Best baby mat

Which baby mat is best?

Realistically, you can’t hold your baby all the time. And setting your baby down on the ground to crawl around isn’t the cleanest option. Baby mats provide a safe buffer between the floor and your little one.

A baby mat allows your baby to interact with their environment and toys, which is important for their development. The cushioned surface is perfect for practicing tummy time, rolling over and crawling. For an easy-to-store mat, you can roll up the Skip Hop Baby Play Mat Reversible Foam Floor Mat and tuck it away when it’s not in use.

What to know before you buy a baby mat

Baby mats are typically made of foam or fabric. Some have a foam insert and a removable fabric cover. For foam mats, be sure the mat is non-toxic and BPA-free. It should also not have phthalates, formaldehyde, latex and lead. Some high-end foam mats are TPU, which is also free of PVC and EVA. For a chemical-free cloth mat, splurge for an organic cotton fabric mat.

Most foam baby mats have a rectangular shape. Cloth mats tend to be rectangular or circular and are often smaller than foam mats. If you’ve got a crawler, you’ll want a jumbo-sized mat. For travel or for placement under play gyms, choose a smaller cloth mat between 2-3 feet wide.

Baby mats can provide your baby with ample cushioning, especially if they’re playing on a hard floor. Foam play mats are around 0.4-0.6 inches thick. Quilted or padded cloth playmats range in thickness between 0.2-0.8 inches. Foam mats, however, provide superior padding for tumbles, so this may be a better option for older tots learning to crawl and stand up.

Interlocking foam mat tiles are a popular design since they fit together like puzzle pieces. Depending on how much space you have, you can assemble these colorful tiles into larger mats or smaller ones. As your child grows, they can play with the tiles and fit the pieces together themselves. The downside of one-piece mats is that you can’t customize the size in the way you can with tiles, so if you get a one-piece, make sure it fits your space.

What to look for in a quality baby mat

Cloth mats fold and travel well, but this is not the case with foam mats. Some large one-piece foam mats feature can fold at joint points. Be sure to look for a baby mat with a carrying case or bag for travel.

Look for a foam baby mat with a non-slip surface. Foam can be slick, so choose one that has a little texture to help your child grip the mat for crawling and standing. A skid-free surface can also prevent your baby from sliding around if you’re trying to change them on the mat.

Many foam baby mats are waterproof, making it easy to clean up messes and accidents. Simply wipe them clean with a wet towel or wipe. You can pop machine-washable baby mats into the washing machine for cleaning. Most cloth mats can go in the washing machine, but always check the care instructions before washing and drying.

How much you can expect to spend on A baby mat

Depending on the size and quality of the materials and construction, baby mats can range in price from $14 all the way up to $200.

Best baby mat

Baby mat FAQ

A. The best time to start using a play mat is at 3 months old, which is when you introduce your baby to tummy time. Babies start rolling over at 4 months and begin sitting up at 6 months. By the time your baby masters crawling, around 9 months old, it might be time to retire the baby mat.

A. While the terms are sometimes used interchangeably, a play mat or play gym has toys attached either on the mat itself or on the arches above it. Baby mats only provide a surface for your baby to play on.

What’s the best baby mat to buy?

Skip Hop Baby Play Mat Reversible Foam Floor Mat

What you need to know: This premium foam mat will fit in with your decor, and it rolls up easily under a couch.

What you’ll love: The reversible design features kid-friendly graphics on one side and a modern print on the other. The foam offers good cushioning and the mat is a decent size. It’s easy to wipe clean with a damp cloth.

What you should consider: This mat isn’t as thick and durable as some of its competitors.

Where to buy: Sold by Amazon

Shop Now

ProSource Kids Foam Puzzle Floor Play Mat

What you need to know: If you want a low-cost foam play mat, this one has a tile design that is a breeze to assemble and take apart.

What you’ll love: The brightly colored tiles can cover up to a 4 foot by 4 foot area. Their surface is slightly textured to prevent slips and has enough cushioning for tumbles. The tiles come with border edges for a clean look.

What you should consider: Pets can easily tear up the material, so make sure they stay away from this mat.

Where to buy: Sold by Amazon

Shop Now

Uanlauo Baby Play Mat

What you need to know: For extra-large coverage, this thick cushioned mat is perfect for active babies learning to crawl or stand up.

What you’ll love: This jumbo mat folds easily and is very portable. It’s surprisingly lightweight for its size and is highly cushioned. The kid-friendly graphics show on both sides.

What you should consider: Some consumers noticed the plastic started to peel off after a while.

Where to buy: Sold by Amazon

Shop Now

Sign up here to receive the BestReviews weekly newsletter for useful advice on new products and noteworthy deals.

Ana Sanchez writes for BestReviews. BestReviews has helped millions of consumers simplify their purchasing decisions, saving them time and money.

Copyright 2022 BestReviews, a Nexstar company. All rights reserved.