If your toddler is finally ready to transition into a toddler bed, you may have some concerns. Of course, this is normal. Going from a crib to a big kid bed may seem like a scary experience for both you and your child, but there are some little things you can do to put each of your minds at ease. I’m talking about toddler bed rails.
My youngest son was notorious for sliding out of his bed in the middle of the night or rolling off onto the floor. I was worried he would get hurt and that is why I looked into purchasing toddler bed rails for him. He was just starting to sleep in his big kid bed and while he was excited, he was also a little nervous. Having the rails attached to his bed allowed him to relax and get a good night’s sleep, and also kept me from having to pick him up and put him back into his bed every night.
In this guide, we will talk about everything and anything to do with toddler bed rails to help you decide which is the best for you to buy for your child.
Carry on reading or jump straight to our number #1 pick on Amazon here.
Table of Contents
- Types of Toddler Bed Rails
- What Should I Look for in Toddler Bed Rails?
- Here’s How I’ve Determined the Best Toddler Bed Rails
- Our Top Picks for the Best Toddler Rails of 2021
- #1: Munchkin Sleep Toddler Bed Rail (Best Overall)
- #2: Hiccapop Convertible Crib Toddler Bed Rail Guard (Best For Convertible Crib)
- #3: Regalo Swing Down Bed Rail Guard (Best For a Larger Bed)
- #4: Hiccapop Toddler Bed Rail Bumper (Best Foam Bed Bumpers)
- #5: Dream On Me Mesh Security Rail (Best Low Cost)
- #6: Hiccapop Inflatable Bed Rail for Toddlers (Best Portable Bumper)
- #7: Regalo Swing Down Double Sided Bed Rail Guard (Best Double Sided Bed Rails)
- Frequently Asked Questions
- Verdict: Your Best Toddler Bed Rails
Types of Toddler Bed Rails
There are several different types of toddler bed rails out there to choose from. Below I will go over some of the most popular ones, so you can figure out which is going to be best for your child.
Fixed Bed Rails
These are the simplest compared to the other types. A fixed bed rail is just a panel that doesn’t move or fold, which you install under the mattress.
Who Are They Best For?
This will depend on the size and construction of the toddler bed. If you have one that is well-equipped for a fixed bed rail, they can be a great choice.
Portable Bed Rails
Most of the time these bed bumpers are inflatable, giving you the most portability. They are just as simple to set up as foam bumpers, but they can be packed away easier.
Who Are They Best For?
If you already know that your family enjoys traveling or making frequent weekend trips to Grandma’s house, then a portable bed rail might be a great option for your toddler.
Fold-Down Bed Rails
Instead of having a stationary bed rail, you can opt to purchase one that folds down, so it is out of the way when you don’t need it.
Who Are They Best For?
If you have a very independent child who loves to climb, a fold-down toddler bed guard rail would probably work best, so they can get in and out of their bed easily.
Convertible Bed Rails
These rails are usually only used for a toddler bed that has been converted from a crib. It will not work with queen or twin beds.
Who Are They Best For?
You will usually need a kit to convert the crib into a toddler bed. Most of the time it involves lowering the base so the bed frame is closer to the floor and removing slats from one side. Adding a guard rail for extra security can help you feel more at ease.
Foam Bed Rails
Typically they are referred to as a “bed bumper.” Most will just lay under the fitted sheet and act as a soft barrier to keep your child from falling out of bed.
Who Are They Best For?
These bed rails are simple and require zero installation or work to set up. If you want a more squishy bed rail, these are great.
What Should I Look for in Toddler Bed Rails?
When shopping for some toddler bed rails, there are certain must-have features that you should look for. This will ensure that you are getting the most reliable and safe product possible. Below I have compiled a list of some of the things that I believe are most important, and I’m sure that other parents will agree.
The purpose of a bed rail for your little one’s big kid bed is to prevent injury. Having a guardrail that effectively keeps them from falling at night is the reason you are even reading this!
Ease of Assembly and Installation
No one wants to struggle to put the bed rail together or to attach it to the toddler bed. You want it to be secure, but also not feel like you need an engineering degree to set it up.
Size doesn’t usually matter since most toddler beds are all the same. However, you will want a guardrail that will accommodate a larger bed if you feel they will still need rails when they move into a twin or full bed, for example.
There are several types of rails and bed bumpers to choose from, as I mentioned previously. Finding the right one will come down to personal preference and bed size.
Here’s How I’ve Determined the Best Toddler Bed Rails
Whenever I am looking to buy something, I always go through a similar process. Even though I usually have some form of loyalty to certain brands, I look to the reviews for the best information. When it comes to products for my kids, I only want the best of the best, and I know other parents feel the same. I will only purchase or add items to this list if the comments are overwhelmingly positive. I would never want junk, and neither would you!
Our Top Picks for the Best Toddler Rails of 2021
#1: Munchkin Sleep Toddler Bed Rail (Best Overall)
Dimensions: 36 x 18 inches
Weight: 5.9 lbs
Material: Metal and polyester
Even though this toddler bed rail is more expensive than the others, I believe it deserves the top spot for the best overall bed rail. We have used this one for our youngest child when he was still bed-sharing, and I have never had any complaints about it. There are so many reasons why I love it, and below you will find the two major ones that led me to give it the number one spot.
It Is Incredibly Easy to Assemble
Munchkin says that it takes one minute to set up this bed rail and trust me, they weren’t kidding. I often struggle with putting things together or setting them up and then leaving them for my husband. I honestly thought it was going to be the same with this toddler bed rail, but I was wrong. I was able to attach the straps to the box spring quickly and easily, and there was no gap in between the mattress and the bed rail. I never had any reason to worry about it coming loose.
The Hinges Don’t Cause Concern
Kids will touch everything; it’s just how they learn and explore. That being said, I was concerned about my son’s fingers getting pinched since it folds down. However, the design of the hinges prevents that. Not once has he hurt himself while playing around with this bed rail. Since I saw reviews from other parents who purchased different bed rails mention this being a problem, it was one of the first things I checked for in both reviews and when I first took it out of the box. I was really impressed.
What are some other notable features of this bed rail?
- Meant for children ages 2-5 years
- Easy to wipe clean when needed
- Bed rail swings down easily with a push of a button
- Fits twin, full, and queen mattresses
- Even though quick and easy, it still requires assembly
- Not great for on-the-go use
Even though we don’t typically use this toddler bed rail anymore, I still highly recommend it to anyone I know who is looking for one. However, it’s good to keep in mind that this isn’t made for a toddler bed. The straps attach to the box spring and not the frame. Toddler beds only use mattresses and not a frame. There are still other great options for that if you need one that fits a toddler bed. This one may have a higher price point, but it is so worth it if you have the budget to afford it.
#2: Hiccapop Convertible Crib Toddler Bed Rail Guard (Best For Convertible Crib)
Dimensions: 33 x 16 inches
Weight: 4.4 lbs
Material: Metal, plastic, and nylon
I really like this toddler bed rail because of how sturdy it is. It’s made perfectly for a convertible crib that has transitioned into a bed. It fits great and keeps your little one safe and sound while they slumber. Let’s talk about some of the reasons why this toddler bed rail is one of the best.
Steel Clamps Attach It Directly to the Bed Frame
You will notice that some bed rails are designed to anchor to the mattress or box spring. This one is different because it is designed to attach to the actual bed frame instead. You will never have to worry about anything coming undone or loosening.
Lifetime Satisfaction Guarantee
Hiccapop stands by this toddler bed rail guard enough that they gave it a 100% lifetime guarantee. This includes the anchor safety system. They believe that the construction of this bed rail is the safest on the market, and they back that up with this guarantee that it is able to last a lifetime.
Here are some other features of this toddler bed rail.
- Made of hardened steel and heavy-duty fabric that won’t tear
- Lead-free and no phthalates
- Passes all federal safety regulations
- Fits all major brands of cribs
- Safety latches lock the bed rail into place
- Bed rail swings down for easy access
- You’ll need to keep little hands away from the steel clamps for safety
- It can only be used with a crib or toddler bed
What I like about brands like Hiccapop is that they always have such helpful people working their customer service line. If you ever have any issues or questions, someone is happy to help every time you call. This crib rail is a great asset if you are converting your child’s crib into a toddler bed. Your child can still have the freedom to get in and out of bed as they please, but you will have peace of mind knowing that they won’t fall out of bed and injure themselves in the middle of the night. If you have a convertible crib, I highly recommend this bed rail as the best option for you.
#3: Regalo Swing Down Bed Rail Guard (Best For a Larger Bed)
Dimensions: 43 x 20 inches
Weight: 7 lbs
If your little one is ready to move on to a big bed but still needs the extra protection that a bed rail provides, then this would be a great choice. It is sized perfectly for a twin or queen-size bed, giving you peace of mind at bedtime. This particular toddler bed rail has some great features. Read on to see what some of my favorites are.
It Has a Swing Down Feature
This is probably my favorite thing about this bed rail. It makes it so easy for your child to get in and out of bed all on their own. Plus, it also makes changing sheets a breeze for you as well. You won’t have to worry about fighting with a stationary guardrail to get the sheet off the mattress.
It Has a Reinforced Anchor Safety System
This steel-framed toddler bed guard rail was made to last and to also keep your child safe and secure. An anchoring strap attaches the bed rail to the bed with ease right under the mattress. This allows the rail to stay in place no matter how many times your child gets in and out of their bed.
What are some other features of this toddler bed rail?
- Machine washable rail cover
- No tools required for assembly
- Certified by the American Testing Society and Juvenile Product Manufacturer Association
- 43 x 20 inches
- The steel frame is enclosed by nylon mesh fabric to ensure softness and comfort
- It is designed for a twin and queen bed
- It requires both a mattress and a boxspring
If you want a toddler bed rail that works well with multiple mattress sizes, this is a great choice. It is designed to fit properly with a box spring, so this wouldn’t work with your typical toddler bed. However, many parents still use these bed rails with larger beds and that is exactly what they were designed for.
#4: Hiccapop Toddler Bed Rail Bumper (Best Foam Bed Bumpers)
Dimensions: 52 x 7 x 4.5 inches
Weight: 12 oz
Material: Non-toxic urethane foam
The first thing you will notice is that foam bumpers are so much different compared to other bed rails. This is mostly because they aren’t actually a rail at all. If this already sounds good to you, then this may be the right bumper for your child. Read on to see what makes the Hiccapop Toddler Bed Rail Bumper the best foam bumper.
There’s Absolutely No Assembly Required
Foam bed bumpers are “installed” on your child’s bed in literally seconds. All you have to do is place it on the side you want underneath the fitted sheet, and you’re all set. The sheet is what is going to hold it in place to keep your child from rolling out of bed. It is really that simple.
It’s Soft and Comfortable
While it’s true that even though most toddler bed rails are made out of metal and simply covered with cloth or mesh, they aren’t uncomfortable. However, it can still feel that way to some children. If your child seems like they could benefit from a bed rail that is more like a soft pillow, this one will work great for them.
Here are some other details that are important to mention about this bed bumper.
- Water-resistant and machine washable cover
- Steep 4.5-inch height
- Certi-PUR US foam is completely chemical-free and hypoallergenic
- Passes all federal safety standards for bed rails
- Made for use in a full size bed
- It can slide around since it is also secured by the mattress cover
There is no reason to worry about this bed bumper. I’ll admit, I was concerned that this and any other foam bumper would provide the safety that a traditional bed rail would. I am pleasantly surprised to learn that I was wrong. This passes all safety and durability tests, and parents have rated it very highly. If you are thinking about purchasing a foam bumper, I would definitely recommend this one over any other. Plus, you have the option to purchase a 2 pack if you want to have one on both sides of the bed.
#5: Dream On Me Mesh Security Rail (Best Low Cost)
Dimensions: 33 x 15 inches
Weight: 2 lbs
Material: Metal and mesh fabric
This is a simple yet effective bed rail that works just great for a low price. It is made to fit only a twin bed, so I wouldn’t choose this if you have a full, queen, or convertible crib. However, it still has some great features that many parents love. Read on to see what the main reasons are to purchase this bed rail.
It’s Easy to Assemble
Just like many of the bed rails included on this list, this one requires little to no effort to put together and install. You don’t need any tools, and it’s ready to go in seconds. The anchor safety strap safely attaches to the box spring of the bed, and the weight of the mattress keeps the bed rail from moving around.
There Are Several Color Options
Even though this isn’t one of the details that affect how well this bed rail works, it can still be important to some parents. You won’t see this with any of the other guard rails on this list. If you are looking for something that sets this one apart, this is it. Sometimes it’s fun coordinating with your child’s bedroom décor.
What are some other features of this toddler bed rail?
- Made with breathable mesh fabric
- Easy to wipe down and clean
- Rounded angle with no-catch edges
- Includes reinforced anchor safety system and stabilizer bar
- It only fits toddler and twin size beds
- It’s small compared to the other rails
There’s no denying that this is a very affordable and safe bed rail that would be a great choice if you have a smaller budget. However, it doesn’t swing down like most of the others do, and it will only fit with a twin-size mattress. If neither of those things is a deal-breaker for you, then you will probably be very happy with this bed guard rail.
#6: Hiccapop Inflatable Bed Rail for Toddlers (Best Portable Bumper)
Dimensions: 10 x 7 x 4 inches
Weight: 2.2 lbs
If you are a family that likes to take vacations or road trips, you are probably trying to figure out how to best accommodate your toddler at bedtime. Depending on where they sleep, it may be a concern that they will fall out of bed, especially if you are staying at a hotel. Luckily, inflatable bumpers like this one can help with that. Let’s talk about some of the features, so you can see why I included this on the list.
It’s Easy to Store
Not only are you able to deflate these bumpers at the end of the night and pack them away, but they also come with a convenient carry bag. This makes them easy to find after a long day of flying or driving, so you don’t have to fiddle around with your luggage.
No Air Pump Required
It’s nice that you don’t have to worry about how you are going to inflate the bumpers since these don’t need an air pump to inflate. However, you don’t need a whole lot of breath, either. These were designed to inflate in seconds, so we parents don’t tire ourselves out during the setup.
Here are some more notable features of these bumpers.
- Machine-washable covers
- Comes in a 2 pack
- Has thin non-skid strips to hold it in place
- Made with extra-thick, leak-proof vinyl
- Passes all federal safety laws
- It doesn’t leak but still needs inflation after a few uses
- It’s not very tall
If you want to take a little getaway with your partner and let the kids spend a few days at their grandma’s house, this is perfect for that. Any sort of travel or vacation will be a breeze with these bumpers if you have a toddler. They are easy to use and you won’t have to worry about your little one falling out of bed in the middle of the night. It’s a win-win situation!
#7: Regalo Swing Down Double Sided Bed Rail Guard (Best Double Sided Bed Rails)
Dimensions: 43 x 20 inches
Weight: 1 lb each
Material: Alloy steel
This is the same as our #3 pick, but instead, you get two of them. Not every child needs more than one guard rail, and this is going to be determined by where their bed is set up. However, if you need more than one, this set is going to be your best choice compared to others on value and prices. Let’s talk about why we included these guard rails to round out the top list.
It’s Perfect if Their Bed Is Not Against a Wall
It probably seems obvious that if you don’t have your toddler’s bed set up against the wall, you will need two rails. Personally, I usually have my little ones’ beds up against a wall because it works best for the setup of their room. After all, they share. However, this isn’t always the best choice for every bedroom, and that is why double-sided rails work to keep your child from rolling out of bed on either side.
It Accommodates Thicker Mattresses
A worry for some parents is whether or not the guard rail they choose is going to work for the size mattress that they have. Regalo makes their rails 20 inches high, so you won’t ever have to worry about the mattress your child is using. It is guaranteed to fit with any twin or queen-sized mattress.
Here are some other features that are worth mentioning about these guard rails.
- Machine-washable rail cover
- Exclusive Gap Guard feature that ensures a perfect fit to the mattress
- All-steel frame
- No tools required for assembly
- Can only be used with both mattress and boxspring
- Will not work properly if the straps aren’t adjusted perfectly
These rails are the perfect choice if your little one’s big kid bed isn’t going to be up against a wall. The added security and safety provisions allow you and your child to get a good night’s sleep. If you are looking into purchasing a new bed for your child or already have one and are concerned about falls, then a rail like this one could work if you need double-sided.
Frequently Asked Questions
Are Bed Rails Safe for Toddlers?
Bed rails are perfectly safe for toddlers. They just need to be installed and used correctly to prevent injuries. Many of these toddler bed rails include some sort of anchor safety system to ensure that your toddler will not fall out of bed if they bump into the rail while they sleep. Each of the bed rails on this list was designed to stay on their bed during the night, so there is no need to worry about safety.
How Do I Know When My Toddler Is Ready for a Toddler Bed?
Every child is different, and this is especially true for toddlers. Once you think they can safely get in and out of a toddler bed on their own, they might be ready. I noticed both of my boys were ready at different ages (my oldest was 18 months while my youngest was 2.5 years). However, the situation for each of them was similar. When they were pros at walking and climbing and showed signs of not wanting to sleep in their crib, I knew they were getting ready for the transition. Luckily, it was pretty seamless. They both love their toddler beds and have been sleeping better than ever.
How Long Do Toddlers Need Bed Rails?
It is recommended that you use a bed rail for your child until at least age 5. This is when it will be less likely for them to suffer injuries from falling out of bed. Even though your little one can probably climb really well at a much younger age, it is better to keep them well protected since you can’t predict what will happen while they sleep. Bed bumpers and rails are like training wheels. Once they are old enough, you can stop using them.
How Can I Make the Transition to a Toddler Bed Easier?
I found that having a solid bed routine really helped my children settle into their new big kid beds much more easily. We keep it consistent every night, and they have no problems will falling asleep in their beds. This includes bedtime stories at the same time before bed, which help them relax and get them ready for sleep.
Another thing that helped the transition was getting them themed bedding that features characters that they really love. Letting them be part of the process made it so much more fun for them and took away the initial fear they had. Parents, let your toddler get involved with the process. I promise that it is a lifesaver!
Verdict: Your Best Toddler Bed Rails
Here is the takeaway for the best toddler bed rail.
If you want the best overall, pick the Munchkin Sleep Toddler Bed Rail. It has a lot of features, such as the swing down and pinch-free hinges that make this rail a no-brainer for the price.
If you are looking for the best rail for a convertible crib, pick the Hiccapop Convertible Crib Toddler Bed Rail Guard. It’s easy to use and made to fit perfectly under a crib mattress.
For the best for a larger bed, pick the Regalo Swing Down Bed Rail Guard. This rail guard is ideal for a queen or twin bed, making it great for bedsharing or transitioning your child into a larger bed.
For the best foam bed bumper, pick the Hiccapop Toddler Bed Rail Bumper. If you don’t want to fuss with straps, this foam bumper fits just under the fitted sheet on top of the mattress.
If you want to spend under $25, pick the Dream On Me Mesh Security Rail. If you are looking for something simple but also high quality and low cost, this bed rail is a great option.
For the best portable bed bumper, pick the Hiccapop Inflatable Bed Rail for Toddlers. This is the perfect option for travel out of all of the other products, mostly because it’s so easy to store.
If you are looking for the best double-sided bed rail, pick the Regalo Swing Down Double Sided Bed Rail Guard. If your child’s bed is not up against a wall, this double-sided rail is perfect for added security.
Choosing the right bed rail for your toddler when they are moving to a big kid bed can seem like a difficult task. There are so many types to consider, and you might be feeling overwhelmed. The bright side is that each of the rails on this list is different and has unique features that will ultimately make your decision for you. This can be especially helpful since as parents it can seem like we are always trying to figure out what is best for our kids, even with something as simple as a rail guard for their bed. I put this list together intending to guide you toward making the right purchase, so you can choose the right design for the bed that you own and that would be best suited for your child’s needs. Knowing that you have found a rail guard that will keep your child safe and sound while they sleep is going to help you get some sleep as well!