A cot is the centrepiece of your baby’s nursery – after all, this is where she’s going to sleep (you hope!) for the next few years. And choosing the right cot is about style as well as practicality. Yes, you want to know your baby is as comfy as can be but there’s no shame in admitting you’d also like her room to look fabulous on your Insta stories. But do you compromise function for form if you go for a great-looking cot?
For this Big Test, we’ve rounded up statement cots to see how they fare in the real world. Can a cot with serious wow-factor also impress our panel of mums with everyday make-your-life-easy design elements?
Do you need one?
Yes! For the first six months of her life, your baby should sleep in the same room as you, in a bed of her own, and most mums choose a bedside crib or Moses basket for these early months. But after six months, your baby can sleep in a cot in a room of her own – and you might sleep better without listening to every little sound she makes!
How much should you spend?
Cots come in a wide range of different designs, and can vary enormously in price – and yes, you do generally pay a little more for style! If you choose a cot bed, factor in that you’re saving yourself the cost of a toddler bed, so expect to pay more than the price of a standard cot.
How long will it last?
Your baby may still be using the cot when she's three years old, so think about how it’ll fare with an energetic toddler jumping up and down in it, too! The upper age limits for the cots in this Big Test vary from two years up to four years.
What about bedding?
A standard cot mattress and bedding may not fit the unusual design features of a statement cot, so factor in the cost of a compatible mattress and bedding, as these can be more expensive than conventional one-size-fits-most options. The Lullaby Trust recommends buying a new mattress for a new baby so, if you think you’ll be re-using the cot as your family grows, you’ll have to factor in this extra cost twice.
What to look out for?
Mattress: For safety, make sure it fits properly – there must not be a gap of more than 3cm between the cot and the mattress.
Adjustable height: An adjustable base enables you to lower the mattress to prevent your baby climbing out. Multiple height positions mean less bending low to lift your baby in and out – check how easy they are to adjust, though.
Fixed side: The side panel on some cots can be lowered (drop-side) to make it easier to reach your baby. This can be helpful if you have back pain or difficulty lifting, but a fixed side is a safer option.
Teething rails: These are non-toxic plastic strips that protect the cot (and your baby’s delicate gums) if she tries chewing on the sides to bring relief to sore gums.
Durability: A solid wood cot will be heavy but robust. One made from other materials is likely to cost less, but check how sturdy it seems. Will it withstand an excitable toddler bouncing up and down first thing in the morning?
Accessories: Clever space-saving accessories can be bought separately for some cots, such as cot-top changing mats or storage drawers. These can be useful if you have limited space but don’t pay over the odds for extras you don’t need.
Score: M&B's winner! 13/15
The subtle sleigh design and classic ivory finish make this modern cot particularly striking. It’s a practical choice if you’re looking for a compact cot to use in your bedroom, as it’s smaller than standard cots and suitable from birth to two years. The adjustable base has three different height positions. Any Mamas and Papas medium-sized cot mattress will fit, but the mattress is sold separately (Essential Pocket Spring Cot Mattress, £69).
Jessica Wilesmith: This cot is a timeless classic – perfect to hold on to for future babies! The contemporary design isn’t to my taste but the quality is fantastic and it’s excellent value. It took two of us to assemble but it was very straightforward and took less than half an hour. Matilda (6 months) is a very light sleeper but she settled back down quickly at night in this cot and seemed to enjoy her afternoon naps in it.
Louise Wilson: A definite keepsake piece. It’s stylish and contemporary with a real touch of class. This cot is definitely my favourite. The build is solid and the paintwork is smooth and well-finished. The instructions provided are clear and easy to follow, and it only took 30 minutes to put it together. The size is perfect; big enough to make a style statement without overtaking a room. I think it’s a fantastic price for outstanding quality.
Suitable from birth to two years.
A brilliant buy if you’re short on space, this compact cot is a Scandinavian design made from beechwood, and available in several on-trend colours. You can customise it by adding a variety of stylish accessories, including an under-cot storage drawer and a cot-top changing unit. It has no less than seven mattress positions and converts to a toddler bed, so it’s great value too. (Aloe mattress: £49.95)
Nicola Scoon: Unpacking this made me smile – it’s such a beautiful colour, especially against the white walls of our nursery. The sides feel very open, which I really like as Ottilie (27 monnths) shares a room with her brother and they like to chat in the morning. It was straightforward to assemble and although it’s light it feels robust, especially for the price, which is really affordable. I like that you can convert it into a toddler bed, too.
Louise Wilson: A little flimsy and the paint chipped during assembly – I don’t think it’ll withstand my daughter (14 months) jumping up and down in it. It might look tatty within three years but it’s a good budget buy, and ideal if you need a smaller cot to keep in your room for the first six months. The quality of the mattress is lovely and my daughter slept very well in this – maybe the aloe-vera infused cover helped!
Suitable from birth to three years.
This stylish, modern cot converts to a day bed suitable for toddlers once it's outgrown. Cleverly designed with perspex windows in the side panels so your baby can peek out, it fits a standard cot mattress and has an adjustable base with three height settings. It’s ideal if you can’t stand DIY as the retailer offers an assembly service – including taking away the packaging – but our testers reckon they could have assembled it if necessary.
Jessica Wilesmith: This cot has serious wow factor – it’s perfect for anyone looking for a show-stopping piece of furniture. I like the bold, Scandi-style design although it doesn’t go well with the existing furniture in Matilda’s nursery. It’s a very robust cot but it’s also quite bulky, so it’s not great for smaller nurseries. Matilda slept fairly well but the sides are quite high so I found lifting her in and out a little uncomfortable.
Louise Wilson: I absolutely love this cot. It’s expensive but so stylish and well made – a real investment piece. It’s robust and will last well – including for any subsequent babies! The high sides are ideal as our daughter is quite tall and she can’t climb out. I particularly like the windows in the end panels – they stop her from grabbing at the baby monitor. We wanted a stylish, spacious cot bed and this absolutely fits the bill.
Suitable from birth to three years.
We love the customisable concept behind this chic, minimalist cot – you can choose from four core designs and a total of 15 striking colour options. With three adjustable mattress positions, it’s pricey but good value as you can convert it to a toddler bed suitable for use up to age four. If you invest in a junior extension kit, it can be used up to age 10. (SnuzKot Pocket Sprung Mattress: £129.95)
Nicola Scoon: It took two of us almost two hours to build this cot and the frame marks easily but I really love the unique design. The Scandi-chic look is so stylish and the ombre colour makes it unlike any cot I’ve seen. I really like that you can turn it into a toddler bed with the parts included in the box, and then into a bed for older children if you buy an extension kit.
Jessica Wilesmith: I love, love, love the brave design of this cot! It’s so stylish and looks absolutely stunning against the white walls and wooden floor in Matilda’s nursery – it’s a definite statement piece of furniture. The quality is exceptional, and assembling it was fairly easy. The mattress is wider than a standard cot mattress, which means there’s extra space to wriggle around. Matilda had her longest nap yet in this and slept well at night, too.
Elegant rounded corners set this distinctive cot apart from the crowd. It’s available in white or grey and has an adjustable bed base with three different mattress positions to suit your baby from birth to toddlerhood. It’s designed for use with the Kub Luna cot mattress (£70-90) which must be bought separately. A standard cot mattress won’t fit because of the rounded edges, so factor that into your budget.
Jessica Wilesmith: This is my favourite cot because the design is so unique. It’s fantastic quality but good value. I love the grey colour and curved edges. The sides are high but the dip in the middle makes it easy to lift Matilda (six months) in and out. It’s by far the easiest cot to assemble – it took me just 20 minutes. You have to buy the Kub mattress too, but it’s lovely and soft. Matilda slept really well.
Nicola Scoon: I love the design of this cot and I was impressed by how easy it was to build. The rounded corners make a real style statement, and the soft grey colour looks fab in our nursery. You have to buy the matching mattress because of the rounded edges but it’s fairly affordable and seems comfortable. Ottilie loves jumping in her cot in the mornings and this easily stood up to that; it’s sturdy and strong.
Suitable from birth to two years.
This is value for money that’s hard to beat – you can use this cot from birth and it converts to a toddler bed or sofa bed that can be used all the way up to age six, yet it’s under £200. It’s made from MDF rather than solid wood but we like that matching furniture is available, including a changing unit and a wardrobe. A solid and affordable option.
Louise Wilson: This cot has a beautiful, timeless finish. The build is solid and it’ll easily last for the transition to a cot bed. It’s great value for money and would make a fabulous design feature in any nursery. Assembly was really easy as the screws come in numbered bags – ideal for parents with terrible DIY skills! Some washers were missing which was disappointing but luckily my Dad improvised a solution.
Nicola Scoon: I really like the design – especially the oak pieces, which are a beautiful colour and lovely texture. It was easy to build with an extra pair of hands. It’s larger than other cots and good value as it converts to a toddler bed. Ottilie's been sleeping really well in this and I’m impressed by how strong and sturdy it feels – it’ll hold up well against life with a toddler!
Suitable from birth to six years.
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