Whether you are travelling, visiting friends & relatives or having young guests, travel cots are one of those essential baby equipment items. Compared to some other baby products, they are also relatively inexpensive and can be purchased for less than £40.
As with most things though when it comes to baby equipment, the choice of travel cots is not straightforward. Baby travel cots can vary in both size and weight quite dramatically and with so many on the market it’s quite difficult to sort through the options to find the one best suited to your needs.
In this buying guide, you will find a comparison of the top selling travel cots plus tips on what to look for when buying.
Best selling travel cots compared and reviewedTable could not be displayed.
The Hauch cot is suitable from birth to approximately 24 months of age with two solid end panels and two mesh so it’s easy for you to keep an eye on your baby as they sleep and play. One of the main advantages of this cot is that the sleeping platform can be raised for newborn babies or lowered for older ones. This makes it even easier for you to pick up and put down your child. It appears though that this is only available on certain colour cots.
The Dream ‘N’ Play comes with a foldable mattress with a polyester cover but we would suggest purchasing a mattress separately as the one that comes with has been described as quite thin.
This cot is suitable up to five years of age giving it longer durability than other travel cots. The integrated changing station and zip door that allows access to a playpen makes this product more versatile than some of its competitors. The design is extremely sturdy with a removable (thin) base layer and second detachable bassinet layer.
One downside to these extra features though is the weight; at 13kg it is heavy but it still packs up neatly into a carrying case. Also, two of the “feet” are wheels which make moving quite easy. Plus you can also lock the wheels for safety.
A basic travel cot that is designed for babies up to three years of age. It’s also one of the cheapest best selling cots available – you can typically find it for sale for under £40. It’s relatively light weight at 8.4kg and packs away neatly into the carrying bag. Assembly and disassembly are also straightforward although some users report that it can be difficult to work out the first time.
There is a removable base layer supplied but you will probably want to add your own extra mattress for more comfort. If you are looking for an inexpensive basic travel cot then we would seriously consider the Babyway. If you want colours other than black though, go for the similar priced Red Kite Sleeptight. Also, for not much extra, you can buy the Hauck Dream N Play which includes a removal raised mattress layer but is only suitable for 0-2 year old babies (you can read our Hauck travel cot review above).
If you are looking for a lightweight (weighing 1.4kg) and easy-to-use travel cot, then the Koo-Di Pop Up travel cot is an option worth considering. Unlike other travel cots the Koo-Di has four rods that slide in place to keep the cot upright. The integrated zip-up mosquito net and the fact this is extremely lightweight makes this a very popular choice for those travelling abroad.
With such a simplistic design the cot is only suitable for babies between 6 and 18 months and this is much lower than other basic travel cots (around 3 years). The Koo-Di can still be used as a playpen or tent when your child outgrows it but you’ll have to invest in a new travel cot.
Four colours are available and the Koo-Di includes a thin padded mattress. Koo-Di also offer an inflatable mattress but you’ll have to pay around £30. That brings us onto the price of the Koo-Di; expect to pay just under £50 or the equivalent of a good basic travel cot.
The BabyBjorn cot is very easy to use as the legs unfold automatically. It is also light, weighing in at only 6kg, compared to around 8kg for cheaper travel cots. The BabyBjorn is also very practical as all the fabric can be removed easily for machine washing and the soft mesh fabric allows you to watch your child easily.
The cot is suitable for babies & children up to three years of age which is similar to most average size travel cots. Unusually for travel cots, the mattress on the BabyBjorn is relatively thick and you should not need to buy an additional mattress.
The problem is the price; at nearly £200 the BabyBjorn is considerably more expensive than other travel cots. There is no doubt though that this is a very sturdy and high quality travel cot. Plus, it’s very easy to assemble and practical too.
What to look for when buying a travel cot
When looking for the best baby travel cot, the following are some of the key things to consider and look out for:
Types of travel cot
Most lower priced cots can be classed as “basic” travel cots. That is, they function as a travel cot and apart from a thin mattress or base mat, there is little in the way of extra features.
Some cots have a removable higher level mattress called a bassinet which is great for lifting in and out very young babies. Travel cots are also available with changing stations; another useful feature but not essential. A practical feature is a zipped side opening panel as the travel cot can then be used as a playpen when the child is older.
Size & age range
Not all travel cots have the same age range. Most basic cots have an age range of 0-3 months with larger cots being suitable for children up to 5 years. Some very lightweight pop-up cots, such as the Koo-Di, are only suitable for much younger children.
One of the key requirements of a travel cot is that it needs to be easy to assemble and disassemble and it must also be lightweight and compact for travelling. Some cots can take a few attempts before you get used to the assembly and locking system but then it’s pretty straightforward. Also, check the weight: the BabyBjorn weighs in at 6kg whereas the Graco Contour Electra is a hefty 14kg. Consider if those extras are worth the extra weight. The best lightweight travel cot is the Koo-Di at only 1.4kg (read our KooDi pop up travel cot review below).
One of the most common complaints abut travel cots is the thickness of the included mattress. On nearly all models the mattress is very thin and it is often advisable to pad this out or purchase a separate travel cot mattress. The BabyBjorn does include a thick mattress but then again, its very expensive!