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Best Portacots

Travelling changes once you have a little one in tow, but a trusty, high-quality portacot (also called a portable cot or a baby travel cot) can help alleviate a lot of the stress that comes with moving around with your child.

Keep reading to know what to look for when choosing a portable cot for your baby so you can make the most of your next getaway. Continue Reading...

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18 listings

Eco Kids Mattress

Eco Kids Mattress · includes 4 listings

4.9 from 221 reviews

Featured review: My 6 year loves his new mattress. He’s sleeping wonderfully through the night and says it’s “super cozy”. I love that they are made here in Australia so we know that we are supporting local industry. Thanks Eco Kids Mattresses.

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  • Value for Money
    4.8 (197)
BabyBjorn Travel Cot

BabyBjorn Travel Cot

4.9 from 124 reviews

With its easy assembly, compact carry size, and comfortable mattress, the BabyBjorn Travel Cot lets you put your baby to sleep wherever you are.

  • Light and portable

  • Easy to assemble and disassemble

  • Soft, comfortable mattress

  • Ease of Assembly
    5.0 (6)
  • Build Quality
    5.0 (5)
  • Safety
    5.0 (5)
  • Cleaning & Maintenance
    5.0 (5)
  • Value for Money
    4.7 (6)
Star Kidz Amico Portacot

Star Kidz Amico Portacot

4.9 from 28 reviews

The Star Kidz Amico Portacot has added features for safety and convenience - such as a secured mattress base and a side zip to easily get your bub in and out of the cot - making it a great choice to keep your child comfortable when on the move.

  • Great size for travel and storage

  • Simple to set up

  • Durable design

  • Ease of Assembly
    5.0 (22)
  • Build Quality
    5.0 (20)
  • Safety
    4.9 (16)
  • Cleaning & Maintenance
    4.9 (14)
  • Value for Money
    4.9 (22)
Phil & Teds Traveller

Phil & Teds Traveller

3.9 from 70 reviews

Designed for sleep and play, the Phil & Teds traveller™ travel cot is comfortable, easy to carry, and can be turned into a bug-proof safe place for your child.

  • Compact and lightweight

  • Easy to put child in cot

  • Straightforward to set up

  • Not as durable as expected

  • Can be tipped over by active kids

  • Ease of Assembly
    5.0 (3)
  • Build Quality
    5.0 (3)
  • Safety
    5.0 (3)
  • Cleaning & Maintenance
    5.0 (3)
  • Value for Money
    5.0 (3)
The First Years Close & Secure Sleeper

The First Years Close & Secure Sleeper

4.0 from 27 reviews

The First Years Close & Secure Sleeper is the ultimate nest for your baby, helping give them a comfortable, snug snooze wherever they are.

  • Effortless to fold away and transport

  • Easy to clean

  • Has a night light

  • Ease of Assembly
    5.0 (1)
  • Build Quality
    4.3 (3)
  • Safety
    4.7 (3)
  • Cleaning & Maintenance
    4.7 (3)
  • Value for Money
    4.0 (3)
Babyhood Bambino Dormire

Babyhood Bambino Dormire

4.0 from 14 reviews

Its plush mattress, array of safety features, and ability to switch between a bassinet and cot level make the Babyhood Bambino Dormire a trusty companion when travelling with your child.

  • Cosy mattress for soundless sleeping

  • Simple assembly and dismantling

  • Easily stored

  • Ease of Assembly
    4.0 (1)
  • Build Quality
    1.0 (2)
  • Safety
    3.0 (1)
  • Cleaning & Maintenance
    3.0 (2)
  • Value for Money
    1.0 (2)
Eco Kids Mattress

Eco Kids Mattress · includes 4 listings

4.9 from 221 reviews

Featured review: My 6 year loves his new mattress. He’s sleeping wonderfully through the night and says it’s “super cozy”. I love that they are made here in Australia so we know that we are supporting local industry. Thanks Eco Kids Mattresses.

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  • Value for Money
    4.8 (197)
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What is a portacot?

A close up of a baby in a jumper sleeping on a white bed

A portacot is a bed for a baby or toddler that collapses or folds into a compact size for easy transportation. They’re lightweight, portable, and are designed for use when a standard household cot isn’t available, such as when you’re travelling, overnighting somewhere, or even just visiting a friend and there’s a possibility that your baby may need a nap during the day.

While a regular cot usually has wooden sides, a portacot has fabric or mesh sides, and a removable mattress.

Is a portacot suitable for everyday use?

No, a portacot isn’t suitable for everyday use. They should only be used as a short term sleeping arrangement because they’re not as sturdy as full-sized household cots. They’re also subject to more knocking around and wear and tear from being constantly folded and carried around.

A more durable cot for daily use is not only important for your child’s safety, but is also more practical. Regular cots are larger and can thus accommodate children until they’re 3 or 4 years old, whereas a travel cot generally only works for kids until they’re around 2 years old before they outgrow them.

Household cots are also raised higher than portacots, so you don’t have to strain your back carrying your baby in and out of the cot.

What to look for in a portacot

Safety

Safety standards

Ensure that the cot you choose is certified to the Australian/New Zealand Standard AS/NZS 2195:1999 - this standard sets out the requirements a foldable cot must have to ensure that it’s safe. This means that it’s secure, doesn’t have gaps in which a child’s head could become trapped in, that its mattress is safe, and that the cot has sufficient safety and instruction markings.

It is recommended to choose a cot that complies with the updated 2010 version of this Australian standard, which tests for adequately breathable fabrics. This becomes a safety issue, for example, if the baby rolls face first into the side - cots with mesh sides usually comply with this standard.

Although this is a voluntary standard that manufacturers can choose to comply with, safety should be the first priority when looking for a cot and this extra safety feature could give you extra peace of mind when leaving your child to rest. Plus, a well ventilated cot does wonders to keep your baby cool and comfortable.

Travel cot mattresses

Usually a mattress is included with a portacot - if one isn’t, then you should purchase a portacot mattress from the same manufacturer that’s tailor-made to the cot.

A different mattress could pose a suffocation risk or be too high for the cot, letting your child easily climb out. A fitted mattress will be safer, more comfortable for your child, and will also help keep your portable baby cot compact when you’re on-the-go.

The mattress should also be firm enough to not be impressionable, as an overly soft mattress could pose another suffocation risk if it easily moulds to your baby’s face.

Design

There shouldn’t be any protruding parts on the interior of the cot that your baby or child could hit their head on, snag their clothing on, or use as a foothold to climb out of their cot.

Size

A portacot is supposed to be portable, so keep in mind its size when you pack it down - it helps to have one that easily fits into the boot of your car if you drive one, and can be easily stored when not in use (which will be the majority of the time as portacots aren’t designed for daily use).

While it should still be smaller than a regular cot, a portacot should still be large enough to be a comfortable sleep space for your child and give them enough space to move around when being used as a playpen.

Durability

Woman cooing at a baby in a portacot with a bassinet insert.
A portacot with a bassinet insert. Image credit: Ingenuity.

A durable cot is necessary both for your child’s safety and in terms of buying a product that represents good value for money.

Think about how often you’ll need to use the cot and how often you go on holidays or weekend trips. Your cot will need to be able to withstand rough handling at airports and more than a few knocks in the boot of your car without sustaining any damage.

Look for a secure locking mechanism that prevents it from collapsing once it’s assembled, and for a sturdy build so that your child won’t be able to tip the cot over from the inside. You should also keep an eye out for the cot floor - ensure that it doesn’t sag when you press down on the base, as a dip would be uncomfortable for your baby and could pose a safety risk.

Durability can also be considered as how long your child can use the cot - getting a cot that caters for newborns to toddlers will help you get better bang for your buck.

Comfort

Your baby’s comfort is important, not just for their sake but also for yours - an uncomfortable baby is more likely to wake up in the middle of the night, and as parents know, if the baby is awake, so are you.

A comfortable mattress in the cot is usually thermally-insulated or has extra cushioning or padding, although different babies have different preferences - if your baby sleeps well in the cot at home, look for a mattress that feels similar.

For your own comfort, a zip side can be convenient and make it easy to put your little one in and out of the cot without needing to bend over and strain your back. It can also let you partially lay inside the cot with your baby if they’re struggling to sleep.

Ease of assembly

Travelling or being on-the-go isn’t the time to be fiddling around with a portacot that’s difficult to set up. Look for a cot that’s easy to assemble and, as importantly, easy to fold and pack down - ask for an in-store demo if you can, or read reviews on the travel cot you’re thinking of purchasing.

Also consider how much weight you can feasibly carry, taking into consideration the high likelihood that you’ll also be lugging around suitcases and travel bags at the same time. An extremely lightweight portacot may not be as important if you’re only looking for a cot to take on the odd trip to Grandma’s house, but weight should still be one of your main considerations.

Cleaning and maintenance

When it comes to cleaning and maintenance, look for machine washable parts and covers that can easily be popped into your machine.

Some parents also take a portable travel cot for use at picnics or similar events - if you’re planning on doing this, check that the materials used in the cot are appropriate for outdoor use, and that dirt or grass stains can easily be washed away.

Accessories

There are plenty of additional accessories that can come with a portacot that can make your life a little bit easier - you may not need them all, but your safest bet is to choose a model that includes enough features so that you can use it in different ways in a variety of settings.

  • Carry bag: A matching carry bag helps make your compact travel cot easy to transport.
  • Wheels: Wheels make the cot easy to move around once it has been set up.
  • Storage pocket: Some baby travel cots have an external storage pocket where you can store any baby products (or your own personal items) you may want easy access to, such as soft toys and nappies.
  • Bassinet insert: A portacot with a bassinet is useful if you have a baby, particularly if you suffer back pain that makes it difficult for you to set down your baby and pick it up from outside the cot.
  • Change table: A portacot with a change table attachment that can be placed atop the cot can be a handy surface to clean up your baby on.
  • Mosquito net: A portacot with a mosquito net can help protect your baby against mosquitos and other insects so they can sleep peacefully.

Price

Portacots will usually set you back between $50 and $500, although most are in the $150 to $300 range.

Wrapping up

Travelling is more often than not stressful for babies and young children, and these new and unfamiliar environments can make it difficult for them to feel comfortable. Their portacot can be the one constant place they have that they feel safe and calm in when they sleep and play.

Considering all your options and choosing what’s right for your baby, yourself, and your travel will give you one less thing to worry about and will help you enjoy your trips away with your family.