What are cots and cot beds?
We all know and love a traditional cot, and fast growing in popularity is a new nursery rival - the cot bed!
Cotbeds are big cots that turn into toddler beds. You just whip off the removable sides and end panel, and you’ve got a cosy, little bed for a toddler that’s low to the ground.
Which one is right for you?
Loving the cot bed:
Cot beds cost more, but they last longer. Most are plenty big enough until your toddler is around five, and can then be used as a cute little sofa that lasts their entire childhood.
Loving the cot:
Cots are smaller than cot beds, so they fit more easily into your bedroom or a small nursery. Also remember, you’ll have to buy a single bed for your fast-growing toddler at some point, so you could move your baby straight from a cot to a single.
Some parents feel a big cot bed leaves their newborn looking a bit lost!
You’ll need to invest in a special mattress and bedding because they’re bigger than a cot, but smaller than a single bed.
But at the end of the day, they’re both great products, so whichever you go for, think about these features:
- range of heights for mattress – two or three levels is ideal
- protective teething rails – for babies who love to chew!
- drop rails – to ease the strain on your back
- storage – every little bit helps!
- lockable wheels – can come in handy!
How much do cots and cot beds cost?
Cots start at around £50, and cot beds start around £70.
Top tips for buying cots and cot beds
When you’ve chosen a cot or cot bed, you also need to buy a mattress. Ideally, you should buy a new mattress for each new baby, but whether it’s second hand or new, make sure the mattress you choose is clean, dry, ﬂat, ﬁrm and well-ﬁtting.
Avoid duvets, quilts, pillows, electric blankets or hot water bottles with tiny babies. And never put your baby to sleep on a cushion, bean bag, pillow or waterbed.
Ready to buy?
Take a look at some of the popular cots and cot beds below.
Mamas & Papas Lucia Cot/Junior Bed
RRP: £219 - Buy now
A traditionally designed cot to give your child a good night's sleep from birth to 4 years
- Converts to a toddler bed for older children
- Three height attachments
- Wipe clean finish and teething rail for little biters
- Compact design, perfect for smaller bedrooms and nurseries
Age: from birth to 4 years or 25kg
Dimensions: H99cm x W77cm x L144cm
Why we love the Mamas & Papas Lucia Cot/Junior Bed....
- A one-stop cot from birth to toddlerhood!
- Lovely traditional design that fits with any nursery colour scheme
- Easy to assemble and to convert to toddler bed
- Available in two finishes
Boori Sleigh Cotbed
RRP: £599 - Buy now
Beautifully designed sleigh-style cot bed in solid wood
- Converts to a toddler bed and then a sofa for older children
- Two base heights for easy parental access to baby
- Wipe clean solid wood finish
- Includes a toddler guard panel to use with toddler bed
- Tested to meet Greenguard Gold accreditation for optimum indoor air quality
Age: from birth to around 5 years
Dimensions: H98cm x W80cm x L157cm
Why we love the Boori Sleigh Cotbed ....
- A cot that truly grows with baby to become a toddler bed and then a sofa
- Contemporary design with solid construction
- Straight-froward flat pack home assembly
- Available in white and dark wood finish to complement any style of nursery
Silver Cross Nostalgia cot bed
RRP: £400 - Buy now
A traditionally styled wooden cot bed from a heritage brand
- Easily converts from cot to toddler bed for older children
- Three base positions allow the cot to grow with baby
- The base has a useful full-length pull out drawer with pewter-effect handles
- Baby-safe teething rails
- Takes a 1400x700 mattress
Age: from birth to around 4 years
Dimensions: H95cm x W78cm x L148cm
Why our mums love the Silver Cross Nostalgia cot bed ....
- It's has traditional styling and is a very generous size
- The under-cot drawer is fab for spare linen for middle-of-night bed changes
- It's sturdy and strong and exudes quality
- Comes from a tried-and-trusted British brand
- There are other matching pieces of nursery furniture in the Nostalgia range
Obaby B is for Bear cot bed
RRP: £189.99 - Buy now
Wooden cot with traditional styling and cute bear motif
- Available in stained wood or white finish
- Easily converts to toddler bed by removing end panels
- Three base heights make it easy to get baby in and out
- Uses a 140 x 69cm mattress
Age: from birth to around 4 years
Dimensions: H103 x W79 x D148cm
Why we love the Obaby B is for Bear cot bed ....
- Babies and toddlers will love the cute bear design!
- There are other matching bear-themed furniture items in the range
- Comes in two colour options so will work with other furniture and colour schemes
- Easy to assemble and very sturdy once made up
Graco Contour Electra travel cot
RRP: £118.99 - Buy now
A robust travel cot which can also be used as a playpen
- Has toy bar which includes night light and music centre
- Vibrating bassinet mattress to help soothe baby to sleep
- Raised bassinet for use with newborns, and babies up to 7kg
- Folds down in 60 seconds
- Has 7 feet, two with lockable wheels for stability
- Comes with carry bag
Age: from birth to around 3 years
Dimensions: H91cm x W73cm x D104cm
Why we love the Graco Contour Electra travel cot ....
- It's an complete entrainment system for babies with the soft toy bar and vibrating mattress!
- It is ultra quick to fold down and packs neatly in its own travel bag which has holes for the wheels so it can be pulled
- Can be used at home for daytime naps or as a playpen (or to chuck all the toys in for quick tidy-ups!)
- Comes in three gender neutral colour-ways
Tutti Bambini Katie Mini Cot Bed + Drawer
RRP: £239 - Buy now
An elegant compact cot which can evolve into a junior bed or sofa
- Fixed side cot bed in stylish sleigh design
- Has useful storage drawer underneath
- Can convert into junior bed or sofa when outgrown
- Has teething rails for safe chewing!
- Requires a 60 x 120cm mattress
Age: from birth to around 4 years
Dimensions: H102cm x W138cm x D67cm
Why we love the Tutti Bambini Katie Mini Cot Bed + Drawer ....
- Users rave about it's compact design which is smaller than a regular cot, but still turns into a functional toddler bed
- The integrated drawer is great for extra storage
- Cot feels robust and sturdy once assembled
- Made from wipe clean solid pine in a white or a stylish dark espresso finish
Saplings Kirsty cot bed
RRP: £179.99 - Buy now
Excellent value cot bed which comes in a range of finishes
- Three position mattress base
- Uses a 170x70cm mattress
- Comes in white, country and natural finishes
- Flat-packed for easy self-assembly
- Solid wood construction which can be wiped clean
Age: from birth to around 6/7 years
Dimensions: H92cm x W74xm x L144cm
Why we love the Saplings Kirsty cot bed ....
- Excellent value for money without compromising on style or quality
- Very easy to put together and to convert to junior bed
- Its fresh, simple design and three neutral colour-ways will fit in to any nursery colour scheme
- Can be used with a cot top changing unit and roller-way drawer from the same range