Parents make the transition to playpens, play yards, and other spaces where babies and toddlers can play freely around as babies get past their newborn stage since they also outgrow their cribs. These spaces give them room for learning how to sit up, stand up, and eventually, walk on their own. Since moms have their own preferences, there are many options for playpens out there.
In line with that, there are also many factors to consider, such as size, material, and safety features. Knowing all of this may be overwhelming so we've made a buying guide and a list of the 10 best products to help you select a playpen that would suit you and your baby's needs. We even invited a board-certified pediatrician, Dr. Joanna Pamela Cuayo-Estanislao, to give comments and tips in the buying guide.
Dr. Joanna Pamela Cuayo-Estanislao is a pediatrician and child health specialist based in Metro Manila. Doc Joey is passionate about health education and empowering families to become informed advocates of their children's health and wellness. She uses social media to educate and raise awareness about important issues and topics in the field of pediatrics and child care.
Our recommendation articles are carefully researched and crafted by the mybest Philippines team of writers and editors. To stay true to our company’s mission and vision to help users’ selection process easier, we also collaborate with experts from various fields to ensure that our content stays factual and useful.
The expert oversees the Buying Guide only, and does not determine the products and services featured.
The products and services listed are ranked independently by the editorial team based on the points mentioned in our thoroughly researched buying guide (as of 01-16-2023).
Table of Contents
Here are some points to consider:
For more detailed information, read through our buying guide below.
Since most playpens are bigger than cribs, check if you have enough space in your room where you can place your playpen. To give you an idea, full-size rectangular playpens usually reach 70 inches in terms of length and 30 inches in width while other smaller playpens are about the size of a small crib, around 40-inches long and 30-inches wide.
Aside from its dimensions, also consider the shape of your playpen and how it fits in the room. Four-sided playpens can be put around the corner of the room while circular ones can be placed at the middle. Traditional playpens are square or rectangular in shape but with new playful designs, they can now come in all sizes including circle and octagon.
As babies grow a lot during those months, it is important to pick playpens that can accommodate them even if they grow bigger or taller. After all, playpens are used by children around 4 months old, up to the time they can walk. By buying a playpen that can last for a long time, you can save both money and effort from buying a completely new one every couple of years.
Also, since some toddlers grow faster than others, consider your baby's size. Try to gauge if they have enough room inside the playpen or if the space is too restricted and uncomfortable. After all, the comfort of your kid is important in picking out a playpen.
As a standard for safety, the sides of a playpen should be at least 20 inches (51 centimeters) high, measured from the floor of the playpen. It would also be good to look for a playpen that has a 1-inch firm mattress or pad at the bottom of the playpen. Avoid playpens with soft padding/bedding.
While playpens can be handy and it can be tempting to extend their use, you should stop using playpens when your child can easily climb out—when they reach a height of 34 inches (86 centimeters) or weighs 30 pounds (14 kilograms).
Playpens vary in their materials but wood and plastic are the ones you would usually find. The each have their own pros and cons as will be tackled below, so read and weigh those carefully before deciding on what material to go with.
Because of their heavy and sturdy quality, wooden playpens are extremely durable. They can support your child’s increasing weight and are unlikely to break or snap that easily. In fact, with proper care and use, wooden playpens can last even after years of use.
The only downside of wood as a material is that it is vulnerable to water damage, fire, decay, and termites that could ruin its sturdy quality. However, if you can manage to place your wooden playpen in places without those risks, then there is really nothing to worry about.
For wooden playpens, check that the bars are spaced between 50 and 95 mm apart (similar to a cot). Larger gaps can trap a child’s head. There should also be no exposed hinges, screws, or rivets that can injure the baby or pose a choking/swallowing hazard. All folding parts should have latches that lock securely, with those latches always locked well before you place your baby inside the playpen. Check that your baby cannot undo the locks and latches. Stop using the playpen as soon as your baby can undo the latches and locks.
The advantage of plastic and mesh playpens is that they are more lightweight and breathable compared to wooden playpens. Also, because of their light material, plastic playpens are easier to carry or move around the house. However, this also means that they are less durable and more likely to snap or break, making them an impractical choice for long-term use.
Aside from that, playpens made out of plastic can also contain harmful substances. Common chemical substances found in plastic products such as Lead, Bisphenol A (BPA), and Phthalates can be harmful when exposed to your child. If you plan to purchase a playpen made out of plastic, check if it is BPA-free to make sure that it is safe for your child.
When opting for lighter-weight materials, check the strength and stability. It should not be easily tipped over or dragged around from inside. When getting a playpen with mesh sides, the holes in the mesh should be no larger than ¼ inch (0.6 centimeters) to keep small fingers and small buttons on clothes from getting caught.
The mesh should be securely attached and checked regularly for breaks and tears. Go for playpens with top rails that automatically lock (and are not easily dislodged) when lifted into the normal position. Never leave the side of a mesh playpen lowered. An infant who rolls into the pocket created by the slack mesh can become trapped and suffocate.
Another thing to consider aside from comfort is the safety features of your child's playpen. These can include safety locks and padded rails that keep your child safe, as well as attachable mosquito nets and rocking bars that protect your child against insect bites and rock your baby for a good night's sleep.
Playpen gates are convenient for getting toddlers in and out of the playpen. Instead of bending your back and reaching for your toddler inside the playpen, you could simply open a door or gate, and the toddler can get inside or outside the playpen without you having to carry them every single time.
However, it is not unusual for kids no figure out how to open safety gates on their own. To prevent this from happening, pick kid-friendly safety gate locks to keep your kid secure. This means that the locks should be easy enough for you to open but difficult enough for your child to reach and eventually unlock.
Locks that allow you to lower a side of the playpen should always be out of your baby’s reach. The lock mechanism should also be secure enough that your child cannot undo it easily. However, once your child can figure out how to unlock their playpen, it's best to stop using it for their safety.
Since playpens are spacious, it is common for toddlers to get extra frisky while in them. This may lead to them falling and getting bumps or other injuries unless there is sufficient padding. When purchasing a playpen, pick ones that include a firm mattress and padded rails so that your child can comfortably sleep and safely play inside their playpen.
Ideally, your playpen’s foam or mattress should be firm, not hard, and be around 1-inch thick, soft enough to provide comfort while being firm enough to prevent them from sinking in. On the other hand, the padded top rails should be soft and durable to avoid bumps and because teething toddlers tend to sink their teeth in playpen rails.
It's good practice to check all padded parts regularly for tears and always cover or repair any found. Children who are teething often bite off chunks of the vinyl or plastic that often cover the top rails, so you should check them periodically for tears and holes. If the tears are small, repair them with heavy-duty cloth tape; if they are more extensive, you may need to replace the rails.
Being a parent can sometimes make you too busy to take your playpen apart and assemble it again every time you move it. Thankfully, there are also playpens that cater to this problem, such as foldable and wheeled playpens that allow you to pack and move your playpen quicker and more conveniently.
If you travel a lot with your family, whether for work or for vacation, foldable playpens are a fitting option that you should consider. Because of their foldability, you can make them compact enough to fit inside your car without taking up too much space.
Aside from that, portable playpens are also perfect for outdoor use as they can be easily folded and carried without much effort. Although they might be pricier, the convenience they offer can make a huge difference, especially for parents who travel a lot with their families.
Foldable playpens help keep your child in an enclosed space where you can better manage their safety and exposures, especially in a place that may not be babyproof. Before choosing your foldable/travel playpens, however, do check how stable and sturdy they are. Make sure that you are confident in setting the playpen up and the attachments are secure and not easily undone. It should also be sturdy enough to stay put and stay up when your child leans against it.
Meanwhile, wheeled playpen cribs are perfect for busy parents who want to keep an eye on their child while being in different parts of the house. Because of its wheels, you can easily transport the playpen crib without having to carry it around. This saves a lot of time and effort, especially if you own a particularly heavy playpen.
Additionally, ensure that your wheeled playpen has wheel brakes that would keep the playpen steady and stable even if your child is moving around in it. As mentioned earlier, toddlers start to get frisky in playpens, so in order to prevent any accidents, safety features such as wheel brakes are extremely helpful.
Wheeled playpens can be convenient, but like any furniture for kids with wheels, it's important to check that the brakes work well and are not easily disengaged. Like foldable playpens, these playpens should be sturdy enough to stay put and stay up when your child is leaning against them.
Other playpens include linkable toys that children can play with while they're in the playpen. These can be rotating musical toys that are attached above cribs or teethers that cater to teething toddlers. Toys can add more fun to your child's playtime, but make sure that they are BPA-free and aren't choking hazards.
Aside from toys, playpens can also come with mini slides. With these, you can have a mini playground at home for your child without having to risk going outside, especially during this pandemic. The advantage of mini slides is that children can use them whenever they want; just make sure that you keep a careful eye on them while they're on it.
Once your child can sit or get up on all fours or when they reach five months, whichever comes first, remove any toys that have been tied across the top of the playpen, so they cannot become entangled in them. When your child can pull themselves to a standing position, remove all boxes and large toys that they could use to help them climb out.
Click to purchase
Dwelling Dani Foldable Playfence
A 10-Panel Foldable Playfence With a Safety Gate for More Secure Playtimes
Forest Kingdom Co-Sleeper Playpen
A Foldable Mesh Playpen With Wheels and Removable Mattress
Mesh Mini Play Fence
An Easy to Assemble Plastic and Mesh Playfence for Toddlers
Pack n' Play Travel Dome
A Wheeled Playpen With a Portable Bassinet for All of Babies' Needs
Kubbie Sleep Bedside Sleeper
A Travel-Friendly Bedside Cot With an Adjustable Side Panel Perfect for Traveling
Portable Foldable Playpen Crib
Protect Your Baby From Insect Bites With an Attachable Mosquito Net
Pack 'n Play Playpen With Rocking Bar
A Rocking Playpen to Help Put Your Baby to Sleep
Jumbo Activity Gym & Ball Pit
A 3-in-1 Playpen With Linkable Toys for Sensory Stimulation
Portable Foldable Playpen Crib
A Full-Size Playpen Crib With Wheels and a Safety Break great for Parents Who Travel a Lot
Petit Baby Room
Create a Designated Play Area With This Lightweight Playpen for Kids
Made from soft plastic material, this playpen can keep your child safe and entertained while you're away. It has built-in educational toys that your child can play with aside from toys that you can put inside the playpen. Plus, it has a cute bear theme that adds a nice touch to your child's playroom.
From trusty baby gear brand Apruva, this playpen comes with a lot of promising features. These include wheels for mobility, airy mesh on all sides, a mosquito net for night or outdoor protection, and a removable top layer for newborn babies. Considering those features, the price is a great deal, especially if you want a playpen that can do a lot.
Since the playpen panels are made of airy mesh, your child can enjoy maximum ventilation from all sides. Also, if ever you want to move your playpen someplace else, you can easily utilize its wheels or fold it until it's small enough to carry around without having to disassemble it again and again.
Made from plastic and mesh, this play fence is perfect for kids who love playing in a large, somewhat open space instead of a playpen crib. It has a hexagonal shape with alternating mesh panels that is useful for watching your kid form afar. If there's still enough space inside the playpen, you could put toys or even make a ball pit for your toddler to play in.
The only downside with this playpen is that it's not portable and it doesn't have wheels, so moving it to another place might be a hassle. Although assembly might take a while still, the strong structure provided by its metal support bars surely make this playpen a worthy purchase.
If you want a full-feature playpen, then this one from Graco can give you that. It includes a removable bassinet, wheels for mobility, a diaper changer, push-button fold for easy storing, and an integrated storage area for your baby's essentials. It has mesh on all sides and an attachable mattress as well, so you can keep your baby at eye level at all times.
Overall, this playpen is the complete package. The removable bassinet with a canopy and visor is perfect for outdoor playdates, especially under the sun. Because of its diaper changer and multiple compartments, you can maximize the functions and storage of this playpen to make it a one-stop shop for all your baby's needs.
This playpen and bedside cot from Joie caters specifically to mothers who want to keep an eye on their child every night. You can roll down one of the side panels halfway and place the playpen beside you so you can sleep side-by-side with your baby. Its 99 x 59.5 x 80 cm dimensions are smaller than most playpens, so you can easily fit it into narrow spaces as well.
Aside from that bedside feature, this playpen crib also has a foldable and portable bassinet perfect for traveling. Also, you can easily turn naptime into playtime by removing the top layer mattress and making it a playpen once your baby grows into a toddler.
If you're worried about your child getting insect bites, then this playpen is for you. It comes with its own mosquito net, which you can use to cover the playpen with and prevent mosquitos from getting in. With this feature, you and your baby can sleep soundly during the night without having to swat mosquitos in your sleep.
Additionally, this playpen crib gives your child enough room to play with its 110 x 77x 78 cm size. This does not have mesh on all sides though, so it could be an issue if the breathability of the materials is important to you.
Putting your baby to sleep is probably one of the most challenging tasks as a parent. Oftentimes, you are compelled to carry your baby and rock them in your arms, which can be a tiring task. Thankfully, there are playpen cribs that help you to effortlessly rock your baby back to sleep.
On top of that, this playpen also has a rotating musical crib for your baby to play with during day time. It also has auto-locking wheels, so you can guarantee that your baby's playpen stays stable and secure at all times.
This multi-purpose activity gym can serve as a perfect paying area for babies and toddlers alike. It includes 5 linkable toys, including a BPA-free teether that you can always reposition however you like. With this cushioned activity gym, your toddler will always be comfortable while being entertained with fun and safe toys.
Plus, this playing area has three modes to choose from: overhead play, sit and play, and toddler ball pit. With these multiple set-ups, your child can make the most out of this playpen as a baby and even up to his toddler years.
This wheeled playpen from RUX is designed for both newborn babies and toddlers. The full-sized playpen can be used by toddlers for playing around, while the attachable top layer is made for newborn babies. With a safety break on one side, you won't have to worry about your playpen moving away even if your child is playing inside it.
Aside from that, this collapsible playpen is perfect for parents who travel a lot with their kids. With a push of a button, you can easily fold this playpen to make it more small and compact. It also includes a carry bag for easy storage and packing.
If your baby is nearing toddlerhood, then you might want to consider buying a playpen that provides your child enough space to play and learn how to walk. Since this play fence is made of plastic, it's also very lightweight and easy to clean compared to wooden play fences.
One thing to keep in mind with this, however, is that it does not come with a built-in mattress or play mat. If you have a hard-surfaced floor and want to keep your child extra safe, you'll probably need to buy a soft mat to act as a cushion inside the playing area.
If you still have questions on your mind, allow Doc Joey to enlighten you with her answers to some of the web's most asked questions.
A playpen can be helpful when your child has begun to crawl at about six months or seven months. However, if you plan to get a playpen for your child, it's a good idea to get one before your baby's moving around too much, so they can get used to it. You can keep a few favorite toys or books in the playpen so that your child associates it with some of her best-loved things.
However, be careful not to put anything in the playpen that your baby could use to help themselves out (boxes, bigger toys). Babies can be amazing escape artists! It's also best not to dangle toys with ribbons from the side of the playpen, especially once your baby starts learning how to grab things. Your baby could use them to tip over the playpen, or they could get tangled up in the string.
If you would like a mattress inside your baby's playpen, it's best to get a playpen that has its own firm, 1-inch thick mat. Keep other beddings, blankets, mats, and pillows out of the playpen. It's also best not to replace the mattress or padding in the playpen (except with the same one that the playpen originally came with), as it might not fit the playpen well and leave spots in the playpen area where your baby can get into accidents. Be sure to check all padded parts regularly for tears. You can use thick or heavy-duty fabric tape to cover or repair any minor tears.
Some experts believe that playpens can restrict children, and in the past, playpens have been overused as "babysitters" for children. However, the design of your house or your circumstances at home may mean you occasionally need somewhere safe to place your baby for a short period of time.
In these situations, a playpen can be really useful. However, remember that playpens are definitely no substitute for adult supervision—never leave a child unattended in a playpen, no matter how secure the playpen is.
After reading everything, you might realize that picking out baby gear is much harder than it sounds. As new parents, it is understandable that you want to pick out great products as you want only what's best for your child. Aside from playpens here are other baby essentials that you might find interesting.
No. 1：｜Dwelling Dani Foldable Playfence｜With Safety Gate
No. 2：Apruva｜Forest Kingdom Co-Sleeper Playpen｜With Wheels and Mattress
No. 3：Jax｜Mesh Mini Play Fence
No. 4：Graco｜Pack n' Play Travel Dome｜With Bassinet
No. 5：Joie｜Kubbie Sleep Bedside Sleeper｜With Adjustable Panel
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