Baby play mats are one of the best and most versatile products a parent or a professional who takes care of infants can invest in. These soft, brightly colored mats come in different sizes, shapes, and fun themes, and they are useful as floor padding for your active baby.
Not only is it a great item to lay your kids during play time and tummy time, but it can also serve a positive role in their mental and physical development zones when it comes to baby activities.
This article will discuss the different benefits of having a play mat for your baby, what to look for when browsing for the best products, and some reviews of the best baby play mat options you can find.
- Why Buy a Baby Play Mat?
- What to Look for?
- Our 8 Top Picks For Awesome Play Time
- 1. Best Overall – Wander & Roam Baby Play Mat
- 2. Best Non-Toxic – Wee Giggles X-Large Non-Toxic Baby Play Mat
- 3. Best for Tummy Time – Bright Starts Tummy Time Prop & Play
- 4. Best Non-Foam – Tiny Love Meadow Days Super Play Mat
- 5. Best Oversized – Baby Care Play Mat – Haute Collection
- 6. Best Versatile – Skip Hop Vibrant Village Reversible Waterproof Foam Baby Play Mat
- 7. Most Convenient – Wee Gallery, Explore Play Mat, Organic Cotton Muslin Mat for Baby
- 8. Best Organic – Skip Hop DoublePlay Reversible Play Mat
- Our Verdict
Why Buy a Baby Play Mat?
Having a play mat for your baby will not only keep them entertained and occupied when you’re busy doing something important such as a phone call; it will also help in positive development and growth for your baby’s physical and mental well-being.
Typically used for infants since they are still small as opposed to toddlers, parents may have to consider getting a playpen suitable for toddlers as they mature.
Further reading on playpens: 15 Best Playpen for Safe & Awesome Baby Play Time
Baby play mats function similarly with its alternatives of play gyms, activity gyms and activity mats. They help your sweet little one build head, neck, and upper body strength early on. Here are some other benefits it can offer:
Benefits in Proper Cognitive Development – A play mat will encourage and help babies learn the basics of cause and effect and help them properly develop spatial awareness as they grow older.
Benefits in Visual Development – Babies are attracted to high contrast bright colors. Kid-friendly products designed by child development experts usually keep this factor in mind to assist in the development of a baby’s visual perception skills.
Benefits in Motor Development – Play mats and play gyms, otherwise known as a baby gym encourages babies to use their arms and legs to crawl around. Those with an attached tummy time pillow will also encourage babies to lay on their stomach, thus promoting tummy time. This will help strengthen their neck, back, and help develop their motor skills.
What to Look for?
There are numerous options available when browsing for a baby mat for your little ones and all of them aren’t made equally. There are low-quality ones you want to avoid.
Here are some important features you want to look out for when buying one for your baby.
Well-padded. One of the most important features is how safe it is. The optimum product should be well-padded and soft enough for safe playtimes.
Removable Toys & Props. Some merchandises come with props or hanging toys as an added entertainment. This does not categorize them as baby play gyms or activity gyms though, since the toys and props serve as freely separate play things or can be attached to the mat instead of hanging over the baby.
As your baby grows, he or she will start developing awareness and will repeatedly swipe and grab at the toys and props. Having conveniently removable toys will help you change the kind of toys they are interacting with to keep them interested longer and help boost development.
In case you have twins and would like to get a baby gym instead, you could read my article here.
Simple and Visually Appealing. Babies are highly attracted to high contrasting bright colors and simple shapes, so pick one design with those in mind.
Easy Cleaning and Maintenance. As your little one will be dribbling quite a lot, you will want a mat that is washing-machine friendly that can safely and easily be sanitized.
Encourages Tummy Time. Babies laying on their tummies help build their stability and core strength. Look for mats that are not too soft such as foam play mats with built-in tummy time pillows, as such materials or products provide better support for tummy times.
Keep these features in mind when choosing between options for your baby to ensure they have the best experience to maximize their development. If you are very concerned about having non-toxic play mats for your little one, you could read my reviews on 12 Top Picks on the Best Non-toxic Play Mat for Your Baby.
Our 8 Top Picks For Awesome Play Time
In this section, we review our selections of what we think are the best products currently available.
1. Best Overall – Wander & Roam Baby Play Mat
This baby soft play mat by Wander & Roam is excellent for some quality time on the floor with your little one. It’s one of our favorite tummy time playmats because of its extra-soft exterior and supreme padding. If you’re searching for a non toxic baby play mat, this is it! Made of non-toxic foam, it is hypoallergenic, non-flammable, and waterproof. It is half an inch thick and nearly seven feet by five feet, offering your child plenty of play space.
This play mat for baby features adorable patterns on both sides and is reversible. Neutral colors will help it match your existing decor, so it can be used in almost any room. When not in use simply roll it up for effortless storage.
- Reversible and each side features a charming design
- Baby mat rolls up for storage
- One-piece design makes cleaning easy
- Waffle texture can collect debris
- A bit slippery on wood or tile floors
- made of eco-friendly foam
- reversible - ikat print reverses to a simple stripe print
- 6.5ft x 4.5ft and 1/2" thick
2. Best Non-Toxic – Wee Giggles X-Large Non-Toxic Baby Play Mat
The Wee Giggles X-Large Non-Toxic Baby Play Mat is such a cute baby foam play mat. It is also a big baby play mat at 5×7 feet and a design that can expand even larger. It is a thick baby play mat constructed with 2×2 foot puzzle squares; each with an adorable animal. The interlocking pieces are soft yet stable, and offer your child an excellent place to play. Made with EVA foam, it is free of BPA, Phthalates, and latex.
Another awesome benefit of this kid friendly product’s foam puzzle pieces is that the bordered edge can be stood up to form a barrier. Your child will have a visual edge and it will keep toys from rolling away. Soft greys and whites work with any gender or room design. When you want to store it, just wipe clean and place the pieces into its zippered bag. It’s a delightful activity mat for baby that is also convenient for parents.
- Baby playmat features cute animal puzzles
- Can be expanded or made smaller
- Border can be used as upright barrier edge
- Includes zippered carrying case
- Gender-neutral colors
- Time-consuming to assemble and disassemble
- Not easy to clean
- BABY GIGGLES ARE OUR GOAL – Designed by a pediatric nurse to give her family a safe, soft and clean place to play and learn. Our baby play mats for infants were voted Best Baby Play Mats 2019 by Mommyhood 101. Whether your child is just starting tummy time, sitting, crawling or learning to walk, our mats with interlocking puzzle squares give a soft, yet stable base for all the milestones of childhood.
- SAFE AND NON TOXIC – Our EVA foam play mats are FREE of BPA, Latex, Lead, Phthalates, and Formamide. Feel safe placing your baby on our hypoallergenic foam playmats. We 3rd party test our baby mats in the USA to guarantee your child’s safety. NO PEELING as we do not use screen printing on any of our play mats. Add our comfortable puzzle play mat to your baby registry or give as a shower gift to an expectant mother.
- TRANSITION FROM INFANT TO TODDLER AND BEYOND with this versatile and stylish design. Our 5x7' play mat has 2x2 ft puzzle squares that can be expanded with more sets easily. They can start as a nursery rug and grow into the play room or living area. Gender neutral colors are perfect for a girl or boy. Zippered carry case with handle makes this mat portable and handy.
3. Best for Tummy Time – Bright Starts Tummy Time Prop & Play
Sporting a polar bear design, the Bright Starts Tummy Tim Prop & Play includes props and tummy time pillows to assist with tummy time. It is great for small spaces and during travel due to its smaller form factor. It also has extra essential attachments which are a baby-safe mirror, a rattle, and a toy.
It is padded to provide maximum coziness and comfort for your baby. It also features various entertainment props such as crinkle sounds, rattles, etc. Cleaning the mat is very convenient as it is machine washable.
- It has every essential feature a mat should have for your baby’s development
- Easy maintenance and cleaning due to being washable
- Small form factor means you can bring it along whenever you need to travel with your baby and can safely be stored in small spaces
- It can’t be used when your baby eventually grows bigger due to a small form factor
- Made for big bear hugs and creature comforts
- Props up to help make tummy time easier
- Includes matching prop pillow for additional support
4. Best Non-Foam – Tiny Love Meadow Days Super Play Mat
The Tiny Love Meadow Days Super Play Mat is an extra-large play mat that features a super comfy plush and sufficient padding to keep your baby safe and comfortable. Its textures are designed to maximize the motor and tactile development of your baby. The mat also comes with a baby-safe mirror to promote self-awareness and engagement.
Created by child development experts, you can rest assured that this product meets and passed federal safety standards for toys. Care and cleaning are easy due to it being machine washable.
- Extra-large size for plenty of play area and movement for your baby, increasing motor skills development.
- Extra-large means that it can fit more than one baby without them being cramped and restricted, very good for twins.
- Excellent build quality
- Maybe not suitable for small spaces and travel
Tiny Love Meadow Days Super Play Mat
- EXTRA ROOM FOR FUN: The extra large play mat features a developmental playground of fun activities and discovery for baby, all built onto comfy plush padding to keep baby and parent comfortable
- Fun at home or on the go: folds easily into a compact size that makes it perfect for taking along to the beach, the park or anywhere
- Playful textures: features fun and engaging textures for tactile and motor skill development. Shiny satin ribbons
5. Best Oversized – Baby Care Play Mat – Haute Collection
Next up is the Haute Collection Baby Care Play Mat. This specific mat boasts sizes in comparison to a queen-size bed. Plenty of room for movement and play for your baby and others. It also has a superb cushioning to make sure everyone on it will be safe from any injury. This mat, like some of the others on this list, offers a reversible design feature, one for your baby’s learning and development and the other for interior décor while not in use.
- Its large size can fit any manner of toys and props for stimulating and engaging your baby mentally and physically.
- It comes with a free 2-year warranty for any problems you might encounter.
- One has one piece, so there is no hassle with putting puzzle pieces together
- Due to its large size, it may be quite a hassle to store away or transport
- LARGE & ONE-PIECE - comparable to a queen mattress in size. No hassle with puzzle pieces
- INNOVATIVE CUSHIONING - an egg dropped from 10ft wouldn't break
- NONTOXIC & SAFE - free from phthalate, BPA, lead, latex, formaldehyde, and EVA (Tested to European Toy Standards EN71)
6. Best Versatile – Skip Hop Vibrant Village Reversible Waterproof Foam Baby Play Mat
Featuring double design choices created by child development experts, this reversible mat can go from a baby-friendly design with colorful and simple shapes to a modern stylish décor print all in one mat. The Skip Hop Vibrant Village mat is waterproof to combat wet accidents and is easy to clean. It’s also of single sheet construction for easy roll-up and storage convenience.
The very soft and comfy foam is made with PVC-free and phthalate-free materials. When cleaning, make sure to wipe clean with a wet cloth and soap, avoid abrasive detergents.
- Reversible with two cool designs that aren’t hard on the eyes
- Convenient to store due to being a single sheet construction
- High-quality design prints for its price
- It can be used outside of playtime as modern mat décor
- The mat may start to crack or fall apart after extended use
- The foam isn’t as thick as we wanted it to be
Skip Hop Foam Baby Play Mat: Reversible Foam Floor Mat, 86″ x 52″, Vibrant Village
- Play mat for infants and toddlers made of thick, soft foam to keep a soft surface for playing and crawling
- Single sheet foam play mat for convenient storage and travel
- Oversize foam floor mat for a large play mat surface, perfect for tummy-time to crawling to first steps and beyond
7. Most Convenient – Wee Gallery, Explore Play Mat, Organic Cotton Muslin Mat for Baby
The Wee Gallery is another top-notch option that offers a reversible feature. Its double-sided design consists of a woodland scene for a natural feel and a cityscape scene. The high contrast textures are great for stimulating your baby’s visual perception skills. This mat also comes with its bag for convenient storage. Cleaning this product is very easy as it is machine washable.
- Comes with a bag for easy storage, especially during travel
- Extra soft because the outer layer of fabric is made of organic voile
- Super cute and engaging time for your baby especially during tummy time
- Due to the black and white design, the fabric has the potential to stain if you forget to immediately wash it
- This reversible playmat features a woodland scene on one side and a cityscape on the other.
- The outer fabric is a double layer of organic voile making it extra soft and the poly-fil makes it machine washable for convenience.
- Its high contrast graphics make it ideal as a playmat to keep your little one visually stimulated. The reversible two-sided pattern keeps it interesting for baby.
8. Best Organic – Skip Hop DoublePlay Reversible Play Mat
If you want a baby floor play mat with a whimsical design, look no further. The Skip Hop DoublePlay Reversible Play Mat has a delightful world traveler design on one side, complete with planes, trains, and a cast of too-cute animals. The other side features an unobtrusive grey chevron pattern in case you want to use the mat outside of the playroom.
An organic baby play mat is hard to come by, but this one is made of PVC-free, Phthalate-free foam so it is safe for your child. Playing mats for babies can sometimes be hard to assemble, but not this single-sheet mat. It is a breeze to roll out, wipe down, and then roll up to store. The foam is soft and squishy while being sturdy enough to hold up to rough toddlers. With dimensions of just over seven feet by four feet, it offers lots of play space for your months-old baby to explore.
- Large dimensions, 86” x 52”
- Child-friendly design on one side and muted, modern design on the other
- Single-sheet is easy to wipe down and roll up
- PVC – free
- Cushioned foam is perfect for babies learning to sit up and walk
- Takes a while for edges to lay flat after unrolling
- Not as thick as other mats
- Designed to double the choices for stylish, baby-safe floor covering, our reversible playmat flips from a colorful kid-friendly pattern to a modern décor print for two looks in one.
- Completely PVC-free, the easy-care foam mat provides a jumbo-size cushioned play space that works equally well in the livingroom or playroom.
- Single sheet construction rolls up for convenient storage, simply roll it up for transport and storage.
A baby play mat makes a cozy addition to your child’s room. It offers them a clean and safe place to explore. Many mats also have cute designs with a reversible option that offers a more stylish and neutral appearance.
Our top pick has all of these benefits, it’s the Wander & Roam Baby Play Mat. Plush, durable, easy to clean & store, and outfitted with a modern design, this mat is appreciated by babies and parents alike!
I would also love to hear about your top picks in the comment section if you have had a chance to try them!
Last update on 2021-07-23 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API