Do you need a safe place where your child can nap or play freely during the day as you take care of some chores around the house or enjoy some alone time? A play yard is the best option and we have reviewed the 7 best baby play yards available in the market today.
Many parents saw the use of indoor and outdoor play yards gain more significance while working with kids at home during the quarantine brought about by the pandemic as they provide safe space for quality playtime.
There are hundreds of play yards in the market, and choosing can be overwhelming. So, to help make your decision easier, we have compiled a review of some of the best play yards that you can buy as well as a guide to help you know what to look for. You may also want to read our guide on why play is important for infant and kids’ development.
What is a baby play yard?
Play yards are enclosed units with mattresses designed to offer babies and toddlers a safe place to play or sleep. They are made of a plastic, wood, or metal frame and mesh walls for visibility and breathability. In addition, many are also designed to be easy to move from room to room or for travel.
Some play yard models also have useful additional features such as a bassinet, changing station, and organizer pockets.
Comparison Table of the Best Play Yards
|Name of Play Yard Brand||Dimensions||Weight||Age Range||Price|
|Graco Pack n Play Playard Snuggle Suite LX||28.5 x 40 x 33.3||34.5 pounds||-Infant seat-birth to 18 pounds|
-Bassinet-birth to 30 pounds
-changer- birth to 30 poundsPlayard-30 pounds
|Baby Bjorn Playard Light||32 x 44 x 25||13.2 pounds||-Newborn to 3 years||Check Price|
|4moms Breeze Plus Portable Playard||43 x 30 x 31.5||28.5 pounds||-Bassinet-birth to 18 pounds|
-Changer-birth to 25 pounds
-Playard- 30 pounds
|Joovy Room 2||40 x 40 x 31||29.6 pounds||-Birth to 35 inches||Check Price|
|Baby Trend Lil Snooze Deluxe 2 Nursery Center||42.5 x 35.4 x 41.3||28.6 pounds||-Napper-birth to 15 pounds|
-Bassinet-birth to 15 pounds
-Changing table-birth to 15 pounds
-Playard birth to 30 pounds
|Giantex nursery Playard||Details not available||Check Price|
|Summer Pop n’ Play SE Hex Playard||8.3 x 10 x 38.75||1 pound||-6 to 24 months/35 inches||Check Price|
Reviews of the best baby play yards 2022
1. Graco Pack ‘n Play Playard Snuggle Suite LX, Abbington– Best Pla Yyard overall
This Graco Pack n Play Playard has everything you need from when your baby is born to toddler, making for an excellent investment. It includes a changing station, bassinet, play yard, storage, and an infant seat that doubles as a bouncer or activity center. You can also check out these activity centers.
The hooded bassinet and infant seat easily come off, so you can take the baby to another room without waking them from sleep. And the infant chair is super comfy and soothing for the baby. You can also use the two-speed vibrations to create additional soothing sensations. When your baby’s diaper needs changing, this play yard has everything you need right there- a flipping changing table and storage organizer for diapers, wipes, burp cloths, and anything else you might need to keep at hand. There is also a little light that you can use to check on your baby at night, and soothing music and nature sound in the play yard.
Once your child is able to sit on their own, you can easily convert the bassinet into the play yard for sleep and play. The play yard includes a mattress and mesh sides for comfortable sleep, and all the interlocking bars are well padded for additional safety.
- Includes bassinet, changing table, and bouncer
- Has storage organizer
- Wheels make it easy to move
- Two speed vibrations and a variety of soothing sounds and music
- A light to enable you to see the baby at night without disturbing their sleep
- Assembly may be difficult because of poor instructions
2. Baby Bjorn Play Yard Light –Best Play Yard For Travel
With the Baby Bjorn play yard, your little one will sleep comfortably on the go as they do at home because it’s designed to double up as a travel crib. The mattress is high quality, thick enough, and has a base plate that keeps it from sagging and touching the floor. The sides are airy mesh to allow supervision. Despite the appearance, the Baby Bjorn is spacious enough to accommodate toddlers up to three years old or when the child is able to climb out.
It weighs a light 13 pounds and includes a carrying case, making it easy to keep it in the back of your car or overhead luggage bin on an airplane. You will love that this play yard is easy to set up and take down in just one quick movement-no need to spend hours frustrated with bars that aren’t connecting right. In addition, the mesh and mattress cover easily come off and are machine washable.
- Doubles as a crib with a soft, comfortable mattress
- Super easy setup and takedown
- Travel friendly, lightweight, foldable, and has a carry bag
- Machine washable fabrics and mattress cover
- Durable with high quality materials and build
- The design may make the interior feel a bit cramped for play
- Can feel too strenuous for short parents putting or picking the baby
3. 4moms Breeze Plus Portable Playard –Easiest Playard to set up
4Moms designed this play yard with a frustration-free assembly- push down on the center to pop it open or pull the central ring to fold. It’s that simple! The other great thing is that this is a multi-functional station that includes a removable bassinet, changer table, and play yard to meet all your child’s needs in one place for convenience.
It comes with one comfy mattress that serves for both bassinet and play yard. Placing the mattress on the mid-level is great for newborns and perfect moms who are still sore from childbirth. And once the child is older, the bassinet can be removed to use as a play yard. In addition, the flip changer makes for quick and convenient diapering needs.
The 4Moms Breeze is not the lightest on this list but it can be carried with the included bag. Parents, however, say that the changer and bassinet units do not fit and have to be carried separately. Also, they were disappointed that it does not have a pocket or organizer to keep essentials like wipes, diapers, and a few clothes. Check out these other bassinets with vibration and music as well.
- Includes a bassinet and changing table
- It’s a breeze to set up and fold down
- Has plenty of play space
- Modern design and attractive
- No pockets, or organizer but the company sells a caddy separately
- Sheets are sold separately from the manufacturer, not regular ones
4. Summer Pop ‘n Play SE Hex Playard-Best Playard for outdoors
When you need a play yard to use outdoors during summer, the Summer Pop n Play Playard is perfect for the job as it comes with a full UPF 50+ canopy to keep away the harmful UV rays from your little one. The sides are made of mesh to allow airflow and easy visibility. And, the bottom layer is a pad to keep dirt away from your child and provide a soft landing.
This play yard is super easy to carry to your backyard, the park, relatives, or any other adventurous place. You can fold it up for easy transportation, and include a carry bag. Even when it gets dirty, the fabrics and mattress pads are machine washable, so there is no need to stress. Parents also rave that the play yard is a breeze to set up.
The play yard provides 14 square feet of space, which is plenty for children up to 24 months without occupying much space or being too bulky to carry. It is also reasonably priced.
- Highly portable; lightweight, foldable and comes with a bag
- Easy to set up
- Has a removable UPF 50+ canopy to provide shade
- Machine washable fabrics
- Would be better if the floor padding was a little thicker and water proof
Below is a quick 1-min video of the play yard;
5. Joovy Room² Portable Playard-Best Playard for multiples
The Joovy Room 2 is the most spacious portable play yard that you can find. With 10 square feet of interior space, this Play yard is approximately 50% bigger than standard play yards because of its square shape instead of the regular rectangular shape other playards have. This makes it ideal for families with twins, multiples, or those looking simply for a spacious play yard for their child.
The play yard comes with a comfy padded mattress and a waterproof sheet to keep it dry and clean. Mesh sides allow all-around visibility and airflow. It is not the lightest play yard, but the two wheels make moving it around the house or outdoors easy. When folded, this play yard can fit inside the included bag for storage and transportation.
Parents also love it for its simple yet elegant design with clean lines and neutral color that blends well with any décor.
- Aesthetically beautiful
- Extra spacious interior
- Portable with carrying case and two wheels
- Waterproof sheet keeps it dry and clean
- Bulky and heavy, not the best for travel
- Sheet shrinks in the wash and causes the mattress pad to bunch up
This Baby Trend Playard offers plenty of useful features at low pricing, making for the most valuable purchase. It includes a cozy napper, bassinet, flip-away changing table, and play yard for less than $90.
The removable napper provides a cozy spot for newborns to nap during the day, and the hanging toys keep them happy and entertained. At the same time, the flip-away changing table makes it a breeze to change dirty diapers, and you can stash your changing essentials in the storage pocket. Your baby can sleep in the bassinet during the night, which transforms into a spacious play yard for play once your baby is older. The play yard has a thick pad and mesh sides for comfort and to prevent suffocation. You can also check out these vertical liners for cribs and bassinets.
There are also caster wheels for easy mobility around the home, and the playard folds compact to fit into the included travel storage bag.
- Includes napper, bassinet, changing table, and playard
- Great quality and attractive colors
- Fantastic pricing
- The pad on the playard is thin; parents had to buy a mattress
- Bassinet is on the smaller side; babies outgrow it fast
- Very large and bulky, may not fit through some doors when assembled
7. Giantex Nursery Center Playard Baby Crib Set Portable Nest Bassinet Bed Infant Kids Travel-Best Playard with door
This Nursery Centre Playard has a fun design with colorful artwork on the sides that appeal to kids, a toy bar, and a zippered door on one side to crawl through, which is also entertaining. The comfortable mattress pad is perfect for napping or playing, and the mesh sides allow the parents to supervise at a distance.
The play yard comes with other nice features such as a diaper changer and a large storage pocket to stash your regular or organic diapers, wipes, etc. In addition, it can be folded compactly and stored into the included carry bag for easy transportation. There are also two lockable wheels to roll it from room to room.
If you are interested in this play yard, you won’t have to spend much, not to mention it looks so cute. Plus, it is also bigger than most play yards which could be a pro or con depending on what you are looking for.
- Includes changing station with storage pocket
- Zippered door for the baby to crawl in or out without needing to be lifted, also entertaining for kids
- Portable with wheels and carry bag
- Foldable design
- Budget friendly pricing
- Attractive colors and design
- Mattress pad is thin
- Frustrating assembly due to poor instructions
Best Baby Play Yard Buying Guide
Age recommendation and how long do babies use play yards?
Most play yards are suitable to use from birth until about three years of age. Once your child reaches 35 inches or shows potential to climb out, the play yard is no longer safe for them.
Factors to consider when picking the best baby play yard
Mattress: Playards are designed to provide a safe and comfortable space for your baby to play or sleep, so make sure it comes with good quality, thick, and breathable mattress. Some manufacturers do not recommend adding mattresses from other brands to their play yard. And remember, any mattress should fit snugly so as not to leave gaps against where your baby’s limbs would be entrapped.
- Size: although most play yards can be used from birth to about three years, they vary greatly in size. Some are compact, others are large. Make a note of the play yard’s dimensions to see if it will fit the available space.
- Mat: Some play yards do not come with a mattress but instead have a mat. You should consider this type for outdoor use as a waterproof mat will keep your child from wetness and dirt.
- Enclosure: Play yards usually have mesh on three or four of their sides to provide maximum airflow and visibility. The mesh holes should be less than ¼ inch, which is the JMPA standard for safety.
- Material: play yard structures are made from different materials such as plastic, wood, and metal. Plastic is the most lightweight and clean (just needs to be wiped down). Wooden play yards are preferred for their aesthetic appeal, but they are also sturdy and durable. Play yards with metal tubing are very sturdy and durable but can be heavy.
- Portability: most play yards roll on wheels so they can be moved around the home easily, and others fold compactly into their own carry bags, making them ideal for trips and travel.
- Extra features: Play yards today come with tons of useful features that you can take advantage of, from bassinet, changing station, canopies, mobile toy bar, storage, music, and lights. Decide the features you would like for your play yard, and you can be sure you will get a play yard with all of them.
Mary Stephens is our infant development and baby fun activities specialist here at MotherhoodHQ. She has over 10 years of experience dealing with kids, previously as a K3 teacher and now as a K9-12 teacher specializing in physical education and Social Studies. She is certified to teach in New York and Massachusetts and when not teaching trampoline jump tricks or giving toddler safety guides, she enjoys writing and providing helpful guides to parents on baby fun activities from infancy to toddlerhood. Mary is also an independent consultant providing parents with fun activities at home and appropriate toys and baby gear for infants and toddler development. She can be reached at her email, mary.s(at)motherhoodhq.com.
BABYBJORN Travel Crib Light - Silver
- Simple to set up and fold up
- Easy to take with you
- Soft and comfy mattress
- Airy design for good supervision
- Removable and machine washable crib textiles