- Sleek design that's built to last
- Height adjustable base
- Easily converts into a toddler bed
- Fairly expensive
- Impractical if planning to reuse cot
We asked new mum Suzanne George to put the Mamas & Papas Harwell cot bed to the test with her baby George, aged ten months.
A cot bed is designed with longevity in mind. As well as offering a safe place for your precious newborn to sleep, a cot bed guarantees you years of use since your baby won’t outgrow it. When the time comes to say goodbye to the cot and move into a toddler bed, you simply convert the cot into bed mode.
The key advantage of a cot bed, besides value for money, is how much it can help children transition to a first bed. Instead of being turfed out of the familiar confines of their cot, your child will be sleeping on the same physical piece of furniture, with all its comforting smells and associations. There’s also something very empowering for children about moving into a big kid’s bed – especially when that means having the bars removed on your baby cot rather than having to give it up altogether for a new, unfamiliar bed.
Star rating: ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐ | Weighs: 56kg | Age: Birth – 4 years approx
The Harwell is a beautiful contemporary cot with a white paint finish and wood-style detailing. Clean, modern, and oh-so-stylish, it’s easy to convert to a toddler’s first bed that can be used up to age four. You don’t need any additional pieces in order to convert it into a toddler bed, so there’s no need to store any extra accessories. Best of all, you won’t need to replace your nursery furniture to match your child’s first bed if you invest in the Harwell cot bed, because it will continue to co-ordinate beautifully once converted from a cot to a bed. A range of matching nursery furniture is also available – ideal if you fancy kitting out the nursery to last for years to come without needing an upgrade any time soon.
“The wood and oak effect is a stylish alternative to plain traditional cots and it looks genuine but with no need to worry about splinters,” says our parent tester.”It has a smooth plastic coating so it’s easily wiped clean. The surface texture itself looks durable and I think it would take a lot to scratch it so I don’t need to worry about paint coming off if my little one decides to chew on it!”
Comfort and features
The first thing to take into consideration when deciding whether the Harwell cot bed is right for you is what it’s like to assemble. If you (or your partner) are a dab hand at DIY, you probably won’t mind if a cot bed is a bit of an engineering challenge to put together. But if you’d rather not end up having a domestic over your baby’s first bed, it’s wise to choose something that’s straightforward to set up. The Harwell ticks that box, according to our parent reviewer, Suzanne George.
“I was immediately impressed with the speed at which my husband and I assembled the cot, since furniture assembly is not our forte,” she says. “This was a big plus for two timed-strapped parents with a sleeping baby in the next room.”
The Harwell cot bed has an adjustable base that you can lower to three different settings as your baby grows. This helps to prevent little explorers from climbing out, adding value compared to a cot with a fixed base. It’s another feature that impressed Suzanne, and she found it easy to adjust as needed.
“At ten months, my little boy is beginning to sit up now so having the adjustable height function is really important to us,” she explains. “Not only for his safety to prevent him from climbing out but it has also really saved our backs when lifting him in and out of the cot as he gets heavier!”
Value for money
The Mamas and Papas Harwell cot bed isn’t a budget buy but if you’re considering investing in it, factor in how long it’s designed to last for – especially compared to cheaper cots that don’t convert to toddler beds.
“My favourite design feature is the adaptability of this cot,” agrees our parent reviewer, Suzanne. “Although it may be slightly pricier than other brands it is cheaper overall in the long run and well worth the investment as I plan for George to sleep in it up to the age of four – great for my bank balance but also for the environment too.”
Overall, we’ve scored this cot bed 5 out of 5 stars for design appeal, build quality, functionality, longevity and value for money. Our tester feels the quality and robustness of the materials used sets the Mamas & Papas Harwell cot bed apart from other cots, while the longevity it offers adds real value. It’s also a good size for a cot that will eventually be a bed for a growing toddler, yet it doesn’t overpower the nursery when in use as a cot.
The Mamas & Papas Harwell cot bed is a highly adaptable cot bed that's a great investment and definitely 'Insta-worthy' - yet has practicality built into its stylish, durable design.