Cot vs Cot Bed: Which Should You Choose?

So, you’re on the hunt for your baby’s first bed, but you’re faced with the decision of choosing between a cot vs a cot bed.

So, you’re on the hunt for your baby’s first bed, but you’re faced with the decision of choosing between a cot vs a cot bed. Which is going to last the longest? Which is more practical? Well, we’re here to help guide you to the right choice for your little one.

While both are great options, there are some key differences between a cot and a cot bed that may sway your decision.

We’ve broken down the key differences between these two sleeping spaces so you can easily weigh up the best one for your newborn.

Short on time? Here’s a simple table of the key differences between a cot and a cot bed…

FeatureCotCot Bed
SizeSmaller dimensionsLarger dimensions
PriceUsually cheaper upfrontSlightly more expensive upfront
UsabilityFrom birth, with parents in the same roomFrom birth, with parents in the same room
TransitionChildren will need to be transitioned into a bigger bedGradual transition and familiarity with sleep space
Future useMay need storage if used for future childrenCan be used for future children without needing storage
LongevityUsed for a shorter periodLasts longer, potentially up to 10 years
Cost-effectivenessLess cost-effective in the long runMore cost-effective in the long run

What is the Difference Between a Cot vs Cot Bed?

The first thing you need to know is what the difference is between a cot and a cot bed. We've broken down the main differences to give you an idea of which one is more likely to work for you and your situation.

A Classic Cot

A cot is a small bed designed specifically for infants and young babies. It typically features high sides or rails to ensure the baby's safety and prevent them from falling out. They also feature adjustable mattress heights to be lowered as your baby develops.

Cots are usually used from birth until around 2 years of age, depending on the child's growth and development.

Key features of cots include:

  • Safety Rails: High sides to prevent falls.
  • Size: Generally smaller, making them suitable for young babies.
  • Fixed Structure: Cots do not convert into larger beds; once your child outgrows the cot, a new bed will be necessary.

A Cot Bed that Converts into a Toddler Bed

A cot bed offers more versatility, serving as both a cot and a toddler bed. Initially, it functions as a safe sleeping space for infants, much like a cot.

However, its adaptable design allows it to be converted into a toddler bed when your child is ready. This can typically be used from birth up to the age of 4 or 5 (or even 10 years old with the SnüzKot!).

Key features of cot beds include:

  • Convertible Design: Starts as a cot and can be easily transformed into a toddler bed with an extension kit.
  • Size: Larger than a standard cot, providing more space for a growing child.
  • Longevity: It is economically beneficial, as it can be used for a longer period without needing to purchase a new bed.
  • Safety Features: Often come with lower side rails to offer additional security when converted into a toddler bed.

Cot vs Cot Bed Size Guide

Bed TypeTypical Dimensions (cm)Suitable Age
Cot Bed70 x 140Birth to 4-5 years
Cot60 x 120Birth to 2-3 years
SnüzKot72 x 133Birth to 10 years (with the Junior Bed Extension Kit)

A standard cot bed is typically larger than a standard cot but smaller than a regular single bed.

Typically, they’ll measure up at 70 cm x 140 cm, providing ample room for a growing child up to the age of 4 or 5. This size can alter with toddler bed extensions, which will extend the length of the bed.

For example, the SnüzKot cot bed is 72 cm x 133 cm as standard but increases to 160cm with the Junior Bed Extension Kit, providing a comfortable and safe sleep space for a child up to 10 years old.

In comparison, a standard cot usually measures about 60 cm x 120 cm. This size is adequate for infants and young babies but may quickly become insufficient as your child grows and becomes more active during sleep.


Buying the Right Mattress for Your Cot or Cot Bed

Once you’ve decided whether you’re going for a cot or cot bed, you need to invest in a mattress.

Given the amount of time babies spend sleepingon average, 12-14 hours a day! – you should invest in a good one.

Mattress Size Advice

Baby BedMattress Size (cm)
Cot60 x 120
Cot Bed70 x 140
SnüzKot Cot Bed70 x 119

When it comes to safe sleep practices, it’s paramount to ensure the mattress fits properly in the cot or cot bed.

A well-fitting mattress should be firm and snug, leaving no more than a finger-width of space between the mattress and the sides of the cot or cot bed. This snug fit prevents your baby from becoming trapped in any gaps, reducing the risk of suffocation or injury.

The mattress should always be flat and free of any loose bedding and pillows, which can pose a suffocation hazard for young children.

It's crucial to regularly check the mattress for any signs of damage or wear, as an overly soft or worn-out mattress can compromise safety.

Always use the correct size, as specified by the cot or cot bed manufacturer. For instance, many cot beds require a standard mattress size of 70cm x 140cm, though this can vary between brands and models.

Our SnüzKot, for example, sits right in between the standard cot and cot bed sizes and pairs perfectly with SnüzSurface for sustained support as your baby grows.

The SnüzKot will provide your little one with years of comfortable sleep up to 4 years of agemake that 10 when bought with an extension kit!

SnüzFino, a newer addition to our range of sleek and contemporary nursery furniture, is also designed to grow with your child.

Featuring two mattress heights, the SnüzFino Cot Bed is suitable from birth up to 4 years. With its toddler kit, it can easily be converted into your baby’s very first bed, with specially designed toddler rails and a curvy canopy to provide a sense of security for your little one as they sleep.

New or Used Mattresses?

Safe sleep advice is that a new mattress should be bought for each new child.

If this isn’t possible, safe sleep experts recommend that if you’re going to use a second-hand mattress, it should be…

  • One you know the history of
  • One that has been appropriately stored and carefully looked after
  • One that has been used with waterproof mattress protectors

When Should You Transition Your Child from Cot to Bed?

Depending on the child, making the move from cot to bed may be a matter of comfort or necessity.

For parents planning on having several children only a few years apart, switching your first to their ‘grown-up bed’ may be a matter of urgency when your new arrival is due to sleep in the cot very soon.

The NHS recommends that your newborn sleep in the same room as you for the first 6 months, so any cot you choose should comfortably fit in your bedroom.

Many parents opt for a bedside crib or Moses basket during these first 6 months, as they allow you to be closer to your little one in their early days without needing to fit a bigger-sized bed somewhere in your room.


The Verdict: Cot vs Cot Bed

So, the question remains – should you opt for a standard cot or a more versatile cot bed? Well, our choice would be a convertible cot bed. Why? Because it can grow with your child, making it a cost-effective choice in the long run.

Not only that, but it saves you the time of having to find a new bed, find somewhere to store the old one, and the hassle of building a whole new bed. With a convertible cot bed, all you need is a conversion kit, and you’re good to go.

The SnüzKot and SnüzFino cot beds are perfect examples of this. They both have the ability to convert from a cot to a toddler bed and even to a junior bed, providing a bed for your child until they reach around 10 years old.

You can explore our entire collection of beautifully crafted cot beds online and have them delivered straight to your home.

Shop Award-Winning Cot Beds

Get More Sleep Advice From Snüz!

For more comprehensive baby sleep advice, including tips on creating a restful nursery and guidance on sleep routines, visit the rest of our Sleep Talk blog. Our experts provide a wealth of information to ensure both you and your little one enjoy better sleep.


Yes, buying a cot bed is worth it. It offers long-term value, adapting from a cot to a toddler bed, saving you money over time. Its versatility and extended use ensure comfort and familiarity for your child, making transitions smoother and more cost-effective in the long run.

A cot bed is suitable for children from birth up to around 4 years of age. Its convertible design allows for extended use, transitioning from a baby cot to a toddler bed, providing both comfort and longevity. Just make sure you're following safe sleep practices like the feet-to-foot position.

Yes, cot beds are safe for newborns. They are designed with safety features like adjustable mattress heights and secure side rails. Always ensure the mattress fits snugly to prevent gaps and follow the manufacturer’s safety guidelines for the best results.

No, a cot should not be placed directly against a wall. It should have some space around it to prevent suffocation risks and allow for proper air circulation. This also reduces any potential hazards if the baby becomes wedged between the cot and wall.

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