a selection of the best playards for babies

We include products we think are useful for our readers. If you buy through links on this page, we may earn a small commission. Here’s our process.

Even if your home is fully babyproofed, there will be times you need to open an oven or use the bathroom without a little one underfoot.

A playard can be a lifesaver. These enclosed structures are designed to keep your baby safe and give you peace of mind in a wide range of situations.

Playards have mesh or fabric walls and a floor. They are portable and foldable. Playards are a great place for a baby to stay when parents are busy.

“They are intended for babies that are less than 35 inches tall and can’t climb out of them. Babies should not be left alone in their playard.”

“It is possible to survive without a playard, even if you don’t have an essential baby item list. Many families choose to invest in it. They can give you peace of mind and freedom, especially for new parents.”

If you choose not to invest in a playard, you may be able to use a baby swing or high chair to keep your baby safely contained nearby while you accomplish necessary tasks.

You can also place your baby in their crib, but many parents prefer not to do this, worrying that it will send mixed signals about what their baby is supposed to do in their crib (ahem, sleep).

You can use a playard starting from the very first days after your baby is born. Many parents choose to wait until their child is a little older (i.e. rolling around or crawling), but it really is just a safe place to put your little one.

It is safest to keep a line of sight when your baby is inside, even if you are using a playard. You always want to be heard, even if you are cooking or using email.

Additional safety notes

It’s important to make sure that your baby’s playard passes safety standards of organizations like the Juvenile Product Manufacturers Association.

A playard has a weight or height limit. You should consider these when you decide if it is a good fit for your baby.

According to the Consumer Product Safety Commission, if your playard doesn’t include a mattress it’s not advised to add one unless it’s an exact fit from the manufacturer. Any gaps between the mattress and frame are a safety hazard to your baby.

It is important to place a playard in an area that does not allow your child to reach electrical sockets or stove knobs. Blocks and toys that your baby could get out of should not be in the playard.

Are you trying to find the perfect playard? You will want to consider the following.

  • Buy new(ish). Recent hand-me-downs from friends and family are OK, but inspect the product carefully before use. Because of safety protocol changes and the chance that an older playpen has been recalled, it’s best to steer away from ancient garage sale finds or your personal childhood hangout.
  • Add-ons. Playards can include a variety of features ranging from a canopy to a built-in changing table. It’s important to think about how you intend to use your playard and what features your family might benefit from.
  • Price. Especially since a playard is not essential, it’s important that whatever one you choose fits in your budget!
  • Portability. If you plan to travel with your playard (or even just move it around your house frequently), you’ll want to make sure that it folds easily and doesn’t weigh a ton.

We took into account safety features when choosing our favorite playards. We took into account the reviews from parents like you.

Price guide

  • $ = under $100
  • $$ = $100–$200
  • $$$ = $200–$300
  • $$$$ = over $300

Best overall playard

Summer Pop ’n Play Portable Playard

Price: $

This option from Summer is lightweight and appropriate for use indoors and outdoors. It is easy to set up and tear down, and it is large enough to accommodate multiple people.

“Some parents say they just flip theirs upside down and place a blanket on the ground, because it doesn’t come with a canopy.”

This is not the best fit for a child who will often sleep in their playard, as it does not include a mattress. It is best used on grass or carpet as these provide a bit of natural cushion.


  • The price is very cheap.
  • It can fit several kids inside, and offers lots of space for playing.
  • The bag can go over your shoulder.


  • “It doesn’t come with a mattress.”
  • “It doesn’t include a canopy.”

Best playard for travel

BabyBjörn Travel Crib Light

Price: $$$

If you travel frequently, this roomy playard is a great option. One parent claims in a review that they can set theirs up in 15 seconds.

The price tag is expensive but it is built to last for many years. Its design is well suited for many different types of rooms.

“The included mattress isn’t a standard size so you’ll have to buy their specifically sized sheets.”


  • It is machine washed.
  • The modern design is very similar to many other things.
  • It includes a mattress.


  • “You will have to buy their specific sized sheets because the mattress isn’t a standard size.”
  • It is not the most budget-friendly option.

Best playard with bassinet

Graco Pack ’n Play Travel Dome LX Playard

Price: $$$

This is a playard that will grow with your child.

The bassinet feature allows your baby to sleep in peace, but it can be removed to give your child more room when they are ready to roll. The diaper change can be used on top of the playard or removed to be used anywhere else. It has space to store wipes, creams, and diapers.

The playard has a bit more weight to it and can be difficult to fold up, but those may be small trade-offs for the features it has.


  • The bassinet is easy to view.
  • It has a diaper changing pad that can fit on top or be removed for other uses.
  • It has a separate bag for the bassinet when you want to take it on trips.


  • The playard is heavier than other options.
  • It can be difficult to fit it in a bag, as opposed to some of the other options.

Best playard for outdoor use

Evenflo Play-Away Portable Playard Deluxe

Price: $

This large playard is appropriate for playdates.

“It’s easy to assemble and makes it great for traveling outside. It has a full canopy that can be used as a dome or half dome depending on the weather.”

Fans of this playard say it is great for keeping their little one protected from the elements. One mom says she loves using the attached sleeve to play music and cartoons for her child.


  • It is one of the more affordable playard options.
  • The playard has a cover that can be used as a full or half canopy.
  • It is large enough for several children to play inside.


  • It needs to be cleaned and dried.
  • “It doesn’t include a mattress.”

Best budget-friendly playard

Cosco Funsport Playard

Price: $

This is a good option if you are looking for a no frills option. This option from Cosco does the job without breaking the bank, and is a very sturdy playard.

The design has two wheels to help when moving from one location to another.

The fabric is not machine washed, but the reviewers think it is a good playard.


  • It is an affordable option.
  • It is easy to set up.
  • The playard has two wheels that help it move around.


  • The fabric is not machine washed.
  • “Some users say it doesn’t have as much padding on the bottom as other options.”

Best luxury playard

Nuna Sena Aire Travel Crib

Price: $$$$

This is a playard that you will want to consider if you want top-of-the-line features and comfort for your baby.

It comes with a hefty price tag that includes many bonus features. The playard is Greenguard Gold certified and is easy to set up and take down.

“The included mesh mattress is easy to disassemble for deep cleaning. The cover is dry and machine-washable. You don’t have to strain your back placing your little one near the floor with the upper cot attachment.”

The simple design will fit in most rooms.


  • It is Greenguard Gold certified.
  • The cover is machine-washable and dryable, and the mattress is easy to deep clean.
  • It includes an upper cot attachment and the organic sheet is certified by the Global Organic Textile Standard (GOTS).


  • It is not the most budget-friendly option.
  • The accessory is sold separately.

Best playard for small spaces

Guava Family Lotus Travel Crib

Price: $$$

The playard will fit in the corner of your hotel room, and it will give your baby or toddler the space they need to sleep and play without taking up a lot of floor real estate.

“The playard is light and easy to carry. Some parents say folding it back up isn’t as easy as setting it up.”

Reviewers note that the straps are known to rip off when folded up in a backpack shape, so you should be careful with them.


  • It is Greenguard Gold certified.
  • It has a door that is partially open.
  • It has a 2-year warranty.


  • It was hard to fold back into the carrying case, according to some users.
  • The mattress is not as thin as some similar options.

Best playard with a mobile

Chicco Lullaby Zip All-in-One Portable Playard

Price: $$$

Are you looking for a way to keep your baby entertained? A toy bar can play soothing sounds. There are toys that hang from it.

The playard is made of machine-washable fabrics. It has a parent organizer and a diaper changer.

It has two wheels to help it move around the house.


  • The toy bar can play soothing music and nature sounds.
  • It is made with machine-washable fabrics.
  • It has a parent organizer.


  • It is not as suitable for travel as some of the other options.
  • There are cheaper toys.

Best playard with adjustable height mattress

Bugaboo Stardust Playard

Price: $$$$

The playard has a mattress. The process was quick after some users tried it, but not many.

“It can be folded up with the mattress inside if the infant insert isn’t being used.”

The playard is easy to set up and folds up to be put away. This playard folds flat to fit inside a travel bag and slides under many couches and beds.

You will need to buy sheets for the playard, even though it is an expensive one.


  • It has a zip-in mattress.
  • It folds flat and can be used inside the bag.
  • The fabrics are machine washed.


  • You will need to purchase the sheets separately.
  • “It doesn’t include a canopy, diaper changing pad or storage sleeve.”

Best playard for multiples

Graco Pack ’N Play Playard with Twins Bassinet

Price: $$$

Double the babies, love, and bassinets!

Floor space can seem more limited when you have two little ones. The Graco playard is specially designed to include two bassinets with canopies, instead of having to buy multiple pack ’n plays.

If your child is heavier than 15 pounds, the bassinets can be removed to make a portable playard.

“Many people like the quilted mattress pad, which is unlike a lot of other pack ‘n plays.”


  • It has two bassinets with canopies.
  • It has wheels that can help it move around.
  • The mattress pad is made of quilted fabric.


  • The bassinet sheet was hard to remove, according to some users.
  • The bassinets can only be used for a short time until the baby is 15 pounds.

Product Price Pros Cons Best for
Summer Pop ’n Play Portable Playard $ • budget-friendly option
• can fit several kids and even adults
• includes an over-the-shoulder carrying bag
doesn’t include a mattress or canopy playing inside or outdoors
BabyBjörn Travel Crib Light $$$ • machine washable
• modern design fits with many aesthetics
• includes a mattress
not the most budget-friendly; specially sized mattress requires specific sheets traveling
Graco Pack ’n Play Travel Dome LX Playard $$$ • included infant bassinet attaches to the top, making it easier to see if a baby is sleeping
• includes a detachable changing pad
• separate bassinet carrying bag included
a heavier option that’s a little harder to fold up and fit into its carrying case infants
Evenflo Play-Away Portable Playard Deluxe $ • affordable
• top can act as a full or half canopy
• big enough for several children to play in it
needs to be washed by hand and air dried when dirty; doesn’t include a mattress or thick padding on the bottom the sidelines at older siblings’ sporting events
Cosco Funsport Play Yard $ • affordable
• simple to set up
• includes two wheels for moving around the house
fabric isn’t machine washable; some users complain the bottom didn’t have much padding those wanting something simple and affordable
Nuna Sena Aire Travel Crib $$$$ • Greenguard Gold certified
• mattress is easy to deep clean and the cover is machine washable and dryable
• includes an upper cot attachment and GOTS-certified organic sheet
not the most budget-friendly; the changer accessory is sold separately those willing to spend a bit more for extra comfort
Guava Family Lotus Travel Crib $$$ • Greenguard Gold certified
• has a side zipper door
• includes a 2-year warranty
hard to fit back into the carrying case; mattress is thinner than that on some other playards small spaces
Chicco Lullaby Zip All-in-One Portable Playard $$$ • toy bar with detachable toys can play soothing melodies and nature sounds
• machine washable fabrics
• removable changer and parent organizer included
a heavy option less suitable for travel; not the cheapest of options those who want a mobile
Bugaboo Stardust Playard $$$$ • includes a zip-in adjustable height mattress
• folds flat and fits easily inside the included travel bag
• machine washable fabrics
expensive and you’ll need to purchase sheets separately; doesn’t include a canopy, diaper changing pad, or storage sleeve for diapers adjustable height mattress
Graco Pack ‘N Play Playard with Twins Bassinet $$$ • includes two bassinets with canopies
• has wheels to help move it around the house
• mattress pad is quilted
some users complain the bassinet sheet was a little hard to place/remove; bassinets can only be used until babies are 15 pounds twins

Wondering how to choose a playard for your child? You will want to think about it.

  • The size. Playards come in a variety of sizes and shapes. You’ll want to find one that allows your child enough room to move around and sleep.
  • Ease of setup and fold-up. Do you need a playard that can be set up one-handed? Do you want one that folds up with the click of a button? Perhaps you’re only planning on using it inside your home, so wheels to scoot it around are more important.
  • Special features. Does it come with a canopy to shield your baby from the sun when you’re outside? Does it include a bassinet or changing pad? Do you want a side door zipper so your little one can crawl in and out?
  • Weight. If you’re planning on only using it inside your home this may not matter, but if you plan on doing a lot of traveling, you may want something a little more lightweight and portable.
  • Price. Playards can cost from less than $100 to over $300. You’ll want to consider how much your budget allows and if this is an item you intend to use a lot. If you’re trying to keep the cost down, don’t forget to monitor sales and other deals that might make your dream playard more budget-friendly.

Before using a playard with your child, you should check for holes, rough edges and mattresses that fit properly.

What is the difference between a pack ’n play and a playard?

“There is no difference between a pack ‘n play and a playard. Pack ‘n Play is one of the most popular playards. The brand name has become a mainstream way to refer to any enclosed space where a baby may be placed to play or sleep.”

Are playards dangerous at all?

If a mattress is not designed for the playard, it can pose a suffocation risk. Children can be trapped and hurt by large holes poked in the mesh.

Older babies and toddlers can get injured in hanging objects, which can include mobiles. They can fall and hurt themselves trying to climb out.

If a baby is younger than 4 months old, it is important that they have all their toys and pillows in a playard.

What do I do if my child is fussy in a playard?

Depending on the situation, you may be able to give your child a toy or food to calm them down in the playard.

You can also use entertainment to distract them.

If your child tries to climb out of the playard, or engages in unsafe behaviors, you may need to remove them from the playard, calm them, and return them to it later.

How long can you use a playard?

To make sure that your child is safe in the playard, you should check the maximum recommended height and weight limits.

“Large playards aren’t designed for people over 30 pounds. They should not be used with a child who can climb out of them.”

A playard can be a handy item to invest in if you need a safe place for your baby to play while you cook or if you want to sleep in on vacation.

There are many add-ons and price points that make it a perfect one for every family.