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Is a Toddler Bed or Twin Bed Better for a 2-Year-Old?

author image Annie Tumlin
Annie Tumlin is based in Overland Park, Kan., and has been writing since 2002. She contributes to various websites, including the blog for a fitness studio, specializing in parenting, pregnancy, health and wellness. Tumlin holds a Bachelor of Arts in education and English from Rockhurst University, and has worked in various education settings.
Is a Toddler Bed or Twin Bed Better for a 2-Year-Old?
Moving a toddler to her own bed is an exciting transition. Photo Credit Masopasi/iStock/Getty Images

Deciding to move a toddler from her crib to a big-kid bed is an exciting transition for both parents and child. Choosing between a toddler bed and a twin bed depends on a number of factors and is generally more of a time-consuming decision for first-time parents. Understand the differences between the two, and then assess which would be the better fit for your situation; include safety as the number-one factor.

Crib to Bed

Most parents move their child from a crib to a bed anywhere from one and a half to three years old. The decision to switch can come from the constant jail-breaks your toddler performs to get out of his crib. BabyCenter.com recommends beginning the transition when “he’s simply too big or too active to sleep in a crib anymore.” Both types of beds provide a new environment for him; toddler beds can be enticing with character decorations, while twin beds can seem a little more boring for kids looking to move into a big-kid bed.

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Family Needs

A toddler bed is a transitional-sized bed perfect for the little bodies of 2-year-olds. They are low to the ground and fit standard crib mattresses. Toddler beds are convenient options if the crib mattress is available, but many times the addition of a new baby warrants that the mattress stay in the crib. Twin beds require the additional purchase of a twin mattress but are options suitable for a longer period of time if that size mattress is already available in the family or if the coming of a new baby requires an additional mattress anyway.


Toddler beds, being so close to the ground, are a very safe option. Using a twin bed is perfectly safe also, “but it works much better--for both safety and coziness--if you start off with the mattress on the floor,” according to Pregnancy.org. If you choose to keep the mattress in the frame, guard rails are a necessity to reduce the child's risk of being injured during a fall out of the higher bed. Most toddler beds come equipped with side rails, but both the toddler and twin beds need them to keep your child safe.


When deciding between a toddler bed and a twin bed, “let your wallet, space constraints, child’s temperament and design sensibility guide your decision,” suggests WhattoExpect.com. Toddler beds range in price from about $150 to $300, while twin beds start at about $150 and up. Each also requires the purchase of a mattress: A crib mattress and twin mattress typically start at about $100. Also include in the decision other children; many people choose a twin simply based on the need to use the crib mattress for another baby.


When choosing a bed style, parents should also consider the bedding requirements. Toddler beds, using the crib mattresses, also fit the crib bedding from baby. If this will be reused for another sibling, twin bedding can be a functional choice in that parents may rather buy sheets for a larger bed than additional sheets for a crib mattress. Although toddler beds offer more choices in characters or colorful designs, twin bedding comes in a variety of styles that appeal to kids.

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