Best travel cots 2022: Comfortable cribs for babies and toddlers

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Travelling with your baby? Ensure everyone enjoys a good night’s sleep with the best travel cots

If you’ve recently had a baby, then chances are the thought of travelling anywhere, let alone abroad, is far from your mind. Soon, however, there will come a time you’ll be journeying once more, on holidays in-country or overseas, visiting relatives overnight, or you may simply want to drop off your baby to a friend while you and your partner enjoy a much-needed date night. And for all those scenarios, a good-quality travel cot is the ideal solution to ensure your baby gets a comfortable night’s sleep, even when away from home.

Investing in a good-quality travel cot needn’t cost a fortune, however. How much you spend will depend on your requirements: do you need an all-singing, all-dancing cot; or a simple pop-up model that's easy to use?

These days, many hotels and holiday homes supply cots; but buying your own means you can be confident in its quality and suitability. Your own model even brings the added familiarity and smell to reassure your baby, even when they're in new surroundings. Read on to discover our pick of the best travel cots and how to choose the best model for you and your child.

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Best travel cot: At a glance

How to choose the best travel cot for your child

There are some key questions to consider when buying a travel cot. Obviously, it needs to be appropriate for the age and size of your child, but you’ll also want to take note of how portable it is, how quickly it can be assembled – and how much you want to spend.

Are travel cots suitable for newborns?

Most travel cots will be just fine for newborn infants, but you may prefer to get a smaller bassinet that’s specifically designed for young babies. This is because it's easier to put down a baby in a higher bassinet – babies develop what is known as the Moro reflex, which causes their arms to jump if they think they're being dropped, which could be felt if placing them lower down into a travel cot. In addition, a bassinet feels more enclosed and cosy.

You can also now pick up bedside cribs that can double up as travel cots. As you’d imagine, these will be more expensive, but it does mean you’re buying just one item rather than two.

Can a travel cot double as a playpen?

Indeed. Spending a little more for a travel cot that doubles as a playpen will increase its use, delivering value for money. Look for models that have four, rather than two, mesh sides to give you and your baby a better view. A travel cot can also function as somewhere safe to put your crawling, or walking, whirlwind while you grab a snack or go to the loo.

What else do I need to consider?

Make sure you have all the necessary accoutrements. All the travel cots on our list are supplied with a mattress, but sheets aren’t included. You could use a pillowcase, but you may prefer a fitted sheet, and this may be available as an optional extra.

The best travel cots you can buy in 2022

1. Bugaboo Stardust: The best travel cot for comfort and convenience

Price: £225 | Buy now from Boots

Renowned, and highly regarded, for its range of car seats and stylish strollers (you can read more about these in our best pushchair guide), Bugaboo recently branched out with its first travel cot: the Bugaboo Stardust.

It's pricey, just like the rest of the Bugaboo range, but that's the only negative. It tops our list of the best travel cots because it combines style, function, and comfort in ways we haven't seen before.

First – and this is a gamechanger – it "pops" open, in the same way a pop-up tent would, and similarly folds down in seconds at the touch of a button. Bugaboo claims this mechanism uses aerospace technology that builds on the opening and collapsing features found in its strollers. Plus, the fold buttons are safely positioned out of reach of your child.

While this may lead you to believe that the travel cot is flimsy, the Stardust is far from it. Note, too, that the Stardust can be folded and unfolded with the mattress inside.

Speaking of the mattress, whereas many travel cots either don't come with a mattress, or they ship with thin, uncomfortable bits of material, the Bugaboo Stardust comes with a built-in, multi-layered mattress that’s lightweight and comfortable. It can be raised, via a zip-in bed insert, transforming this travel cot into a bassinet that’s perfect for newborns or younger babies.

The Stardust's pop-up nature means there’s no fiddly assembly required. There are no special techniques to master, nor do you have to rely on separate sections all clipping and locking into place. It folds down into one piece that’s carried in a Velcro-closing bag also included in the box.

Factor in all of its features, and the included extras, and the £225 price doesn't seem quite so extortionate. In fact, we don't think you can really put a price on just how easy and quick the Stardust is to use.

Key features - Age range: 0-24 months; Weight: 6.7kg; Cleaning: Hand-washable fabric; Time to assemble: 1 second

Buy now from Boots

2. Tutti Bambini CoZee: The best travel cot for style

Price: £159 | Buy now from Amazon

The CoZee bedside crib from Tutti Bambini can be used as a bedside crib until your baby outgrows it (it has a maximum weight of 9kg), or reaches six months. It has a single mesh side and one that folds down. With this side folded down, the CoZee can be attached to your bed, so your baby can sleep right beside you without the concerns that come with co-sleeping. Note, too, that it has a tilt function for babies who suffer from reflux or colic.

When not being used as a bedside crib, the CoZee folds down and doubles up as a travel cot. It's incredibly simple to assemble – just click the legs into place; no screws or extras required – and just as easy to collapse, and also included in the box is a bag in which to transport the crib. Seen beside some of the other cots with plastic construction in this list, the CoZee is the most stylish of the bunch; it’s available in grey, blue and white with wooden legs and rim.

As you'd expect, the CoZee doesn't come cheap – but if thought of as a two in one item, crib and travel cot, it's worth the money. Being able to take the bed your baby regularly sleeps in on the road is a godsend, with your little one more likely to adapt to new surroundings quickly as a result of feeling safe and secure in their own bed.

Key features - Age range: 0-6 months; Weight: 10.2kg; Cleaning: Hand-washable fabric; Time to assemble: 3 minutes

3. Joie Excursion: The best travel cot for value for money

Price: £160 | Buy now from Halfords

It isn’t the most compact, lightweight or easy to put together model in our list, but the Joie Excursion Change & Bounce gets a special shoutout for offering great value for money. In addition to the sturdy, well-built travel cot itself, this good-looking setup comes with a full-size bassinet (that clips on and off easily), a changing table and a bouncer, all included in the price. What's more, the bouncer can be used either on top of the cot or standalone, as can the changing mat.

As with all of Joie's baby products, the Excursion Change & Bounce is highly practical. Although a little fiddly to set up and use, once you've mastered this, you'll wonder how you ever did without the added extras. Feature-wise, the travel cot sports an ultra-secure frame with exposed tubing, plus two built-in wheels to help you easily move it around a room. A mesh lining on all four sides means the Change & Bounce can double up as a playpen, plus it has an elevated, draught-resistant base, and comes with a carry bag in which it can all be stored.

On the side of the cot is a sound and light attachment that vibrates. It plays five classical lullabies and five nature sounds, plus there’s a nightlight that offers three brightness settings. The bouncer adds a toy bar with two soft toys and a five-point harness. We've found ourselves using the BabyBjörn for the odd night away and this fantastic travel cot for longer holidays.

Key features: Age range: 0-4 years; Weight: 16.49kg; Cleaning: Hand-washable fabric; Time to assemble: 5 minutes

Buy now from Halfords

4. Koo-di Travel Bubble Cot: The best travel cot for camping

Price: £49 | Buy now from Amazon

The Travel Bubble is hard to fault as a value travel cot. It’s extremely light, but the padded mattress helps give it stability, promising a good night’s sleep for your baby.

The sides zip down – or halfway down – to allow you to keep an eye on your bundle overnight, or you can zip up a flysheet so you know they won’t be going anywhere (or getting bitten by any insects).

For longer trips and older, larger toddlers the design could prove a little cramped. But with its tiny footprint and minimal weight it’s perfect for camping with a little one. It pops out of the bag like a festival tent and folds back in with an escapologist’s twist of the wrists – perfect for impressing your friends.

The Sun and Sleep version of the Koo-di bubble travel cot is slightly more expensive than the original because it sports a more attractive design, but its features and dimensions are largely the same.

Key features - Age: 6-18 months; Weight: 2.2kg; Cleaning: Hand-washable fabric; Time to assemble: 10 seconds

5. BabyBjörn Travel Cot: The best luxury travel cot

Price: £247 | Buy now from BabyBjörn

BabyBjörn gear isn’t cheap, and the fitted organic sheet adds an extra £20 to this already pricey travel cot. But if you’re willing to pay, it won’t disappoint. The travel cot takes mere seconds to assemble: the legs drop and lock as you open it, after which the mattress drops in.

The mattress is thick and soft, it’s fully washable and it looks good, too. Available in two colours, the mesh sides ensure good ventilation for baby and all-round visibility parents. We bought this travel cot on the premise that once our little one started roaming around, it would make a safe playpen for him, too. The angle of the legs deliver good stability, even if your toddler leans on the travel cot’s sides as he grows.

One slight downside is the length of the drop when placing your baby into the cot at bedtime. It isn’t a huge problem, but note that this travel cot doesn't come with a bassinet attachment – so, if you're short (like me), placing a 22lb child down into it can prove tricky. This isn’t a reason not to buy this travel cot, just something to consider.

Key features - Age: 0-3 years; Weight: 6kg; Cleaning: Machine-washable fabric; Time to assemble: 15 seconds

Buy now from BabyBjörn

6. Hauck Baby Center Travel Cot: The best travel cot for first-time parents

Price: £130 | Buy now from Amazon

Straying away from home with a newborn can be daunting; but this Hauck travel cot provides a raft of calming extras to make your night away as similar as possible to the experience of being in your nicely laid-out nursery.

It comes with a mattress (but no sheet), and a bassinet unit. The latter is basically a raised mattress that hangs halfway up the cot, making it far easier for you to place and lift out your newborn. There’s a padded changing table that sits on top of the cot, an accessory tray for wipes and nappies, and a musical mobile to help distract and entertain your child.

Basically, all of the fittings will be within easy reach, greatly reducing the stress of a first night away with your baby. Then, as your bundle grows, you can do away with the extras and use the Hauck as a more simple travel cot. It’s a heavy bit of kit, but for those looking for peace of mind, it might well be worth it.

Key features - Age: 0-3 years; Weight: 12kg; Cleaning: Sponge clean; Time to assemble: 5 minutes

7. Red Kite Sleeptight Travel Cot: The best budget travel cot

Price: £35 | Buy now from Asda

This may not be the lightest or prettiest travel cot on the list, but it does the job for a fraction of the cost of other models. It does come with its own mattress, although some parents may prefer to buy an additional mattress (around £20) since the one included is quite thin. Setting the cot up and down can be a bit of a challenge – make sure you follow the instructions carefully – but the sturdy, steel-framed design is reassuringly stable once erected.

There are no bells or whistles here; just the cot, a mattress and a bag. You’ll need to pick up a sheet for the mattress, too, which is available to buy for around £13. If you’re not someone who will be travelling too often with baby, or are on a tight budget, this cot will serve its purpose.

Key features - Age: 0-3 years; Weight: 8.5kg; Cleaning: Sponge clean; Time to assemble: 1 minute

8. Micralite Sleep & Go: The best lightweight travel cot

Price: £150 (newborn insert: £25) | Buy now from Amazon

This new and improved version of Micralite’s popular Sleep & Go travel cot is contemporary and lightweight, with a pop-up design that can be assembled in seconds. It can be bought with or without the newborn insert that sits at bed height, helping you save a bit of cash if it isn’t needed. Like all Micralite products this cot looks great, so we had no issue having it out in our living room for downstairs naps through a period of some noisy building work being carried out. Plus, it also doubles up as a great playpen with a padded top rail and zip-down side.

Let’s be honest, babies don’t always sleep particularly well in travel cots, but we were pleasantly surprised during testing, having enjoyed a restful couple of nights on a recent trip to the grandparents. The Micralite Sleep & Go is lightweight, too, so would be ideal for taking on holiday to create somewhere safe for baby to play in a villa or hotel room.

Key features – Age: 0-3 years; Weight: 7.65kg; Cleaning: Sponge clean; Time to assemble: 5 minutes

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