Gear

8 Best Play Yards for Babies

by Bethany Braun-Silva


8 Best Play Yards for Babies
Shop Story

Play yards have replaced playpens as a safe place for babies to play or rest when Mom and Dad need some kid-free time. Because let’s face it, it’s pretty nice to be able to cook dinner, clean up, or even go to the bathroom in peace. A baby play yard is just that: peace of mind. Knowing that your little one is safe and contained while you step away for a minute is the key to your parenting sanity.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

What Is a Play Yard?

Play yards are generally made from mesh and have a soft, padded bottom for comfort and safety. They’re great for traveling or visiting Grandma’s house, and some even include diaper changing stations, making them the must-have item for vacationing with your tot. Here we break down the best play yards to suit every family’s needs.

 

Best Play Yards for Babies

Image Credits: Amazon

Best Overall Play Yard

Graco Pack n Play Reversible Napper and Changer Playard

Price:$100.00

This play yard will take you from the newborn stage to the toddler stage and includes a bassinet attachment that can also be used as a diaper-changing station when flipped over. It has convenient storage pockets on the side that are perfect for diapers, wipes or toys. The Graco Pack n’ Play also has airy mesh panels on all sides for maximum ventilation, plus its signature Graco push-button fold makes for hassle-free opening and closing. Comes with a carrying bag for travel and storage.

What Reviewers Are Saying:
“We absolutely love this pack n play! It was really easy to set up, the changing table/bassinet feature is really handy, and it has worked perfectly for our needs. The option to change from the changing table/bassinet is easy to do one-handed once you get the hang of it, and all of the material/fabric feels well made and not cheap.”

“This Pack and Play has been a lifesaver! My little one has been using this since the moment we brought him home from the hospital. It doubles as both a sleep area and a changing table during the day, which is perfect, since we live in a two-story house and don't have to constantly run up the stairs to change diapers.”

“We love this pack n' play so much we bought two. One for our house and one for grandma's. It's such a great product. Very durable, relatively easy to clean and the features of it are wonderful. Great that it grows with baby, too.”

Image Credits: Amazon

Best Travel Play Yard

Guava Family Lotus Travel Crib

Price:$209.00

This play yard folds down so small that it can be carried like a backpack, making it perfect for taking on a plane. The Guava Family Lotus Travel Crib also features a side panel that zips down, which is a relief for parents (or grandparents) who may not want to lift their toddler in and out of the crib constantly. Even better? Set up takes only 15 seconds and the crib weighs 13 pounds when packed.

What Reviewers Are Saying:
“I can't recommend this bed enough!! We bought it a few years ago when our son was a few months old. We wanted a bed that was easy to fold, easy to travel with, and one that our son could continue to use comfortably as he grew.”

“We have been using the Lotus Travel Crib for the last 10 months, daily. We started using it as baby's crib when she graduated from her co-sleeper at 6 months, and we just kept on using it. We've traveled with it across states and to Europe, it's been on maybe 10 flights with us.”

“This thing is awesome. It has proven its worth over the course of countless road trips and several extended domestic and international trips. We started using it when my daughter was about a year old and are still using it now that she's an average-sized 2 year old. It breaks down to a very manageable size and it's quite lightweight.”

Image Credits: Amazon

Best Lightweight Play Yard

BabyBjorn Travel Crib Light

Price:$300.00

This play yard is not only lightweight (13 pounds) but can be opened in one movement and has no parts to attach. Also, parents will love that everything — and we mean everything — can be thrown in the wash. The mesh sides come off and are machine washable, as is the mattress cover. Kids will love that the BabyBjorn Travel Crib mattress rests directly on the floor, making for a more comfortable nap time.

What Reviewers Are Saying:
“I love the lightness of this crib. I’ve had one that was close to 30 pounds and man, I never wanted to even THINK about moving it, let alone travelling with it. THIS one, the travel crib light, is awesome.”

“I love that this has a thicker, more comfortable mattress than our old "pack and play" crib, yet it's somehow lighter and more compact to carry.”

Image Credits: Amazon

Easiest Play Yard to Set Up

Summer Infant Pop N Play Portable Play Yard

Price:$87.00

As the name indicates, this play yard just pops open and is ready for your little one. The compact-fold play yard can be set up and taken down in seconds, making it great to use at home or outdoors at the park or beach. It measures 14 square feet, so there’s plenty of room for your child to play or rest. Includes a convenient carry bag with shoulder strap.

What Reviewers Are Saying:
“I love having this in our living room. I can leave my daughter in it to play for a bit while I pump milk or wash a few dishes. I can sit in there with her too, so the size is perfect.”

“Wish I had owned this for our first child! Lots of space for a busy baby to explore safely. It folds up very quickly and easily and has a nice carrying bag. Easy to hose off if it gets dirty or dusty outside.”

“I can not say enough amazing things about this play yard. It is HUGE compared to what we had before. My daughter is a year old today and this has so much room for her to move around in and walk from side to side to perfect her walking skills.”

Image Credits: Amazon

Best Play Yard for Twins

Joovy Room2

Price:$150.00

The Joovy Room2 is almost 50% larger than traditional play yards, making it the perfect choice for parents of twins or two young children. It has over 10 square feet of space and extra-large mesh windows. The play yard is sturdy and has a padded mattress with waterproof sheet. It folds down like a traditional play yard, despite its larger size, and also comes with a carry bag.

What Reviewers Are Saying:
“Wow. This product is amazing. It is so roomy, much bigger than the pack and play. My 4 year old special needs son still likes to sleep in the pack and play for naps, and THIS has been a godsend as he can actually fit inside it.”

“This pack and play is HUGE! My son just turned 2 and is 37" tall but still sleeps in a crib. This pack and play is perfect for him when we go on vacation. He's not tall enough to climb out yet and still has plenty of room when he lays down.”

“I did a lot of research on buying a twin playard and I am happy I ended up getting this one. My room can’t house 2 cribs and this was the BEST next alternative.”

Image Credits: Amazon

Best Outdoor Play Yard

Regalo 6 Panel Play Yard

Price:$85.00

This durable play yard is ideal for outdoor use and has a nylon bottom that provides protection from rough surfaces. It also has a full-coverage canopy with ventilating mosquito mesh on one side and UV-protected polyester on the other, creating a safe and shaded play area for your baby or toddler. The simple fold-and-go design includes a carry case with arm strap, and the play yard can easily be wiped down with a damp cloth and soap.

What Reviewers Are Saying:
“This size is so much better than the standard playpen. Room for toys and enough space for a little exploring.”

“What a great product. It was easy to assemble and the space was adequate for my son to roam around without feeling confined in a small space like his crib.”

“This product is great. Easy to assemble the canopy on top, and if you don't need the canopy, the play yard is super easy to set up as well. Perfect for beach days for our family so my kids don't burn in the sun!”

Image Credits: Buy Buy Baby

Best Play Yard with Gate

North States Superyard Colorplay Ultimate Playard

Price:$90.00

This play yard was designed for indoor or outdoor spaces and can be customized via removable panels to be any size. It has an easy-access, one-swing-direction door that opens with one hand by sliding a latch back and lifting the door up and out. It also has non-slip pads on the bottom of the panels and comes with a convenient carry strap. When not in use, it can folded down.

What Reviewers Are Saying:
“Great play yard and it is definitely worth getting this one with the door, esp if there are older siblings. Sometimes my 8 yr old likes to go in the play yard with my one yr old to play and it’s very easy for him to get in and out without falling or tripping.”

“All new parents should have this. Fantastic play area that keeps crawlers and toddlers safe while parents are busy.”

“Our house has become a maze with this lovely gate keeping our toddler safe. I didn't like ‘baby proofing’ so these gates solved the problem of tiny fingers finding all my nick-nacks. The door is easy to open and close and my toddler hasn't figured out how to open it...yet.”

Image Credits: Amazon

Best Affordable Play Yard

Cosco Funsport Play Yard

Price:$55.00

This wallet-friendly play yard is lightweight and has wheels on one side, making it easy to move while assembled. It has mesh panels on all four sides and can be folded down and set back up again. Great for naps, play time and for taking with you on trips, thanks to a convenient carry bag.

What Reviewers Are Saying:
“I loved the design, simplicity, height, and affordability of this play pen/crib. It’s so easy to assemble and disassemble, and good enough to keep my baby safe while I’m busy doing errands at home.”

“This play yard is all about keeping it simple, and this is why it's perfect for our family. It is a cheap, reliable playpen for parents who just need a playpen without the fuss. It is safe and easy to use to guarantee stress-free play.”

““This sleek, simple design is so gorgeous! We keep it in our living room and it doesn’t look out of place at all. It’s the perfect size, travel is easy (light + easy set up), and very sturdy. I would definitely buy this product again.”