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, making them great for holidays, breaks and overnight stays.

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We’ve analysed the travel cot market and rigorously tested a range of different models to find the best ones for your family. Whether you're looking for something safe for a newborn, or a roomy cot for an older toddler, you'll find it here. Some travel cots can also be used as playpens for a baby, although, if you're looking specifically for a playpen check out our best playpens for babies and toddlers.

Why do I need a travel cot?

One of the main benefits of travel cots are their portability. Regular cots are often made of wood and to disassemble and put in a car or suitcase would be quite a task! With a travel cot disassembly is usually a matter of a few minutes (or even seconds) and some of the travel cots on our list fold small enough to fit in a suitcase or overhead locker.

Travel cots are an on-the-go sleeping option that means you won’t have to rely on sleeping arrangements at your destination. For frequent travellers they can be as familiar to little ones as their regular bed; helping to aid sleep in a different environment.

Best travel cots at a glance

  • Best travel cot for easy assembly: Bugaboo Stardust, £199
  • Best travel cot for a good mattress on a budget: Venture Airpod Travel Cot, £69.99
  • Best travel cot for older toddler: Micralite Sleep & Go, £175
  • Best travel cot for added extras: Graco Contour Electra, £119.99
  • Best budget buy travel cot: Red Kite Sleeptight Travel Cot, £30
  • Best travel cot for increased air flow: Nuna Sena Aire, £180
  • Best travel cot for versatile features: Hauck Sleep'n Play Centre Travel Cot, £59.95
  • Best travel cot for occasional use: Cuggl Deluxe Superlight Travel Cot, £65
  • Best travel cot for newborns: Joie Kubbie Sleep, £100
  • Best travel cot for cosleeping: Red Kite Dreamer Bedside Travel Crib, £55

What to look for when buying a travel cot

Portability - Travel cots have lighter-weight components and are designed to be easily carried and stored. But they're still cots, so none of them are going to fold into a truly tiny package. They fold into different shapes so look for the folded style that suits your needs. Some of the travel cots on our list fold into a long rectangular shape more suited to public transport, others fold flat to fit in a car boot.

Weight - Travel cots vary significantly in weight - we found some that are under 7kg and others that weigh in at a hefty 11kg. Think about how often you’re going to use it, and if you’ll be lifting it up and down stairs or in and out of a car. If you want frequent use, a super lightweight travel cot may suit you best. Of course, a heavier cot is likely to feel more sturdy and offer more functionality.

Ease of assembly/disassembly - Once you have the knack, putting a travel cot up and down should be a very quick process - a matter of minutes, if not seconds. Do read the instructions though, many have a knack and have parts that need to be put together in a very specific order.

Age suitability - Age suitability really varies for travel cots. Most can be used from birth – we’ve specified the manufacturer’s instructions – but the travel cots that have a built-in bassinet offer a cosier, elevated sleep environment for newborns. Some even have drop-down sides to allow them to be used as a bedside crib. Some cots can only be used for a few months while others are suitable up to around 3.5 years.

Mattress: Travel cot mattresses tend to be thinner and harder than normal cot mattresses. This is partly to enable a compact fold and easy storage, and is why travel cots are usually not recommended for permanent overnight sleep. But remember, a firm mattress is important for safe sleep for your baby, and doesn’t mean your child won’t be comfortable. Most manufacturers will state that you shouldn't add an extra mattress to a travel cot.

Extra functions - Some travel cots can serve as a handy playpen once babies can sit up. Some also have a changing station, which could be useful if you’re frequently travelling with a baby.

How, when and where will you use your travel cot?

Do you plan to use the travel cot frequently during the year, or do you need it for a particular holiday? The frequency and location of where you’ll use it will help when considering weight, functionality and budget. For example, if the travel cot will be used for overnight stays at relatives or friends every month, you won’t need to worry too much about weight and the ease of assembly – especially if it can remain constructed.

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For holidays in hot climates, a breathable mattress and all-around mesh panel are factors to consider. These help with air circulation and will provide a more comfortable environment for your child to sleep. Some travel cots include or offer the option of an insect net and sun protection.

For travel involving flights, it’s worth investigating your airline’s baggage allowances. A light, compact-folding model with easy assembly could be your best solution.

How much does a travel cot cost?

Our list covers travel cot prices ranging from £30 up to £200 - so quite a wide scope. For items at all price points, we expect a safe, comfortable and stable sleeping environment.

When looking at budget options, our reviewers found that they certainly did the trick and functioned well as a travel cot but were quite basic with limited added extras. For example, you shouldn’t expect a changing station included on a lower priced travel cot.

When considering more high-end travel cots we still expect good value (not overpriced), premium components and extra thought on a design that will make traveling with kids a breeze. Also, the more often you travel, the easier it is to get your money’s worth out of a more expensive travel cot.

The mid-range options on our list – priced under £100 include many great benefits and may tick quite a few boxes but without some of the lush extras of more expensive models.

Here are the best travel cots for 2022

1. Bugaboo Stardust, £199

– Best for easy assembly

Suitable from: birth (with newborn insert) to 2 years| Travel cot weight: 6.7kg | Unfolded dimensions: L64cm x W98cm x H85cm| Folded dimensions: L 65cm x W14cm x H85cm | Newborn bassinet: Yes | Awards: Gold – Travel Cot, MadeForMums Awards 2022

Forget tricky folds, the pop-up style mechanism of the Bugaboo Stardust takes just seconds: simply pull the cot open from flat by pulling both sides. It’s perfect for a hassle-free bedtime when you’re not in the comfort of your own home.

It conveniently folds back down in the same amount of time, too, although it is worth noting this model folds down to a large flat shape, like a suitcase, making better suited to sliding into a car boot or under a bed than taking on public transport.

Along with the ease of assembly, the built-in mattress is what you pay for with this model: it's not only comfortable but can be adjusted to two height positions (with the newborn insert) making it easier to lift out newborns and babies not yet sitting up unaided. This is particularly handy if you’re prone to back problems or have just had a C-section. The mattress can be folded down inside the cot, meaning no extra assembly is required.

Although one of the priciest travel cots on our list, the Stardust can still deliver great value if you’re using your travel cot regularly with your baby. MFM home tester Rovenna, who tried it with her 4-month-old, said, "The fact it has both a raised zip in baby bassinet or a deep bed for toddlers – as well as a comfortable and generously filled built in mattress – is fantastic. It’s compact and lightweight, meaning it can be easily moved from room to room and transported in its handy carry bag.”

Pros: Quickest to assemble, two mattress height positions
Cons: Quite large when folded

Available from: Bugaboo, Boots and John Lewis

2. Venture Airpod Travel Cot, £89.99

– Best for a good mattress on a budget

Venture airpod travel cot

Suitable from: birth to 3 years | Travel cot weight: 6kg | Unfolded dimensions: L85cm x W55cm x H66cm| Folded dimensions: 60cm x 15cm x 50cm | Newborn bassinet: No

At a budget-friendly price point, this travel cot is not only affordable but also very lightweight, comfortable and easy to carry. It's available in a number of colours and features mesh panels on all sides. The mesh means that you can get a great view of your baby or toddler, while also ensuring good air circulation at night time.

Travel cot mattresses are often the feature that parents are least satisfied with, as they are often thin and flimsy. However, the Airpod travel cot has a better quality, more luxurious mattress than you might expect for the price.

Although this cot doesn't have an all-in-one pop-up assembly, it's still easy to put up and down, so much so that some of our home tester parents didn’t need the instructions. “It was very easy to remove from the carry case and put the cot together.” said MFM home tester Sarah. “It was also easy to take apart and put back into the travel case. No fiddling or spare parts. The easiest baby item I have actually put together.”

The Airpod Travel Cot is suitable from birth, but it doesn't come with a bassinet, something that you might prefer for a newborn. Offering a good amount of room, the travel cot can also be used as a play pen, and offers a comfy night's sleep for babies and toddlers.

Pros: Easy to build and collapse, mesh design
Cons: No newborn bassinet, can’t be used as playpen

Available from: Amazon and Venture

3. Micralite Sleep & Go, £150

– Best for older toddlers

Micralite Sleep & Go Travel Cot tested with a toddler

Suitable from: birth (with bassinet) to approx 3 years old | Travel cot weight: 7kg | Unfolded dimensions: L112cm x W80cm x H67cm| Folded dimensions: L88cm x W34cm x H17cm| Newborn bassinet: Yes (optional purchase) | MFM Review Star Rating: 4.3 stars

Micralite's 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 light travel cot that's easy to move around, although the 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. It also has longevity: while most travel cots have an upper weight limit of 15kg, this one does not, due to the fact the base sits on the floor. This makes it a great choice for parents of toddlers in the upper weight and height percentiles, who can use it until their child learns to climb out. MFM Consumer & Commerce editor Gemma tested this with her larger than average 2.5 year old and said, "Although this is much smaller than his usual cotbed, my son could still stretch out and it he told me it was "cosy"! He was quite happy to sleep in it and slept as well as usual."

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 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”.

Pros: Multi-functional, easy to assemble, no weight limit
Cons: Not the smallest when folded down

Read our full MadeForMums Micralite Sleep & Go review

Available from: Amazon and Micralite

4. Graco Contour Electra, £119.99

– Best for added extras

Graco Contour Electra travel cot

Suitable from: birth to 15kg | Travel cot weight: 10kg | Unfolded dimensions: H:91cm W:73cm D:104cm| Folded dimensions: H:85cm D:23cm | Newborn bassinet: Yes

If you're looking for a travel cot that will do double or even triple duty, this could be the product for you. The Graco Contour Electra comes bursting with added extras, including practical additions like a cot-top changing unit, and fun ones like the mobile and battery-operated unit that plays tunes and vibrates the cot.

MFM home tester Jessica said, The Graco Electra travel cot has proven to be a lovely cot for my 5 month old son. It folds up to an easily transportable, small travel bag and has lovely extras such as the hanging toy bar and night light which are well thought out."

There's a newborn bassinet that fastens in to keep tiny babies close, and the whole unit is on wheels so it can be moved easily. It's definitely not the lightest product on our list, but remove any accessories you're not using (such as the changer or bassinet) and this significantly reduces the weight to make it easier to move or carry.

Pros: Lots of accessories, good newborn bassinet
Cons: Heavy, can be difficult to transport

Available from: Amazon

5. Red Kite Sleeptight Travel Cot, £30

– Best budget buy

redkitesleeptight

Suitable from: birth to 15kg (approx 3.5 years) | Travel cot weight: 8.7kg | Unfolded dimensions: L99cm x W59.5cm x H80.5cm| Folded dimensions: L27cm x W25cm x H80.5cm| Newborn bassinet: No | MFM Review Star Rating: 4.2 stars

The cheapest cot on our list, the Red Kite Sleeptight Travel Cot is a great choice if you're looking for an affordable but sturdy option. The mattress, as you'd expect, is quite thin, so if you do look to buy an additional one, take note of the dimensions and ensure anything you buy is the correct size. It must be a snug fit with no gaps around the edges.

Where this travel cot does excel is the ease of assembly. “Once you have pulled up the handle in the bottom and un-assembled the cot, it is very easy to fold shut and put into the carry-bag,” stated our MFM reviewer Jessica, who called it “hassle-free and very quick.” Travel cots of this type usually have an order in which each section has to be assembled (or taken down), so pay close attention to the instructions.

This cot's purse-friendly price point doesn’t mean you have to compromise on quality – you’ll find plenty of useful design features like a full padded top rail and mesh sides to provide visibility and air flow. Our MFM reviewer and parent testers also found it felt robust once built. One parent tester said, “It feels secure, with the side bars locking in place, and is sturdy enough to accommodate a lively toddler.”

Pros: Affordable, easy to assemble
Cons: Mattress may need replacing

Read our full MadeForMums review of the Red Kite Sleeptight Travel Cot

Available from: Amazon

6. Nuna Sena Aire, £180

– Best for increased air flow

Suitable from: birth (with bassinet) to 15kg (approx 3.5 years) | Travel cot weight: 10kg | Unfolded dimensions: L73.5cm x W107cm x H74.5cm| Folded dimensions: L24cm x W28cm x H86cm| Newborn bassinet: Yes | MFM Review Star Rating: 4.5 stars

A focus on air flow is one of the main attractions of the Nuna Sena Aire. As well as 360-degree mesh lined air flow on the crib and bassinet, the mesh mattress also has two levels of airflow via layers of ventilated padding. This will ensure that baby has plenty of fresh air circulating and there’s good visibility for parents too.

With a centralised pulley system, it’s super easy to assemble and our MFM reviewer Katie found it could be done one handed. “Like many new mums, I have suffered from problems with my back and I love being able to use the crib as I don’t have to reach down as far to pick up my baby.” She said. “There is absolutely no stress involved.”

The Sena Aire travel cot is one of the heaviest on our list and perhaps for that reason we saw that customer reviews on Very and John Lewis were mainly written by grandparents who kept the cot assembled for when their grandchildren visit.

Although the price point is at the higher end, you do get high-quality design features which our MFM reviewer found “sets it apart from cheaper versions”. She adds, “it has extensive padding and it’s raised off the ground with wide, skid-proof feet too”.

As an added extra, you also get a certified organic cotton sheet included which many travel cots do not come with. If there’s more room in your budget there’s a changing unit and insect nest available at extra cost too.

Pros: Great air flow, one-handed assembly, skid-proof feet
Cons: Heavier frame, expensive

Available from: Very, John Lewis and Natural Baby Shower

7. Hauck Sleep'n Play Centre Travel Cot, £89

– Best for versatile features

Hauck-Sleep-'n’-Play-Center-Travel-Cot

Suitable from: birth to 15kg (approx 3.5 years) | Travel cot weight: 8.5kg | Unfolded dimensions: L125cm x W68.5cm x H82cm| Folded dimensions: L22cm x W21cm x H76.5cm | Newborn bassinet: Yes

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.

Pros: Changing table included, can wheel along when folded
Cons: Needs an additional mattress

Available from: Online4Baby and UberKids

8. Cuggl Deluxe Superlight Travel Cot, £65

– Best for occasional use

Cuggl Deluxe Travel Cot

Suitable from: birth to 15kg | Travel cot weight: 6kg | Unfolded dimensions: L85 cm x W56cm x H86m| Folded dimensions: L50cm x W61cm x H15cm| Newborn bassinet: No |

Coming in at only 6kg, this is one of the lightest travel cots on our list, and also one of the most affordable. If you're looking for an all-rounder for occasional use during the first couple of years of your child's life, it's a good value option that performs well. It can be constructed in minutes and folds up to a suitcase size, although it's sadly not quite small enough to take as hand luggage on a plane.

The built-in mattress is 2.5cm deep, putting it on a par with most travel cot mattresses but perhaps not up there with the likes of the Bugaboo Stardust. Overall, the cot is smaller in size than some other options, but that means it folds up smaller too. The weight limit of 15kg means most toddlers will have grown out of it by about 2.5 years old. If you're looking for longevity beyond that, the Venture TravelPod and the Micralite Sleep 'n' Go have a slightly longer lifespan, but will cost you a little more.

Pros: Lightweight, folds up small, easy to assemble, affordable
Cons: Mattress isn't the best, small footprint, low weight limit

Available from: Argos

9. Joie Kubbie Sleep Travel Cot, £100

– Best for newborns

Joie Kubbie Sleep travel cot

Suitable from: Birth to 15kg | Travel cot weight: 8.79kg | Unfolded dimensions: L99cm x W59.5cm x H80.5cm| Folded dimensions: L 27 cm x W 25 cm x H 80.5cm | Newborn bassinet: Yes | MFM Review Star Rating: 3.8 | Awards: Silver – Travel Cot, MadeForMums Awards 2022

For parents who want a travel cot from birth – perhaps to keep at a family member or caregiver's house – the Joie Kubbie Sleep combines the functionality of a travel cot with that of a bedside crib, with a drop-down side operated by a button that allows easier access to a newborn while in bassinet mode. It does sit quite high up so the exact functionality will differ depending on the type of bed you have, but in those early days when mum is healing it could be a lifesaver.

"One of the great features of the Joie Kubbie Sleep travel cot is that it can be used beside the bed once its straps are attached to the bed, and its side is dropped," said MFM reviewer Dominic, who tested this with his newborn daughter. He was also impressed with the durability, saying, "I’m really impressed with the quality of the build, despite the ‘sticky’ mechanics. Once assembled, it feels sturdy enough to last a number of years, which will be helpful for when our daughter can start using it as a playpen."

Once your baby is old enough, you simply put up the side, drop the mattress down to the base of the cot, and it becomes a generously-sized travel cot and playpen that'll last until the child weighs 15kg. The pull-and-click functionality takes a few minutes to master, and like others of this style there's an order you need to memorise in order to get it to go up and down smoothly, but Joie has a great instructional video to help.

Pros: Simple drop-side, grows with baby
Cons: Not very lightweight, can be tricky to put up and down

Available from: Boots and Argos

10. Red Kite Dreamer Bedside Travel Crib, £59.99

– Best for cosleeping

Red Kite dreamer travel crib

Suitable from: birth (with bassinet) to 15kg | Travel cot weight: 7.6kg | Unfolded dimensions: L99cm x W57cm x H76cm| Folded dimensions: L27cm x W71cm x H26m| Newborn bassinet: Yes | Awards: Bronze – Travel Cot, MadeForMums Awards 2022

Like the Joie Kubbie sleep, the Red Kite Dreamer offers the perfect travel option for families with newborns that use a bedside crib at home, as it has the same drop-side functionality built into a more portable travel cot. However, unlike the Joie Kubbie Sleep, which has a button-operated drop-side, this one is fastened with buckles, making it more suited to those who want to keep the cot fastened to their bed with the side dropped permanently down, for a safe way to cosleep with a newborn.

Once the baby is older, it becomes a travel cot that's almost a metre in length, offering lots of space for a growing toddler and a mattress that our parent testers really rated. "As travel cots go this is one of the comfiest mattresses I’ve seen. It feels nice and padded and had a solid firm base underneath to secure into the cot," said home tester Bridget, who tested this with her 4 month old.

Our testers did find the basinette insert for newborns a little flimsy, but fine given that's only used for the first few months before moving to the full travel cot. It's also lightweight to carry and one of the smaller folds on this list.

Pros: Permanent drop-side option, good mattress
Cons: Flimsy newborn insert

Available from: Argos and Red Kite

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How did we choose our 10 of the Best?

When testing travel cots, we considered size and weight limits, mattress quality, effectiveness, ease of build/fold, ease of transportation, any extra features or additions, and value the money.

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 ofwhich 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.

About the author

Janet is mum to two children aged 6 & 9 and a great-Aunt too. She began writing early, penning her first book aged just 7. She has published 2 books on the topics of women's empowerment and mental health. Janet’s seen an exciting career both in the UK & USA, with over 15 years experience in the music industry before turning her hand to parenting.

Janet lives in London on the banks of the river Thames where she enjoys working with young people with challenging childhoods, cycling and is a regular at the local boxing gym.

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