Cot Mattress Buyer's Guide: 7 Top Picks

A thorough review of our favorite cots to buy online in 2020

cot-mattress-header

What is a cot?

A cot mattress, also known as a fold up bed is generally described as a small mattress that can fold up and be used to sleep additional guests. Most cots will fold up and are great for fitting in a closet or under bed when not in use. Many hotels, shelters and hospitals utilize cots in order to efficiently house large numbers of additional guests. Today cots have become quite luxurious and the variety of options o the market ensures that you can find a cot to suit your specific needs.

What size is a cot mattress?

Cot mattress tend to vary slightly in size depending on the brand you purchase from. Standard cot mattress sizes are usually one of the following:

  • 30″x75″
  • 30″x76″
  • 30″x77″
  • 35″x72″
  • 36″x75″
  • 36″x76″
  • 38″x72″

Why Use a Cot Mattress?

A cot can be advantageous for many reasons, besides just making a small living quarters seem larger. Besides the fact that is takes up much less space when its not in use, a cot can also be something that you bring with you on the go or from home to home if you move a lot. The quality of many of these beds also makes them a perfect option to use as a primary sleeping bed. The majority of people choose to use a fold up bed as an option for housing guests. It is always nice to have an additional comfy place for people to sleep incase you happen to have more guests than beds. 

The different types of cots

Rollaway (cot mattress with folding frame)

A rollaway bed is essentially a twin size platform bed with wheels that folds in half when its not is use. A rollaway bed is perfect to pull out when extra guests come over who need a place to sleep. They fold up small enough to easily fit in a closet or bed when not in use and have become high enough quality to where they actually provide a quality nights sleep. 

Tri-fold cot (mattress only)

A tri-folding mattress is somewhat new to the fold up mattress industry. Available in Twin, Full and Queen sizes, a tri-fold mattress provides the comfort of a standard mattress with the convenience and space saving aspects of a folding bed. 

"Camping" cot

A cot bed is the smallest of the the fold up bed family. A cot is used mainly for travel or camping purposes but can be great to have in the house as well for any guests who may need it. Cots fold up extremely small and can easily be housed in a small closet or under a bed. 

Things to consider before buying a cot

There are many cots on the market that provide different features and functionalities. Each style has a different function and therefore should be used for different situations. Before purchasing you need to analyze a few important factors. 

  • Mattress Quality – How high quality does the mattress need to be? Will this be a place that a child is sleeping on for one night or an adult friend for a week? Trifolding mattresses tend to be the highest quality sleeping surface but will be the most expensive, while a cot may be affordable and easy to move but doesn;y offer much in terms of long term comfort. 
  • Bed Size – How many people will be sleeping on the bed and what size bed will accommodate them? Many of the beds listed below are available in twin or queen size versions. Make sure the bed you choose is able to fit the type of people that will be using it. 
  • Ease of Use – How easy do you want set up to be? Who will be moving the bed? Most of the beds on this list are built for easy set up and take down but make sure you choose a bed set that is easy for the intended user to maneuver. 
  • Storage Size – What size room will this bed be in and how much room is available for storage. The amount of room that a murphy bed and a cot bed take up is very different so be sure you know the amount of storage space you have available. 
  • Frame Type – From metal frames to no frame at all, these beds all have a different type of frame that they utilize. While a tri-fold mattress is intended to sit on the floor, a rollaway bed sits off the ground and has a metal base with wheels. Understand your needs and choose a bed frame that is right for you. 
  • Weight – Will you be carrying or traveling with the bed? How easy does it need to be to move? We have listed a variety of beds from light to heavy below so be sure to choose one that fits your needs when it comes to portability. 
  • Price – How much are you wanting to spend? Options below range from $25 to $2000. While you generally do get what you pay for when it comes to quality sometimes you may not need the fanciest sleeping accommodation if it is only used on rare occasions. 

7 Cot Mattress Options

BEST OF THE BEST

What customer love: Sturdy and supportive frame. Thick comfortable mattress.

PRICE: $269

The diplomat cot frame and mattress set comes in at our number one option for the best overall. It comes with a twin size folding frame as wall as a 4″ memory foam mattress included. Customers love how sturdy this bed is and have raving reviews about how comfortable the mattress is. Milliard makes all sorts of sleep products and has a great reputation in the mattress industry for providing high quality sleep products at affordable prices. Based on the price and all of the features this bed offers we have ranked the Diplomat as our Best of the Best cot on the market. 

The Frame:  The wheels on the bottom of the frame make it easy to roll in and out of storage and come with a safety locking feature that ensures the frame will stay put. The bed also folds up to only 14″ thick for easy storage in a closet or under a bed. The frame on the diplomat also utilizes 4 sets of support bars as well as lattice style wired base to ensure there is zero sagging and optimal support for even the heaviest of sleepers. One of the most common statements in customer reviews is how sturdy this bed is. 

The Mattress (Included): The 4″ mattress is included with your purchase and is made with memory foam, as well as a non-slip bottom fabric and a soft polyester cover to give the sleeper maximum comfort. 

BEST BUDGET OPTION / BEST SMALL SPACE OPTION

fold-up-bed-liesuit
folded-up-bed

What customers love: Affordably priced, no assembly required and doesn't take up much space.

PRICE: $125

Coming in at only $125, the Lesuit guest cot is about half the cost of the Milliard mattress set shown in number 1. While the mattress is not quite as thick, you still get a great quality fold up bed set for a fraction of the cost. The greatest elements of this bed are its ease of setup and small footprint. The bed comes folded up and can be ready for sleeping in only 5 minutes. When folded in half the bed bed is a meager 6.5″ which makes it extremely easy to fit in a closet or underneath a bed. The Lesuit fold up bed comes with a 3″ memory foam mattress that is great for supporting the average size sleeper. 

What customers love: Multiple functions and very comfortable to sleep on.

PRICE:
TWIN $349
FULL $449
QUEEN $499

While The Couchbed isn’t technically a cot mattress it still serves the same purpose as one. A bed that can also function as a couch, who would’ve though! Simply flip the side up and POOF you have yourself a couch. The couchbed comes in twin, full and queen sizes and is a perfect addition to any loft, basement or tv room. The Couchbed is slightly more expensive than some of the other guest bed options on the market but is very affordable for the quality product you are receiving. Thew couchbed is a 10″ thick memory foam mattress which is much thicker than all of the other options on this list. You can be sure that it will provide a comfortable nights sleep or lounge spot for any size individual. 

BEST PORTABLE OPTION

milliard-tri-folding-bed

What customers love: Easy to fold up and take anywhere. Quality memory foam mattress.

PRICE: $135

This fold up mattress by Milliard is easy to fold up and take on the go or to put in the closet for when a guest comes over. The mattress folds into three layers and comes with a carrying handles for easy portability. The mattress is made to be put directly on the floor and is 6″ thick with memory foam for a comfortable sleep for sleepers of all weights. At 75″ long this mattress will comfortably fir sleepers up to 6′. If you are looking for a longer mattress you can see our suggestion for larger individuals and couples. 

BEST FOR LARGER SLEEPERS OR COUPLES

best-queen-fold-up-bed

What customers love: Affordable and large enough for all guests.

PRICE: $157

Giantex has made the ultimate tri-folding queen size mattress. It is made with a removable bamboo cover for easy washability as well as a 4.5″ of support foam with 1.5″ of memory foam for the an extremely comfortable nights sleep for individuals and couples of all sizes. The mattress also comes with a zip up transport bag that keeps the mattress clean during storage and makes it easy to take on the go. 

BEST FOR CAMPING & OUTDOOR USE

outdoor-fold-up-bed

What customers love: Comfortable pillow included. Very sturdy and easy to fold up.

PRICE: $64.95

This fold up cot by Alpcour is the real deal for those on the go our spending nights out under the stars. The alpcour can accommodate individuals over 6′ tall while also folding into a 40″ by 7″ bag that you can take with you on the go. Thisd cot comes with a sturdy leg system, a waterproof cover and a built in pillow. With over 400 5-star reviews the Alpcour cot is our top pick for a folding camping bed. 

BEST FOR KIDS

kids-fold-up-bed

What customers love: Very affordable and the perfect size for kids.

The my cot by Regalo is the perfect little cot to have at the house for any additional little ones you may have staying over. It is small, compact and affordable and offers a sturdy nights sleep for young kids. This cot has over 1,000 5-star reviews and has raving reviews from the customers who have used it. At $25 you can’t find many cheaper sleeping solutions other than sleeping on the floor. 

Overall, which cot mattress you choose really depends on your specific sleeping needs. Each option above provides different benefits and downsides that you can analyze and use to choose the right bed for yourself. The variety of folding bed options on the market today allows us to find a solution that is perfect for all needs.