travel cot for trips abroad as it is allowed as hand luggage on most airlines.
- The mattress is soft, light and self-inflating and is included in the weight if this lightweight carrycot.
Baby Bjorn Travel Light Travel Cot
Approx £214 from John Lewis, Kiddies Kingdom and Amazon
- Suitable from birth to approximately three years.
- Another compact travel cot with a weight of just 6kg.
- Once out of the handy bag, this pop-up travel cot unfolds in one easy movement. It can even be done while holding a child on your hip.
- This travel cot with mattress included offers your little one a safe and comfy night’s sleep (right through the night hopefully!)
- Typical Scandi style. Simple, unfussy and if you want a grey travel cot, this is your brand.
Cuggl Deluxe Travel Cot
Approx £59.99 from Amazon, Argos and Mothercare.
- This fab product is one of the best baby travel cots on the market.
- A travel cot for a 2-year old plus and a small baby.
- The Cuggl is a travel cot with a bassinet insert so can be used from the newborn stage. The bassinet gives a tiny baby a smaller, snuggly sleeping space and stops Mummy and Daddy from having to lean into a deep cot.
- Once removed this large travel cot is suitable for toddlers and for use as a playpen.
- Lockable wheel for ease of movement making it a portable travel cot within the home and outside.
- Also includes a baby changer attachment.
Hauck Sleep N Play Centre
Approx £50.00 from Amazon, Argos, Kiddies Kingdom
- This is the best travel cot if you want longevity and variety of use. It is also one of the cheapest travel cots when you consider all that is included in the price (bassinet, changing top, mattress, 2 bags)
- Suitable from birth to up to 15kg in weight.
- Easy access bassinet for ease of access to your new baby.
- Relatively easy to fold up and down.
- One of the best toddler travel cots. The ‘play’ part if the title refers to the fact you can unzip the sides (from the outside only, no risk of an escapee!) so it can be used as a play space, den or whatever your toddler’s imagination conjures up!
- Extra comfort is available for fussy sleepers if you buy the best travel cot mattress for this product. The ‘Sleeper’ mattress which is made from thick, soft and supportive foam.
Chicco Zip and Go Travel Crib
Approx £130 from John Lewis, Amazon and Argos.
- A travel crib for newborn babies which turns into a travel cot for toddlers up to 24 months.
- A neutral, stylish cream travel cot.
- Adjustable height. The highest level can be used up to six months.
- The baby level can be fixed or put in rocking mode to help soothe a fractious little one.
- Unzipping changes this mini travel cot into a travel cot for toddlers (up to 24 months).
- A small travel cot that is also super easy to fold. A great baby camping cot as it takes up little room.
- Mesh sides allow air to circulate and keep baby cool. Perfect in summer or on holiday.
Padgett Bros Disney Travel Cot
Approx £29.99 from Kiddies Kingdom.
- Lovers of Disney, bright colours and fun patterns are unlikely to be excited by the neutral colours that travel cots are usually designed in. Padgett Bros have created a basic but safe travel cot that will hopefully appeal a little more.
- The Winnie the Pooh design in glorious orange and yellow is perfect for a girl’s travel cot or a boy’s travel cot.
- Basic mattress which is ok but will probably need a little padding.
- Easy to unfold and repack, just read the instructions a few times first.
- Not the smallest travel cot but isn’t too heavy and it comes with a handy carry bag.
- Great value, perfect for occasional use.
- O’Baby do a similar blue travel cot with a Sully and Mike from Monsters Inc design.
Graco Contour Electra Travel Cot
Approx £99.99 from Amazon, Argos and Kiddies Kingdom.
- This is one of the best travel cots for babies, travel cot reviews over the years have agreed and the design is a classic.
- The best baby travel cot for babies who need a lot of soothing to sleep. Two-speed vibration settings, nightlight and music.
- Travel cot with a mattress that vibrates to lull baby to sleep.
- Adjustable travel cot with bassinet and two mattress levels.
- Simple and quick to put up and pack away. Can be done after a little practice in less than a minute.
- A travel cot with changer station included for added convenience.
- Brilliant stability makes it a great travel cot for a 3-year old wriggling in their sleep.