Cot and cot bed FAQs

Your beautiful baby is on the way and it’s time to think about their first bed. Of all the nursery furniture and accessories, you and your baby will need, their cot should be top of the list.

According to sleep specialists, most newborn babies are asleep more than they are awake (although it may not seem like it). On average babies will sleep for up to 18 hours in a day! With that in mind, they’ll need a comfortable and safe sleep space from the get-go, so picking out the perfect first bed is essential, especially if you also plan on getting any sleep in those first few months!

When it comes to baby beds, there are so many options available. Navigating the differing designs, weighing up the pros and cons and finding the right fit doesn’t have to be a task. We’re here to help you find those all-important nursery furniture essentials.

We’ve listed our most frequently asked Cot and Cot Bed questions to start you off, and our customer service team are armed and ready for anything else you may need! But what is the difference between a cot and a cot bed we hear you cry? Don’t you worry… all will be revealed below!

Image source: @thebladeshousehold
Image source: @ralphsreno

1. What is the difference between a cot and a cot bed?

If you’ve already started your nursery furniture search, you may have seen Cot and Cot Bed being used. The difference is mainly down to the size. A cot typically fits a 120 x 60cm mattress and a cot bed offers slightly larger dimensions at 140 x 70cm. The extra space a cot bed brings, can be a great feature in the long run, allowing your little one to use the furniture for longer as they grow, however, if your space is limited a cot might be a better fit.

Cot beds often have extra features when compared to cots, but this does usually increase the price tag too. The frames can be adjusted and converted, later creating a toddler bed – a great feature for encouraging independence in little ones and saving you from buying additional furniture before it’s needed. We even have cot bed designs that can be transformed into full-sized single beds with additional kits!

Both cots and cot beds have their pros and cons, so take a look at both and see which would suit you and your newborn best. We have lots of options available at Cuckooland, for varying budgets, needs, measurements and product lifespans!

Obaby Maya Cot Bed

2. Should I choose a Cot or Cot Bed?

Both designs have their own benefits – cots are known to save on space and cot beds might be used for longer, but there is no set rule when it comes to their design, these features are interchangeable. We’d recommend writing a ‘wish list’ of features you think you and your baby will need and checking our features and benefits if you’re unsure. If you’re still feeling lost or can’t decide between a few cot and cot bed designs, get in touch and we’ll help you with your selection.

Vox Vintage Baby Cot

3. Can a Cot or Cot Bed be used from birth?

Many cot and cot bed designs can be used from the moment your little bundle makes an appearance! It’s recommended they sleep close to you, in the same room, during the first 6 months, but this doesn’t mean you have to use a co-sleeper crib or Moses basket if you’d prefer not to.

If the measurements will allow, opting to use a cot or cot bed from the beginning can save a few pennies and remove the need to transition from crib to cot – often a stressful process for parents and babies. Cribs can only be used for a short time, so your baby will eventually need a cot or cot bed anyway, but the larger dimensions aren’t always suitable.

The option is there – it’s just finding the best setup for you and your family. Weigh up those pros and cons and if you still need a hand deciding, we can always help!

Leander Linea Baby Cot in Beech

4. How long can a Cot or Cot Bed be used for?

This really depends on the cot or cot bed design you finally choose and how quickly your baby develops! We’ll always strive to recommend suitable age ranges, but these should always be used as a guide. 

Generally, though, it’s recommended that between 18 months and 2 years of age your little one should be ready to transition from the cot stage. If your little one is showing signs of climbing and trying to re-enact scenes from the ‘Great Escape’, try lowering the mattress height if the design will allow for it. If that’s still not helping keep them safe, it’s time to move them on to their next stage. 

By opting for a cot bed, the design should convert into a toddler bed which can be used up until the age of 4 which is a really handy feature. This saves on buying their ‘big kids’ single bed until they feel more ready. A bigger bed can be a daunting prospect for some little ones, but the familiar frame and smaller dimensions of a converted toddler bed can help them along.

Obaby Nika Mini Cot Bed
Obaby Nika Mini Converted Toddler Bed

5. Where should I position the Cot or Cot Bed?

It’s recommended your baby sleep in the same room as you for the first 6 months. With this in mind, if you’re opting to skip using a Moses basket or co-sleeper crib and planning instead to use a cot or cot bed from birth, we’d recommend carefully measuring up and ensuring you can fit your chosen nursery furniture in your bedroom too. You’ll need to safely move around the cot, so allow for plenty of extra space when planning and checking dimensions.

Once your little one is ready to transition to their own bedroom; position the cot or cot bed away from heaters, radiators, windows, plug sockets, cables and decorations. To ensure they’re safe at all times, create a clear zone around their bed, free from objects and furniture that could become a potential hazard.

It’s also recommended that cots and cot beds are kept free from bedding, pillows, cot bumpers and toys – these accessories might look adorable, but can pose a risk.

Troll Torsten Cot Bed

6. Can the Cot or Cot Bed be used as a Co-Sleeper Crib?

Usually, a feature of cribs and Moses baskets – a number of our cots and cot beds can be used as co-sleeper, bedside cribs! By simply adjusting the frame, enjoy the benefits of co-sleeping and when this stage is no longer needed, convert back into a cot or cot bed and continue using the nursery furniture. Creating a separate and safe space for your baby to sleep, but keeping them close for night feeding, bonding and giving you that added reassurance, a co-sleeper cot or cot bed is a great choice for new parents.

Vox Simple Customisable Cot Bed with Storage Drawer
Vox Simple Co-Sleeper Cot Bed

7. What mattress do I need for the Cot or Cot Bed?

As mentioned, cots will usually measure 120 x 60cm and cot beds measure 140 x 70cm – this refers to the mattress size (the frame measurements will vary with each design).

A handful of designs go against the norm and can require special sizes, with curved corners or varying thicknesses. The mattress should fit perfectly in your chosen cot or cot bed. There should be a gap of no more than two fingers width between the mattress and the sides for safety. We will always recommend the mattress size required and offer our top picks to take the stress out of mattress shopping.

Like baby beds, mattresses have varying features too – from organic designs to the dual-sided temperature regulating cot mattresses and designs with removable mattress protectors. We love a ‘wish list’ here at Cuckooland! We’d recommend jotting down your babies’ mattress wants and needs and if you’re not sure what you’re looking for, get in touch! We know all there is about cot and cot bed mattresses!

Vox Paris Baby Cot Bed
Vox Canne Baby Cot Bed 2 Piece Nursery Set

Confident about Cots and Cot Beds?

In our opinion, after finding out the amazing news a baby is on the way, picking out your baby’s first bed is one of the most exciting parts of pregnancy! We hope our hints and tips point you in the right direction, but if you’re still not sure which cot or cot bed to pick, let us guide you! Call our lovely team on +44 (0) 1305 231231 or email and we’ll help get the nursery ready for your new arrival.


With more than 10 years’ experience in providing advice and support to parents looking for their perfect kids bed, mother of 2, Nathalie Davis is passionate about helping children develop. In her role as Director of Product Procurement at Cuckooland, Nathalie has helped thousands of parents improve their children’s sleep and sleeping habits through the beds and mattresses she sources and the articles she writes. In her spare time she teaches her Golden Retriever to be a responsible vegetarian and is often spotted sifting through clothes at her local Charity Shops.

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