Best cot beds 2021: our pick of the best cot beds that are built to last

We've voted these the best cot beds as they feature striking modern design, are practical and are built to last the test of time

best cot beds stokke sleepi cot bed
(Image credit: Stokke)

We've pulled together six of the best cot beds in the UK that promise to last you from newborn stage into childhood – and they're modern and stylish to boot. 

There are so many stunning designs out there, ranging from traditional rectangular shapes to sleigh silhouettes and even oval shapes with rounded edges. There are various colour options too – from classic white and neutral wood to more modern colours including black, baby blue or even two-tone ombre effects. But the most important thing of course is functionality – cot beds need to be durable and practical.

For example, some cot beds come with a drawer that slides beneath the base, which is great for extra toy storage. If you need to move the cot bed, wheels – also called castors – can be helpful.

If you suffer from a bad back or have had a caesarean, be sure to buy a cot with adjustable mattress base so you don't have to bend down too far to place your newborn baby. You can then lower the level as your baby grows, especially once they start wanting to pull themselves up. And for small bedrooms, you might want to consider a cot that comes with a cot top changing table, to avoid clunky furniture pieces.

While all of these cot beds are suitable from newborn and up, cot beds tend to be best suited to babies aged between six months and four years. As newborns are advised to sleep in the same room as you for the first few months, a Moses basket or bedside bassinet could be a better option for the newborn stage, transitioning to a cot bed when they are around five or six months old. If you’re not considering buying a Moses basket or bedside crib, your cot or cot bed will need to fit in your bedroom for those first few months.

Once you have your cot sorted, don't forget to take a look at the best cot bed mattresses to have your baby sleeping safely through the night.

These are the best cot beds for 2021

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stokke sleepi cot bed natural wood

(Image credit: Stokke)
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stokke sleepi cot bed natural wood

(Image credit: Stokke)

1. Stokke Sleepi Bed

The best cot bed: iconic design and stands the test of time, lasting into childhood

Specifications
Measurements: L128 x H86 x W74cm
Mattress size required: Elongated oval shape with length 122 cm and width 70 cm
Material: Beech
Lifespan: 0–10 years
Reasons to buy
+Height adjustable mattress base – makes lifting your infant in and out easier+Long lasting design, suitable from newborn to children at the age of 10+Maximum air circulation for comfortable sleep+Comes with mattress+Removable side rails for your toddlers easy access+Lockable swivel wheels / castor wheels
Reasons to avoid
-Only takes oval mattress-No teething rail

The Stokke® Sleepi™ Bed is one of the best cot beds out there – both in terms of practicality and looks. Stokke is renowned for its innovative children’s products designed to last through the years, and Stokke's rounded crib-to-bed design, the Sleepi, is a best-seller.

It has an adjustable height base for the mattress, meaning that you can lower the mattress as the baby gets bigger, and the side can come off to turn it into a toddler bed that they can climb in and out of. The castor wheels make it easy to slide this cot bed around the room – making it easier to vacuum clean underneath and behind it. The handy castors also mean that it can double as a bedside crib. But most of all we love its distinctive curved oval shape. The rounded sides give your baby a sense of security by creating a cosy nest-like environment. It also looks softer and less stern than more traditional cot bed designs, creating a friendlier and cosier aesthetic to match your favourite nursery design ideas.

What we like
The cot bed will last from newborn months until around the age of three, and can then be further extended (with the additional Junior Extension Kit) to last them until they're around 10 years old.

What we don't like
It's on the pricier side, but our argument is that it's worth the money if you use the cot bed for years and years to come.

Anything else?
The bed comes with a seven year standard warranty (you'll need to register your product on the Stokke website under "Product Registration"). The Stokke Sleepi also comes with its own mattress, so no need to buy a mattress separately.

The Stokke Sleepi comes in natural wood, in a white finish, in mint or in grey.

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black snuzkot cot bed

(Image credit: Snuzkot)
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black snuzkot cot bed

(Image credit: Snuzkot)

2. SnüzKot Skandi Cot Bed

Best cot bed design for a modern Scandi look

Specifications
Measurements: W72 x L133cm x H89cm
Mattress size required: 68 x 117cm
Material: Beech
Lifespan: 0–10 (with a separate extension kit)
Reasons to buy
+Converts to toddler and junior bed, lasting  from birth to 10 years (with a separate extension kit)+Has 3 mattress heights+It's a more compact cot bed option+Made with sustainably sourced wood+Comes in five colours
Reasons to avoid
-Mattress is non-standard in size, only works with SnuzSurface mattress.-More compact design means your child may outgrow it more quickly – unless you purchase the extension kit.-Cot bed does not have wheels

The modern and minimal SnüzKot Skandi cot bed features a strikingly contemporary design and comes in five different colourways – including a two-tone ombre version.

With three different mattress heights, and an extension kit that converts this cot bed to a child's bed (for up to the age of 10), this Scandi-inspired cot bed ticks all the boxes for practicality.

What we like
We love the modern, Scandinavian-inspired design. Its Scandi vibe offers curved corners, slim pointed feet and narrow upright bars instead of the more usual slatted sides. It also comes in five different colour options including an ombre version.

For a cot bed, the SnüzKot has a compact footprint that makes it great for smaller nurseries. The cot bed is made with sustainably sourced wood, without the use of MDF, chipboard or veneer.

Plus, as your child grows, so does SnüzKot, converting to a toddler bed up to four years, and with the additional junior bed extension kit to approx, 10 years. The highest mattress position makes it easy to lift your newborn baby in and out, and as they grow and learn to sit and stand, the base can be lowered to help prevent them climbing out.

What we don't like
The downside of it being a compact cot bed is the non-standard mattress size (68x117cm) which essentially means you have to buy the matching SnuzSurface mattress. You may struggle to find fitted sheets that fit perfectly too, plus as it's a shorter bed than many other cot beds, your child may grow out of it quicker. 

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pembrey cot with under bed drawers

(Image credit: Ickle Bubba)
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pembrey cot with under bed drawers

(Image credit: Ickle Bubba)

3. Pembrey Cot Bed & Under Drawer

Best cot bed for maximum storage

Specifications
Measurements: 88.5(h) x 75.5(w) x 145(d)cm
Mattress size required: 140 x 70cm
Material: MDF
Lifespan: 0–5 years
Reasons to buy
+Great value+Includes drawer storage+3 different mattress heights+Converts into junior / toddler bed+Mattress included+4 Year Warranty
Reasons to avoid
-More stern design than other rounded, decorative or colourful options

The Pembrey cot bed by Ickle Bubba can be converted to junior / toddler bed and even to a child's bed, and features a deep drawer underneath which is perfect for storing away toys or bedding.

What we like
The under drawer is on castors to offer a greater depth, perfectly matches the cot bed and seamlessly fits underneath keeping everything neat and tidy.

Designed with three height positions, the top position is ideal for your baby to be taken in and out of the cot bed, without any unnecessary bending and is suitable from birth to approximately 6 months. When your baby is learning to sit and stand, the mattress base can then be lowered by a further two positions, providing extra security and reassurance. Once your little one is ready to progress to a bed, the Pembrey Cot Bed can convert easily into an equally stylish junior bed suitable for a child up to approximately four or five years old, offering maximum longevity and great value. 

What we don't like
Compared to other options it can look more stern in its design.

Anything else?
The price includes a mattress, so no need to buy one separately. The bed also comes with a four year warranty.

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mid century modern cot bed from pottery barn at john lewis

(Image credit: Pottery Barn)
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mid century modern cot bed from pottery barn at john lewis

(Image credit: Pottery Barn)

4. Pottery Barn Kids Mid Century Convertible Cotbed, Acorn

Best cot bed for a mid century modern look

Specifications
Measurements: H102 x W138 x D77cm
Mattress size required: L132 x W70cm
Material: Wood
Lifespan: 0–3+ (with extension kit)
Reasons to buy
+Great value+2 mattress heights+Converts to toddler bed+Made from sustainably sourced wood that's kiln-dried for extra strength+1 year guarantee included
Reasons to avoid
-Only converts to a bed with an extension kit-Does not feature wheels or storage

This Mid Century Convertible Cotbed from Pottery Barn Kids will add a retro-inspired look to your nursery. 

What we like
Featuring two platform height options, this crib grows with your baby and can be converted into a cosy toddler bed with the matching conversion kit.

The cot is made with sustainably sourced wood that's been kiln-dried for extra strength.

What we don't like
While we love the look of the toddler bed it converts to, the conversion kit is sold separately and is an additional cost.

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modern minimalist contemporary white cot bed

(Image credit: Gaia Baby)
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modern minimalist contemporary white cot bed

(Image credit: Gaia Baby)

5. Gaia Serena Complete Sleep

Best cot bed for a contemporary or futuristic look

Specifications
Measurements: h101 x w701 x l40cm
Mattress size required: 70 x 140
Material: European birch wood with aluminium clad feet
Lifespan: 0–5 years
Reasons to buy
+Statement design+Easily converts to toddler bed (up to 5 years)+Additional extension pack available for £80 to turn it into a larger children's bed (up to 10 years)+Available in white or natural / wood+Made with sustainably sourced FSC natural wood+2 mattress base heights
Reasons to avoid
-Works best with the Gaia Baby Pocket Spring Mattress due to the rounded edges-Will suit modern homes, but may look out of place in a traditional scheme.-Difficult to assemble

With its soft contours and smooth flowing lines, the shape will cocoon your little one. The beautifully contoured ergonomic design also means there are no sharp edges.

What we like
The cot is very sturdy and is a statement piece. The bed is designed to evolve and grow with your child, and the side can be easily removed to turn it into a junior/toddler bed.

It's one of the most adaptable of the cot beds we have seen, and is easy to assemble with just a screwdriver and Allen key. The cot bed comes with all the parts and components it needs to last from newborn months right up to five years old.

What we don't like
The Gaia Serena has quite a different look to many cot beds, with its curved edges and curved feet. While we love the design, it won't suit more traditional spaces.

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ikea cot bed

(Image credit: IKEA)
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ikea cot bed

(Image credit: IKEA)

6. IKEA Gonnatt Cot Bed

Best cot bed for playful design on a budget

Specifications
Measurements: 70x140 cm
Mattress size required: 70x140 cm
Material: Fibreboard and Solid beech, plus Acrylic paint
Lifespan: 0–5 years
Reasons to buy
+Adjustable mattress base height+Three drawers for storage+Side comes down to transition to toddler bed+Conversion kit included+Excellent value
Reasons to avoid
-None

We love this cot bed's rounded shape. With a curved top and bulbous drawers knobs, IKEA's Gonatt bed is one of the best cot beds we've come across for playful design on a budget.

What we like
There are three separate drawers – ideal for stashing away a multitude of things like nappies, wipes, toys or bedding.

The adjustable cot base makes it easier to access your baby when they are smaller. Finally, the side can be removed to transition this cot bed to a toddler bed.

What we don't like
Nothing.

How to choose the best cot bed for you

The first thing to consider is how long you intend to use this bed for. Do you want something that will last you from newborn months to three years and up? Or would you prefer a smaller cot bed that you can upgrade to a different style of bed when your child outgrows it?

For example, if you intend to keep the cot bed for a few years then you'll want one with a height adjustable mattress base that can be lowered as the baby gets older and is able to sit up by themselves. 

What is the best size for a cot bed?

Cot beds tend to be around 140 x 70cm in size and will typically last your child until they are around five years old.

While there are smaller options on the market, it's a good idea to choose a cot bed that will last for several years – not just as it's more economical, but also less faff, time saving, and will give your child a familiar place to lay their head.

Things to consider when buying a cot bed

  1. First of all, check that the cot bed meets the latest safety standards. The ones in this review will do so, but if you are using an older cot bed or a hand-me-down, it's important to double check. The gap between the bars of cots and cot beds should not exceed 6.5cm – any more and there may be a risk of babies getting their limbs or head trapped in between.
  2. For small bedrooms, it's worth considering cot beds with built-in storage drawers underneath, and even a cot top changing table tray to avoid the need to buy a clunky dresser.
  3. If you need to move the cot bed around (for example for vacuum cleaning, or to move between rooms), then wheels – called castors – can be helpful.
  4. If you intend to keep the cot bed for a few years then you'll want one with a height adjustable mattress base that can be lowered as the baby gets older and is able to sit up by themselves. There’s a lot of bending over involved in putting your baby into a cot or cot bed. Many come with different base heights, enabling you to start with your newborn at a higher level. You then lower the level as your baby grows, especially once they start wanting to pull themselves up. Having different heights can be particularly helpful if you’ve had a caesarean.
  5. the cot bed mattress is also an important factor to consider. The mattress is one of your most important baby purchases – it should be flat and firm and fit snugly with no gaps on any of the sides. Some cots and cot beds are sold with mattresses, with others you need to buy one separately.
  6. Cot beds often arrive as a flat-pack kit to assemble at home. Be sure to keep all the components as well as the instructions for when you decide to up-size it, extend it, or dismantle it and pass it on.
  7. Last but not least, many cot beds come with the option of buying a toddler bed guard to prevent your child from falling out of their bed. Some cots also come with a teething rail – you’d be surprised how many babies like to chew on cot sides.

What is the difference between a cot and a cot bed?

The difference between a cot and a cot bed is in the name – a cot will typically last you till your child is around two years old, while a cot bed can be transitioned from a cot into a bed that's suitable for toddler years and beyond.

Should you choose a cot or a cot bed?

Cots tend to be slightly smaller than cot beds – so good if you’re short of space. Cots are also normally cheaper than cot beds. Cot beds can transform / adapt into a toddler bed, and therefore last longer.

In the UK, both tend to come with fixed sides as these are considered to be sturdier and have less risk of the drop down mechanism breaking. for a bed with a drop-down side, look for a bedside bassinet or crib instead.