As a parent, I understand that watching your kid grow in good physical and mental health is one of your deepest desires. Getting adequate playtime is essential to your child’s growth and development.
Regardless of the benefits of jumping and walking around, your baby sometimes needs to be confined in one area for their safety and to give you ample time to check your to-do list.
There’s nothing else that does this better than playpens and play yards. Nevertheless, today’s market is full of these products, and selecting the best is not a walk in the park. That is why I have curated this detailed guide to help you choose the best playpen and play yard for your child.
10 of the Best Play Yards & Best Playpens for Babies of 2021
The factors will be of great assistance when choosing the right playpen or play yard for your young one. However, the whole process requires you to carry out a detailed research and consider your needs, budget, and other factors.
I compiled the list below to some of the best playpens and play yards that encompass most of the essential features for you and your kid.
#1 – Graco Pack ‘n Play Playard
This product from the Graco brand comes in a Pierce color and weighs about 34.5 pounds. Its dimensions are 28, 40, and 33.3 inches in length, width, and height, respectively.
With this play yard, you will get a weight limit of 18 pounds and a height limit of 35 inches. The product is made of plastic, metal, and polyester materials. It is available on Amazon at an affordable price, and it can be shipped within the United States and internationally.
- Comes with a soothing seat that allows you to connect with your child anywhere, anytime.
- Its changing table supports up to 30 pounds for easier diaper changes. This maximizes the time you spend with your kid.
- A built-in organizer allows for storage and easy access to baby essentials, such as diapers, wet wipes, clothes.
- Its integrated double speed vibration system soothes the baby while playing in the bouncer or relaxing on the infant seat.
- It uses 3 AA batteries that go for up to 4 hours.
- The product comes with an amazing night light feature on the soundbox.
- The play yard is easy to assemble and use.
- The materials used in its construction are durable.
- Not easy to be moved around as the play yard does not have wheels.
- The mattress pad may not be comfortable for your baby due to its hardness.
- It is not suitable for a baby weighing over 18 pounds or taller than 35 inches.
#2 – ALZIP MAT Baby Safety Playpen
This is a spacious playpen for your baby that comes in gray and white colors and an integrated genuine Alzipmat Baby play mat. It is very effective in keeping your baby safe in their play area while you take care of other chores around the house.
It is made of HDPE, ABS, PP, and TPE, which are durable materials. Its dimensions are 30, 26.37, and 17.88 inches for the length, width, and height, respectively.
It comprises 12 pieces, which include a 27.5 inches door and 11 guards measuring 27.5 inches each. On Amazon, this product goes for about $360.
- Alzip Mat playpen does not require any batteries.
- There are no tools required to assemble or disassemble this product.
- It can serve as both a Baby Room and playpen.
- It offers adequate space for your baby to turn over, stand, walk around, and engage in exciting plays.
- The guards support the baby’s movements and standing up.
- The product’s door makes it easy for you to put your baby inside or remove them from the playpen.
- Moving the playpen around is not easy considering its size and absence of wheels.
- The Mat is purchased separately.
#3 – MWPO Baby Playpen
Are you looking for an easy to clean and beautiful playpen for your toddler or infant? Then, MWPO is the ideal choice. The product comes in different sizes, colors, and prices.
It comes in a hexagonal shape with adequate ventilation and enough space for gauze. Its construction materials include a steel tube bracket, an Oxford surface, and a foam pad that prevents collision.
Here’s why you will love it:
- It has a diverse functionality, which includes a playpen, and stair door, room partition.
- It is stable and does not fall off.
- The product is easy to assemble and disassemble.
- Its sides are made of mesh, which facilitates visual observation.
- Its zipper is smooth.
- MWPO is portable since it can be folded into a compact unit.
- The ventilated mesh makes it easy for you to clean this playpen.
- The durable guard fence supports your baby’s movements and standing.
- The playpen has no weight or height limits. Any child can play on the pen regardless of their height and weight.
- It does not come with the ball. If the need arises, you will have to buy the ball separately.
- It does not include an organizer for baby essentials, such as diapers and clothes.
- The playpen does not have a changing table.
#4 – L.HPT playpens for Toddlers
This product is from the L.HPT brand, and it is ideal for your crawling toddler. It incorporates a guardrail in its structure, and the material used in its manufacture is high-density Oxford fabric.
It also has a 2.3cm-diameter steel pipe that prevents your baby from falling over. Its meshed sides make it ideal for you and your child.
The baby can safely play and crawl safely in the playpen as you watch them from its outside while doing your chores or catching up with friends.
- The 360 degrees view ensures that your baby sees you any time they turn around.
- Its 70cm height is enough to protect your baby from falling off the sides.
- The playpen’s 2.3cm diameter steel rod supports the baby in standing and moving around the play area.
- Its dimensions of 200cm, 160cm, and 70cm in length, width, and height, respectively, offer enough space for your young one to play and move about comfortably.
- It is easy to install and disassemble the unit as there are no tools required for the same.
- The mesh Oxford cloth on the sides offers adequate ventilation.
- It is easy to clean. Hand washing and wiping it with a cloth and soap keeps it fresh and hygienic.
The unit does not have an integrated mat. To create warmth and comfort for your toddler, you will have to place a mat, carpet, or soft things at the bottom of the playpen.
#5 – Gupamiga Foldable Baby playpen
The name of this product speaks for itself! It is foldable, which means that it is ideal for travel and takes up minimal storage space. It takes about five minutes to install or disassemble this baby’s playing unit.
The installation is as simple as spreading out the folded panels into the design of your choice and Press the panel’s hinge.
It comes with an anti-slip design, which makes the product strong and durable. The anti-skid rubber used in its manufacture ensures that you don’t use a lot of force when pushing the entire unit.
It is waterproof, and the cleaning process is very simple. You will only require a wet towel or cloth to wipe off chocolate, milk, or other stains. This makes your life easier and ensures that your child plays in a hygienic environment.
It is foldable and reversible. You don’t have to stress over joining different parts anymore! Simply fold and unfold the whole unit by bringing together or spreading its panels.
It comes with a foldable mat.
No tools are required for folding or opening up the Gupamiga Foldable Baby Playpen.
The playpen has no wheels, and it needs a push to move it from point A to point B.
#6 – XIAO WEI Home Baby playpen
If you are looking for an extensive play area for your baby, then XIAO WEI Home Baby playpen is among the best choices for you. This playpen is essential in helping your child learn faster how to crawl or walk as they do it comfortably within the unit.
With this playpen, you can also join your kid and play with them comfortably. The product comes in different colors and sizes, and it’s upon you to pick one that best satisfies your needs or according to your budget. On Amazon, one that measures 155×192.5×60 cm will cost you about $2,254.
XIAO WEI Home Baby playpen is made from durable, strong, non-toxic, and food-grade materials.
It offers your baby adequate leeway.
The playpen is wide enough for your baby to play, stand, and move around comfortably.
It comes with patterns and toys that can enhance your baby’s finger flexibility and visual effects, which is essential to their intellectual development.
The molding technique and smooth ridges in the playpen’s structure minimize the injury risk to your baby.
It is easy to move the unit around by simply folding it and unfolding at a convenient position.
- The Playpen has no changing table or an organizer for storing your baby’s essentials, such as diapers and wipes.
#7- Lotus Travel Crib Easy to Pack Play-Yard
As its name suggests, this is a lightweight, easy-to-pack play yard that is ideal when traveling with your child.
It comes with a comfy mattress and a lightweight backpack for carrying the whole unit. This is the only play yard with a non-toxic certification from the GreenGuard Gold, and it weighs just 13lbs when packed.
- The installation of the play yard takes about fifteen seconds.
- Its full-height mesh ensures adequate ventilation and smooth airflow.
- It comes with a complete travel crib and a backpack carrying case.
- Lotus Travel Crib Easy to Pack Play-Yard has a comfortable mattress ideal for sleep and play.
- The materials used are certified safe and non-toxic.
- Its door has a quiet zipper on the side to minimize distractive noise when your baby falls asleep.
- The product comes with a two-year warranty.
- You will be required to purchase the required sheets separately.
- Only infants between 0 and 3 years can have overnight’s sleep in the play yard.
#8 – 4moms Breeze Plus Portable Playard with Removable Bassinet
When you think of a flexible play yard, this is the product that should pop up in your mind. Besides the removable bassinet, 4moms Breeze Plus Portable Playard also includes a removable changer and a complete care station.
Its dimensions are 43, 30, and 29 inches for the length, width, and height, respectively, and weighs about 23 pounds. The material used in this play yard’s manufacture comprises 78% Polyurethane Foam and 22% Polyester.
- Lightweight making it easily portable.
- It does not require any batteries.
- It is easy to clean it by simply wiping with a wet cloth.
- The package includes a convenient travel bag.
- Setting up this play yard is simple, and it’s done in a single step – one push to open, one pull to close!
- It can support babies that weigh up to 30 pounds.
#9 – BABYBJORN Travel Crib
This is a travel crib that comes with a fitted pack of sheets. The material used in making the crib and the bottom surface of the mattress cover is 100% polyester. The crib does not use any batteries, and its weight is 0.423 ounces. You can buy it for your baby if they are 0 to 3 years old.
- You can safely and easily remove and clean the fabric.
- As the name suggests, this crib is ideal when traveling with your child.
- The soft and airy mesh on its sides allows you to supervise your baby while giving them enough visual contact with the outside.
- Just one step needed to set BABYBJORN Travel Crib up.
- It comes with a mattress and a backpack.
- When not in use, you can fold it and store it in the backpack.
- There is no weight limit for this product.
- It is ideal for babies 3 years and below and those who cannot climb out of the crib.
#10 – Baby Trend Retreat Twins Nursery Center
You might be blessed with twins, and you wonder which playpen or play yard is right for you? Well, Baby Trend Retreat Twins Nursery Center is the perfect product for twins.
It comes with two removable bassinets, each with an individual canopy and handles. Additionally, its mesh sides offer adequate ventilation, and the plush fabric enhances removability. The bassinets also come with two toys.
- Baby Trend Retreat Twins Nursery Center is ideal for twins.
- It comes with a convenient storage/travel tote bag.
- The play yard has large wheels that can be locked in place using brakes.
- It has an in-built music system with volume control, vibration, and nightlight.
- One-hand locking mechanism.
- A changing table is included.
- Deluxe organizer
- Baby Trend Retreat Twins Nursery Center has a height limit of 35 inches.
How to Choose the Best Play Yards & Best Playpens for Babies
Before we dive into the 10 best playpens and play yards for your child, you need to comprehend what to look for when shopping for one. As you shop around for your baby’s playpen, whether online shopping or not, you might get confused by the many brands, shapes, colors, and functionality when it comes to these items.
For instance, the traditional playpens came in a square shape and had a flat pad on the bottom and bars on the sides. Today, the range of designs has broadened significantly, and manufacturers sometimes call them “play yards”. Playpens and play yards serve the same purpose. Therefore, it is very paramount always to keep the following considerations in mind when shopping for one:
Typically, playpens and play yards are mainly used to create a safe playing and exploration zone for your baby. However, some parents use playpens as travel beds. You will be surprised to find some designs that incorporate a changing table, a bassinet insert, and other features that make these products suitable for travel.
Some manufacturers have even come up with weather-safe playpens that can be used outdoors. Understanding the intended purpose of your baby’s playpen is a key consideration to make when shopping.
We all have varying needs and requirements in our lives. It is recommendable to have a budget in place as this helps you avoid overspending on one item. Playpens and play yards come with different features, designs, and sizes.
This is what creates the difference in their prices. As you shop for this product, ensure that the one you choose falls within your set budget. You can find a playpen that costs anywhere between $75 and $250 depending on its features.
Size and Shape
The dimensions of the playpen matter a lot. The larger the playpen, the more comfortable and enjoyable it is for your baby. Besides the traditional rectangular-shaped playpens, manufacturers have come up with other shapes, including hexagonal and octagonal shapes to give you a wider range to choose.
The size of some playpens and play yards can be compared to that of a small crib measuring 40 inches and 30 inches in length and width, respectively.
If you are considering using the playpen mostly for game time, a larger design will be ideal. The rectangular-shaped design provides adequate surface area for your baby to play and move around comfortably.
Your Baby’s Weight
Some of the playpens and play yards available today are simply platforms set on the ground for the baby to play in. they do not come with a weight limit. However, other designs come with an integrated deck with specific weight limits.
Moreover, some other features, such as the changing table or the bassinet, may have a lower weight limit than the playpen itself. It is recommended that you keep track of your baby’s weight to know which product best fits them.
The Material Used
Today’s manufacturers use a wider variety of materials, unlike the traditional normalcy of using wood in playpen construction. Many parents are still going for the wooden designs considering their aesthetics and durability. Nonetheless, the wooden playpens should be inspected regularly to minimize the chances of your baby getting hurt by the nails and screws.
Other playpens and play yards are made from plastic, mesh, and metal tubing. Regardless of the material used, ensure that the product you pick offers your baby adequate ventilation and visual contact. It should also be strong and safe for playtime.
The best playpen is one that doubles as a playing area and the baby’s bed when they want to sleep. Such a feature makes a playpen very essential to you and the baby, especially when travelling. However, to avoid incurring extra costs, it is advisable to choose the playpen that has bedding attached to it.
To prevent possible accidents and injuries, the sides of the playpen should always be greater than your baby’s height. Some with vertical bars on the sides offer the baby the necessary support to stand and move about comfortably. However, if you choose a playpen made of cloth on the sides, it should have a rope or handle to support your kid.
Are you a parent who travels a lot with their child? If that’s you, then the playpen you choose should be easy to fold into a compact unit that consumes less trunk space. Even if you are not traveling a lot with the product, it will still need to be stored properly. The majority of parents go for playpens that fold up easily and compactly for easier storage. A playpen should also be easy to assemble and use, especially if you have an irritable baby.
Ease of Cleaning
Hygiene is essential to your baby, considering that their immune system has not yet fully developed. Therefore, the playpen of your choice should be easy to clean. Some complex designs available in the market today are hard to clean daily.
Although most of the playpens in the market are standard, some include additional features, such as:
- Wheels for easy moving of the playpen from one point to another.
- Toys, integrated sound and lighting, activity bars, and mobiles to keep your baby entertained.
- Storage space for diapers and other baby essentials.
- A changing table to easily change the baby diapers.
- An attached rocking to help lull your baby to sleep.
What is a playpen?
This is a portable enclosure of a reasonable size that allows a baby to play safely.
A: Do parents still use playpens?
Yes. Playpens have been and still are in use for quite a while now.
2:Are playpens a good idea?
Using playpens ensures the child’s safe playtime and allows the parent to handle other tasks. However, confining the baby in a playpen may limit their exploratory and experimental freedom in their surroundings.
3:How long do babies use playpens?
The ideal age to introduce the baby to a playpen is when they get to four months old. They can use the playpen until they are about three years old or when they manage to climb out of the unit.
Are wooden playpens safe?
Generally, wooden playpens are safe. However, they may crack, break, or split at points where hardware, such as nails and screws, are located. This could cause injury to the baby or even the parent.
4:Can I use a playpen instead of a crib as my baby’s bed?
Yes. Nonetheless, this is only applicable to playpens that come with mattresses. If there is no mattress present, the playpen is only meant for playing and no sleeping.
Is it okay to leave a baby in the playpen?
It is not okay to leave a newborn in a playpen as they need constant human stimulation, and they cannot play much in the unit. Babies between six and eight months old can be left in a playpen with close supervision. This is because they have learned to sit up and reach for and take nearby objects.
From eight to ten months, the baby starts to crawl and use a nearby object to stand. You can keep the baby in the playpen but make sure to provide new toys for maximum entertainment. Once your baby learns how to walk, they will sometimes detest if you confide them in a playpen.
Watching your baby play or sleep while handling other activities is a definite relief for you. Playpens and play yards have been in use for quite a while, and their benefits can be seen in very many households. However, today’s market has an influx of these products, and choosing the best has become challenging for parents like you.
The above description shows the factors to consider when shopping for baby playpens or play yards. Some of these factors include your set budget, your baby’s weight, size and shape, ease of cleaning, and how foldable it is.
I have also listed ten of the best playpens and play yards in the market today. As you go shopping, you can consider the above products that are essential in giving your little one ample and safe playtime.