15 Best Baby Play Mats And Gyms In 2022 With Safety Tips

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The best baby play mats are perfect for creating a play area exclusively for your baby. These interactive mats come with various features and in different designs and colors. If your baby has begun rolling onto their tummy, a play mat is what you should consider bringing home.

Here, we present a list of the best baby play mats that you can consider and give you some tips on choosing the right mat. Pick one that best suits your child’s needs.

15 Best Baby Play Mats And Gyms In 2022 With Safety Tips

1. Best Organized:Fisher-Price Kick ‘n Play Piano Gym

Bring home a fun and creative way for children to play with this piano gym from Fisher-Price. You get five activity toys, including a piano that plays real music, with this playmat. The five activity toys include a baby-safe mirror and an adorable hippo-shaped teether. The teether can come in handy if your baby is already teething. You can also detach the piano from the playmat and use it as a separate toy. Check more about this product from this video.

Pros

  • Mat is soft and comfortable even when the baby lies on it for a long time
  • Keys play music each time the baby kicks the piano with their tiny feet
  • Parents can control the volume of the piano
  • Simple to set the piano to play short or long music tones
  • Toy arch helps keep the toys organized

Cons

  • Might have a smaller surface area than expected
  • Assembly might be challenging

[ Read : Fisher Price Musical Play Gym Review ]

2. Best Soft And Comfortable: Infantino Twist and Fold Activity Gym

The entertainment hub for children allows you to pick from three designs, each with a different pattern on the playmat. Four interactive toys are attached to the arch that supports the playmat. The giraffe rattles and the elephants make clicking sounds when shaken. There is also a monkey with a teether at its base. Take a look at this video to learn more about this product.

Pros

  • Made entirely of polyester and soft enough for extended tummy time
  • Plush pillow keeps the baby safe and protected
  • Comes with a baby-safe mirror that can be carried by the baby while seated
  • Collapsible, compact, and easy to fold and store

Cons

  • Might shrink slightly in the dryer
  • Top layer might bunch up after playing

3. Best With Plush Finish: Tiny Love Gymini Super Deluxe Activity Gym

Tiny Love’s gym mat for toddlers features five interactive toys, including two electronic toys that give out light and sound like the others. A tummy time pillow is included with the playmat to make your little one feel comfortable while they’re having fun. Check out this video to learn more.

Pros

  • Soft, plush, and cozy
  • Babies can spend a lot of time playing without feeling fatigued
  • Extra padding on the borders prevents baby from rolling out
  • Easy to fold and store

Cons

  • Choice of music might be limited
  • Sewing may not be durable

4. Best Multipurpose:Bright Starts 5-in-1 Play Activity Gym

Designed to be immersive for your little one, this mat can be used in five ways, depending on the age-group of the baby. In short, this playmat grows with your baby. You get 12 toys, including electronic toys, that can play light and sound for 20 straight minutes. The activity gym ships with 35 plastic balls for older infants and toddlers to play with by converting the playmat into a mini ball pit.

Pros

  • Corners can be folded both to the inside and outside, making it extendable
  • Helps develop motor skills
  • Folding corners inwards creates a sandbox-like play area for older babies
  • Fabric of the playmat is machine-washable

Cons

  • Might not be sturdy
  • Assembly might be challenging

5. Best For Play Time: Baby Einstein Caterpillar & Friends Play Gym

The brightly-colored playmat comes with cute animal illustrations everywhere. The toy arch comes with five adorably shaped toys including an electronic one shaped like a star. You can remove the star-shaped toy from the bar to let the baby play with it separately. The toy can play eight melodies, providing 20 minutes of play time.

Pros

  • Removable toy arch can create extra headroom for babies who can sit on their own
  • Machine-washable
  • Includes a baby-safe, peek-a-boo mirror
  • Comes with teether toys attached to the toy arch

Cons

  • Surface might feel slightly slippery
  • Paint might begin to chip off some toys

6. Best Multi-Sensory: Skip Hop Baby Play Gym, Treetop Friends

The play gym, measuring 36x19in, is quite popular among children for its interesting features and friendly faces. It is made of soft linen and patterned arches and includes a soft pillow for tummy time. Five fun multi-sensory toys hang from the arches to keep the child engaged for long and improve their motor and sensory skills. Your child can enjoy 17 developmental activities that promote growth and learning.

Pros

  • Includes 13 easy-to-hang loops and a mirror
  • Built-in sounds and textures
  • Oversized round mat
  • Easy to clean

Cons

  • May be thinner than expected
  • Colors may be slightly pale

7. Best For Toddlers: The Play Gym by Lovevery

Aptly named The Play Gym, this activity center comes with five play zones. Each zone provides stimulation as per the age of the baby. You can conceal any given zone until the baby is old enough to play with that. The wooden arch of the playmat features dangling toys to keep your little one focused and smiling. A cover goes over the toy arches to convert the playmat into a play tent, which is useful for older toddlers.

Pros

  • Includes high contrast patterns, shapes, and images
  • One toy is made from wood while another is made from organic cotton
  • Arches are made from baby-safe wood sourced sustainably
  • Silicone parts are free from BPA and phthalates
  • Water-based inks are used

Cons

  • Fabric might attract some lint
  • Mat might be slightly thin and hard

8. Best Feature-Rich: Lcasio Baby Gym Activity Center

The engaging and feature-rich play gym includes five detachable colorful rattles for hanging and a piano mat. This interactive activity center works well for tummy time, lying, and sitting and is travel-friendly. It helps exercise the child’s limbs, promotes fine motor skills, and helps develop the child’s back. The soothing music and the rhythmic tapping can help develop the child’s auditory skills and musical sensibilities.

Pros

  • Safe and skin-friendly materials
  • Breathable and wear-resistant
  • Soft, built-in LEDs
  • Easily detachable for storage

Cons

  • May be small for some
  • Arch may not be stable

9. Best EVA Foam Tile: SoftTiles Kids Foam Play Mat

The parent-recommended floor mat ships as a set of nine EVA foam tiles that you can connect to form a playmat for your baby. Each tile has an animal outline, and you can create a mat from 13 color options. You can also join tiles from two playmats to create a larger playmat for the baby.

Pros

  • Edge of the mat slopes outwards to prevent babies from tripping
  • EVA foam is soft and works as a cushion during tummy time
  • Foam is waterproof and can be cleaned easily
  • Suitable for outdoor use.
  • Free from BPA, phthalates, latex, and fire retardant chemicals

Cons

  • Mat might attract dust and lint
  • Edges might be thinner than expected

10. Best Color Contrast: Yookidoo Baby Gym and Play Mat

If you’re looking for something to catch your baby’s eye and keep them engaged for hours, this playmat will do the trick. There is a high-contrast color pattern across the playmat that ships with four toys including a baby-safe mirror and a rattle. There are three different stages of playing: stage one is for newborns who lie on their back, the second stage is when they have a lot of tummy time, and the third stage is playing while seated. A small groove-like track goes over the toy arch, while a battery-operated roller sways an attached toy in either direction.

Pros

  • Comes with a tummy time pillow
  • Bound to capture baby’s attention and work as visual stimulus
  • Track is detachable so that you can place it on the playmat itself
  • Watching the toy move from side to side can be exciting for the baby
  • Easy to fold and carry with the attached handles

Cons

  • Car might not function seamlessly
  • May not come with extra rings

11. Best For Newborns: Tumama Baby Gym Activity Play Mat

Tumama Baby Gym Activity Play Mat

Made of safe and soft fabric, this play mat is gentle on the baby’s skin and offers a comfortable space for the child to lie down and play. It is specially designed for newborns but is also suitable for toddlers. The mat is breathable and thick enough for the child’s safety. You can connect this play gym to other devices for playing music. It comes with two volume levels, both of which are reasonably low to protect the child’s ears.

Pros

  • Easy to wash and clean
  • Helps improve the child’s motor skills and sensory perception
  • Easy to assemble and take down
  • Easy to store and carry

Cons

  • Plastic pieces may not be durable

12. Best Colorful Gym:  VTech Baby Lil’ Critters Musical Glow Gym

The playmat uses bright colors, patterns, and sounds to stimulate your baby’s imagination. An activity panel contains a tree-shaped background with a piano at its base. There is also audio that asks simple questions and reads out words to attract the attention of older babies and toddlers.

Pros

  • Removing the toy arches creates extra space
  • Turning the piano horizontal makes it easily accessible to babies who can sit
  • Dangling toys are removable
  • Includes a baby-safe mirror, rattle, and a toy that works as a teether
  • You can remove the mat from the frame of the gym to wash it

Cons

  • Pad might not have enough cushioning
  • Arch might not be sturdy enough

13. Best Baby Gym With Projector: BabySeater Projector Baby Gym

What we love about this one is that the mat is soft and comes with a projector on top of the toy arches. This allows it to project an image of a starry sky on the ceiling, which makes for a fascinating sight when your baby is lying on their back on the playmat. The projector module can play lullabies, and parents can control how the image rotates using the projector’s control panel.

Pros

  • Four detachable toys at the center of the arch
  • Easy for babies to rotate toys with a gentle flick
  • Backlit piano buttons on the base play different sounds when pressed
  • Plays baby voices, festive songs, and nursery rhymes
  • Made from baby-safe materials and does not contain BPA

Cons

  • Volume might be loud even on low setting
  • Batteries might not be easy to replace

14. Best Finding Nemo Themed: Disney Baby Mr. Ray Ocean Lights Activity Gym

The delightful activity gym follows a sea theme all around, with sea blue colors and even a sea anemone-shaped pillow for the infant’s tummy time. The canopy of the playmat is shaped like a stingray. There are tiny lights within the canopy that can be turned on to make the mat more exciting.

Pros

  • Toys are shaped like popular Disney characters
  • Includes a teether, rattle, and a hand puppet that parents can use for interactive play
  • Electronic module can play 20 minutes of ocean-themed melodies
  • Made of polyester

Cons

  • Does not come with batteries
  • Velcro strip might not be attached well

15. Best Ennvironment-Friendly: Funny Supply Wood Play Gym

Use your own imagination to create the perfect turf for your little one to stretch out. This play gym frame gives you all the tools and accessories you need to convert any flat surface into a playmat for the baby. The wooden frame is sanded by hand to remove any rough edges, so children can roll around without a worry.

Pros

  • No tools required for assembly
  • Simple A-shaped frame holds itself stable and is safe for infants
  • Hanging wooden beads and toys keep babies entertained
  • Paint used on the beads is environmentally friendly
  • Foldable design makes it convenient to carry and store

Cons

  • Assembly might be time-consuming
  • Children may find it difficult to pull the toys towards themselves

What Is A Playmat?

A playmat is an interactive mat made from soft materials to create an exclusive play zone for a baby. The mat is usually bright-colored, has playful illustrations, and may come attached with several toys such as rattles, baby-safe mirrors, and danglers. Play mats are also called activity mats, play gyms, and activity gyms.

When Can A Baby Use A Playmat?

While playmats can be used even for newborns, they are ideal for older babies capable of rolling onto their tummies. The mat can be used for six-month-old babies who tend to roll from back to tummy and tummy to back (1).

A six-month-old will also be more curious about objects and will reach out to grab them. So get a playmat if you think your baby is six-months-old and is ready for it.

How To Choose A Playmat?

Consider the following features in a playmat before buying one.

  1. Easy portability: Pick a playmat that is easy to roll or fold so that you can move it anywhere in the house. Easy portability is essential if you tend to carry your baby’s toys, including playmats, during trips.
  1. Toys and accessories: A mat that comes with free toys and other accessories, such as tummy time pillow, is certainly a bonus.
  1. Multiple uses: Babies eventually outgrow their toys. Therefore, pick a playmat that can serve even when your baby is older. Several playmats have removable toy arches or expandable play areas that are suitable for older toddlers.

Playmats are an excellent pastime for babies that begin rolling or reaching out to objects. You also find that the baby is more engrossed than when placed on a normal surface. The playmat is indeed an essential baby-development tool!

Why Trust MomJunction?

We have put together the above list of baby play mats after considering the safety requirements of a baby who has just begun to roll. They are well-cushioned, thereby providing their gentle tummies something soft to rest upon. With the interactive toys, your baby would be interested in moving and learning new movements. These are interactive mats that would calm your baby and are easy to maintain. We have also included a buyer’s guide to help you choose the right product.

The best play mats and gyms are multifunctional as they help create a safe space for your toddler to have fun and stay active by stimulating their senses. When choosing one, ensure it is BPA-free, brightly colored, and features exciting patterns and prints. Further, choosing one that fits your available play space, is machine-washable, well-cushioned, odorless, and easy to clean can also help ensure your child’s safety. We also recommend choosing a play mat that can be used by both younger and older toddlers, especially when they can roll onto their tummies.

References:

MomJunction's articles are written after analyzing the research works of expert authors and institutions. Our references consist of resources established by authorities in their respective fields. You can learn more about the authenticity of the information we present in our editorial policy.
1. Important Milestones: Your Baby By Six Months, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention

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Vibha Navarathna

Vibha is a coder turned content writer. She holds a Masters degree in Computer Applications from Osmania University, Hyderabad and a certificate in 'Introduction To Child Psychology'. Her passion for writing fresh and informative content made her a full-time writer. Holding certifications in content writing and creative writing, she writes on electronics, baby and health products for MomJunction. Apart from...
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