Mothercare Playbead cot

Our score


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In a nutshell

A traditional, sturdy cot that has a one-handed drop side mechanism and is durable enough to last for more than one baby

  • Pros

    Simple style, solid construction, easy to put together, can lower the side with one hand

  • Cons

    Need to buy mattress separately, drop side can be tricky to operate

Our review

The Mothercare Playbead cot offers a robust and solid traditional design, with three different mattress heights to cope with your growing child.

Available in two different finishes, either beech or matt white, this wooden cot from Mothercare, the Playbead cot, is suitable from birth until your baby reaches about 2 years old.

You can drop the side of the Mothercare Playbead cot with only one hand, to help save your back when hoisting your child in and out.

The Mothercare Playbead cot comes complete with a couple of teething rails along the top of the two sides, to stop your child chewing chunks out of the wood. It provides some built-in entertainment, with three chunky beads inserted at either end for inquisitive fingers to fiddle with.

If you want to kit out the whole nursery, Mothercare also sells other co-ordinating items of furniture, such as cot-top changing unit and under-cot storage drawer.

What we love

The Mothercare Playbead cot ticks the safety boxes by conforming to standard BS EN 716 and even though it is delivered flat, it is still easy to assemble and sturdy when completed. My husband is not a great DIY enthusiast, but he found the cot straightforward to put together, and once in use it is not remotely flimsy - even when Isabel is shaking the sides in her enthusiasm to get up and on with the day.

The cot is sufficiently robust that even though my daughter, Isabel, is the third child to use it, it still looks good and works well.

Since moving into the Mothercare Playbead cot from a Moses basket when she was about 6 months old, Isabel has always seemed comfortable in it, and is usually happy to play in it for a while after waking up.

The Mothercare Playbead cot also proved easy to lower the mattress base once Isabel started standing up, to prevent her vaulting over the side.

What to watch out for

Other mums have praised the one-handed drop-side mechanism as very easy to use. However, my own version of the Playbead cot seems to require one hand, two knees and some jiggling about before the side shifts, so mostly I just tend to haul Isabel out over the top without lowering the side. I suspect it might be easier to lower the side if I didn’t have a cot bumper tied to the corners of the cot, to stop toys flying overboard during the night.

As with many cots, you do need to buy a mattress separately. However, it’s not difficult to find one, whether at Mothercare or elsewhere, because the cot takes the standard continental size of 60cm by 120cm.

Now we just have to face finding Isabel’s first bed, as this isn’t a cot that subsequently transforms into a single bed.

Who is the Mothercare Playbead cot best for?

Families looking for a robust cot that will still look good even under the onslaught of several children.

MadeForMums verdict

The Mothercare Playbead cot is a traditional cot that is straightforward to assemble and sturdy when in use. The one-handed drop side mechanism can help save your back – as long as you can manage to make it work.