So yes, your kid has started pulling a MacGyver and escaping from his or her crib, and you’re ready to transition to a toddler bed.
Guess what? There’s actually no such thing as an actual toddler bed for boys or a toddler bed for girls, despite what you might have heard.
“The idea of the toddler bed is an industry-created category. It’s not driven by the biology and development of kids,” says Dr. Benjamin D. Hoffman, the chair of the American Academy of Pediatrics’ Committee on Injury, Violence and Poison Prevention.
Sure, most cribs now transition into a bed for toddlers, once you remove the slats. But most likely, your child will want (or be big enough) for a big-kid bed. In that case, you can buy pretty much anything you want, from a twin bed to a California king, to having a mattress on the floor.
“No kid needs to be in something called a toddler bed. Kids needs to transition from cribs when they’re close to being able to fall out. A lot of cribs transition to toddler beds,” says Hoffman. “Really, it’s going from having the child enclosed and unable to get out, to having a place where they’re sleeping and are free-range.”
Most cribs sold today transition into so-called toddler beds but bear in mind that crib mattresses come in a specific size and kids outgrow them fairly fast.
Hoffman’s guidelines for bed-buying are simple: At around 18 months, most kids are ready for their own free-range bed. At that point, make sure it’s close to the ground, to minimize any injury risk if they fall out. Put a rug under it, for the same reason. And if there are any stairs involved in the hallway or anywhere a kid can get to, use a baby gate. Side rails on the bed are fine, as long as they’re securely attached and don’t have big gaping holes.
Lots of toddler beds look great, have fun themes, and play to your kids’ interests. If that helps them sleep, and makes bedtime more enticing, hell yeah, invest in one. This Fatherly editor let her kid pick out a fully tricked-out race-car bed in a (winning) bid to get him to sleep in it. It was well worth the money and hours spent putting together.
With all that said, here are the beds for toddlers we can stand behind. They come from brands we trust, and have solid reviews.
It's simple. It's sturdy. This toddler bed fits all standard twin bed mattresses and is made of composite wood materials.
This bed is close enough to the ground to be great for toddlers transitioning into their own beds, and sophisticated enough to match any decor. Plus, it’s fairly simple to put together.
If you want an interim solution between the crib and the big-kid bed, this is it. Oeuf's gorgeous bed is for design-minded parents. It's a scaled-down toddler bed with a low mattress position. The security rail is removable.
Oeuf’s toddler bed is easy to put together, sleeps children up to age six, and has a removable safety rail. It’s made of Baltic birch plywood and eco-MDF with nontoxic finishes. It fits a standard 28 x 52 inch crib mattress, so it’s a temporary solution, but a damn attractive one.
Yes, this thing is a doozy to put together. But kids with a need for speed will love this race car toddler bed.
The handy built-in bench at the foot of this race car toddler bed is a nice bonus. But we’re sold on the bright colors and flashy design. It’s made of MDF and rubberwood, and fits most standard crib mattresses. It measures 71 x 29.75 x 18.25 inches.
This is an investment piece, a toddler bed that will last you through elementary and middle school. It's made from New Zealand pine wood bed frame and has a non-toxic, low-VOC finish.
The storage drawers are a welcome addition to this bed. But we love that it’s low to the ground, that it’s made from solid pine, and that it can accommodate up to 400 pounds. Which means it will last for years, as your kid grows up. The bed measures 80 x 43 x 37 inches, and it fits standard mattress sizes and does not require a box spring.
A modern, sleek bed for toddlers and growing kids, this Babyletto Hudson bed is made from sustainable, non-toxic materials and a funky, chunky headboard and playful angular legs.
This bed can accommodate up to 400 pounds’ worth of kids. It doesn’t need a box spring and works with a standard twin mattress. It’s made from sustainable pine and is lead and phthalate safe, with a non-toxic finish. Note that because it’s a platform bed, it’s technically a bit higher off the ground, so it’s a better fit for more secure sleepers. The bed’s dimensions are 77.3 x 41.1 x 37 inches.
Now that's what we call a good-looking bed. This twin bed has curved scrollwork design and a sturdy metal frame.
Classic yet dreamy, the Little Seeds Monarch Hill twin bed is solid and sturdy, and is compact enough to fit into most kids’ rooms. It fits a twin mattress and box spring, which means it’s a big more elevated and thus better for more secure sleepers. The bed’s dimensions are 42.5 x 79.5 x 47 inches.
What we like about this bed is its adjustable base height. It can go from 6.5 to 11 inch clearance.
This twin bed has a sturdy curved metal frame with headboard and foot-board, along with metal side rails for extra stability. But its major selling point is that you can adjust the height, so as your sleeper becomes more confident, you can raise the bed and store toys underneath. The bed’s dimensions are 76.5 x 40.5 x 37.5 inches.
You can get the Delta kids' bed in any number of styles to appeal to whatever your kid likes, be it Avengers, Spider-Man or Wonder Woman. The bed holds up to 350 pounds and fits a standard twin mattress.
Make bedtime less brutal and more fun with these themed beds. The bed is fully upholstered in faux leather, with a solid wooden frame. And you can pick whatever character and theme your kid loves. The bed’s dimensions are 80 x 42.12 x 33.4 inches.
This handsome twin bed is made from solid New Zealand Pine wood bed frame and has a low VOC finish. It has a 400 pound weight capacity, and metal on metal structural connections that won't loosen over time. And it's great for sleepovers.
Just when your kid starts asking for sleepovers, this twin bed will be your space-saving solution. This twin bed accommodates standard twin size mattress and does not need a box spring. There’s a slat platform included and the dimensions are 80 x 43 x 37 inches.
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