Last updated: September 6, 2021

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Transitioning from the cradle to a bed is a key developmental milestone for children and their parents. Each child will transition at their own time, however, it often happens at around 2 years old. A smooth transition is key to helping the child enjoy their new sense of independence, and it will ease the parents fear that the little one may roll out of bed while sleeping.

Kids bed rails play an instrumental part in ensuring a smooth transition for both the child and parents sake. These accessories work to prevent your child from falling out of bed while sleeping. Bed rails will allow your child to get used to their new sleeping quarters without the risk of getting hurt. This guide is designed to help you navigate the bed rails market to find the best possible one for your child.

Key Facts

  • Bed rail work to ease the transition process of going from cradle to bed. Each child has their own timing, however, it often happens in early toddlerhood.
  • These accessories are made of many materials and can either be of fixed or foldable. To find the right model, make sure to consider the type of bed and mattress you have.
  • Among the best-liked models, are those with padded edges. In the event of a spontaneous blow to the rail, your toddler won’t get hurt.

Ranking: The best bed rails for kids

In this next section, we present you with the best kids bed rails currently available. Read on to learn more about the types of features you should look for in a quality bed rail. These items are designed to ensure the safety of your child and give you peace of mind, make sure you choose wisely, and whatever product you choose, use it correctly.

Shopping Guide: Everything you should know about bed rails

There are some variables that can help you determine which bed rail model will be best for you and your child. Some of the things to consider are the size of the bed, the manufacturing materials of the rails and the installation process. In this section, we cover everything you should know before buying a bed rail. We have also answered the most frequently asked questions among parents.

Most toddler beds come equipped with side rails, but both the toddler and twin beds need them to keep your child safe.
(Source: Bialasiewicz: 42783513/

What is a bed rail exactly?

Kids bed rails are guard attachments that keep your child from rolling out of the side of the bed in their sleep. These items are indispensable safety devices that give both the parent and child, peace of mind during this important developmental transition.

Before choosing a kids guard rail, make sure to consider the type of bed it will be installed on. Keep in mind that its placement will also be affected by the type and size of the mattress. These convenient products allow your child to get used to their new sleeping quarters without the fear of falling.

Bed guards for toddlers are recommended between the ages of 18 months to 5 years.

Why is it recommended to use a bed rail?

Normal beds don’t offer any kind of protective shield to prevent the child from falling out of the bed while they’re getting used to their new resting place. During this important transition, bed rails help both the parent and child feel comfortable, by knowing there is a barrier that will help prevent any accidents.

Children overall grow really quickly, once they’re too big for their cot or crib, they will have to move on to their new bed - this is where guardrails come in. These accessories allow your child to acclimate to their new bed without a painful learning curve. As your child grows, these items will no longer be necessary, since the risk of them falling will be gone.

Alexandra MelusExpert in Early Childhood Development
"Small bed rails will protect your child from rolling out of bed, while not limiting them from getting in and out of bed independently."

What are the advantages and benefits of having a bed rail

The advantages of guard rails are pretty obvious. For starters, the child will feel more comfortable in their new bed without the fear of a possible fall during sleep. Furthermore, the parents will also rest easier knowing that there is a safety rail in place that will prevent the child from rolling out of bed. In short, this kind of barrier gives confidence and easy to both sides.

Depending on the location of the bed, it may need a bed rail in one of both of the siders. These items can be installed either just at the top of the bed, or covering the entire length of the bed. The objective in both scenarios is the same: Keeping the child from falling out of bed in their sleep and getting hurt.

What types of bed guards can I find?

There are two main types of kids bed rails, and they are classified by their method of installation. On one hand, you will find the type that works by being placed under the mattress. On the other hand, there are does that are fixed to the bed structure by means of anchors. Bed guards can also be fixed or mobile, the former doesn't move after instilled, while the latter can fold down.

When considering folding bed rails, there are several models with different mechanisms. Folding rails, as the name suggests, fold down to make getting in and out of bed easier for the child. There are also telescopes, which are lifted as if they were a telescope. Last but not least, there are also removable handrails, which can be easily taken down and put back on each day.

What are the main considerations when choosing a bed rail

One of the main aspects to consider when getting one of these safety accessories is their manufacturing material. These items can be made of wood, aluminum, metal, or plastic. The most common models are made of metal and come with a mesh fabric. The mesh is often made removable for easy washing.

Keep in mind that some models will come with a soft cushioning material that covers the entire structure. This is to prevent your child from hurting themselves if they make any sudden movements in their sleep and hit the rail. These sort of items should be above all very safe, nonetheless, don’t forget to make sure that they are also easy to work and install.

Bed rails are made for children aged 18 months and up, these items create a soft but secure boundary to prevent little ones accidentally rolling out of bed.

How do I know what size bed rail I need for my child?

The size and type of bed will determine the size of the bed rail you will need. The length of a toddler bed is usually between 4-5 feet long. Meaning you’ll be able to use a bed rail of that size or smaller. You will also have the option of choosing a design that is placed at the height of the child's headrest.

When considering the height of the bed guard, it is recommended that it be between 15 and 20 inches tall. The choice you make regarding this particular detail will depend on the child’s sleep habits and the desired level of safety. In any event, make sure the model you rises at least 13 inches above the mattress.

Jesus GarciaPediatrician
"During toddlerhood, I recommend the use of lateral protection in their bed. At this age, the child my roll to the sides on their sleep looking for the support the crib used to provide."

Purchase Criteria

You will find a large selection of bed rails with varying characteristics and features. For this reason, choosing one model over another can sometimes be a little difficult or confusing. This next set of criteria will guide you throughout your search in order to help you choose the best possible accessory for your child.

  • Anchoring System
  • Security
  • Measurements
  • Manufacturing Materials
  • Comfort

Anchoring System

The way the bed rails are anchored to the bed is one of the most important things to consider. The best model for you will depend on the type of bed. One of the most popular anchoring systems are the ones that come with bars, which you place under the mattress. These models are kept stable by the weight of the mattress and the child.

There are also bed rails that worked by being fixed onto the structure of the bed. They are attached either with a pressure clasp or screwed onto the bed structure itself. The installation of these models is a little more involved, but they provide the sturdiest protection. Last but not least, there are removable rails meant for travel. travel barriers are removable.


The level of security the bed guard provides is also a key aspect to consider. This one criterion will directly affect the peace of mind of both the parents and child. For this reason, when installing these items you should always ensure it’s securely fastened to the bed. If the child is a restless sleeper, the barrier should be very robust.

Experts recommend installing the railing at a distance from the headboard of less than 1.5” or more than 10”. It is a safety guideline to avoid unwanted night blows. The barrier should also be equipped with a padded cover to prevent any injuries as the child sleeps. If your little one does hit himself against the guard, he won’t get hurt.

Never install portable bed rails on a crib because the mattress is too small to support them.
(Source: Famveldman: 43359772/


The size of the guard rail is an important factor to take into account. The item you choose will depend on the characteristics of the bed and how it is placed. For instance, if the bed is located next to the wall, you will only need a bed rail for one side. If the bed is in the middle of the room, you will need two rails, one for each side.

Most bed rails are usually between 40 and 50 inches long, however, some parents prefer to opt for railings which are made for shorter beds. These models should be placed at the height of the head. These accessories provide the same level of protection as those that run along the entire length of the bed. Make sure to take manufacturing recommendations into account.

Manufacturing Materials

It is important to consider that the materials used to manufacture the bed rails will have a large impact on their effectiveness and sturdiness. You will find guard rails that are made of either wood, plastic, metal, or aluminum. Most models will also come with a mesh fabric to provide cushion and comfort to your child.

It will be important to choose a bed rail that has a good finish. You will find that models that have a removable casing will be convenient and easy to clean. Some models will also include a soft lining cushion meant to prevent the child from getting hurt if they hit the guardrail by accident. More often than note, safety and endurance will go hand in hand with quality materials.

Material Advantages
Wood Resistant and aesthetic
Plastic Economical
Aluminium Robust and versatile
Metal Durable


Last but not least, make sure that the bed rail you choose is easy to handle and comfortable for your child. It is important that in addition to being safe, the item is also practical. The most practical models today are folding models, these barriers usually have a hinge closure system to safely and easily fold or unfold them.

The hinges of these types of accessories should be designed to prevent pinching. Ensuring the barrier you choose is functional and practical, will make your life so much easier. Make sure the model you choose allows for easy access and exit for your child. Also, ensure that the bed rail offers complete fixation during sleeping hours.


Bed rails are not items that should be chosen lightly or without the proper information. After all, these items are designed to help keep your child safe. These accessories will be necessary sooner or later as the child grows and transitions from their crib to their first bed. Being well informed will allow you to make the best possible decision at the time of purchase.

The timing for this developmental milestone varies from child to child, but when the time comes, make sure to select a guard rail that is made of quality materials and offers safety above all. The added sense of safety these items provide will help your child adapt faster to their new sleeping arrangements. At the end of the day, the product you choose should be functional and reliable.

(Source of featured image: Lobanov: 25372671/