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Choosing the Right Big Kid Bed

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Kids Grow Up - Let's Face It

The trick to understanding when it may be time to transition your little one over to a big kid bed, is that there’s really no standard age when it should all happen. As parents, we have to be open to seeing and interpreting the actions and abilities of our own little ones to make the decision with us.

Luckily, there are numerous red-flags and eye-opening signals that it may be time, and around the 18-month-3 year marker, you may notice some new behaviour, including:

  • Your little one feeling like they’re trapped in their crib
  • Turning into pseudo escape artists
  • Asking for a bigger bed
  • If your little one is potty-trained, it may be time to switch to a big kid bed.

Choosing the right big kid bed can be tricky, but it can also be fun. Your little one will likely be over-the-moon that they are graduating to a big kid bed. As a parent who has a purchase to make, you’ll need to consider quality, materials, design attributes and sizes that complement your home, and your child’s unique style.


Many parents are fearful of making the transition too early because of the fear that their little one may fall out of bed and injure themselves. This is a legit safety concern, but there are ways to combat this. And don’t jump the gun the first time your child tries to escape the crib - you can consider investing in a crib that converts to a toddler bed by having its rails lowered to act as a barrier. This will buy you some time to weigh the pros and cons of switching over, and give you the time to consider your options and find the perfect bed. Further, these converting toddler crib/beds are great short term solutions for rooms with limited space, and are light on the wallet to boot.

Choosing A Bed

Toddler beds look like mini versions of a classic twin bed, with some having the added benefit of a side rail for safety, and some can even come disguised as fire trucks, airplanes and transformers - what fun!

There are a few things to consider when you first make your way to the furniture store. Namely, the build quality and ease of use you’re looking for. Like any piece of furniture, you get what you pay for - so considering these five pillars of choice can help you to make a great decision for you and your family:


Toddlers can be wacky sleepers that sometime flail and roll around, making build quality a serious must-have for parents. When you’re inspecting various bed models, make sure that whatever you end up choosing can stand up to the abuse your little one is inevitably going to give it.


The lower to the ground the toddler bed is, the less likely you’re to encounter a painful and traumatic fall out of bed. Low beds reduce injuries and also make it easier for your little one to enter and exit bed. This can work in one of two ways - one, by inspiring them to embrace their new bed as a new ‘big kid,’ and two, they may find it that much easier to sneak out of their rooms and find their way to mom and dad’s room for comfort in the night.

Floor beds are becoming a popular trend in transitioning beds as well. Floor beds simply eliminate bed height altogether, enabling your child to come and go as they please. They’re also very easy on the pocketbook, as they don’t require the purchase of a head/foot board set up. Further, the purchase of a toddler mattress means you can leave the crib intact if transitioning take a little longer than anticipated.


When you’re considering which bed to select, make sure that the bed with features side rails, or allows you to integrate them as time progresses. A big kid bed doesn’t mean that your little one will adjust to the freedom of an open concept mattress, so to speak. Heading back to a toddler bed that boasts safety side rails is a perfectly acceptable trait.

Also, making a purchase of a regular adult twin mattress when transitioning out of the crib is a great alternative when you employ the use of safety bed rails. You can easily position a twin mattress, or even a double against a wall to save space - but don’t substitute a wall a bed rail - your little one could easily become stuck between the wall and the mattress. Instead, purchase two side rails to hold in your reckless sleeper.


Select a bed that not only complements your underlying household design, but one that’s simply and delicately designed to also encourage your little one to want to use it. SImply put, they have to like it too! Take your 2-3 year old with you when you begin your search to gauge the styles of beds that they like most.

Try to get them into a bed that matches your aesthetic goals while making sure that it matches a standard-sized crib mattress - this way you can reuse and recycle parts your crib without having to purchase a new mattress.


Check the manufacturer's sticker for a safety certification sticker from the Juvenile Products Manufacturers Association. The presence of the sticker means it meets or exceeds all safety and quality requirements. Also, check for this certification on any side rails that you may purchase aside from your toddler bed. Please note that the JPMA only certifies toddler beds, not a classic twin sized mattress or bed.

Whatever you decide to do, whether that means investigating the advantages of a floor bed, using your crib mattress in a new toddler bed frame, or investing in a great quality mattress that your child can use further into their lives with additional side rails, know that the most important aspect of transitioning your little one into a quality big kid bed is that they’re given the benefit of the doubt to assist in choosing the right one.

After all, the transition may just be harder for you as a parent in realizing that your child is growing up all too quickly. 

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