In search of the best baby play mat, we researched all manner of shapes, sizes, and materials of play mats. Through our research process we have found the Baby Care Play Mat to be our top pick!
The ideal baby play mat for your little one should provide a hygienic and safe space for them to play and explore their surroundings within your home and we are confident that the Baby Care Play Mat will meet all of your requirements and more at a reasonable cost.
Business Spotlight - January 2020
Every month we feature a new business trying to make a difference for parents. This month's business spotlight is:
Chicco, best known for durable, lasting baby gear including car seats like the top rated KeyFit, has even more to offer parents and their babies today. Their new PhysioForma Orthodontic Pacifier not only comforts & soothes the baby but also supports physiological breathing by helping position the baby’s tongue forward. Avoiding physiological breathing problems can improve the quality of sleep, reduce irritability and help prevent infections of the oral cavity.Read more from Chicco.
WHAT TO LOOK FOR IN A Baby Play Mat
In the US, the top reason for a baby emergency room visit is a fall, showing the importance of having a safe and padded area to tumble, roll, crawl, or walk. In addition to being available in multiple sizes, play mats come in a variety of different protective and soft materials. Regardless of material, it is recommended that this be at least one half inch in thickness to provide the amount of padding required to safeguard baby from the hard floor. While many are available in wool or other fabrics, our tests have found rubber or foam to be the most durable and easiest to clean. Add to this that foam and rubber mats tend to be less slippery on slick surfaces such as hardwood floors, and we have a recipe for our preferred mat material.
THE BEST BABY PLAY MAT TYPE: PUZZLE OR ROLL?
Among the most common designs is the “puzzle” design such as that found on the Wonder Mat or Interlocking Mat from Childlike Behavior and the single-piece design that can be folded or rolled for storage as seen with the Baby Care Play Mat (our top pick) or the smaller Tiny Love Super Mat. The added flexibility of the puzzle design will allow for arranging in additional variations to fit any room you need, but we found the single-piece design mats to typically be easier to clean and avoid the risk of coming apart or getting mess stuck between the pieces.
Our Pick For the best baby play mat
- Large: 82.7 x 55.1 x 0.5 inches
- Medium: 72.8 x 49.2 x 0.4 inches
- Weight: 22.1 pounds
- Warranty: Free for 2 years
Throughout our multitude of tests, we found the Baby Care Play Mat to be our favorite play mat. Many prefer the puzzle piece style of play mat, but we’ve found the fewer pieces, the better. The single-piece foam mat of the Baby Care Play Mat allows for incredibly easy cleaning and prevents older children from taking the mat apart once they’ve gotten a bit more dexterous with their hands.
At 1/2 inch in thickness, the soft rubber surface of the Baby Care Play Mat provides enough cushion to keep your little one safe, while also being very easy to vacuum or wipe clean in the event of any mess. We would like to stress again the importance of sanitation, as it is important to provide baby with an uncontaminated play place. Unlike other foam mats, we found this to be free of that horrible chemical smell, due in part to being Phthalate Free, BPA Free, Lead Free, Latex Free, Formaldehyde Free, EVA Free! As an added bonus, the mats are made with 100% recyclable materials to keep both baby’s and the world’s environment safe.
The Baby Care Play Mat comes in two sizes, and a whopping 16 colored, reversible design variations to fit the decor of nearly any home, which we find especially useful given this will likely be a permanent fixture in your home for quite some time!
The PUzzle Pick
Whether you use your mat for tummy time, learning to sit or crawl, or want to create a nice play space, Wee Giggles’ mats give your child a soft place for those bumps and falls that come with growing up. Available in four color combinations and two sizes, the small mats are perfect for tummy and sitting time and larger mats are a good size for any room measuring at 5 x 7 ft. We love the multiple configurations that can be created with the Wee Giggles mats, and we think baby and you will too!
Unlike other puzzle-design foam mats, the Wee Giggles mats lack the toxic plastic smell, are easy to clean, and have a neutral color scheme to match most rooms around the house.
While not our top choice for the best baby play mat, Wee Giggles play mats are still a great option.
Tiny Love Super Mat
Easy to fold and carry, we found the Tiny Love Super Mat to be our the best baby play may in the portable category. The mat features a wealth of enrichment activities to encourage play at all stages of cognitive development, and has extra loops on the side to allow for added toys. While it is not as easily cleaned by wiping like most foam mats, it is machine washable (we recommend hang drying), which we love!
We're sure the mirror, crinkle toys, and unique textures of the Tiny Love Super Mat will be a hit with your little one to promote tummy time wherever you go, and at one inch thick, they will be safe to explore without fear of injury.
Dimensions: 35 x 39 x 1 inches
When searching for the best baby play mat we also considered these options, but they ultimately did not make our list:
- MyLine Baby PlayMat – Similar size and padding material, but we found it to be slightly lower quality and lacked the ability to select from as many design combinations.
- Wonder Mat – This colorful set of interlocking foam puzzle pieces allows for great flexibility and is easy to clean.
- Interlocking Mat from Childlike Behavior – Another great interlocking puzzle-design option with much larger tiles for the primary panels.
- Skip Hop Playspot Waterproof Foam Baby Play Mat – This neutral-colored puzzle play mat utilizes triangle-shaped tiles to allow for even more flexibility from a layout and design standpoint.