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A Toddler Air Mattress
Helps Your Child Sleep Well

When traveling with their young children, many parents opt for a toddler air mattress. They can provide a comfortable place for children to sleep in a hotel room, camping, on vacation, at a relatives' home, or even for a short spell at home, for instance after moving. These portable beds can be very efficient and effective for getting a child to sleep.

Why a Toddler Air Bed?

Many toddlers are too small for normal or even child-sized travel beds. Those beds may also be less firm than beds specifically designed for toddlers. Alternatively, cribs might be too small or uncomfortable for toddlers. If grandma and grandpa have a crib, some babies may not sleep well in them and sleep more easily on an airbed.

These portable airbeds are compact and light, allowing parents to easily use them without much assembly--many toddler airbeds can be inflated in a minute or two, and deflation (using a pump) takes a similar length of time. They take up very little room, frequently less than a portable crib.

Considerations When Buying a Travel Bed

Parents should not just blindly buy a bed but should instead consider the purpose of the bed and the context in which it will be used. Favorable qualities for toddler air mattress used at the grandparents' house may be different from what one would look for in an airbed for use camping or on a cruise. Keep these issues in mind.

  1. Size. This is important to consider both when packed and when blown up. The mattress should fit the child and allow some room to grow, but should not be too big for the toddler. In addition, a bed to be left in the car or at a relative's house may not need to fold up as easily as a travel bed that you'll need to take on an airplane.

  2. Inflation and deflation. How quickly does the bed inflate and deflate? If you plan on leaving the bed in the hotel room, you may not need to quickly inflate the bed, but if you plan on having your toddler nap on the mattress, you might want a bed that inflates quickly.

  3. Security. Is there something to keep the baby from rolling off the toddler air mattress? Some beds come in a "pod" that keeps children from rolling out or running away. Others have safety bumpers or raised edges to accomplish that purpose. If your child needs it, make sure your bed has it.

  4. Will your toddler sleep easily in the bed? If not, the bed will not be very effective and you should look for another that will fit their needs better.

Highly Rated Air Beds for Toddlers

  • The Tuckaire Toddler airbed is specifically non-toxic and does not include phthalates. It has safety bumpers, which keep children in bed throughout the night. In addition, the Tuckaire system means that sheets and bedding can be tucked in, rather than dragging on the floor. Parents rave about the bed, saying that their children sleep incredibly well on the airbed, sometimes even better than at home.

  • The Kidco PeaPod is a tent-like structure that encloses a toddler air mattress. The pod encloses the mattress to prevent children from falling or crawling out but has a wide opening using a zipper in order to allow parents to easily reach their children. Parents especially like it for camping trips since the mesh canopy keeps out bugs, but lets air in.

  • Phil and Ted's Traveler is a portable crib with a self-expanding mattress. It can be used for either play or sleeping. The Traveler is incredibly compact, able to fit into an airplane overhead compartment, but is still large enough to comfortably hold a child. The frame just clicks together and many parents enjoy the ease of use and lightweight design. However, there are complaints about quality control issues and some parents have trouble tucking sheets in.

  • Gentle Air Dr. Watters Child's Portable Bed is another solid option, and is said to take just 60 seconds to inflate and 15 seconds to deflate, making it easy to use. In addition, the portable bed includes 4-inch safety cushions which act like bed rails to hold toddlers in.

Toddler airbeds work well for many parents and may help your child sleep better away from home. Research will help you find the bed best for your toddler.

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