Having a safe place for your little one to rest or play is vital. Many people already have a playard or playpen (most commonly known as a pack n play) as they are handy and safe solutions for children in many settings. The playard provides comfort, security, and portability, especially for parents who travel a lot. But, how many parents have a mattress for it, let alone a good one?
Most parents are used to calling them a pack n play mattress, but essentially, a pack n play, playard, and playpen mattress is the same thing. Pack n play was a model of baby playard made famous by Graco, and since then, we’ve all got used to referring to these playpens as pack n plays. So, these mattresses all work in a pack n play, playard, or playpen, depending on the dimensions.
This type of mattress can offer napping on the go for babies. However, the pack and play base is always cold, hard, and very uncomfortable. To circumvent this aspect, you can add an above-mentioned mattress for pack n play to offer additional coziness, which then converts it to a true comfort zone for your child. It will cushion the surface, making it more habitable for your baby.
However, there are variations in designs to consider when choosing the best pack n play mattress. They vary in thickness, price, quality of construction, etc. In this article, we have rounded up the top 7 pack n play/playpen mattress selections for 2021. We also guide you on buying a mattress that will offer your child comfort while you get the utmost value for money.
Our Favorite Pick
Hiccapop Pack n Play Mattress
Finding The Best Pack n Play Mattress
Here’s our top 7 picks at a glance
- Hiccapop Pack n Play Mattress Pad – Editor’s Pick
- Dream On Me Playard Mattress – Lightweight Option
- Dream On Me Pack n Play Mattress – Best Non-Toxic
- NapYou Pack n Play Mattress – Ideal For Travel
- Milliard Pack and Play Mattress – Best Folding
- LA Baby Portable/Mini Crib Mattress – Best Budget Option
- Dreamcountry Foldable Pack n Play Mattress – Versatile Option
Pack n Play Mattress Reviews
Hiccapop Pack n Play Mattress Pad
This pack n play mattress pad is a perfect fit for play yards and playpens – in size, material, and thickness.
For most parents, losing pacifiers and other toys is always a concern. Such things occur when there are unsafe spaces in your baby’s playpen. However, with the right size of mattress, you can quickly eliminate this.
The mattress is designed with rounded corners, which create a snug fit into a standard baby playard. What is more remarkable is the superior edge support, which ensures uniform support across the bed’s surface, and when your toddler is standing close to the edges.
You can use both sides of this product as it’s dual-sided, offering a dual firmness. This is a smart design as it fits the needs of a developing child. Ideally, the mattress combines features to support both infants and toddlers.
The infant side is firm, offering critical support that infants need, but at the same time being soft and gentle. By contrast, the toddler side is plush, offering premium comfort and support that the toddler needs. So, you can flip between the sides depending on the stage of development of your baby.
For any baby, a waterproof surface is ideal. The Hiccapop pack and play mattress pad features a leak-free, waterproof, ultra-soft Jacquard cover, which is hypoallergenic and soft. The cover is removable and washable for added hygiene.
Overall, this playpen mattress offers a thick, durable yet cozy solution for your baby at a very attractive price when compared to other brands.
Dream On Me Playard Mattress
At 3-inch thick, the Dream On Me playard mattress offers a decent amount of comfort and will fit almost any Graco pack n play, especially those with 90-degree corners. Bear in mind, it’s intended use is for babies aged 6 months and above. It can support a total weight of 45 lbs.
The build of the mattress is exceptionally high quality –both in material and construction. Typically, all the materials used in the construction are hypoallergenic and GREENGUARD Gold Certified. It also meets Federal Standard Flammability Standard 16-CFR 1632, which ensures that your child rests safe and easy – without allergic reactions too.
The cover is waterproof and has antibacterial qualities. Antibacterial properties are efficient against bacteria, mold, and mildew. If these micro-organisms are absent, your mattress will have no undesirable odors and will last longer. The impressive part regarding the cover is that it has waterproof lock-stitched binding. This further prevents mildew, mold, and odor from seeping through into the interior of the mattress. Kids often create a mess in bed, whether food or excretions. If so, you can just wipe clean the mattress cover with a damp piece of cloth.
While using this playard mattress, ensure it fits tightly – no spaces between the mattress and sidewalls. Also, do not use this mattress on the topmost level of a play yard in its bassinet position.
Overall, this is slightly cheaper than most, yet offers everything you might want for your playpen and child. We’d say it’s a good buy that won’t disappoint.
Dream On Me Pack n Play Mattress
When it comes to choosing a pack n play mattress, size matters a great deal. A perfect fitting is essential; you mustn’t have dangerous spaces around the edges that can harm your baby. The Dream On Me Pack n Play mattress addresses such issues and fits most baby playpens as it should. Ideally, the mattress offers a snug fit in these play yards, including the popular Graco Pack N Play, Baby Trend Nursery Center (Tanzania Collection), Fisher Price Ultra Lite Day & Night Play Yard, and many more.
Your growing child needs a perfect balance of support and comfort in a safe environment, and that’s what this mattress offers. The Greenguard Gold Certified materials provide added peace of mind, so you don’t have to worry about harsh chemicals used in manufacturing this product. It also features reinforced edges for proper edge support. The waterproof cover has antibacterial properties, and the seams are reinforced. This feature prevents the entry of harmful micro-organisms. To clean the cover, just wipe it with a damp piece of cloth and mild soap.
As for price, the Dream On Me Pack n Play mattress is priced fairly, very affordable, and in line with similar products from other brands. The quality is good, and from a trusted company that has been making kids mattresses for many years.
NapYou Pack n Play Mattress
The NapYou Pack n Play Mattress is unique from the rest of the reviews because it is a foldable option. In fact, it features in our top 10 roundups as one of the best folding mattress choices for 2021. Being foldable makes the mattress even more portable, so you can carry it easily, whether you are moving around inside or outside of the home.
Transporting this mattress is very easy as it comes with a convenient handle carry bag. So apart from easily folding the mattress, you can also bundle up in the carry bag for convenience.
As with any other mattress for pack n play areas, the length and width are in line with safety measures. However, its thickness is only 1.5 inches, as opposed to a more standard 3 inches we’ve seen. That can be a little uncomfortable for heavier babies, and sadly the lesser thickness hasn’t made it any cheaper than a 3″ option from a different brand.
Nevertheless, the mattress is superior in quality. Its cover is made of plush organic cotton and polyester, while the inner construction is foam. So it is ultra-soft as well as durable. That translates to better play and rest for a longer amount of time.
Conveniently, you don’t need a pack n play to utilize this mattress. It can be used on the floor without issue, making it a versatile pack and go solution which offers excellent value for money.
Milliard Pack and Play Mattress
Beyond being foldable, the Milliard pack and play mattress is an ideal solution to modify your baby’s sleeping surface. Typically, it can transform thin and hard baby playpen bases into a plush sleeping environment. This topper has rounded corners, which gives it a universal fitting ability, while keeping a snug fit to ensure no unwanted accidents occur.
The tri-fold mattress features a high-quality, high-density foam construction offering a decent balance between soft comfort and firm support. Undoubtedly, this is a better sleeping surface for your little one.
Like any other decent mattress for pack and play solutions, the Milliard features an excellent waterproof cover. It is designed from high-quality polyester, which has the convenience of being removable and washable – so you’ll have a clean sleeping surface for baby always.
Maximum portability is another desirable feature that the Milliard offers. You can easily fold up and bundle it into the included carry bag – for storage or travel. By the way, the bag is free, so you won’t need to shoulder the additional cost of buying one.
Like the NapYou, the Milliard is another folding mattress that can also be used on the floor without a playard, meaning it works just fine as a toddler sleeping mat too.
LA Baby Portable/Mini Crib Mattress
Do you want a portable crib mattress? If so, you should consider buying this low-cost mini mattress from LA Baby. The product is compact and well-designed, thus perfectly fitting into a standard crib. Although it is described as a mini crib mattress, it fits most pack n plays, and it can easily be stored or transported.
In terms of quality, the mattress isn’t lacking at all. First of all, the product is designed from tear-resistant material that gives it a long-lasting profile. Again, there is a water-resistant cover, which is also stain resistant. Additionally, its cover is hypoallergenic and comes with a dust mite barrier, and has anti-microbial properties. Being non-toxic is a highly desirable requirement for any kid mattresses, and the LA Baby mattress offers that.
Priced much cheaper than the others reviewed here, this is a perfect entry-level product that would suit the many different brand pack n plays on the market. This mattress comes with a 1-year warranty.
Dreamcountry Foldable Pack n Play Mattress
The Dreamcountry pack n play mattress consists of a Certipur-US certified memory foam construction. It offers a unique medium-firm-to-plush profile resulting in a better balance of comfort and support for babies. Essentially, such firmness is vital in helping promote proper alignment of the vertebral column of your baby. The advantage is that it reduces turning and tossing, thus, resulting in uninterrupted sleep. Additionally, the generous 3 inches thickness ensures that your baby is protected and supported well while also adding comfort and durability.
The tri-fold mattress has rounded corners, a design of many playpens, which implies it should perfectly work in any pack-n-play with ease. Some of the few that Dreamcounrty recommends usage with are: Chicco Lullaby LX Playard, Graco Day2Night Sleep System, Graco Pack ‘n Play Playard with Automatic Folding Feet, and the Safety 1st Safe Stages Playard.
The cover is made from polyester and is removable and washable. Therefore, it is easy to create a clean sleeping environment for your child.
Adding to easy portability, the Dreamcountry Pack and Play mattress is perfect for travel. It’s foldable and comes with a convenient grey carry bag. So storage and transportation are easy.
If you’re after a good quality playpen mattress, this one should tick all the boxes.
How To Choose The Best Pack n Play Mattress
As you can imagine, when choosing a mattress for your pack and play, there are multiple things to keep in mind. Let’s take a look at some of the most important things to consider:
Your pack and play shape and style
The shape of the playpen you have dictates the type of mattress that you buy. Ideally, the mattress must fit the playpen perfectly. For example, some are square, while others are hex shaped. However, the most popular type is rectangular.
Some pack and plays come with a bassinet at the top, while others are an open structure. Again, the mattress you select should work with this arrangement. Most mattresses aren’t fit for the bassinet but can be placed underneath on the base.
The mattress measurements
Size is critical – the mattress must fit the baby playpen precisely. Otherwise, any uneven spaces might lead to accidents.
The pack n play mattress size you’ll most often come across is 37″ x 27″. However, the measurements can vary slightly with a difference of 1/2 to 1 inch. So check the mattress to ascertain the exact dimensions and make sure it’s a tight fit. The right mattress will fit snugly; the space between the sidewall and mattress should not exceed the width of a finger.
The type of cover
Most of the covers you’ll find are made of polyester or cotton, and sometimes a combination of both. Organic cotton is perfect as it’s hypoallergenic and gentle on your child.
Another trait of covers is that most are waterproof, and if it isn’t, you should seriously consider opting for one that is. Most children will, at some point or another, either spill their milk or drop their food. Others may have a diaper that came loose or leaked, causing some horrible mess. Whatever the scenario, waterproof covers are just as comfortable for babies as covers that aren’t.
Additionally, you’ll often find some of the better mattresses have covers with leak-free stitched edges. This is a better barrier against fluid entering the foam core and causing mold and mildew to grow.
Breathability is good for hygiene and mattress longevity. Some mattresses are naturally breathable, while others feature small vents. Both of them are good choices. Additionally, some of the more premium options have organic cotton covers, allowing for better airflow.
Choosing the right feel
Most pack n play mattresses are either medium or firm or firm with a plush cover. It’s advisable to avoid an ultra-soft mattress as it is associated with SIDS risk. Get something that is supportive yet comfortable.
Choices of material
Generally, there are two options – innerspring and foam. Foam is the most common and better choice, in our opinion. They are comfortable, supportive, cheap, and lightweight.
Innerspring mattresses aren’t suitable for pack and plays, as they are much heavier and less transportable. Additionally, they will not fold and are prone to tears.
One of the most appealing things about pack and plays are the portable functionality they possess. However, there’s no point having a portable pack n play if the mattress used within it is not easy to maneuver or transport.
Choose a mattress that is lightweight and preferably foldable. Foam also tends to work better as spring counterparts can weigh a fair bit.
Folding vs non-folding
Some parents may not like the fact there is a fold or two within the mattress. This is understandable and down to personal choice. However, foldable types have benefits over those that don’t.
Also touching on portability, a folding pack n play mattress adds to easier transportation. If it’s foldable, the mattress will be perfect for parents who move their pack-n-play around the home from room to room or take it on excursions.
While non-folding pack and play mattresses are still highly portable due to being lightweight and relatively small, foldable options are more versatile.
For any pack n play mattress, four things are critical – comfort, safety, ease of use, and portability. In the reviews above, we have lined up the top 7 best pack n play mattress choices that would suit most brands and types of playard. Each of them has a universal fit; they are comfortable, durable, and safe. But the one you choose is down to you. for example, some may choose the lightest option, while others will refine by price. Either way, hopefully, you know what to look out for, what to choose, and what to avoid.