10 Best Beds for Toddlers Reviewed in 2018

Getting the proper amount of sleep is important for everyone but it is especially important for our little ones. We all know that our kids tend to be cranky or even downright bratty if they are overly tired and it often seems that the sleepier they are the harder they fight against going to bed. Behind the emotional and social negatives that can occur when children lack proper rest, toddlers also produce growth hormones while they sleep. In many ways, sleep is as important as nutrition or exercise when it comes to your child’s cognitive and physical development. There is even evidence that supports the theory that children who are more well-rested have stronger immune systems.

Toddlers require between 9 and 10 hours of sleep every night in order to lower their risk of developing diabetes or suffering from learning problems and attention issues. There are few ways to help your child achieve the best night’s rest that they can starting with establishing and maintaining bedtime routines. However, the most important thing that your child requires to get all of their best brain-boosting sleep is a comfortable and supportive bed.

We have scoured the internet to find some of the best toddler beds on the market, designed for everything from comfort to durability to fun. Hopefully, our Top 10 Best Beds for Toddlers can assist you in making the right purchase for your child’s sleeping needs.

Last Updated: September 9, 2018
By Amanda Milewski:

A toddler bed is a major purchase in that it has to be inviting enough for your child to want to climb in bed every night. Our updated list of best toddler beds has options for everyone, no matter your child's interest in sleeping or napping or the decor of your child's room. All product specifications, pricing and availability have been researched and verified.

Our Top 3 Picks

Dream On Me Toddler Bed
  • Dream On Me Toddler Bed
  • 5 out of 5
    Our rating
  • Low To The Ground
  • Price: See Here
KidKraft Race Car Bed
  • KidKraft Race Car Bed
  • 4.5 out of 5
    Our rating
  • Built in Bench
  • Price: See Here
KidKraft Nantucket Toddler Bed
  • KidKraft Nantucket Toddler Bed
  • 4.3 out of 5
    Our rating
  • Wooden Bedrails
  • Price: See Here

Criteria Used In Evaluation of The Best Beds for Toddlers

Safety

The number one thing on all of our lists is always the safety rating for each product. We try to list both the good and bad qualities (if any) so that parents will know exactly what they’re getting into and what to expect with the products that they purchase. When it comes to your child, we want the best for them. Our rating system is heavily based on the safety of said products, and a toddler’s bed is no different.

While they sleep, toddlers can have habits of anything from rolling around to thrashing in their sleep and anything in between. Because of this, it was important to us to find beds that are sturdy, dependable, and durable to combat even the most wild of little sleepers. Each bed has been reviewed based on the safety ratings that its received from accredited associations as well as what we’ve reviewed on our own terms.

The weight a bed can hold and its construction was taken into consideration, since not every toddler is exactly the same and every child requires something different from their first bed. The safety of the materials used were also taken into account, whether they were heavy-duty plastic, metal, or wood. They’re all of the highest quality and each offer something different to a bed whether it’s a unique look, the ability to withstand more weight, or simply a matter of height and size.

Support

Many people think that the support of a bed comes from the mattress and this is only half true. Much of the support comes from the structure that’s found underneath the mattress, the bed frame. Most commonly, you’ll find that bed frames consist of slats that run horizontally across to hold the mattress up, and this can be vital in the overall support of the bed.

With a strong and sturdy slat and/or bar support, the mattress is able to be firmly held up to do its job in supporting a child’s body directly, ensuring a full night of restful sleep. Something that’s also important and something we’ve considered on this list is the type of leg support that each bed has. You’ll notice that some beds are just barely above the ground and supported on a full base without the use of legs; these beds are great for toddlers who have difficulty getting in and out of their beds and are more comfortable being low to the ground. Other beds have a higher ground clearance with metal or wooden legs and a slat support system that holds up the mattress. Both have their good and bad depending on what your child needs, and we’ve been sure to list a multitude of options for you.

Durability

It’s important that a bed will last for years. Of course, your child won’t always be sleeping in a toddler bed. They’ll outgrow it, but for the time being, they need something that they can rely on and trust to give them proper support and comfort every time they close their eyes. The companies listed on our list have promised nothing but the best at affordable prices for your little one, and with that promise is the idea that these beds will last for years to come.

There are exceptions, however, which have been noted on each individual bed — Some are built to withstand hyper toddlers while others simply may not be built that way. You can be sure that a bed with a wooden frame will hold up more so than one that’s plastic, just like any with steel legs are likely to hold up well as long as kids don’t abuse the heavy-duty plastic rails on the sides of their beds, where much of the support is.

Each bed has particular pros and cons to each which we’ve duelly noted to help you make the best and most informed decisions possible on what’s right for your growing toddler.

Functionality

Beds can be as specific as choosing a clothing style. It’s important to kids that they look fun and inviting, but that they also function in such a way that lends support and comfort every single day. The beds we’ve listed have the highest rate of functionality while also looking stylish and fun for toddlers, since they won’t be the ones who are worried about steel versus wood construction.

For the parents, we’ve included various options that are vastly different to give you and idea of what’s out there and what may suit your toddler the best. The goal is to provide your toddler with the best night sleep possible while helping them feel comfortable enough to do so, and that’s why all the beds featured here have relatively simple assembly while fitting a standard crib mattress.

If it functions similarly to their crib with a mattress they’re already comfortable with, then it won’t be such a foreign feeling to them the first night that they put their head on the pillow and close their eyes. How it functions over time is just as important as how eye-appealing it is, which is why we’ve only included options that are safe, reliable in construction, and are designed with high-quality materials.

Versatility

Each of the beds that made this list would be perfect for any style of room. While some may be more colorful than others, there are some on this list that are perfectly neutral while still remaining elegant and inviting. Contemporary style is another option we’ve included, especially if your child’s room is designed with a theme that’s classy and already full of color and vibrancy.

For others, their favorite characters might something that’s an automatic winner for your toddler and if that’s what helps them to fall asleep, then that means we’ve done our job in finding the best beds out there. Aside from design, we’ve chosen beds that that will enable your child to grow with them.

There’s a lot of space for a growing toddler, which makes these beds a viable option for the price you pay for them. They’re also affordable enough that when your child eventually does need a bigger bed, you won’t have spent too much money on a toddler bed that’s serving as a transition.

Fun

Beds also need to be fun! Bedtime can often be a scary thing to a toddler who has never had their own bed before. Rather than having them running scared to their parent’s rooms, we’ve tried to find beds that look like fun and inviting places for kids to rest their head and their eyes. By making use of a child’s favorite character, colors, or even taking into account the design of the bed, it can make a world of difference when it’s time to go to sleep.

Some beds have higher side rails which can either make them feel secure by being reminiscent of their cribs, or scare them by making them feel trapped. Because of that, we’ve featured beds that are also low to the ground and easy to climb in and out of. To up the fun factor, we’ve also included beds that have fun movie and cartoon designs as well as interactive features that will help your child feel like he or she is a part of the bedtime process and not just following it.

If security is an issue, beds with a tent-like canopy are a great option for helping kids feel like they’re safe and secure underneath their own personal tent. By creating a serene environment within their room, they’ll feel more comfortable closing their eyes and be empowered by knowing that space is all their own. Whatever type of fun feature your child will enjoy in  a bed, we’re sure that you’ll find something on our list that suits them.

What Determined The Top Beds for Toddlers in Our List

Choosing which toddler’s bed to include in our top 10 list was very challenging indeed. We had to tweak our usual process of determining the inclusion criteria in our list by emphasizing more on the overall integrity of the design especially the materials used. This is very important as toddlers will be sleeping on their respective beds for a great majority of their day (or night). As such, it is crucial that the toddler bed does not contain any harmful chemicals that may leach and diffuse into the air where it can be unknowingly inhaled by the sleeping child. We don’t want this to happen, do we?

Additionally, we also had to take a careful consideration of the bed-maker. We had to look for signs of credibility as well as reputation in the form of awards and similar achievements perhaps in the overall design of the toddler’s bed. We also had to look at the countless reviews as well as feedbacks provided by consumers or customers who have first-hand experience in using the toddler’s bed. We know that you will also be looking for these things so we knew we had to include them.

Sleep and Toddler’s Development

Can you remember the time when your Mom told you to go to bed early so that you will grow taller and healthier? Sadly, Mom never offered any plausible explanations as to why we needed to go to bed early. This is especially true when we were still toddlers and preschoolers. Maybe she did explain it to us but it was so long ago that we have somehow forgotten all about it. Besides, our language and comprehension skills may not yet be that fully developed when Mom attempted to explain.

Nevertheless, scientists now say that there is truth to what Moms all over the world have been telling their kids. Going to bed early helps children grow taller, smarter, and healthier. And all of these are inherently tied to the work of the human growth hormone.

You see, our bodies rely on a set of hormones that command how the different building blocks are supposed to be placed in relation to one another. These building blocks are proteins as well as other substances that are necessary to transcribe the information from one cell to the next. That is why cells are identical because the information contained in one cell is replicated or copied as is to produce two daughter cells. A collection of cells lead to the formation or development of a tissue. A collection of different tissues make up the different organs of the body including the brain, the muscles, the heart, and all other organs. So you see, everything starts with a single cell. Now, where does human growth hormone fit into all of these?

Growth hormone is secreted by a small knob of endocrine tissue located just underneath the brain. This gland is known as the pituitary gland and is under the direct control of the hypothalamus. The hypothalamus releases a growth hormone releasing factor to stimulate the front-facing portion of the pituitary gland to start synthesizing human growth hormone in addition to other hormones. HGH, as human growth hormone is fondly called, controls the body’s growth. This simply means that it is responsible for the increased synthesis of proteins to increase muscle mass and the formation and development of other protein-based structures. HGH is also responsible for the growth and development of all other internal organs. It is also helpful in the burning of fat by increasing the gluconeogenetic activity of the liver. It also helps increase the mineralization of bones so that they don’t grow to become brittle. There are many other functions of human growth hormone. The important thing to remember is that, as the name implies, it is responsible for the optimum growth and development of human beings.

Where does sleep fit into all of these, you ask? Well, studies have shown that the brain produces most of its human growth hormone during the deep stage of sleep. This is the time when you are in a stage where you will be difficult to arouse. You are in complete state of relaxation that only vigorous shaking or the application of pressure will arouse you from your sleep. The sad thing is that the later we go to sleep, the slimmer the chances of getting into deep sleep. The earlier we go to bed, the greater the chances of reaching the deep stage of sleep.

Here’s an explanation for this. Throughout our sleep, we go through 4 different stages plus a stage known as REM sleep stage. Stages 3 and 4 are considered to be the deep stages of sleep and it is here where the body is in its absolutely relaxed form. Throughout the night, we go through 3 to 4 cycles of these sleep stages. Unfortunately, if we sleep late, then we only get a few cycles or even just one. Additionally, studies show that as the night progresses, Stages 3 and 4 shortens while Stage 5 or REM stage increases.

So, the earlier we go to sleep, the longer we stay in the deep stage of sleep. The longer we stay in Stages 3 and 4, the greater is the amount of human growth hormone produced by our body. The greater the amount of human growth hormone, the more profound its effects on our growth and development. Logical, isn’t it?

Now, applying this knowledge to toddlers, we can safely conclude that their growth and development can be best enhanced by the amount of their sleep through the action of substantially increased human growth hormone secretion. Their bones grow stronger and denser allowing them to jump, run, skip, and hop which forms the core of the physical development of toddlers. This also allows toddlers to explore their surroundings a lot better. As we all know, toddlers have plenty of energy to fuel their curiosity. Because their muscles and bones are growing and developing optimally, they are able to go about their task of exploring and learning more about their own unique worlds.

Healthy bones and muscles also allow toddlers to master their visual motor coordination, balance, and proprioceptive senses. Toddlers are also able to improve their gross and fine motor skills as well as enhance or strengthen their spatial intelligence.

From their explorations, toddlers can begin to formulate concepts or ideas about how the world functions. This provides the foundation for creativity and imagination. They also learn to improve their language and communication skills as they start to make simple experimentations with their environment. They are now able to value relationships especially those with their caregivers.

The Bottom Line

The relationship between sleep and optimum toddler growth and development is strongly tied to the synthesis and activity of human growth hormone. Thus, it is very important to help toddlers go to bed earlier so they can reap the full benefits of increased HGH secretion during sleep. And while sleep aids such as night lights, soothing music, and plush sleep toys can help, nothing beats the importance of a truly comfortable bed for toddlers. With our list of the  top 10 beds for toddlers, we are strongly optimistic that your kid will be developing and growing to his or her optimum potential.

FAQ

Frequently Asked Questions

Q: What is a toddler bed?

A: A toddler bed is bed specifically designed for toddlers. The purpose of a toddler bed is to transition a toddler from a crib to bed in a safe and easy way. Toddler beds come equipped with side rails to prevent falling out of the bed and toddler beds either have a low clearance height or sit directly on the floor to help facilitate easy entry and exiting.

The average toddler bed can fit any crib mattress and range from 28 inches (70 centimeters) x 55 inches (140 centimeters) to 31 inches (78 centimeters) x 71 inches (180 centimeters).

Q: Why should I choose a toddler bed?

A: There are possibly a variety of reasons why you should choose a toddler bed but there are a few universal reasons that can apply to any parent. A toddler bed can fit into small spaces easily with plenty of room left for your toddler to enjoy. A toddler bed can also be used with the same crib mattress and bedding from the crib that they transfer from and a toddler bed provides high railings to prevent bed roll out while also providing an opening they can safely move in and out of.

Q: How should I choose a toddler bed?

A: Choosing a toddler bed can be quite an adventure and personal needs and tastes have to be taken into account but along with the criteria we use to choose a toddler bed, there are other criteria selection that can help you choose.

Low height clearance.
The toddler bed should be low enough to make it safe and easy for your child to climb in and out of.

Sturdy construction.
The toddler bed should be tough for your toddler’s rough and tumble sleep and play.

Smooth, rounded edges.
The toddler bed shouldn’t be sharp or hard enough to scratch, cut, or hurt your child.

A snug fit.
If the mattress doesn’t fit snugly, the bed could be too large and provide an entrapment hazard.

Safety certification.
A toddler bed certified for safety by the Juvenile Products Manufacturers Association (JPMA) has met the standards.

Q: How much are toddler beds and how long do they last?

A: Your standard toddler bed ranges from a minimum of $50 to a maximum of $200. Of course, very specialized toddler beds or custom-built toddler beds can price out much higher than $200. This pricing does not include the costs of the mattress, bedding, and any other accessories that can be added.

The life of a toddler bed usually lasts until they are the age five and that is the age when the child’s weight and height start to outgrow the toddler bed; by that age your child is more than ready for a regular big kids bed.

Q: What is the best age to transition from crib to toddler bed?

A: While there isn’t a particular age to transfer as some children are ready to transfer earlier than others, there is a particular phase that toddlers go through that exhibit transfer readiness. Usually, when a toddler refuses to fall asleep in their crib or actively start moving themselves out of the crib, that is a probable sign that your child is ready for their own bed. Other clues are outgrowth of the crib, a new sibling has arrived, and even the toddler asking for a bed of their own helps determine that it’s the best time to transition.

Q: How else can I discover toddler beds?

A: You should start with the Born Cute “10 Best Beds for Toddlers in 2018” list: Click the link of the toddler bed that interests you and when you arrive at the Amazon page for the toddler bed you selected, scroll down to the “Customers Who Viewed This Item Also Viewed” OR “Customers Who Bought This Brand Also Shopped For” lists.

Those two lists can give you great starting points in discovering other toddler beds. A visit with the local furniture store can help and speaking with your pediatrician for a proper toddler bed that will help your toddler’s development is a great choice as well.

Sources

  1. Child Development Info, Moving from Crib to Bed, Informative Article,
  2. Laura Broadwell , The Transition from Crib to Bed, Infromative Guide,
  3. What To Expect, Buying a Toddler or Twin Bed: What to Look For, Informative Guide,
  4. Andrew, 5 Criteria For The Best Childrens Furniture, Informative Article,
  5. Yvette Manes, Should You Buy A Toddler Bed Or A Regular Bed For Your Little One?, Informative Guide,