5 Best Baby Playmats and Gyms

This article has been updated on

We’ve checked 32 baby playmats and our clear winner is Skip Hop Cloud Baby Play Mat that makes 1.500+ parents and their kids always happy and well-entertained.

It is large enough for your baby to roll around while also being plush and comfortable for a newborn. The incorporation of celestial-like toys seals the deal!

THE WINNER

Skip Hop Cloud Baby Play Mat – Solid Recyclable Baby Gym

  • It’s a gender-neutral, modern design that is perfect for any home.
  • There is a plush, minky area for your newborn to have tummy time.
  • Babies can enjoy dangling stars and moon.
  • It’s large enough for your child to roll around without being too large.

Read Verified Customer Reviews

Does your baby love when you hold him and play all day? It’s a common issue for all parents, but we can’t hold them all day, even though they are adorable.

That’s where your baby activity mat comes in handy. You can lay your baby down on the mat, and he will stay entertained and happy while you get whatever else you need to finish. Your baby will watch the toys, roll around, and play while you take a shower or just enjoy being hands-free for a few moments.

Ready for a break? Let’s look at the best baby playmats on the market.

Top 5 Baby Playmats and Gyms Comparison

RankImageProductPrice
1
Editor's Choice
Fisher-Price Deluxe Piano Gym
Fisher-Price Deluxe Piano Gym
  • Four Ways to Use It
  • Washable Padding
  • Removable Piano for Older Babies
Check Price
2Infantino Twist and Fold Activity Gym
Infantino Twist and Fold Activity Gym
  • Portable and Easy to Collapse
  • Gender Neutral Colors and Design
  • Removable Toys
Check Price
3
Extra Cozy
Skip Hop Cloud Baby Play Mat
Skip Hop Cloud Baby Play Mat
  • Adorable, Cloud and Sky Design
  • Plush Material for Tummy Time
  • Different Textures and Colors Included
Check Price
4Tiny Love Super Play Mat
Tiny Love Super Play Mat
  • Large Sized
  • Different Textures and Colors
  • Prop-Up Mirror for Tummy Time
Check Price
5
Great Water Playground
Splashin
Splashin'kids Inflatable Water Mat
  • Heavy-Duty PVC Material
  • Bright Colored
  • Great for Sensory Play
Check Price

5 Best Baby Playmats and Gyms

1. Fisher-Price Deluxe Piano GymSolid Recyclable Baby Gym

Do you want your baby to take it up a notch with their baby playmat? The Fisher-Price Deluxe Piano Gym has five light-up piano keys that your baby can kick as he lays down. With this baby activity mat, there are four ways for your baby to play, so it grows with your child.

First, he can lay and play on the mat, kicking the keys, as we mentioned above. You also can use this mat for tummy time. As your child gets older, he can sit on it, and the keys fold upwards, letting him play on the piano. And you can use it as a take-along play mat.

Key Features:

  • There are four musical settings, so your baby (and your ears) has a variety to listen to each day. You can change the music as he gets older and starts to learn more.
  • Fisher-Price added lots of bright colors and different textures to stimulate your baby’s developing senses.
  • The piano is removable, so once your child is a toddler and no longer uses a play mat, you can take off the keyboard and take along the piano keys wherever you want to go.
  • The activity bar is repositionable with different toys. There is a self-discovery mirror, an elephant teether, a crinkle panda, a lion rattle, and monkey cymbal clackers.
  • The padding is soft and thick, and it’s also machine washable. So, if your baby has a diaper explosion, you can just toss it in the washing machine.
PROS:
  • Four Ways to Use for Baby
  • Removable Piano
  • Repositionable Activity Bar
  • Machine Washable Padding

CONS:
  • Assembly Isn’t Easy
  • Mat is Small and Narrow

Verdict

If you want a versatile and exciting baby playmat, the Fisher-Price Deluxe Piano Gym gives your baby several ways to enjoy and play with it. You can use it until your baby is a toddler by removing the piano. However, the mat is small and narrower, making it hard for your child to roll around.

Read Verified Customer Reviews

2. Infantino Twist and Fold Activity Gym – Travel-Friendly Playmat

While it’s nice to have some bells and whistles, babies don’t require lights and sounds on their playmat, so if you want a simple one, the Infantino Twist and Fold is an excellent selection. You can use it in four ways: overhead discovery, tummy time, a car seat and stroller toys, and sit and playtime. It’s perfect, from birth up to one year old.

Key Features:

  • It includes four linkable toys and a large peek-a-boo mirror to entertain your baby. All of the toys are BPA-free.
  • You can reposition all of the toys to encourage sensor development and mixed fabric textures.
  • There is a plush prop-up pillow that is perfect for tummy time.
  • This playmat for babies is perfect for on the go families. All you have to do is twist the top to collapse the arms of the gym for compact storage and travel. To open it, push until you hear a click. It’s so easy!
  • You can remove the toys and wash them as needed, and you also can add more or different toys.
PROS:
  • Affordable
  • Gender Neutral, Non-“Babyish” Colors
  • Toys Are Removable
  • Portable

CONS:
  • Spot Clean Mat Only
  • Material on Pillow is Slick

Verdict

You don’t need to spend a fortune. Infantino Twist and Fold is a portable, easy to collapse, versatile baby playmat. You can remove the toys or add more as needed, and all of the toys are bright colors with different textures. For the cost, it’s a great purchase!

Read Verified Customer Reviews

3. Skip Hop Cloud Baby Play Mat – Super Soft Baby Gym

Skip Hop is known for creating adorable, useful baby gear. Their Cloud Baby Play Mat is a dream mat that offers the perfect place for plush playtime in a soft color palette that is perfect for a house with modern decor. With five celestial-themed hanging toys, light, and music, this playmat will stimulate your child’s senses.

Key Features:

  • Skip Hop added developmental activities, such as a musical sheep toy, a colorful LED light-up star, a cloud squeaker, a bird rattle, and a baby sunshine mirror.
  • This mat is large and oversized, so your child has plenty of space to roll around. The mat offers cushiony comfort and different textures for sensory development.
  • It features a cloud-shaped tummy time pillow for newborns with a plush, cloud-like minky surface on one side, and a star print on the other.
  • This infant play mat is BPA, PVC, and phthalate-free.
  • All of the toys are machine washable except for the bird rattle, which needs to be hand-washed.
PROS:
  • Plush and Comfortable
  • Modern Decor
  • Plenty of Sensory Textures and Colors
  • Oversized

CONS:
  • Mat is Spot Clean Only
  • Expensive

Verdict

Skip Hop makes attractive, modern baby gear, and their Cloud Baby Play Mat is no exception. It is utterly adorable, and it won’t stand out in your living room. You have plenty of textures and colors for kids to enjoy, but remember that this mat is spot clean only, which can be frustrating.

Read Verified Customer Reviews

4. Tiny Love Super Play Mat – Extra Large Playground

Do you want to give your baby plenty of room to roll and play? If so, the Tiny Love Super Play Mat is an extra-large play mat that depicts a playground of fun and different colors. The mat includes comfy plush padding to keep your baby comfortable and safe when he tumbles on the ground.

Key Features:

  • The dimensions of this Super Play Mat are 59” x “40”.
  • You can fold this mat easily into a compact size, letting you take it to the beach, the park, or grandma’s house.
  • The mat has different and fun textures for tactile and motor skill development. For example, there is a crinkly fox tail that your baby will want to chew or rub and a peek-a-boo tree.
  • Tiny Love added a soft padded mirror on the playmat to promote facial recognition and continuous engagement. It also includes a teether so that your baby can soothe themselves during playtime.
  • It’s machine washable! So, when your baby makes a mess (because it will happen), you can toss it into the washing machine.
  • The mat is JPMA-certified, meeting ASTM and federal safety standards.
PROS:
  • Vibrant Colors
  • Mirror for Discovery
  • Different Textures
  • Machine Washable

CONS:
  • Needs More Padding
  • Could Be Larger

Verdict

Tiny Love Super Play Mat is an excellent choice if you want a clean, safe place for your child to play roll around. While it doesn’t have any dangling toys, there are different textures and colors to entertain your infant. Some parents report that they feel as if the padding is lacking, but considering the price and ease of cleaning, it might be worth it for you.

Read Verified Customer Reviews

5. Splashin’ Kids Inflatable Water Mat – Super Fun Aqua Play

Our last choice for the best baby playmats is by Splashin’ Kids, and it’s a unique choice for infants and toddlers. It is a water splash pad playmat created with heavy-duty PVC that is guaranteed not to leak air or water. This mat is perfect for sensory engagement and fun with plenty of colors and textures to keep your child entertained while enhancing brain development.

Key Features:

  • Your child can lay on top of this mat during tummy time, developing head, neck, and shoulders muscles.
  • Kids love to watch the fish talk wonderworld instead of the mat with bright colors, sharp contrasts, and adorable floating toys. He can try to catch the shiny colored toys as they float around.
  • Set up is a breeze. All you have to do is fill the outer ring with air and inner mat with your desired level of tap water. Then, set it on the floor and let your child play.
  • After you empty the mat, you can fold it and take it along wherever you want to go.
  • His mat is for ages three months and up. It measures 26″ wide by 20″ tall.
PROS:
  • Colorful
  • Doesn’t Leak
  • Easy to Set Up
  • Encourages Tummy Time

CONS:
  • Chemical Smell When It Arrives
  • Not All Babies Enjoy This

Verdict

If you want a tummy time playmat, the Splashin’ Kids Inflatable Water Mat is a unique, entertaining way to encourage your child. Tummy time isn’t always enjoyable, but using this water mat and all of the colorful designs will make the time go by faster. Best of all, we know it rarely leaks and is made of durable, heavy plastic that you can trust.

Read Verified Customer Reviews

baby playing with animals

How to Choose the Best Baby Playmats – Buyer’s Guide

While we might be awesome parents, we cannot entertain our babies forever, nor can we hold them in our arms 24/7. That’s where playmats come in handy. They offer engaging, developmental activities that keep your baby occupied while you make your coffee, take a shower, or just breathe without another human being.

Are you ready to gain back some of your sanity? If so, here are some factors to consider when buying a baby playmat.

Size Matters 

When your baby is a newborn, all of the playmats on the market seem large, but once your baby grows up, he will take up more space. Once he starts to roll around and play, will he have enough space on the mat, or will he end up on the floor?

Playmats do come in a variety of sizes and shapes. Some are circles, while others are rectangles. You have to decide how large you want the mat to make a purchase. Think about where you will keep the mat! You don’t want to overwhelm your entire floor space either with the mat; it needs not to take up your whole living room.

Do You Want Arches?

Arches are excellent for overhead discovery, and your child will have a great time staring up at the toys instead of just your dull ceiling. Once they have arms control, your baby can start batting and smacking the toys that dangle above them.

However, if you want to use the mat for traveling, arches aren’t always ideal unless you can detach them from the mat. A sitting baby doesn’t need arches because they prefer toys that are separated.

The Toys Included

Many mats include toys that can be positioned on the mat or the arches or both. Look to see if the toys can be repositioned for tummy time or when used during sit and playtime.

Not all mats feature music and lights, so you have to decide if that’s an essential feature for you. Some babies prefer to have music and lights, while it makes other babies feel overstimulated and frustrated.

Easy to Clean

It’s not a question of if your baby will make a mess on the playmat. It’s a question of when your baby will make that mess. Baby stuff should be easily cleaned. We do prefer mats that are machine washable, but some are waterproof and easily wiped down.

The included toys should be easy to clean as well. Those toys end up in your baby’s mouth, so you should be able to clean them.

siblings creeping for toy

Gender Neutral

Do you want to be able to use this playmat with future babies? If so, you need to find one that isn’t gender-specific, which means not all pink or all blue. Most of the playmats on this list fit this requirement.

Portable 

Do you want to take your baby’s playmat with you on trips outside of the home? If so, you need to be able to fold and carry the mat anywhere.

You should also consider if you plan to leave the mat on the floor or if you want to put it away after each time your baby uses it. Something hard to assemble and disassemble wouldn’t fit the bill for portability.


Frequently Asked Questions 

When Can a Baby Use A Playmat? 

You can put your baby on a playmat as a newborn, but they get more enjoyment out of it when they’re older. Babies who can roll around or reach for the toys dangling above his head are more likely to enjoy the playmat.

How Much Tummy Time Does My Baby Need?

Most doctors recommend that you give your baby daily tummy time. Infants need around 20 minutes a day of tummy time, adding a minute or two as they get older.

Can I Put a Playmat in a Crib? 

Playmats are designed to be used on the floor and not any other surface. Instead, if you want your baby to enjoy toys instead of his crib, use crib toys. They’re a safer alternative.


baby girl solving jigsaw

Criteria We Used for Baby Playmats Review 

Are you wondering how we selected the baby playmats for this review? Here are some of our considerations.

Entertaining Value 

You’re relying on this playmat to keep your baby active, and that won’t happen without some toys or entertainment factors. Whether that’s striking colors or different textures to feel, your baby has to be excited. Otherwise, he is going to scream as soon as you leave him, and then you won’t get that steaming cup of coffee.

Top-Quality

Brands do matter when it comes to quality. We love the well-respected brands that produce top-quality products. Your baby activity mat needs to be durable and of good quality. If your baby plays on it, you should expect it not to rip or tear.

Not Gender Specific 

Sometimes buying gender-specific items are okay, but for the most part, we stick to gender-neutral themes. They last longer because you can use them with several kids. There is no use in planning to purchase a playmat for each baby. They should last through more than one child.

Top Rated by Parents

Last, but not least, we always look at the experiences of parents. Ultimately, who better to tell parents what to buy than other parents? We know what works and what doesn’t work. Parents tend to be candid with their reviews because they want other parents to stay away from the wrong products.

All of these baby playmats are top-rated by parents. Parents left high reviews for them, and we trust you!


Final Thoughts on the Best Baby Playmats 

As your baby gets older, he does need to be active and have something to do other than play with you. Purchasing one of the best baby playmats like Skip Hop Cloud Baby Play Mat is your child’s first form of entertainment. He will stay excited and develop his fine motor skills as he reaches for his favorite toys like teddy bears, musical instruments or non-toxic crayons.

While activity mats might not make it absolute must-have lists, they do make your life easier, and they make your baby happy. That’s a win for everyone, so we say get one!

EVA Baby Gear