Last updated: August 5, 2021

Are you expecting a baby and still looking for the right bed for your little darling? Or maybe your child has already outgrown the existing cot and you're looking for a new one that can even be converted to suit their age? Then we might have the right solution for you!

In our big baby cot test 2021 we present you with detailed background information on the topic of baby cots. You will find answers to the most important questions and we will introduce you to different types of baby cots. We also provide you with criteria that you should pay attention to when buying a cot.

Contents




Summary

  • A baby cot is important if you are looking for a place for your newborn to sleep. However, many beds can also be converted so that you can use them up to primary school age.
  • Cots are available in different designs - you should decide whether you want to buy the textile equipment or whether the cot should already contain it.
  • When buying a cot, you should not only choose the material and dimensions, but also the slatted frame, the mattress and the GS seal.

The Best Baby Cot: Our Choices

Guide: Questions you should ask yourself before buying a baby cot

How much does a baby cot cost?

Baby and children's beds are available for as little as 100 euros.

Category price range
Low-priced models from €100
Middle class approx. €200 to €300

The range goes up to several hundred euros, depending on what you want for the cot. The middle range is around 200 to 300 euros.

What styles of baby beds are there?

Baby and children's beds come in every conceivable colour and style. You will often find products in plain white. But they also come in playful pink, wood or even black. You can choose between many styles, for example romantic, noble or princess-like.

What exactly does the "DIN EN 716 ½" label mean? What is guaranteed by this DIN standard?

The DIN standard shows you that the product meets the requirements of the European Union in terms of dimensions and safety.

Baby cots are equipped with bars and special mattresses to protect the baby. The bars prevent the baby from falling out and the mattress makes breathing easier. (Photo: 123rf.com / 42125355_m)

You are guaranteed with this advice that, for example, the distance from the mattress to the border is large enough to ensure that your baby cannot fall out of bed.

The distance between the bars is also guaranteed by this standard. You can therefore see the DIN standard as a seal of quality for the safety of the baby cot. When buying, make sure that the bed has the seal.

Why are baby cots equipped with bars?

The bars guarantee safety in the cot. This way your child cannot fall out or climb over the edge of the cot. When your child is a little bigger, you can also remove a few bars from many cots so that he or she can climb out of the bed on his or her own.

Decision: What types of baby cots are there and which is the right one for you?

Basically, you can distinguish between five different types of baby cots:

  • Baby cot made of solid wood
  • Baby cot with canopy
  • Baby cot with nest
  • Baby cot with castors
  • Convertible cots

There are advantages and disadvantages with each of these cots. Depending on what you want for your cot and what features you want it to have, a different type of cot is best for you.

In the following section, we would like to help you find out which cot is right for your baby! To do this, we will introduce you to all of the types of baby cots mentioned above and clearly present the advantages and disadvantages of each.

Baby cots come in different shapes and are made of different materials. This goes hand in hand with certain advantages and disadvantages. For example, it is possible to attach castors to a baby cot, with the help of which the cot can be moved effortlessly. As for the material, one option is solid wood, which is expensive but very robust and resistant. (Picture source: 123rf.com / 43359772)

When is a baby cot made of solid wood the right choice for you and what are the advantages and disadvantages?

In short: a cot made of solid wood is particularly robust, durable and offers high quality compared to baby cots made of imitation wood. One disadvantage is the correspondingly high price you pay for the baby cot.

Quality usually costs money. On the other hand, the cot will last a long time and can be used again for future generations. In addition, the wood is sanded so that there is no risk of injury to your baby.

Advantages
  • Looks smart
  • Good quality
  • Durable
  • Robust
Disadvantages
  • Cost-intensive

What are the functions of a canopy cot and what are the advantages and disadvantages?

Canopy beds for babies are beautiful to look at. Whether a baby cot with a canopy is right for you depends mainly on whether you like the look of the canopy. Nowadays, canopy beds no longer have a real function. In the past, they were mainly used to keep bugs and other insects out of the newborn's bed.

Today, it's more about the look. Another advantage is that many babies feel particularly comfortable and sleep better because they are less distracted. A baby canopy is not for you if you don't like it visually or if it seems impractical for you.

Advantages
  • Beautiful appearance
  • Soothing effect
  • Protects against draughts
Disadvantages
  • Impractical for putting the baby in

Why should you choose a baby cot with a nest and what are its advantages and disadvantages?

A nest provides extra warmth, so your baby should not sleep wrapped up too thickly - otherwise it will quickly become too warm. One disadvantage is that a canopy over the bed accumulates air.

You should therefore choose one - canopy or nest. Opponents always associate the baby nest with infant death - but that is just a myth!

The strict EU guidelines now ensure that nests are completely safe. One advantage is that the nest protects against draughts and prevents colds. They also protect the baby from hitting their head when they are active.

Advantages
  • Protection from injuries
  • Protection from draughts
  • Great feel-good factor for the child
  • Protection from colds
Disadvantages
  • Heat accumulation

In which case is a baby cot with castors the right choice for you and what are the advantages or disadvantages?

The advantage of a baby cot with castors is obvious: you can roll your baby flexibly into any room. Babies need a lot of closeness to mum and dad, especially at the beginning of their lives - a baby cot with castors allows you to stay close even when you are busy with other things but want to keep an eye on your newborn. The baby cots with castors are available in different designs and sizes.

Advantages
  • Flexibility
  • More closeness
Disadvantages
  • Somewhat more expensive than conventional beds

How does a convertible baby cot work and what are the advantages or disadvantages?

Convertible cots have the advantage that they "grow with the child". You can convert the cot into a junior bed when the time comes. The bars can be removed and the base can be adjusted in height. This way your child can sleep in the same bed until primary school age.

Advantages
  • Cost advantage: a bed up to primary school age
  • Flexibility
Disadvantages
  • More expensive than conventional beds
  • conversion necessary

Buying criteria: You can use these factors to compare and evaluate baby beds

In the following, we would like to show you which factors you can use to compare and evaluate children's beds. This will make it easier for you to decide whether a particular bed is suitable for you or not. In summary, these are:

  • The material
  • Dimensions of the beds
  • Slatted frame and mattress
  • Conversion options
  • Crossbars
  • Design and colour
  • Extra features and functions
  • TÜV test

In the following paragraphs you can read about the individual purchase criteria and how you can classify them.

A healthy sleep is very important for a baby. The baby cot should therefore be of high quality, especially with regard to pollutant-free material, the mattress and the slatted frame.

The material

The material plays a decisive role when it comes to choosing a good bed for your baby. You should not skimp on this. In general, we recommend that you prefer natural materials, as newborns and toddlers are particularly susceptible to harmful substances in low-quality materials.

Your child spends most of the first months of its life in the cot - that's reason enough to pay special attention to materials that are free of harmful substances. Most children's beds are either made of high-quality solid wood or are at least partially solid. More rarely, the material is MDF or chipboard.

Solid wood beds are the highest quality and most durable. But even if you choose cheaper models with chipboard, it is always important that the varnish contains only saliva-resistant and solvent-free varnishes.

When it comes to detergents and fabric softeners, you should also make sure not to use any harmful chemicals that could harm your child. These can irritate the skin or cause allergies in children.

Bed dimensions

The standard dimensions for baby beds are 70x140cm. This is the optimal size to let your child sleep comfortably in it until the age of two or three. More rarely, the cot is 60×120 cm. In this case, you should bear in mind that your child may "outgrow" the bed more quickly and a new one will be needed.

Slatted frame and mattress

The slatted frame is particularly important. This is usually supplied with the bed, so in most cases you only need to buy a mattress. This is also included with some baby cots.

When buying a slatted frame for newborns, make sure that it is stable and height-adjustable. There are 3 to 6 adjustable levels - this varies depending on the product. It is also important that there are no sharp edges or corners on the bed or slatted frame! Your baby moves during sleep and should not be able to hurt himself.

Slatted frames should not be underestimated because the mattresses wick away moisture. The distance between the mattress and the top of the bed is ideally 20 cm for babies. For toddlers, the distance should be at least 50 cm.

We recommend a medium-hard mattress that cannot be pushed in more than 3 to a maximum of 4 cm. This allows your child to move freely and turn onto its stomach. It is also important that the cover of the mattress is removable and washable - so you can remove stains easily at any time.

Did you know that your baby should not sleep on its stomach, but in the supine position? This advice from doctors in 1071 cost many babies their lives. This sleeping position very often led to infant death. Despite the warning, the information that babies should sleep on their stomach is still circulating today.

In beds with a conversion function, the mattress often offers you two different sides: one side is a little softer and suitable for smaller children, while the other side offers a little more stability and is suitable until adolescence.

One thing you should always keep in mind: the fabrics - whether for a mattress or a pillowcase - should always be free of allergens. You should also pay attention to the mattress size. The most common baby mattress sizes are 140×70 cm and 120×60 cm.

Conversion options

Some baby beds offer you the option of letting the bed "grow" with the child. It can be converted so that it can serve as a youth bed up to primary school age. This saves you the cost and time of choosing a suitable bed when a conventional baby bed becomes too small. In this case, the slatted frame is height-adjustable as standard and parts of the bed can be removed - for example, the rungs that protect the baby from falling out.

Rungs

Children's and baby beds are characterised by the rungs on the sides. The distance between the rungs is a big risk factor for babies. For optimal safety, a rung spacing of between 4.5 and 6.5 cm is recommended. If the distance is too small, there is a risk that your child's feet or hands will get stuck. If the rungs are too far apart, your child's head could get stuck.

Design and colour

The design and colour of the bed are two very subjective choices of baby cot. Of course, safety and comfort for the baby are more important. You can give free rein to your creativity when it comes to colour and design. It is best to pay attention to the colour scheme of the baby's room and the rest of the furniture and wall colours.

By choosing the right design and colour, you can integrate a baby cot into any room.

Extra features and functions

Many baby cots come with matching bedding, nests and covers. These products often cost a little more. Usually a mattress is also included, which fits perfectly in the bed. This saves you the additional costs for the equipment.

A perfectly fitting nest is especially advantageous so that your baby cannot hurt itself. Depending on the equipment, the cot offers you a canopy rod and the matching fabric. Make sure that all materials - whether bedding or canopy - are washable and free of allergens.

TÜV test

Baby cots should comply with DIN EN 716-1/2. The EU directive is standard nowadays. There are also other quality seals, such as the GS seal, the Golden M or the TÜV seal, which you can use as a guide.

In the best case, mattresses have the Ökotex 100 seal - but often the mattresses do not have this mirror. It is best to air the new mattress for 3 to 5 days before use so that the smell of solvents quickly dissipates.

Facts worth knowing about baby beds

Can I build a baby cot myself?

It is definitely possible, but it requires a lot of time, work and craftsmanship. If you enjoy this, there are many instructions on the internet for building a bed for your child. In our experience, however, it is better to use a ready-made bed - this saves you a lot of time and you can be sure that your baby is safe in the bed. This may even be the cheaper option.

What is the purpose of the so-called nest in the baby cot?

As described above, nests are textile protectors that are attached to the edge of the bed. This way, the baby cannot hurt itself, is protected all around and is well taken care of. It offers a feeling of security that many children find pleasant, and it also protects against draughts.

What is the difference between a baby cot, a side bed or a bassinet?

Side beds are open on one long side and do not have any bars built in on this side. This means that the cot can be placed directly next to the parents' bed and connected with an angle.

Did you know that in the first weeks of life the baby is best kept in a cradle or bassinet? Because the sleeping area is not too big, the baby feels safe and secure in it. However, a cot can also be visually limited with, for example, a short canopy.

Baby cots are completely closed on all sides and can only be placed next to the parents' bed. A bassinet, on the other hand, is smaller than a baby cot and does not have such high boundaries as the baby cot.

Type Description
Baby cot The "classic" cot is closed on all sides by a grid. It is usually height-adjustable, which allows it to be adapted to current needs. For example, this prevents infants from climbing out of the cot.
Extra bed Extra beds are especially suitable for newborn babies. They are open on one side. The open side is attached to your bed with an angle. This way your baby is very close to you, but there is no danger of it falling out. Only use the cot when babies are not yet able to crawl.
Bassinet A bassinet is smaller than a conventional baby cot. It often comes with a canopy, wheels and/or a cradle function. However, because the bassinet is relatively low in height, it is well suited for newborns.

Therefore, bassinets are especially suitable for newborns in the first few months of their lives, when there is no danger of them falling out.

Up to what age or body weight can a baby cot usually be used?

Baby cots are generally somewhat smaller compared to normal cots - between 70 and 90 cm long. Therefore, the baby cot is only suitable for newborns and toddlers. The instructions for use always give precise information on the recommendation. There are also adjustable beds that are suitable for toddlers and can be enlarged up to school age.

How long have baby cots been around?

The traditional form of baby cot is the cradle. From the 19th century onwards, the bassinet was invented in the world.

Image source: unsplash.com / Paul Hanaoka

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