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4 Toddler Beds That Make The Switch From Crib To Big Kid Bed So Much Easier

Transitioning your little one from crib to toddler bed is a major rite of passage. The toddler milestone can be super exciting because your child is growing up — and stressful because there are a bunch of new factors to consider (most importantly, safety). The best toddler beds are designed specifically for this transition.

When shopping for a toddler bed, the qualities to look for are pretty intuitive: sturdy, durable, no sharp edges, and close to the ground, with safety features like guard rails and a maximum weight that your child doesn't exceed. You'll probably also want something that matches your child's bedroom. Some cribs convert into a toddler-sized bed, so if you already have one you might be all set. If you're traveling with your toddler, you might opt for a cot-like toddler bed that's portable, so your little one can stay safe and comfy no matter where you are.

Keep in mind that there's a really small window for using a toddler bed. In a 2019 interview, certified sleep consultant Christine Stevens told Romper that parents should consider switching their child to a toddler bed after age 2 1/2 or 3, though most toddlers could be ready between the 18-month and 4-year mark. But since toddler beds are the same size as a crib, your child will likely outgrow theirs by age 6, giving you just a few years of use. This means you may wish to look for a very affordable toddler bed, or one that can convert into other furniture after your little one graduates to a big kid bed.

Toddler beds are a great way to transition your little one to a standard bed, due to their smaller size and proximity to the ground, as well as built-in side rails. But if your toddler is ready for a larger twin bed, you might be able to switch them directly from their crib to a regular bed — with the addition of protective guard rails, of course. Moving straight to a twin bed can save money, and it means there's room in the bed for you to cuddle up beside your child if they tend to need comfort at night.

The choice of whether to transition your child from their crib to a toddler bed is a personal one. Some kids truly feel more secure in a toddle bed due to its smaller size and the comforting feel of their dual-sided crib mattress, while others do great with a twin bed and guard rail. If you are looking for a stand-alone toddler bed, this list has four that Amazon reviewers report are safe, functional, and cute. And if you're looking for a twin bed and guard rail to invest in, scroll to the end of the list for recommendations.


The Best Overall Toddler Bed

This toddler bed from Dream On Me features a classic, yet simple design that will work wonderfully in any room. The wooden bed has two side rails for safety, and comes in a wide range of finishes, including blue, white, and gray. More than 2,300 Amazon reviewers gave this pick a solid 4.4-star rating overall, championing the bed for its sturdiness.

Oh, and if you are in need of a crib-size mattress, this pick has options that include one to make your shopping a little bit easier.

Enthusiastic Amazon review: "Amazing price for such a nice bed! We just moved and are in transition so we went ahead and got our toddler son his new bed. We have another baby on the way so it just made sense. The bed is fairly easy to assemble. My husband did it by himself in really no time at all. The bed is cute and seems very sturdy! [M]y son loves it and is already sleeping in his new little bed even though we don't have our personal house items yet due to our move. So mommy and daddy get a good night sleep too."

Max weight: 50 pounds


An Affordable Bed Available In A Ton Of Different Character Designs

Your little one will squeal with excitement when they see colorful characters decorating their new big kid bed; the Delta toddler bed comes in a range of fun character designs, including their favorites from Frozen, Spongebob Squarepants, and Peppa Pig. And if you need a little more proof as to how much your child will love this pick, know that more than 2,000 Amazon reviewers gave it an impressive 4.7-star rating.

The Delta toddler bed features a frame that is made of steel with plastic parts, including two side rails for safety. The frame does not include a crib mattress.

Enthusiastic Amazon review: "My daughter loves her new big girl bed! She will be 2 in October so we decided to ditch the crib, she wanted an Elsa bed so that’s what she got. It was so easy to assemble, all together took maybe 20 minutes with both toddlers 'helping', I love the her crib mattress fits in the bed so I didn’t need to purchase a new mattress. It’s sturdy. [...] You can’t beat it for the price! My daughter is very happy so no complaints here!"

Max weight: 50 pounds


A Convertible Toddler Bed With Four Side Rails For Extra Safety

If your toddler moves around a lot while sleeping, it might be wise to invest in this Dream On Me toddler bed, which features four side rails for added safety. Those who have bought this toddler bed certainly say it’s worth it; this pick has a high 4.3-star rating on Amazon, among 500 and growing reviews. That said, this pick has something extra to offer: it’s convertible. The bed easily transforms from a toddler bed into two child-sized chairs/sofas and a table (the conversion kit to do this is sold separately), so that you can keep getting use out of it even after your child graduates to a standard-sized bed.

The wooden toddler bed comes in a range of colors, including unique ones like bright fuchsia and emerald. And if you are in need of a crib-size mattress, you can buy a bed and mattress bundle.

Enthusiastic Amazon review: "Bought this bed for my 2 year old. She always hated her crib and was sleeping with us. I like how this bed has railings at both ends, as she is a wild sleeper. The beds with railings only at the one end make me nervous as she sometimes turns around during the course of the night. She was very excited to have a big-kid bed and so far we've been VERY happy with this bed. It also looks very nice."

Max weight: 50 pounds


A Portable Toddler Bed That Folds Up

The number of uses that you'll find for this Regalo portable toddler bed will honestly blow you away. It’s great for naptime, sleeping at night (especially if your toddler prefers sleeping in your room), sleepovers, vacations, preschool, and more. Some reviewers on Amazon even said that their kids like to just sit on this during the day when watching TV or a movie. Whatever your reason for buying a portable toddler bed, one thing stands true: this is one of the best. It’s backed by more than 8,600 reviews on Amazon and a 4.4-star rating overall.

The bed's simple fold and go system is quick and easy-to-use. It's super lightweight (just 6 pounds), which is the ultimate plus if you are planning on using it for travel. The bed features an all-steel frame, and the cot itself is covered with a canvas material that stands in for a mattress. Choose from three colors: pink, blue, or gray.

Only downsides? The portable toddler bed doesn’t have any side rails (though their weight should keep them centered on the canvas), so if your little one needs that, keep reading for another option. Some reviewers say it’s not the comfiest pick, either.

Enthusiastic Amazon review: "This is the coolest product I've purchased in a while. It's absolutely the perfect solution for my 3 year old who just got too big for a pack n play. We bought it to use in our camper (for which it was perfect) but then ended up using it at the beach, in our tent, on our boat, etc. Our son is so comfortable on this, and it's super portable."

Max weight: 75 pounds


Also Nice: A Bed Rail To Make A Twin Bed Safe For Your Toddler

Getting a toddler bed for your child is a choice that's right for some — but not all — toddlers. They can help to ease the transition from the crib to a bed, but your child won't use their toddler bed for a particularly long time. And some toddlers may feel comfortable in a big kid twin bed right away, without the intermediary step of a toddler bed. If you decide to skip the toddler bed, you'll want to get your kiddo a really good twin bed and a bed rail or bumper to protect them from middle-of-the-night falls.

Intended to be used with a bed and box spring, this Regalo rail anchors to one side of the bed and can lock into place when upright. It can be unlocked to swing down when your child is getting in or out of bed, or to make it easier for you to change the sheets. The steel frame is encased in a nylon mesh and is super durable. You can feel confident that it's also super safe to use, as it's certified by the Juvenile Products Manufacturers Association (JPMA) and meets the safety standards set by the American Society for Testing and Materials (ASTM). With more than 1,000 5-star reviews on Amazon, its safe to say that reviewers give the bed rail their endorsement as well.

Enthusiastic Amazon review: "I purchased this because I needed something to keep my toddler from falling off her big girl bed. this works perfectly! it was super easy to install and I love how I can fold the railing down if needed. I purchased this to go on a daybed and it covers most of the bed leaving a small opening for my child to get out of bed when she wakes up. it seems really sturdy, as I pulled on it to see if it would fall over. so far so good. I would def order this again."

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