Family Vacation Season (aka, summer) is in sight, and if you don’t already have a toddler travel bed for your growing tot, I’m here to help. Like portable washing machines, portable cribs, and kids’ beach chairs, travel beds for toddlers might sound like an oddly specific luxury you can do without. But once you have one, you’ll wonder how you ever got along without it.
The great thing about travel is that it interrupts our daily routines (suck it, morning commute). But interrupting a toddler’s bedtime routine is the surest recipe for a P.M. shitshow starring you and your overtired kid. Recreating their routine on the road can include using their favorite bubble bath in the hotel, or packing along their favorite stuffed animal to snuggle with at Grandma’s house. But all that prep will be a waste of time if your kid doesn’t have their own place to sleep. Sure, some motels and resorts supply cribs upon request, but asking a threenager to sleep in a crib is like asking a potty-trained toddler to poop in a diaper. The horror! How dare you even suggest it!?
Even if you’re not planning to hit the road anytime soon, toddler travel beds are great to have on hand for sleep overs or family movie nights. I even know some couples who keep a toddler cot in their room for their kids who have chronic nightmares. No matter where you’re sleeping, a travel toddler bed is 100x more comfortable for everyone than bed sharing, because your toddler doesn’t have to sleep inches away from your snoring spouse, and you don’t have to survive those late night rib kicks (how can those little legs cause so much pain?).
We found a bunch of toddler travel beds under $100, which is a pretty solid return on investment if you ask me. Since they’re made for travel, they’re super easy to disassemble and store when you don’t need it. So before you pack the car or book that flight (we have some great plane toys to keep your kid entertained, too), make sure you have one of these great beds so you have a fighting chance at a good night sleep.
Best Toddler Travel Beds:
For ages 2 and up, this fold-and-go toddler bed includes a fitted sheet and features a metal frame that can hold up to 75 pounds. Amazon reviewer Robin Mann uses it mostly at home, saying “We got this for my 4-year-old daughter. She has nightmares and often wanted to come in our bed at night. We set this up in our room so she can come be close and feel safe, but not be in our bed. Perfect solution and has been great for when her cousin sleeps over and needs a bed!”
If your little night owl prefers long daytime naps, don’t worry about seeking shelter. This travel bed has a removable canopy to shield your LO’s skin from 98% of UVA & UVB rays. The metal frame and canvas sleep surface folds into its own carry case for easy packing. Amazon reviewer Andy B. couldn’t be more pleased with this purchase, saying “Perfect for my daughter who is too big for a pack n play, but can’t safety sleep in a hotel bed, and I don’t want to lay her on the floor! Also great for bringing to grandma’s and just for a safe place to set her down instead of the floor.”
Heading into the unknown? Your toddler will love melting into this Frozen-themed cot with its own Elsa and Anna printed sleeping bag (included), so your little snowflake can head to bed with their favorite characters. The sturdy metal frame folds into a carry bag, so it’s always ready for a new adventure. Amazon reviewer Chelsea loves this cot for naps on the go, saying “We love this little cot! It’s perfect for my 2.5 year old daughter to use for nap time at the babysitter’s house. It’s easy enough that she can help set it up and take it down. It stores nicely in the carrying case it comes with and doesn’t take up much room. Perfect purchase for travel once your little one grows out of their pack ‘n play!”
This pretty pink cot Includes two large side pockets to tuck away some toys or board books, and a carrying case for storage. It’s made for kids up to 75 pounds and also comes in orange, blue, green. According to one Amazon review, it’s pretty sturdy, too. “After I unfolded it, my two year old laid on it, jumped on it and little to my surprise it held up. My 2 yr old loves this little cot and so do I. Pockets on both sides to keep toys and snacks at bay. Highly recommend this item to any parent who lives to be mobile and have the best things for their kids that actually work.”
Best Inflatable Toddler Travel Beds:
This lightweight inflatable bed is guaranteed not to leak or pop, and can withstand up to 300 pounds which is basically like ten toddlers. It includes a fitted sheet, but you can also pop on any of your own crib size sheets if you prefer. There are side rails on either side in case your kid is a roller, and the set includes a mattress bag and air pump.
Whether you’re in a luxury hotel abroad or just stinkin’ up your own back yard, this inflatable toddler travel bed is what dreams are made of. It has double guard rails and a “tuck feature” for your standard crib sheets to stay in place. It also includes a travel bag, repair kit, and electric pump to get that bed ready before you can finish reading Goodnight Moon.
Both portable and inflatable, this toddler bed has a removable mattress and bumpers on all four sides, so you won’t have to sleep with one eye open. It’s made of super thick vinyl, holds up to 310 pounds, and inflates in less than 30 seconds. This Amazon customer recently used it on a family trip and says “This inflatable toddler bed was just what I was looking for! For a recent family trip, I was in need of a bed for my 3 year old granddaughter. Something easy but also safe for her. The inflatable side rails were a plus! She LOVED sleeping on it. Very easy to inflate & deflate, comfortable, easy storage as well. Her Mom brought her favorite sheets & pillow which made the new bed special! Thank you for this great product!”
This cot is waterproof, colorful, and comfortable — a true trifecta. With over 6,9000 reviews on Amazon, this travel bed is sure to give your toddler sweet dreams.
Made of extra thick PVC, this welcoming puppy bed has welded seams and a 2-in-1 leak proof valve. It includes its own electric pump which can inflate and deflate the bed in about 30 seconds, so you can move on to your next adventure in no time.
Electric pump? Check. Side bumpers? Check. Travel bag? Check. Ok, this has all the features you would want, plus it includes two patches in case your toddler is in a destructive phase (it happens to the best of us). But according to one review, you may not need those patches after all. “I have 3 of these to use for visits with the grandkids. Very comfy and durable, they’ve been known to use them like a trampoline and they’ve held up great.”