Ready to move beyond the bulky pack n’ play for your traveling toddler?
I hear ya! When Evelyn finally reached the ‘crawling-out-of-the-pack-and-play’ stage, it was a bittersweet victory!
Sure, there is something comforting about laying your toddler down in a crib each night without the worry of an escape. But growing out of it also meant we could finally shed the last remnants of the baby phase of travel, and we could drop a little weight (i.e. gear) in the process!
Yes friends, it only gets better from here!
I did a ton of research looking for the very best portable toddler beds and alternative sleep solutions for little travelers. If your toddler is not quite ready for the big kid bed just yet, you’ll be glad to know there are tons of perfect in-between alternatives that are quite portable too!
Here’s a round up of the best portable toddler beds, tested and well-loved by fellow traveling families:
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KidCo Peapod Plus
Product Weight | 3.5 lbs
Unfolded Size | 53″ x 34″ x 22″ tall
Folded Size | 4″ tall x 18″ round (disc shape)
Why Parents Love It | A little bit bigger than the original KidCo PeaPod, the PeaPod plus is great for traveling toddlers who need a bit more space. At 3.5 pounds, it’s also one of the most portable sleep solutions for toddlers.
Good to Know | While the original PeaPod can fit inside a carry on, the PeaPod plus will require a larger suitcase if you plan to pack it. That said, it’s still small enough to fit inside a tote size carry on bag if you want to avoid checking luggage. And lastly, you may want to take a few test runs at home before heading out on your journey. For kids not used to sleeping in enclosed spaces, it can take some getting used to.
Worlds Apart My First ReadyBed
Product Weight | 4 lbs
Inflated Size | 51” x 24″ x 9” tall
Folded Travel Size | 4″ x 11″ x 16″ tall
Why Parents Love It | The ReadyBed is a combination air mattress/sleeping bag in one. The wrapping headrail ensures your toddler will stay tucked in a cozy environment, and the bedding can be unzipped from the mattress to wash in the machine.
Good to Know | Folding down to about the size of a sleeping bag, the ReadyBed will take up most of the space in a carry on suitcase. Some parents gripe that the bed’s manual pump can be a bit of a pain to maneuver, though not having to worry about electricity is an added plus. As one of the cheaper toddler beds on the market, it’s worth noting that the vinyl is not nearly as strong as its competitors and thus more susceptible to leaks.
The Shrunks Youth Travel Bed
Product Weight | 8 lbs
Inflated Size | 30″ x 70″ x 3.5″ tall
Folded Travel Size | 7″ x 7″ x 16″ tall
Why Parents Love It | At 30 x 70″, this travel bed is about the size of standard crib mattress, but low profile enough that it’s smaller than a traditional kids air mattresss. Small built-in bedrails keep little ones from rolling out, and it comes with a custom fitted sheet (though if you want to swap it out, any standard size crib sheet will fit).
Good to Know | The mattress comes with foot pump which requires more time to inflate, but is also more compact and easier to transport than an electric pump. It’s worth noting that because of the low profile rails, some kids do still find a way to roll out!
hiccapop Inflatable Toddler Travel Bed
Product Weight | 8 lbs
Inflated Size | 62″ x 38″ x 11″ tall
Folded Travel Size | 6″ x 9.5″ x 12″ tall + pump
Why Parents Love It | The hiccapop inflatable travel bed is the largest on this list, with extra long, extra tall bed rails and a removable inner mattress. It comes with an electric pump that inflates the bed in 30 seconds, and the thicker vinyl with reinforced seams can hold up to 300 lbs! With a lifetime warranty to boot, needless to say, you’ll never have to worry about leaks.
Good to Know | The hiccapop does not come with a sheet, but any standard crib sheet will fit the center mattress. If you wanted to remove the center mattress for taller rails, parents should know there won’t be much (if any) cushion between your child and the floor. And while the electric pump is handy, it’s not dual-voltage, creating an added challenge for families travelling internationally.
AeroBed Air Mattress for Kids
Product Weight | 11 lbs
Inflated Size | 50″ x 25″ x 10″ tall
Folded Travel Size | 8″ x 13″ x 18″ tall
Why Parents Love It | The AeroBed Kids is a little smaller than the hiccapop, making it ideal for parents who want a traditional air mattress with electric pump, without taking up quite as much space. The soft fleece cover keeps littles cozy, and though the carrying bag measures a bit larger, unlike the hiccapop, it does fit the pump in it as well.
Good to Know | The AeroBed has a gentle rim around the edge, but not full rails like the Shrunks or hiccapop toddler beds. If rolling out is a concern, this may not be the best option. Also, like the hiccapop, the pump will require a voltage converter to work in most other countries.
The Shrunks Inflatable Bed Rails
Product Weight | 2 lbs
Inflated Size | 48″ x 7″ x 4″ tall (each rail)
Folded Size | 5″ x 7″ x 9″ tall
Why Parents Love It | Not exactly a “portable toddler bed”, but if you want the absolute most portable sleep solution for your toddler, this is it! We’re super minimalist packers, so we chose to go the inflatable bed rails route ourselves to save as much space as possible. The rails’ small size means they only take a few minutes to inflate with the included manual pump and the whole system fits easily in a carry on.
Good to Know | Rails are sold invidivually or as a set of 2, so be sure you know which you are getting before placing your order. Anti-slip pads hold the rails in place under a fitted sheet, but our always moving toddler does occassionally knock them off the sides of smaller twin beds (though she’s not fallen out with them as of yet!). And of course, you’ll still need to have a second bed to use them on, which could bring an extra cost depending on the type of accommodation.
Have you found a good sleep solution for your toddler while traveling? Do share below!