Last updated: August 5, 2021

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The right choice of bed is essential for a good and healthy sleep. Factors such as safety play the biggest role for children. As children grow up, the function of the bed also changes. The children's bed also becomes a place for playing. There are no limits to the imagination.

With our cot test 2021 we would like to help you find the right bed for your child. We have compared different children's beds with each other and compiled advantages and disadvantages. In the end, both you and your child can sleep well.




Summary

  • A safe bed is the priority when buying a bed. Before the purchase, one pays attention to the material and seal and also afterwards to a good protection around the bed.
  • The purchase of a mattress is crucial, depending on the body size, it is decided which mattress length suits the child and then you can also choose the type of bed.
  • A cot can be many things, a cot, a standard bed, a loft bed or even a bunk bed.

The Best Cot: Our Choices

Cot: buying and rating criteria

In the following, we will list the different criteria you can use to choose a cot. We have selected 6 criteria that will make your purchase decision easier.

In the next sections, we will explain the individual criteria in detail.

Size / Length

Children aged 0-3 years usually sleep in cradles or in a baby cot that can be converted into a cot. The bars are simply removed and a 3 - 5 year old child can use this cot. These mattresses are usually 60x120cm.

However, one usually speaks of a cot from the 3rd to 4th year of age. The mattress sizes vary between 60x140 and 70x140cm. Depending on the manufacturer's model, you can find both variants.

For school children, we recommend that you buy an adult mattress directly, namely 90x200 or 80x200cm.

It is important to note that the length of the bed by age cannot actually be measured, but must be adjusted to your child's individual growth. Children grow at different speeds. However, you can remember as a rule of thumb that the mattress must always be at least 20cm longer than the child. This means that there must be a gap of 10 cm between the beginning and the end of the bed to allow for movement during sleep.

In summary, there are 3 cycles of a cot:
For children from 0-3 years, children from 4 years, children from 6 years. However, you don't have to buy 3 different beds, if you buy a baby bed, which you can convert into a cot, you can then directly.

Features

When it comes to children, safety comes first. Because children fall and stumble all the time, it is very important to minimise all possible dangers. The GS seal ensures that the child will not be injured by sharp corners or edges, as everything is rounded and nothing sticks out.

When buying a mattress and slatted frame, you must also look for safety seals and quality seals, even if most children's beds are sold as a complete package.

When buying a mattress and slatted frame, you must look for safety seals and quality seals.

Many of the children's beds that you can convert consist of bars. You should pay attention to the gap between the bars, which is between 4.5 and 6.5 cm, in order to avoid possible entrapment. You should be able to remove the bars to allow children to get out of bed on their own, depending on their age. At the same time, the bars remain in place to protect the child from rolling out of bed during sleep. There are baby cots where the conversion can be made into a completely new cot by removing the bars. This means that your grown child can use the cot for much longer and then switch directly to a bed for adults.

Material

Only the best for your child, so make sure you choose the right material when buying a cot. Especially if you buy accessories for the cot, make sure they are free of harmful substances and made of skin-friendly natural materials.

Safety plays the most important role for children, especially when it comes to the right material. This safety is guaranteed by materials that are made from ecologically safe basic materials. For this you have to look for the seal "The Blue Angel". With these products, you can be sure that the varnish and paint used are saliva-resistant and odourless.

Most children's beds are made of wood. The most durable wood is solid wood. Some are made of pine and beech. However, there are also children's beds made of chipboard, which wear out more quickly.

Slatted frame

Basically, a slatted frame is preferable for children instead of a wooden platform. The air circulates much better. Often the slatted frame is included in the package when buying a baby bed.

The slatted frame, which can be adjusted in some children's beds, allows different height settings. The height is adjusted to the age or size of the child. For babies, the slatted frame should be high to protect the parents' backs. For children who are beginning to crawl, the height should be adjusted and set low to avoid possible hazards such as falling out of bed.

Mattress

With the mattress, it is important to pay attention to what size fits the bed frame. Bed frames vary in size, as do mattresses. Baby mattresses start at a size of 60x120 or 70x140cm. The advantage of a smaller mattress is that the newborn does not feel lost. These mattresses usually also have a firm step edge that ensures that the children do not slip when they make their first attempts to stand.

Children's mattresses with the size 70x140cm, are especially suitable for children of 100 cm, from about 3-6 years. However, the age is not as decisive as the size of the child. From a height of more than 120 cm, a change to a mattress of 80x200 or 90x200cm is recommended for a height of about 100 cm, from about 3 years.

Cots: Frequently asked questions and answers

In the next section we would like to answer the most important questions about cots. We will answer the most frequently asked questions about cots in a nutshell. The guide will take you through the ABCs of cots so that you feel safe and your child is safe.

For which age groups is the transition from baby cot to cot suitable?

The transition from cot to toddler bed usually comes with the change from nursery to school. Depending on the model, the first bed can be used until the child is about 6 years old, as long as the baby bed can be converted into a cot. To do this, you must be able to move or remove the cot rail and slatted frame.

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A mother eagerly awaiting her child. According to the Federal Agency for Civic Education, in 2018, the average age of an expectant mother when she had her first child was 30.
(Image source: Omurden Cengiz / Unsplash)

If you had your baby in a cot before and now want to switch to a cot, it doesn't depend on the age as much as the size of the child.
The child should always have enough room to move around in the bed. Therefore, pay more attention to the mattress length. The minimum length of your child's mattress must be the child's height plus 20 cm. If the mattress is shorter, this is the moment to change from the baby bed to the cot.

Height, plus 20cm must be the minimum length of your child's mattress

The child's needs change with age. With the baby, you should pay special attention to safety; if your child moves a lot during sleep, more protection must be thought of. This means that if it is a bed that can be converted, you should lower the bed more quickly in such cases to avoid possible danger spots.

What types of cots are there?

If you are faced with the decision to get a cot, you first need to have an overview. In the following, I will give you a guide to the 5 different types of cots, their advantages and disadvantages.

type of cot advantage disadvantage
standard cot simplifies getting into bed, can be used by others not much difference to adult beds, needs decoration or paint
loft bed for children space-saving, for desk, play corner, storage possibilities, child has more privacy upstairs difficult to carry child into bed, child must not be afraid of heights, more dangers due to height
Bunk bed for children two mattresses, ideal for siblings, space-saving can lead to conflicts as to who can sleep on the bottom and who on the top
Convertible cot light, can be converted, inexpensive due to 2in1 or 3in1 option. 3in1 option, space-saving as these are smaller, can stand independently against a wall or in the middle of the room special sizes more difficult to buy bedding for, not much choice, parents cannot lie in it if there are bars

The standard bed is similar to the adult bed, but can be made childlike with colours and decoration and is a pleasant transition from the cot.

A loft bed is space-saving because the bed is on top and you can place a table or a play corner under the bed.

The bunk bed is ideal for siblings because it consists of two beds. The children have the possibility to sleep among each other and to change again and again.

A convertible bed exists in different variations 4in1, 3in1 or 2in1. It is practical and lighter than a standard bed. At the same time, it does not bear as much weight as a standard bed.

What does a cot cost?

To give you an idea of how much a cot costs, we have prepared an overview. Many manufacturers offer a package price for the bed with slatted frame and mattress.

Type price range
Standard bed for children circa 60-300€
Loft bed for children circa 220-1,800€
Bunk bed for children circa 250-1,200€
Convertible bed for children circa 90-250€

There are considerable variations due to brands but also how simple or luxurious the bed is equipped. There are very simple ones where you can buy the bed frame alone. Other beds have extras such as a climbing wall, slides, storage space, pull-out drawers, built-in wardrobe or desk. Extras cost, but so does the material.

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Children don't just sleep on beds, they love to play and romp on them, like in a pillow fight.
(Image source: Allen Taylor / Unsplash)

What are the alternatives to a cot?

If you don't want a cot, here are some alternatives

type feature
travel cot + is ideal for on the go
tipi cot + ideal for rooms with a sloping roof
children's house + ideal for children with lots of imagination to create their own world
cradle + is ideal for newborns
children's hammock + is ideal for rocking to sleep
baby bouncer + is ideal for leaving the child unattended for a short time as there is a harness

Many of these alternatives are aimed more at babies. They are more for a nap or something temporary. This does not include the children's house and tipi bed as well as the cradle for the baby.

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Children's activities mainly take place in bed. The bed is intended for the child as well as for the many cuddly toys.
(Image source: Hiveboxx / Unsplash)

Where should a cot be placed?

As soon as the newborn finds its new home at home, the question arises, where should it sleep? In the cot? Or in the bed?

If you are one of those who would prefer to take your baby to bed with you, we advise against it at first, but recommend that you mount an extra bed to the bed. This way you can keep an eye on your baby at all times and don't have to get up completely to take the baby out. Simply adjust the slatted frame to the height of your mattress.

If you thought you wanted the baby to come straight into his room, we don't agree with that either. You should at least have the cot in the same room as you because of the potential dangers in the first year. After the first year, it is recommended that the child gets used to its own room.

You should at least have the cot in the same room as yourself in the first year

We recommend that you place the bed so that the child can look at the door or window, which gives the child a sense of security. Another tip is to place the headboard against a solid wall. However, the proximity of sockets, light switches and the like should be avoided.

Conclusion

When buying a cot, you should not only pay attention to age, but also focus on body size. The internet and furniture stores offer a variety of different models. In summary, however, you should pay particular attention to the safety of the child. There are products that support this safety. This means that if you choose a cot, it is important to protect it with a nest. If you decide on another form, namely the standard bed or loft bed, it is important to provide additional protection with a bed rail so that the child cannot fall out.

The multitude of offers makes it difficult to find the right bed, because every cot focuses on different functions, but on the same need, a safe and comfortable sleep. So as long as you follow basic rules about what not to do, you can't go wrong with your decision.

Image source: serezniy / 123rf

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