The Best Montessori Floor Beds: Encouraging Independence from a Young Age

CEO Khai Intela
If you practice gentle or respectful parenting or follow the Montessori method, you might wonder what kind of bedroom setup is most in line with these parenting styles. I want to introduce you to Montessori...

If you practice gentle or respectful parenting or follow the Montessori method, you might wonder what kind of bedroom setup is most in line with these parenting styles. I want to introduce you to Montessori floor beds.

Montessori floor beds are becoming increasingly popular for infants and young children for many good reasons. One of the biggest benefits is that they encourage independence from a young age, which is what the Montessori method is all about.

What is a Montessori Floor Bed?

A Montessori floor bed is a bed that is purposely placed on or very low to the ground. Using a floor bed provides children with freedom of movement in a safe sleep environment. A floor bed can be a simple mattress on the floor (not recommended) or a bed frame that is positioned very low to the ground.

Keeping the bed frame low to the ground allows your child to get in and out of bed safely and easily; it will also enable them to play and access their bedroom freely. They can also see more, observe more, and move more, considering they have full freedom of movement.

This independence and freedom encourage autonomy and confidence. These skills will help your child develop and mature, true to the Montessori method developed by Italian pediatrician Dr. Maria Montessori. And that’s pretty much the goal of the Montessori method: to give your child freedom and encourage a sense of childhood independence.

On the other hand, with a traditional bed, your child may have to rely on you to help them get in and out, causing them to feel restricted. With a Montessori floor bed, your child can get in and out on their own, which helps them to feel a greater sense of independence.

And an added benefit for toddlers and older children is that a Montessori floor bed encourages them to self-regulate their sleep needs. After all, if you tuck in your child for bed, they can easily get out of bed. But giving them autonomy to read on their bed or play with select toys before getting sleepy will allow them to self-regulate and climb into bed when they are tired.

Benefits of a Floor Bed for Young Children

Montessori floor beds have several benefits, making them an excellent choice for your child.

  1. A floor bed helps your child gain independence and confidence from a young age. There’s nothing wrong with using a traditional bed for your child’s first big kid bed. Still, a floor bed is an excellent way to boost your little one’s self-esteem and foster independence. As they grow, they will develop a strong sense of pride in their abilities and truly appreciate their freedom — all thanks to their Montessori floor bed.

  2. A floor bed is convenient for bonding or breastfeeding. Compared to a traditional crib or bed, a Montessori floor bed can be a better space for bonding, cuddling, and breastfeeding.

  3. A floor bed can offer safety benefits if used correctly. If you’re anxious about your child rolling off their bed at night, a floor bed is a good option. A floor bed ensures they are closer to the ground, minimizing the potential impact. When used correctly, a Montessori floor bed can be a safe choice for your little one’s first bed.

  4. A floor bed can help your child develop sleep independence, too. As your little one grows, a floor bed can help them further develop an understanding of their own sleep needs. By giving them the freedom to enter and exit their bed, you can help support their sleep autonomy and independence.

  5. Floor beds are great for smaller spaces. Another benefit of Montessori floor beds is that they are great for small spaces. If your child’s bedroom is small, you might not have room for a traditional bed and all the furniture that goes along with it. A floor bed can simplify the space and eliminate the need for so many extra pieces of furniture.

Are Montessori Floor Beds Safe?

Yes, Montessori floor beds can be a safe sleep space for your child if used correctly.

I understand it can be nerve-wracking to have your child sleep in a Montessori bed alone in their room. That much freedom of movement can make any mama nervous, especially if you’re worried that your child will roam around their room at night.

However, that does not mean they’re dangerous as long as you take the proper safety precautions. Your child’s room must be age-appropriate in its setup, and it must be child-proofed.

So before choosing a floor bed for your child, consider these factors:

1. Consider your child’s age.

Montessori floor beds are best for children between 6 months and age 5. Be sure to child-proof their room and fix all safety hazards in their bedroom or anywhere they may wander. (More on this below.)

If you use a floor bed for an infant, be sure to follow appropriate safe sleep guidelines and use a firm crib mattress. Also, keep in mind that the American Academy of Pediatrics recommends a firm, flat sleeping surface such as a bassinet for the first few months, and recommends room-sharing with your baby for the first year.

Your child’s age also plays a role in the type of Montessori bed that you purchase. If your child is very young, choose a bed with rails to keep them more secure in their bed. If your child is older, you might want to choose a bed without sides so they can get in and out on their own more easily.

2. Your child’s room must be fully child-proofed.

Given a floor bed’s freedom of movement, your baby’s room must be safe and child-proofed. Whether it’s their own bedroom or a shared bedroom, you’ll need to ensure everything is set up safely. This includes:

  • Install secure outlet plugs covering all outlets
  • Anchor all furniture to the wall
  • Tuck cords out of reach, tucked back and covered
  • Safety proof the lift cords on cord blinds
  • Do not keep small toys/objects or anything that might be a choking hazard in the room or nearby
  • Do not place the bed in the corner of the room or against a wall to prevent entrapment

When baby proofing, I suggest having a parent get down low and crawl around like a child. Notice what’s in reach and what needs to be secured or removed.

Keep in mind that before age 3, kids don’t have the developmental skills to “check-in” with themselves and identify a yawn as a need to climb into bed and go to sleep. So, you may find your child sleeping on the ground in their bedroom rather than on their mattress.

For safety reasons, make sure the bedroom is a safe space given the possibility that they may fall asleep while playing or play when they should be asleep.

After age 3, children can better understand when they are sleepy and when it’s time to lay down on their mattresses for sleep. You still want to keep the room child proofed, but at around the age of 3, they can have a good selection of toys, books, or stuffed animals in their room. Know your child’s abilities and determine what is right for them.

With this said, I always suggest creating a reliable bedtime routine, even with a Montessori bed. After all, kids do thrive on consistency, knowing what’s next, and having a reliable schedule and bedtime.

Note that if you get a floor bed that does not have bed rails, it’s likely that your child will roll off the bed onto the floor at some point when they are sleeping. The bed is low to the ground and shouldn’t cause harm. Just make sure it is carpeted or that there is a rug by the side of the bed. Over time, your child will learn to stay in bed and understand where the edges are.

Choosing a Montessori Floor Bed

Before you buy a Montessori-style bed, there are a few things to consider.

Should you get a floor bed with a base?

Montessori beds can feature a simple base structure that the mattress sits on or inside. Some beds prop the mattress up on a low platform base, while others feature a simple structure that the mattress is placed inside (so the mattress sits on the floor).

If you choose a Montessori bed with a platform base, you’ll want to pay attention to the height. Some are higher than others. My suggestion is to consider your child’s age and climbing abilities. You want your child to independently get in and out of the bed safely.

If you opt for a floor bed with no base, I would be concerned about mold on the mattress. Most mattresses (including the organic toddler mattresses we recommend) require a platform to reduce the risk of mold growth on the mattress.

Do you want rails or an enclosure?

So, as mentioned, the idea of a Montessori bed is to keep your child independent and free. Safety is a significant factor in choosing a Montessori-style bed.

That said, some Montessori beds feature guard rails and others are completely open. You’ll have to make the decision which is best for your child.

Sometimes guard rails are helpful, especially if you’re transitioning your toddler from a traditional crib. Children can sometimes feel more secure and comfortable with those rails in place. They also might be helpful if you choose a more elevated bed base. If your bed base is lower to the ground, however, a floor bed without rails might be a good option for a toddler or older child.

I would also consider your child’s age in this decision because older toddlers may not want a bed rail. (I find this is especially the case if they have a big brother or sister they like to emulate.)

What size floor bed should you choose?

Montessori floor beds come in various sizes: crib/toddler, twin, full, and queen. This choice will be a highly personal decision. A toddler-size bed is excellent for little ones through about the age of five, but then you’ll want to transition to a bigger bed at some point.

I would consider how long you plan to use a Montessori floor bed. Maybe a toddler bed is appropriate if you’re only using it for a couple of years and plan to hand it down to a younger sibling. If you are buying your child’s bed to use throughout childhood, consider a twin, full, or queen size.

The Best Montessori Floor Beds

Here are my top recommendations for Montessori-style beds. They feature a variety of styles, so take a look and find one that fits your child’s needs.

Sprout Montessori Floor Bed

Sprout Montessori Floor Bed Image Source:

Made in the USA. This bed is made of Baltic birch and has a durable Montessori floor bed frame. It comes in white or finished birch, and comes in three sizes: toddler/crib size, twin, and full. For the toddler size, you would want to use an organic crib mattress, and this is perfect for infants and younger children, as well as smaller spaces.

There are also a few options for the sides of this frame. You can choose to have one low side and one high side or you can have two low sides. One low and one high is particularly good if you plan on pushing the bed against a wall. Two low sides are great if you do not push the bed against a wall so that your child can get in and out on either side of the bed and explore more freely.

I love that this particular frame is flippable and think this is a good choice for a Montessori floor bed overall. On one side, you’ll see it has one low side to make it easy for little ones to climb in and out as needed. If you flip the bed over, it creates a platform bed that’s slightly higher, especially great for taller and/or older kids. All in all, a high-quality bed frame choice for your little one’s floor bed.

KD Frames Floor Bed

Made in the USA. KD Frames produces a wonderfully simple Montessori bed made of tulip poplar wood. You’ll notice this particular frame is marketed as a trundle bed but can be used as a low-to-the-ground Montessori style bed. It does have four wheels on the bottom, so you can slide it under another bed if used as a trundle. So, keep that in mind. It would be best on a carpeted floor (or on top of a large wool rug) to create traction and less movement.

This frame only comes in the twin size and is entirely non-toxic. I love that it’s unfinished smooth wood. A very simple floor bed that elevates your child’s mattress just enough.

Harper Orchard Platform Bed

Made in China, this house frame bed is super cute! Featuring solid Finland pine, this simple frame is safe, non-toxic, and super toddler-friendly. With this frame, you set a twin mattress inside the frame so the wood frame will fit around the mattress without elevating it off the ground.

Your child can easily climb in and out as they please. I will say kids love the house shape.

Pottery Barn Kids Camden House Bed

Made in Vietnam. Pottery Barn Kids carries a whimsical house frame bed that is perfect for younger children. It features a solid poplar wood platform with a house frame made of poplar wood and engineered wood. It’s very sturdy and made to last. You’ll also be pleased to know that this frame is Greenguard Gold certified, so you don’t have to worry about exposing your child to VOCs or contributing to poor indoor air quality.

If you choose this bed, you’ll have three different color options (natural, white, and black) and two different sizes (twin and full). This bed sits low to the ground but does have a platform the mattress sits on, so you don’t have to worry about mildew or mold that can happen if it sits directly on the ground.

Crate&Kids Universal Kids Trundle Bed

Made in Vietnam, Crate&Kids has a great trundle bed that can be used as a nice platform Montessori bed for your child. It features clean, simple lines in a sage green finish that will work with any decor. Again, because this one is a trundle bed, it does have caster wheels, so I advise having a rug or carpet underneath it.

This frame is made of 100% poplar wood, is Greenguard Gold certified, and finished with water-based paint. FYI, this bed does not accommodate a regular twin mattress and you will need to get a 5″ trundle mattress for this frame. That said, the frame lifts the bed a bit, so even though it’s a lower mattress, the frame will keep it off the ground a bit (but not too high!).

Crate&Kids White Rolling Kids Twin Bed

Made in Vietnam. This has a simple design and a small profile. It can roll, but the casters are hidden beneath the frame, so you won’t notice them. It sits very low to the ground (just a few inches!) without sides so your child can easily get in and out of bed independently.

This frame is made of solid poplar, ash veneer, and low-emission engineered wood. It is also Greenguard Gold certified. It comes in this clean white finish that has a little gloss to it.

Zipadee Kids Montessori Floor Bed Frame

Made in the USA, the Montessori floor bed from Zipadee Kids is a wonderful choice for your child’s floor bed frame. This frame comes in twin, full, or queen size and is customizable as far as the rails and configuration go. You can purchase optional risers for the bed, giving it a slight lift or you can keep it on the floor and use it legless. And you can remove the front and back rails, giving your little one even more freedom of movement (or providing a more enclosed type of sleep space, closer to a traditional crib).

This floor bed frame is well made and has no exposed screws. All in all, a great choice for your Montessori floor bed — just a little on the pricey side.

How to Transition to a Montessori Floor Bed

When switching to a Montessori-style bed, you’ll want to consider your child’s sleep habits. If your little one is moving from a crib in your bedroom to a Montessori bed in their own room, that’s a big transition that involves lots of change! Here is my advice for making this transition smoother:

  • Keep your bedtime routine the same. If you have an established bedtime routine, don’t switch it up. While the routine may involve a few adjustments given the new bed and new bedroom, keeping the nightly routine the same leading up to bedtime will help your child adapt more smoothly to the new space.
  • Consider the transition for nap time first. Before changing your child’s bedtime space at night, try using the Montessori bed for nap time only at first. This will give your child good practice sleeping in their floor bed and will help you and your child adapt to the new bed type. It’ll also allow you to set it up in a way that makes sense for you and your child. Once you notice that your little one is able to sleep in their floor bed without any trouble, you can start to transition at nighttime too.

Happy Floor Bed Shopping!

If you’re looking to create a safe sleep space for your child along with cultivating autonomy and confidence, the Montessori floor bed may be the right fit for your child. I hope this guide to the best Montessori beds has been helpful for you and that you found the right one for your little one! Happy shopping.

Did you choose a Montessori floor bed for your toddler? I’d love to know!

Related Reading:

  • Best Organic Toddler and Big Kids Mattresses If you’re planning to switch your child to a floor bed, be sure to select one of the best organic mattresses. This article recommends the best twin-sized mattresses, which can also be purchased in full or queen.
  • Best Organic Crib Mattresses. For crib-sized mattresses, our guide to organic crib mattresses can help you avoid greenwashing and find a truly eco-friendly and organic crib mattress.
  • How to Create an Effective Baby Bedtime Routine. Learn how to create a soothing and sleep-supportive bedtime routine for your baby or toddler.
  • The Best Bedtime Stories for Children. These sweet bedtime stories are popular for a reason. Check out some of our top picks for bedtime story books.
  • 20+ Must-Read Gentle Parenting Books. Get expert advice and insider info on parenting your children with respect.