The best bed rails for kids can lead to a better night’s sleep once your baby graduates from the crib to their very own twin bed with bumpers. (Although admittedly, the milestone may make you a little sad … *sniff*). Maybe it’s already happened to you: One fateful morning, your toddler busted out of their baby crib and tumbled to the ground feeling bruised yet ecstatic over a newfound sense of freedom. But when your not-so-tiny baby is transitioning to a big kid bed, it can be a little scary for both of you.
With this independence comes plenty of potential owies and hazards, not to mention those annoying eye-poking wakeup calls (Mamas, can we introduce you to the okay-to-wake alarm clock?). Point is, kids can be extremely mobile sleepers. All of that energy from the day for some reason follows them in their dreams and before you know it, they’re rolling right out of bed with a thump. One genius solution to help ensure your kid’s safety (and your peace of mind) is to install toddler bed rails or safety bed bumpers, which keep your LO snug in bed.
When should a child transition from crib to bed?
In short, it depends on the child. While most little ones begin transitioning to a big kid bed somewhere between ages 2 -3 ½, there really are no rules about making the switch. Moving from a crib to a bed is a huge transition for little ones that can result in night wandering, new fears, and new insecurities. To make the transition as smooth as possible, it’s best to avoid making the switch during other major transitions (potty training, starting preschool, moving, or the arrival of a new baby). As toddlers grow, they are suddenly faced with numerous transitions. They experience a fair amount of pressure to “grow up”. It’s best to conquer one major milestone at a time, whenever possible, to avoid bombarding toddlers with several transitions at once.
Then, of course, there’s the issue of safety. “Timing the transition from the crib to a bed is important, as some little climbers really do find their way out and it is a sincere risk for injuries,” explains Wendy Sue Swanson, MD, MBE, FAAP, pediatrician, and Chief Medical Officer at SpoonfulONE. “American Academy of Pediatrics [AAP] recommends moving Baby from a crib to a bed when they reach 35 inches tall, or when the height of the side rail is less than three-quarters of [their] height (approximately chest level).” She offers a final word of advice on timing: “Don’t wait — if it’s time, it’s time.”
Tips for a smooth transition:
Unsurprisingly, one of our biggest tip is to get some toddler bed rails or bed bumpers for your kiddo’s new bed. Dr. Swanson points out that many convertible cribs come with side rails (or have them separate for purchase) for when you turn it into a toddler bed. However, if your child is sleeping in a twin bed or bigger, you might want to turn to one of the options below. She also adds that you’ll want to find a rail that fits snugly on the bed so there are no gaps between the rail and mattress.
A few other tried-and-true tips from us parents: While it may change a little, be sure to re-establish and stick to a bedtime routine with your LO. Help get your babe excited about their new bed by inviting them to choose new bedding and tucking them in with their favorite stuffed animal or cuddly lovey at night. Get a toddler pillow that’s both comfy and safe for young sleepers. Read them some relatable stories – this Big Enough For A Bed board book (on Amazon) starring Elmo is a favorite. And, now’s a great time to get an extra night light or two if they don’t have ’em already. Above all else, be sure to have lots (and lots) of empathy and patience as your little gets used to this big change.
Whether you need full-size rails that guarantee there’s no accidental getting out, or something smaller that allows freedom for older children, we’ve rounded up the best toddler bed rails and bed bumpers that will keep your kiddo safe and semi-contained. You’ll find convenient fold-down rails, cushy foam options, and even inflatable ones that will make toddler travel a breeze… kind of. And don’t worry, Mama – they’re compatible with twin, full, queen, and even king beds, too.
Best Foam Bed Bumpers
This extra long bed rail for toddlers by UBBCARE is 66 inches long—no joke, it’s the tallest foam bumper on the market for added security (not even the most active sleeper will be able to stage an escape)! It’s perfect for nearly any sized bed and features a non-skid backing to keep it in place. Each bed rail is designated to fit one side of the bed, so you may only need one if the bed is situated next to a wall. Unlike bulky, unsightly metal guards that clash with bedroom décor, these sleek foam rolls can easily be disguised (once installed, they can be covered with a fitted sheet). The kiddos will love it and you’ll be worry-free knowing they’ll be snug and secure at night. Bonus: The machine washable cover will be a godsend in case of spills… err, accidents during potty training.
If you’re not a fan of dealing with the installation of traditional bed rails then the foam bed bumper from Hiccapop is the perfect alternative. The 4.5″ tall and 7″ wide bumper easily slides under any fitted sheet. They’re water-resistant and have a machine washable cover, so any nighttime bedwetting is not the end of the world. “I was torn between this bed bumper and a more traditional bed rail. I loved the idea but I was nervous at how it would work,” one pleasantly surprised customer wrote. “My 2-year-old was going from a crib to a twin bed and I want her safe. I decided to take the gamble with this less traditional approach and I’m very glad I did! I put it directly on the mattress underneath the sheet and the mattress protector and it stays very well in place.“
Is your L.O. (little one) ready to make the switch from a crib to a more traditional children’s bed? Being a helicopter mom, naturally, the first thing that comes to mind is safety first! Millard’s phthalate and BPA-free memory foam rails not only provide the utmost comfort, but they’ll keep your child from rolling off their bed at night. AKA, every mom’s worst nightmare. The foam essentially provides a safe, elastic border while being super comfortable for your child. Lastly, it’s easy to install (no screwdriver or hammer required) for an ultra-cozy naptime or bedtime sesh. It’s also available in a set of 2. An Amazon customer points out: “It’s pretty amazing how this works. My son has fallen out of beds forever and he’s 8 and still will roll out without a guardrail. Since he’s so old I got sick of having the barrier up and the way it looked and worried his friends might tease him. This is incredible! It worked, it’s subtle looking and he loves the coziness of it. Now all the kids in the house want one!”
Best Portable Bed Bumpers
Sleepovers at Grandma’s house are about to get much easier. So are hotel stays. Nab this two-pack of Hiccapop inflatable bed rails, which inflate in seconds and deflate with a push-button release. They come with a travel bag so you can easily pop it in your truck or carry-on luggage for vacations of all kinds. This Amazon reviewer wishes they had purchased these inflatable rails sooner. “We bought this for traveling after many sleepless nights at hotels for fear of my toddler falling off the bed. It is super easy to just blow up and place under covers, and for peace of mind during the night.”
If the thought of your kiddo sleeping in a big bed while on vacation or at a sleepover keeps you up at night, inflatable bed rails are a must. (For both your little one’s safety and your sanity.) The unreliable stacking pillows method can easily be replaced with this two-pack of bed rails from My Happy Tot. The removable covers can be slipped off and machine-washed in case of bedwetting or sleepy drool, while the push-button valves make inflation and deflation a breeze. They’re made from puncture-resistant PVC material, which ensures you can use them again and again, vacation after vacation, kid after kid.
Best Bed Guard Rails
Sometimes plain white bed rails really ruin the decor vibe you’ve got going on for your toddler’s bedroom. Luckily KOOLDOO offers some cute themed bed rails like this “animal park” featuring some adorable elephants. The 59″ bed rail is foldable, made of high quality cotton mesh, and features a foam protector to protect your kid’s noggin in case they bump into it a little too hard. One Amazon reviewer wrote, “Really happy with this purchase. Easy to assemble, directions are very clear. Fits different bed frames, even my unusual frame that I was sure I would have an issue with.“
Easy to assemble with a reinforced anchor system AND stylish linen? Sold. (Just keep in mind that this rail only fits twin-size beds.) The breathable mesh and stabilizer bar ensures that your little one is safe and comfy so you can sleep better at night. It also comes in seven fun colors including pink, purple, gray, and navy (pictured). “My daughter was rolling out of bed after I transitioned her crib to a toddler bed (by essentially removing the front side of the crib),” says a buyer. “After several sleepless nights, I bought this security rail and it has been a godsend. She sleeps like a wild animal and I really think the rail comforted her in a way and allows her to sleep more peacefully. Most importantly, she has not rolled out of her bed since installation. Definitely worth the money. I wish I had this thought sooner (blame mom brain).” We can relate.
Best Single-Sided Hideaway Bed Rails
If you’re more comfortable with an extra-long barrier, the 54-inch long Regalo Hideaway is a great pick. It also features a genius hideaway design that tucks under the mattress when not in use. And with no tools required, the assembly is quick and easy. An anchoring strap and gap guard feature make sure your transitioning kiddo stays put, while the long and tall frame brings added security. “We still use ours constantly and we just bought a second one for naps at the grandparent’s house,” says a reviewer. “Great product! Installation was easy when I followed the directions and I LOVE that it just tucks away under the mattress when we’re not using it.”
This rail is extra-long and taller than most to keep your little one secure and snug in their big kid bed. It also works with all bed types (slat, boxspring, and wood) and has a hinged fold-down design. The breathable mesh and sleek frame design blend in with the furniture just right. It comes in both grey and white options. “I initially bought one of these long guardrails for a full-size bed so that I can rest easy at night knowing my 4-year-old son is safely sleeping on his bed,” says a customer. “The design is very convenient to open and close the guardrail, I like the fact that the fabric used is made of mesh so that airflow is not restricted. Once assembled, the entire rail is very light, and can be moved to another bed if needed.”
This is the compact version of the ComfyBumpy rail mentioned above. It works with all bed types (slat, boxspring, and wood) and has a hinged fold-down design. The padded, sleek frame and breathable mesh make bedtime comfy and safe. Its understated silhouette won’t stick out like a sore thumb, plus it comes in both white and grey colors. Looking for a longer rail? Check out the aforementioned extra-long version. “This bedrail is awesome!” says a reviewer. “My only regret is not getting one sooner. It has really made life easier. We have a king-size platform bed and it fits perfectly, even with our super deep pillow top mattress. It’s padded enough when my 18-month-old rolls into it at night, he doesn’t even wake up. I love that it folds down flat against the bed when not in use. It makes my bedroom look normal instead of like a bedsharing with toddler mess! I also love that it doesn’t run the whole length of the bed so I can get up without lowering the bedrail. Highly recommend!”
Meet the modern, compact bed rail that keeps convenience in mind. Its durable aluminum frame is sturdy in all the right places and the push-button folding hinge tucks away to let kids climb in and out of bed easily. It fits all adult-sized mattresses and looks a lot sleeker than other options, plus it comes in two colors: grey and blue. As an added bonus, its easy-wipe covering allows for effortless cleaning. “I searched high and low and came upon this one from Munchkin,” one reviewer reports. “I really liked that it came in different colors and looked more modern and fun for my son’s room. There is a competitor brand that looks similar but is much more expensive. I didn’t want to spend a ton of money on a bed rail that would have basically been half the price of the bed frame itself! This one was a perfect price on Amazon and it fits the bed perfectly as well.”
Best Double-Sided Hideaway Bed Rails
Looking for a double bed rail? Say hello to this convenient, easy-to-install pick. The Summer Double Safety Bedrail fits twin to queen-sized mattresses and platform beds. One side folds down for an easy bedtime routine, with the majority of Amazon reviewers giving it five stars. “Cannot say enough good things about these,” says a customer. “They installed relatively easily, and more importantly, have kept our almost 2-year-old son safe and secure in his new big boy bed. With a new baby on the way, we decided to transition our son to a full-size bed in his new room and needed bed rails. After doing a lot of research about options, we landed on the Summer Infant Safety Bedrails. Not only was the price right, but the mesh sides and collapsible side make changing the linens a breeze. Would definitely buy again.”
Another great version of double-sided bed rails is this pick from Costzon. They come in four different colors: gray, beige, blue, and pink. It’s a clean design that can easily elevate the decor in Baby’s room. Each rail is 59″ long and 22″ tall and can work with any crib, twin, double, or full-size bed. “Ever since my baby started to flip and move around a lot more especially while sleeping, I’ve been afraid that he would accidentally roll off the bed,” one happy customer wrote. “It was extremely easy to install and very secure! It perfectly fits the majority of our queen-size bed only leaving the edges and I also love how it is not hard rock solid but instead it is a mesh material so even if my baby ends up rolling into it, it won’t hurt. It has made me feel a lot more at ease letting my baby sleep at night!”
Have a thrasher on your hands? Then high-walled protection may be your best option. This bed rail folds down for easy sheet changing and story reading. The anchoring strap and gap guard feature make sure your squirmy baby stays put. A long and tall frame bring added security and peace of mind for Mama. Says one customer, “I love that these bedrails extend the length of the bed. We just moved my almost 2-year old into a “big girl bed”, bypassing the toddler bed. These are great since she is such an active sleeper. The extra length is great for my active sleeper. We used this brand for my older son. He sleeps on the edge of the bed, practically leaning against the rail and it’s held up extremely well.”