What is a bed tent?
A bed tent is a tent that either sits upon or attaches to a bed. They vary in shape, size and complexity, with commercially manufactured bed tents offering a completely different experience to a homemade duvet tent.
Some people also use the term ‘bed canopy’ to describe bed tents but, in theory, they are different things. A bed canopy can simply hang above a bed whereas a bed tent must enclose it in some way.
What ages are bed tents for?
Bed tents can be appreciated by both kids and adults, although you might associate them more with children. They’re typically thought of as entertainment items but have many surprising practical uses, which is why it’s not uncommon to find adults using them for alternative reasons.
It’s generally not recommended to let children under three years old sleep inside a bed tent. At the other end of the spectrum, older adults with mobility issues might find a bed tent makes getting in and out of bed too difficult, so should proceed with caution if thinking about using one.
What are bed tents used for?
For the most part, bed tents are used for entertainment. They’re fun, providing a playful setting for sleepovers or make-believe adventures. And not only do they keep children occupied, but they also teach them about privacy and personal space.
Another reason why people use bed tents is to help with sleep-related issues. This includes problems falling and staying asleep, as well as for children who need encouraging to go to bed.
Bed tents are also often used to provide comfort to both adults and children. People with anxiety, autism and sensory processing disorder, for example, can use a bed tent to alleviate certain symptoms.
What are the benefits of a bed tent?
There are multiple benefits to using a bed tent. For children, they help to create a smoother bedtime. Sleep is important for everyone but especially children, who are growing quickly and need lots of high-quality sleep to ensure proper development. Bed tents can help make bedtime a more acceptable prospect for children who:
- Get out of bed too much
- Are light sleepers
- Are afraid of bed
- Find bedtime boring and therefore try to avoid it
Another benefit of bed tents is that they’re lightweight and simple to set up, making them easily transportable. If you are away on holiday, visiting family or anywhere outside of your child’s normal sleeping environment, being able to bring your bed tent with you means you can make the transition a lot smoother for your child.
Much like weighted blankets, bed tents can benefit people struggling with sensory issues or anxiety disorders. By shutting out light and noise, they reduce unwanted visual and auditory stimuli, preventing the nervous system from becoming overwhelmed.
Some other benefits of bed tents include:
- They effectively store heat on cold nights, keeping fuel bills down
- Some bed tents are made from blackout material, which makes them great for night shift workers or those sleeping in rooms without adequate curtains or blinds
- They aid children’s imaginative play, which is vital for their emotional processing and social skills
Are bed tents safe?
Bed tents are generally safe but, as with anything, should be used with caution around children. Check regularly for broken zips or rips in the material if your child is young, as these pose risks regarding choking or getting stuck inside. If your child likes to hide things, you should also check that they have not taken any dangerous objects into the bed tent with them.
If your child is toilet training or experiences night-time incontinence, it might be best to wait until these issues are resolved before introducing a bed tent, which could hinder them from getting to the toilet in time. Most bed tents come in waterproof material though, so it’s not too big a problem if you do decide to use one.
There is little to no risk of suffocation from commercially manufactured bed tents, which are usually made from breathable materials and have mesh windows for added ventilation.
How do you set up and care for a bed tent?
Bed tents come in different designs, so you should always follow the manufacturer’s instructions when setting one up. Some go around the entire bed frame, some are secured by putting the mattress inside and some sit on top of the mattress.
If the bed tent is being used regularly, try washing it every time the sheets are changed but be cautious of using a tumble dryer. Most bed tents are made from polyester or other synthetic fabrics which can shrink when exposed to this kind of heat.
Different types of bed tent
Bed tent is a general term to describe any tent-like structure that goes on a bed. It’s therefore quite a broad definition but the most common types of bed tent are:
When a bed canopy comes all the way down to enclose the bed, it can be called a bed tent. If the canopy is purely decorative, only framing the headboard, then it is a bed canopy.
Shaped bed tent
Some bed tents come in novelty shapes or designs, such as a car or a dinosaur.
Bed tent for adults
Bed tents for adults tend to have more subtle designs – for example, a block colour and rectangular shape. They’re also more commonly made from blackout material and have functional features.
Homemade bed tent
Temporary bed tents can be made using items from around the home, such as a hockey stick and duvet. These aren’t so great for sleeping in but can be a lot of fun to build.
Tunnel bed tent
One of the more classic bed tent designs is a tunnel shape. This is one of the most practical shapes, offering easy access to the tent without compromising on privacy.
Mesh bed tent
Bed tents made from mesh fabric tend to be see-through and are used more for decoration than anything else.
Privacy bed tent
Some bed tents can be zipped up around the entire bed, including the frame and mattress, so that the occupant can truly create their own space.
Other features of bed tents
Most bed tents come in multiple sizes, able to fit single beds, double beds and even bunk beds.
Other features that they can (but don’t always) include are:
- Blackout material
- Pockets for storing things
- Hooks for hanging things
- Strategically placed zips to provide multiple options for doors, windows and flaps
- Cosy material on the inside
The Snuggy Pod
Whether you’re experimenting with ways to get a better night’s sleep, trying to make bedtime more fun or looking for the perfect Christmas present for a child, the Snuggy Pod is here to make your life a little easier.
Available in single, double and king sizes, it folds down into a portable sleeping bag for ease of transportation. The Snuggy Pod is designed to be used with your existing bed and mattress, so there’s no need for any additional purchases.
Browse our selection of Snuggy Pods to see the full range of colours and features.