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 Tips for choosing nursery furniture

One of the many nice things about having a baby is choosing the furniture for the nursery. This is an exciting time for most parents as planning what kinds of furniture to buy and where it should go will all add to the general excitement and make the impending arrival seem to be much closer.

Nowadays there are seemingly endless options in the nursery furniture sector. Some parents choose to buy a complete set of furniture that contains everything they need whilst others prefer to pick and choose the pieces of furniture to suit them and the room itself.

child in bed

Cots and Cot Beds

baby's cot

In general terms the first piece of furniture that a parent needs to think about is what the baby will sleep in. There are two primary choices here -- cots and cot beds

A cot bed does the same job as a cot but, when the baby turns into a toddler, the cot bed can be changed from a cot into the bed (usually by taking off the sides). 

The principal difference between the two is that the cot bed can last up to five or six years depending on the size of the child whilst a cot will need to be replaced after a year or two.

Changing Tables and Dressers

Parents also need to think about where they will change the baby's nappies. Again, there are two main options here -- changing tables and changing dressers
A changing table is a simple table that may have a shelf underneath and a changing mat on top. 

A changing dresser is a sturdier version of a changing table -- these pieces of furniture usually look like dressing tables/large bedside cabinets and generally have drawers incorporated into them. The changing mat goes on the top of the dresser. 

changing table

For many parents this is again a good growth option -- there is little that can be done with a changing table when the baby grows out of nappies but a changing dresser can simply have the mat removed and be turned into a standard dresser.

Nursery Storage

Finally, most nurseries will need some kind of storage. Most people will buy a wardrobe here although a wide range of other items are available including bedside cabinets, storage boxes and dressers/cabinets. Many nursery wardrobes will come with hanging space and with drawers which can useful -- it's amazing how much a small baby will accumulate very quickly!

Materials and Finishes

The majority of nursery furniture is made from wood, veneers or from artificial materials. Wooden furniture tends to cost more but it is often held to be more solid and may stand the test of time better than other materials. However, non-wood furniture may be lighter and will usually last long enough to see the child through until they need more adult designs.


It is essential that parents think about safety before making any purchase. They should look at the furniture closely to check that it is well-made and constructed and that it doesn't have sharp edges or rough areas. If putting together flat-packed furniture then make sure to do so according to the manufacturer's instructions and to tighten all screws and bolts appropriately. 

BSI kite mark

Make sure you buy furniture that comes with an accredited safety rating such as the BSI Kite Mark and the European CE marking, for example. european CE mark


There are many styles of furniture to choose from for the nursery. Some parents opt for furniture that mimics adult styles on the basis that this will last longer as their child won't outgrow it. If this is the preference then these parents should possibly also look at furniture that will grow with their child (as with the cot bed and changing dresser discussed previously). However, many parents simply want to make their child's nursery a fun and welcoming place to sleep in so will look to buy character furniture. There are all sorts of options here from classic cartoon and book characters through to modern day TV programmes. Whatever the choices made here remember that buying nursery furniture can be fun and can help in make the impending arrival of the baby even more exciting.





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