Best Toddler Travel Beds for Airplanes

We got our first inflatable airplane bed for toddlers way back in 2016 and have been using that original Fly Tot inflatable airplane seat cushion plus a couple of others ever since. We always find a way to bring them on our long haul flights with toddlers and kids.

We sometimes feel like the extra space to bring the toddler travel beds for airplanes (plus having to carry them around for our entire trip) might not be worth it, but when flying with toddler that extra space for playing and sleeping always ends up being more that worth it. In the end, we never regret bringing them!

Even just a few hours of getting a toddler to sleep on the plane (and not on our laps) is worth it to us.

image of toddler sleeping on airplane on inflatable airplane travel bed

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In this post, we will review three of the best inflatable airplane travel beds for toddlers and kids. We’ll include a few of the other popular ones and how they compare.

If these just aren’t in your travel budget right now, you can check out these top budget inflatable airplane cushions we recommend to convert your toddlers seat to a bed.

There are basically 4 types of seat extenders for the airplane:

  1. Cube shaped blow up cushions (that you’ll find in our list of budget inflatable footrests).
  2. Mushroom shaped inflatable plane cushions like the Fly Tot.
  3. An inflatable cushion that covers the entire seat and area between the seats like the Flyaway kids bed.
  4. A ride-on suitcase that converts to a flight bed like the JetKids Bed Box.

Best Toddler Travel Beds for Airplanes

Are inflatable Footrests Allowed on Planes?

Yes, for some airlines. It’s important that you research your airline before using an inflatable airplane travel bed for kids or the JetKids Bed Box suitcase. We can speak from experience that airlines which have a strict no-use policy will ask you to remove it if you set it up.

Which Airlines Allow Inflatable Footrests?

Where possible the companies have listed the airlines that have either given approval for using their airplane travel bed for kids or given an indication that it could be used at the discretion of the flight crew.

Our Tips for Successfully using an Inflatable Travel Bed on Airplanes

image of toddler sleeping on plane
Don’t make the same mistake we did, put your toddlers feet on the cushion instead of their head.

An inflatable airplane seat cushion, like the Fly Tot or Flyaway Kids Bed, is perfect for creating an airplane travel bed for a baby, toddler or child.

  • If using it as a plane seat extender for your baby, never leave your baby unattended since she can still roll off.

  • You will need a reserved seat for your baby or toddler to use an inflatable airplane bed. Your toddler (under 2 years old) or baby will need to be in your lap for takeoff, landing and during any turbulence.

  • If a flight attendant requests you to put your child in your lap, please politely comply – even if your baby or toddler is sleeping. They are looking out for the safety of your child.

  • Make sure to position your child’s head near the back of the seat with feet on the inflatable pillow, so you can use the seat belt in case of sudden turbulence.

  • Never try to use your Bed Box or inflatable airplane bed for kids during taxi, takeoff or landing. We prefer to wait until the meal service is complete and everyone is settled in their seats.

  • Make sure you have the correct seats for using it. You will need a reserved seat or a spare seat to use it with. Only use it in the window seat or the middle seat of the center row on larger airplanes.

  • Never use it in a way that might impact other passengers. When used properly it should not interfere with the person in front of you or their ability to recline.

  • Never try to inflate it in the aisle, do it within the confines of your seat. You’ll want to inflate it in place anyways to get the most snug fit.

  • If you are asked to remove it, politely apologize and remove it. Flight attendants are your best friend when flying with a baby or toddler. In most cases using one of these airplane sleep aids is at the discretion of the flight crew.

What Ages is an Inflatable Airplane Travel Bed Suitable for?

Typically they are geared towards children who are 2 to 7 years old, given that you would have an airplane seat purchased for a child in this age range. They can still be used for infants and babies, if you have a reserved seat or are able to get a spare seat next to you.

What Can You do if Your Airline Doesn’t Allow Inflatable Plane Beds?

If you are flying with a baby, you can request a bassinet (if available and if you are seated in the bulk head seats). Otherwise, we recommend bringing a baby carrier for travel on the airplane. You can use it after takeoff to help get your baby to sleep.

If you have a purchased seat for your toddler or baby on the airplane, you can travel with a car seat if it will help your baby or toddler sleep.

If you don’t have a purchased seat, always ask if there are any spare seats on the flight. You can bring your car seat right to the gate and gate check it if you can’t get a spare seat.

And the big question…Is an Inflatable Airplane Bed for Toddlers and Kids Worth It?

image of getting a toddler to sleep on a flight with a toddler bed for plane

The answer to that question will depend on how much you intend to use it and the age of your children. If you buy it early on (when they are 2 years old) and plan to use it at least once a year, then yes, the cost is absolutely worth it. Especially if you will be doing long haul flights.

It’s no big deal to have a child sleep on your lap for a short flight, but when we are talking several hours… I would say that having them have their own space where they can spread out is more than worth it.

If you will only use it on one or two flights, then you can probably survive without it. The flight is a very short portion of your trip.

Don’t forget, you can also make use of them on other forms of transportation like on trains or ferries. The inflatable footrests can even be used in a car.

More Toddler Travel Resources

If you have any questions about this post or travel tips to offer other parents, join us over in our private Facebook group for traveling parents! Join here.

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