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Best travel cots of 2023 for babies and toddlers: tried and tested

Whether used at home, at the grandparents' or even on holiday, a travel cot can be a familiar place for your baby to sleep, wherever they are. After four months of research and testing, we reveal the best travel cots to buy right now.

By Poppy O'Neill | Last updated Sep 6, 2023

a collage of 3 travel cots

This article was updated on 6th September 2023.

While you may have dedicated a lot of time to finding the best crib, moses basket or cot bed for your child, we tend to give less thought to which travel cot to buy. But getting the best sleep possible is just as important while you're away from home, so we've put some of the best travel cots on the market through their paces.

While they're mainly used for overnight stays and longer holidays, travel cots can also be used instead of a traditional crib or playpen for both babies and toddlers. They are portable, easy to carry and should be fairly lightweight too. Pack your travel cot along with a baby monitor and your little one's best baby blanket and you're good to go.

Our parent tester, Ruth, and her 18-month-old put some of the UK's top-rated travel cots through their paces. We also turned to the Mumsnet forums - home of the UK's largest network of parents - to seek out authentic recommendations and honest reviews of the travel cots they'd used with their own children. Referring to expert review sites for extra information, we collated all the information to bring you our top picks.

Short on time? Check out our top 3 travel cots in under 60 seconds.

The best travel cots: at a glance


Best overall travel cot

What we like
  • Lift and lower side panel means baby can be picked up and placed down without hassle

  • Compact frame that packs down into a travel bag

  • Mesh-lined ventilation on all four sides

What we don't like
  • Too small to be used as a playpen

  • Material isn't machine-washable

Key specs

Price on writing: £100 | Suitable from: Birth to three years (15kg) | Weight: 8.79kg

What Mumsnet users say
muddlingmyway · Recommended
We don’t use a travel cot as our main cot but we have used the joie kubbie as a travel cot and it’s absolutely lovely. The bassinet level is so handy and baby (who was probably about 4 months at the time) slept like a dream in it. I think he liked the fact it was quite small and has mesh sides, nice and cosy. I imagine that will be nice for a newborn too.
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Our verdict

The Joie kubbie™ Sleep is a real steal and a brilliant choice for new parents who want something that covers all bases. Versatile in style and cocoon-like in the way it nurtures and grows with newborns, the kubbie™ Sleep also comes with a bassinet that can easily be attached and detached.

A unique feature of the kubbie™ Sleep that our tester was impressed by is that when your baby is in the bassinet, you can tuck the cot close to your bed and adjust the height of the crib so that it acts like a co-sleeper. It's a lovely feature if you're travelling with a tiny baby, it provides extra peace of mind and easy access for changing and breastfeeding.

Great for parents who

  • Have a newborn

  • Like the idea of a co-sleeper and want to keep their baby close during the night

  • Want a cot that can last up to three years old

Read our full Joie kubbie Sleep review.


Best budget travel cot

Cuggl Grey Travel Cot

What we like
  • Lightweight and folds down compactly into a travel bag

  • Quick to assemble and fold away

  • Easy to clean

What we don't like
  • The mattress is thinner than some other baby travel cot mattresses on the market, such as the Joie kubbie™ Sleep

  • Doesn't have wheels

Key specs

Price on writing: £45 | Suitable from: Birth to three years (or able to climb out) | Weight: 9kg

What Mumsnet users say
T0rt0ise · Tried & Tested
I have two... in this style (one lives at ours, one at my parents) and they do require an extra mattress but are great. Easy to put up, will last for ages and my son sleeps well in them.
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Bornsloppy · Recommended
We have a Cuggl one from Argos, tall DC slept diagonally in it but by 2yo he could easily climb out so ended up in a bed on trips away.
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Our verdict

Robust and simple in design, the Cuggl Travel Cot is a basic, practical travel cot that you'll be glad to have for the odd night away from home with your little one. With breathable mesh on four sides, a carry bag and padding over the poles and edges, it's got everything you need for a safe night's sleep - or a handy play pen.

Mumsnetters say the mattress could be thicker and better quality, which is often the case with cheaper travel cots. If you're looking for a separate mattress, this one from Mother Nurture is a good bet.

Great for parents who

  • Need a bed for short trips or as a secondary for the grandparents' house

  • Are on a tight budget

Read next: The best cabin bags to buy for your next family holiday


Most comfortable travel cot

What we like
  • Great quality mattress

  • Takes just one second to unfold and three seconds to fold

  • Can be folded with the mattress left in

  • Carrycot insert for newborns

What we don't like
  • On the expensive side

  • Only suitable up to 2 years

Key specs

Price on writing: £225 | Suitable from: Birth to two years | Weight: 6.7kg

What Mumsnet users say
Bonnealle · Recommended
I’d recommend the Stardust Bugaboo travel cot. It literally pops open with one hand, has a newborn insert with proper mattress so you could use as a next to me, stores so small so can quickly pop it up in the sitting room and use as an impromptu play pen or crib if you need to go to the loo, make a tea etc. I wish I had bought one sooner.
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Our verdict

For those considering a travel cot to use from birth, the Bugaboo Stardust is a great option. It comes with a carrycot insert which means the cot can be used as a bedside crib - perfect for co-sleeping away from home.

It has a height-adjustable mattress and an incredibly easy fold up and down. When folded up, the travel cot is nice and slim, making for easy storage. The mattress is great quality and thicker than the others on our list. At just over £200, it's on the premium end of the spectrum, and the manufacturer recommends only using it up to 2 years, so it doesn't have quite the longevity of most other travel cots, which generally can be used until the age of three.

Great for parents who

  • Want to co-sleep safely away from home

  • Are expecting to use the cot frequently for sleeping


Best easy-fold travel cot

What we like
  • Lightweight and easy to fold up and down

  • When folded down is only 26cm wide

  • 2 wheels for easy manoeuvring

What we don't like
  • The mattress could be thicker

Key specs

Price on writing: £80 | Suitable from: Birth to three years (or able to climb out) | Weight: 6.7kg

Our verdict

With two ways to fold, the Graco Foldlite is a brilliant cot for frequent use. The quick fold is designed for speed, while 'Home Fold' is ultra-thin at just 26cm wide - perfect for storing away at home.

We love the two-wheel design that makes the cot easy to drag around, and it's not bad to look at either. The base is one of the lowest to the ground on our list, making it a good option for using as a playpen. Graco are well-loved by Mumsnetters thanks to their good-quality, affordable baby gear, and this travel cot is no exception.

Great for parents who

  • Want a cot that can be put up and down frequently without too much hassle

  • Have limited space for storage

Read next: The best nursing chairs to buy, as recommended by mums


Best lightweight travel cot

What we like
  • Insect-proof mesh for hot weather and the outdoors

  • Has a front panel with a safety toggle that can be zipped open or closed, making it a great option to use as an outdoor playpen

  • Colour-coded poles make assembly simple

What we don't like
  • Thin mattress

  • Sunshade must be bought separately

Key specs

Price on writing: £120 | Suitable from: Birth to three years (15kg), but we'd recommend it for toddlers | Weight: 2.5kg

Our verdict

The LittleLife Arc 2 is extremely lightweight (practically featherweight, really, at just 2.5kg), is designed just like a tent and can be folded down compactly to fit into a backpack, which comes with it. This makes it perfect for use on public transport, holidays and camping.

It works just as well outdoors as it does indoors and is great for those grab-and-go moments. Our tester really liked its tent-like design - close to the floor means there's no risk of kids falling out. She was also impressed by the mosquito net - perfect for travel wherever you're headed.

Read our full LittleLife Arc 2 review.

Great for parents who

  • Use public transport when travelling

  • Want something that could double up as a playpen


Best high-end travel cot

What we like
  • Durable construction

  • Very comfy mattress

  • Mattress and fabric is removable and machine-washable

What we don't like
  • Mattress is fairly close to the floor – one side can be unzipped for easy access though

  • It’s one of the more expensive cots around

Key specs

Price on writing: £213 | Suitable from: Birth to three years | Weight: 6kg (including carry bag)

What Mumsnet users say
Caspianberg · Tried & Tested
We have the Babybjorn. It’s really good and worth the extra IMO. It folds small for air travel, and fits in our small car with other luggage and pram. DS slept in it two months last year whilst house renovations and it’s a decent mattress. He actually slept in last night as decorating his room so he slept in ours.
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Our verdict

If you have a little extra to spend, then the luxury and comfort of BabyBjörn's Light will make sleepovers fuss-free no matter where you go. Our tester found it sturdy, simple to set-up and really easy to transport. The mattress is considerably more comfy than those you'll find in cheaper travel cots, and all the fabric parts are removable and machine washable.

The main drawback is the price tag, but if you have the means, then this cot won't let you down.

Read our full BabyBjorn Light review.

Great for parents who

  • Need a small portable crib that can be taken on short or long trips

  • Want to invest in a travel bed that can stand heavy use


Sturdiest travel cot

What we like
  • Comes with a bassinet

  • Mattress attaches to the base with Velcro so there's no risk of it moving around

What we don't like
  • Heavy

  • Large footprint

Key specs

Price on writing: £190 | Suitable from: Birth to 15kg | Weight: 11.3kg

What Mumsnet users say
Lightningpeach · Recommended
We have the Nuna Sena and it's amazing, the most hassle-free assembling I've seen having watched BIL trying to get his cheap and cheerful one up which seemed to have 1000 steps to assemble! You just push the ring in the middle. It looks great and my kids have both slept great in it when we're away. Also sturdy enough to double as a temporary living room playpen for a while too! Has definitely been one of my highly recommended baby items.
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Our verdict

Don’t be fooled by the Nuna Sena Aire's stylish lines – this one is built like a tank. After being pushed, shoved and bounced into with the ‘help’ of our tester’s exuberant toddler, we were impressed at just how sturdy this neat-looking crib actually is.

It’s also big enough to be used as a playpen and, although there are cheaper travel cots on the market, if you find this one at a decent price you really can't go wrong.

Read next: The best packing cubes to keep the family organised on your next trip


Best travel cot with a changing table

What we like
  • Two wheels make this cot easy to move around

  • Easy to fold and unfold

What we don't like
  • Bassinet and changing unit don’t fit into carry bag

  • Side of the cot can’t be pulled down like the new Joie kubbie™ Sleep

Key specs

Price on writing: £105 | Suitable from: Birth to 15kg | Weight: 12.3kg

What Mumsnet users say
FoxtrotSkarloey · Recommended
I spent ages researching, reading reports etc and settled on this one. The bassinet feature was excellent.
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Our verdict

Winner of the Mumsnet Best Travel Cot 2018 award, the Joie Commuter Change didn’t quite make our top five this year, but it’s still a great product and definitely worth considering.

Our tester loved all the added extras that come with the Commuter Change. Not only is there a full-size bassinet, which will save your back when reaching down to your child, but the cot also comes with a changing table which handily clips onto the top.

Read our full Joie Commuter Change review.


Best travel cot to use as a playpen

BabyDan Travel Cot

What we like
  • One piece fold

  • Big enough to double up as a playpen

What we don't like
  • Thin mattress

  • Heavy

Key specs

Price on writing: £85 | Suitable from: Birth to 13.6 kg | Weight: 11.2 kg

What Mumsnet users say
FoxtrotSkarloey · Recommended
Quite a while ago now we bought a BabyDan one from John Lewis which is the same dimensions as a standard cot (not cot bed). Extra handy as we could also use the actual cot mattress in it for extra comfort if we had space in the car, or latterly when we had got rid of the cot but had friends or relatives to stay.
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Our verdict

The BabyDan Travel Cot an extra-long cot at a budget price. No, it’s not as cheap as the excellent Cuggl, but at almost 20cm longer it’s a great option if you need a larger-than-average product.

Unsurprisingly it’s big and heavy, and not particularly easy to move around, although the two wheels do help a little. The mattress feels a little thinner than others we tested, but all in all it's a lovely large travel cot at a relatively small price.


Best for air travel

Phil & Teds Traveller

What we like
  • Zip down side

  • Self-inflating mattress

What we don't like
  • Unintuitive assembly

Key specs

Price on writing: £229 | Suitable from: Birth to two years | Weight: 2.8 kg

What Mumsnet users say
mynamechangemyrules · Recommended
I've been to many different countries on different planes, trains and automobiles and the Phil & Teds is the only one which works across various check-in requirements and ages of children. The BabyBjorn is a dream to put up and probably the most comfortable for baby, but I only take it if it's a decent airline luggage allowance... But def, 100% the P&T one if you actually intend travelling with it, as opposed to staying at Granny's place every now and again.
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Our verdict

This ultra light portable crib may not pack down as small as the LittleLife Arc 2, but it’s spacious and easy to transport nevertheless.

It’s smaller than some of the others we tested, which is why Phil & Teds Traveller didn’t make our top five, but it’s definitely worth considering if you’re looking for a lightweight design. The latest model has a 4-in-1 design, so it can be used as a newborn crib, toddler travel cot, playpen with an open side and as a co-sleeper.

What age is a travel cot for?

This type of cot is usually used from the newborn stage up until toddlerhood – or until the little wriggler can climb out by themselves.

Do I actually need a one?

The short answer is: no, not necessarily, but that depends entirely on your lifestyle.

Portable beds can be expensive and can take up unnecessary space in an otherwise baby-filled home, so if you think you'll only get use out of one for two weeks of the year, then you could probably do without.

If you already have a co-sleeper, Moses basket or carrycot that you use with a travel system, you might be able to use that when you're away from home with a smaller baby.

If, however, you tend to travel often or think your little one will have regular sleepovers with the grandparents, then a travel cot is a great solution.

It'll not only be easier to cart around, but it'll offer a familiar and comforting environment for your child no matter where they rest their head.

Are travel cots safe?

Safety is crucial when buying a travel bed for your little one so, while all products should have some sort of testing certification, be sure to check the safety features out yourself.

  • If you plan to buy in-store, ask to see it being assembled

  • Check how sturdy it is – could it withstand being knocked into?

  • Look for safety locks on wheels if there are any – can they also be tucked away when not in use?

  • Choking hazards are also something to look out for so make sure that small parts, like zips, are well covered

  • Check for sharp corners and padded rails

  • Assess whether your child would be able to climb out easily – check that the side panels are high enough

Safe sleeping and travel cot mattresses

The Lullaby Trust says that all cots need to comply with British Standards Institution (BSI) safety standards regardless of how old they are. If there is no safety standard number visible then you shouldn't buy it.

When it comes to safe sleeping, they also insist that the bed's original mattress needs to be firm, entirely flat and waterproof with no soft or cushioned areas, particularly around the baby's head. Babies should be placed on their backs with their feet at the foot of the cot.

Soft mattresses are known to increase the risk of SIDS as they make it harder for babies to lose body heat, which can cause them to become too hot.

Sleep positioners and pillows must not be used and there should also be no loose or bulky bedding inside the crib as this can cause a baby to overheat.

Even if the mattress feels thin, don't be tempted to place folded blankets underneath your child. Go for a baby sleeping bag or a well-fitted swaddle instead.

The Lullaby Trust also advise that portable cribs aren’t placed against radiators and remain out of reach of blind cords.

How much does a travel cot cost?

Prices range from £20 to over £200, and your budget will probably depend entirely on how much you think you'll use it.

As with anything, the most expensive option won't necessarily be best suited to you and your child. Some cheaper models may do just the trick and will last well into the toddler years too.

Can I buy one secondhand?

Yes, you can, but make sure you always follow the manufacturer's instructions before using.

Make sure it isn’t damaged or broken, that the frame is intact and that there aren’t any sharp edges that could cause injury. If possible, ask to assemble and fold it down before you buy to check it works as it should.

Secondhand travel cots can go from anywhere between £10 and £80.

Other things to consider when buying a travel cot

1. Portability

Check the size and weight. Can it be folded down compactly? Is it likely to fit into the boot of your car?

If you tend to travel by public transport, you'll want a bed that's lightweight and easy to carry. For planes, some small cots may even be able to fit into an overhead locker.

2. Assembly and storage

By nature, travel beds are usually easy to put up and fold down. Pop-ups are, of course, the easiest, but check to see if your chosen product is quick to assemble, fold and pack away.

When it comes to storage, the amount of space you have at home will influence your decision.

Some models have mattresses that fold with the frame before they go into a bag, and most will fit into the back of a cupboard or under a bed when stored away.

3. How to clean

Babies create mess – and a lot of it too. Look for a removable mattress that comes with a fitted sheet, which you will be able to stick in the washing machine.

Some cots have removable side panels, but if they don’t then you can always wipe them clean with warm water.

4. Extra features

Many larger models double up as a playpen which is great for keeping your child safe at all times no matter where they are. Some even come with changing tables, mobiles and bassinets for newborns.

You’ll find that the added extras will usually need to be carried separately once the frame is folded down. Brands that offer attachments like these include Joie (the Joie Commuter Change won Mumsnet Best Travel Cot 2018), BabyBjorn and Graco.

Some, like the Arc 2, also come with added extras like built-in mosquito nets for camping.

What's the best travel cot to buy?

The Joie kubbie Sleep is the best travel cot to buy in 2023. Mumsnetters love that it doubles as a co-sleeper, making it a versatile, useful and great value buy. The compact design makes it easy to transport and set up, while the bedside feature allows for easy access to your baby during the night. Overall, the Joie Baby Kubbie Sleep Bedside Travel Cot is a great choice for parents looking for a safe and comfortable sleep solution for their little one.

baby sleeping

How we tested and why you should trust us

For continuity, we try to get one tester to test all the products in a single category. This reduces any potential variables during the testing process and ensures that our results are based on like-for-like comparisons. After approximately 24 hours of research, our tester, Ruth, produced a shortlist of 14 cots to put to the test. The list included the most highly recommended cots by Mumsnet users and other review sites, plus a wide range of designs and price tags, from nifty pop-ups to more studier models akin to traditional cribs.

Each product was tested in rooms with both carpet and laminate flooring, then scored on six key areas:

  • Safety and stability

  • Assembly

  • Comfort and day-to-day use

  • Aesthetics

  • Cleanliness

  • Value for money

Five products were then awarded a Mumsnet Best badge – these are the products that we feel offer the absolute best value for most parents. We also gave honourable mentions to four others.

Ruth scored each product based on each criteria below, with the highest scoring coming out on top as the overall winner. Honourable mentions were then given to nine other top-performing beds.

Safety and stability

We looked at a number of factors including:

  • Durability and materials – how well was each product made and finished?

  • Safety features – did the product have padded rails, lockable wheels, mesh ventilation, firm bedding, a locking system etc? And could a baby's fingers become trapped? Ruth studied everything from the frame to the mattress

  • Choking hazards – were there any parts that could come loose?

  • Sturdiness – she walked into it, knocked it against furniture and dropped it when assembled and packed away. Could each cot withstand the weight of both an adult and child if accidentally fallen into?

  • Safety standards – she also looked for the appropriate safety labels

  • Height of side panels – could a child climb out easily?

Assembly and folding

  • How straightforward was it to assemble and fold?

  • Were written or visual instructions clear and precise? Could the instructions also be accessed online and were there video tutorials to guide you through?

  • Each cot was assembled and taken down 20 times – this was also timed to see how long it would take

  • We also wanted to see which products might cause difficulty for people with mobility issues and which were the easiest to assemble and take down

  • Ruth also considered how easy it would be to access spare parts and whether each cot came with a warranty

Comfort and day-to-day use

  • Ruth looked at how much space the cot took up in a room – did it slot in easily, and was it more suited to indoors or outdoors?

  • Could it be moved around easily, particularly through doorways, from one room to another, and up and down the stairs? Did it have to be folded in order to do so?

  • How easy was it to place the child inside? Could the side panels be lowered?

  • When inside, was the little one comfy? Did they like it and was there enough room to sleep and to play?

  • Was it heavy to carry and did it fit comfortably in the boot of an average-sized family car? Could it be taken on public transport easily?


  • Ruth analysed looks, including colours, fabrics and overall design

  • Did the bed fit in with the décor? Was the design attractive and user-friendly?

  • Were there different colours to choose from?


  • The likes of mud, sand, peanut butter, milk and orange juice were smeared and spilled onto the interior and exterior to see how easy stains were to remove

  • Ruth also checked for removable bedding that could easily be thrown into the washing machine

Value for money

  • We tested products with a variety of price tags and compared the more expensive models to those that were cheaper

  • If pricey, was it worth the price tag? And were there any extras included to make the investment more justified?

    How real-life comparative testing makes Mumsnet Reviews unique

    We commissioned Ruth Lumley to write about and test a variety of toddler and baby travel cots. Ruth is a journalist who has used a number of baby beds with her three young children – from the newborn stage right through to toddlerhood and while holidaying abroad and visiting relatives in the UK.

    During the research process, she looked at the types of products available, scoured the Mumsnet forums for recommendations and spoke to baby sleep experts from The Lullaby Trust, an organisation that provides advice on safer sleep for babies.

    Ruth tried out each bed with her youngest child, who was 18 months old at the time of testing. She tested each for at least three nights, both at home and at the grandparents' house, which meant that all the models were subject to the same environmental factors and held a child of the same age and weight.