When you’re looking at portable cots, it’s important to find one that’s safe and easy to use. Here’s a handy list of features to help you choose.


  • Make sure the cot meets current Australian standards (AS2195).
  • The cot should have two locking mechanisms to prevent accidental collapse and closure.
  • Make sure there are no protrusions or sharp edges.
  • Look for possible entrapment areas where your baby could get a finger, limb or head stuck.
  • Make sure there’s nothing that could be used as a foothold for your baby to climb out.
  • If the base has velcro strips to secure it to the cot, make sure they’re long enough to be easily threaded through the hole for attachment to the cot.
  • If the cot has wheels or castors, make sure it also has brakes or some other mechanism to stop it rolling away.
  • The mattress should be firm and fit snugly into the base without gaps at the sides or ends.
  • The cot floor shouldn’t sag. Press down on it to test.
  • The fabric and mesh sides should be stretched tightly and remain taut.


  • The cot should be easy to assemble and fold up, and have a carry bag with a handle.
  • It shouldn’t be too heavy to carry.
  • The mesh sides should provide good ventilation and allow you to easily see your baby.
  • A pocket on the outside – out of reach of baby – is handy for storage.
  • An insect net for the top will keep out larger insects, but smaller ones like mosquitoes might still get in through the side mesh.
  • Some cots have a removable fitted sheet, which can be taken out for washing.
  • If you have a younger baby who can’t sit or stand up, look for a bassinette that sits higher up in the cot. This way you won’t have to reach down so far to your baby.
Go to the Choice website for expert, unbiased tests and reports on baby products, appliances, electronics, food and finances.

Rate this article (76 ratings)

Tap the stars to rate this article.

Thanks for rating this article.

Content supplied by CHOICE magazine

Last updated or reviewed

  • Tell us what you think

Raising Children Network is supported by the Australian Government. Member organisations are the Parenting Research Centre and the Murdoch Childrens Research Institute with The Royal Children’s Hospital Centre for Community Child Health.

Follow us

© 2006-2018 Raising Children Network (Australia) Ltd