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If you’re looking for a cot to use on the occasional sleepover at grandma’s house, the Saplings Maria Folding Cot is a sturdier alternative than a travel cot. Made from solid wood, it looks like an ordinary cot, but folds flat enough to store under a bed.
With its clever yet practical design, it’s no surprise that the Maria Folding Cot is the product of a company founded by two graduates who met while studying furniture design and cabinet making. Their Shropshire firm, Saplings, now creates a wide range of cots, mattresses and nursery furniture.
The Maria cot has a traditional appearance, with all-round beech slats enabling good visibility. The innovative part is the way in which it can be folded for storage. Once the mattress has been removed, two bolts are unscrewed on either end of the base with an Allen key. The base can then be tilted upwards. A clip on the top rail of each cot end is raised and hinges allow the cot to be folded inwards. The mattress slots back inside the folded frame to protect it during storage.
What we love
While travel cots are ideal for a few nights’ sleep, the often-thin mattress and fabric sides make them unsuitable for regular use. The Maria Folding Cot is an ideal solution for childminders or grandparents looking for a robust, solid cot that is easy to store. It’s a great space-saving concept and simple to fold and unfold – just keep an Allen key somewhere handy!
I thought that it might be a two-person job to collapse the cot, but it’s easy to do alone.
The Maria has a strong mesh base and is designed for use with a proper mattress measuring 117cm long by 54cm wide. As it’s slightly more compact than a conventional cot, the Maria is suitable for smaller rooms, too. My daughter, Gracy, is 7 months old and there’s plenty of space in the cot for her.
Having previously had a cot with rigid sides, I really appreciate the incorporation of a drop side on the Maria. I assembled the cot so it’s in the lower of the two available positions and it’s still easy to lift Gracy out once I’ve lowered the side.
The wooden frame can be wiped clean with a damp cloth and it’s reassuring to know that the cot conforms to British Safety Standards BS EN 716.
What to watch out for
Firstly, I have to state that I do like this cot – despite the following niggles.
Once assembled, the Maria Folding Cot is really practical. But assembling it is annoying! The main issue I have is with the instructions. They consist of four black-and-white photocopied pages, which means that the details on the photographs and diagrams are unclear. The fixed side and the drop side of the cot look the same on the illustration but are different in reality, which is confusing. The instructions also need to be rewritten in a clear, concise way. It’s perfectly possible to work it all out yourself (which my husband and I did), but you shouldn’t have to do this. It just takes longer to assemble the cot than is necessary.
It’s a fiddly cot to put together too. Although it’s possible to construct alone, I found that an extra pair of hands was useful when aligning the bolts and securing the base.
A mattress isn’t included in the price, and Saplings only offers two that fit the cot. As the mattress required is smaller than standard, options might be limited.
The Maria doesn’t have a teething rail or castors either, although it is quite lightweight and compact to manoeuvre.
While it folds away, you wouldn’t want to ditch your travel cot and take the Maria on holiday.
Who is the Saplings Maria Folding Cot best for?
Grandparents or childminders who need a sturdy cot that takes up minimum space and can be folded for easy storage.
The Saplings Maria Folding Cot’s sturdy, traditional appearance belies an innovative, fresh approach to the design of cots for occasional use. If you can overcome the challenges of the frustrating instruction leaflet, the Maria will provide a useful and space-saving alternative to keep at a grandparent’s house.
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|Model||Maria Folding Cot|
|Child age (approx)||Birth to 18 months|
Dimensions & Weight
|Dimensions||H:94.5cm W:58cm D:120cm|
|Sleep height positions||2|
|Drop down / Removable side||Yes|
|Made from||Wood (birch)|
|Optional extras||Saplings mattresses (117cm x 54cm)|