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Best Toddler Bed Rails of 2024
January 4, 2024

Best Toddler Bed Rails of 2024

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Best Toddler Bed Rails of 2024.
Best Toddler Bed Rails of 2024

Transitioning from a crib to a big-kid bed is a significant milestone in your toddler’s journey, but it also brings a unique set of bedtime challenges. With newfound freedom comes the risk of accidental falls, restless rolling and those middle-of-the-night flailing fests that can leave you anxious you’ll be roused from sleep by a loud thud and tears to follow.

That’s where toddler bed rails come to the rescue. Beyond providing a sense of security, these trusty bed companions can offer you peace of mind and let you sleep soundly so you’re not worrying about your toddler tumbling out of bed.. In this guide, we’ll explore the best toddler bed rails on the market today and provide some key safety considerations to inform your purchases.

Read on for some of our favorite toddler bed rails and helpful hints for when you’re ready to start shopping!

Babylist’s Top Picks for the Best Toddler Bed Rails

Babylist’s Picks for the Best Bed Rails

Most Versatile Toddler Bed Rail

Versatility is always a good thing—after all, children’s sleeping arrangements can change as they grow, and not all families have the same bed sizes. A bed rail that can fit any bed size promises that you can use it on various beds in your home, from twin and full-sized beds to larger adult-sized beds. Total money and storage-space saver! Baby Joy’s Bed Rail for Toddlers is a great choice if you need a reliable bed rail that accommodates any bed size because its innovative design provides maximum safety and peace of mind for both parents and toddlers. It features a lightweight anchor system that slides snugly under standard-sized beds, and you can adjust the included fastening belt to sure up its fit on slats (you will need to purchase separate straps to affix to round slats, though), spring boxes or wooden bases. And the angle of the rail can be easily toggled anywhere from zero to 180 degrees to let your little hop out of bed when they need to.

Bonus? You can get the popular rail in four different colorways and opt for the extra-long, 71-inch versus standard 59-inch rail if you’re outfitting a bigger bed.

Most Comfortable Toddler Bed Rail

Your toddler might feel better about going to sleep at night if they’re tucked into bed with enclosures all around (hashtag throwing back to their “cozy crib days”), but if they feel all the bumps and lumps from said safety rail, will they actually sleep? That’s what we love about Comfy Bumpy’s Toddler Bed Rail Guard, which sports a triple-way attachment system to fit every type of bed imaginable, from converted toddler beds to king-size mattresses and everything in between. (Velcro to attach to slat bases, adjustable straps to wrap around box springs and screws to build it directly into a wooden base.)

The magic of this rail is in the flat iron bars that fit snugly underneath the mattress, keeping the= sleeping surface plush and undisturbed. Taking things further, the bed rail also features inviting soft side/frame padding that’ll ease your and your toddler’s nerves about bumping their face in the middle of the night. And last but not least, easy installation ensures you can set it up quickly and hassle-free—the brand even includes a five-minute video instruction guide (with purchase) to help the visual learners among us figure it out!

hiccapop Toddler Bed Rail Bumper

Looking for something that doesn’t feel as confining as the traditional metal bed rails? The hiccapop Toddler Bed Rail Bumper is in a class of its own, for taking all the tediousness out of installation and eliminating risks of accidental falls overnight. How does this “cage-less” option do it? By fitting seamlessly under your kiddo’s bed sheet, flanking the sides of their bed. With its silicone-beaded, non-skid fabric, it firmly stays in place and acts as the perfect barrier. And unlike traditional bed rails that can make the process of getting out of bed a lot more challenging for tiny bodies, hiccapop’s low-profile design gives your child a lot more freedom of movement and fosters their independence. Soft, cushioned construction keeps it comfortable, and hypoallergenic, non-toxic, phthalate, lead and BPA-free materials mean your kids can lay, drool and hug their bumper(s) to their hearts’ content. You can even bring it with you on vacations if you’ll be sharing a bed with your toddler and want a soft and cozy divider to keep them from bed-hogging or spooning a little too closely (it happens, we know!).

Best Low-Profile Toddler Bed Rail

For parents keen on protection and aesthetics, you can find both in the Munchkin Sleep Toddler Bed Rail. The low-profile design reaches a maximum height of 18 inches and a width of 36 inches, so it’s a pretty compact safety measure. It provides that secure barrier without obstructing your little one’s view (or yours when you want to check up on them at night) or making them feel trapped; moreover, it also boasts a curved silhouette and clean minimalistic gray colorway that vibes with any modern bedroom decor. Fortunately, being streamlined and discreet doesn’t mean it’s less safe. Not only do the strong safety straps eliminate the gap between the mattress and the rail, reducing the risks of accidental entrapment, the push-button hinge mechanism is very toddler-friendly. Whether it’s for a quick trip to the bathroom or an impromptu visit to your room for a post-nightmare pep talk, your child can fold their rail down safely and easily to “escape” when they need to.

Best Washable Toddler Bed Rail

Kids are messy point-blank, but toddlers who are potty training, braving stomach bugs (the stains, the smells, ugh it’s rough!) or even spitting out medicine if you come in with a nighttime dose of yucky cough syrup? They can be the biggest culprits of bed rail stains and stickiness. So, if a rail with washable features is a top priority, look no further than the Dreambaby Savoy Fold Down Bed Rail. Thanks to an easily detachable fabric cover, you can remove and toss it into the washing machine for a clean anytime it’s needed. And really, hygiene is just as important as safety, when it comes to maintaining a healthy sleep environment for your child. Apart from its washability, which is truly game-changing, the extra-wide 43-inch width and 18-inch height offer exceptional safety and security for a toddler navigating the transition from crib or toddler bed to their big-kid digs. Just keep in mind that this design is suitable for flat and box spring bases only.

Best Budget-Friendly Toddler Bed Rail

There are so many toddler bed rails out there, so finding one that’ll keep your toddler safe and sound from PM and AM won’t be challenging. The bigger consideration is the extent of the investment because when safety is concerned, many parents don’t mind a splurge. The Regalo Convertible Swing Down Crib Rail delivers on both aspects (safety and affordability), though, as it provides a high level of safety and functionality at a fraction of the cost when compared to many other toddler bed rails on the market. Its all-steel construction provides durability and ensures that it can withstand everyday use, while the patented Gap Guard technology prevents any gaps between the rail and the mattress (which is secured with a snugly-tightened anchoring strap). And the swing-down capability, at just a push of a button, lets the rail swing down and out of the way when it’s not in use. Need to change the sheets or sit next to your little for storytime before bed? No problem!

How We Chose Our Best Toddler Bed Rails

  • We consulted expert Jessica Berk, certified toddler and preschooler sleep consultant, podcast host and YouTuber. She founded Awesome Little Sleepers in 2015 and has spent the last eight years perfecting her REST Method™ for awesome sleep. Using techniques that align with any parenting style, she helps families get their toddlers to bed quickly and easily before 8 pm and sleep completely through the night—with no wake-ups.
  • We utilized insight from the Babylist editorial team, including Danielle Halibey, a mom of three and trusted resource for new and expecting parents looking for pregnancy and postpartum must-haves, baby and toddler gear and thoughtful gifts for everyone in their “village” (as in, “it takes a”).
  • We vetted hundreds of testimonials from real parents on Babylist and Amazon.

What is a Toddler Bed Rail?

Remember the old-school mesh with red-trim safety rails from your childhood? The ones that your parents whipped out whenever you had to sleep in a bed that wasn’t your own (aka your grandparent’s house or when you went on vacation). Today’s toddler bed rails don’t look all that much different than they did decades ago, and they certainly serve the same purpose—preventing accidental falls during sleep—but these days, they’re designed with utmost safety in mind. Manufacturers aren’t just selling a product to keep your kiddos from falling, they’re helping you to create a much safer and more supportive sleep environment for your tiny dreamer overall.

Choosing the best bed rail for your little one involves a thoughtful gauge of their age, developmental stage and the type of bed they are using. Younger toddlers may benefit from bed rails designed specifically for toddler beds or converted cribs (though these beds typically come with rails built into their design), offering a familiar sense of enclosure. As your child grows and moves into a larger big-kid bed (a twin, full, queen or even king-size bed), longer bed rails become essential for safeguarding against nighttime spills. Additionally, when traveling or visiting relatives, portable bed rails ensure a consistent, secure sleeping environment for your child in various settings.

Why Use a Toddler Bed Rail?

According to Berk, “the primary importance of bed rails for toddlers is to prevent them from accidentally rolling off the bed while asleep and either falling to the floor or hitting their head against a bedside table.” For kids who have recently transitioned from a crib to a “big-kid bed,” having a bed rail, without sharp edges or protruding corners, at their side(s)—three-quarters of the length of the bed to provide adequate fall-out protection and enough height to prevent them from rolling over it—can also contribute to a sense of safety and security, — similar to what they felt in the crib. Berk also says bed rails can act as a “deterrent” to active toddlers who may be “tempted to get up and leave their bed instead of staying put and going to sleep.”

Types of Toddler Bed Rails

There are so many sizes and options of bed rails to choose from, but Berk says “the most important thing is to ensure the bed rail can be attached securely to your toddler’s type of bed whether they have a box spring, slates, etc.”

Here are some of the most common types of toddler bed rails and what you should know in terms of compatibility:

Fixed Rails

These types of bed rails are designed to be attached to the side of the bed frame. They often use straps or brackets to secure them to the frame. Compatibility can vary depending on the design of the rail and the bed frame, but they’re generally compatible with most bed types, including those with box springs or slatted bases.

Folding Rails

Folding toddler bed rails are hinged, allowing them to be folded down for easy access to the bed. Like fixed rails, their compatibility depends on the design, but they typically work with a variety of bed types. Just be sure there’s sufficient space for the rail to fold down without obstruction.

Bumper-Style Rails

Bumper-style toddler bed rails are usually foam or cushioned barriers that run along the edge of the mattress. They are compatible with all bed types, including those with box springs, slats and/or platform beds. Since they don’t attach to the bed frame, they’re a great portable option.

Inflatable Rails

Inflatable toddler bed rails can fit various bed types as they are placed under the fitted sheet on the mattress. They provide a raised edge/divider to prevent rolling off the bed. They can be used with box spring beds, slatted beds or any other bed type.

How to Use a Toddler Bed Rail Safely

Safety guidelines for toddler bed rails aren’t as clear-cut as those that pertain to the transition from crib to toddler bed. Even the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission’s (USCPSC) most recent parameters for safer portable bed rails for children are more than a decade old. That’s why we caught up with toddler and preschool sleep expert, Jessica Berk. As a mom of two and Family Sleep Institute-Certified consultant, Berk has helped thousands of parents navigate sleep struggles—and she’s a big proponent of finding the right tools, like toddler bed rails, and fostering consistent sleep routines and habits that promote healthy and safe sleep for toddlers.

In her eight years of experience, Berk says she’s never heard of any negatives or blatant safety issues associated with bed rails, but that’s not to say that improper installation and disregard for manufacturers’ recommendations can’t lead to risks of injury, if not more.

When setting up your toddler’s bed rail, keep these safety considerations in mind:

  • Proper Installation and Manufacturers’ Instructions/Guidelines. Ensure that the bed rail is correctly installed according to the manufacturer’s instructions and heed all of the specific assembly and attachment guidelines. Stop use altogether when the rail isn’t safe for your child anymore.
  • Gap Prevention. Avoid gaps between the bed rail and the mattress or between adjacent bed rails where a child’s head, body or limbs could become trapped. A gap should be no more than three inches wide.
  • Sturdiness and a Secure Locking Mechanism. Choose a bed rail that is sturdy and can stand up to the weight and range of motion of a sleeping toddler. (Models made with metal or wooden frames are usually the best bet for durability.) If the bed rail has a fold-down feature, locate the locking mechanism and make sure it’s not easily undone while your little one is in bed.
  • Age Appropriateness. Berk explains that as soon as your child moves from their crib to a toddler bed (twin, full, etc.), they can use a bed rail safely and comfortably. And her personal recommendation to clients is to wait for their child to “be at least three years old before switching from a crib to a toddler bed or big kid bed because beyond safety, it’s also a maturity/readiness call.” The majority of bed rails are recommended for children aged two to five years old. So, if your child is older than five years old, discontinue use.
  • Toddler Tutorials and Regular Monitoring. Even before they start sleeping with a bed rail regularly, your little one should know how to enter and exit their bed safely without trying to climb or jump over the rail. Teach them how to do it and keep an eye on them during the night to check that they’re comfortable and safe.

Danielle Halibey

Danielle Halibey is a mom, writer, editor and publicist living in Central New Jersey. Danielle has written for The Bump, Cubby at Home, Babe by HATCH and countless other lifestyle publications. But her biggest passion is for expert product curation. From pregnancy game-changers and baby essentials to toys for growing children, Danielle is always seeking out the best buys for everyone who makes a child’s world go round. When she’s not writing, she cherishes the daily experiences and conversations shared with her three little ones. She also wouldn’t mind living in her maternity leggings indefinitely.

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