Choosing the best cot or cotbed is one of the biggest (both financially and physically) investments you will make when buying nursery furniture for a new baby. Regular cots are designed to provide a safe sleeping environment until between 18 months and three years. As a rule, once they start attempting to climb out, it’s time to transition to a ‘grown up’ bed.
What is the best cot or cotbed?
Why you can trust Real Homes Our expert reviewers spend hours testing and comparing products and services so you can choose the best for you. Find out more about how we test.
Ultimately, to classify as the very best, a cot needs to be a longer-term investment that will see your baby through to the toddler years, and maybe even a bit beyond. Our pick of the bunch for versatility, value for money, and stunning design is the SnüzKot Skandi cot bed, which promises to last you until your child's 10th birthday, no small feat for a cot.
We've listed our top three cots and cot beds below, along with their cheapest prices, just incase you don't have time to read the entire list!
How to buy the best cot or cot bed
Where to buy the best cots and cot beds
Cot or cotbed?
A cot is just that, but it's worth considering whether a cot bed, which can transition from cot to a bed as your baby grows might be a wiser investment. As with anything you buy when designing a nursery, it is well worth making your money go further with a cot bed, which can be converted for junior use and can last from five to 10 years.
If the conversion kit is sold separately, buy it at the same time as the cot to protect against discontinued items. And, do make sure you check mattress suitability before you buy, as many cots and cot beds are only safe for use with a maximum mattress depth of 10cm.
When your baby is tiny, you tend to have the cot base and mattress fixed higher in the cot; as your baby grows and becomes more mobile (ie, in danger of falling out of the cot or able to escape), you lower the base and mattress, creating a safety cage out of the cot. This isn't something you'll have to do regularly, but ensuring the cot is a) adjustable and b) easily adjustable will make life easier.
Similarly, do the sides slide up and down and is this an easy action? If you want to co-sleep with your baby, but have the baby lie in the cot pushed safely right up to and level with your own mattress, this might be something you'll want to consider.
Hate to say it, but a new baby emits a surprising amount of body fluids, which can find their way into the most intricate of corners. If your cot is of a complicated design, it'll make cleaning more tricky.
1. The best cot for versatility and style
You’ve embraced the trend for ombre colour-graduating on everything from lamps to rugs, and even your hair dye, and now you can go for it in the nursery, too. Check out the new Ombre version of the award-winning SnüzKot Skandi, which not only converts to a toddler bed but, with the additional junior bed extension kit, can keep on going right up to baby’s 10th birthday (shhh, don’t even think about it now). This is our pick of the best cot bed you can buy for your nursery, and it measures H89cm x W133cm x D72cm.
For more ombre paint effect ideas, read our guide.
2. Choose the best storage cot
There’s no such thing as too much storage in a child's room and we promise you the deep drawer below this handsome Chantilly cot from Cotswold Co will come in mighty handy once the newborn gifts start flowing in. The base has three positions to help with lifting baby in and out, and it measures H97.5cm x W156.5cm x D77.5cm. One of the best cot beds you can buy if your nursery lacks storage space, we think.
3. Pick a vintage cot design for a traditional nursery
Like something out of a fairytale, the Juliette cot has a charmingly nostalgic design, making it one of the best cots you can buy. Made from steel tubing, painted off-white, it’s sturdier than it looks, and you shouldn’t have any problems with little teeth marks on the top rails (naturally it conforms to all the relevant safety standards, too)! There are two base position options, and it measure H91cm x W126cm x D65cm.
4. Love Scandi style? We've found the best cot for Scandi nurseries
Adorable in cot mode, the stylish Scandi-inspired Lawson convertible cot is even cuter in toddler bed format. The solid pine frame is built to last – we love the cosy wood and white paint colour combo – and it has three heights in cot mode for easy access. You can see why it's one of our best cot beds, right? It also measures H88cm x W145cm x D75cm.
Find more Scandi style bedroom inspiration in our guide.
5. From cot to toddler to child bed
We’ll admit this Sebra Cotbedcosts a pretty penny, but it'll take your little one up to seven years so can easily be justified as a worthy investment. It comes in the most stylish trend-led shades – the grey is a perfect unisex choice if you’re opting for a surprise on the gender front – and a special antibacterial finish helps prevent bacterial growth. One of the best cot beds if you're after something to take your little one from toddler to child. It measures H88cm x W112.5cm x D70cm.
6. Choose a contemporary style cot for a trendy effect
As smart ideas go, the acrylic panelled sides in this Sloan cot from Pottery Barn Kids is right up there with the best. Not only does it achieve a clearer view of baby – perfect for when peeking in the nursery door, without wanting to get too floorboard-creakingly close – but it also shows off that super-sweet bedding that gives you all the feels. Crafted using traditional techniques, like mortise and tenon joints, it is certainly built to last and measures H93cm x W137cm x D76cm.
7. Love Mid-century style? Choose a cot with a retro edge
If you’re looking for something a little bit different, stop the search as this is the best cot bed for you. This 1950s inspired Little Interiors cot by Danish brand Done by Deer is uniquely striking. Switch the cot bars for a low-level bed guard to transition into toddler bed mode, and lose it entirely to create a comfortable day bed. It comes in four shades and measures H66cm x W125cm x D92cm.
8. Pick a three-in-one cot bed for longevity
Taking multifunctional children’s beds to new levels, Stokke’s Home Bed transitions from cot, to toddler bed, to sofa/play house. Optional extras include a fabric roof canopy or full-on tent cover with fabric roof and sides for extra role-play realism. You can also add a changing tray for a space-saving nappy station, which, for us, makes it worthy of being one of the best cots you can buy. It measures H164cm x W137cm x D75cm.
9. Go all-white for a room that's easy to change up
You don’t need to be a mad cat lady to fall hard for the simple kitten motif on this Mistigri cot bed. Part of a set that includes wardrobe and changing station, all adorned with the cute kitty, the cot bed is height adjustable and solidly made from wood. It measures H90cm x W123.4cm x D67cm.
10. A wooden cot with a design twist
Metal hairpin legs elevate this Ironwood cot in the style stakes, adding enough design difference to stand out, without going OTT. The grey stained timber-look finish is pretty smart, too, and we love that it can be boosted with matching storage and the super stylish accessories for which Mini Maison is famous. Easily one of the best cot beds you can buy, in our opinion. It measures H95cm x W125cm x D65cm.
11. Get the same cot as the Royal baby
Yep, you can buy the exact same cot as little royal baby Archie Harrison Mountbatten-Windsor because it's actually available on Amazon! Harry and Megan choose wisely because the Babyletto Hudson 3-in-1 Convertible Crib comes with a conversion kit so you can adapt it as your baby grows. The legs give this cot a Mid-century modern vibe but its simple design will fit into any style nursery.