The Best Toddler Travel Bed
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Are you wondering what the best toddler travel bed is? This was exactly our dilemma when our crib-loving toddler grew too big for his playpen! We wanted a portable toddler bed for our son that would allow us to keep his precious sleep (and ours!) and give us peace of mind on vacation.
Check out my list below to learn about the options for toddler travel sleep on the go. Find out what I think is the best toddler travel bed around! And while you’re at it, check out my hacks for getting your kids to sleep on vacation as well.
The Best Toddler Travel Bed
For The Toddler that is Still in the Crib
If your toddler is still IN the crib, chances are you want to keep her that way on vacation! My eldest son (the escape artist) definitely needed the constraints of his crib for as long as possible, and there was no way I was giving that up on vacation. The problem is that most playpens are too small for tall toddlers so an extra-sized toddler travel bed was in order. I scoured all the reviews on Amazon, posted in Facebook groups, and asked pretty much everyone I knew (and would listen!). Here is the list of the top toddler travel beds for your next trip with a toddler.
This is my favorite toddler travel bed. We used this until our son was 3 years old and transitioned to a ‘big boy bed.’ This playpen is longer than traditional playpens so it accommodates taller toddlers. I love that is still like a crib, keeping your little one contained. Although it’s not a one-step setup once you’ve set it up once it’s really easy to set up and take down. It takes me about 2 minutes to set up now that I have the hang of it. The Phil and Teds is really lightweight and will easily fit in a suitcase or can be brought on as carry-on. It weighs only 6 lbs! We have gotten so much great use out of this playpen not only while traveling but we have also used it as a makeshift beach tent and fort in our backyard. We love this one!
If you are wanting extra space in the playpen this extra-sized playpen is perfect for you. The Joovy Room 2 is 50% larger than a standard playpen making it great for large toddlers and also great as a play spot during the day. It still packs up compact and can be checked with your luggage depending on your airline regulations. It’s definitely heavier than some of the other options on the market, but that might be worth it for the extra room!
I love that this playpen is large enough that you can throw some toys in and your little one can also play safely in here without feeling too cramped. Especially on vacation, this can be useful because the places we stay aren’t always baby proofed how we like them!
The Guava Lotus Travel Crib and the Baby Bjorn Travel Crib are both popular options for toddler travel beds. If you check out Amazon there are lots of head-to-head reviews comparing these two options. The setup for the Guava is really simple and intuitive and the crib folds up very compact for easy portability. The dimensions are not as long as the Phil and Teds above which is why it’s not my first choice for a portable travel crib. I like the longer length travel crib for my growing toddler.
The Guava Lotus crib is Greenguard certified meaning that it is non-toxic without the use of harmful chemicals. The cover is removable and machine washable which knowing my toddler is an absolute necessity!
For The Toddler that is Out of the Crib
Once our toddler was out of his crib the options for sleep were so much easier! Depending on where we were though, I did worry about him escaping his sleeping quarters at night. To solve this I have rented baby gates at my destination on multiple occasions. This gave me peace of mind that if my toddler woke up in the middle of the night he would be safe until we got to him. (You’ll find more toddler travel hacks here!)
Mattress on the Floor
There are lots of great travel toddler beds out there on the market but when push comes to shove, a mattress on the floor is really all you need for toddler sleep. We often rent Airbnbs and in these places, it is usually quite easy to this. In hotels, space is tighter so we have had to use inflatable bed rails (see below).
We bought this for my son when we were going camping or to the cottage and we wouldn’t have access to a mattress to put on the floor. We used a toddler sleeping bag like this one and it made it a bit comfier for him to sleep on. He enjoyed having a special ‘big boy bed’ on the trip and we loved the portability and easy setup.
The cot folds up compact and is extremely simple to set up. I’m not sure that I would take it on an airplane because it would definitely need to be checked but we got lots of use with it on road trips.
Now that my son can sleep in a real bed we aren’t using it as much but I have found a great hack for it – we bring it to the beach and on picnics and we use it as a raised platform for the kids to sit on when we eat. It keeps us somewhat out of the sand and is comfier than sitting directly on the ground. I love a product that can be used for longer than a few months and glad I’ve found ways to make this purchase worthwhile!
I find that hotels always have beds that are sooo high off the ground! I was constantly worried that my son was going to fall out of the bed until I found this product. These inflatable bed rails are the perfect travel option. They keep my restless sleeper from taking a tumble in the night and are super easy to set up and pack.
Sleeping on a real mattress in a nice hotel is so much better than a thin pad in a travel toddler bed so I like that these rails give me peace of mind to let my toddler sleep on the ‘big bed’ and have a really comfortable sleep!
The Shrunks also makes a shrunks inflatable toddler bed that has gotten rave reviews from my friends who own one! A great option especially for things like camping or hotel rooms where there aren’t extra mattresses lying around.
What do you think is the best toddler travel bed?? I’d love to hear your favorites! Drop me a line in the comments below and let me know! I always love to hear what you think.
Before you head on vacation, be sure to check out my other posts on the best car seat for travel, the best kids suitcases, and my (completely free!) downloadable packing list to keep your packing organized on vacation.
Safe travels and wishing everyone a good nights rest!