As a city dweller, I know square footage in a child’s bedroom is precious. And the difference between a twin and a toddler bed is some serious space to play in. During those three-ish years for kids, the latter is a game changer.

I figured this out when living in my 500-square-foot San Francisco apartment with two toddlers (now tweens). Even though my oldest was due to grow out of a toddler bed in 24 months, it was an obvious choice in a tinier home.

Also, toddler beds are an objectively cuter size. Like the bed in my daughter’s current room, it fits with all the mini furniture and makes you feel like you’re in Alice in Wonderland. As each of my three kids grew out of their cribs, I’ve done extensive research. Here are some of my favorite toddler beds (and bedding).

Play House

This modern Scandi-inspired design just might encourage your toddler to crawl in on their own. Plus it doubles as a fun zone for making forts and having quiet hangout time.

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Sweedi Toddler House Bed, The Home Depot ($157)
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Sleep On a Cloud

I love this cozy upholstered option, especially for the age when they’re learning not to fall off the bed. Can all furniture have soft, padded corners?

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Bodhi Toddler Bed by Karla Dubois, Target ($240)
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Borrow From the Grown-Ups

I’m a big believer that sometimes you have to look in the nonkid section to find the coolest things. Case in point: This rattan daybed is also the perfect size for a toddler.

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Etta Natural Rattan Chaise, Crate&Barrel ($1710)
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Think: No Fuss, All Style 

Another classic, this durable powder-coated metal frame comes in fun colors. Bonus points because it’s easy to clean—and, let’s be honest, during those younger years it helps if every surface can be hosed down.

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Monarch Hill Ivy Toddler Bed by Little Seeds, Wayfair ($163)
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The Winner

Ultimately I went with a timeless Jenny Lind–style bed as a last-minute purchase on Amazon. We were settling into a new apartment right when COVID hit, and it fit the bill! I thought about painting it, but we’ve ended up sticking with goes-with-everything white.

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DaVinci Jenny Lind Toddler Bed in White, Amazon ($159)
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(And Don’t Forget the Bedding)

Pick up multiples of a classic, like this striped organic cotton setyou can’t go wrong at that amazing price point. A double-sided cotton-linen quilt is everything you need (cozy and cooling) for toddler bedding in one. Polka dots and scalloped edges make a statement but are subtle enough to mix with different prints for texture. My most recent find: beautiful patterned linens from Australian brand Society of Wanderers. I used the Marianne floral pillowcase for my daughter’s room and also have the Tobacco striped duvet cover on my bed. Sometimes there are benefits to doing all this research for the kids.

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