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Baby Toys

Best Baby Play Pen and Play Yards for A Baby’s Safe Space

Last Updated December 9, 2021

By  Janice Warren

The best playpens and play yards serve as the ultimate babyproof play area solution to help keep an eye on babies and toddlers and keep them away from trouble.

But besides keeping these kids from flushing themselves down the toilets or getting into any trouble, the playpen can also be a safe place where you can lay them to sleep anywhere, both indoors or outdoors.

This comes in handy, especially when you're out on family vacations and don't have the crib nearby. Playpens are ideally supposed to be versatile and convenient tools that you can use to keep an eye on your child while they play with their toys.

But choosing the wrong one can easily cause you some level of frustration with difficult folds, hard-to-clean surfaces, and bulky bags.

The best playpens come in different options that are portable, simple to use, and some are safe for babies to sleep in.

These variations come as playpens with a removable bassinet, while some create safe outdoor play spaces. Overall, safety is the primary consideration when considering the safest sleep surface for infants.

Also, you're advised never to leave your child unsupervised even while they're in a playpen.

What Is A Baby Playpen?

A playpen is an enclosed safe play area for your baby and a great place to watch over your toddler while you get some work done.

These units are either made of plastic, wood, or metal. Most are lightweight, portable, and can be safely stored anywhere around the house.

Do You Need One?

In a much as you'd want to cuddle your cute baby 24/7, it's impossible. Considering all the other things that you need to do, like actually use the toilet or have a cup of coffee, for instance.

Overall, it not only makes it easy to watch kids, but it also helps give your baby some time to get a little creative with their toys or form some sense of independence at an early age.

You only need to set it up on a flat floor surface, fill it with toys, and then watch them play while you work.

What Is the Difference between A Play Yard and a Playpen?

The only real difference between these two is that some play yards can be converted to a travel crib or has extra features like a changing table that you can use to change the diaper of your little one. Regular playpens don't. Additionally, play yards typically come with an attached floor, while the playpen doesn’t. This is why playpens don't show weight limits.

What are the safest playpens for babies?

1. Evenflo Versatile Play Space

Sale
Evenflo Versatile Play Space
  • Indoor, Outdoor Versatility: Exclusive reversible legs have outdoor stakes for lawn...
  • Spacious: Over 18.5 square feet and 28” tall provides a safe space for the child to...
  • Easy and Quick Assembly: No tools required
  • Unique Hinge Design: Each panel can be a door access
  • Usage information: For use with children 6 to 24 months.  Important:  Never use...

Is your child 6-24 months old? This may be the safe play space you've been looking for. This enclosed space offers about 18.5 square feet of space for your baby to have fun while still being safe. This safe play space is perfect for indoor or outdoor use.

You can comfortably use this space when you're outdoors, thanks to the reversible legs. These legs ensure that this space remains stable whether you are on the lawn or in the sand.

The non-scratch floor pads are anti-movement and ensure that your interior floors remain as perfect as they are.

In addition to keeping the baby safe, this Evenflo Versatile play space is easy to set up and fold. The unique hinge design also helps to keep things simple as you fold and unfold. In addition, these six interlocking panels are UV and weather-resistant panels.

You don't need any tools to assemble and disassemble this space. This adds to the convenience of using this space. A point to note is that you shouldn't use this space if you think that your child can climb over it.

  • Pros
  • Easy to assemble and disassemble
  • Affordable
  • Great for indoor or outdoor use
  • Comes with non-scratch floor pads to protect your floors
  • Each panel can be used as a door access
  • Very spacious
  • Cons
  • Has a ladder design that makes it easy for children to climb
  • Your child can move it

2. Toddleroo by North States Baby Play Yard

Toddleroo by North States Superyard Colorplay 8 Panel Baby Play Yard: Safe play area anywhere. Folds...
  • NEW NAME - SAME GREAT BRAND YOU TRUST: Designed for both indoor and outdoor use, the...
  • SAFETY & CONVENIENCE: This play yard sets up and folds up quickly. Comes complete...
  • VERSATILE: This durable plastic eight-panel colorful play yard creates up to 34.4...
  • EXTRA-WIDE BARRIER: Using a maximum of 6 panels, the play yard can now act as an...
  • BABY SAFE: This gate is JPMA certified. Safe for babies ages 6-24 months. Fun for...

Our second pick is this play yard that is perfect for indoor and outdoor use. This Toddleroo by North States play yard is safe and convenient to use thanks to its design and bright colors that your kids will enjoy.

You can choose to get the folding ABC Play Mat that is sold separately to make this play yard even more comfortable. This foldable mat adds to the comfort of your child and provides sensory stimulation as you do tummy time.

Just like our previous pick, this play yard is easy to fold up. This option also comes with a cool carrying strap for your convenience and non-slip pads. Talk about portability.

You get a total of 34.4 square feet of space with this play yard. This is more than sufficient for your baby's playtime.

If your home has an open plan or your rooms are very spacious, this play yard will work very well for you. This gate is also JPMA certified, which makes it safe for babies between 6-24 months.

  • Pros
  • Easy to fold
  • Very colorful and vibrant colors
  • The gate is JPMA certified
  • Offers a large amount of play space
  • Great for large spaces or an open-plan house
  • Sturdy and won't bend or move if your baby leans on it
  • Cons
  • Plastic is dangerous if it cracks or breaks

3. SASRL Baby Playpen

Baby Playpen,Kids Large Playard with 50PCS Pit Balls,Indoor & Outdoor Kids Activity Center,Infant...
  • 【ENJOY LARGE PLAYING AREA】Large playard size is 79x63x26inch/200x160x66cm(Here...
  • 【SAFETY ECO-FRIENDLY MATERIAL & NON-SLIP】Baby playpen fence is made of...
  • 【BREATHABLE MESH & SAFETY LOCK】The sides panels are a visible soft breathable...
  • 【360-degree wide-angle view】the side panels are soft breathable mesh. Children...
  • 【MOMMY LIFE SAVER】SASRL can effectively help your kids explore the world of...

These best baby playpens are great if your child loves playing with you or other children. This playpen measures around 79 x 63 x 26 inches and can accommodate plenty of toys, pets, and even friends. Your baby can comfortably move around and in this playpen.

These baby products come with 50 ocean balls, a storage bag, and 4 handlers. The material used to make these best baby playpens is eco-friendly and non-slip. The fence of this safe environment is made from Resistant-duty oxford material.

Strong fabrics are used to make the net sidings. All these materials are BPA-free for your child's safety and are very easy to clean. You can use a damp cloth and some mild soap to wipe down these playpens in case of spillage.

Your baby won't be able to move this playpen, thanks to the non-slip suction cups that keep the bottom in place. The side panels of these best playpens for babies are made of breathable mesh. Thanks to the 360-degree wide-angle view, your child will be able to see you no matter which side you're on.

You can also enter these best playpens for babies and play with your baby for a while. This is made possible thanks to the external zipper that comes with this purchase. The best advantage of this playpen is that.

  • Pros
  • Great for having several children in the playpen
  • Allows you to do other things as your baby plays
  • Comes with non-slip suction cups to keep it stable
  • The materials used are eco-friendly and BPA-free
  • Easy to clean
  • Very comfortable for your child
  • Very large playpen for your baby
  • Cons
  • Can be difficult to take apart
  • Not easily portable

4. Fortella Cloud Castle Foldable Playpen

Fortella Cloud Castle Foldable Playpen, Baby Safety Play Yard with Whiteboard and Activity Wall,...
  • FOLDABLE & PORTABLE: Easy storage and take it anywhere; anti-slip/non-scratch pads...
  • STURDY & SECURE: Keeps its shape and position thanks to its strong hinge connectors...
  • FUN & EDUCATIONAL: Drawing has been shown as the most effective way to improve your...
  • PRE-ASSEMBLED & CUSTOMIZED SHAPE: Simply expand the folded panels into your desired...
  • SPACIOUS: Covers over 25 square feet and stands tall at 24.4’’.

This foldable playpen makes it on top of the list mostly because of how easy it is to assemble, which is a great bonus for many parents. It's also a top choice in the portable category.

When you fold it, it collapses to only 11 inches wide, which makes it portable and allows it to fit literally anywhere for safe storage. It also weighs about 36 pounds, so it's easy to move around when you need to.

The Fortella Cloud Castle is also easy to move around because of the small handles on the panels. It comes with features such as anti-slip pads at the bottom that work great to create a safe place for your child to play both inside and outside the house. In addition, this bottom won’t damage your polished floor.

The panels also allow you to change their shape to suit whatever area you're looking to put it in. In addition, it comes with a whiteboard and activity wall to help harness your kid’s creativity and motor development, which is crucial at a young age.

It gives the baby 25 square feet of space. The play space, convenient features, versatility, and extra safety features come at a relatively higher price, but it's also worth every penny.

  • Pros
  • Whiteboard and activity wall to help harness your kid’s creativity and motor development
  • No footholds so the babies won't climb over
  • Simple safety gate to keep the baby secure
  • Made from a non-toxic, food-grade, BPA-free material
  • Improved safety with no sharp edges
  • Customizable size and shape
  • Gives the baby 25 square feet of space
  • Small slats to prevent babies from trapping their arms
  • Cons
  • Relatively pricey

5. Dripex Foldable Baby Playpen

Foldable Baby Playpen, Dripex Kids Portable Playard with Double Suction Anti-Slip, 5 Handlers,...
  • 👍【New 2021 Advanced Version!! 】- Major upgrades - upgraded foldable design...
  • 💪【 Exclusive Patented Foldable Design】-This is the exclusive patented design...
  • 🏆【 Release Your Finger and Thumb Now!】- Are you tired of the the hinges and...
  • 🥉【 Visible Mesh & Safety Play-view Enclosure】- The breathable grid allows your...
  • 💪【 Pack-N-Play are Little Cages】- The inside is the of the play pen is...

You will love the double zipper design on these best playpens for babies. This double zipper design ensures that your baby doesn't accidentally fall over as they try to escape. You also interact with your baby as they are playing, thanks to the breathable mesh.

This allows your baby to have a sense of security as they are playing in the playpen. In addition, these best playpens for babies have a stable double reinforcement for extra stability. You also get impact resistance and increased strength with these playpens.

The TPR suction cup at the bottom ensures that your baby won't be able to push the playpen as they play inside. You can fit several toys, pets, and friends inside this space. This space keeps your baby contained with its large size.

You also don't have to deal with your baby getting their leg stuck as they try to climb out of their playpen. The mesh walls offer this assurance and protection. In addition, your baby will be able to walk around and explore as they are in the playpen.

You can have tummy time in this sleep space, thanks to the fact that this space doesn't have the traditional playpen design with panels and an open floor.

  • Pros
  • Keeps your baby very safe
  • Portable playpen
  • Comes with handy mesh walls
  • Easy to assemble and disassemble
  • Sturdy design
  • Cons
  • Expensive
  • Dirt tracks can be annoying

6. BABYSEATER Playard Play Pen with Carrying Case

BABYSEATER Portable Playard Play Pen with Carrying Case for Infants and Babies, Beige
  • ❤️ TIME TO PLAY – For little ones, it’s all about fun! But keeping a constant...
  • 💙 A FLICK OF THE WRIST – Setting up your baby playpen is so easy, you might just...
  • 💛 NOW YOU SEE ME – Peace of mind for everyone! The BabySeater portable playpen...
  • 💚 FUN ON THE GO – Fun shouldn’t have to stay at home! Whether you’re in the...
  • 💙 OUR PROMISE – You’ve come to expect the best from BabySeater, and our pop...

BABYSEATER is a portable play yard with a lightweight panel construction, making it easy to pack up and transport. This comes in handy, especially when you’re visiting family or need to relocate from one room to another.

It also comes with an attached floor that's padded to create a soft buffer for the baby on the hard floor. This is extremely great for babies who are still learning to stand or walk around.

It comes with a removable lining that's also machine washable, so you won’t need to worry about your baby's play yard not being clean enough or sanitized.

This is important since babies have a lot of spills and drool a lot too. It's most ideal for babies who are still teething. In addition to all these features and great panel space, it's also water-resistant.

  • Pros
  • Comes with great space
  • A clear mesh so parents can easily see the child
  • Comes with 2 safety latches
  • Simple takedown with a one-hand folding system
  • Comes with a carrier bag
  • Is under 15 lbs. in weight
  • Removable lining that's also machine washable
  • Padded integrated floor
  • Cons
  • Not completely waterproof

7. Uanlauo Foldable Baby Playpen

Sale
Uanlauo Foldable Baby Playpen Safety Play Yard for Toddler, Kids Activity Centre Indoor or...
  • Exquisite buckle design, Easy to assemble
  • Foldable & Easy Packing:Designed with a simple fold and go deign. Easy to set up and...
  • Sturdy holding: Specially designed rubber feet underneath of the yard so the parts...
  • Mom's Lifesaver: Keep baby safe in there play center when mom/dad needs to cook,...
  • Safty&Durable:BPA free Give your baby the closest contact, HDPE Material is more...

This Uanlauo playpen is made of BPA-free, non-recyclable, non-toxic material that will keep your baby very safe. You will also love the cool fact that this playpen stands tall without emitting any odor.

Thanks to the molding technique used to make this playpen, it is very durable.

The brightly colored design will add some brightness to your child's life and allow them to play more freely.

Thanks to this couple of square feet of playing space, your hands will be free to handle other things around the house as your child plays.

Your child will not be stuck between the panels of this space, thanks to the anti-trap design that this playpen comes in. Although this purchase doesn't come with a storage bag, you'll still love how easily foldable this portable playpen is. This outdoor playpen is great for outdoors and indoors.

  • Pros
  • Easily foldable and portable
  • Has an anti-trap design to protect your child from getting caught in the junctions
  • Offers ample space for your child to walk around in
  • Comes in attractive and bright colors
  • Made of non-toxic BPA free materials
  • Sturdy
  • Cons
  • It can be too small for some kids
  • Locking mechanisms can be hard to push and pull

8. 4moms Breeze GO Portable Travel Play yard

4moms Breeze GO Portable Travel Playard, for Baby, Infant, and Toddler, Easy One-Handed Setup, from...
  • One push open, one pull close
  • Easy, one-handed set up and take down
  • Great for travel or moving around the house
  • Water-resistant playard mattress
  • Streamlined, airy design provides clear views of your little one

This portable travel play yard by 4moms Breeze GO gives your baby plenty of space to play, making it ideal for outdoor use. It can also be made compact enough to fit in your bathroom.

This play yard comes in a steel frame that's incredibly sturdy enough to hold a firm but a well-padded mattress, a few inches off the ground.

This mattress is much better than most of the budget options out there. It's easy to clean wIn addition, whenever you experience baby food splatters or accidental spills, the nylon sides can easily be wiped and leave no stains. 

It generally looks and feels like the traditional playpen, but the only difference is that you only need to pull up or press down on the center to set it up and tear it down; no need to lock or unlock the top railings. These features make it easy and fast.

The carry bag is conveniently thought out since the zipper runs diagonally down, making it easier to fit the foldable play yard inside.

At almost 3-feet long in the travel bag, it's not exactly the best to carry around, but that's a trade-off for an excellent construction. Overall, it's the best budget play yard.

  • Pros
  • Easy and fast setup and teardown
  • Versatile, convenient design
  • Sturdy steel frame to firmly hold its well-padded mattress, a few inches off the ground
  • Great play space size
  • Affordable price
  • 1-year warranty on manufacturing defects
  • Cons
  • Heavy
  • Bulky design

9. Tiny Love Here I Grow Portable Playard

Tiny Love Here I Grow Play Yard, Magical Tales
  • 6 modes of use: 3 ways to care & 3 ways to play
  • Ways to care: spacious changer, comfy bassinet, roomy play yard
  • Ways to play: play bassinet, play mat, play yard
  • Extra large arches with fun, developmental toys
  • Attach the toy arches to the included play mat for tummy time to promote fine and...

The Tiny Love Here I Grow is a 6-in-1 play yard that offers parents one of the best all-in-one solutions for changing diapers, laying the baby to sleep, and putting them to play. Among the features, it comes with a changing area, bassinet, diaper caddy, and infant activity play yard.

In addition, its changing station is much larger and more durable than others, while the play yard gives your baby plenty of space. 

The gym comes with a mat, a detachable toy arch, and a developmental guide to give you ideas on spending time with the baby.

It's made of plastic panels, a plastic and metal frame, and a polyester fabric that feels really comfortable. Unfortunately, the mattress is white and spot-clean only.

  • Pros
  • Comes with a bassinet
  • Changing station table and diaper caddy
  • Has an activity gym
  • Well-built
  • Large playing space
  • 1-year warranty
  • The panel is made of plastic
  • Cons
  • Changing table can be a little difficult to disassemble
  • Relatively heavy

What Factors Should You Consider When Getting the Best Playpens for Babies?

A). Foldability

Not every house comes sprawling with plenty of space, so having a playpen/play yard for your baby's play space that also collapses for easier storage is a great plus. If you want to keep it in your living room, this is something you should consider.

B). Extra Panels

Simply put, more panels mean it's extra-large and covers more space. You can always adjust the size of this playing pen by either adding or removing the panels. So, consider the customization feature before purchase.

C). Material

Playpens come in different materials, which include wood, plastic, mesh, and steel. Typically most mesh panel playpens come with a metal frame for durability.

Always keep in mind your preferences when looking at playards, especially if you want something easy to carry outdoors or used indoors or both. For example, plastic is lightweight and easy to clean, and some playpens with mesh sides come with removable covers that can be washed.

D). Ease of Use

Obviously, no one wants to spend so much time taking apart and putting the playpen back up. So always choose something easy to assemble and fold back up when you need it.

E). Dimensions

The dimensions of the playpen you choose will determine the experience your child has. The most common type of playpen is the rectangular-shaped one. This is because it offers a great space for your child to play in.

You can also get hexagonal or octagonal-shaped ones if you prefer. Ensure that the dimensions match your preferences and that the playpen has proper ventilation. If you plan on having playdates with other kids, it would be better to get a big playpen.

F). Ease of Cleaning

You have so many things to do on top of taking care of a toddler. The last thing you need is to deal with a dirty playpen. You want a playpen that is easy to clean. Keeping the best playpens for babies clean is a must-do.

However, this doesn't mean that it has to be a painful process. On the contrary, you can protect your baby from diseases and infections without having to hassle too hard.

A playpen that is easy to clean will ensure that the cleaning process is as painless as possible.

G). Detachable Parts

Having those detachable items that make using the playpen easier to use can come very handy. Therefore, you can check the product details to see if you are getting any extra items.

Some of these items include a detachable lid, wheels, a canopy, and more.

Having a canopy is great because it allows you to protect your child from the sun when you are outdoors. Wheels enable you to move your playpen when you need to easily. The more features you can get, the better the experience will be.

H). Baby's Weight

The weight and height of your baby will determine the type of playpen you get. If you choose the best playpens for babies with padded flooring, you'll have to compromise on the weight factor.

This type of playpens often has a limited capacity when it comes to weight.

Therefore, if you have a baby who weighs a bit more than the average child, you'd better get a playpen without flooring.

Choose a durable playpen that is taller than your baby's height. This will allow your baby to remain safe without being able to escape.

What Are the Types of Play Yards?

Whether you want to use your baby's play yard at grandma's house or anywhere else, you need to know which type of play yard works best for your baby.

There are two major types of play yards. These include basic play yards and deluxe play yards.

The main and significant difference between these two types of playards is that basic play yards are lightweight and don't have extra features. Some of these extra features include a flip-away changing table or even a carry bag.

On the other hand, the play deluxe comes with a bassinet, changing station, canopy, toy bars, and more. Let's look at some of these differences in greater detail.

1. Basic Play Yards

These best play yards are designed to be portable, comfortable, and foldable. This means that your basic play yard will be able to fit through your doors, be moved from one room to another, and be foldable enough to fit in your trunk.

Most of these play yards are rectangular and often measure around 28 x 40 inches. You will often see these play yards with a breathable mesh size.

This type of play yard is also lightweight and is great if you move around with your body a lot.

2. Deluxe Play Yards

These play yards are on the higher end of the spectrum and are often more expensive than their basic counterparts. However, these best play yards have amazing extra features that come in very handy.

You will get a travel bag or carrying bag and many other cool features.

Other great features you'll get to enjoy with this play yard include a vibrating mattress, canopy, electronic mobile, a console with music, a night light, padded floor, hanging toys, and more.

Your baby will have a great time and extra space to play around as they see fit.

Most bassinets on these best play yards have a max capacity of 15 pounds. The weight capacity of the changing tables is about 25 pounds.

Keep this in mind as you settle for the baby play yard you want. If your child is under 35 inches in height, they will fit well in this play yard.

However, these types are not as portable as the basic play yards. Therefore, ensure you check the dimensions of this play yard before you settle on getting one. You want to be able to seamlessly move your play yard from room to room with ease.

Frequently Asked Questions on for the Best Baby Play Pen

1. Is getting a playpen a good idea?

Needing to get a playpen for your little one's safety while they play as you work will come on its own, especially when the child is roughly 6-7 months old and they begin to crawl around.

Tip: It's a good idea to peruse through a list of the best playpens and get one before your baby starts moving around too much, so they can get used to it.

2. Is it safe for the baby to sleep in the playpen instead of the crib?

Yes, but it also depends on what type of playpen it is. For example, if the playpen has a mattress, your baby can occasionally sleep in it; if not, then it means that it's not meant for the baby to sleep in.

Some of the best baby playpens come with instructions on whether the playpen can be used for the baby to sleep in or not.

3. How long can the baby safely use a playpen?

When babies get to about 35 inches tall or 30 pounds, somewhere between 2-3 years of age, they can no longer safely use their play yards or playpens.

Also, note that there are instances where your little one might not weigh 30 pounds, but they can easily climb out since they're a little too tall for their age.

4. Can a 7-month-old baby sleep in a pack n' play?

To prevent deaths and injuries in playpens, it's safest always to lay babies who are under 12 months on their back as they sleep in the pack n' play, playpen or crib.

Also, don't put anything like pillows, quilts, pillow-like toys, or sheepskins to reduce the risk of suffocation or SIDS.

Additionally, always ensure that the pack n' play or playpen is well set up before putting the baby in.

5. How do I choose a playpen?

Consider the factors we've mentioned above and then choose the best option from the list above. Some aspects to consider include your baby's weight, dimensions of the playpen, quality, materials availability of enough space, mesh walls, ease of cleaning, and more.

You can also consider other extra features like mesh sides, hanging toys, a carrying bag, rubber feet, and more that come with various play pens. 

Janice Warren


Janice is a full-time writer at Infantcore, writing about her experiences as mother of 4.

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