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Whether you’re shopping for a toddler bed to accommodate an active 18-month-old or you need to free up the crib for a new baby, deciding on the best bed for your little one requires time, patience, and some serious sleuth work.

But all this research and shopping can be a bit daunting. That’s why we did the work for you! After combing through multiple sites and reading reviews, we rounded up some of the top toddler beds in various categories.

Ultimately, the toddler bed that works best for you will be one that fits your budget, space, and taste. Here, we go over the right time to transition to a toddler bed, our picks, and how we chose.

Here are some signs that indicate it’s time to go shopping.

  • Your toddler is climbing out of the crib.
  • They don’t really fit in the crib.
  • The size and comfort of the crib is impacting their sleep.
  • You’re expecting another baby and need the crib for this new addition.
  • They’re potty training and need easy access to get in and out of bed

The right time to transition to a toddler bed involves your toddler’s size, since if they’re tall enough to climb out of the crib, there are safety issues at play.

The American Academy of Pediatrics recommends moving your child to a bed when they’re 35 inches (89 centimeters) tall — or when the height of the side rail is at approximately at their nipple height.

The good news is most toddler beds are designed to sit lower to the floor, making it easier (and safer) for your little one to climb in and out of bed. They also come equipped with safety measures like rails.

To make this roundup of the best toddler beds, we considered durability, comfort, price, and functionality. Style also topped the list of features we weighed when choosing the best toddler beds.

And, of course, safety is important. Look for beds that carry the Juvenile Products Manufacturers Association (JPMA) certification.

We also considered customer reviews posted on reputable websites. All of these beds received rave reviews and high ratings from consumers.

A word about pricing

Toddler bed prices vary by brand and material. On average, you can buy a decent toddler bed for under $100. Some of the higher quality or solid wood beds run closer to $150 to $200. Shop around and compare different brands.

Pricing guide

  • $ = under $100
  • $$ = $100–$150
  • $$$ = over $150

Best overall toddler bed

Best toddler bed with rails

Dream On Me Emma 3 in 1 Convertible Toddler Bed

Price: $$

Safety is the number one feature of the Dream On Me Emma 3-in-1 Convertible bed. Available in nine colors, including white, espresso, green, blue, and pink, this solid wood toddler bed comes with four rails that encompass most of the bed.

But the best part? When your little one is done with the bed, you can convert it to a table and two chairs or into a sofa and table. The 3-in-1 is JPMA certified and meets or exceeds all applicable American Society for Testing and Materials (ASTM) and Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) standards.

Best budget toddler bed

Orbelle Toddler Bed

Price: $

Budget-conscious shoppers will love this high quality, solid wood toddler bed from Orbelle. Built at just the right height, the Orbelle has two side rails to keep your little one safe at night.

It comes in four colors, including dark cherry, espresso, white, and pink. The wood construction means the bed is sturdy and built to last. Overall, this bed is a nice choice for the price, and it carries the JPMA sticker.

Best loft toddler bed

Donco Twin Art Play Junior Low Loft Bed

Price: $$$

Ladder, slide, and bed, oh my! Active toddlers will never want to leave this loft bed from Donco. Made from sturdy pine wood and steel hardware connections, the strength, durability, and stability of this bed are spot on.

The walk-up and slide can go on either side of the bed. And your budding artist will love the chalkboard finish front panel. Although this toddler bed is a bit on the pricey side, most loft beds are more expensive because of the extra features.

Best toddler bed for active sleepers

Best princess toddler bed

Best car toddler bed

Delta Children Grand Prix Race Car Toddler-to-Twin Bed

Price: $$$

If your toddler dreams of sleeping in a race car, then give the Grand Prix Race Car Toddler-to-Twin Bed a test drive. Available in three colors — red, black, and blue — it easily transforms from a toddler bed to a twin bed using the included conversion kit.

Plus, secure guardrails and a design that allows the mattress to sit low in the bed frame make this bed a favorite among parents looking for extra safety. This bed carries the JPMA sticker.

Best character bed

Step2 Thomas the Tank Engine Toddler Bed

Price: $$$

All aboard! The Thomas The Tank Engine Toddler Bed is designed to look just like the beloved character, so your train-loving kiddo will likely have fun playing and reading in this bed that fits a standard toddler crib mattress.

Parents appreciate how easy it is to assemble. Plus, the smokestack has a storage area for your child to keep their favorite train set close. This bed meets all JPMA safety standards.

Best wooden toddler bed

Best travel toddler bed

Best modern toddler bed

Best toddler bed with storage

Dream on Me Toddler Day Bed

Price: $$$

While your toddler may not care about storage space, having a few drawers to stash extra sheets is a must-have feature for many parents. The Dream on Me Toddler Day bed comes with a large roomy drawer below the bed for convenient storage. The drawer has two compartments that allow you to keep everything organized.

Features also include solid wood construction, removable rails, and sturdy wooden slats for mattress support, and it sits low to the floor, making it easy for your little one to access. Plus it’s safe: This bed meets all JPMA safety standards.

Best tent toddler bed

Delta Children Mickey Mouse Toddler Tent Bed

Price: $

Bedtime just got a whole lot more exciting with the Mickey Mouse Toddler Tent Bed from Delta Children. With a low-to-ground design, this toddler bed is easy to access, safe, and provides your little one with a lot of fun.

The tent comes with roll-up doors and mesh windows that provide a clear view. Plus, the colorful character artwork gives your child something to look at while they drift off to sleep.

The tent sits above a sturdy toddler bed, and it is JPMA certified to meet or exceed all safety standards set by the CPSC and ASTM.

Transitioning from a crib to a toddler bed is a big change for you and your little one. As you shop for a new bed, consider safety, price, function, durability, comfort, and of course, style.

Depending on your toddler’s age, they may be able to weigh in on the final decision — especially if it includes choosing the color or type of character. Involving them in the process can help make the transition to a big kid bed that much smoother.