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Bed rails: review and compare

Bed rails help to reduce the risk and relieve the stress of bedside falls
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01 .Introduction


We have test results for 12 bed rails, priced from $39 to $100.

Our expert tester assessed them for:

  • construction
  • information requirements and instructions
  • breathability
  • integrity of assembly
  • horizontal strength, and
  • ease of use.
Bed rails (also known as safety rails or bed guards) are used for young children to reduce the risk and relieve the stress of bedside falls, providing a level of security to the child and peace of mind to the parent or carer. These products are used when the child (at around 18 months of age) moves out of their cot and into a children’s bed or adult-sized bed.

As with many children’s products, bed rails have the potential to create a level of risk to the child. A child’s movement when sleeping could create a gap between the bed rail and the mattress if the rail isn’t securely attached. This could cause the child to fall out of bed or get caught in the gaps created. Also, the child could get their head trapped between the rail and the bedhead/wall if the rail is placed too close to the bedhead/wall. They could also injure themselves if they attempt to climb over the bed rail to get out of bed.

Many bed rails can fold down when not in use, but care needs to be taken here too - easily accessible gaps in the locking hinges can pose the risk of finger entrapment and scissoring or crushing hazards if little fingers get in the way.

It’s important to consider the type of bed you have (ensemble or slatted bed base) before you purchase the bed rail. Some aren’t suitable for all types of beds – check for this information before buying.

For more information on children's furniture, see Babies and Kids.

Since there is no Australian Standard for bed rails, we have based our testing on the British Standard BS 7972:2001+A1:2009. We also included additional assessments that we believe to be important and relevant to bed rails but are not covered by this standard. These additional assessments include breathability, integrity of assembly, and horizontal strength tests.

Brands and models tested

  • Baby Solutions Folding Bed Rail
  • Babyhood Standard Bedguard
  • Childcare Sleepsafe Bedguard
  • Ikea Vikare (A)
  • Infa-Secure Guardian Bed Barrier
  • Infa-Secure Smart Guard Bed Barrier
  • Lindam Safe & Secure Soft Folding Bed Rail
  • Love n Care Secure Sleep Bedrail
  • Safety 1st Secure Top Bed Rail
  • Target Essentials Safety Bed Rail
  • The First Years Safe and Secure Double Bed Rail
  • Vee Bee Fold Down Bedguard
(A) This bed rail is different to others we’ve tested, so hasn’t been included with the rest in the comparison table. See the What to look for page for more information about this product.

How we test

There is no Australian Standard for bed rails so our tester, Antonio Bonacruz, developed a set of safety requirements and test procedures that are based essentially on the British Standard BS 7972:2001+A1:2009 – Safety requirements and test methods for children’s bed guards for domestic use. Antonio assessed each bed rail for:
  • Construction Antonio looks at the edges for any sharp points and protruding parts. He checks for gaps, finger traps, cords, and snag points, and assesses the folding and locking mechanisms where applicable. Part of this assessment is a security test that assesses how securely attached the bed rail is). This test involves tilting the bed 15° (to create the rolling motion) and then rolling a 15kg weight onto the bed rail 10 times to simulate the child rolling onto the rail. If the bed rail moves away from the mattress following this test, the gap between the bed rail and the mattress shouldn't exceed 40mm. He also inspects the length and height to make sure it adequately covers where a child may fall.
  • Information requirements He checks that each bed rail is labelled correctly with any applicable warning statements. It is important to check for information that tells you if the bed rail is suitable for your bed. Any failures to information requirements are considered very minor and don’t affect our overall rating.
  • Instructions for use He checks if each bed rail has a set of instructions and how useful they are.
He also carried out three additional assessments which are not covered by BS 7972. These assessments included:
  • Breathability Antonio checks that the side of the bed rail is made predominantly of a mesh material. This is important as with other children’s sleep products like bassinets and folding cots and is based on AS/NZS 2195.
  • Integrity of assembly This is important so that the bed rail is not able to be disassembled easily by the child. This test is also based on AS/NZS 2195 which is the standard for folding cots.
  • Horizontal strength He subjects each bed rail to a strength test whereby he observes if there is any damage that affects the safety or function of the bed rail. This test is based on ASTM F2085-12.
Ease of use Antonio checks the instructions and ease of assembly and installation.

NB: An ensemble bed with a 180mm-thick mattress was used as the test bed.

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