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Kids/toddler air mattress and travel beds |Top 3 (Shrunks, Aerobed, Intex) | Dec 2016

tuckaire travel bagSince we first started the category of toddler air mattresses (14 months ago) three beds have been dominating:

  1. Shrunks toddler inflatable travel bed
  2. The Aerobed air mattress
  3. The Intex toddler airbed with side bumpers and a hand pump.

There are very few categories on the website that have been as rigid as this one. Seven updates in and the situation has changed very little – The Shrunks is undisputed at the top of the list rated at 92/100.

Although not the cheapest product on the list, The Shrunks is by far the best rated in the category of value for money. Other beds in its price range don’t even compare in terms of quality and the ones that do cost 2-3 times as much.

 

 

Table of contents

Current ratings of the toddler air mattresses:

PictureModelRating
tuckaire shrunks ratingsToddler Shrunks92 / 100
aerobed airbed for kidsAerobed for kids85 / 100
3 intex kidz ratingIntex Kidz84 / 100

Here’s what you’ll see in the guide on best air mattresses for kids:

  • Current ratings of the kids inflatable beds (above)
  • Comparison table with ratings and technical details, followed by individual reviews
  • Alternative options for a toddler travel bed – cots and foldable beds (we’ll mention the best in each category)
  • Honorable mentions among the toddler airbeds (the models that didn’t make it to the TOP 3)

Before we get to the individual reviews let’s take a look at the beds in a side-by-side comparison:

Top-rated 2nd best-rated3rd best rated
review comparison tuckaire
aerobed review ratings
intex review comparison
Shrunks Toddler TuckaireAerobed for kidsIntex Kidz
Comfort rating93 / 1008384
Durability91 / 1008684
Air retention94 / 1008583
Pump92 / 1008278
Value for money92 / 1008890
OVERALL RATING92 / 10084 / 10084
Colorbrown and beigebaby bluecream
Dimensions60 x 37 x 9 "50 x 25 (inner sleep surface)66 x 42 x 10 "

So let’s get right into it and present the winner of the category that has been on the top in the last 4 updates, by far the top rated:

No1: Shrunks tuckaire toddler travel bed with sides

(version with a sleeping bag available)

Ratings in 5 quality categories:

ratings tuckaire

Take a moment and watch how easy it is to set up the Shrunks:


The fact sheet:

  • Safety rails to prevent the child from slipping of the bed
  • Free from any chemicals (Phthalates, BPA, Lead)
  • Sheet-tuck design (firmly holds any sheet in crib size)
  • Two available sizes (toddler and twin)
  • The size of the Shrunks toddler travel – 60 x 37 x 9
  • Weight 7.8 lbs
  • Minimum and maximum weight 30-100 lbs
  • Unisex modern design
  • Inflates in half a minute

Our thought about the Shrunks travel bed:

Who is this bed for?

For families who need a portable bed for their kid that will not take up half of the trunk. Perfect for kids who have outgrown cots and cribs.

Can it be used for a baby?

We’ve seen reports from people using this air mattress for babies as young as two. If you get it this early, you are covered for at least 2-3 years and if it’s the right fir for your needs, at that point you can get it in twin size.

Comfort ratings: 93/100

From what we heard from our testers and the users we’ve contacted this is the most comfortable travel bed out there. We input all the date into our rating model and its current comfort rating is 93/100.

The soft flocked top of the bed makes for a great sleeping surface and the materials used do not make squeaky sounds through the night, which can be an annoying issue.

The fleece flocked middle of the bed eliminates the feeling of cold rushes, which are also a common issue with other beds. In this category it dominates the same way the SoundAsleep air mattress dominates in the group of regular models.

Durability: 91/100

This is a bed that will be jumped on. Period. The feel of the materials might not portray an accurate picture just how tough this bed is. The plastic is sturdy and the connections are strong.

The fact that the separate parts of the bed inflate separately adds to the durability by distributing weight more evenly and putting less stress on the seams.

Air retention: 94/100

We rarely give ratings this high for anything but this Shrunks travel bed got a 94 in the latest ratings update. For every experience we’ve heard of the bed developing a leak we’ve seen 20 of people saying they add air once a week.

Pump: 92 / 100

Jetaire electric pump fills the bed in under a minute every time. It’s light and compact, yet powerful. The bed inflates in two separate parts, the inner part that looks like a traditional mattress and the outer “frame” with the rails.

We have seen people reporting the pump as noisy.

The instructions are clear and it takes about 15 seconds for the core mattress and around 20 for the sides. Using a foot pump, it takes about 50 pumps to inflate the inner part and about 60 for the sides.

Value for money: 92 / 100

Its simple math, The Shrunks toddler is built to last and is well worth the 10 or 15 extra dollars. Other portable beds for kids of similar quality are 2 or 3 times as expensive.
Safety of the Shrunks travel bed

The air mattress and the frame lay low, which eliminates any chance of the child getting hurt if they do get past the side rails and roll off. When it comes to the materials, it meets the strictest and the newest American safety standards.

 

the shrunks

 

Storing the inflatable

Once they are out, don’t count on packing both the bed and the pump into the carry bag again. It’s too small for that and chances are that you’ll have to pack the pump separately.

On the bright side, the carry bag is well made and can be used on its own without risks of tears. The portable kids airbed weighs a low 3 kg and the pump is 600 gr.

 

pump

 

How we tested the Shrunks over the last 7 updates:

We tested the product for 14 and gathered the information and what our featured testers said about the bed. Here, we share the parts of their reviews that we see as most useful:

Excerpts from the positive reviews of the Shrunks toddler air mattress:

  • Before the Shrunks, we used to have an Intex cozy that deflated and popped after only a few nights. We use this bed as an extra on trips which mean we use it both in hotel rooms and tents and it’s still pretty much the same as the day it arrived
  • This is the airbed for kids that addresses all that’s wrong with basic models. The side rails do their job as described, it inflates and deflates quickly and easily, holds air for 5-6 days before we have to add, keeps the sheet securely in place…
  • Deflates and packs very small, perfect for travel
  • Our 3 year old has outgrown the other toddler beds so we got the Shrunks, and it’s everything we wanted it to be. The toddler size sheets we got are a perfect fit
  • It’s well worth the money. I did beds that were somewhat cheaper but the quality doesn’t even compare
  • For a mobile family such as ours, this kind of toddler air mattress with sides is basically an essential; we use it for anything from trips to the grandparents to camping. We also keep it inflated in our bedroom in case she comes in scared or something.
  • Does everything that’s promised, looks great, and holds air (we only inflate it maybe once a week) and packs small and light.
  • Having a kids air mattress for travel is beats using a cot hands down. We carried this bed even when traveling to Europe, that’s how small and neatly it packs.
  • We got the Shrunks in twin size for our 5 year old. It’s sturdy and holds air very well. Definitely a good buy, saves us a lot of headaches
  • My daughter loves this inflatable. We used it for a camping trip but she says it’s so comfy that she keeps asking to sleep on it ever since we got back.
  • Very convenient and the perfect substitute for the pack and play we used at the grandma house until our son has outgrown it. We got a second one for other family trips. Packs pretty small and takes up very little space in a suitcase.

shrunks toddler travelbed for kids

CONs:

  • We had to went it out for a day before using it because there was faint plasticky smell when it arrived
  • I wish there was a color choice, I’d really like to get a pink one to go with my baby girl’s room…
  • The patch kit that comes with it doesn’t really do the trick. The bed developed a leak after about 6 months and we got a patch kit from Walmart which did the trick
  • Our son is a restless sleeper and we were excited to finally find a portable bed with the right design to keep him comfortably in. It does work but not every time, he did roll over the sides when we don’t inflate them fully.

 

tuckaire with sleeping bag

 

Our conclusions about the Shrunks toddler travel bed

It is our opinion that the Shrunks is the best option out there. This is the 7th update to this guide so the overall rating of 94/100 doesn’t come as a surprise.

When we say “best” we don’t just mean among airbeds for kids, we also take cots and portable cribs into consideration.

It’s light, easy to carry and use and above all safe. The side rails work as advertised. We have seen reports of people saying that the child did roll off. When it happens, it’s with kids that are extremely restless sleepers and with the bed being in the middle of the room.

It can happen because the “frame” doesn’t have rails on the top and if the pillow if high, the kid can end up “chasing” the pillow and rolling of the bed.

However, the reports of this happening are rare and we can safely say that the side rails work as advertised.

And last but not least, this bed strictly adheres to the safety standards for toddler travel beds. Bottom line, the Shrunks toddler deserves its place at the top and then some. It’s worth every cent.

It’s listed as a bed appropriate for 2-6 year-old kids, if you are over that limit you might want to take a look at the reviews of the best air mattresses overall.

AeroBed Air Mattress for Kids

This Aerobed has been among the top 5 best rated toddler inflatable since we started the category on 3beds. It’s also the runner up 3 updates in a row.

Current ratings:
aerobed
Technical details and the fact sheet:

  • The surface (sleep) measures exactly 50 x 25 “
  • Sturdy build, electronically attached seams for increased durability
  • The frame designed to keep the kids from rolling off the airbed (4 “ high)
  • Electric pump included, inflates in under 60 sec, deflates in
  • Fitted mattress pad included

aerobed with the fitted sheet

 

 

Our thoughts on this Aerobed:

Comfort: 83/100

Although there is no fleece finish and looking at the pictures of the bed alone you wouldn’t say it’s an eye candy, paired with the fitter topper it becomes a whole different “beast”. The frame is high enough to keep even the restless sleepers in, however, it is oval and we’ve also seen a report of two of the most Houdini-like sleepers among kids rolling out of bed.

Having said all that and looking at our evidence, the main reason behind the relatively low comfort rating are squeaking sounds. It makes more noise than any other bed on this page and you need to be aware of it before making a decision.

This is not the best air mattress for the babies, kids and toddlers that are both restless and light sleepers.

Durability: 86/100
If this Aerobed had better seams connections, especially around the valves, we feel that would get a much higher rating in durability since the materials used are sturdier and thicker then usually seen in an airbed. Yet, the issue with the connections around the valve seems to be recurring too often to be just a fluke.

We have seen reports of people using this bed on daily basis for years without any problems, but again, the valve issue brought the durability rating of this kids inflatable down to 86/100.

Air retention

Not as good as the Shrunks, the Aerobed is still very highly rated in this category with a rating of 85/100. From what we’ve heard and seen, it needs to be topped of every few days, while the Shrunks comfortably lasts a week without the need for adding air.

Pump: 82/100
The pump is fast and efficient and not as loud as the one that comes with the Shrunks.
However, vast majority of people will agree that more noise for a minute more than makes up for the fact that this Aerobed is not autonomous, meaning that you need a power outlet to use it.
The pump is corded and can’t be used without it.

Value for money: 88/100
Out of the 5 categories we review and rate, it received the highest rating sin the category of value for money.
Again, not as high as our winner, but the rating of 88 is very good in our book, especially having in mind the quality of the PVC.

aerobed - sheet and bag

 

Easy to use

Provided that you do have a power outlet on hand, this product is one of the easiest to use on the list. The included pump is fast and efficient. The valve on the side bed that allows you to regulate firmness is a great little touch.

It is, however, the same valve that has become somewhat of a quality issue over the last year or so. We don’t know whether Aerobed has changed anything in the manufacturing process but we have seen an increase in the % of people complaining about the valve becoming detached.

Limited portability

The bed itself packs pretty small and you would think that even traveling overseas it would be a great option (it only weighs 1 lbs)
Not so fast. First of all, as we said, the pump is electric and for international trips you would need an adapter or/and voltage modulator.

Last but not least, the pump is unusually heavy (at 8 lbs).

Capacity and age range

This inflatable mattress for kids supports up to 150 pounds and is officially intended for children of 3 and up.

PROs of this Aerobed as reported by our featured reviewers:

  • Very tough material, we’ve had it for a year and a half now with zero issues. Amazing durability for an air mattress that has gone through so much “abuse”
  • The pump is great, small, hand-held and easy to use and it holds air for days without the need to top it off
  • We have both a toddler and a 5 year old and either one of them can sleep comfortably on this bed. Just the right size
  • This Aerobed for kids is just right for what we need, it packs small, very easy to set up and down and it doesn’t leak at all
  • We got this bed as a replacement for port-a-crib. It’s been great so far a smooth transition to a permanent bed
  • This Aerobed is top drawer. You can see it right out of the box. It’s the 3rd air mattress we got for our son in 2 years and the material feels much thicker and sturdier compared to the previous two.
  • My kids get a kick out of watching the bed inflate and deflate, especially when we use the fast deflation opening.

 

side view of the bed

 

CONs – what people didn’t like about this Aerobed for kids:

•    It can get cold because the finish is not fleece and even with the fitted cover, my son would complain of being cold. I solved this by placing an extra blanket underneath the moon and stars cover that comes with it
•    My daughter is both a restless and a light sleeper, so the squeaking noises that this bed is making are enough to wake her up. It’s far too noisy
•    I didn’t know that this is “just indoors”, they don’t stress that anywhere. But the pump is limited by the cord – you can’t charge it or use batteries. If your plans include camping trips, there are much better options out there

Final thoughts about this inflatable toddler travel bed by Aero

We love the materials used and the quality of the seams. This bed, including the fitted topper, actually looks and feels better in person than you’d guess from looking at the pictures.
We love the durable PVC and the high frame.
As a downside, we’d like to mention once more that the pump is corded and the statistically significant issue with the side valves.
Overall, a solid product with a solid bang for your buck. The rating of 88/100 in the value for money category clearly indicates that.

Intex toddler air mattress

This Intex has been in and out of the top 3 in the last 5 updates. It’s locking horns with the Lazy Nap 04K and in this time it came on top with a comfortable advantage of 2 points in the overall rating.

intex_kidz_3

 

The fact sheet:

  • Versatile design – 2 piece construction
  • Fits crib sheets – 42 x 66 x 10 “
  • Age range 3-8 pump
  • Separate hand pump for easy inflation
  • Weight 9 lbs

What meets the eye with this Intex toddler air mattress is a product very much similar to the Aerobed (the framed design). At first glance the main difference is the soft flocked finish.

What’s different with this Intex Kidz is the fact that the “core” can be used as a separate which makes the bed more versatile.
It’s affordable with great value for money, especially with the comfort of the flocked finish.

Intex toddler air mattress – excerpts from the positive reviews:

  • The bag it comes with is great, it packs very neatly and small and it’s perfect for our camping weekends
  • We got the Intex Kidz airbed for our second house in Tahoe. My 4-year old loves it. It’s pretty easy to inflate and deflate and sheets can be tucked in comfortably
  • The big thing for me was the safety and the sides of this bed are just high and sturdy enough to keep my daughter, who constantly tosses and turns, from falling over
  • This is our second air mattress for kids we bought. The first one had a few issues we just couldn’t live with – above all, the plasticky odor and the squeaking noises. None of that with the Intex Kidz
  • It’s a solid product, especially at that price point. It doesn’t leak and we only add a bit of air every few days and the design is practical.
  • I’m so relieved we didn’t have any problems transitioning from the pack’n’play when our son outgrow it. I feel it has a lot to do with the fact that this bed, it’s comfortable and he seems to love it
  • This Intex toddler air mattress is our third kids airbed that we got. Let me tell you, it’s not easy to find a good one among these. The last one we had, we spent 3 times as much and it wasn’t nearly as good in all aspects that matter. It was leaking air within a week and we’d find our son practically on the floor. This Intex is much better for much less money, amazing value.
  • This thing is a life-saver. We travel a lot and before we got this it was always a question mark about sleeping arrangements for our 3 year old. The side barriers are great for keeping her safely in and the soft velvet-like finish is so pleasant to touch.

intex kidz

Intex toddler travel bed – CONs:

  • The one that arrived was defective on-arrival. It had a hole that we couldn’t find and it would leak all of the air out within 30 minutes. We sent it back and we’re waiting for a replacement
  • The hand pump is kind of slow and it gets “old” inflating it every night if you are traveling and switching accommodations every few nights. We ended up getting an electric pump at Walmart.
  • I can’t seem to find that it’s free of BPAs and phthalates listed anywhere on the labels or in the manuals. You’d think that in the 21st century a portable baby inflatable bed would have to adhere to these standards, but since I don’t see it in written, I have to assume it doesn’t. I’m returning this and getting something that’s explicitly fee of chemicals.

Intex Kidz toddler airbed – our conclusions

The biggest forte of this product is value for money.

It’s a budget solution. If you need a toddler travel bed for only one trip, it’s very probably the best option. The price difference is not that big, but still, if it’s a one time thing, why waste money.

For the price, it’s a well-rounded product, not as easy to set up as the other beds on this list (comes with a hand pump) the design is good, the rails do the trick and the sheets can be safely tucked in.

The fact that’s in our TOP 3 in this update speaks for itself, it’s also been among the top 5 airbeds for kids for as long as we can remember.

Bottom line, solid product and great value for money (rated at 90/100 in the category).

Toddler travel beds – alternatives and their reviews

Folding toddler bed

The first alternative to a travel air mattress for your child we’d like to mention here is the foldable.

Let us point out some pros and cons of choosing a fold up toddler bed:

PROs of a folding toddler bed:

  • Considered more comfortable
  • More supportive
  • No need for inflation/deflation

CONs of a fold up bed:

  • More expensive
  • Bulkier to carry

With that said, let us get right into presenting the model of the folding toddler bed that stands out as by far the best model out there.

Made by a company with a primary reputation of making pillows this fold out bed is as good as they come.

Leachco BumpZZZ folding toddler travel bed

leachco bumpzzz folding travel bed

Some of the most important advantages:

  • The safest option
  • Allergen and chemical free materials used
  • Comfortable foam
  • Can be used as both a bed and a sitting lounge cushion
  • Made in the USA
  • Nothing to inflate
  • The center of the bed is padded for extra comfort (allergen-free foam)
  • Side bumpers
  • Easy to transport – compactly folds up
  • Washable – the foam comes out of the cover

Some of the questions people asked us:

Is it suitable for air travel?

Not really what it’s intended for. It does pack neatly and it’s pretty light, but it packs to about the size full-sized suitcase.

Do I need a sheet to use with it?

No, it has its own sleeve that’s washable.

Having said that, depending of the child’s age, a waterproof mattress cover might be a good idea in case of any “accidents”.

How thick is the padding?

The padding is soft 0.75” foam, which is good enough to be used on its own and without any additional padding.

 

leachco bumpzzz 2

 

Positive reviews of the BumpZZZ folding toddler bed:

  • Our kid is way too active for an inflatable travel bed so we went with this one. We’re very pleased so far. Perfect for camping, folds up nicely for car camping.
  • This fold up bed was a good buy. It’s exactly as advertised, from the size and packing to the padding. It’s just the right amount of padding to be comfortable without sinking to the middle. We even used it on cold bathroom tiles…no problem
  • I was hesitating for a bit before getting this folding toddler bed but boy was I glad I finally decided to spend a bit more and get this instead of an inflatable. We used to carry a tuckaire but if bulk is not that much of an issue, the comfort and the convenience of the two concepts doesn’t compare.
  • I like the design and even find the print cute, it’s gender neutral and it looks matches pretty much any color scheme. We mainly have calm earthy tones around our house and it fits in perfectly.
  • This folding baby bed become much more than that. Our son loves it so much that he brings toys in to play with. It gives us a much needed break because he doesn’t get out of the thing for hours.

 

bag travel

 

Some of the things people didn’t like about the BumpZZZ:

  • The sides are pretty soft and they are kind of smaller than they look in the pictures, so for someone with a hyper-restless sleeper on their hands, this is probably not the best solution
  • Not very functional without an additional waterproof mattress cover. If you have a baby that still has “accidents”, you have to take the whole bed apart to properly wash it. Not very convenient
  • I don’t care too much for the design of the zippers. For the price of this bed you’d expect a full, solidly made zipper.

Our thoughts on the folding toddler bed:

The BumpZZZ is for you if the following two bullet points are true:

  • You are willing to spend more to ensure comfort and convenience of your child
  • Your use doesn’t include a lot of flights

The added comfort, which cannot be matched by any other travel bed out there, comes with the price of bulk.

So, as a transition bed for around the house and camping trips, this might be the best solution. If traveling (especially air travel) is your main purpose, you are probably better off with a good inflatable.

Toddler cot – alternative no.2

regalo using the kids cotSimilar to the fold up travel bed, a cot might be the best option for you if the packing size and weight is not an issue (sleepovers & use around the house).

Very easy to set up and down, a toddler cot bed is good choice for camping trips as well. The packing size puts it somewhere between an inflatable and a foam folding bed. It is also very budget-friendly.

The best cot for kids – Regalo My Cot

Fact sheet:

  • Materials – sturdy steel frame with a durable canvas lining
  • Includes a fitted sheet and a matching travel case
  • Capacity: weight of up to 75 lbs and height of up to 52 “
  • Age: 2-5 years old
  • Weight of the cot: 6.2 pounds
  • Dimensions: 48x26x7 “

Some of the positive reviews of this toddler cot for travel:

  • I was skeptic before getting this cot, because of the price but it turned out to be a very good buy. We have a 3-year old and it’s just perfect for him , just the right size
  • A pretty good product…folds up compactly and it’s easy to store. More importantly, it’s much sturdier and feels much well made than what I’ve expected.
  • This is must-have for any parent who has a child that doesn’t like sleeping alone in a room. Our daughter sleeps on it probably 3-4 nights a week and it’s been a full year since we’ve got with zero problems or damaged parts.
  • It’s the best alternative out there to a pack n play. We first got it after ours son’s sleepover at friends house. We saw the cot as the perfect camping accessory and it is just that.
  • This toddler travel cot is a good option if accidents still happen. It’s stain proof and easy to clean
  • Folds up very nicely and fits easily into a car trunk. This is probably the best buy we made this year.
  • A solid solution to have on hand as a kids guest bed. We tried an air mattress for toddlers and a folding bed before, but we settled with this because we feel better if our son is not directly on the ground.

regalo using the kids cot

CONs as shared by the users we contacted for a review (excerpt):

  • We bought this because it was the cheapest option and we regretted it the same day. If your child is on the heavy side, the braces that run across make this cot unusable. Our son refused to sleep on it for a night because its uncomfortable.
  • Not very strong. The legs on our broke when our 4 year old stood up. I guess it’s designed for distributed pressure and it might be good for sleeping but I’m getting a travel bed for kids, how in the world am I supposed to stop them from standing and jumping on it.
  • It bent and broke just past the return date. Our son weighs 45 lbs and we’ve never seen him doing anything apart laying and sitting on this bed. I’m not sure that the frame is 100% steel.
  • Flawed design with this one – it doesn’t look into place and that should be a given for a cot. It kept folding and moving a bit for at least 4 months, then it kind of “settled” but then it broke.
  • Smaller than what you’d expect from looking at the pictures. It does work as described but with how tight this is for our 3 and a half year old, I doubt we’ll get more than 6-8 months of comfortable use.

cot img1

Our conclusions about this toddler travel cot

Let’s be clear about one thing from the start – if you’ve seen and used a folding travel bed and a travel cot for kids you’d know that the two can’t even be compared.

A folding travel bed such as the BumpZZZ we previously mentioned is a superior product in terms of convenience and above all, COMFORt. The two don’t even compare.

Having said that, let us say who this kids cot might be for.

  • It might be a good solution for you if your plan is to use it one camping trip and don’t want to spend too much, it’s very budget friendly
  • It might be good solution for occasional sleepovers

From what we’ve heard, we feel that it lacks the sturdiness and comfort to be a long lasting solution for every-night sleep. We have seen reports of people saying they have used it daily but we’ve had the about the same number of people saying that it was either uncomfortable or not durable enough.

Still, for occasional use or a one-off, it might be just what you need.

 

honorable mentions

 

Toddler air mattresses – honorable mentions

This is the section of the guide where we include the two inflatable beds for kids that we feel deserve to be mentioned but didn’t make it to the top 3.

These 3 beds have been in and out of the top 3 over the last year.

  1. The LazyNap LZ-04K
  2. The LazyNap LZ-01K
  3. Coleman Youth Single high

LazyNap LZ-04K – basic info and review excerpts

lazynap 04k

Basic info:

  • AC pump, hand-held
  • Inflation and deflation in under 3 minutes
  • Inflated size: 60x36x8”
  • Soft cover and a carry bag included
  • Colors: baby blue and white cover
  • Comes with a patch kit

Parts of the positive reviews of these kids airbed users shared with us:

  • A very good product for when your kid grows out a pack n play. This is the second inflatable we got for our son and much better then the Coleman we had previously. The side bumpers are high enough to stop him from rolling over and waking up on the floor which happened almost daily with our old bed.
  • The pump is very handy and fast and our son loves the fuzzy cover. So far so good…
  • This bed is a very good purchase, it’s easy to set up and down and packs pretty small. Most importantly, our little restless sleeper loves it.
  • We’ve got this bed for our kid about a year and a half ago and we’re using it do date. Well-made and comfortable, and the cover that comes with it is great. We used to add fitted waterproof cover while we still had accidents but today it’s just a cover.
  • I took my time looking and cots and folding beds for our kid neither was just right. The cots for kids looked to flimsy and the folding bed seemed like a hassle to clean and use, not to mention it costs 3 times as much. We got this bed and didn’t look back, it makes our lives so much easier.
  • We expected that we’d need to add air every night, but it’s very good at holding air. We top it off maybe once a week, twice max…
  • The fuzzy soft cover is lovely and the bed is just as advertised. We didn’t regret getting this bed over the folding foam kind.
  • We have a toddler that sleeps in every direction and position imaginable. The higher side bumpers compared to other similar products were the main selling point for us. And they did the trick, he still tosses and turns of course but he doesn’t roll over
  • It’s only after getting this blow up bed for our son that he agreed to sleep in his room. Now, we have his regular bed and this one beside it and he sleeps on this one 9 nights out of 10.
  • This kids air mattress is just what the doctor ordered for our family of campers. Packs very small and it’s very light, yet holds air very well. We practically never noticed that it lost any overnight. I highly recommend it.
  • The side bumpers are just right. Out 2 and a half year-old can climb in, but they keep him safely in place at nights. Even if doesn’t last that long or gets punctured, we’re getting another one.

 

lazynap kids inflatable soft cover

CONs chosen from shared user experiences:

  • I was excited to get this but I was unpleasantly surprised by the smell of plastic. I had to keep it outside for two days before using it.
  • The bed started leaking air after only about 10 uses. It’s still within the 1-year warranty so I’m sending this back.
  • It’s smaller than I expected when I ordered. Our son is 3 years old and I’m guessing he’ll outgrow this within 6 months.
  • It leaks air – we would fully inflate it but by the morning time it would loose just enough air for our son to sink into the middle, so we have to add air every night. I expected more for this price.
  • The cover feels great but it’s kind of loose and if your kid is a restless sleeper like ours you might have the problem of the cover bunching up at the center and waking up your kid. He still uses it pretty much all day, with all his toys inside but for sleeping, I’d think twice before getting this. We got the folding bed for our child after a month of back and forth.

Final thoughts on the LZ-04K Kids air mattress

First of all, let’s talk size – we feel like it’s the most important issue to address since it’s kind of unclear in the fact sheet.

The dimensions listed (62, 38, 10) are outer edges, which means that they include the bumpers which are pretty big. The fact that the bumper as so broad makes it very safe and comfy, however it makes the flat sleeping surface much smaller (about 43 x 20 5 “), so bear that in mind when making a decision.

The bed nicely fits twin fitted sheets by tucking them underneath the bed with our without the included cover.

Durability – it’s very sturdy, the maximum recommended weight is 130 lbs but we’ve seen reports of parents saying it can withstand even their weight as they read their child bedtime stories. That alone speaks towards the quality of the materials and seams.

On the other hand, the sole fact that the LZ-04K has been in the top 5 airbeds for kids in the last 6 updates to this guide (one year total) tells a pretty clear story – it is one of the best choices out there.

2nd honorable mention – LazyNap LZ-01K kids airbed

lazynap 01k

There are three main differences between this inflatable and the LZ-04K (both made by SimplyGlobo):

  • The sides of the LZ-01K are only raised, there’s no bumpers
  • The outer dimensions of the 01K are smaller compared to the 04K, but the actual sleeping surface is much bigger in the 01K (since there are no bumpers per se, only raised sides)
  • The top of the 01K is flocked for added comfort

Let’s see how SimplyGlobo is describing it:

  • 3 minutes to inflate or deflate using a hand-held AC pump
  • Inflated dimensions: 60x37x8 “
  • High-quality carry-on bag with draw-strings included
  • Very light: 7.19 pounds
  • Free patch kit

What the users shared in their reviews of the 01K kids inflatable bed:

  • This was the 2nd airbed we got for our son when he outgrew the pack n play. The main issue with the first one is that it was very noisy. No such problems with this one, I guess it’s the flocked top that makes the difference. Whatever the case, this is a great product and if you are considering an inflatable, make sure to get one with a flocked top.
  • There is a faint rubber smell when it arrives but it vents out within a few hours. Other than that, it’s just what we’ve expected and hoped for, perfect for our 5-year old.
  • The pump is fast and pretty silent. It inflated in less than 2 minutes.
  • It’s just right for a transition to a regular bed. We initially got the one with the frame bumpers but it was two small, this one allows for the kid to spread out as they do but still has enough height in the sidebars to keep my son from rolling over.
  • Could not be easier to set up and down, it take about a minute and half and you can use the pump to deflate it completely so that it packs very small.
  • A very good purchase for the price. We have a folding bed at home but we got this for the mini trips as it packs much smaller. It works as expected, holds air for days without topping it off and our son loves it.
  • This bed is actually bigger than you’d say from looking at the pictures. We got it for our 4 year old but I think we’ll be using it at least 2-3 years if it holds up.
  • An awesome airbed for our son. We got it for camping trips and such, but he loves it so much it now just stays inflated in the corner of his room and he takes naps and plays on it for a good part of the day.
  • A very comfy transition bed from a pack n play to a regular bed. The top is soft and pleasant to the touch and you can use standard twin sheets and tuck them underneath the bed.
  • Unlike our old previews Intex, this kids airbed actually allows you to pack both the bed and the pump into the bag that comes with it. It might not sound like a big deal but it is for us since we primarily got this for travel.
  • Fast shipping – we got this for our trip to Lake Tahoe and it was kind of a last-minute buy. We needed it to be with us within one day and it was.

 

lazynap 01k blow up bed kids

 

Some of the less favorable reviews of this toddler airbed:

  • The PVC fills the room with a plasticky smell as soon as you unpack it. We had to vent it out for days before using it.
  • It looks like one of internal seams burst within a week of using it, it developed a big bulge in top left corner. This is going back and we’re getting a solid fold up bed.
  • Looks solid on arrival but problems start within a month. It wouldn’t hold air for more than a day at a time and our daughter would roll of it. We’re returning this and getting the one with the higher bumpers.
  • It works pretty well but I don’t think we’ll use unless when we absolutely have to. Why? The smell, the smell is very strong and it simply doesn’t feel right leaving the kids to sleep on it until the smell is gone. We’re just keeping it on the porch for now, waiting for the smell to go away.

Few final thoughts on the LZ-01K

This bed is for kids who are not much of restless sleepers. The sides are only elevated enough to make a comfy sleeping surface and that’s why it’s fair to say that this bed is “bigger” than the ones of similar dimensions (like the 04K).

The soft flocked finish makes it less noisy than the products that are just PVC.

We have seen a lot of reports of people complaining about the plasticky smell but we don’t see that as a true issue – you just leave it out for a day and the smell is gone.

Overall, a very good product, especially at that price range.

Coleman Youth single high

Most of the airbeds we listed feature a beam inner construction, but the Coleman Youth features what they call ComfortStrong coil system that’s supposed to distribute the weight more evenly.

It supports up to 300 lbs which suggests its more of an airbed for older kids than for toddlers.

It’s also supposed to, paired with their trademarked AirTight leak-free system, eliminate any air leaks.

But does it do that?

Yes and no.

Yes up to a point to justify the price but not to the point for us to day it’s your best choice if it’s going to be used regularly. We have seen too many reports of air leaks and torn seams for that.

It is a solid budget solution for short trips or occasional use.

Coleman Youth single high

Let’s take a look at the basic info:

  • Factory tested AirTight system designed to leak-free
  • ComfortStrong coil system for better weight distribution
  • Two colors: Camo and Diamond Fun
  • Recommended maximum weigh up to 300 lbs
  • Comes with a carry-bag
  • 1-year warranty
  • Pump is sold separately (any Coleman pump will work)
  • Shipping weight 3.3 lbs, actual weight 1.29 lbs

PROs:

  • It’s a very well made and perfect for my hyper-active kid. We got it about 4 months ago and it’s taking the abuse (my son is jumping on it pretending it’ a trampoline) amazingly well. Even if it gives in, I’d still say that it’s a quality product and a good transition bed.
  • I love the cute pink diamond design. Nothing similar out there
  • Very light and packs so small, perfect as a carry on, even when we fly.
  • Just right for younger kids – we found this Coleman when our kid outgrew the regular toddler airbed, somewhere around the age of 5. This is the perfect size to last through the next few years.
  • I wrap a blanket around this bad boy and use it as a dog bed. Great value for the price.
  • Great for camping once your child reaches that certain age, maybe 5 or 6, that the regular air mattress for kids is too small and you don’t want an extra twin bed to carry around. From what I’ve seen this is the only bed that fits the bill for this period.
  • It’s very reasonably priced…
  • We travel and camp a lot with our kids. The first thing we did after they outgrew the toddler inflatables is get a twin size for a grown up. Then someone on the campsite recommended this Coleman. It’s a huge space saver, both in the car trunk and in the tent.
  • It’s big enough that I expect it will be used for years if the materials holds. Probably good for a average-sized child from the age of 5 through to at least 8 or nine.
  • I have to admit that I bough this for the brand, and I didn’t regret the decision. I have 20 years of camping behind me and I know what I can expect from each brand. When I needed a camping bed for my youngster I didn’t think twice, especially since the choices are very limited (it was Intex or Coleman). It’s my experience that a brand like Intex has nothing on Coleman when it comes to camping gear.

 

coleman youth diamond fun

Less positive review of the Coleman Youth:

  • I had to postpone a trip just because I didn’t realize this bed comes without a pump and I wasn’t gonna blow this bed up and down using my mouth for 20 days. Might even be a good product, time will tell, but note that the pump is sold separately.
  • It leaked like half of the air the first night. I wasn’t even thinking about keeping it after that. It’s a pity, I was really excited to get it in pink for my daughter.
  • It seams to be defective on arrival, right out of the box. It wouldn’t hold air for more than a few hours and no matter how hard we tried we couldn’t find the hole to patch. It’s just sitting in the shed
  • It would be a very good bed for camping if the top was flocked. This way, if you are using it with a sleeping bag, it’s not likely you’ll get a good night’s sleep sliding around.
  • If your kid is on the “stronger” side build-wise like mine son is, this will probably be too narrow.
  • I took it to one camping trip and that’s it for this bed. The surface is to slippery for a comfortable sleep, the noises it makes as you move are too loud and it looses air. Not worth the money.
  • The only way I’d be able to sleep on this is if bring an extra mat to lay on top of it to prevent slipping. Try to use only this with a sleeping bag and my guess is you’ll be sliding right off as soon as you fall asleep. I’ve been there.

Our conclusions about the Coleman Youth

First of all, let us disclose that out of 5 members of the team here at 3beds.com, two say that Coleman is their favorite brand of airbeds. So, Melissa and Alex were excluded from analyzing the Coleman Youth.

The rest of us find it strange that the choices in this interim-size if you will are so limited.

If you are taking your kid camping and they outgrew the standard toddler size, you don’t have much choice. It basically comes down to either going to full grown-up bed or this bed.

Between the two – we find this Coleman to be a much better solution, primarily space-wise. The age range is not precisely specified but it’s our estimate that this bed can be used for at least 4-5 years (if it holds up).

Final words of the guide on toddler travel beds

So, no big surprises or upsets in this update to the guide on best toddler and kid air, folding or cot beds.

The Shrunks reigns supreme and the gap in rating only became bigger since the last update.

At this point, we feel that it’s fair to say that when in this competition, there’s the Shrunks and there’s every other airbed.

Similarly, the BumpZZZ dominates the category of folding beds and the Regalo My cot the category of portable cots for juniors.

The choice between the three, of course, depends on what you need and the nature of your child. We offered precise guidelines in this guide about which of the 3 options is right for whom
We hope you find the information presented useful.

We continue to gather information and new review to keep the guide relevant and updated.

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