Best Travel Cribs — Buyers Guide, Review, and Comparison

When you first have a baby, thinking about traveling or your little one spending a night away from you, could be far from your mind. But the reality is that life moves on. Travel cribs provide your little one with a safe and familiar sleeping or playing environment — wherever they may be, no matter who is taking care of them. Being able to provide these familiar surroundings could make the difference between a successful sleepover and a disastrous one.

Lotus-Travel-Crib review

The Lotus Travel crib is a lightweight portable crib that’s easily packed away into its own backpack. This ensures you have your hands free to tend to your baby while on the move. It offers a no-tool assembly, side zipper door and child-safe certifications.

  • Includes a backpack storage bag.
  • Certified GreenGuard Gold non-toxic certification.
  • Lightweight.

Product Rating: 4.9/5

Travel Cribs Buying Guide

Travel cribs make traveling with your baby easy. But they can also be used in other rooms of your home, garden and are ideal for those sleepovers with grandparents.

A portable crib provides you with flexibility — even when you’re not on the move — it can also be a safe place to put your baby for short periods of time. However, trying to narrow down the perfect travel crib for your needs can be tricky. Let me explain all.

Do You Need a Travel Crib?

The short answer here would be no, you don’t need a travel crib for your baby. That said, it can be an extremely useful piece of equipment to have around, especially if your baby sleeps out regularly. Personally, I’ve used a travel crib on vacations by car and found it to be a great way to provide a quick, safe and comfortable place for my kids to sleep.

Travel cribs have a number of uses, such as, a:

  • Play-yard in your home or your garden.
  • Sleeping area while traveling or visiting family.
  • Safe space when at the beach or park.

Pros of Using a Travel Crib

  • Lightweight and compact.
  • Can be taken anywhere with you.
  • Fast assembly when you arrive at your destination.
  • Provides a safe, comfortable environment for your baby.
  • Most are easily machine washable.
  • Mesh material allows for full visibility and ventilation.

Cons of Using a Travel Crib

  • Pop-up travel cribs can live up to their name and ‘pop up’ unexpectedly when removed from their bags.
  • As the mattress tends to be extremely low to the ground, it can be difficult to place a sleeping child in a travel cot.
  • A travel crib mattress is thinner in comparison to a regular crib mattress. Don’t be tempted to replace it with another one, as travel cots are designed to be used with the original mattress.

What Types of Travel Crib Are There?

There are two main types of travel cribs currently available. They are:


This is the most common type of travel crib that you will find. This type collapses and comes with a removable mattress. Some can be extremely bulky and heavy, but you can get lighter ones that are ideal for carrying anywhere — grandma’s house, hiking, camping, etc.


These are a smaller version of the standard travel crib. Most are suitable for babies from birth until they can support themselves on their hands and knees. They’re super fuss-free to assemble and typically the size of an average shopping bag when packed away.

What To Look for When Choosing a Travel Crib

Here are a few things that you need to consider when searching for the perfect travel crib for your little one.

Size and Weight

This may sound like stating the obvious, however, the dimensions and bulk of the travel crib is something you should consider. And, this will depend on your intended use. 

Ask yourself, how often will you use your travel crib? Is it just for those occasional vacations or sleepovers, or will it be used regularly at home (and away)? 

A travel crib should be lightweight and compact, so that you can carry it with you. Granted if a play-yard at home is your main goal, this won’t be so much of an issue. That said, you still may want to move it between rooms, or even into the backyard. 

Ease of Set Up

As a parent, I can pretty much guarantee that after a long day of traveling or exploring, you don’t want to be spending hours trying to put together a travel crib.

Simplicity should be the operative word here — try and avoid those that need an engineering degree to assemble. Choose one that’s fuss-free to operate, preferably one that doesn’t even require a user manual.

Comfort Level

The purpose of this item is to provide your little one with a comfortable sleeping environment. Let’s face it, if they sleep, so can you. 

You need to check out the padding of the mattress, as in, how deep it is, and the level of support it offers. Remember, a mattress for a baby should be flat and firm, not soft and saggy. 

Another point to consider is the quality of the materials used in the travel crib — are breathable materials used and is there adequate ventilation? All of these things will help to keep your baby comfortable.

Washable Covers

We all know that babies are messy little creatures. If you’re planning on using your travel crib frequently, pick one with a machine-washable fabric and/or mattress. This will not only keep the sleeping area hygienic for your baby but it will also keep your travel crib looking its best.


The safety of your little one is a top priority, and the travel crib you purchase will very much depend on the age, weight and height of your little one. For instance, a crib for a toddler needs to have something in place to stop them from climbing out.

You will also need to take note of the materials and ensure it’s tot-friendly, in that, no harmful chemicals have been used. 

Is the frame built from a sturdy enough material in order to prevent it from toppling over or bending? Also, check before you purchase that the travel crib complies with official safety standards. 

Available Accessories

Many travel cribs come with the basic accessories, such as a carry bag or backpack.

However, you can also find a plethora of extras to tailor your tot’s crib. For example, changing units, bassinet inserts for infants or cot mobiles.

Top Travel Cribs — Our Picks

Finding the best travel crib for your baby could turn into a time-consuming affair, and I’m sure with a little one in your life, spare time is in short supply. So, to make things a little easier, I’ve put together some of my favorites for you.

Lotus Travel Crib – Backpack Portable

If wanderlust is always on your mind and you want to take the little one with you, the Lotus Travel Crib may be of interest. It’s a lightweight, portable crib that fits into a backpack — so, you can keep your hands free when on the go. 

Weighing 13 pounds, combined with its compact size, makes it suitable for travel by air, sea or car. In just a few steps it can be set up, ready to use in a matter of minutes and is just as easy to pack away — ideal for stopovers or pit stops on road trips. 

The Lotus Travel Crib can be used for multiple purposes, such as a play-yard, and for sleeping. It’s an eco-healthy cot that comes with GreenGuard Gold certification — meaning it contains zero phthalates, PVC, lead or heavy metals. This crib is also certified baby safe.

What’s more, it comes with a plush, foam mattress with a waterproof cover — perfect for those little mishaps.

Lotus-Travel-Crib review

Product Rating: 4.9/5

Functionality: 95%
Design: 95%
Price 90%


  • Full height breathable mesh.
  • Hands-free backpack carry bag.
  • Crawl through zipper door.
  • Parent-friendly to set up and take down.
  • GreenGuard Certification.


  • Mattress could be a touch thicker.

Graco Pack and Play Portable Playard

For moms and dads seeking a safe place for baby to play, the Graco Travel crib Playard could appeal. Its two-wheeled design allows you to transport from room to room without having to collapse it. 

It has a fairly intuitive setup — you basically push the middle section of the bottom of the play-yard down, and everything just snaps in place. However, it’s likely you’ll need to familiarize yourself with the instructions for the first few attempts.

This play-yard doesn’t include a bassinet insert, unlike the Graco Travel Lite Crib, however, its generous floor area provides plenty of room for your little one to move around.

The mattress pad is quite plush and comes with straps that thread through the bottom of the frame to prevent it from shifting out of place.

With mesh covering all four sides of the crib, not only does it allow ventilation but it also provides you with a clear view — so you can see what your child is doing. And, located on one end is a storage pouch, just the place for keeping your little one’s favorite toys close by.


Product Rating: 4.8/5

Functionality: 90%
Design: 95%
Price 90%


  • Carry bag included.
  • Sits up off the ground.
  • Compact when packed down.
  • Wheels for easy repositioning.


  • Not the lightest portable travel crib.

BABY JOY Baby Foldable Travel Crib

Weighing only 11 pounds, the BABY JOY travel crib is the lightest out of my five favorites, making it a super portable crib. Constructed out of aluminum, it’s also extremely durable. 

Assembly is a breeze, with its push-button operation taking under a minute to carry out. Perfect after a long journey when you don’t want to spend hours setting up a portable baby crib.

It also comes with full height mesh sides that help to enhance air circulation and visibility. Plus, the zipper door offers you a convenient way to pop your little one in or take them out. 

The mattress is both soft and comfortable, and fully washable. In fact, the entire travel cot can be detached from the frame, washed and put back together quite easily — handy for cleanups when little accidents occur.


Product Rating: 4.7/5

Functionality: 90%
Design: 90%
Price 85%


  • Quick push-button setup.
  • Durable materials.
  • Super easy to wash and dry.
  • Sturdy build and design for stability.


  • No option for bassinet insert or changing table.

BABYBJORN Travel Crib Light

In my view, the BJORN Travel Crib could be one of the best for a baby’s delicate skin. This portable cot for kids is certified OEKO-TEX Standard 100 — meaning the fabrics used are free from any harsh chemicals that could harm your child. 

This 13-pound portable baby bed boasts a one-move setup, which can be completed in under a minute, to both open and fold back down — suitable for quick impromptu uses.

The mattress is soft yet firm enough to provide a cozy and safe portable bedroom for bubba. And, its breathable mesh sides increase visibility and allow the air to flow.It arrives with a fitted sheet — saving you the fuss of finding one to fit. What’s more, if you wish to take the child-friendly approach a step further, an organic cotton sheet is also made for this travel crib (additional purchase).


Product Rating: 4.7/5

Functionality: 90%
Design: 90%
Price 85%


  • Aesthetically pleasing design.
  • Once assembled, the crib is stable.
  • Breathable fabric.
  • Includes fitted sheet. 
  • OEKO-TEX certified material.


  • High price point could be a sticking point for some parents.

HEAO Travel Crib

As a parent, I appreciate how wallet-draining kids can be, hence, getting the most out of my money is always high on my agenda. If you’re of the same opinion, the HEAO portable travel crib might warrant a closer look. 

This cot for kids incorporates all the essentials you would expect. It comes with breathable mesh sides — allowing you to watch your little one without hassle, and also providing adequate ventilation when they’re snoozing. 

The non-tip design, anti-rust aluminum frame is robust enough to withstand toddler time as well as tummy time — with an age range up to around 36 months.

While setup takes around one to 5 minutes, it’s not the fastest of my five. Yet, it does pack away neatly into a carrying bag — suggesting it’s well-suited for days out at the beach, the park or for putting in the trunk en route to grandma. 

The HEAO travel crib comes with a soft sponge mattress complete with straps to keep it firmly in place — allowing nap time to be a stress-free affair. And, the mattress cover, plus all the crib fabric, is removable and washable, so you can ensure that your baby’s ‘zone’ is always clean.


Product Rating: 4.6/5

Functionality: 90%
Design: 85%
Price 85%


  • Includes non-move mattress straps.
  • Fabric is removable for machine washing.
  • Tool-free to put up.
  • Around the size of a large briefcase when folded.


  • Inclusion of a side door would be an improvement.


Being able to travel with your little one or even have a night off while they stay with family can be a sanity-saver. This is where a travel crib can help you provide your baby with that cozy and familiar place to sleep — no matter where they are.

However, it’s not all about nighttime or naptime — it can offer a safe spot for them to play, while you tackle that mountain-sized pile of laundry. They’re far more practical than taking a standard crib when your baby sleeps out.

Before deciding on the right travel crib for you, think about how you will get the most out of it — travel, playpen, or for sleeping out. Next, consider how portable you would like your travel crib to be, the weight and how straightforward it is to set up and take down. 

But most importantly, you should ensure that the travel crib you choose is perfect for your baby and your family’s situation and needs!

Travel Crib FAQs

Do You Really Need a Travel Crib?

The answer to this question will very much depend on your personal situation. If you travel frequently, or if your baby spends nights with grandparents or with aunties and uncles, a travel crib is a valuable piece of equipment. Being lightweight and small in size makes them super portable and convenient.

Can You Use a Travel Crib as Regular Crib?

It’s perfectly safe for your baby to take a nap in a travel crib. As for nighttime sleeping, providing the travel crib is approved for this, it should also be suitable.

What Should Baby Sleep in When Traveling?

There are two options for your baby to sleep in when traveling. You can choose the obvious travel crib, or you could look at a Pack ‘n Play. Pack ‘n Plays do tend to be a touch on the heavier side, but they generally work for a variety of ages from infants to toddlers up to 30 pounds.

What Is the Best Travel Crib?

It’s difficult to pick one that will be the perfect fit for every family. It will depend on the intended use, how much traveling you do, and what kind of travel. However, if I were to choose one, the Lotus Travel Crib would be my favorite.