Buying cots: What do I have to look out for?
Cots are the perfect transitional solution between a baby bed and an adult bed. Which cot is suitable can be determined on the basis of various questions. Some parents prefer a more functional style of furnishing, others let their offspring choose the model. If there are siblings or if the children's room is quite small, the choice of bunk beds focuses on practicality. Last but not least, there are ecological and financial aspects as well as the consideration of how long the children's bed will be used. In this article, we explore, among other things, the questions of what is important when choosing a cot.
From cot to baby cot
A cot is very different from a baby cot. The cot has bars to prevent the child from falling out. The mattress can be quite high in adjustable bed models, so that parents do not have to bend down so low.
As the child grows older, it wants to crawl out of the bed and climb back in on its own. This desire usually occurs between one and a half and three years of age. When the time is ripe for kindergarten, it is also time for a new bed. With an adjustable and convertible baby bed, the adjustable mattress is lowered. In addition, movable bars can be removed or the front side of the cot can be removed completely. Various manufacturers offer additional interesting conversion options for cots so that there is no need to buy a new cot.
To determine the right size, the rule of thumb is:
If the child is lying on the mattress, there should be at least ten centimetres of space at both the head and foot ends. If this is not the case or if the cot is not suitable for conversion, a new cot must be purchased. It is characterised by the fact that it is shorter than the parents' beds, also it can show very variable shapes. We have listed these below.
Another tip: If the front of the converted bed is completely open, it is advisable to place a soft mattress or similar in front of the bed for a while. If the child accidentally rolls out of bed during sleep, it will fall softly. The instinct that normally prevents us from falling out because we know where the boundaries of the bed are even when we are asleep, only develops over time.
Buying safe children's beds - our 7 tips
If you want to buy a new cot, you should pay attention to some basic characteristics.
- These include, for example, the Blue Angel seal, which confirms the ecological safety of the basic materials as well as the paints and varnishes. These are also saliva-proof and odourless.
- The GS seal stands for tested safety: the child cannot injure itself on sharp edges or protruding components. All corners are gently rounded; a fact that also increases the charm of the bed.
- The "Golden M" seal of approval stands for tested quality, guaranteed safety and healthy living and is only awarded to furniture manufacturers who meet these strict criteria.
- Pay attention to the safety certificates not only for the bed frame and slatted frame, but also for the mattress, blanket and pillows as well as their covers. Many beds are sold as complete packages. If toys are included as an added value, they should also be low in harmful substances and safe for your child's age. If there is no proof of harmlessness, it is better to assemble the individual parts of the bed yourself.
- Make sure that the mattress does not rest on a wooden platform but on a slatted frame. The air circulation is considerably better. Of course, this tip also applies to the purchase of baby beds.
- Another point of assessment: Has the bed been manufactured in an environmentally friendly way?
- Find out about the current test winners via consumer portals such as Öko-Test.
Buy practical children's beds
- Convertible beds that turn a baby bed into a cot are particularly practical. Convertible beds are not inexpensive, but they are timeless and durable. Their clever construction allows them to be converted several times over many years. In this way, the price is amortised, because the cot ultimately becomes a beautiful youth bed that fits into many furnishing styles.
- Loft beds also have a great practical benefit. They bring the children's bed together with the question of space and playability. They have a ladder, often a slide and sometimes a climbing rope or net. There are stairs whose substructures are also drawers with lots of storage space. Superstructures with a knight's tower or fairytale castle tower are very popular. The front of the bed is secured by sturdy wooden parts so that the child cannot fall out. You can choose between a playful, a romantic, an adventurous and a more businesslike atmosphere. Loft beds offer above all plenty of storage space under the bed. Here, cupboards can be fitted, a play desk or desk can be placed or a cosy corner can be set up.
- Another variant of loft beds are double bunk beds for siblings. They take up little space. They are also available with numerous play variations and practical additions.
- If you have very little space and your wallet doesn't allow for big jumps, you can think about a murphy bed. It disappears during the day and is only unfolded at night. In this case, you are already buying an adult bed. With a little imagination, you can certainly create a child-friendly atmosphere around the bed, for example with posters, cuddly animals and other ideas.
Where should I buy cots?
You have the choice between buying online and buying in a shop. Baby outfitters often stock some children's beds, big furniture shops do too. If you find a good advisor here, you are on the safe side. However, the price may be higher than if you buy online. On the net, you can find used children's beds as well as new ones, but there is no advice. Therefore, read the customer reviews on the beds and the ratings on the sellers. Used beds are cheap, but above all they should be in perfect condition so that your child cannot injure itself.
Our checklist for buying a cot:
- Set a budget.
- How much playtime should/must be possible?
- What about the space in the room?
- Which materials do you prefer?
- Look for quality and certificates such as the Blue Angel, the Golden M and the GS mark.
- Decide on a bed shape (convertible bed, loft bed, play bed ...).
- Browse in shops and on the internet and then choose where you shop
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