10 of the best toddler bed guards to keep your child safe at night
The best bed rails to help make sure everyone gets a good night’s sleep, ranging from wood rails to memory foam bumpers
When your toddler is ready to move from an enclosed cot to a cot bed or toddler bed it may also be time to think about investing in a bed guard. These handy gadgets help prevent night-time falls, supporting your child as they get used to transitioning from the confines of a cot to the freedom of an open bed.
A toddler bed guard can be used from around 18 months, for as long as your little one needs it. Some children get used to their big bed very quickly, whereas others may benefit from the added protection of a guard or rail for a few more years.
Whether you use a fixed bed rail or something more portable, these products can help your toddlers stay comfortably put, giving you peace of mind and ultimately a better night’s rest.
To help us pick the very best bed guards for you, we asked parents which ones they use with their toddler and would genuinely recommend, to provide you with honest feedback.
With a bed guard you can rest easy whilst your child sleeps, but, if you need assistance in helping them get to sleep, take a look at our best sleep aids and white noise machines. Additionally, for extra peace of mind, you may wish to keep the baby monitor on for a little longer while your child sleeps. And now your toddler is roaming more freely, you might find our round-up of the best stair gates helpful.
Best toddler bed guards at a glance
- Best bed guard for adjustable height: Costway Toddler Adjustable Bed Rail, £54.95
- Best budget-buy bed guard: Ikea NATTAPA Guard Rail, £17
- Best wooden bed guard: BabyDan Wooden Bed Guard Rail, £69.99
- Best bed guard for travel: Safety 1st Portable Bed Rail, £24.99
- Best bed guard for easy cleaning: Dreambaby Phoenix Foldable Bed Rail, £29.99
- Best two-sided bed guard: Hippychick Dream Tubes Bed Guards, £52.50
- Best bed guard for a secure fit: Venture QFix Bed Guard, £26.99
- Best extra-long bed guard: Safetots Extra Wide Bed Rail, £39.90
- Best bed guard for easy installation: Lindam Easy Fit Bed Guard, £31.99
- Best bed guard for comfort: Banbaloo Rail Bed Bumper, £39.99
When do you need a child bed guard?
Bed guards and rails are aimed at toddlers, with the recommended age usually being from 18 months to 5 years. Many manufacturers advise not using a bed rail on a sleeping surface that is more than 60cm from the floor, so they wouldn’t be suitable for the top bed of a bunk.
Although moving from a cot to a toddler bed is an exciting milestone, there is no reason to rush the transition unless your child is endangering themselves by trying to climb out of their cot. It's often better to keep them in their cot for as long as possible.
Remember, toddler bed guards are not designed to be used with younger babies, as safe sleep guidelines say, for babies under 12 months, to keep their sleep space clear of anything that could pose a suffocation risk.
Keeley Black, a baby safety expert who runs SafeCircle babysitting, advises that toddler bed guards can be used by children up to around 5 years old. However, it may be a good idea to remove them earlier if your child is climbing over them to get out of their bed, to prevent falls and injury. The guard could be used on a single bed instead, which would give the child space at the bottom of the bed to get out safely.
What are the different types of toddler bed guards?
There are various styles of child bed guards. Some are more rigid and solid, for example those made of wood, which provide a straight-forward barrier, similar to a bunk bed rail, to stop children from falling over the side.
Other toddler bed guards are made from foam or fabric such as mesh, so they are softer and less rigid if children like to sleep up against the side.
You can also find inflatable bed guards that can be particularly handy for travelling, as they can be deflated and transported away with you.
Baby safety expert Keeley says, "The bed guard should have a clear airflow around it, so try and use mesh, wooden slatted or low rise guards where possible."
What to look for when choosing the best bed guard for your child
Safety – Baby expert, Dean Smith, director of For Your Little One has a few tips for choosing a bed guard safely. He said to always measure your toddler's bed first; the guard should not prevent them from getting in and out of bed and it should sit firmly to cover the middle of the bed, not the whole length. Similarly, he advises measuring your toddler's mattress height as you need to find one that is suitable. He also suggests making sure the bed guard is breathable as your toddler may be breathing up against the side of it during the night.
Size – As our expert Dean previously mentioned, measure your child’s bed and mattress and compare this with the dimensions of the guard you intend to buy. We've listed the dimensions of each product in our top 10 so you can make sure it won't be too long or short for your child's new bed.
Bed position – Where in the bedroom will the bed be? If the bed's in the centre of the room, with both sides open, you might need 2 bed rails to secure both sides. If the bed is placed alongside a wall then you have a natural barrier on one side and only need to guard the other.
Compatibility with your child's bed – Some child bed guards are not compatible with certain types of beds, especially divans, so check before you buy.
Portability – Do you want a rail that's permanently fixed to the bed? Or one that could be moved for times when your toddler is sleeping elsewhere, such as holidays and family visits?
Ease of cleaning – The wooden rails have the advantage of being easy to wipe down, whereas the fabric rails can usually be hand washed.
Material – Bed guards come in all different materials; inflatable, foam or wooden. It's important to consider which type of bed guard would work well for your child and their bed.
Here's our pick of 10 of the best toddler bed guards
1. Costway Adjustable Toddler Bed Rail, £54.95
– Best for adjustable height
Dimensions: H80-95cm x W47cm x L150 or 180cm | Material: Iron and brushed cloth | Colours available: Grey
This bed rail is great for mattresses of all heights thanks to its 4 adjustable height settings, it can range from 80 to 93cm high. It can also be lifted independently from each side making it really convenient when parents only have one hand free to get their child into bed.
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The breathable mesh ensures good ventilation for your child, whilst also being transparent enough to see through to check your child is safe and sleeping soundly. Unlike most bed guards, this one lifts down to allow you easy access to your child.
Assembly is required but no other tools are needed and it shouldn't take too much time.
Pros: Adjustable height, soft material, can lift each side independently
Cons: Quite large, not ideal for travel, assembly required
Available from: Amazon
2. Ikea NATTAPA Guard Rail, £17
– Best for budget-buy
Dimensions: H26cm x W4cm x L96cm | Material: Fibreboard | Colours available: White
Trust Ikea to come up with one of the most simple, stylish and affordable bed guards out there. It's a small and non-intrusive way to help keep your toddler a little more secure in those early months after moving to a bed.
The Nattapa is easy to fit, and can be attached to cots with an open side, extendable beds and regular beds — so it can grow with your child. It doesn't have arms that reach under the bed, making it slightly less sturdy than those that do, but it is smaller overall so doesn't need such a strong support. Admittedly, the Nattapa is quite a hard, rigid addition to the bed, but it doesn't look too overpowering in its neutral white design. It can easily be wiped clean with a dry cloth.
Note that this bed guard will fit bed sides with a thickness of 18-22mm. If you rotate the brackets, you can fix the guard rail to beds that are 44mm thick. It must be mounted so that the end lies against the headboard, without any gap.
Pros: Good value, easy to attach, easy to clean
Cons: Does not fit all beds, hard material, not as high as other bed guards
Available from: Ikea
3. BabyDan Wooden Bed Guard Rail, £69.99
– Best wooden bed guard
Dimensions: H42cm x L90cm | Material: Wood | Colours available: White
This solid and stylish wooden bed guard rail from BabyDan is made from furniture grade wood, so has a nice quality to it and should be long-lasting. But most importantly, it attaches and detaches easily, with no tools required.
BabyDan also says it's suitable for all beds (not including cribs and upper bunk beds), so you can be reassured that it'll stay secure no matter your child's style of bed.
Parent tester Tania, mum of 2, aged 14 weeks and 3, used this with her toddler and loved that you could take the side off, saying "It worked well for us; it was easy to clean and looked good."
Pros: Aesthetically pleasing, strong and sturdy, no tools needed to attach, easy to clean
Cons: Not suitable for upper bunk beds, hard material
Available from: John Lewis
4. Safety 1st Portable Bed Rail, £24.99
– Best for travel
Dimensions: H42 x L106cm (assembled), H42cm x L66cm (folded) | Material: Metal frame and netting | Colours available: Dark grey and blue
This bed guard has a standard mesh design with great functionality. It can fold down to allow easy access to the bed, and it can also be folded (down to 66cm) to make it more compact and portable – great for taking with you on family visits or holiday. No assembly is required – ideal if you want something simple to install.
This bed rail is compatible with mattresses with a length greater than 156cm and a thickness from 10 to 24cm and fits slatted and standard beds.
Parent tester Joanna, mum of 2, aged 5 and 3, used this bed guard with her children when they were slightly younger and loved how "it was really sturdy, simple to use and folded down smaller for travel which was a real bonus. It did what it needed to do for both our kids."
Pros: Can be folded down compactly for travel, easy access to the bed, good value
Cons: Hard metal frame, not the most visually appealing
5. Dreambaby Phoenix Foldable Bed Rail, £34.99
– Best for easy cleaning
Dimensions: H45.5cm x L110cm (H45.5cm x L55cm when folded)| Material: Metal frame and netting | Colours available: White and grey
The Dreambaby Phoenix Foldable bed rail is super easy to clean thanks to its removable and washable cover. It also makes getting your toddler in and out of bed easy, with its convenient fold down sides – this will be handy when making the bed, too.
The bed rail is fairly easy to install but there is assembly required. It can be quite compact, however it does have to be disassembled to fit in its carry bag so it isn't the speediest travel option.
It's suitable for divans and slatted bed bases and for mattresses between 10 to 25cm thick: it can be slightly adjusted depending on the mattress thickness.
Parent tester Lorne, mum of kids aged 2 and 4, uses this with her toddler and said, "I like the breathable mesh and that the cover is washable too. It's very sturdy and fits my child's single bed well."
Pros: Easy to clean, can be folded to a compact size
Cons: Requires assembly, hard metal frame
6. Hippychick Dream Tubes Bed Guards, £52.50
– Best two-sided bed guard
Dimensions: H90 x L195cm (Dream Tubes single sheet), H70cm x L140cm (Dream Tubes cot bed sheet) | Material: Inflatable and cotton | Colours available: White
Designed by 2 mums after 1 too many sleepless nights, inflatable Dream Tubes are a slightly different option for keeping your child from rolling out of bed. Simply blow them up then pop them in the pockets of a special sheet – either cot bed or single bed size – to make a cosy barrier to help kids stay put. We love the fact that this product includes the custom sheet, which effectively keeps the bumpers (2 per pack) in place.
These are great for if your child's bed is not against a wall as you get 2 bumpers and can protect them from falling out of bed both sides. The sheet that covers the inflatable tube is also machine washable. Compared to the harder wooden and metal/mesh frames, this is much softer if your child kicks it or rolls into it.
The bumpers are very lightweight and fold up to a small handy size, making transport a doddle. You can take them with you everywhere – no more rearranging the furniture to prevent kids from rolling out of bed.
Pros: Double-sided, soft material, compact fold
Cons: Needs to be inflated, has to be used with special sheet, not as high as other bed guards
7. Venture QFix Bed Guard, £26.99
– Best for a secure fit
Dimensions: H42cm x L99cm | Material: Metal and mesh | Colours available: Grey
As a bed guard that attaches with straps, you can be reassured the Venture QFix will be extra secure against your child's bed. The strong safety straps also eliminate any potential gap between your child's mattress and bed rail. However, in exchange for such a secure fit, comes assembly, including screws to screw it to the wooden bed slats. This may be an issue if you want to keep taking it off or travel with it.
It has a simple push button to fold down the panel and allow your child easy access to get in and out their bed.
Pros: Very securely attached to the bed, sturdy, easy to access bed with push button
Cons: Requires assembly (including screws), only works with wooden bed frame, has a hard metal frame, not suitable for travelling
8. Safetots Extra Wide Bed Rail, £39.90
– Best extra-long bed guard
Dimensions: H40cm x L140cm | Material: Metal and mesh | Colours available: White, grey and natural
Available in natural, white and grey, the Safetots Extra Wide Bed Rail provides a little bit more coverage, if you want to make extra sure that there's no room to tumble out of bed. It's another rail with the handy fold-down feature and it also comes with a travel bag to make taking it on trips that bit easier. However, it does have to be dismantled first.
This guard is suitable for cot beds, single beds and double beds with a minimum mattress length of 90cm and maximum mattress thickness of 20cm.
Pros: Provides extra long coverage, compact fold, handy fold-down feature
Cons: Requires assembly, has a hard metal frame
9. Lindam Easy Fit Folding Bed Guard, £31.99
– Best for easy installation
Dimensions: H27cm x W9cm x L52.2cm | Material: Metal and mesh | Colours available: Grey
The affordable Lindam Easy Fit Bed Guard has a very simple design, making it easy to install, requiring no tools. It also has a standard fold-down mechanism (with secure locking) to allow you to access your child and change sheets more easily.
This bed rail is compatible with 76cm to 90cm thick mattresses and suitable for slatted, divan and ensemble bed types, but is not suitable for beds where the mattress sits within a raised frame or upper bunk beds.
Pros: Easy to install, good value, handy fold-down feature
Cons: Not compatible with all beds, has a hard metal frame
10. Banbaloo Rail Bed Bumper, £39.99
– Best for comfort
Dimensions: H12cm x W19cm x L134cm | Material: Memory foam | Colours available: White
For ultimate comfort, this memory foam bumper is great. If your child rolls too close to the end of the bed, they will not bump themselves on a hard metal frame, they will be gently pushed back to the middle of the bed by the soft foam bumper. It also has a non-slip cover which ensures it stays in place under the sheet.
Another great thing about this bed bumper is that it's water-resistant, so no need to worry if there are any accidents, and, if there are, it has a machine washable cover.
This option is great for allowing your child more freedom in their bed, ensuring they are safe without feeling caged in. It also means you can access your child very easily without having to move a barrier or panel out of the way.
Parent tester Natalie, mum of a 7 and 4 year old, used the foam bumper with her toddler and said, "I found them to be great and not too cumbersome. Very easy to use."
Pros: Very soft and comfortable, allows your child to feel free, water resistant
Cons:Not as high as other bed guards, hard to store due to size, not suitable for travelling
Available from: Amazon
How did we choose our 10 of the Best?
When choosing these toddler bed guards, we considered and compared protection, comfort, ease of assembly, convenience and portability.
Our 10 of the Best lists are compiled by qualified and experienced parenting journalists. They rely on a number of sources, including our independent reviews, testing undertaken during the MadeForMums Awards, and feedback from our home testing panel and Top Testers Club. Each year thousands of products are put through their paces by hundreds of parents across the country on behalf of MadeForMums, to ensure we’re bringing you honest and true reviews and recommendations.
Our list is not an ordered ranking from 1-10, instead it is a carefully selected group of tried-and-tested products, each of which we believe is best for a different situation or requirement. We don’t just tell you what is best, we help you discover what is best for your family.
Tips for using a bed guard safely
Baby expert Dean Smith also gave us some top tips to ensure that once you've bought a bed guard, you install and use it safely. He says:
- Place the bed guard half-way down the bed so that it sits in the middle. This guarantees the safest place, as it prevents your toddler from rolling out whilst sleeping at either end of the bed.
- If possible, put one side of your toddler's bed against the wall. This prevents the need to buy multiple bed guards, and offers a natural guard instead.
- Make sure the bed guard is properly fitted. Follow the manufacturer's instructions and test its strength by pushing on the guard from inside the bed. If the bed guard falls or moves, it hasn't been safely fitted, and should be fixed before your toddler uses it.
- Don't cover the bed guard in fabrics or clothing. This could make the bed guard dangerous, as it could prevent your child from being able to breathe when against the guard. Always make sure that the bed guard is completely breathable, and there's nothing preventing air from getting in and out.
- Take the bed guard with you if you're going away, even if it's just for a night. Being in a different bed is likely to throw your toddler off when it comes to safely manoeuvring around their surroundings, so bringing the bed guard with you to make sure they sleep safely and soundly is vital.
About our experts
Dean Smith, director of For Your Little One, is an expert in the baby, toddler and parent industry, knowledgable in everything from baby furniture to toddler and parent care.
Keeley Black is a baby safety expert and has been working with children for 19 years with a qualification in NVQ 3 Children, Learning and Development, BA Hons Social Work and is trained in safer sleeping. She also has a babysitting busiess called SafeCircle Sitters.
Chloe is a Digital Reviews Writer and Coordinator for Immediate Media's Parenting team, specialising in household and trying to help parents save money. She researches and writes articles, recommending the best products, ranging from best cordless vacuums to best playpens. She has a First-Class Honours Psychology degree where she developed a strong interest in child development. During her teenage years she worked as a play worker and Brownie volunteer to support children's play.
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