Baby playmats come in two primary styles: carpet-like roll-up foam mats and interlocking tile mats. They’re both created out of a squishy foam material, and each has its advantages and disadvantages.
As a result of our research, you can choose from two different types of playmats. Listed below are the top 5 playmats we located, followed by in-depth analyses of other models.
This year, we decided to invest in some new testing equipment and bought four playmats. We put them together on carpet, tile, and hardwood. We used them for everything—walking, crawling, tummy time, spilling, rolling baby walkers, cleaning, and even letting the dog walk on them.
When comparing the playmats we tested, we found that some were sturdier and more comfortable for little ones to play on than others; others had a lower odor and off-gassing; others had more adaptable interlocking pieces; and still others were made with safer manufacturing processes and no harmful chemicals. Some were also more child-friendly, since they made no use of little pieces that the infant might choke on (more on that point to come!).
To save on shipping expenses and the expense of printing on such a vast surface area, playmats constructed from interlocking tiles are typically more cost-effective than the roll-up carpet variety. Tiled playmats increase your chances of striking a bargain.
Disclosure: The company sent us with free test samples of some of these play mats to facilitate our reviews. This includes the Wander and Roam, Berry Lane, and Wee Giggles variants.
Listed here are 2022’s Top Picks for Baby Playmats.
Wander & Roam Playmats
Wander and Roam Reversible Baby Play Mat, Top Pick
Around $160 for the bigger size we tried. The large model is roughly half an inch thick, 78 inches in length (that’s 6.5 feet), and 54 inches in width (that’s 4.5 feet). One version we tried featured an ikat print in white and grey on one side and a stripe in white and grey on the other; another version is available with a dark blue ikat print but is otherwise the same. Last year, Wander & Roam sent us this play mat to try out, and we couldn’t be happier with it! The playmat may be rolled up like a rug and shipped to you. Taking the play mat out of the packaging, unrolling it, and letting it set overnight with the rolled up edges facing down onto your floor takes roughly 12 hours. This meant that we flattened it with the striped side facing up. When we finally got it out at around 4 in the afternoon, it was entirely flat by morning. The smoothness and gentleness of the fabric are delightful. It’s the right size for most compact spaces and has a delicate, somewhat dimpled texture up close (its about 4200 square inches, or about 29 square feet).
There were a few features of this playmat that really stood out to us. In the first place, there was hardly any stench of off-gassing when we first opened the box. One of the first things we noticed was how amazing this made us feel. The second advantage is that it is not made with PVC foam (which generally contains plasticizers/phthalates, polyvinyl chloride, and other harmful chemicals) but rather TPU foam, making it non-toxic and free of lead, latex, phthalates, and formaldehyde. This appears to be a less hazardous option than a PCV foam playmat. Third, it’s produced by an up-and-coming company run by a woman whose primary focus is on the satisfaction of her clientele. And they will respond to your questions and concerns; just shoot them an email or post a query on their Amazon page and you’ll see what I mean. All three of these factors combined give us confidence in the product. We put it through its paces and found it to be comfortable, fluffy, long-lasting, waterproof, and reasonably good-looking. In terms of aesthetic, it works equally well in a family room or a playroom. It’s a breeze to clean, and there’s a slight traction to the surface that prevents it from being slippery (against your floor, and for your baby). The foam play mat has been a huge hit with our family, and we highly recommend it. The Wander & Roam playmats are a hit, but is anyone else a fan? ScaryMommy recommends them highly. Interested? Visit this page to learn more about the Wander & Roam Play Mat.
Berry Lane Extra Thick Foam Playmat
Baby’s Best Play Mat: Berry Lane Reversible Foam
The 6′ by 4.5′ size we tried for $150, the smaller 4.5′ x 3.5′ for $90, and the 55″ diameter circle for $129 is the sweet spot for most people. Last year, thanks to Berry Lane, we were able to get our hands on a prototype of this playmat to test, and we were quite impressed by its high-quality design, generous dimensions, and sturdy construction. Indeed, I am currently sitting on it while I write this review since it is so soft and comfortable. First impressions: this playmat is folded up neatly and fastened with Velcro straps when removed from its packaging. Although it may seem unnecessary, the ability to coil it up and bind it so that it won’t unravel in storage is a thoughtful addition. In comparison to other mats we’ve tested, this one didn’t come in nonrecyclable plastic or tape. When we unrolled it, we noticed that there was no unpleasant odor or off-gassing, the seam at the outside border wasn’t particularly sharp, and the surface had a nice, understated feel. It took approximately 24 hours for the ends to properly flatten out after being set on our hardwood floor, but that’s to be anticipated with anything other than a standard foam block playmat. But there are three problems with those foam blocks: your baby will rip out pieces and lose them (and put them in their mouths), crumbs and dirt will get in the crevices, and the blocks will eventually get discolored and frankly a little nasty. We’re not saying that the interlocking foam mats aren’t fun, but this rug-style mat is far more convenient. The soft and responsive center of our Berry Lane playmat was a pleasant surprise on our first use. When viewed on the side, it is not too thick (it is roughly 0.6 “thick), yet it has a very plush and substantial feel underfoot.
We have not had any problems with it sliding around on either hardwood or carpet, and we appreciate the way the outer edges slope down to prevent tripping. It’s not as smooth as other foam mats, so it’s not as easy to slip on, but it’s still simple to clean with a damp cloth or wipe. We feel good about keeping this in our home because it is non-toxic and does not include any of the aforementioned toxins: latex, BPAs and phthalates, PVC, lead, formaldehyde, and HVA (and again, we love how it has zero odor, even when brand new). Without getting too picky (because we know that everyone has their own opinion on what constitutes good taste), we will say that this throw pillow’s muted tones and simple design are well-suited to a contemporary setting. Cons? It’s on the pricier side, although it’s priced similarly to its main rival, the Wander & Roam mats (below). This is a fantastic choice for when your infant is ready to practice tummy time, crawl, or crash toy vehicles together. Interested? This Berry Lane carpet is available for your perusal.
Skip Hop Roll-up Playmat
Skip Hop’s Reversible Foam Play Mat Is the Best Option for Babies.
Our large size test item cost around $110, which is about average. With dimensions of 86″ by 52″ (or 7′ by 4.5′), this playmat has a generous amount of space for its low price, measuring around 4500 square inches (or 31 square feet). If you’re comparing it to the Wander & Roam and the Wee Giggles options, that’s a tad bigger for the former and a tad smaller for the latter. It is packaged like a carpet and shipped to you in a big box. It took the playmat about 16 hours to properly flatten after we unrolled it; we put it down after evening, and it was ready to use by morning. The one we tested had a globe atlas on one side and zig-zags on the other; both sides were equally cute. Another option is a cuter one that has a road and buildings, which would appeal to a toddler who enjoys playing with vehicles. This option is slightly less luxurious than the majority of others due to its thickness of just about half an inch. We like the soft waffled texture and how well it cushioned our feet as we walked and crawled. Although textured surfaces are more difficult to clean, they are safer for infants learning to scoot and crawl because they are less slippery when wet. Because of the waffled texture on both sides, it can be worn in any direction. This is fantastic for avoiding the appearance of a playroom in the living room, or vice versa. Our testing revealed that the playmat held up well to several washings and had no discernible off-gassing odor. In addition to not containing PVC or phthalates, the foam is also chemical-free. All of the hard corners and edges have been smoothed into gentle curves. The one drawback we found was that it was simple to pick (or bite!) a chunk out of the playmat because the foam itself wasn’t quite as robust as other playmats. But other than that, this was an excellent choice for a playmat. The Skip Hop playmats have been highly suggested by many parents, but who else agrees with this assessment? Many of our trusted resources, such as Babylist and What to Expect, recommend them highly. Interested? View this Skip Hop mat here!
Baby’s Best Playmat Is a Superjare
Approximately half the price of the Wee Giggles, the larger size (about 60″ by 60″) costs around $50, making it a great alternative if you’re on a tighter budget if the Wee Giggles model is out of stock. These tiles can be used as a corral by flipping the outer edges upward, or as a playmat by laying them entirely flat, creating an experience not dissimilar to that of Wee Giggles. There are fewer huge tiles (about 24″ × 24″) in the Wee Giggles, but there are roughly twice as many small tiles (roughly 12″ x 12″) in the Superjare. The tiles came in a plastic tote with handles, making them easy to store away or bring with you wherever (like grandma’s place!). Tiles can be laid flat or tilted up at a 90-degree angle, and there are 16 of each size in the bag, plus 4 corner tiles and 16 smaller edge tiles. The tiles had a slight rubber smell that dissipated after about 24 hours, but they are lead and phthalate free (BPA). The larger version (the one we tested) created a square of 5 feet on a side when put flat. If you round off the corners, you’ll have a square about 4 feet in length and width.
More tiles mean more small removable animal shapes in the Superjare compared to the Wee Giggles. Once a baby reaches the age of 8 months, they start to fall out of their hands and into their mouths. Smaller tiles are more likely to become somewhat distorted as time goes on as they are crawled and walked on more than larger tiles are. This might manifest as curled edges or animal shapes that no longer fit neatly after becoming slightly warped. We tested the playmat and discovered that its thickness was just right (about half an inch) and that it was comfortable enough to crawl on (our knees weren’t sore after a few minutes of play). The tiles didn’t appear to be easily broken or torn. The border around the outside does wonders for catching a stray ball, keeping out inquisitive animals (like our dog), and making the area seem warmer and more inviting to baby. Many of the components no longer fit together perfectly after a few months of testing with a crawler. You can get the tile to lay flat again if you remove it and bend it a little by hand, but it’s still an annoyance. Besides that, we think it’s a decent bargain for a playmat of this quality. Interested? View this Superjare Playmat if you’re interested!
Baby Care Reversible PVC Foam Playmat
Top-Rated Reversible Baby Play Mat for Infant Care
Commonly between $110 and $150 for the largest size we tried, and less than $100 for the smallest. Both sizes are quite sizable, with the giant measuring roughly 83 inches (just under 7 feet) in length and 55 inches (about 4.5 feet) in width, and the smaller measuring approximately 73 inches (about 6 feet) in length and 49 inches (about 4 feet). The large is comparable in size to a standard queen bed. Popular playmats feature an innovative design: all sides can be used. You can have a rug with one pattern (like chevrons, polka dots, or a floral design) and a baby pattern (like in the image on the right) or vice versa. Indeed, the adaptability displayed here is remarkable. One side of the sample we tried looked like a blue moroccan rug, while the other featured a cute alphabet and animal motif. From afar, the rug appears to be a standard area rug even while its distinctive Moroccan design is on display. Close inspection reveals it to be foam, so don’t expect to fool anyone. The smoothness and adorable patterns of the baby rug immediately won us over. Parents who don’t want to spend their time constantly reassembling and replacing lost play mat pieces will like the absence of interlocking blocks and the elimination of puzzle-style play mats. Foam is roughly half an inch thick, making it as thick as the Wee Giggles play mat and perfect for tummy time and other play. Just like a new area rug, it arrives rolled up, and it may take a few days for the corners to uncurl and settle down completely if you let gravity do its thing. From the bag, there was only a faint stench. It’s wonderful that the edges aren’t simply squared off but are instead tapered, as they would be on a regular rug. It’s also durable and simple to maintain; we wiped it off using baby wipes and even used the vacuum cleaner on it to get rid of crumbs. As the puzzle pieces on the play mats can easily be lost in the vacuum, this is not an option. This mat, like the ones sold by Wee Giggles, is safe for children because it is made of PVC rubber and does not contain BPA, phthalates, lead, latex, formaldehyde, or EVA. After evaluating the foam cushioning for a few months, we found that it was not only very soft and absorbent, but also robust and resistant to color fading and scuffing. It’s not a toy like most other play mats, so children won’t have the enjoyable visual and fine motor experience of popping out the shapes and putting them back in, but on the other side, there are no removable pieces, so it’s easier to assemble, clean, and maintain. The price of this play mat, which ranges from $100 to $150 depending on size, is the only major drawback. This reversible play mat was a huge hit with us because of its cute designs, high quality materials, and comfortable feel. Does anyone else think Baby Care playmats are great? The folks at WhatToExpect think they’re great, so do we! Interested? The Baby Care playmats are available for your perusal.
JumpOff Jo Padded Foam Playmat
Most effective infant jumping mat review jo
A huge foldable playmat measuring 70 by 59 inches will generally run you about $40. This is an amazing bargain. That’s a little under 6 by 5 feet, or 30 square feet, of play area, which should be fine for most homes. The JumpOff Jo is a great buy for the money because it is not only large but also double-sided with different designs on each side, soft and decently thick (about three-eighths of an inch thick), waterproof and easy to wipe clean, employs an anti-slip surface texture, and folds up (into a 30″ x 14″ x 4″ package) “square or rectangular block) for stowing or carrying. For about $40, you can have all those convenient features, plus the fact that it is devoid of harmful chemicals like BPA and phthalates. One side of the sample we tried depicted blue unicorns, while the other featured flowers. Another variant features elephants on one side and rainbows in orange on the other. The playmat was delivered in a very compact packaging, and when we opened it, it didn’t have any noticeable aromas or off-gassing. It measured closer to a quarter of an inch in thickness, which was slightly less than we had anticipated. The playmat’s overall surface was rather soft, and the micro-texture on top was ideal for preventing falls. Even with the surface’s slight texture, it cleaned up nicely with a baby wipe or a damp cloth. Apart from its thinness, we found two more drawbacks. To begin with, the playmat tends to slide around more than we’d like on hard surfaces like tile or hardwood. In the end, we had to prop up one corner with the leg of an adjacent table. The second drawback is the surface’s fragility; a fingernail can be dug in and a chunk removed, and anything with a sharp corner can scratch the surface. Of course, we weren’t expecting miracles from a playmat that’s only about 30 square feet and costs $40. Despite a few small flaws, we think the JumpOff Jo playmats are a wonderful value for the money. Interested? These are where you can find Jumpoff Jo mats.
SoftTiles Foam Interlocking Playmat
premium soft tiles are the ideal play mats
The largest playmat we recommend is 78 inches by 78 inches (6084 square inches), and it costs around $120. Each tile is around 24 inches square, making it compatible with the Wee Giggles mat “wide. Compared to the Wee Giggles’ 35 square feet, this area is 36 square feet since the pieces interlock to make a square rather than a rectangle. We were very impressed with a couple features when they arrived for testing. To begin with, at around 5/8 in. in thickness, this mat is noticeably more substantial than the others featured here “dense, meaning it’s an eighth of an inch thicker than the Wee Giggles mat. Although the thicker surface may go unnoticed, it is important to note that it exists. Plus, it’s quite comfy to wear. Maybe it was the denser foam or the thicker tiles, but walking on it felt very comfortable. It was so delicate that our dog’s claws rapidly scratched it, although that was entirely our own doing. The third striking quality is the vibrant hues. Although we’ve displayed it in a pink and white carnation color scheme, this particular SoftTiles playmat comes in a rainbow of cheerful tones, all of which include the same endearing critter designs. To round things up, the play mat’s edges are tapered so that they slope down to your floor along the edge, which is a great touch and reduces the risk of tripping while stepping onto the mat. Finally, the animal patterns were cute, and we appreciated that there weren’t any small components to lose or worry about your infant swallowing. However, it’s worth noting that the creatures weren’t without their challenges; removing and replacing them required a little more effort than usual, especially when dealing with thin, lengthy features (like the monkey’s tail). It had a little stronger stench than the other mats on this list when first opened, but it quickly dissipated. These foam play mat tiles are completely safe for kids because they are made without any formamides, BPA, or phthalates. The pricing is the only other drawback besides the unpleasant odor and the complicated parts to insert and remove. What would you expect to pay around $120 for a relatively basic 6′ by 6′ play mat? We think the Baby Care reversible play mat up top is a better buy if you’re going to pay that much. Overall, a fantastically high-quality playmat, albeit one that is a tad too pricy for our liking. Is there anyone else that vouchs for the SoftTiles playmat? Babylist agrees with us that it’s a best-seller. Interested? The SoftTiles playmats are available for your perusal.
Skip Hop Foam Interlocking Playmat
Toy safety first with the greatest play mats, including hopscotch, puzzle, and interlocking foam mats
A standard size (70″ x 56″) costs around $80 (that’s 5.5′ x 4.5′). You can get a lot more for your money elsewhere, and the size of this is far lower than the norm. This modular foam play mat may be arranged in a variety of patterns (as shown) to both complement your existing decor and provide a welcome dose of novelty. Each set includes 40 interlocking triangles and 30 border pieces. There are a lot of parts for your baby to grab hold of and explore with (and lose track of!), but it can be set up in several ways. Upon removal from the packaging, the individual pieces seemed and felt extremely substantial (about 3/4 “Aside from being substantial (i.e., thick) and well-made, we also like the play mat’s thumb-style interlocking notches, which we found preferable to the standard triangle-style notches. There wasn’t any overpowering odor, and we were reassured by Skip Hop that their EVA foam mats are safe for your infant to pick up and chew on because they are non-toxic and made without BPA, PVC, or pthalates. When assembled, it seemed to us to fit together smoothly, with no awkward spaces between the parts. The hardwood floor beneath showed no signs of yellowing or staining after a week of use, and the foam showed little signs of wear and tear. The one peculiarity was that some of the white/cream color was mismatched, such that adjacent pieces looked slightly different. We weren’t overly bothered by it, but we did believe that, at this pricing point, color consistency would be more expected. Extra negatives? Well, it’s a little on the small side for the price, and the edges don’t taper to the floor. In conclusion, we enjoyed getting our hands on and evaluating this, and we believe it’s brilliant to include a variety of designs and setups in an one package. We believe it would be higher on our list if the price were lower and the quality control was tighter. If you have a kid, I highly suggest the Skip Hop Tiled playmat. Both Babylist and What to Expect have recommended it highly. Interested? You can learn more about the Skip Hop Foam Play Mat right here.
Floor play mats made of soft foam are a must-have for any household with a young child, as they may be used for hours of fun and relaxation, including tummy time, play, and a safe place to crawl. They are wonderful to have in a playroom and have become as necessary as storage containers and a fantastic play kitchen. Play mats are great for trying out new baby gear like toys and activity centers, and they can also help boost confidence and prevent injuries from small falls that occur while learning to crawl and walk.
Most playmats are designed to resemble a gigantic puzzle, with shapes that can be removed and rearranged to help your child practice fine motor skills and hand-eye coordination. If you and your baby spend a lot of time on the floor playing, a high-quality playmat can make long sessions of floor time more comfortable for both of you. One other benefit is that it can serve as a safe, nonslip surface for a baby bouncer seat.
We had a great time shopping for and evaluating different play mats, and we ultimately reached consensus on which ones were the greatest and which ones were the worst. We did learn, however, that there is a wide range of infant playmats on the market, each with its own combination of pros and cons, including but not limited to price, size, cushioning, functionality, and durability. We also learned that using a play mat on top of a rug or carpet is only advisable for extremely thin flooring options. In addition, if the play mat has interlocking pieces, they will pop up and out of the mat as the baby crawls across if it is too thick. Therefore, hardwood, tile, or linoleum floors, or extremely thin and dense carpeting, are the ideal surfaces for infant and toddler play mats (like berber carpets).
We also tried out the Skip Hop Geo Playspot, but we weren’t as satisfied with its quality and longevity as we were with the other top-rated baby play mats we evaluated above. Considering Skip Hop’s often impeccable reputation for producing top-notch baby gear, this came as a shock to us. We also tried the ProSource alphabet play mat, but were disappointed to find that it was made with formamide, a hazardous substance used in the production of some EVA foams. The last product we tried was the Exultimate Foam Play Mat, which we found to be cute with its roads and buildings but it was very thin and had any edge pieces, making it look unfinished.