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Best cot beds and cots for babies and toddlers - as recommended by real parents

Whether you're looking for a convertible cot bed that'll grow with your child, or a classic, dependable cot for your baby, we've got the best cot beds and cots to suit every family. 

By Poppy O'Neill | Last updated Jan 20, 2023

a little girl and her baby sister play in matching cot beds

Moving on from a crib or moses basket to a cot is a big deal. After a few short months, babies outgrow their newborn bed and it’s time to start thinking about the best cot bed for your little one. 

Transitioning into a cot often means your baby will be sleeping in their own room for the first time, so you’ll want to find a cot bed that’s comfortable, good value and most importantly, safe. It’s also a good time to start thinking about other baby equipment you’ll need in the months ahead - our guides to the best baby monitors and the best travel cots have you covered for the essentials.

In our search for the best cot beds to buy in 2023, we've consulted baby sleep experts such as The Lullaby Trust, as well as turning to the Mumsnet Talk forums - the largest network of parents in the UK and home to hundreds of authentic, tried-and-tested reviews. Combined with expert advice and consumer reviews, we’ve come up with the 8 cots and cot beds we think make the best buys for UK parents. 

These are the best cot beds to buy in 2023.

1. Best overall cot bed - Tutti Bambini Rio

tutti bambini rio

RRP: £189 | Buy now from Amazon

Key specs

Size: 57 x 34 x 37cm | Material: Pine | Age: Birth - 6 years | Mattress height: 3 adjustable positions

What we love

  • Lasts from birth-6 years
  • Removable changing table
  • Neutral, classy design
  • Great price

What to know

  • Mattress sold separately

What Mumsnet users say

“We went for the Tutti Bambini Rio cotbed (£160 including mattress) and can be used as a first infant bed as well, so more affordable in the long run. Think it can be used up to approx age 6. Comes with a changing table too.” (Recommended by Mumsnetter thattravelphotographer)

Our verdict

With everything you need from birth to 6 years, the Tutti Bambini Rio cot bed is our top pick for 2023. It comes with a removable changing table for those late-night nappy changes while they’re still small - being able to change them on top of the cot will save your back, knees and gives your baby a better chance of staying sleeping during the process - bonus points if you have a baby sleeping bag to keep them cosy while you wipe their bum. 

The cot converts into a 140 x 70cm junior bed that’ll last until they’re around 6 - by which age they'll be old enough for a bunk bed. The cot bed is a tasteful, neutral design and made from New Zealand Pine - perfect for handing on or selling secondhand. Reviewers say it’s easy to assemble, sturdy and comfy for their kids, and for under £200 we think it ticks all the boxes. The only slight drawback is that the mattress is sold separately - it’s a standard size though so many of the options on our best cot mattresses round-up will fit.

2. Best budget cot - IKEA Sniglar

IKEA sniglar

RRP: £69 | Buy now from IKEA

Key specs

Size: 124 x 66 x 80cm | Material: Beech | Age: Not stated - up to 20kg | Mattress height: 2 adjustable positions

What we love

  • Bargain price
  • Solid beech
  • Simple design

What to know

  • Doesn’t convert to a cot bed

What Mumsnet users say

“We got ours from IKEA, it’s almost 3 years old and still looks new. I’d definitely recommend.” (Tried and tested by Mumsnet user LBB2020)

“My brother has ikea cots for his twins. They're nearly 3 and still going strong with it.” Recommended by Mumsnetter New2020)

Our verdict

Good old IKEA. If you’re looking for a well-made, basic cot that does the job with no bells or whistles, Sniglar is for you. At £69, it’s a bargain for a brand new cot, and the high-quality beech means it’ll last for as long as your child fits comfortably, as well as being good for handing down to family, friends or re-selling. 

Reviewers say it’s as straightforward as other IKEA furniture to assemble, and easy to paint - although it looks great as it is. Mattresses are sold separately and a standard 120 x 60cm cot mattress will fit perfectly.  

3. Best cot bed - John Lewis Wilton

RRP: £225 | Buy now from John Lewis

Key specs

Size: 95 x 75 x 144cm | Material: Pine and MDF | Age: from birth | Mattress height: 3 adjustable positions

What we love

  • Simple, neutral design
  • Sturdy
  • Trusted brand

What to know

  • Some reviewers found it tricky to assemble

What Mumsnet users say

“We got one from John Lewis and a mattress to go with it, and think we spent about £200 in total. Does the job, DD sleeps well in it!” (Recommended by Mumsnetter attillathenun)

“I second the John Lewis one pp suggested. Three children later and going strong.”  (Tried and tested by Mumsnet user foodtoorder)

Our verdict

For a sturdy, stylish cot that converts into a compact and comfy junior bed when the time comes, this one from John Lewis is a sound investment. Made from Pine and MDF, it’s good quality Mumsnetters say it will last for many years.

Some reviewers found the instructions confusing, so it’s worth taking your time and enlisting help when building the cot or converting it into a toddler bed. At 140cm long, it’s shorter than some of the cot beds on our list, so may not last as long before your little one grows too tall for it. 

4. Best compact cot bed - Mokee Mini Cot

mokee mini cot

RRP: £249.99 | Buy now from Mokee

Key specs

Size: 64 x 124 x 84cm | Material: Beech | Age: 0-3 years | Mattress height: 7 adjustable positions

What we love

  • Range of colour options
  • 7 adjustable mattress settings
  • Solid beech

What to know

  • Mattress and accessories sold separately

What Mumsnet users say

“Mokee do some ones, nice colours too.” (Recommended by Mumsnetter LillyLeaf)

“Second the recommendation for Mokee. Sturdy and not too expensive, they take a while to arrive though.” (Tried and tested by Mumsnet user Patapouf)

Our verdict

At just 120 x 60cm, this is one of the smaller cots on our list - if you’re looking for a tinier one, scroll down to the Mamas & Papas petite compact cot at number 8. With a choice of colours and accessories available - including mattresses, bedding and even a space-saving cot organiser - it’s certainly a stylish option, and a great cot bed for those wanting to get all their baby gear in one go. 

The mini cot is suitable from birth and converts into a dinky toddler bed by simply removing one of the panels. Due to the size, it won’t last much past your child’s third birthday, but if you have a small space to work with, this is a perfect option.  

5. Best luxury cot bed - Stokke Sleepi

stokke sleepi

RRP: £529 | Buy now from John Lewis

Key specs

Size: 141 x 74 x 78cm | Material: Beech | Age: 0-5 years | Mattress height: 4 adjustable positions

What we love

  • Ridiculously good looking
  • Grows with your child
  • High quality 
  • Good for buying and selling secondhand

What to know

  • Requires a specialist mattress

What Mumsnet users say

“I loved my Stokke Sleepi. I bought it second hand and it’s done my 2 girls and still in great condition. I had mattresses made for it and just used normal cot sheets and they fit fine. It grows with the child with the extensions and it’s very pretty.” (Recommended by Mumsnetter TheGriffle)

Our verdict

Suitable from newborn to age 5, the Stokke Sleepi has a unique, quirky look that’s a big hit with Mumsnetters. The oval design is shaped to resemble a mother’s womb, and unlike other cot beds it starts off small and cosy, growing longer with your child using extensions. 

At over £500, it’s on the pricier end of the market, and Mumsnetters say this one’s a great option for both buying and selling secondhand. The unusual shape and lengthening mean standard mattresses won’t fit this cot bed, so you’ll need to get a Stokke mattress or one of the cheaper versions available on Amazon.

6. Best convertible cot bed - Snuzkot Skandi

snuzkot skandi

RRP: £299 | Buy now from John Lewis

Key specs

Size: 72 x 133 x 89cm | Material: Beech | Age: 0-4 years | Mattress height: 3 adjustable positions

What we love

  • Extension kit (available separately) makes the bed suitable for up to 10 years
  • Stylish design
  • Good value for money

What to know

  • Non-standard mattress sizes required

What Mumsnet users say

“We used the Snuzpod and moved him into a Snuzkot when he was 6 months. It’s the Snuzkod Skandi or whatever - safe and looks nice!” (Tried and tested by Mumsnet user doireallyneedaname

Our verdict

If you’re looking for a cot bed that’ll last until your child’s a tween, the Snuzkot Skandi is the most versatile we’ve found. Suitable from birth to 10, the quirky yet simple design will keep your child comfy for years and years. At £299 plus £80 for the extension kit, this works out at just under £40 per year of use - a bargain in our book. 

Reviewers say it’s easy to assemble and great quality. Mattresses are sold separately and need to be slightly smaller than standard sizes, so it’s worth factoring this cost in while making your decision. Snuz sell specialist mattresses to fit their cot beds, with adjustable firmness for the best support at each stage. 

7. Best cot bed for storage space - Obaby Stamford

Obaby stamford cotbed

RRP: £350 | Buy now from Amazon

Key specs

Size: 91 x 76 x 154cm | Material: Pine and MDF | Age: 0-4 years | Mattress height: 3 adjustable positions

What we love

  • Traditional design
  • Teething rails protect growing teeth
  • 70l storage drawer
  • Matching nursery furniture available

What to know

  • Mattress sold separately

What Mumsnet users say

“I have a cotbed from Obaby, the Stamford range. Absolutely love it, looks really expensive but was only mid range, much less than mamas and papas etc. They do matching stuff too but we just have an IKEA chest of drawers and then have a changing mat on the double bed that is still in our nursery for now.” (Loved by Mumsnetter whatcangowrong

Our verdict

This beautiful sleigh-style cot bed from Obaby has a traditional look, and the generous storage drawer is perfect for keeping all those essentials for bedtime cuddles and late night nappy changes.

When your child is old enough, the sides can be removed and the ends lowered to make a simple, sturdy sleigh bed. At 140cm in length, it’s likely to last until your child is around four years old. 

8. Best cot for newborns - Mamas and papas petite compact cot

mamas and papas petite compact cot

RRP: £99 | Buy now from Mamas & Papas

Key specs

Size: 90 x 64 x 96cm | Material: Pine and engineered board | Age: 0-18 months | Mattress height: 2 adjustable positions

What we love

  • It looks exactly like a standard cot, but is smaller in size at just 0.61m²
  • Allows more room for a baby to grow and develop than a Moses baskets or bedside crib
  • Easy to assemble

What to know

  • Small size means your baby will grow out of it sooner
  • Doesn’t convert into a bed

Our verdict

If you’ve decided on a cot over a moses basket or crib, don’t have oodles of space but want one that’ll fit in your room, the Mamas & Papas petite compact cot is for you. Taking up a tiny 0.61m², it’ll fit snugly into a small space and last up to a year before your baby grows out of it. 

As safe-sleeping experts recommend you keep your baby in the same room as you for the first six months, the Mamas & Papas Petite Compact Cot allows you to do this for even longer. As it's a unique size, you'll need to get a non-standard mattress. We'd recommend the cot and mattress bundle for the best deal.

 Read our full Mamas & Papas petite compact cot review.

What’s the difference between a cot and a cot bed?

A cot bed works just the same as a cot, but when your child is ready (or starts to climb out of it) it can be converted into a small bed. This is usually achieved by removing the sides and sometimes lowering the ends of the bed. A standard cot doesn’t have these features, so once your child outgrows it or can climb out, it’s time to buy a new bed. 

Do I need a crib or Moses basket for the newborn stage?

Many parents opt for a bedside crib or Moses basket when their baby is very small. It means they can stay close, nighttime breastfeeding is easier and most cribs and Moses baskets are portable for daytime naps too. Cots and cot beds can be daunting for tiny babies, as they're quite a large space for a little human, and newborns often prefer somewhere more womb-like to sleep. Head over to our detailed guides to the best cribs and the best Moses baskets to find out more. 

Having said that, many babies sleep well in a cot from birth. They're a safe place for babies to sleep and if you have space, you can set it up in your own bedroom initially. A baby sleeping bag or swaddle can help them feel more at home.

What bedding do you need for a cot bed?

The Lullaby Trust recommend just a sheet and baby sleeping bag for the first year. Pillows, cot bumpers and duvets aren’t advised until kids are older. 

When you convert the cot into a toddler bed, you can buy cot bed sized bedding from many retailers. We think Silentnight make the best cot bed duvet and pillow, and we love John Lewis’ range of cute duvet covers for cot beds

What type of mattress is best for a cot bed?

There’s lots of choice out there for cot mattresses, you can find Mumsnetters’ favourites in our round-up of the best cot mattresses. It’s essential to check your measurements before buying a mattress, as cots and cot bed dimensions can vary. 

What’s the best cot bed to buy?

The Tutti Bambini Rio is the best cot bed to buy. Mumsnetters love its versatility - it’s suitable from birth to 6 and transforms into a stylish bed. We think the removable changing table is a real lifesaver for those midnight nappy changes, and the price is very reasonable too.

How we chose our recommendations

Before we began researching the best cot beds, we first scrutinised the latest safe sleep advice from trusted organisations such as The Lullaby Trust, the NCT and the NHS so we could be confident that all the cots we were recommending were safe.

We also consulted renowned consumer organisations such as Which? to gather information on how to choose the best quality products and also those that would offer the most value for money. 

Finally, we scoured the Mumsnet forums, where real parents offer honest and impartial advice about the products that have worked for them, as well as analysing reviews from customers and consumer experts on various other websites.

We took all the cots and cot beds that came most highly recommended by consumers and parents to draw up a shortlist of 20 products and then narrowed it down to the eight you see here, which we think offer enough choice for every family. 

Why you should trust us

At Mumsnet, we believe parents should be able to access impartial and honest advice about products and services they may purchase.

We consult real parents as well as experts so we can offer the benefit of honest experience and we don’t take payment for our reviews from companies.

Our team of writers is made up of experienced consumer and parenting journalists who between them have a wealth of experience and knowledge at their fingertips.

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