Travel cots are portable, safe places for babies and toddlers to sleep when away from home. They’re lightweight, have collapsible sides and fold into a portable format with a carry handle, so great for holidays, breaks and overnight stays.
We’ve analysed the travel cot market and rigorously tested a range of different models. Each of our recommended travel cots has been used regularly by a journalist with a young baby or toddler. We’ve combined these results with feedback from mums to bring you our pick of the very best travel cot available to buy now.
For each item on our list we’ve considered age suitability, weight, size, price, stability, mattress, ease of assembly and various functionalities to help you when looking to buy a travel cot.
Top 10 best travel cot in UK 2021
1. Joie Kubbie Sleep – Best hybrid travel cot and bedside sleeper
The Joie Kubbie Sleep stands out from the other travel cots on our list in being the only one that doubles as a side sleeping cot with a lift and lower side panel. A really useful feature especially during the early days of parenting, when night feeds and nappy changes may be frequent. Bleary-eyed parents will appreciate the elevated bedside sleeping arrangement being so close at hand!
Suitable from birth through to 15kg – which is the approximate weight of a 3.5 year old – the Joie Kubbie truly does grow with your child. Once the bassinet is removed, older babies and toddlers can use the Kubbie as a sleep space and a play pen.
When it comes to value for money, MadeForMums reviewer Dominic, who tested the Joie Kubbie with his newborn daughter commented, “My wife and I feel the Joie Kubbie Sleep has matched – and even exceeded – our expectations. We wanted a co-sleeping cot that could be used every day at home, but one that was also lightweight enough to take away with us.”
Our testers loved the user-friendly fastenings – however some did struggle with dismantling the Kubbie. They also praised the easy transportation with its handy travel bag and (most importantly) how well their child slept. Also, the Joie Kubbie Sleep has two integrated wheels should you need to wheel it on your journey.
2. Maxi Cosi iris travel cot
This is one of the most handsome travel cots on the market. It suits babies from birth up to three years due to its two mattress heights. The whole kit weighs just 6kg and packs up flat, making it easy to transport. We love the wood-effect legs, the fact that the fabrics are machine washable, and how easy we found it to assemble. The mattress is thick and has a waterproof layer – good thinking by Maxi Cosi. We love the price, too.
3. LittleLife Arc 2 – Best lightweight travel cot
The LittleLife Arc 2 is extremely lightweight (practically featherweight, really, at just 2.5kg), is designed just like a tent and can be folded down compactly to fit into a backpack, which comes with it. Its works just as well outdoors as it does indoors and is great for those grab-and-go moments.
Insect-proof mesh for hot weather and the outdoors. Has a front panel with a safety toggle that can be zipped open or closed, making it a great option to use as an outdoor playpen. Colour-coded poles make assembly simple.
4. Nuna sena aire travel cot
The Nuna sena aire promises that it can be opened in seconds and it certainly delivered – we were all set up in under a minute. The design keeps the cot well ventilated from all angles, even below, which is ideal in warmer climates. We also like the fact that baby sleeps on a raised platform and away from any chilly drafts.
We’ve suffered several injuries while wrestling with travel cots over the years, and not only is this cot simple to use, it has padded edges to protect parents as well as children. It is super sturdy, meaning it will last for many trips away. And it looks great, so we don’t mind it in our living space. A changer and an insect net are also available.
5. Micralite Sleep & Go – Best for stylish 3-in-1 design
Minimalist with a modern twist, Micralite is a luxe brand for the Instagram ready parents who like eye-catching designs. Its Sleep & Go is a multi-functional travel cot option which can be used a newborn crib (although the sloped design means it doesn’t sit snug against the bedside), infant cot bed and playpen.
At 7kg the Micralite Sleep & Go is a whole 8kg lighter than the Joie Kubbie Sleep – yet it costs £75 more. This high price point is a factor to consider if you just need a travel cot for a single occasion. However, there’s value to be found as you can also use this travel cot at home with its multiple uses.
The Micralite Sleep & Go doesn’t fold up as small as some of the others on our list, however it will still fit in a car boot and has a comfortable carry strap. MFM reviewer Vita tested the travel cot with her baby daughter and noted that, “The bag is not small (88x34x17cm) but given the robust all-in-one frame, it actually feels quite compact. At 7kg, it’s a good light weight, and the shape and handles make it comfortable to carry.”
Beyond the good looks, our judges found the Micralite Sleep & Go one of the easiest in the category to fold up and down. Our MFM reviewer Vita said it took her just 2 minutes to assemble the whole travel cot. The mattress rates highly as well – our reviewer said it felt “firm” but that her “little one had no problem falling (and staying) asleep on it”.
6. Bugaboo stardust travel cot
Sturdy and stylish, the Bugaboo stardust is suitable for babies up to two years old. Bugaboo says it is made with chemical-free materials and is designed to unfold in seconds using just one hand. It packs away fairly quickly and simply too, with the mattress still inside. Bugaboo is known for comfy prams and this cot mattress felt like the same quality.
It comes with a bassinet for little ones up to 9kg and all the materials are machine washable. We love that it stands up on its own when it’s folded down – perfect for tucking away when not in use during the day. The black version looks slick and smart. It’s so easy to assemble and light to manoeuvre, a toddler could do it.
7. Hauck Sleep’n Play Centre Travel Cot – Best for versatile features
The Hauck Sleep’n Play Centre Travel Cot has all the bells and whistles for under £100. This includes a changing mat that can stay attached but out of the way, high and low sleeping positions (reducing back strain), a zip-down side panel for a fun playpen adventure (crawl in – crawl out) and a fun design with pops of colour.
For ease of moving about, it also has two wheels when folded up that means you can pull it along like a suitcase – genius!
With an extremely impressive 4.5 stars out of over 7000 reviews on Amazon, it’s safe to say the German brand has come out on top. Customer reviews repeatedly mention good value and great quality. “It is quite heavy but that gives it the stability, we also purchased the extra mattress for when we need to use it for a bed,” said one parent review on Amazon. The heavier weight and insufficient mattress were echoed by other reviewers too.
Bargain hunters will be happy to hear that despite the £89 RRP, we’ve seen online deals for less than £60 – which would make this option a superb return on investment.
8. Bizzi growin pod travel crib – Best travel bassinet
The Bizzi Growin Pod travel Crib doesn’t have a long life in use as a travel cot, but it is really clever and deserves a space on this list.
Parents that prefer to travel with their newborn in a carrier instead of in a pram, will find this changing bag that transforms into a travel crib for newborns particularly useful.
Perfect for all parents that like to be out and about all day while travelling, but want to secure a safe space for the little one to nap.
One side of the changing bag folds down and you just need to insert 2 lightweight poles to keep the mesh sides in place.
Includes a padded mattress for overnight sleep. The changing bag also includes several compartments to keep everything organised including an insulated bottle pocket.
9. Baby Elegance bedside travel cot
This bedside cot is perfect for trips away with really tiny babies who still need the reassurance of parents nearby and regular nighttime feeds. It connects securely to the side of your bed for easy and safe co-sleeping and comes with a bassinet for babies up to 9kg. We simply removed the bassinet and unclipped it from the bed to use it as a regular travel cot for little ones up to 15kg.
It feels sturdy, looks great, comes in a handy carry bag for travelling and folds up super small. It even has wheels to move it about easily. These extra details mean that it’s not the lightest travel cot, but is great if you are travelling by car. Do be aware that we needed to buy the mattress separately, directly from Baby Elegance, due to its unusual square shape.
10. Phil & Teds Traveller – Best for outdoor travels
New Zealand brand Phil & Teds’ know all about the great outdoors and with that in mind this product – the lightest on our list – is a great travel companion. This travel cot fits comfortably into a small bag and is a sure way of ensuring little one sleeps well while the family are out and about.
“The joy of having a travel cot that doubles up as a playpen means you can have it in the tent, outside, next to the camp fire or on the beach – and you can buy a sun shade (£19) to go over the top which also keeps the mosquitos and midges locked out,” said our MFM reviewer Tanya.
Another great feature is that the self-inflate mattress is suspended a little from the ground – keeping the mattress away from any uninviting or cold surfaces. For newborns a bassinet accessory is available for an additional £49 and provides a really nice, elevated sleep surface. Once folded, the Phil & Teds Traveller is about the size of a yoga mat and can be carried easily with the shoulder strap.
Its lightweight and portability make the Phil & Teds Traveller such a versatile option. Easy to take to the park, beach, visits to family, holidays, living room and the list goes on. It’s worth noting our MFM reviewer did find it tricky to disassemble the first few times but said it was “a tiny niggle in an otherwise great product”.
How to choose the best travel cot in UK 2021
There are some key questions to consider when buying a travel cot. Obviously it needs to be appropriate for the age and size of your child, but you also want to consider how portable it is, how quickly you’ll be able to assemble it and how deep your pockets are.
Are travel cots suitable for newborns?
Most travel cots can be used with newborn infants, but you may prefer to get a smaller bassinet that’s designed specifically for young babies. This is because it’s easier to place them in a higher bassinet (babies have what’s known as the Moro Reflex that causes their arms to jump if they think they’re being dropped) and it feels more enclosed and cosy.
There are also bedside cribs now that can double up as travel cots. These are more expensive, as you’d imagine, but means it’s only one investment rather than two.
Can a travel cot double as a playpen?
Indeed. Spending a little more for a travel cot that doubles as a playpen will increase its use and mean money well spent. Look for models that have four, rather than two, mesh sides to give you and your baby a better view. It can also be used as somewhere safe to put your crawling, or walking, whirlwind while you grab a snack or go to the loo.
What else do I need to consider?
Make sure you’ve got all the necessary accoutrements. All the travel cots we’ve recommended come with a mattress, but sheets aren’t included. You could use a pillowcase, but you may prefer a fitted sheet, and this may be available as an optional extra.
You have reached the end of our best travel cot article and we know there were a lot of products to think about. Now that you have a better understanding of what makes a travel cot qualify as the best, let’s review our Editor’s Choice one more time.
Which one of the best travel cots we reviewed would make the best choice for you?