The transition from baby to toddler can seem to happen in the blink of an eye, and they’re sure to let you know all about it when it does. An indignant baby on the cusp of toddlerhood is a force to contend with, and the one thing guaranteed to outrage them is being put to bed in a cot they feel they’ve outgrown.
That’s where toddler beds come in, and the best toddler beds can be worth their weight in gold. After all, if they’re happy to sleep in it, it means a bit of peace, and that’s something you’ll want to treasure before you blink again and they’re suddenly teenagers.
What distinguishes toddler beds from cots is their lack of high-sided bars, but they usually feature a guardrail or cutout detail to stop little ones rolling out during the night. They also sit lower to the floor, allowing children to climb on board by themselves, and thus build their confidence while they’re still working on growing those longer legs.
After that, it’s pretty much all down to design, so keep reading below for our list of the best character beds, traditional oak frames, and more.
With subtle curved edges and an elegant design, the Wood Mini+ Kids Junior Toddler Bed from Oliver Furniture would make a gorgeous addition to any child's bedroom. Made from solid birch and finished in white; this Scandinavian inspired bed is the perfect introduction to the grown-up world of the big bed, although a bed guard can be added just for some extra safety. Once they've outgrown their junior bed, it can easily be used as a day bed with some cosy cushions! Or you could even convert it into a low loft bed with the optional conversion kit, creating extra storage space or a secret hideaway.
As toddler beds go, this one from Mothercare is definitely up there with the cutest. The whimsical cloud-shaped headboard and curvy, squat silhouette already make it plain that it’s just the place for sweet dreams, but it reveals some soothing talents at night time. The moon motif laid into the headboard glows softly for 15 minutes at bedtime before switching itself off, eliminating the need for a separate night light, and it even projects a pattern of stars on to the wall to lull them into sleep. That it’s low to the floor with diminutive guard rails also means it will help them gain their independence, as it’s easy to get into but not so easy to fall out of.
This traditional toddler bed’s selling point is a classic design that lets it fit in pretty much anywhere, good news if you live in a period property where a Paw Patrol or Frozen toddler bed would be a little anachronistic. Its timeless looks also mean it can be passed down from sibling to sibling, no matter how trends might have changed, and its quality solid wood frame ensure it’s built to last. We especially love the integrated guard rails, which fit in nicely with the overall look of the bed but provide loads of reassurance as little ones cross this next frontier.
And there it is, the bed we all wished we had as a child. Is there anything cooler for the Disney princess-obsessed child than a four poster bed? We think not, and this one looks like it’s been plucked straight from the pages of a fairy story, with delicate pink gauze curtains at each side, painted details of rambling roses, and dainty curved details that summon up images of intricate scrollwork without the banged toes or mysteriously stuck heads (it happens more than you might think). If you’ve had trouble convincing them out of the cot, this might just fix it...
This storage bed teaches toddlers two-fold: first, to get used to their first-ever big kid bed; and second, to tidy up. It might sound like magic, but it’s surprisingly simple. The guard rail adds a bit of a buffer for kids who are still getting used to not having cot sides, both reassuring them and ensuring they don’t take a tumble on those first few nights. Then there’s the storage drawer, which makes this toddler bed ideal for small rooms and means it really earns its keep – you might want to store extra blankets in there, but it could easily double up as toy storage.
Emblazoned with images of their favourite fire-fighting and law-enforcing pups (among others), this Paw Patrol bed is the ideal sleepy spot for any super-fan. Its big selling point for parents, however, is undoubtedly the sturdy steel frame. Reviewers say it’s quick and easy to put up, with some even saying that they happily keep it in storage and pop it up when grandchildren or other children come to stay. However easy it is to put together, it still feels sturdy and holds up even against determined bouncing. Add to that a cheerful red paint job and those reassuring pup faces, and you have a toddler bed that kids can’t wait to dive into at night.