Also known as an activity mat, 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 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 a baby play mat, and some reviews of the best play mats for infants you can find.
The 8 Best Baby Play Mat Summary
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. A baby play mat is usually used for infants since they are still small as opposed to toddlers, in which parents may begin to consider getting a playpen suitable for toddlers instead.
Further reading on playpens: 15 Best Playpen for Safe & Awesome Baby Play Time
A baby play mat will help your sweet little one build head, neck, and upper body strength early on. Here some other benefits a play mat 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 and prefer objects with high-contrast colors. Best baby play mats are designed with this in mind to assist in the development of a baby’s visual perception skills.
Benefits in Motor Development – Play mats encourage babies to use their arms and legs to crawl around. It 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.
You may be interested in: 15 Best Play Mats and Play Gyms for Babies
What to Look for in A Baby Play Mat?
There are numerous options available when browsing for the best baby play mat 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 a play mat for your baby.
One of the most important features of a baby play mat is how safe it is. The best baby play mat should be well-padded and soft enough for safe playtimes.
Removable Toys & Props
Some best play mat for babies come with props or toys as an added entertainment. This does not categorize them as baby play gym 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 play gym instead, you could read my article on Best Play Gyms for Twins.
Simple and Visually Appealing
Babies are highly attracted to high contrasting colors and simple shapes, so pick a play mat 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 with help build that stability and core strength. Look for mats that are not too soft such as foam play mats as such a material provide better support for tummy times.
Keep these features in mind when choosing the play mat for your baby to ensure they have the best baby play mat 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.
The 8 Best Baby Play Mat For Awesome Play Time
In this section, we will review our selection of what we think is the best baby play mat currently available.
1. Skip Hop Vibrant Village Reversible Waterproof Foam Baby Play Mat
Featuring double design choices, this reversible best baby play 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 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
- 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
2. BalanceFrom Kid’s Puzzle Exercise Play Mat
This play mat is offered in 16 tiles or 34 tiles versions with 4 different colors. Tested for quality and safety, this Kid’s Puzzle Exercise Play Mat passes the US Regulated Toy Safety Standards with flying colors. Featuring an interlocking system, this play mat is hassle-free to assemble and lightweight to boot.
This play mat’s foam is made of EVA high-density foam ensuring that any accidents and falls will be cushioned. But you will hardly be worried about falling due to its slip-resistant surface. On top of all that, BalanceFrom is also offering a sweet 2-year warranty on the play mat.
- Comes with a 2-year warranty
- Features a Slip-resistant surface
- High-density foam to cushion falls and bumps
- Very affordable for its size
- Some have reported that the foam can exude an undesirable smell
- Kids can easily rip off parts of the foam which can be a hazard
- 16-Tile: Item comes with 16 tiles in 4 colors and 24 end borders (6 boarders each color). Each tile measures 12"x12"x0.4". Each square = 1 square foot; total coverage 16 square feet (4' x 4' area)
- 36-Tile: Item comes with 36 tiles in 9 colors and 54 end borders (6 boarders each color). (9 different color tiles, each tile has 4 piece) each tile measures 12"x12"x0.4". Each square = 1 square foot; Total coverage 36 square feet (6' x 6' area)
- Non-toxic, tested free of lead, bpa's and Phthalate; Meet or exceed the US regulated toy safety standards. Easy to clean with damp cloth & mild soap. Interlocking feature and lightweight make it very simple to assemble
3. Gupamiga Baby Play Mat
The Gupamiga Baby Play Mat sports a very cute design. It’s super lightweight, folds and unfolds easily, and even comes with its storage bag for easy storage anywhere. The cute patterns don’t easily fade, even when used for a long time. It’s also very easy to clean due to its waterproof feature. Any stains, whether it’s milk or happy little accidents, you’ll only need a damp cloth and soap to wipe it off easily.
The mat is pretty thick compared to other mats to offer maximum cushioning for when accidents happen. The company is also offering full refunds if you’re not satisfied with the product.
- Comes with a storage bag for easy storage and travel
- Very thick mat to provide great cushioning
- No undesirable smell
- The patterns do not fade after long time use
- Material may easily be ripped off by stronger kids
- May feel a bit flimsy
- 🥉【Easy To Pack And Carry】This baby folding mat is easy to travel with and take it out.baby play mat, baby mat,play mat,playmat extra large foam play mat
- 🥉【 Extra Large & Light Weight】The play mat is big and light and folds up so easily with a case to put in.baby folding mat play mat extra large foam play mat play mat large foam baby crawl mat playmat foam folding play mat baby foam mat folding baby play mat foam play mat for baby folding mat for baby foam baby play mat
- 🥉【Water Proof】Gupamiga extra large foam play mat is waterproof design of the surface, no matter food residue, milk stains or urine, It only need a wipe with a soft damp cloth.baby folding mat play mat extra large foam play mat play mat large foam baby crawl mat playmat foam folding play mat baby foam mat folding baby play mat foam play mat for baby folding mat for baby foam baby play mat
4. Bright Starts Tummy Time Prop & Play
Sporting a polar bear design, the Bright Starts Tummy Tim Prop & Play includes props and prop 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. This play mat 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
5. 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.
You can rest assured that this best baby play mat 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
- 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
6. Tadpoles Soft EVA Foam 36Piece ABC Playmat Set
Featuring 36 foam pieces with removable shapes in the middle, the Tadpoles Playmat set can cover a large area to dedicate to your baby’s playroom and is even considered the best activity mat for multiple kids or babies. The letters and numbers come in various bright colors to help your child both learn and play at the same time.
Its foam is very durable and non-toxic, providing maximum safety for your baby. Any attempts of biting and tearing off foam will be easily thwarted. You won’t need to worried about the pieces coming apart as the interlock system is very dependable.
- Reliable interlocking system to prevent accidental tears of the pieces.
- Non-slip surface for safety.
- Super durable foam that is resistant to kid’s biting or tearing.
- Easy assembly when needed and can be conveniently stored when not in use
- All the creases and little crevices between the letters and numbers can make cleaning up a bit of a challenge
- Set contains: includes 36 foam pieces with removable shaped centers and 24 border pieces.
- Dimensions: Each square measures 12". As pictured, set covers 36 square feet.
- Use: Safe, soft and durable. Combine multiple sets to cover larger areas and create your own unique look.
7. Wee Gallery, Explore Play Mat, Organic Cotton Muslin Mat for Baby
The Wee Gallery is another best baby play mat 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 play mat 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. Baby Care Play Mat – Haute Collection
Last but definitely not least is the Haute Collection Baby Care Play Mat. This play 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)
Out of all the best play mats for babies listed above, I have to recommend the Bright Starts Tummy Time Prop & Play mat as it is the most feature-rich and practical for your baby compared to the others on the list. It has built-in baby-safe mirrors to develop their self-awareness and multiple features that engage their visually, audio, and tactile senses to further boost development during this very crucial stage of a child’s brain growth.
This best baby play mat also includes props and pillows that help your baby during tummy time feel more comfortable. Plus, it’s made with safe, durable, and high-quality materials. It has all the essentials you would want to look for in a high-quality play mat.
The only downside is that it may be rendered unusable once your baby becomes a bit bigger. Until then, it is one of the best infant play mat, at least in this list. If you’re interested to know more, check the video review and breakdown of the Bright Starts Tummy Time Prop & Play mat below.
Last update on 2021-01-21 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API