Best cot

Sleeping

A camper sets up a cot.

BestReviews is reader-supported and may earn an affiliate commission. Details.

Which cot is best?

Cots are a great sleeping solution for campers or overnight guests. No matter what you intend to use your cot for, be it your next camping trip or just to have on hand at the house, there are a few things to consider when it comes to picking out the perfect cot.

The top pick, the Teton Sports Outfitter XXL Cot, is worthy for a king to sleep on, thanks to its sturdiness and comfort. While it is a larger cot, it is easily portable and comes with a carrying bag.

What to know before you buy a cot

Why should I buy a cot?

Cots probably conjure images of the military in most people’s minds, but these portable sleeping solutions have a much wider range of functions. They make excellent alternatives to air mattresses and sleeping pads while camping. Since they are suspended off the ground, cots can help campers avoid bugs and keep cool while experiencing the great outdoors.

They also make great make-shift guest beds when hosting overnight guests in a small space. Because cots are easier to set up and store than air mattresses, they really come in handy when you’re pinched for sleeping space.

Use 

Some cots are made and marketed to fulfill a specific purpose. For example, the Teton Sports Outfitter XXL is designed for camping, while the Lucid rollaway cot is designed for use as an extra guest bed at home.

Weight limits

Every cot should come with a weight limit to indicate how much weight the cot can safely support. These weight limits vary by cot, so check the manufacturer’s information before using it.

Weight limits affect more than just how much weight the cot can endure. Cots with a heavier weight limit often are heavier as well. If you are taking a cot on your next camping trip, having to lug around a heavier cot could be a deal-breaker.

What to look for in a quality cot

Material and comfort

Most cots, no matter how lavish or basic, use a similar construction. They are normally made from a lightweight aluminum frame that snaps into place with a mesh or fabric that stretches across the frame in order to make up the bed.

Some cots vary in their material a bit. For example, some cots use mesh instead of fabric for the bed, and some even come with extra padding. Cots can vary in their frame as well. While having an aluminum frame can be more lightweight, a sturdier frame might be made out of more durable and heavier material.

Everyone has different tastes when it comes to what makes them comfortable, so choose the cot that looks the comfiest to you.

Sturdiness

No matter what type of frame your cot has, one of the most important things to assess before you buy is the cot’s sturdiness. If the cot is wobbly, you could risk injury while sleeping, especially if you tend to toss and turn during the night.

Portability 

Most cots fold up and store very easily, which makes them more portable than a lot of other sleeping solutions. However, some cots do not fold up or are not meant to be traveled with. Your cot’s portability will largely depend on your own needs, but if you want a more versatile cot, it’s best to go with one that can be folded up.

How much you can expect to spend on a cot

Cots can range from $30 to about $150. Generally, the cot’s features and comfort level correlate with the price.

Cot FAQ

Do you need to buy special bedding for a cot?

A. While there is bedding made to be used with cots, it isn’t necessary to buy.

Do some cots require assembly?

A. Yes. Usually, cots that are meant for use at home require some assembly. The difficulty of the assembly will largely depend on the manufacturer.

What’s the best cot to buy?

Top cot

TETON Sports Outfitter XXL Cot 

TETON Sports Outfitter XXL Cot

What you need to know: This cot is large and sturdy, which makes it a solid option for just about anyone. 

What you’ll love: This cot is larger than a twin-size bed, making it roomy and comfortable for just about anyone. You can fold and store it easily. 

What you should consider: This cot requires some assembly.

Where to buy: Sold by Amazon.

Top cot for the money

Coleman Trailhead II Cot 

Coleman Trailhead II Cot

What you need to know: This cot excels in its simplicity and is perfect for campers.

What you’ll love: The cot comes with an attached inflatable mattress pad as well as a pump. It’s very easy to set up.

What you should consider: Some users have complained that the cot is a bit wobbly.

Where to buy: Sold by Amazon

Worth checking out

LUCID Rollaway Folding Cot 

LUCID Rollaway Folding Cot

What you need to know: This cot is meant to be used as an extra bed for overnight guests, so if you plan on buying a cot for use at home, this is a great option.

What you’ll love: It is easy to assemble and very comfortable. You easily can store it.

What you should consider: It is a good size for sleeping but also is very low to the ground.

Where to buy: Sold by Amazon

 

Sign up here to receive the BestReviews weekly newsletter for useful advice on new products and noteworthy deals.

Addison Hoggard writes for BestReviews. BestReviews has helped millions of consumers simplify their purchasing decisions, saving them time and money.

Copyright 2021 BestReviews, a Nexstar company. All rights reserved.