Best Bed Rails For Co-Sleeping – Types, Benefits & Guidelines

Last updated January 6th, 2021

For the longest time, I felt regretful for choosing to co-sleep but, because of the range of benefits conferred by this practice, I refused to be guilt-tripped as sleeping arrangements are a personal choice with many aspects to consider.

According to the Center For Disease Control, co-sleeping is a common affair with roughly 68% of all babies enjoying it at least some of the time. Co-sleeping is safe in the absence of hazardous factors when babies are older than 3 months, says James McKenna, Ph.D., a professor at the University of Notre Dame as he points out in the research that was published in 2014. Approximately 2,500 children die in the US every year of SIDs, and co-sleeping has been shown to reduce the risk of SIDs by 50%.  

In this article, we, at 1happykiddo will guide you through the best tried and tested co-sleeping guard rails to help keep your tiny humans safe as Data from Consumer Product Safety Commission indicates that the notable risk to a baby sleeping in bed with an adult is not, as many of us would assume, from an adult covering and/or rolling over on to the baby, but from the infant strangling and becoming wedged or trapped between a piece of furniture, a wall, the headboard, the bed frame or mattress and the footboard.

What is a bed rail?

A bed/guard rail is used to keep your baby from rolling off one or both sides of the bed when sleeping in beds that are not meant for children. These rails are often attached to the adults’ beds by slipping under the mattress but they may also attach to the wall or be suspended and attached on the other side of the mattress to hold it in place through a “dock”.

Some varieties of co-sleeping bed rails can swing down during the day and be locked in an upright standpoint at night to keep your baby from falling off the bed. Others stay in one fixed position at all times while others are more like bumpers that sit on top of the mattress and don’t attach underneath at all.

Benefits of co-sleeping with a bed rail

Benefits of co-sleeping with a bed rail

Co-sleeping with a bed rail is a great option for a lot of families as it has a lot of benefits. Here is why it worked out so nicely for us and our baby.

You don’t have to have your bed against the wall

A bed against the wall is still the safest bet safety-wise. However, in some situations and/or some rooms it can be very difficult logistically, especially when traveling and you find yourself and your baby in unfamiliar territory. That’s where your bed rail comes in handy.

Your baby doesn’t have to be in the middle

One of the biggest co-sleeping safety recommendations measures is that the baby sleeps between the mother and the wall and not in between the parents. Even if your bed is not/cannot be against the wall, a bed rail enables this to happen easily.

Travel becomes easier and safer

Bed rails have made traveling and family vacations much easier as you can simply throw them in the trunk and use them in hotels and family homes. You never have to worry about moving and positioning beds, especially in hotels.

What to look for in a bed rail

Knowing what to look for in a bed guard rail for co-sleeping can guarantee that you pick the right product the first time and don’t have to waste a lot of resources and time trying to get it right. Here are a few aspects of a good bed rail you should be on the lookout for.

  • It is crucial to buy something that fits your adult bed by measuring your bed and mattress. This will ensure that you get something that will provide much support and safety for your baby.
  • Choose something that can be attached to your bed. Some types of bed frames require bed rails that can be placed on top of the mattress while others are more conducive to fixed-position bed rails.
  • Go for something that you can convert for use in a toddler bed or a small twin bed when the time comes. This will save you a lot of hassle later when it’s time to transition your baby to her bed by simply moving over.

The best bed rails for co-sleeping

It is very valuable to choose a good bed rail that can keep your munchkin securely in place when co-sleeping. With the information we have provided for you below, you will be able to bring home the right bed rail to provide a safe, comfortable, and happy sleeping environment for you and your child as soon as you need it. So, let’s get started.

Dream on me mesh security crib rail

For anyone looking for a low-cost bed rail to get started, the Dream On Me Mesh Security Rail is a great option as it is designed for use with beds of not more than 5 inches and does not require to be assembled nor does it require any bells or whistles to get it all setup and ready for use.

Best Bed Rails For Co-Sleeping - Types, Benefits & GuidelinesBest Bed Rails For Co-Sleeping - Types, Benefits & Guidelines
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It’s a great option for anyone using their mattress on the floor for co-sleeping. It’s precisely designed for use with cribs and toddler beds but you may be able to use it as well depending on your co-sleeping arrangement.

Pros

  • A great low-cost alternative to some similar but more expensive products on the market.
  • The rails come with foam pieces to prevent them from scratching up your bed and to secure it in place as well.
  • It’s very durable and can hold up to a lot of wear and tear and even with extended use, it won’t develop holes easily.

Cons

  • This rail can not be used with a thick mattress or on king-sized beds.
  • You may have to use two rails per each side of the bed. 

Magic bumpers child bed safety guard rail

Your best bet, if you are looking for something that can be used on top of the mattress, is the Magic Bumper Child Bed Safety Guard rail. This rail guard is held in place with a combination of fitted sheets gripped by the foam texture of the bumpers themselves.

Best Bed Rails For Co-Sleeping - Types, Benefits & GuidelinesBest Bed Rails For Co-Sleeping - Types, Benefits & Guidelines
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Pros

  • These are the most affordable bumper style bed rails available in the market.
  • Very easy to pick up and get out of the way when it is time to change the sheets.
  • They’re designed to stay in place even with frequent use.

Cons

  • Has a little bit of a smell, in the beginning, you have to let the rails air out for a few days before the smell goes away.
  • These bumper rails may be too short to use with toddlers who roll a lot during the night.
  • Some parents avoid them as they may contain potential chemicals.

The Regalo swing down bed rail

The Regalo Swing Down Bedrail is a 20-inch guard rail made of solid excellent Steel that is covered in a soft mesh fabric to provide comfort to your baby. It can easily be snapped into place for use during the night and folded down during the day for easier access to the bed.

Best Bed Rails For Co-Sleeping - Types, Benefits & GuidelinesBest Bed Rails For Co-Sleeping - Types, Benefits & Guidelines
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Pros

  • It’s the most popular swing down style bed rails available in the market today.
  • They are very easy to put together without much effort.
  • Even though they’re meant for use with boxspring, they are easier to modify for use with other types of beds.

Cons

  • The mesh fabric on it is known to rip and wear out quickly with frequent use.
  • Might not be long enough for your king-sized bed, and you may have to use two on each side.
  • You will have to keep a close eye on them as they may loosen with time.

Hiccapop toddler bed rail bumper 

When you want to provide your child with a safe comfortable sleeping environment without the use of traditional metal or plastic bed rails, then Hiccapop Toddler Bed Rail Bumper is for you dear mama. This bumper style bed rails come with a removable cover that makes it easy to clean for those unfortunate night time potty accidents and they also stay firmly in place.

Best Bed Rails For Co-Sleeping - Types, Benefits & GuidelinesBest Bed Rails For Co-Sleeping - Types, Benefits & Guidelines
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Pros

  • Has no strange odors even after taking them out of the packaging.
  • Will stand up to a lot of tears and wear as the material is durable.
  • Is designed for less spillage and maximum security during the night.

Cons

  • Not meant for use with babies under the age of 7 months. 
  • They may be too small to provide full coverage to an adult’s bed.
  • The bumpers may be jostled without the right sheets to hold them in place.

Munchkin sleep bed rail

In just a couple of minutes, this bedrail can be put together and is designed for use with most adult beds. You can fold it down when it is not in use and snap it up into place when you need to keep your munchkin safe at night.

Best Bed Rails For Co-Sleeping - Types, Benefits & GuidelinesBest Bed Rails For Co-Sleeping - Types, Benefits & Guidelines
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Pros

  • These guard rails are durable and work well even with the most active children.
  • Can very easily be folded down by an adult and won’t be able to be lowered by babies or toddlers.
  • The straps are durable and can withstand years of use.

Cons

  • Since they are designed for use with toddler beds, they may not be long enough for a grown-up bed.
  • It may be difficult to take them down when you need a change of sheets.

Toddler bed rail by the shrunks

Best Bed Rails For Co-Sleeping - Types, Benefits & GuidelinesBest Bed Rails For Co-Sleeping - Types, Benefits & Guidelines
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While Toddler Bed Rail By The Shrunks is designed specifically as a travel bed rail, you can as well make the most out of it during regular co-sleeping giving it a unique twist to the traditional bed rails options we are used to.

It is an inflatable bumper that comes with a foot pump making it convenient to pump when it needs a little extra air. You can deflate it and easily store it in your language and inflate it again when needed.

Pros

  • They are strong enough that even with children jumping on them they will not pop.
  • Children are not able to roll over them during the night as they are tall enough.
  • The bumper comes with a carry bag big enough for the bumper and the pump.

Cons

  • Pets can easily pop these bumpers with their teeth or claws.
  • Before you get the hang of it, it may take a while to fill them up the first time.
  • They may be uncomfortable for long term use compared to similar foam bumpers.

Summer infant double safety bed rail

Best Bed Rails For Co-Sleeping - Types, Benefits & GuidelinesBest Bed Rails For Co-Sleeping - Types, Benefits & Guidelines
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If you are going to be co-sleeping with an active sleeper, you probably need to contemplate having a double bed rail instead of counting on just one to get the job done. Even with your bed against the wall, you may still want a rail in place for a little more safety overall. With the Summer Infant Double Safety Bedrail, babies are not able to move around and fall off the mattress while co-sleeping.

Pros

  • Convenient for trips as it is light enough.
  • Both rails can be used on the same side of the bed for maximum coverage.
  • Highly recommended by many consumers as durable when properly installed.

Cons

  • The rails aren’t long enough to cover one side of an adult’s bed.
  • These rails may create more of a gap between them and the mattress than any other rails.
  • If used without a box spring, you might not be able to fold them down and you might have to get into and out of bed from the foot instead.

Safety 1st top-of-mattress bed rail

Best Bed Rails For Co-Sleeping - Types, Benefits & GuidelinesBest Bed Rails For Co-Sleeping - Types, Benefits & Guidelines
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To eliminate the need for potentially harmful metals in your child’s sleeping arrangement, go with the Safety 1st Top-Of-Mattress Bed Rail as they are made of plastic that won’t cause bumps or bruises if your baby rolls onto them during the night. It also has a unique design that holds the rails firmly in place under the mattress but allows it to perch on top of the mattress so there’s no possibility of a gap forming even as your baby wriggles around during the night.

Pros

  • You can set this rail in such a way that your toddler can climb in or out of bed easily.
  • All Disney hotels use this rail for guests who request one.
  • There’s no risk of your baby’s breathing restricted if they happen to roll up against the rail as the mesh panel is large enough.

Cons

  • It takes up too much mattress space for co-sleeping purposes.
  • Can not be taken apart for traveling purposes.
  • The rail can not be used with thick mattresses.

Toddler bed rail guard for convertible crib

Best Bed Rails For Co-Sleeping - Types, Benefits & GuidelinesBest Bed Rails For Co-Sleeping - Types, Benefits & Guidelines
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You have three different options to hold this Toddler Bed Rail Guard For Convertible Crib in place. You can use it with traps underneath your mattress and on top of your box springs, screw it into the frame of any wood bed for maximum support or, you can use it with velcro around your bed slats.

To be certain your child will never be able to move this rail around while sleeping, you can combine the screw feature with one of the two options.

Pros

  • This bed rail can’t be moved by a toddler and it won’t unlock easily when folded up into place.
  • Can be moved around easily for traveling purposes as it is light.
  • This product comes from a company with a commitment to customer service and satisfaction.

Cons

  • This bed rail comes with no instructions to help you install it properly.
  • It might not be long enough for some beds.
  • The screws might not fit tightly requiring constant monitoring.

Baby home side bed rail

This Baby Home Side Bed Rail is lightweight enough and easy to put in place but also durable enough that it won’t move around easily. It also comes with a removable outer cover that can be easily cleaned and replaced.

With its two mesh panels, it provides plenty of airflow to your baby as well as an opportunity for mommy to sneak a peek at baby’s when they nap during the day.

Pros

  • If your bed doesn’t come with a box spring, this is a great rail option.
  • The straps stay in place well and don’t stretch out with time.
  • The washable cover doesn’t wear out with frequent washing.

Cons

  • It is the most expensive bed rail on our list and maybe over the budget for some families.
  • The instructions that accompany this product are not easy to follow.
  • Without modifications, some beds may not be able to use this bed rail.

Bed rails co-sleeping safety tips

Bed rails co-sleeping safety tips

As with any virtue of raising your child, there are always safety concerns you should keep in mind when using bed rails with your baby.

Here are some of the most common tips to remember:

  • Check your bed rail every night to make sure it is positioned properly.
  • Make sure that there is no gap at the top of the bed that is large enough for your baby to fall through.
  • Do not sleep on the same surface as your baby if you have taken drugs or alcohol.
  • Always lay your baby down on their back.
  • Eliminate pillows, stuffed animals, and even blankets around the baby during co-sleeping.

Frequently Asked Questions

How do I stop my baby from falling out of bed when co-sleeping?

Make sure there are no gaps between the headboard and the mattress or the footboard. Ensure to use well-designed bed rails to protect your kiddo from rolling off the bed or getting trapped.

When can a baby sleep in bed with rails?

Never place children under 2 years old on a bed fitted with movable bed rails. Keep the floor area around the bed clear of toys or use a crib mattress on the floor around the bed to keep younger children safe when they fall.

What are the alternatives to bed rails?

Some of the best alternatives to bed rails include concave mattresses, bumpers and wedges, adjustable bed heights, bed trapezes, bed alarms, crash mats, and other sleep monitoring devices.

What is a bed alarm?

Bed alarms are used to alert parents/caregivers when a toddler attempts to get out of bed unaided. They can as well be used by the elderly and could be placed on toilets, chairs, and bed rails and when your baby or aged parent attempts to move out of bed or seat, shifting their weight off the sensor, the string which is connected by the magnet to the alarm box placed on the bed rail pulls and triggers the alarm.

The alarms are used for several reasons but the basic idea is that an alarm goes off when your loved one tries or does get out of bed, in this case, your baby. They are part of a comprehensive fall plan.

Is co-sleeping really that bad?

The American Academy of Pediatrics warns against bed-sharing because it increases a baby’s risk of SIDs. You should never sleep in the same bed as your baby. There’s no such thing as safe bed-sharing.

Take away

Are you ready for co-sleeping with all the right equipment for the best possible experience? Make sure to take stock of your bedroom setup and your detailed type of bed to help you figure out the right rail for your needs.

Your little one’s safety and comfort should always be your number one priority when it comes down to co-sleeping. With the right bed rail, you shouldn’t have trouble making sure your child won’t fall out of bed neither will they roll onto something uncomfortable during the night. HAPPY SLEEPING.

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