When you first have a baby, the sheer amount of paraphernalia you have to cart around with you is just overwhelming, and more so if you happen to be staying the night elsewhere (note – camping with a 1 year old is even less fun than it sounds). However, after a while it becomes second nature, and suddenly you actually begin to miss some of the items that are outgrown – they have become your safety blanket. Our travel cot was great, for example – it folded up into a small rectangular package and literally provided a bed wherever we were – a great help especially if an extra bed is not available.
So, when my daughter inevitably grew out of the travel cot it posed a problem, especially when staying with my parents across the country who did not have a spare bed for my daughter.
I began to consider options a few months ago and came across Readybeds. They looked great value for money, but the reviews were a bit mixed so I decided not to commit in case I found something better. A few months later with a trip to my parents imminent and having not been able to find anything similar price-wise, I decided to bite the bullet and buy one. I was lucky that the My Little Pony design I chose was reduced to £22.99 on Amazon whereas other designs were as much as £35 elsewhere.
As the reviews I have seen continue to be so mixed I thought I would offer my opinion.
What is a Readybed?
A readybed is basically a sleeping bag and airbed in one designed for children aged 3 -10ish. It comprises an inflatable rubber airbed with removable, washable polyester covers attached. The child is zipped into the bed in a similar manner to a sleeping bag. The whole thing can then be deflated and contained within itself as a portable carry bag.
A smaller sized “My first readybed” is also available for toddlers. I would say stick to the travel cot if possible at that age and then go straight for the larger size to ensure longevity. It was partly for this reason that I didn’t go for a Peppa Pig themed design, it is flavour of the month with my 3-year-old right now but I can’t imagine she’d be too thrilled with it in a few years. Hopefully the My Little Pony theme I went for will stand the test of time slightly longer!
Design and ease of use – 9/10
The bed cleverly rolls up into itself when deflated to form a handy little bag which takes up very little space when storing or travelling. There is also a hole through to the valve in the covers so the airbed can be inflated with the covers attached. A small foot pump is included which is handy, although very flimsy looking and as I had an electric pump I used that instead. There is a small valve for inflation which then pulls away to leave a large hole which makes it much easier and quicker to deflate again. Instructions and a puncture repair kit are also included.
I must say also never underestimate the power of a character branded item – a couple of years ago I was determined that I wouldn’t be suckered into paying more for something just because it featured Mickey Mouse or Peppa Pig – however the reality is if your child is excited by the presence of their favourite character it can make negotiations around using the said item a whole lot easier!
My daughter was so excited that she wanted to get in bed at 4pm! Needless to say, having her looking forward to using it was a definite bonus. The covers are bright and colourful and easily come away from the airbed mattress to be washed.
I was initially quite worried as some of the reviews had stated the airbed deflated quite drastically overnight and a couple of incidents of punctures on the first use. However, in the 2 nights it was used it did not deflate at all and was still firm and comfortable.
The product description states it has a built-in pillow but I would not say it was prominent enough to be used if your child is used to their own pillow. Luckily, I had brought my own from home which worked fine. I had also brought the duvet from home as one review stated the covers were very thin and not warm enough. They were thin and resembled a sleeping bag but my daughter was fine with just this and refused the duvet, but it is something I would bear in mind especially for camping outdoors.
She slept very well both nights except for two incidents. On the first night I woke up to hear crying on the monitor so thought I better investigate. It was a good job I did as I found her flipped face down on the floor still zipped up inside the bed! The bed was on a wooden floor in a separate room to myself and as the covers are quite silky I think she had turned over and the whole bed flipped with her! She was not in any danger but obviously not ideal. I moved the bed into the carpeted room where I was sleeping and she settled down quickly. The bed, it is worth noting, is very easy and light to move in such a situation!
The second night on the carpeted floor by chance I woke up and looked down doing a double take as I could not see my daughter in the bed! This time she had turned over and instead of the bed going with her, she had rolled out completely and was now faceplanted into the side of my bed!
By some miracle she didn’t wake up and I managed to lift her back in where she slept until morning without further incident. I think these points are worth noting if you have a fidgety sleeper!
Update: The readybed has since been used by my 3 year old niece when staying at our house in my daughter’s room. I was concious of the falling out/flipping over issues, however she slept fine with no issues at all. So I think my daughter takes after me and can’t keep still!
Easy to inflate & deflate
Good value for money
Light & portable
Did not deflate
Folds up into a handy bag – very easy to transport and store
Bright & appealing with a range of branded characters
Detachable and washable covers
Foot pump included
Additional pillow and other bedding could be needed
Foot pump supplied not very sturdy
Fidgets may fall out!
Beware of bed slipping on laminate flooring
Overall – 8/10 – For the price, this is a great choice for camping, sleepovers and weekends away. It is very easy to store and take on your travels and in my experience, did not deflate. Despite the bed flipping over I would definitely recommend it!
Please note – this article contains affiliate links but all opinions are my own. I have not been approached to do a review, this was a purchase I have made through my own choice.