Which playard mattress is best?
Even if you already own a crib, a playard is a great portable alternative that offers your baby a place to safely sleep and play. What most people don’t always consider is the mattress that goes in the playard, but it can provide your child with additional comfort and support.
When shopping for a playard, much depends on the age and size of your baby, but our top pick is the Hiccapop Tri-Fold Pack N’ Play Portable Foldable Playard, because it’s convenient and ideal for everyday use.
What to know before you buy a playard mattress
The ideal mattress for a playard depends on the age of your baby, with the general rule being the younger the child, the firmer the mattress. A firm mattress can also minimize the risk of Sudden Infant Death Syndrome or SIDS.
Once babies begin to crawl, they can benefit from a softer mattress, which won’t be a hazard at that age like it could be for a newborn. Keep in mind that some playard mattresses are reversible, meaning that one side is firm and the other side is soft, which can be a convenient option to prevent you from having to upgrade.
Where do you plan to keep the playard? If you want to use the playard as a travel crib, the mattress should be portable, so consider a thinner mattress that folds up into three parts and comes with a travel bag designed for this very purpose.
If you plan to keep the playard in one location, a flat mattress would be ideal because they are thicker and tend to be more comfortable for your child.
WHAT TO LOOK FOR IN A QUALITY playard mattress
Since your baby may spend a substantial amount of time on their mattress, it’s imperative that it is made from high-quality materials. While organic materials tend to be the ideal option, if that’s not possible, the mattress should at least be free from BPAs, phthalates and any other substances that could irritate their skin or respiratory system.
Babies are messy! Whether it’s a diaper leak, spit up or regular old drool, it can wreak havoc on the mattress if it’s not waterproof. Bacteria, mold, mildew and bad odors can build up the surface of the mattress. Not investing in a waterproof mattress could mean that you’ll need a replacement sooner than you think.
It’s always a good idea to put a cover on a playard mattress to keep it clean. These covers are easy to remove and machine washable. If your preferred mattress does not come with a cover, you can always purchase one separately.
If you’re also on the hunt for a playpen, take a look at the buying guide for best playpens on Best Reviews.
How much you can expect to spend on a playard mattress
A good playard mattress can range between $20-$100, with the least expensive models being made from foam and not being waterproof. Midrange models cost between $30-$50. They are typically waterproof and come with a cover. The high-end models have features like an innerspring and contain bindings to lock out moisture.
Playard mattress FAQ
Why are mattresses for newborns so firm?
A. Most doctors will recommend that babies sleep on a firm mattress until they are about a year old and able to support their head. Since they have minimal head control, a soft mattress could block an infant’s airways and make it difficult to breathe.
If I have a playard do I still need a crib?
A. There are advantages to both cribs and playards, but it will depend on your child’s personal sleeping preferences. For newborns, playards are safe, but as children grow and get older, playards are not ideal when compared to a crib.
When is it the right time to stop using a playard?
A. The size of your baby will determine how long they can use the playard. Once your child starts to climb and stand, it’s best to stop using the playard as it could tip while they are trying to climb out. Most playards are recommended for kids less than 30 pounds and under 35 inches.
What ARE the best playard mattressES to buy?
Top playard mattress
What you need to know: This tri-fold mattress is dual-sided and exceeds safety standards.
What you’ll love: This playard mattress offers a variety of firmness and comfort options for your little one. It has a no-gap design, so it perfectly fits into the playard so there are never any open spaces. As an added bonus it’s also stain-resistant, waterproof and non-toxic.
What you should consider: Since the mattress is lightweight, it can shift inside the playard.
Where to buy: Sold by Amazon
Top playard mattress for the money
What you need to know: This mattress was constructed to create a safe and cozy environment for your child to play and sleep.
What you’ll love: This mattress comes with a waterproof and bacteria-proof cover that is easy to clean. It’s constructed with a 3-inch innerspring mattress to add additional support from traditional foam.
What you should consider: This mattress is ultra-soft and comfy, but newborns may need more support for their underdeveloped neck muscles.
Where to buy: Sold by Amazon
Worth checking out
What you need to know: A very popular option for travel, this firm folding mattress is perfect for older babies.
What you’ll love: This 2-inch mattress is available in multiple colors. The high-density foam and mattress cover contain no PVC, lead or phthalates. This mattress can be used in multiple ways, including for sleep, play or as a changing pad.
What you should consider: This high-end model costs more than other playard mattresses, but some clients say that other versions have similar benefits for a lower price.
Where to buy: Sold by Amazon
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Ryan Dempsey writes for BestReviews. BestReviews has helped millions of consumers simplify their purchasing decisions, saving them time and money.
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