Side Bed: Review & Recommendations

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Your baby needs much love and security. Especially in the first few months of life, you can use an extra bed to ensure that your little darling doesn’t have to do without your closeness even at night. But what criteria should you consider when choosing a suitable cot?

In our side bed test 2020 we present you the best and latest models from the respective categories. We also give you important tips and tricks on the subject of kids’ beds. Whether classic, multifunctional or home-made cots, you will find the best cots on the market.

The most important facts in brief

  • An extra bed not only gives your child closeness and security but also promotes a calmer sleep for the little one.
  • In general, a distinction can be made between a classic and a multifunctional extra bed. There are also adjustable beds for twins and for box spring beds. You also have the possibility to build your own side bed.
  • Each of these types of rollaway bed has a specific function, so depending on your situation and needs, a particular rollaway bed may be more suitable for you.

Side bed test: Favourites of the editorial staff

  • The best extra-large side bed
  • The best classic extra bed
  • The best extra bed for box spring beds
  • The best mobile extra bed

The best extra-large side bed

With a lying surface of 95 x 54 cm the maxi side bed from babybay is one of the larger products. Due to its size this product is also suitable for two babies.

The lying surface of the additional bed consists of a base plate with ventilation slits to ensure good air circulation between the mattress and the floor. A suitable mattress is not included in the scope of delivery, but can be purchased in addition.

For the material babybay uses untreated and sustainably grown solid beech wood and the varnishes used are tested for harmful substances. In addition the side bed is TÜV/GS tested. The side bed is available in six different colours, four of which are varnished.

Due to the possibility of infinitely variable height adjustment, the additional bed can be adapted to any mattress height. It can also be used as a sofa, play table or playpen.

The best classic extra bed

The classic extra bed from FabiMax is also among the larger models. It has a lying surface of 90 x 55 cm and can therefore offer your child more space to sleep.

FabiMax uses untreated solid alder wood for the material of the bed, which gives the bed a good stability. In addition, the side bed is infinitely height-adjustable to perfectly match the mattress height of the parents’ bed.

The extra bed is equipped with a slatted frame that allows good air circulation. A matching mattress is also included. You can choose between 16 different colours and patterns for the mattress.

The best extra bed for box spring beds

This side bed by FabiMax is especially adapted to the height of box spring beds – the bed is 95 cm high and the lying surface of the bed can be increased up to 73 cm. The lying surface with the dimensions 90 x 55 cm is also quite large.

The side bed is made of beech wood and is painted white. A special fixing set is included for safe attachment to the box spring bed. Also included are a slatted frame, a mattress and a nest which can be attached to the bars.

For the mattress you can choose between 3 different types, for mattress and nest you can choose between 16 different colours.

The best mobile extra bed

The rollaway bed of the brand roba is characterized by its included Rol

The large dimensions of the bed (120 x 60 cm) make it suitable not only for babies but also for toddlers. It can be adjusted in height in 6 steps and can be attached to the parents’ bed with metal brackets.

A complete set of equipment is included in the delivery. In addition to the bed, the price also includes 4 brake rollers, a mattress with bed linen, a canopy including bar, another side rail and a bed side with fabric wall and zipper.

The entire equipment is safety-tested and was manufactured from certified materials that have been tested for harmful substances.

Advisor: Questions you should deal with before you buy an extra bed

What are the advantages of an extra bed compared to a “normal” baby bed?

There are also “normal” baby cots that are not placed next to the parents’ bed, but can stand alone in the room. However, cot beds offer the great advantage that your child lies right next to you and you can save yourself the trouble of getting up at night.
In summary, an extra bed offers you the following significant advantages over a free-standing baby bed:

Breastfeeding can be done lying down
Gives the children a feeling of security and safety
Promotes quieter sleep of the children through proximity

In a free-standing baby cot, the children are not close to their parents. This can lead to a more restless sleep for the baby and the parents. Breastfeeding is also not possible in a freestanding baby bed. An additional bed is ideal to promote the bond between parents and their children and allows relaxed nights, as both parents and children find the closeness of the other one reassuring.

Are there different sizes of side beds?

Depending on the model, the sizes of the lying surface vary from approximately 80 x 40 cm, 90 x 50 cm to 120 x 60 cm. Depending on the size of your bedroom or the desired use of the parlour bed, you will have to decide on certain measurements.

Which mattresses are suitable for an extra bed?

In general, it can be said that any mattress is suitable that also has the appropriate dimensions. Some manufacturers also offer special mattresses for the extra bed.
These mattresses are usually not included in the purchase price of the bed and are available in various designs. Wetness protection, ventilation, baby and toddler side and removable covers are examples of some of these special designs.

Can I also attach the extra bed to a waterbed?

There is also a special attachment for the additional bed. Beds from certain manufacturers are more suitable for attachment to a waterbed than others. For example, the quilt bed of the BabyBay brand is ideal for this purpose.
The BabyBay can easily be attached to waterbeds with bed frames. For waterbeds without a frame, it is recommended that the additional bed with a locking grid and castors be placed next to the parents’ bed.

How much is an extra bed?

If you want to buy a new additional bed, you can expect to pay from around 60 euros, depending on the manufacturer and equipment. In addition, you have to take into account the cost of a mattress and other optional accessories.

Most models are in the range of 90 to 250 euros. If you decide to make your own side bed, you should allow about 50 euros for material costs. Most cots are sold without a mattress, so you should expect additional costs.

Where can I buy an extra bed (used)?

You can buy cots in baby shops as well as in supermarkets or various online shops.

If you have already done enough research and are clear about what kind of extra bed you want, it may be advisable to buy it online, as the purchase prices there are usually lower than in a specialist shop. You can also order most of the cots on the websites of the respective manufacturers.

Our research has shown that most side beds in Germany are currently sold through the following shops:

  • BabyOne
  • BabyWalz
  • amazon.de
  • ebay.de
  • limango.de

If you prefer a used extra bed, there are also some websites where you can buy these beds:

  • ebay.de
  • mamikreisel.de
  • elternmarkt.de

Can I also rent an extra bed?

You can also rent an extra bed if you want to. If you don’t want to use the extra bed for that long, or if you haven’t yet decided on a multifunctional add-on bed, it can be useful to rent a nursing bed for a certain period of time.
In our research we came across two websites that offer the rental of baby products:

elternmarkt.de
mamatheque.com

Decision: What types of rollaway beds are available and which one is right for you?

Basically, a distinction can be made between three types of additional beds:

  • Classic side bed
  • Multifunctional extra bed
  • Self-built side bed

In the following section we would like to help you find out which type of extra bed is best for you. We will introduce all the above mentioned types of cot and explain their advantages and disadvantages.

What is a “classic” extra bed and what are its advantages and disadvantages?

An extra bed is a baby cot that can be attached directly to the parents’ bed. Three sides of the side bed are secured with bars and the fourth open side is connected to the parents’ bed. This way the child can sleep close to the parents, but has its own lying surface.

The proximity to the child offers parents the enormous advantage that they do not have to get up at night to calm down or breastfeed. This closeness gives the child a feeling of security and safety, which can contribute to a better and more carefree sleep.

Advantages

Promotes quieter sleep for children
No long ways to breastfeed or calm down
Space-saving

Disadvantages

More restless sleep of the parents
Can only be used for a few months

With a classic extra bed the lying surface is about 80 x 40 cm. This means that the bed takes up little space and can also be set up well in smaller bedrooms. However, depending on the growth and mobility of the child, the bed can be too small after only a few months.

Classic side beds are also available in a version for twins. These offer a larger lying surface and are usually a little more expensive in price. In addition, there are also classic side beds that are adjusted to the height of box spring beds.

What is a multifunctional extra bed and what are its special features?

A multifunctional additional bed is a quilt bed which can fulfil various functions through the conversion. It is therefore the “all-rounder” among the side beds.

By attaching runners, this additional bed can be converted into a bassinet. If castors are added to the side bed, you can also use the bed as a bassinet to increase mobility.

Advantages

Mostly accessories included
Versatile in use
Different sizes available
Height adjustable

Disadvantages

No use of another function without modification

Of course you can also use the multifunctional extra bed as a classic extra bed by removing one of the long sides. Last but not least, it can also be used as a bench for the children’s room.

An enormous advantage offered by many multifunctional nursing beds is the usually large number of accessories such as fleece mattresses, nests, bed canopies, bed linen and storage boxes. This saves you a lot of time and stress, because you don’t have to buy everything extra.

How can I build an extra bed myself and what are the advantages and disadvantages?

You can fulfill your dream of a homemade extra bed in two ways. One possibility is that you buy a cot where one side of the frame can be removed without losing stability.

Advantages

Low cost
Longer and versatile

Disadvantages

Material for mounting not included

Some beds from Ikea are very suitable for this purpose and thus offer a cost-effective alternative to the other types of additional beds. You can find instructions for assembling the beds in some videos on youtube.

If this is not individual enough for you, you can have the individual parts for your quilt cut to size in a DIY store and assemble it yourself. Good building instructions can be found on the Internet.

Advantages

Low cost
Individual

Disadvantages

Construction requires high time and planning effort

If you want to give your bedroom an individual touch and your wallet is a little narrower, a homemade extra bed or a converted cot could be a good alternative for you.

Purchase criteria: Based on these factors you can compare and rate side beds

In the following, we would like to show you the criteria you can use to compare and evaluate side beds. This will make it easier for you to decide whether a particular bed is suitable for you and your baby or not.

In summary, these are:

  • Dimensions / lying surface
  • Material / Farbe
  • Height adjustment
  • Modifiability
  • Lattenrost
  • Scope of delivery / mattress

In the following paragraphs you can read what the individual purchase criteria are and what you should pay attention to.

Dimensions / lying surface

Depending on your living situation and the desired period of use, you should ask yourself how much space you have available in your bedroom and whether you want to let your child sleep in an extra bed for the first three to six months only. If this is the case, a classic camp bed is perfectly adequate.

However, if you prefer a longer use of the extra bed, multifunctional extra beds and extra beds for twins are more suitable for you. These two types are characterised above all by their large lying surfaces. You can find examples of dimensions in the guide under “Are there different sizes of side beds?

Material / Farbe

It is important that the material is as stable as possible and free of pollutants. Of course, your personal taste plays an important role in the choice of colour.

Most side beds are made of wood. This material gives the bed a good stability. Wood is natural, antibacterial and antistatic. It is important that you buy a duvet that is made of solid woods such as beech, alder or pine. A side bed made of MDF or laminated wood, on the other hand, is less stable.

You can buy side beds made of untreated wood, varnished or oiled. You need to have the least concerns with hired beds made of untreated wood. However, these have the disadvantage that splinters can be lifted off if the wood is damaged. Lacquered side beds have a smoother surface and are therefore easier to clean.

It is important that you buy a side bed made of untreated wood or one that has been treated with a baby-friendly paint finish. Solid woods such as beech, alder or pine are therefore perfectly suitable.

Height adjustment

The main purpose of the height adjustment is to ensure that the additional bed can be ideally attached to the parents’ bed. Here it is important that you know the height of your bed and mattress. You can distinguish between height adjustment in fixed steps and continuous height adjustment.

A stepless height adjustment gives you the advantage of being able to adjust the bed to the height of your parents’ bed with millimetre precision. This means that you can lie at the same height as your child and have no disturbing heel.

Modifiability

Do you want to use the extra bed as such or should it also fulfil other functions, such as a bassinet? Based on these questions you can decide whether you need a convertible additional bed.

A basic distinction can be made between two types of convertible beds: Those that can change their function during use and others that can be used as a freestanding cot after use as a bassinet.

This makes a multifunctional extra bed suitable for you if you would like to use a bassinet and/or a cradle in addition. Since you don’t have to buy the furniture separately, you can also save money.

Lattenrost

Most side beds are supplied with a slatted frame. However, a distinction must be made between a normal slatted frame, a continuous base plate and a base plate with slots. This distinction is particularly important with regard to air circulation.

A continuous base plate gives the side bed a lot of stability, but there is no air circulation between mattress and floor. It is important to air the mattress regularly, otherwise mould can form. With a slatted frame, the risk of mould is lower because enough air can circulate.

Scope of delivery / mattress

Many cots are supplied without mattress. The advantage is that you can buy a suitable mattress yourself. Mattresses with removable covers are particularly practical.

However, one disadvantage is that not every mattress fits into a side bed. This is especially the case with rounded cots. Here, a complete offer consisting of bed frame and mattress is more suitable.

Also accessories that are included in the delivery should be checked, as the mattresses in set offers are often very thin. Therefore, it is possible that you will have to buy something else despite the complete offer.

Trivia: Facts worth knowing about the topic of extra beds

How can I attach the additional bed to the parents’ bed?

Depending on the type of additional bed, there are different ways to attach it to the parents’ bed. The additional bed is usually fixed to the parents’ bed with fastening angles. In the case of wider frames, an extension side can be attached to close the gap between the parent’s bed and the additional bed as a mattress supplement.

With a self-built extra bed, the extra bed can be attached to the parents’ bed in different ways. Ropes, cable ties or angles are particularly suitable here.

How long should I let my child sleep in an extra bed?

An extra bed can be used until it becomes too small for the baby and it is no longer practical or comfortable for the parents and the child. Since most side beds have a rather small lying surface, the period of use is usually only a few months.

Janika PachaleHebamme

According to the experienced midwife, the perfect sleeping place for a baby is its own bed in the parents’ bedroom. To start with, an extra bed is ideal and also very practical. However, it should only be used until the baby becomes more mobile and active.
(Source: mibaby.de)

On average, an extra bed is sufficient for the baby in terms of safety and space for at most six months. Nevertheless, they are very practical, especially at the beginning, because mothers are spared the need to get up frequently during the night to breastfeed.

The period of use depends on the growth of the baby and the model in question. It varies from child to child. According to many manufacturers, you can use an extra bed for nine to twelve months, sometimes even longer.

What accessories can I buy for my additional bed?

In general, you can buy all the accessories you can buy for a freestanding baby cot. For example, you can buy a nest or canopy for your additional bed.

You can also purchase a bridge extension. This ensures that any gap between the additional bed and the parents’ bed is bridged, thereby increasing the lying surface.

How does breastfeeding in an extra bed work?

For many mothers, an important plus point is that the baby only has to be brought into their own bed for a short time during the night for breastfeeding. For the parents, the journey is much shorter than to a separate bassinet or cradle. The breastfeeding process works the same as during the day.

Which bed comes after the extra bed?

Depending on your situation and your current additional bed, you may not need to buy a free-standing cot.

If you have decided on a multifunctional extra bed or a self-assembled extra bed, you no longer need to buy a free-standing baby bed. Both models are designed so that you can use them as a free-standing cot even after use.

However, if you have opted for a classic extra bed, you will soon need a free-standing bed, depending on the size and mobility of your child.

Some manufacturers of additional beds offer the possibility of a cot extension. This allows the additional bed to be converted into a fully-fledged cot in a few simple steps, which can be used by your child for many more years. For older children, one of the two side rails can also be removed without the bed losing stability.

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