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Picking out nursery furniture for your baby is an exciting step but it can feel a little overwhelming when there are so many types of bed to choose from and you aren't sure about the pros and cons of each one.
Some parents opt for a moses basket or crib for their newborn whereas others prefer a cot or cot bed from the start. There are similarities between cots and cot beds but one major difference is how long your baby can sleep in them before they outgrow them and need something bigger.
Cots vary in size which is great as you can pick one to suit the space you have available and they tend to be less expensive than cot beds. Usually, they have fixed sides, although some do slide down for easy access, and a child can sleep in it until they are around two years of age.
Cot beds, on the other hand, are designed to adapt as your child grows and have a removable end panel and sides, turning into a low, small bed suitable for toddlers and children up to the age of about five. They are sized in between a cot and a single bed and generally come in a standard size. Which one you should get will depend on preference, budget, whether you are looking for longevity and whether you plan to have more children that you'll want to use it.
As your child will likely spend more time asleep than awake during their first two years of life, it is important to make sure that whichever cot or cot bed you choose will be safe for them. Although products and advice are subject to change some recommended guidelines to follow are to always check that the cot or cot bed conforms to British Safety Standards BS EN 716:2008, the distance between the top of the mattress and the top of the cot sides is at least 50cm and that the slats are vertical and spaced no more than 6.5cm apart.
Kidadl's Top Pick
All of the cots and cot beds in this article deserve their place in this list but we have chosen this one as Kidadl's top pick due to a combination of positive reviews, a great price and brilliant features.
1. Jacob Wooden Baby Cot
This baby cot bed is constructed from natural pine painted in neutral white. There are three base positions for easy and safe access, and the cot converts to a toddler bed by using the wooden barrier that comes included. There is handy storage underneath which you can use to keep baby essentials and a foam six centimetre aloe vera mattress comes supplied which makes for a comfortable night's sleep for your baby.
- Price: £139.99
- Age: From birth to 3 years
- Teething rails
- Includes foam mattress
- 12 month warranty
Best For Families On A Budget
2. Ikea SNIGLAR Cot
This is one of two Ikea cots that have made our best buy list and this one is included due to its great value for money. It is made from durable beech and the base has been designed to give your baby the support they need whilst being well ventilated to make sure your child is safe and comfortable.
- Price: £40
- Solid beech
- Adjustable cot base
- Mattress and bed linen sold separately
Best Cot Bed With A Mattress
3. Baby Elegance Starlight Baby Cot With Mattress
As baby cots go, this Argos cot bed is a great buy if you don't want to break the bank as it comes with the mattress included. It is easy to assemble and the base can be fixed so you don't strain your back placing your baby down for sleep and then lowered as your child grows to ensure they remain safely inside. It even includes teething rails to protect your baby's gums once they start to chew.
- Price: £99.99
- Age: For babies up to 25kg
- Made from pine
- Anti-allergy fibre mattress
Best For Space Saving
4. Petite Compact Cot For Baby To One Year
If you don't have a lot of space in the nursery, or you need something that will fit snugly in a corner of your own bedroom or by your bedside, then this space saving cot is worth a look. It is finished in a modern pebble grey and has a slatted design for full visibility. This small cot has two base height positions which make it suitable from birth to approximately one year of age.
- Price: £89
- Age: From birth to 12 months
- Only 0.61 metres squared
- Made from pine
- Self assembly required
Best For Colour Choice
5. SnuzKot Skandi Cot Bed
If you are looking for the best cot to give the room a pop of colour, then this option from SnuzKot might just be what you are looking for as it comes in six varieties with different coloured bars and feet. It is a modern design that would fit well with any Scandi style nursery and adapts from a cot for babies through to a toddler bed then junior bed. It even has an extension kit available that can transform it into a bed suitable for children up to ten years old so it certainly has longevity in mind.
- Price: £349
- Age: From birth to 10 years
- 6 colours to choose from
- No MDF or veneer
- Matching nursery furniture available
Best For Storage
6. Isabella & Max Bledsoe Cot Bed
As cot beds go, this one comes loaded with handy features that would make it a great addition to any nursery. The white cot bed is height adjustable and has the capability to expand into a small bed as your child grows. It also has a built in changing table and large storage compartments where you can keep night time or changing necessities.
- Price: £439.99
- Bed guard rail included
- 2 height settings
- Assembly required
Best For Height Adjustable
7. Ikea GONATT
This Ikea cot bed is finished in a soft grey which is ideal for the nursery of a baby girl or baby boy as has handy drawers underneath for storage. It has a height-adjustable base so that the mattress can be lowered after the first six months or whenever your baby starts to sit up on their own in order to make sure they stay safe.
- Price: £160
- Solid beech frame
- Three storage drawers
- Removable side
Best For Sleigh Style Cots And Cotbeds
8. Babymore Eva Sleigh Cot Bed Drop Side With Drawer
If you are looking for a sleigh cot bed then this might be the best cot bed for you. As a drop side cot, it allows easier access to your baby and ensures you do not strain your back when reaching in and out. It has three base positions and features a full drawer runner underneath for handy storage.
- Price: £199
- Age: From birth to 4 years
- Mattress included
- Teething rail
- Meets British and European safety standards
Best For Stylish Families
9. John Lewis & Partners Rachel Sleigh Cotbed
This John Lewis cot bed is another sleigh style option but in a subtle grey finish. Suitable to use from birth, this cot bed had three height adjustments and then converts into a small toddler bed once the child has outgrown the cot.
- Price: £280
- Age: Suitable from birth and converts to a cot bed
- Solid pine (excluding draw base and slats)
- An integrated drawer on wheels
- Easily removable side rails
Kidadl Best Buys selects the top parent-recommended products across the web for families of all ages. If you liked our suggestions for the best cots and cot beds, then take a look at our list of the 11 best travel cots for newborns to toddlers or this list of the 10 best nursing chairs and rockers.
At Kidadl we pride ourselves on offering families original ideas to make the most of time spent together at home or out and about, wherever you are in the world. We strive to recommend the very best things that are suggested by our community and are things we would do ourselves - our aim is to be the trusted friend to parents.
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