The best baby nests and pods: 5 of the best

We've found the best baby nests that are perfect for next-to-you napping, playtime, travel, and all those nappy changes...

best baby nest
(Image credit: Jojo Maman Bebe)

We've researched all the options to find the 5 best baby nests, cocoons and pods, to help settle and soothe your baby into a peaceful sleep.

During the first few weeks, newborn babies are asleep more than they are awake, sleeping between 16 and 22 hours per day. To give them the cosiest, comfiest space to sleep (that isn't your arms), snap up a baby nest to allow them to snooze safely.

Also known as baby pods, cocoons or baby sleep pods, baby nests are typically mattresses designed with soft, padded sides to provide babies with a narrow, snuggly, and cozy sleeping area. 

Baby nests and pods will cocoon your baby, cushioning them and enclosing them, helping them feel safe and protected. Having spent nine months curled up in the womb, babies like the feeling of being wrapped up – whether in a swaddle, in their mother's arms, or, indeed, in a baby nest or pod.

Baby nests can be an ideal place to put babies down when you need your arms back to do other things, and babies are more likely to settle when they feel safe and cocooned than when they are laid down in a spacious cot bed or play mat. But while they are great for placing babies down for daytime naps or to free up your arms during the day, most baby nests are not certified for overnight sleeping so check out the best bedside cribs for night time.

We've found the best baby nests that are perfect for next-to-you napping, playtime, travel, and all those nappy changes...

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cocoonababy by red castle available at jojomamanbebe

(Image credit: JoJo Maman Bebe)
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cocoonababy by red castle available at jojomamanbebe

(Image credit: JoJo Maman Bebe)

1. Red Castle Cocoonababy Nest

The best baby nest to reduce reflux and the Moro reflex

Specifications
Size: L69 x W40 x H19cm
Material: Foam 100% PU/Cover 80% Tencel + 20% PU/Fitted sheet 100% cotton
Suitable for: Suitable from birth to 3 months
Reasons to buy
+Improves the quality and length of your child's sleep+Reduces reflux+Reduces flat head syndrome+Reduces the involuntary jerky movements which wake your baby and makes them cry (known as the startle or Moro reflex)+Puts baby in semi-foetal position, which soothes and calms them+The cover is washable +Comes in a handy zipped bag with a handle 
Reasons to avoid
-Lasts for only 12 weeks-Expensive for only 3 months of use, but still worth every penny

As far as we're concerned, the Cocoonababy Nest from Red Castle on JoJoMamanBebe wins hands down in the baby nest category. It's expensive, but everyone who's had one seems to rave about it, and it's had almost all five-star reviews, with countless parents gushing online about how it helped their newborns sleep through the night.

Determined to put it to the test, we gave it a go. It doesn't disappoint, and frankly we can't imagine surviving those first few months without one.

The shape of the nest puts baby in a womb like posture. There’s a bump near the knee area so their legs are raised and bent in a comfortable position. A 20 degree slope of the head rest plus the flexion of baby’s hips limit GERD and eases digestion.

The nest's unusual shape reduces gastric reflux as well as the startle reflex that can wake them up, and generally helps to improve the quality and length of your baby's sleep. Its cocoon-like shape also puts babies in a semi-foetal position (as created in the womb).

Plus, it limits the risk of flat head syndrome (plagiocephaly).

What we like

Absolutely everything – in particular how much babies seem to take to it. Placing a newborn into the Cocoonababy keeps them safe and calm, freeing up your hands to go and do other things. It also encourages newborns to rest and to sleep for longer, as they don't wake up from reflux or the startle reflex. And anything that helps babies sleep longer at night is gold to us.

If your baby doesn't like sleeping flat on their back, this product is perfect as it mimics the position of being in the womb, or being held in your arms. Babies who suffer from reflux will also appreciate the incline.

The Cocoonababy is snug but supportive. Not overly padded and no dangerous sides which baby can turn its head into. There's also a little waistband to keep them secure.

What we don't like

It's expensive for only three months of use, but still worth every penny

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best baby nest

(Image credit: Jojo Maman Bebe)
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best baby nest

(Image credit: Jojo Maman Bebe)

2. Babymoov Cosydream

Best baby nest for preventing flat head syndrome

Specifications
Size: 40 x 10 x 31cm
Material: Outer: 65% Polyester, 35% Cotton, Inner: 100% Polyurethane
Suitable for: Suitable from birth up to 4-6 months
Reasons to buy
+Prevent flat head syndrome+Removable leg bolster helps to keep legs in a naturally comfortable position+The adjustable leg roll also reduces symptoms of colic and reflux+Breathable mesh fabric helps to keep your baby cool+Suitable to use on flat surfaces within cots/co-sleepers+Removable covers are machine washable+Can be used for up to 6 months+Lightweight and very portable given its compact size+Great value
Reasons to avoid
-Nothing

The Babymoov Cosydream creates a small, snug space for your baby to sleep, and encourages the perfect natural position for babies to sleep comfortably on their back. Perfect for newborns, it's a cosy silhouette which cocoons them, and makes a cot bed or bedside bassinet a much cosier place to sleep. It's also great for daytime naps, or even play time.

A built in head positioner helps to prevent flat head syndrome and the removable leg bolster helps to keep legs in a naturally comfortable position. The adjustable leg roll also reduces symptoms of colic and reflux.

Breathable mesh fabric helps to keep your baby cool.

What we like

It's significantly less expensive than other baby nests, and offers great value as it reduces colic, prevents flat head syndrome, offers a cosy and ergonomic place for babies to sleep, and can last a baby up to four to six months old.

The removable covers are machine washable, and the compact size makes it very portable and easy to pack for travel or to use around the house.

What we don't like

Nothing.

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round cream linen baby nest play mat with raised side

(Image credit: Alex & Alexa)
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round cream linen baby nest play mat with raised side

(Image credit: Alex & Alexa)

3. Buddy & Hope Cosy Nest

Best baby nest for play time and tummy time

Specifications
Size: 100 cm in diameter and 18 cm in height
Material: Shell: 100% Cotton, Padding: 100% Polyester
Suitable for: From birth up to crawling age
Reasons to buy
+Gorgeous design, aesthetically pleasing+Lightweight, easy to store+Zip closure at the sides makes the cover easily detachable+Padded for comfort+Great for older babies, and perfect for tummy time or playing
Reasons to avoid
-Not suitable for sleeping

This cosy baby nest is a cross between a nest and a play mat, and is designed more for playing or spending awake time, rather than for napping.

The material is a breathable, 100 per cent cotton, and can be completely unzipped and popped in the washing machine.

What we like

This large, circular baby nest arrives in a handy clear storage bag with a zip and handle.

It's super lightweight and easy to carry around, and is the perfect baby nest for play time and to encourage tummy time.

A padded ring around the outside prevents babies from crawling out, and cocoons them like a nest. The circular mat has a zip opening and comes with a thick round mattress insert, making it super soft and squishy.

We also love the chic design with a gentle frill around the edge.

It's perfect for older babies, and makes a super stylish addition to the nursery or anywhere in the home.

What we don't like

It's not intended to be a place for sleeping, so isn't the right baby nest for parents looking for a sleeping pod.

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botanical fern print baby nest cocoon sleepyhead

(Image credit: DockATot)
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botanical fern print baby nest cocoon sleepyhead

(Image credit: DockATot)

4. DockATot Deluxe+ Baby Pod

Best baby nest for print and pattern

Specifications
Size: H14 x W46 x L75cm
Material: Cover: 100% cotton, Filling: 100% polyester
Suitable for: From birth to 8 months
Reasons to buy
+Can be used for rest, play (there's a toy arch that can be attached), and even nappy changes+Lasts until 8 months, making it a longer lasting option than other nests and pods+Comes in over 20 different designs, including stunning Morris & Co patterns+Every part of the Deluxe+ is washable+Covers available to buy separately, to give it a whole new look+Compatible toy arch available to buy separately+Lightweight and portable, even comes with a clear plastic carry bag
Reasons to avoid
-Expensive-Not recommended for overnight sleeping

The DockATot Deluxe+ pod is multifunctional and multitasking, offering a safe and comfy spot for baby to rest, play, do tummy time, and even have their nappy changed. DockATot (previously known as Sleepyhead) calls this pod a ‘docking station’ for your baby.

There are loads of beautifully designed removeable covers to change the colour and mood of your pod, and the product has won numerous awards.

It was also the first to market – the inventor of the baby nest, if you will.

What we like

We love the various prints and patterns that this baby nest is available in. Covers are also available to buy separately, to give it a whole new look.

A compatible toy arch turns the nest into an activity gym, plus there's also an optional Cabana Kit, which includes a UV50+ SPF protection shade with a protective bottom sheet and foldaway mosquito net.

Every part of the Deluxe+ is washable – pretty essential as babies have a lot of accidents.

This baby nest / pod is designed to last until 8 months, making it a longer lasting option than other nests and pods.

It's also super lightweight and portable, allowing for easy travel from room to room, or weekends away. It even comes with a clear plastic carry bag.

What we don't like

While the pod is great for general relaxing or playing, it's not recommended for overnight sleeping.

While it's safe to use from birth to eight months, in reality it doesn't cocoon newborns, and is a bit too snug for babies from six months up, so life span will realistically be shorter.

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babymoov baby nest

(Image credit: Babymoov)
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babymoov baby nest

(Image credit: Babymoov)

5. Babymoov Doomoo Cocoon

The best baby nest for cosy comfort

Specifications
Size: 44.5 x 80cm
Material: 75% Organic Cotton / 20% Polyester & 5% Elastane
Suitable for: From birth to around 8 months
Reasons to buy
+Suitable for both sleep and play+Super soft jersey cotton sides and back+Breathable 3D fabric at the head+Cocoon shape to calm baby+Designed to adjust as baby grows, with cocoon opening to expand+Has a removable and machine-washable cover+Suitable to fit inside bedside cribs, cot beds and co-sleepers+Good value
Reasons to avoid
-Not recommended for overnight sleep in the UK

The Babymoov doomoo cocoon is a safe and cosy nest that's suitable for both play and sleep.

Similarly to DockATot, the cocoon-like shape is designed to calm and reassure babies. It creates a cosy, made-to-measure space for your baby, whether they are awake or asleep in their cot, playpen or elsewhere. 

At the head, the Cocoon is made from micro-breathable 3D fabric, making this a safer pod to use for sleep. The back section and sides are made from organic jersey cotton which feels super soft to the touch.

The doomoo is designed to comfort your baby through three stages; from newborn to three months with the sides attached at the bottom; from three to six months with the sides extended; and from six months with the bottom opened up for extra legroom.

What we like

This cocoon is designed to adjust as your little one grows. The bottom of the nest opens to create more room for their little legs. 

The breathable fabrics helps to regulate baby's temperature and offer ventilation.

You can remove the cover using the zip at the bottom of the mattress, so it's easy to keep clean too.

What we don't like

While the breathable fabric means it's safer for sleeping than other designs, cocoon pods still aren’t recommended for overnight sleeping in the UK.

What is a baby nest?

Also called baby pods, sleep pods and sleeping pods, these baby nests are like a little cocoon or pod for your baby to sleep in. Most consist of a base mattress with wraparound padded sides. The original baby nest is the Sleepyhead (now called DockATot), created to offer babies a comforting and womb-like place to rest.

What to look for in a baby nest

  1. Use: Are you planning to use it for sleep or play? Cocoon shapes are great for resting, but not currently recommended for sleeping overnight. The Babymoov Cosydream and Red Castle Cocoonababy are both safer options for sleep, while a baby cocoon or nest is better suited for play.
  2. Comfort: You'll want a soft fabric which is delicate on your baby's skin, such as cotton, but also breathable (look out for air permeability) for example mesh.
  3. Portability: You'll want a lightweight option that's easy to carry around and move around the house or even take with you for nights away.
  4. Washability is a big factor too, as your baby is likely to spend many hours in this product – removable covers that can be bunged in the wash win points for practicality.

What is the best baby nest?

As far as we're concerned, the Cocoonababy Nest from Red Castle wins hands down in the baby nest category. It's expensive, but everyone who's had one seems to rave about it, and it's had almost all five-star reviews, with countless parents gushing online about how it helped their newborns sleep through the night.

It doesn't disappoint, and frankly we can't imagine surviving those first few months without one. The shape of the nest puts baby in a womb like posture. There’s a bump near the knee area so their legs are raised and bent in a comfortable position. A 20 degree slope of the head rest plus the flexion of baby’s hips limit GERD and eases digestion.

The nest's unusual shape reduces gastric reflux as well as the startle reflex that can wake them up, and generally helps to improve the quality and length of your baby's sleep. Its cocoon-like shape also puts babies in a semi-foetal position (as created in the womb).

The Cocoonababy is snug but supportive. Not overly padded and no dangerous sides which baby can turn its head into. There's also a little waistband to keep them secure.

Plus, it limits the risk of flat head syndrome (plagiocephaly).

If your baby doesn't like sleeping flat on their back, this product is perfect as it mimics the position of being in the womb, or being held in your arms. Babies who suffer from reflux will also appreciate the incline.

Are baby nests safe for sleep?

Baby nests and cocoons are not currently recommended for overnight sleep – at least not in the UK. They are fine for supervised daytime naps and for playing, but not the best option for night time. Instead you will need a cot and specially designed cot bed mattress.

However the Babymoov Cosydream and Red Castle Cocoonababy don't feature raised sides, which make them safer options for sleeping as there's no risk of suffocation.