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Expert Shopper Baby & Kids

Best baby nap mat


While they don’t take the place of cribs, baby mats are a convenient makeshift naptime location. They’re made with soft and cozy materials and a moderate amount of cushioning to help babies get comfortable as they nod off. Most designs are foldable and easy to pack, and some of them come with handles or carry cases for added convenience.

We’re sharing an overview of various styles and features to compare, as well as a few recommendations at the end, such as our top pick, Mary Meyer’s Bestever Baby Mat. This plush-inspired design is a popular choice for supervised snoozes or tummy time.


These are the most common types of baby nap mats:

Flat mats

Flat mat styles are essentially structured, slightly padded blankets or quilts. They’re filled with a thin layer of foam or batting, and given their construction, they’re less likely to bunch up. Many of these mats fold or roll up, making them a smart pick for travel.

Play mats

Play mats are similar to flat mats, though they tend to be significantly larger and generally aren’t recommended for travel since they’re bulky when folded. They’re often thicker and slightly more padded than flat mats and remain a top choice for playtime and tummy time. Play mats may also have additional features like interactive sounds or sewn-on toys.


Loungers or nests usually resemble mini crib boxes, structured mats, or pillows with ergonomic cushioning. Crib-style loungers may have mesh guardrails that keep babies in an upright position and provide ventilation. Pillow-style designs usually have a depression in the middle to hold the baby’s bottom to help keep them in a safe, upright sleeping position.



Most baby nap mats are made with cotton, velour, polyester, or plush. They’re filled with the same polyfill seen in baby blankets or plush toys. Many baby nap mats are now made with mesh panels for safety reasons as well.


There aren’t standard sizes for baby nap mats, so examine the dimensions for each one. Flat mats and loungers usually measure about 18 x 24 inches. Play mat styles vary considerably and can be as small as 18 x 18 inches or as large as 60 x 60 inches.

Safety features

  • SIDS and baby sleep items: SIDS is sudden infant death syndrome, and unfortunately, it’s an important subject to touch upon when discussing anything related to sleeping babies. When you compare baby nap mats, make sure they meet all safety guidelines. If possible, review information regarding recalls, new safety guidelines, and updated data regarding safe sleeping positions to help you determine which baby nap mat is right for your baby.
  • Baby vs. toddler nap mats: Baby and toddler nap mats aren’t one and the same, especially when it comes to safety. Toddler mats sometimes have attached pillows and blankets, which aren’t safe for babies. For that reason, it’s recommended to use simple flat mats for babies until they’re closer to 24 months.
  • Safe sleep positioning: Baby nap mats should keep babies in safe sleeping positions. Above all else, a mat must have safety features that allow for unobstructed breathing in the event babies lean or roll over. Certain manufacturers volunteer to have their baby nap mats undergo rigorous testing by independent safety organizations. If they perform well, the packing has a seal of approval.


Budget-friendly baby nap mats cost $50 and below. These mostly include simple, thin mats. Those priced between $50-$80 include advanced features like interactive sounds. Premium baby nap mats cost up to $150 and are usually manufactured by high-end baby brands.


Q. What’s the best way to wash a baby nap mat?

A. Since they’re all made with different materials, defer to the manufacturer’s recommended cleaning instructions. If you need to spot clean, you can use a diluted mixture of warm water and baby detergent to scrub away surface stains.

Q. Which type of baby nap mat is best for babies with sensitive skin?

A.  Your best bet is a 100% cotton baby nap mat. These are likely the softest, most breathable options on the market and are usually hypoallergenic as well.


Top baby nap mat

Mary Meyer’s Bestever Baby Mat

Our take: Cute, ultra-soft plush mat that lends itself to years of love.

What we like: Well-made design featuring reinforced seams and no-collapse filling. Available in a variety of critters.

What we dislike: It’s machine-washable, but it takes a while to dry.

Where to buy: Sold at Amazon

Top baby nap mat for the money

Wildkin’s Original Nap Mat

Our take: A great option if you’re looking for an affordable travel nap mat.

What we like: Convenient roll-up design. Attached blanket is made with 100% soft cotton flannel. Holds up well to frequent washes.

What we dislike: Mats in darker colors have been known to fade in the wash.

Where to buy: Sold at Amazon

Worth checking out

Urban Infant’s Tot Cot All-in-One Toddler Mat

Our take: Designed for daycare napping and can be attached to cots or mats by the elastic straps.

What we like: Updated design has a detachable, machine-washable pillow. Made with no-pill fleece.

What we dislike: Some consumers would have preferred more padding on the bottom of the mat.

Where to buy: Sold at Amazon


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Sian Babish writes for BestReviews. BestReviews has helped millions of consumers simplify their purchasing decisions, saving them time and money.

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