Thinking About Getting Your Toddler a Montessori Bed? Here Are Our Favorites
If you have a baby or a toddler, chances are high that you've heard of Montessori beds. They're rapidly rising in popularity, but many of us don't fully understand the allure or reasoning behind buying one. On the surface, they look simple — basically a mattress on the floor — but it turns out that they're a lot more than that.
Montessori beds are beds that make use of the ideas developed by Dr. Maria Montessori, called the Montessori Method. She believed that you should give your toddler freedom when it comes to their movements and environment. And while she didn’t create or patent a bed, Montessori beds are designed with that principle in mind: They provide a safe place for your child to hang out, play, and sleep.
By keeping the bed so low to the ground, you're allowing your child to be a part of their environment in a way that higher, traditional beds just can't accomplish. Some parents choose to use a Montessori-style bed from pretty early on — basically, as soon as a baby begins to crawl. But more parents choose this style around the time when babies are transitioning to a toddler bed.
Montessori beds are now all over the market ... but how do you choose?
The Best Montessori Beds
- Best Overall: Zipadee Montessori Bed
- Open Hardwood Design: Sweedi South Shore
- The Only Bed They'll Need: Malibu Platform by Avocado
- A Knotty Pine Option: Twin House Bed Frame
- More Color Options: Isabelle and Max Castella Canopy
- Fully Contained: Home4Dreams Bed
- Custom Style: BusyWood Montessori Bed
What to Consider
There are three main things you want to consider when buying a Montessori bed.
Here’s the thing: Not all Montessori beds have bases. Some are super simple structures that simply surround a mattress placed on the floor. This is a bridge too far for a lot of parents. However, there are plenty of Montessori beds on the market that have good, sturdy bases, but they can vary pretty widely. Some bases are more elevated than others, but with a Montessori bed, the goal is to be as close to the ground as possible. Therefore, it’s important to look for a base that’s close enough to the ground that your toddler can toddle right onto it.
To enclose, or not to enclose? This is a big debate amongst the Montessori set, but you're the only one who can determine which option is right for your kid. Some of the beds have rails or guards around the majority of the bed, while others are wide open. There are benefits and drawbacks to both: With a railed bed, your kid might feel more contained, and they may like that if you're transitioning from a traditional crib. If you want your child to be unencumbered by such things (or if they're prone to launching themselves off the rails like my kids) a rail-free option is your best bet.
You can get Montessori beds in several sizes, from toddler to queen. A toddler bed is great for wee littles, but it is limiting. On the other end of the spectrum, a queen bed is fun, but that's a lot of real estate in a nursery. If they're not going to keep that bed for several years, it may not make sense. However, these beds are beautiful, so there's no reason to stop using them when your child gets a little older. Generally, twin size is the go-to, but hey ... go for the bigger bed if you want to (or if you like to snuggle in with them on occasion).
Montessori floor beds are rising in popularity. Here are our recommendations for the best Montessori beds for your little one that will give them a sense of freedom.