A Crib

From Crib to Cool the Ultimate Guide to Choosing the Perfect Toddler Bed

Discover the top picks for toddler beds, including bed tents, bunk beds, car beds, and more, to create a cozy and exciting sleep space for your little one.

Welcome to the world of toddlerhood! The official start is marked by your baby's first birthday, although most parents hesitate to replace the crib with a toddler bed so early. However, there is no rush because your child is still safe and secure in their familiar sleep space, even if they are beginning to pull themselves up using the crib rails. But as the months go by, you may notice signs that they are ready to break free, like a little ninja. This is one of many indications that it's time to start considering a proper toddler bed. Keep reading to discover the right timing and important factors to consider before making a purchase. We will also provide recommendations for the best toddler beds available

When is the Appropriate Time for Children to Transition to Toddler Beds?

There are no strict rules regarding when to switch to a toddler bed, but most families are ready to make the transition between 18 months and 4 years of age. To determine if it's the right time to start looking for a toddler bed, you might consider asking yourself these questions:

  • Does your child frequently escape from the crib? If they keep climbing out, a toddler bed can help prevent any potential injuries.
  • Is there a new baby on the way? Sometimes, siblings need the crib, and transitioning to a toddler bed can be presented as an exciting step toward becoming a big kid.
  • Does your toddler share a room with an older sibling? If your youngest child shares a bedroom with an older sibling who is ready to sleep in a top bunk, it might be a good opportunity to consider toddler bunk beds and create more space.
  • Does your toddler wake up early? Are you longing for more sleep? If you have a gate across the bedroom door and a nursery that is fully childproofed, your toddler may enjoy the freedom of getting out of bed and entertaining themselves for a while before demanding your presence.
  • Is your toddler in the midst of potty training? If your toddler has made progress with daytime potty training and you are now hoping they will independently use the potty during the night or in the morning, transitioning to a toddler bed is definitely a wise decision.

What You Should Consider Before Shopping for Toddler Beds

Before diving into the exciting task of transforming the nursery into a big-kid room, take note of the following points:

  • Toddler bed size: A common question is, "What size is a toddler bed?" Interestingly, toddler beds have the same dimensions as cribs. This means that the typical size of a toddler bed is approximately 31 inches by 56 inches, which is great news because it allows most crib mattresses to work perfectly with the toddler bed too!
  • Many cribs can be converted to toddler beds: In many cases, cribs have the capability to convert into toddler beds. However, you might require a separate conversion kit, while for some models, all you need to do is remove one side.
  • It's not yet time for a twin bed: If your child has outgrown the crib but isn't quite ready for a twin bed, a toddler bed serves as an ideal transitional option. It will likely accommodate your child until they are around 6 years old, providing you with a few years of good use.

Top Picks for Toddler Beds

While you might have your own design preferences in mind, it's important to consider that your toddler has their own preferences too. (As you may have already observed, toddlers are quite passionate individuals!) That's why we have curated a delightful selection of the best toddler beds that will cater to both your taste and your little one's desires.

Top Picks for Toddler Bunk Beds

Max and Lily Low Bunk Bed

If you have two little ones sharing a room, a toddler bunk bed can be an ideal solution as it saves space and gets kids excited about sharing. For toddler bunk beds, the bottom bunk is designed for toddlers to sleep on, while a sibling who is 6 years or older can sleep on the top bunk. Max and Lily's low-profile bunk bed takes the top spot on our list of the best toddler bunk beds, thanks to its compact size and extremely low bottom bed, making it suitable even for the youngest toddlers. Additionally, its minimalist design helps create a sense of openness in smaller spaces.

Here are the key specifications:

  • Dimensions: 81.5" H x 54.25" W x 50" L (including ladder)
  • Bottom bunk is positioned two inches above the floor What We Love:
  • Crafted from solid, knot-free wood
  • Non-toxic finishes with low-VOC paint
  • Available in five stylish finishes Things To Consider:
  • Best suited for younger children due to less headroom on the bottom bunk compared to traditional bunk beds
  • Bunk beds are twin-sized, so you won't be able to reuse a crib mattress.
  • Cost- Target 399.99$ Amazon- 399.99$

Top Picks for Toddler Bed Tents

Delta Children CoComelon Sleep and Play Toddler Bed with Tent

Kids absolutely adore having a toddler bed tent, and we fully support it! When your little one is happy and cozy in an enclosed sleep space, they won't keep a watchful eye on you as you try to sneak out after their bedtime story. And when it comes to beloved characters, there's hardly a toddler who isn't head over heels for Cocomelon. That's why this delightful bed earns its place as the best toddler bed tent on our list. It showcases vibrant, full-color illustrations of all their favorite Cocomelon characters, along with a tent that covers the top half of the bed, adding an extra element of fun and security. Simple to assemble and easy to move if necessary, this toddler bed with a tent is bound to be a big hit.

Here are the key specifications:

  • Dimensions: 31" H x 29.5" W x 54.5" L
  • Suitable for ages 15 months and up What We Love:
  • Accommodates a standard-sized crib mattress
  • Can be transformed into a ball pit by removing the mattress from the frame and filling it with balls (balls sold separately) Things To Consider:
  • Mattress is not included.
  • Cost- Target 79.99$ Amazon- 89.99$ Walmart- 89.99$

Top Picks for Toddler Car Beds

Step2 Turbocharged Twin Truck Bed

Another beloved interest among toddlers? Anything related to vehicles! Whether it's a rugged four-wheeler for the backyard or a simple Matchbox car, toddlers have a special affinity for all things that go. If your little one is obsessed with cars, this robust red truck bed is an ideal choice for a toddler bed, suitable for both boys and girls. It boasts lifelike decals and molded plastic that give it a realistic appearance, along with a convenient drawer for additional storage.

The Step2 Turbocharged Twin Truck Bed is a fantastic choice for parents seeking a toddler bed that will excite their little car enthusiasts. Its attention to detail, functionality, and storage options make it a standout option for both boys and girls.

Here are the key specifications:

  • Dimensions: 89" L x 58.5" W x 28.75" H What We Love:
  • Working headlights that also function as a nightlight, activated with a simple tap
  • Comes with a one-year manufacturer's warranty against defects Things To Consider:
  • Does not include a headboard
  • Accommodates a twin-sized mattress
  • Higher price point
  • Cost- Walmart- 515.50$ Amazon- 524.95$

Top Picks for Toddler Beds With Storage

KidooCrafts House Bed With Drawer

If you're looking for a toddler bed that offers extra storage space, the KidooCrafts House Bed With Drawer is a fantastic option. This hand-crafted pine bed is thoughtfully designed with a convenient drawer, providing you with additional storage capacity in your little one's room. Unlike lofted beds with multiple drawers that may not be safe or convenient for young toddlers due to their height, this bed keeps your child safely close to the floor. They will also enjoy the playful shape of the house frame while sleeping. The adorable design and the practical bottom drawer make this bed a winner for both parents and children.

The KidooCrafts House Bed With Drawer offers a perfect blend of functionality and charming design, making it an excellent choice for parents seeking a toddler bed with added storage capabilities.

Here are the key specifications:

  • Customizable measurements available, up to 39.3" x 78.7"
  • Height of 64.9 inches from the ground What We Love:
  • Frame constructed with flexible slats for optimal mattress support and improved air circulation
  • Wheeled drawer spans the width of the bed, providing convenient storage
  • FSC certified pine sourced from well-managed forests Things To Consider:
  • Ready to ship in two weeks
  • Cost- Etsy-526.66$