The 5 Best Pack and Play Mattresses of 2020
Editor’s Note: We know raising kids can be hard. That’s why we’re dedicated to making your life easier with the latest and greatest parenting advice and products. We wanted to let you know that if you chose to purchase one of the items featured in this post, we may receive a small commission for it.
Infants will spend the better part of their day sleeping, typically anywhere from 14-17 hours a day! Investing in a great crib mattress is money well spent, but don’t forget about the time your baby may also be spending in a pack and play.
Pack and Plays are not only convenient portable sleeping options, but they are also a great option for corralling little ones with a safe place to play. Anytime baby sleep comes into play you want to reduce any risk of SIDS, meaning that having a sturdier mattress is key. Even though they come with a thin sleeping surface, spending a little extra money on a quality mattress will give you the peace of mind that when it’s serving as a place to sleep, your baby will be comfortably supported.
Our Top Picks
- Best Portable Option - Hiccapop Tri-fold Pack and Play Mattress
- Best Breathable Option - Dream on Me Breathable Mattress
- Best Waterproof Option - Milliard Classic Pack and Play Mattress
- Best Durable Option - Dream on Me Pocket Coil Mattress
- Best Lightweight Option - NapYou Amazon Exclusive Mattress
What to Consider when Purchasing a Pack and Play Mattress
When you think about babies, your first thought might be soft and plush; however, when it comes to sleep you want a firm mattress and a tight fitting sheet. According to the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) “Mattresses should be firm and should maintain their shape even when the fitted sheet designated for that model is used.”
As infants grow into toddlers you can consider a mattress with a little more give that isn’t quite so hard, so take into consideration the age of your child who will be using the pack and play. There are also options where you can flip between a firm side for a baby and a softer side for a toddler.
Consider the material both on the inside and outside of a mattress. Added chemicals are often used to make mattresses flame retardant, so depending on your comfort level keep that in mind. You can find mattresses ranging all over the place from lightweight foam, organic cotton, plastic-based, water resistant and many more. Keep an eye out for materials that are easily washable to avoid mildew and other germs.
If you’re truly using a pack and play for easy portability and convenience, you don’t want to have to also be lugging around a mattress as well. There are options that fold up just as small for easy packing and many come with their own carry bag with handles for convenience. Whether folding up to store away or folding up to travel, tri-fold pack and play mattresses are a good option.
How We Chose Our Favorites
We scoured reviews all over the internet for the best pack and play mattresses so you don’t have to. We also consulted real parents and thought about our own parenting experiences to help choose the best pack and play mattresses for you and your baby.
How to Use a Pack and Play
Pack and plays serve several purposes, from a toddler play yard to a safe sleeping area.
If you’re looking to purchase a pack and play, we recommend the basic Graco Pack and Play or the Graco Pack and Play Travel Dome with Portable Bassinet.
- Convenient for travel: If your child is still sleeping in a crib at home, then chances are they can still comfortably sleep in a pack and play. If you’re traveling somewhere that won’t have a crib, a pack and play is a convenient alternative. Just because you’re traveling doesn't mean you have to sacrifice a comfortable mattress. Plus, they are super easy to assemble.
- Safe sleep space for extra rooms or houses: If you’re sleeping with your baby in your room for the first few months, or if they need to nap in a different room than the nursery, or they frequently visit with a relative, a pack and play is a great alternative option than a second crib that permanently takes up space. A portable crib mattress means you don’t need to take up floor space when not in use.
- Portability: One of the best perks to a pack and play is that it is portable and easy to set up and break down. If you’re spending time in the yard, on the deck, or at a friends house you can use it as a safe play space, and then when your baby gets sleepy, pop the mattress in and let them enjoy a nap on the go. Many mattresses are easily washable, so you don’t have to worry about the dirt that comes with a nap while on the go.