A sleeping bag offers a safe way to keep your baby or toddler warm and cosy while they sleep. Many can be used from birth, although many newborns benefit from being swaddled in the early weeks or months of their life (take a look at our list of best baby swaddles). Once they’re able to roll, or want more freedom to move their arms, a sleeping bag is a safe and convenient choice. Unlike a blanket, your baby can’t kick it off or pull it over themselves. It will stay put all night, and many come with added extras to make your life even easier. Here are a few things to consider when buying a sleeping bag.
How to use a baby or toddler sleeping bag safely
- Never use a sleeping bag with a quilt or duvet.
- Avoid sleeping bags with a hood – It can be dangerous if your baby’s head becomes covered.
- Make sure that the sleeping bag fits well – You don’t want your baby slipping down inside the bag, so make sure it fits properly around the neck and arms.
- Always put your baby down to sleep on their back, with nothing else in the cot if they are under 12 months.
What to look for when choosing a baby or toddler sleeping bag
Size – Most sleeping bags come in sizes similar to baby clothing, although the size increments tend to be larger. Some are one size, designed to last from newborn up to 2 or even 4 years old.
Fabric – Look for natural fibres if possible: even budget sleeping bags are usually 100% cotton. Luxury fabrics like merino and bamboo cost more, but have special temperate regulating abilities.
Tog rating – just like adult quilts, sleeping bags for babies and toddlers come with tog ratings that show how warm they are. The most popular in the UK is 2.5 tog which should work for most of the year. A 1 tog or 1.5 tog sleeping bag can also be useful for warmer nights, and a 3 tog is great if your house gets cold in winter.
Convertibility – Some sleeping bags come with removable layers and/or sleeves which allow you to convert them for different seasons. Others are made from fabrics which do this naturally. Although they’re more expensive, it can often work out cheaper overall than buying separate sleeping bags for each season.
Zips and fastening – Most basic sleeping bags zip up the front or side, and may have poppers at the shoulders. Some have full wraparound zips or two-way zips that allow access at the bottom for nappy changes. Some have a pocket so the harness on a pushchair or car seat can be threaded through. Think about whether these features are useful to you.
Feet – If you have a toddler who moves around a lot during the night, they may prefer a footed sleepsuit, which allows them to move their legs freely.
Care Instructions – Most sleeping bags are machine washable, but do be careful if you buy a luxury fabric like merino wool: these generally need special care to protect their special fibres.
We’ve also got a buyer’s guide to help you decide which tog ratings to use, and for further information on what to look out for.
How did we choose our 10 of the Best?
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.
When testing these sleeping bags, we considered performance, quality, value for money, fabric options, size range, added features, and washing/care instructions.
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.
Here’s our pick of the best baby and toddler sleeping bags for 2021
1. Bambino Merino All Seasons Sleeping Bag, £82
Best for long-lasting luxury
Fabric: 100% merino wool | Sizing: One size, bag is 98cm long | Tog rating: Suitable for use between 17°C and 27°C
Merino sleeping bags are created from the wool of Merino sheep from the mountains of New Zealand. The fleece is able to adapt to the ever-changing temperatures, and the same goes for products made from the wool. If you look after it properly, the 100% natural wool fibres in this sleeping bag have temperature regulating properties, keeping your baby cool in summer and warm in winter.
With this in mind this bag doesn’t come with a tog rating, instead it’s recommended for use in temperatures between 17°C and 27°C. There’s also a winter weight option, plus an online guide to help you dress your baby underneath.
Although a merino sleeping bag is an investment, because this one comes in one adjustable size and has temperature regulating abilities, it could easily replace 4 or 5 other sleeping bags, so overall it could be a sound investment. MFM reviewer Sarah thought it was worth the money, saying, “From the first night my daughter Esme slept soundly in her Merino wool sleeping bag, I fell in love with it.”
The only downside of Merino wool is the care it requires. You’ll need to use a specialist liquid wool detergent and wash at 30°, and you’ll need to skip the fabric conditioner. Ignoring these instructions can ruin the fibres and stop the sleeping bag from doing its job.
Pros: Adjusts to different temperatures, one size fits all
Cons: Initial outlay is high, needs to be washed separately
Read our full MadeForMums Bambino Merino sleeping bag review
Available from: Bambino Merino
2. Vertbaudet 4-Season Sleep Bag, from £35.50
Best convertible sleeping bag
Fabric: 100% cotton | Sizing: 0-6 months, 6-18 months, 18-36 months | Tog rating: 1 tog and 3 tog + both together
This clever design, which I recently bought for my own 15-month-old, features two sleeping bags in one: a 1 tog sleeveless summer bag and a 3 tog winter bag with detachable sleeves. Both bags can be used individually, but they also zip and snap together to create one bag. They are generally better used separately: together they’re the equivalent of a 4-tog bag which you would only need in very cold temperatures. Vertbaudet has a tog guide to help with this.
The addition of sleeves to the winter bag is great, as it means you can dress your baby or toddler in less clothing underneath. It would be a great sleeping bag to send to childcare, or for travel, when temperatures may change or fluctuate. The fact the two bags zip together also makes it easy to store, although the winter bag is very padded and quite bulky overall, especially in the largest size.
Overall this is a great multifunctional sleeping bag set that will work all year round, and it offers a good alternative to a merino wool sleeping bag if you just can’t justify the cost all in one go. The navy and white whale and striped print is also really appealing: a unisex design with a bit of french flair.
Pros: Great for customising for each season, good value for money vs buying individual bags
Cons: Zipped together as one bag, it’s too warm for most situations. Winter bag is bulky
Available from: Vertbaudet
3. Slumbersac Summer Sleeping Bag With Feet, from £28.99
Best sleeping bag with feet
Fabric: 100% Jersey Cotton, Padding 100% Polyester | Sizing: 70cm – 120cm | Tog rating: 0.2 to 3.5 tog
Slumbersac makes its famous footed sleeping bag in a huge range of fun prints and various weights, starting with a 0.2 tog sleeveless design, right up to a cosy 3.5 tog style with sleeves. Because of its footed design, you’re advised to buy based on your child’s height, not age. There’s a comprehensive guide to help you choose the right size, and these do run large. The biggest size (120cm) may fit a child as old as 7.
The footed design is ideal for toddlers and preschoolers who are active sleepers: if they keep kicking off their blankets or duvet, this could be the perfect solution as it’ll stay in place all night long without them feeling restricted. One parent said, “my 10 month old loves to sleep on her side and belly and used to struggle in the normal sleeping bag which would wake her. She now sleeps like a log and can move freely with ease.”
The design has foldover feet with non-slip soles, but anyone who has used a sleepsuit with a similar design knows little feet can easily wriggle out of these, so an additional pair of socks might be a good idea. Some parents tuck their kids feet up into the legs once they’re in bed.
Pros: Huge range of sizes, tog ratings and prints available
Cons: Child may need to wear socks, sizing can be confusing at first
Latest deals from trusted retailers
4. Purflo Baby Sleeping Bag, from £35
Best for sensitive skin
Fabric: 100% Cotton, Lining – 70% Bamboo & 30% Cotton, Filling 80% Polyester & 20% Acrylic | Sizing: 3-9 months, 9-18 months | Tog rating: 2.5 tog or 1 tog | Awards: Gold – Baby and child sleepwear, MadeForMums Awards 2021
This hypoallergenic sleeping bag by Purflo is lined with bamboo, which has natural anti-bacterial properties. This can be particularly helpful for babies and children with asthma and eczema. The fabric helps prevent the build-up of bacteria and also protects from dust mites.
Although its main selling point is the fact it’s designed with sensitive skin in mind, this sleeping bag also has lots of other nice little touches too. The arms are detachable for warmer nights, and there’s a slit at the back which – combined with the clever two-way S-shaped zip – allows you to thread a harness through for travel. You can also change your baby without having to take the sleeping bag off. As MFM home tester Isidora said, “Purflo gives a lot more than what I was looking for, with the hypoallergenic fabric, breathable panels, removable sleeves but also ability to strap the baby in the car seat whilst wearing the sleeping bag. I cannot think of anything more to ask!”
Latest deals from trusted retailers
5. The Original Grobag Snuggle, from £23.49
Best for newborns
Fabric: Cotton-rich, fluorescent free fabric | Sizing: 0-4 months, 3-9 months | Tog rating: 2.5 tog or 1 tog | Awards: Silver (joint) – Baby and child sleepwear, MadeForMums Awards 2021
Many newborns benefit from being swaddled, but they can grow out of that need quite quickly, either because they want their arms free, or because they learn to roll and swaddling becomes unsafe. Thankfully, this hybrid design offers the best of both worlds. It starts life as a swaddle but as your baby grows you can undo the poppers on the shoulders to let their arms out. My son wore one of these when he was first born – I have photos of him happily swaddled in hospital, sleeping through the sound of other babies crying like a champ!
With the armholes left open, this becomes a cosy sleeping bag that fits snugly around the body, which helps your baby to feel comforted and protected, but with ample room to move on the bottom half (the International Hip Dysplasia Institute has acknowledged this as a hip-healthy product). The zip opens from the bottom to allow for easy nappy changes, and the tab is concealed under an extra large fabric cover so it doesn’t irritate your baby’s neck.
Pros: Great for transitioning out of a swaddle, well-designed zip
Cons: Larger size is unlikely to be useful as a swaddle, fabric is not 100% cotton
Latest deals from trusted retailers
6. Merino Kids Go Go Bag, £79
Best for travel
Fabric: 100% natural fibres (merino wool and organic cotton) | Sizing: 0-2 and 2-4 yrs | Tog rating: 0.5 – 1.8, for use between 18°C and 30°C
Merino Kids bags are similar to Bambino Merino in that they come in adjustable sizes (this is one of the few brands that goes right up to 4 years of age) and benefit from the temperature regulating properties of merino wool. This sleeping bag is said to adjust between 0.5 tog and 1.8 tog, so it’s even suitable for very warm weather. It may feel like you’re dressing your child in quite a heavy garment but they’ll stay nice and cool if you’ve followed the care instructions (wash at 30°C with wool detergent).
MFM home tester Aimee said, “My son has never slept better than when he is in this sleeping bag! I absolutely love it and so does he. As the sleeping bag’s lining is made from wool it has a lovely feel to it. We have been very impressed with this product.”
An added bonus of the Merino Kids design is that it’s been created with travel in mind. It would be great for holidays as it’s suitable for use in temperatures up to 30°C. The Go Go bag also has a pocked halfway down the legs, allowing you to thread through the harness of a car seat or pushchair. That makes it great for naps on the go, or if you’re out late and need to transfer a sleeping toddler from the car or pushchair to their cot.
Pros: Temperature regulating fabric, generous size, great for travel and trips abroad
Cons: Have to buy 2 if you want to use beyond 2 years, not suitable in rooms below 18°C
7. Babasac Multi-tog Baby Sleeping Bag, from £38.99
Best 2-in-1 sleeping bag
Fabric: 100% cotton | Sizing: 0-6, 6-18, 18-24 months | Tog rating: 1 tog and 2.5 tog in 1 bag
Similar to the Vertbaudet design, the Babasac is a convertible sleeping bag with an internal zip, however this one has a lower tog rating overall which makes it a little more practical for most families. With both layers intact, it’s a 2.5 tog sleeping bag. Remove a layer to use it as a lightweight 1 tog sleeping bag in warmer weather.
The bag doesn’t have detachable sleeves, just poppers at the shoulders, so you may find in winter that you need a warm sleepsuit and even a vest underneath. It would be a great option for travel, when you just don’t know how warm or cool a hotel room or apartment might be, as you can zip layers in or out to suit.
Home tester Sarah loves how simple it is, and even found an extra way to customise it. “The quilted lining just unzips easily, and voila – it’s gone from 2.5 tog to 1 tog. You can even choose to just have the extra layer on one side, which is great for those transitional months.” She also loves the fun prints. “We’ve gone from hearts to pineapples, and I’m thinking rainbows are next!”
Pros: Converts for year-round use, cute prints
Cons: Smaller sizes mean buying a new one every 6 – 12 months
8. Ergopouch Sleep Suit Bag, from £39.99
Best for older children
Fabric: 100% organic cotton (sleeves contain 5% elastane) | Sizing: 2/3-12 months, 8-24 months, 2-4 years, 4-6 years | Tog rating: 0.3 to 3.5 tog | Award: Bronze (joint) – Baby and child sleepwear, MadeForMums Awards 2021
Like a big, cosy wearable duvet, the ErgoPouch sleep suit bag is a great transitional style if you have a child who’s struggling to move from a sleeping bag in a cot to a toddler bed with a duvet. Although it can be used from as young as 3 months, where this really comes into its own is in the larger sizes: this will fit a child up to 6 years of age.
The sleeping bag is convertible with a central zip down the bottom half of the sack, which turns it into a sleep suit with legs and grip pads for the feet. It’s also available in a whole host of different tog weights: the lighter 0.3 and 1 tog styles are sleeveless or short-sleeved, while the heavier weight ones have built-in sleeves with fold-over cuffs for added warmth. MFM home tester Frankie said, “my little boy’s room is cold so I know he is warm with this on and I’m not constantly checking if he’s kicked his covers off.”
Our home testers were intrigued by the convertible ‘legs’ on this sleeping bag, but did point out they are only suited to some children. Lynn said, “My little girl is quite petite for her age so this didn’t work well for us as it was too long, but I did like the concept.”
Pros: Unique convertible design, good size range
Cons: Features are suited to specific needs, expensive otherwise
Latest deals from trusted retailers
9. Mori Clever Sleeping Bag, £69.50
Best for personalisation
Fabric: Organic cotton and bamboo| Sizing: 4kg to 2 years | Tog rating: 2.5 | Award: Silver – Sustainable/eco-friendly product for babies, MadeForMums Awards 2021
Bamboo fibres have similar temperature regulating properties to Merino, making the Mori sleeping bag another one that can help your child to stay cool (or warm) during fluctuating temperatures. However, this brand does make lighter tog options too, and you may find in very hot weather that this sleeping bag is a bit too cosy.
Tester Ruth, mum of 1, confessed to trying a number of sleeping bags with her baby daughter and said this was “easily the softest and snuggliest of them all. My little girl loves getting into it.” Tester Ellie also felt it was “a must-have if you are looking for an eco-friendly, stylish, super-soft, long-lasting sleeping bag.”
Mori’s sleeping bag has a hole to thread a harness, making it suitable for travel, and comes in a number of different patterns and colours. Perhaps most exciting, though, is the fact it can be customised with your child’s name or a cute phrase. That’s one way to ensure it doesn’t go missing at nursery!
Pros: Natural fibres are sustainable, comfortable and breathable
Cons: Expensive, may need multiple togs vs merino wool
10. The White Company’s London Bear Sleeping Bag, £32
Best for adorable print
Fabric: 100% organic cotton with 100% polyester filling | Sizing: 0-6, 18-36 months | Tog rating: 2.5 tog
This The White Company London Bear Sleeping Bag is adorable with it’s patriarchal print. The 2.5-tog sleeping bag is perfect for keeping your baby cosy and is ideal for colder nights.
It has nicker-free popper fastening and the smallest size (0-6 months) features an extra popper for a snugger fit.
The sleeping bag is made from organic cotton with polyester filling and can be easily washed in the washing machine.
It’s also quite a long one sleeping bag, meaning it will grow with your toddler and will last longer, which is great considering it’s more expensive than some of the others listed.
Pros: Organic fabric, adorable print, good quality, large variety of sizes
Cons: On the pricey side
Available from: The White Company
About the author
Gemma Cartwright is Consumer and Commerce Editor at MadeForMums and has over 15 years experience in lifestyle and consumer journalism. She’s also mum to a 19-month-old toddler and has tried dozens of sleeping bags and swaddles – from luxury merino wool to supermarket bargains – in her quest for a full night’s sleep.