Best Toddler Travel Bed – Top 5 Kids & Toddler Air Mattresses for 2021
Over the past few years (since we first published the guide on our top picks among kids and toddler air mattresses) we have seen very little change at the very top.
The data sample used for the ratings did significantly grow, making the reviews more reliable, but we are yet to see significant shifts in the top 5 picks. If you ask us, this is a good thing because it means that the top picks stood the test of time.
The ratings below are a result of over 2000 in-house work hours. We analyzed dozens of products and rated the beds in six quality categories.
We believe that this guide is a one-stop-shop for all the information you’ll ever need to make an informed decision and choose a good airbed for your little one.
Best toddler travel bed – Top 5
Aerobed for kids
This update marks two years of the Aerobed for kids dominating this category.
With the user satisfaction rating of 91% and an overall rating of 92 out of 100, Aerobed for kids is currently in a comfortable lead with a gap of hefty 2 points in the overall ratings over the runner-up – Shrunks Tuckaire.
As you can see in the ratings below, it’s the quality (durability and longevity) of the material used that primarily stand out. The market of toddler air mattresses is not a huge one & most of the bigger companies have chosen not to dabble in it, which is probably what gave Aerobed (being the well-known and trusted company it is) an extra edge over the closest competitors.
Details - click to expand
- Age range – 4+ years
- Dimensions of the sleep surface measured side-to-side – 50×25 inches
- Height of the safety cushion – 4 inches
- Type of pump – electric, included
- Inflation time – under one minute
- Air retention 92%
- Safety 93%
- Comfort 90%
- Durability 92%
- User satisfaction 91%
- Value for money 94%
Who will choose Aerobed for kids?
This bed is by far the most popular among parents in spite of the fact that there are cheaper options out there. It only makes sense because, when it comes to any product that will be in direct contact with your kids, nothing trumps safety and 10 or 20 dollars don’t make much of a difference for most parents.
This doesn’t mean that the other inflatables we have chosen for the top five are not safe (the safety standards are particularly strict when it comes to kids), but there is something comforting in knowing that a bed comes from a reputable company like Aerobed.
It would be hard to find a person who likes shopping for extra things to make their purchase complete. In this case, we’re referring to the thick, fitted pad/sheets that come included with this Aerobed.
It means that you don’t have to worry about purchasing extra sheets, which is a huge plus because finding the right fit can be a headache.
It’s also important to stress that the included sheets are not a flimsy piece of cloth but made of thick materials with significant padding on the sleep surface. Also, they make for a practical add-on because they’re washable, and the material of the mattress itself (unlike most others) does not stain and can be easily cleaned.
In our opinion, all of the above makes the Aerobed for kids the most complete and practical product in the category.
The Shrunks toddler travel bed
With a user satisfaction rating of 89% and an overall rating of 90 out of 100, the Shrunks Tuckaire toddler travel airbed with raised side rails has been a close runner-up to Aerobed for 4 updates now.
What stands out about it is the fact that comes from a company dedicated to products for kids (most of the other air beds on the list come from companies whose primary focus airbeds for adults).
As you see the ratings below, the ratings in the main quality categories are pretty close to the Aerobed.
- Air retention 90%
- Safety 93%
- Comfort 88%
- Durability 88%
- User satisfaction 89%
- Value for money 92%
Who will choose the Shrunks Tuckaire?
If you want more versatility, you might choose the Shrunks over the Aerobed. If you compare the two beds (size to size), the Shrunks packs down significantly smaller and lighter.
The smallest size of the Shrunks is the Junior toddler (ages 2+, 52 x 27 “, weight capacity up to 150 pounds) which packs down to a roll of approximately 16 x 7 inches and weighs just over 2.6 pounds.
On the other hand, if you go a size up the Shrunks is available in Twin Family size which inflates to a significantly bigger sleep surface than the Aerobed (78×43, measured side-to-side).
Bottom line – the Shrunks Tuckaire is the more versatile option and, for most people, the most practical choice when it comes to kids travel beds (opposed to indoor use).
Hiccapop Inflatable Toddler Travel Bed
Hiccapop is a refreshing new addition to this guide – this is the second update that finds the Hiccapop in the top three choices.
It currently has the highest user satisfaction rating of all the toddler air mattresses on the list – 96%.
Just to make things clear we’d like to disclose that are rating algorithms include what we call a “maturity coefficient.” To avoid confusion, this has nothing to do with the bed being age-appropriate for toddlers – the “maturity coefficient” is just part of how we calculate the ratings.
In other words, it’s our way to make the ratings more reliable by adjusting them to the period of time the product has been on the market. The Hiccapop arrived to the market in the beginning of 2017 and has been gaining momentum ever since.
This also means that each new update brings the Hiccapop closer to the very top because the high user satisfaction ratings have been consistent.
That’s the reason why we currently don’t have all the quality ratings for this bed – it will take about six extra months for the bed to reach full “maturity” and for us to report on all the quality ratings.
Intex Kids air mattress
- Air retention 88%
- Safety 93%
- Comfort 87%
- Durability 85%
- User satisfaction 90%
- Value for money 90%
Coleman Kids EasyStay
- Air retention 89%
- Safety 93%
- Comfort 86%
- Durability 85%
- User satisfaction 90%
- Value for money 86%
Frequently asked questions about our top picks
FAQs about Aerobed for kids
Does it come in the other size?
No, the 50×25 size of the sleep surface is currently the only one available.
What’s the total size measured side-to-side (including the rails)?
We measured the dimensions of the further-most points of the Aerobed for kids and toddlers to be approximately that of a regular twin bed.
What’s the height of the side bumpers?
Side bumpers (or safety cushion as Aerobed calls them) measures 4 inches in height.
What’s the total height and length?
Measured from the floor to the top of the side bumpers, the Aerobed for kids is about 10 inches high. Measured from side-to-side, it is approximately 60 inches long.
What’s the weight capacity?
The listed weight capacity is 150 pounds.
How does the pump work? Can it be battery-operated?
The bed comes with a standard external Aerobed pump that needs to be plugged in to work (standard outlet). That’s why we stressed that some of the other kid airbeds are a more practical choice for travel.
Is there an option to use a different pump (length or manual)?
No, the pump is specific and the nozzles of other pumps typically don’t work with Aerobed. So if you need a replacement, you would have to get one either from their site, Amazon or an Aerobed store.
Is there any significant off-gassing?
This is one of the most common questions we have been receiving since we first published guide and it only makes sense because, as was said, safety comes first when choosing an airbed for kids and toddlers.
There is a slight PVC smell out-of-the-box, but it quickly dissipates. In practice, we would advise leaving the airbed outside for a few hours to air out.
Can I take it abroad?
As was said, the pump works with a standard US outlet (110 V). This means that, to use it abroad (with outlets of typically 220 V), you would need a power adapter.
Is the issue of cold air present?
This is another common question with toddler airbeds since the air circulating inside can result in cold rushes on the sleep surface. In this quality aspect, we found this toddler inflatable to be superior because of thicker PVC and, more importantly, the hefty padding on the included fitted sheets.
What are the dimensions one deflated?
Once deflated and rolled, we measured the roll to be about 15 inches long and 7 inches in circumference.
Can be used for camping?
If you have access to power, the answer is a definitive yes, especially because the thick PVC fares pretty well and is not prone to punctures.
How to patch it if it develops a leak?
Based on what we’ve seen, the incidence of air leaks is very low, but if it does happen, it holds a patch very well since the surface is not flocked. It comes with a patch kit included and precise instructions on how to do it.
How portable is it?
It comes with a carry case for travel which we found to perfectly fit the deflated bed and be durable in the long run. This was a bit of a surprise because this is primarily an indoor inflatable bed for kids.
Is the good fit for a Pack n’ Play?
Probably not, since it’s too large.
Does it make squeaking noises?
This is a reasonable question since the surface is not flocked. If used without the fitted sheets, you’ll definitely hear some squeaking, but we don’t see a reason to use it without its dedicated pad. In this setup, the noises become a non-issue.
FAQs about the Shrunks Tuckaire
Is there a warranty?
The Shrunks Tuckaire is known for its unparalleled warranty terms – lifetime.
The Shrunks Tuckaire is probably the single least noisy product on this list because of the combination of flocked materials and how well the two separate parts (the foundation and sleep surface) fit together. The movement between the two is minimized, and it’s one of the reasons why the design of the Shrunks Tuckaire has received many awards over the years.
It’s third-party tested to be free of any chemicals like BPAs, phthalates or lead. We haven’t noticed any significant off-gassing and lasting smells. Much like the Aerobed we mentioned above, there is a slight initial smell, but it quickly goes away once unpacked.
Does it come with sheets included?
The two smaller sizes (Junior Toddler and Youth Sleepover) do come with a soft striped fitted sheet (gray and white) while the Twin family size does not.
The pumps and inflation time
The included pump is manual (leg) for the toddler size and typical inflation time is about one minute. If you go with the medium size, the included pump is called Maxaire (also manual) while the Twin size comes with an electric pump that inflates the bed in about half a minute.
How much do the different sizes weigh?
The weight ranges from 2.65 LBS (for the Junior toddler), through 7.94 LBS (the Youth Sleepover size) to 10.8 LBS (for the Twin family size).
Packing size when deflated
The biggest size of the Shrunks Tuckaire (Twin Family) packs down to approximately 16×16 inches (when flat) and 16×7 inches (when rolled).
The two smaller sizes back down to a roll of approximately 40×18 cm (16×7 inches).
The side rails of the Shrunks Tuckaire
Measured from the flat surface of the side foundation to the top of the rail curvature, the security rails are 3.5-4.5 inches high, depending on the size.
We have received a few questions about the shipping. We can’t precisely pinpoint the confusion here since Shrunks explicitly lists their shipping policy to be within 2 business days.
What are the sheets made of?
The fitted sheets are 100% brushed cotton.
FAQs about the Hiccapop kids air mattress
Size of the sleeping surface
Measured from rail to rail, the Hiccapop is approximately the size of a crib mattress. The security bumpers are 11 inches high and 49 inches long.
The listed maximum capacity is 300 LBS.
As per the official listing of the product, the age range is 2+ years. There is no official upper limit.
Using it with a different outlet
Strictly speaking, the manufacturer explicitly lists in that the pump is meant to be used with standard 110V outlets, but it can be adapted to a different current and used abroad if you can find the right converter for the power of the pump.
The pump is not a two-way meaning that it doesn’t suck the air out and you would need to deflate the bed manually by pulling the plug out. Based on our experience, about half of the air goes out on its own and you would have to press and roll the bed to fully deflate it.
Can it be used with a universal pump?
As long as you have a pump with nozzles that are a good fit for the Hiccapop valve, you should have no problem using a universal pump for this kids air mattress. This also means that if the nozzles of an inflating machine are a good fit, you can use them to deflate the bed by putting the machine in reverse mode.
It’s completely free of harmful chemicals like lead, BPAs and Phthalates.
The sides (foundation) you can see in the images are separate from the middle part of the bed. We’re specifically mentioning this because it makes the cleaning easier.
Intex toddler air mattress
We feel that it would be unfair to exclude Intex toddler air mattresses from this guide since Intex had at least one representative in the top five since we first compiled the guide on best toddler travel beds for camping and indoor use.
The two most prominent models that have been in and out of our top picks are the budget-friendly Intex Kidz anbd the more advanced Intex travel bed set with side rails.
The user satisfaction ratings of the two portable inflatable beds for kids are respectively 78 and 85%.
Kid and toddler camping bed (inflatable)
Since we received quite a few questions about whether the travel beds for toddlers listing this guide are suitable to be used as kid camping beds, it’s only logical that we addressed the questions.
When it comes to camping, your choice will depend on the circumstances with the most important one being whether you have access to power. If you do, you can easily use even the beds that come with an external electric pump and if you don’t, you’ll be better off with some of the listed models that use a manual or a leg pump.
Updates policy & new ratings
We typically update the ratings in guide on quarterly basis and do a complete overhaul once a year (one that includes new products that have hit the market).
To make sure that the information presented are reliable at all times, we screen the user satisfaction ratings once a month and if we do notice a significant fluctuation (especially lowered ratings) we do an unscheduled update to see if it’s only a statistical aberration or a real issue. We call these “red light” updates because their purpose is to find any indication that something about the products has changed (like materials or manufacturing practices).
The bottom line is that you can rest assured that the information you see here are up-do-date with what’s currently happening on the market.
Finally, if you have any questions, dilemmas or simply quality aspects you feel we haven’t covered, do drop us a comment below or contact us directly. It usually takes us no more than 24 hours to respond to all correspondence.
The Sleep Studies Team