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Best kids’ beds for toddlers and children for a smooth transition from cot to bed

Budget buys, storage solutions, toddler beds or a tree house den… Make the transition to a big-kid bed easier with our pick of the best beds for toddlers and children.

By Hannah Wilson | Last updated May 1, 2022

Best toddler and kids beds

You blinked, and suddenly it’s time to pack away the cot and transition your busy toddler to their ‘big kid’ bed. But with every new milestone comes a whole new set of questions and things to consider… Particularly when it comes to a decision that may or may not affect your child’s sleep.

Alongside style and safety there are several things you need to factor into your choice, including functionality (like storage, or space for sleepovers), comfort, durability, height, bed size, and assembly. Some parents choose to move directly to a single bed, while others opt for a toddler bed to help the transition into a larger bed. 

Understandably, with so many options to choose from, picking the best bed for your child could make your head spin. 

Luckily, we’ve done the hard work for you and searched high and low for the very best kids’ beds out there, which we cross-checked against a list of strict safety criteria laid out by the British Standards Institution.

Whether you’re looking for a treehouse bed to unleash your little one’s imagination or a sturdy bunk bed for your older children, our trusted roundup, inspired by unbiased and honest recommendations from Mumsnetters, will help to narrow down your search.

Here are the best kids’ beds for toddlers and children in 2022.

How we chose our recommendations

Recommendations from real parents 

Our first port of call when compiling product recommendations is always the Mumsnet forums. With over seven million active users every month, we were able to rely on honest, impartial recommendations for kids’ beds that have been tried and tested by parents and children.

Expert guidance

Our recommendations always comply with the latest advice from experts and follow up-to-date safety procedures. When choosing the best kids’ beds we researched the safety regulations set out by the British Standards Institution, consulted with safety advice from the likes of the NHS baby and toddler safety, Buy Wise Be Safe, The Sleep Charity, and  Safe Kids UK, and considered the latest expert guides on Which?

Consumer Feedback

Having drawn up a long list of children’s beds, we then cross-referenced the products with online customer reviews to find out what real parents thought about the beds. We compared the positive and negative feedback on all our bed picks and used this information to decide which beds were best.

Celebrated best products

Finally, we cross-referenced all of the above information to find the best toddler beds and best kids’ beds that had won the most accolades and recommendations across the board to bring you a selection of the best ones at various price points. We think there’s something here for everyone.

Mumsnet HQ's Best Buys at a Glance

What are the best kids’ beds for toddlers and children?

1. Best overall kids’ bed: Happy Beds Treehouse Kids’ Bed

Treehouse kids bed

Price: £409.99 | Buy now from Amazon

“We bought them from Happy Beds.” Tried and tested by Himawarigirl.

When parents choose to transition their little one from a cot or toddler bed, the main criteria often involve something sturdy, solid and safe, which is exactly what the Treehouse Kids’ Bed from Happy Beds offers.

Built to be durable with solid wooden slats to support any child-friendly mattress, the bed also comes with safety rails around the entire frame, and it’s low enough to the ground to reduce the risk of injury should your child fall out in the night.

Complete with windows, a roof and a railing, the charming, white treehouse bed will not only feel like a safe place for your child to sleep, but it’ll also capture their imagination and be the perfect place to create happy memories. And the design lends itself to be decorated however your child wants. 

Self-assembly is required for this bed, but luckily comprehensive instructions are included. However, many reviewers recommended that you don’t construct the bed by yourself, so you will need to have a second pair of hands to help you put it together.

Pros

  • Solid and durable bed
  • Low bed that comes with a safety rail
  • Gorgeous treehouse design

Cons

  • Self-assembly required
  • Need two people to construct the bed

Key specs

  • Age: Ideal for toddlers and small children up to age seven
  • Size: 160cm (H) x 101.5cm (D) x 212cm (W)
  • Material: Wood

2. Best budget kids’ bed: Panana Single Bed

Panana kids bed

Price: £56.99 | Buy now from Amazon

“I would go for [buying your son a full-size single bed]. Get a low single bed, and put a bed rail up so your son can't fall out” Recommended by sleepismysuperpower1.

If you’re looking for a simple wooden bed that your child can grow into, you won’t be disappointed with this design from Panana. Made from eco-friendly natural pine, this single bed is solid and durable enough for multiple pyjama parties, plus it looks great in any room.

This budget-friendly bed is suitable for children six and over and has a clearance of 20cm under the bed, so you can also neatly store away toys, books and even clothes that your child has grown out of.

It comes disassembled, so you will need to assemble it, but screws, tools and instructions are all provided, and it shouldn’t take longer than a couple of hours to construct it. Although some reviewers found it difficult to assemble due to unclear instructions.

This bed doesn’t come with any side rails, and it’s not as low to the ground as other beds, like the Happy Beds Treehouse Kids’ Bed, so this one is better suited for older children. Alternatively, if you want this bed for younger children, you could buy an accompanying safety rail, such as the Safety Tots Bed Guard.

Pros

  • Affordable
  • Made from eco-friendly pine
  • Spacious enough to store toys and books underneath

Cons

  • Self-assembly required
  • Suitable for older children (or may need to buy and fit a safety rail for younger children)

Key specs

  • Age: From 6+
  • Size: 52cm (H) x 195cm (L) x 95cm (W)
  • Material: Pine wood

3. Best kids’ bed with desk and sofa bed: Thuka High Bed with Desk and Sofa Bed

Thuka High Bed with Desk and Sofa bed

Price: £749.00 | Buy now from Amazon

“We have thuka maxi beds which are Swedish and really well made.” Reviewed by 1busybee.

Maximise space in your child’s room with the Thuka High Bed, complete with a desk, shelving unit and a sofa bed. Yes, that's right this bed has it all and can act as the ideal recreational, relaxation, study, and storage hub. And the sofa bed pulls out, so sleepover struggles are a thing of the past.

You can save space and money with this bed, as it’s suitable for children six and over and has everything they’ll need as they get older.

The sturdy and durable full-sized bed is made from solid Scandinavian pinewood and is finished in a modern whitewash that’ll complement a variety of bedrooms. You can also choose the colour of the sofa set - colours include black, grey or pink.

You will need to assemble this bed, and due to the size and different compartments, it may take three to four hours to build. But the good news is that reviewers have found the assembly straightforward, thanks to the included instructions.

Pros

  • Space-saving bed with desk, sofa bed and shelving
  • Sofa bed can pull out - ideal for sleepovers
  • Whitewash Scandinavian pinewood complements contemporary bedrooms

Cons

  • Expensive
  • May take three to four hours to build

Key specs

  • Age: From 6+
  • Size: 180 (H) x ‎208 (L) x 104 (W) cm
  • Material: Scandinavian Pine

4. Best mid-sleeper for kids: Stompa Uno S Plus Mid-Sleeper Bed

Stompa Uno S Plus Mid-Sleeper Bed

Price: £499 | Buy now from John Lewis & Partners

“Buy a solid wooden type like Stompa.” Recommended by NotMeNoNo.

The Stompa Uno S Plus Mid-Sleeper is not only ideal for smaller bedrooms with lower ceilings, but it also provides hours of fun thanks to the three-sided star-print tent that’s cleverly attached underneath the base, which can be removed for washing.

This kids’ bed is functional and durable with plenty of storage space underneath to fit toy boxes, additional blankets or another mattress for sleepovers. The length accommodates a standard single mattress, so your child has space to grow into it, and the ladder has a few key features including ergonomically designed treads to make it easier to climb up and down, and cut-out grab handles on the sides.

The Stompa children’s furniture range has met all British Standard Safety requirements and gets a five-star rating from us too. However, if you’re looking for an affordable option this might not be the bed for you, as it doesn’t include a mattress with the overall price - so you will need to source a mattress as well (and it must not exceed 15cm in depth).

Pros

  • Detachable tent that can be washed 
  • Plenty of storage space underneath
  • Child-friendly, easy-to-use ladder

Cons

  • Expensive
  • Mattress must be bought separately and cannot exceed 15cm

Key specs

  • Age: 6+
  • Size: 112.9 (H) x 208.3 (L) x 125.5 (W) x cm
  • Material: Pine and MDF

5. Best kids’ bed for storage: Strictly Beds and Bunks Ripvan Pine Day Bed with Storage Drawers

Strictly Beds and Bunks Ripvan Pine Day Bed with Storage Drawers

Price: £379.95 | Buy now from Amazon

“For what it's worth I got two [beds] from Amazon (think it was Strictly Beds and Bunks) recently and they were really decent solid beds - despite my children's best efforts.” Reviewed by DominaShantotto.

For less than £400, you can get a solid bed frame, complete with two useful storage drawers, a side support rail, and a standard single sprung mattress, which is 190 (L) x 90 (W) x 20 (D) cm.Made from environmentally-friendly Scandinavian pine timber, this bed offers a sturdy, solid and stable bed that can be easily painted to complement any room. 

It comes with a one-year manufacturer’s warranty but will last for years, and once your child is done with it, you can either keep it as a guest bed (as it is suitable for adults too) or recycle it.

Self-assembly is required for this bed, but instructions are included. Some reviewers said that the bed and the drawers, in particular, were difficult to build (due to unclear instructions) and that you need two people to assemble the bed.

Pros

  • Good value for money
  • Sturdy and solid bed frame with storage drawers
  • Comes with a comfortable standard single mattress
  • Made from environmentally-friendly pine that can be painted

Cons

  • Two-person assembly required
  • Assembly instructions may be difficult to follow

Key specs

  • Age: From 6+
  • Size: 97 (H) x 202 (L) x 98 (W) cm 
  • Material: Scandinavian pine

6. Best first bed for a toddler: MINNEN Extendable bed frame with slatted base

MINNEN Extendable bed frame with slatted base

Price: £99.00 | Buy now from IKEA

“We have the yellow version of this one [Minnen Extendable Bed Frame]. It looks really smart, feels solid (I am constantly getting into it to cuddle dd and read stories) and will grow with her. She’s been in it for four months now (since she turned 2) and has only fallen out once which I see as a win!” Tried and tested by TerribleCustomerCervix.

Transitional toddler beds that extend and can grow as your child does, are difficult to find, but not anymore, thanks to the MINNEN Extendable bed frame from IKEA. With a minimum length of 135 cm and a maximum length of 206 cm, this bed is suitable for children aged two and over.

You can rest easy knowing that your child is safe as this affordable bed frame is made from sturdy stainless steel. But the safety doesn’t stop there, as this bed also comes with side rail supports and is low to the ground. 

With a 23 cm height underneath the bed frame, you can also store away toys and books. And it’s finished in a contemporary white, which gives off a timeless look and is sure to complement your child’s bedroom. 

Again, it’s another self-assembly job, and reviewers found it easier with two people. You should also note that the mattress (not included) isn’t a standard size, as it’s 200 (L) x 80 (W) cm, which means you’ll need to find a mattress that fits.

Pros

  • Affordable and practical, extendable bed
  • Has safety rails and is low to the ground
  • Timeless design that can complement any room

Cons

  • Easier to assemble with two people
  • Mattress (not included) isn’t a standard size

Key specs 

  • Age: From 2+
  • Size: 92 (headboard height) x 135 - 206 (L) x 85 (W) cm
  • Material: Steel

7. Best inflatable kids’ bed: Intex Kidz Travel Bed with Hand Pump

Intex Kidz Travel Bed with Hand Pump

Price: £35 | Buy now from Argos

“We have just bought the Intex Kidz Travel bed, only used it for two nights but it was fab. It’s a good size, relatively easy to put up and didn’t take long to deflate, plus our three year old slept through the night in it, both nights, which is a bit of a novelty!” Recommended by JessicaFletcher.

The Intex Kidz Travel Bed with Hand Pump, available from Argos, is an affordable option for your travels or short-term sleeping arrangements whilst giving children a safe and comfortable night’s sleep. Our Mumsnetters found it safe for small children between three and six, easy to inflate with the hand pump, and a great option for impromptu sleepovers.

Sure, it has a simple design, but this bed is ideal for short-term sleeping arrangements, such as transitioning from cot to bed or for overnight stays, as it comes with raised sides to help keep your child snug and secure. 

We like that the base inflates and deflates quickly, and stays inflated for at least a week before needing a top-up. The inflatable inner mattress comes out easily should you want to replace it, and the whole system comes with a hand pump and carry bag for easy transporting. While it can’t be put in the wash, a quick wipe down with a damp cloth will keep the bed and mattress clean.

Although inflation with the included hand pump only takes 300 seconds, it might be the last thing you want to do if you’ve been travelling all day and just want to put the kids to bed. That’s why it might be wise to also invest in an electric pump.

Pros

  • Great for short-term sleeping arrangements
  • Inflates within 300 seconds and deflates within 150 seconds
  • Easy to clean
  • Comes with a one-year manufacturer’s guarantee

Cons

  • Not for long-term sleeping arrangements
  • Might be easier to inflate with an electric pump

Key specs

  • Age: 3-6 (can hold up to 22kg)
  • Size: 25cm (H) x 168cm (L) x 107cm (W)
  • Material: PVC

8. Best kids’ bunk bed: Checo Ltd Bunk Beds with Drawers and Storage

Checo Ltd Bunk Beds with Drawers and Storage

Price: £353.00 | Buy now from Amazon

“If you have the space for it - we had something very similar to this [Checo Ltd Bunk Beds] but a previous design. Was bloody solid and both my kids coped well with it, but it was huge.” Reviewed by CoffeeWithCheese.

Looking to save space with a bunk bed? Then the Checo Ltd Bunk Bed with Drawers might be just what you need. Not only do you get two sturdy beds for the price of one, but you also get four stair storage drawers and two under-bed storage drawers, ideal for keeping clothes, books and toys out of sight.

The stairs, which can be mounted on either side, are curved and offer a wooden board rail, so your children should find it easy to get in and out of bed. But remember that the top bunk is only suitable for children over six.

With a weight restriction of 110lbs, this bunk bed is suitable for children aged between four (for the bottom bunk) and 13, which means you’ll get plenty of years out of the bed. And if there are any problems with the bed, it comes with a 24-month warranty. 

The bed is solid as it’s made from high-quality MDF laminated chipboard and is covered with an ABS edge banding, which helps protect it from damage. However, it is a very large bunk bed which means it won’t be suitable for box rooms, and some reviewers found that the instruction guide was difficult to follow.

Pros

  • Six useful storage drawers
  • Easy-to-use stairs
  • Comes with a 24-month warranty

Cons

  • Large bunk bed
  • Takes at least five hours to assemble
  • Unclear assembly instructions

Key specs

  • Age: 4 - 13
  • Size: 150 (H) x 255 (L) x 125 (W) cm
  • Material: MDF

9. Best transitional toddler bed: Kinder Valley Complete 7 Piece Kids’ White Toddler Bed Bundle

Kinder Valley kids' bed

Price: £113.95 | Buy now from Amazon

With over 30 years of experience in the pregnancy, baby and toddler market, Kinder Valley knows a thing or two about designing good quality kids’ beds.

Their popular toddler-friendly bed is made from solid pine wood, sits low to the ground and comes with two side safety rails to prevent falls.

The good news is that this seven-piece bed bundle deal comes with everything you need to set up your child’s first ‘proper’ bed including a breathable pocket sprung mattress, pillow and duvet plus a fun, reversible printed bedding set complete with fitted sheets, a duvet cover and white pillowcase.

The simple, unique design allows for full assembly in only three steps. However, some reviewers say that the screws don’t always match up to the pre-drilled holes.

Pros

  • Low to the ground toddler bed with safety rails
  • Comes with mattress, pillow, duvet, and bedding
  • Quick and easy to assemble
  • Good value for money

Cons

  • Screws might not match pre-drilled holes
  • Thin mattress

Key specs

  • Age: 18 months+
  • Size: 60cm (H) x 144cm (L) x 76cm (W)
  • Material: Pinewood

10. Best themed toddler bed: Hello Home Paw Patrol Kids’ Toddler Bed

Paw patrol themed toddler bed

Price: £164.99 | Buy now from Amazon

Who wouldn’t want the Paw Patrol gang to watch over them at night? Among all the themed toddler beds out there, this one is our favourite. The versatile prints and colours are ideal for unisex bedrooms, and the solid wood frame won’t break or tarnish easily.

The bed is also low to the ground and comes with protective side rails to help your child stay put at night or during naps. We also like the nifty fabric storage drawers underneath, which are super easy to clean and lightweight enough for kids to handle themselves.

Some reviewers said that although it was easy to assemble, the quality of the bed was cheap and that the bed probably can’t withstand a child jumping on it. You’ll also need to separately purchase a toddler mattress that’s 140cm x 70cm.

Pros

  • Colourful, themed Paw Patrol bed
  • Ideal for transitioning from cot to toddler bed
  • Comes with storage drawers

Cons

  • Cheap quality parts
  • Need to purchase a toddler mattress 

Key specs

  • Age: 18 months +
  • Size: 63cm (H) x 142cm (L) x 77cm (W)
  • Material: Wood

Different types of kids’ beds available

There’s a vast selection of children’s beds to choose from, which is why it can be confusing. The best way to find the right one is to consider the age of your child, their needs, and the features you need (such as additional storage), with that in mind, these are the main types of children’s beds:

  • Cots
  • Toddler/starter beds
  • Standard single beds
  • Bunk beds
  • Cabin beds
  • Mid sleepers
  • High beds
  • Loft beds
  • Day beds
  • Trundle beds

What kind of bed is best for a two-year-old?

According to experts at Buy Wise Be Safe, children under the age of five shouldn’t sleep in bunk beds or loft beds.  While some Mumsnetters feel that a toddler bed is a waste of money, opting to transition their children from a cot to a standard single bed instead, others prefer toddler beds as they’re smaller and fit well into almost any size room. Plus, they’re lower to the ground, and many come with additional side rails for safety. 

But if you decide a standard single bed is the right choice for your child, then you can separately purchase and fit safety rails for these beds.

What ages are toddler beds good for?

Most children transition from a cot to a toddler bed between the ages of one and three. A toddler bed is typically designed to fit a mattress that’s 140cm x 70cm, which is roughly the same size as a crib mattress.

Signs children might be ready to make the switch include: no longer fitting comfortably in the crib (most children over 85cm will feel uncomfortable in a crib), being able to pull themselves up and over the crib rail, putting their leg over the rail (even if they don’t fully climb over) and displaying readiness cues to leave the cot more often say researchers from the University of Rochester’s Medical Center.

If your child has just started potty training, it’s a good idea to move them into a bed so they can climb in and out easily and independently.

How to choose the best kids’ bed

The first thing to consider is how much space you have in your child’s room. This can help you to determine which bed type is best. For example, a larger treehouse bed or loft bed with a slide down the side may not fit well in a smaller bedroom or apartment, whereas a bunk bed may work perfectly for children sharing a room.

Then, list the other key elements you want in a bed, such as the colour and material (wood or metal), additional storage features, side rails, a headboard or pull-out trundle. And don’t forget to consider the longevity and durability of the bed, especially if you want your purchase to last and be suitable for your child as they grow up.

According to The Sleep Charity, toddlers need 12 hours of sleep every night, children aged three to six need 10 to 12 hours of sleep each night, children aged seven to 12 need 12 hours of sleep every night, and teenagers need between eight and nine hours. That’s a whole lot of time spent in bed, so last but not least, you should consider the support and comfort of the mattress. Medium soft or medium-firm mattresses should offer your child a good balance between spinal support and comfort.

When it comes to choosing a bed for your toddler or older child, keep these key safety tips in mind from Safe Kids UK:

  • Height: For toddlers up to age four, choose a bed that’s lower to the ground to minimise the chance of injury.
  • Location: Consider the safest spot to place the bed. You’ll want to ensure your child can’t be trapped between the bed and wall, and steer clear of windows, doors, radiators or possible choking hazards like blind cords.
  • Assembly: When assembling, ensure all screws and joints are secure, especially when building a bunk bed. 
  • Additional safety: If you choose a higher bed, place something soft such as pillows, a throw or a quilt around the bed to soften the landing should your child fall out. If your little one wriggles a lot in the night and is used to the security of a cot, consider side railings or bed guards made from fabric or mesh for extra comfort and safety.   

What bed is best for a toddler?

The best bed for a toddler is the MINNEN Extendable bed frame. Safe, functional and the perfect size for toddlers transitioning from bed to cot, it has all the features to ensure your child feels comfy and secure all night long. 

Many parents um and ah about getting a toddler bed because it won’t last very long, as your child grows. But the MINNEN can extend as your child grows, which means you’ll get many years of use out of the solid steel bed frame.

It’s also fairly priced, fits easily into a smaller room and has extra storage space underneath.

What is the best kids’ bed to buy?

With an abundance of positive reviews from hundreds of parents, the Treehouse Kids' Bed from Happy Beds is the best kids’ bed to buy. Designed to stimulate your child’s imagination, there’s no doubt that the treehouse design creates a warm, welcoming bedtime environment.

The bed itself sits lower to the ground than a standard single bed and comes with side railings as an added safety feature. While it’s a little pricey, it accommodates a range of child-friendly mattresses and is constructed from durable materials.

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