If you’re transitioning your toddler out of the crib, the best toddler bed rails can help to keep them safe in their new 'big kid' bed. Safety is the highest priority when choosing products for your toddler, so look for bed rails that are labeled as meeting American Society for Testing Materials (ASTM) safety standards. It's also helpful to know that the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) advises only using bed rails for kids who can get in and out of an adult-sized bed without help — so you'll want to confirm your child is ready before you start bed rail shopping in earnest.
Bed rails are sold in packs of one or two in case you want to place one on each side. The two most common styles of bed rails are metal rails and bumpers. Metal bed rails provide a secure barrier without taking up too much horizontal space. While these rails feature a sturdy metal frame, they should have a breathable mesh cover for comfort— and top picks swing down to provide easy access to the bed when needed. Metal bed rails are actually pretty simple to install, and most have straps, a hook-and-loop fastener, or clamps to ensure they'll stay put. If you decide to go with this type of rail, make sure you choose one that's compatible with your child's bed size. Note: Only use bed rails with an adult mattress and a box spring — other bed types, like cribs, toddler beds, bunk beds, or inflatable mattresses, may not be strong enough to support the rails. For safety, bed rails should also extend at least 5 inches above the top of the mattress in order to provide adequate protection.
If you’re looking for a low-involvement alternative for more confident toddlers, bumper-style rails are soft bolsters that sit on top of the bed, creating a less imposing (and frequently less tall) barrier that warns toddlers they're approaching the edge. Bumpers do take up significant room on the bed, so they're only a good choice if your child can spare the space, but they're easy to install since they're usually held in place by a fitted sheet. Bumpers are frequently made from a soft foam, but inflatable options may be more portable.
Whether you're looking for a tall metal rail or a soft bumper, these four bed rails are highly regarded on Amazon, with thousands of parents indicating they’ve used them to keep their little ones safe at night.