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Best Playard Mattresses

Updated June 2021
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Best of the Best
Hiccapop Tri-Fold Pack N' Play Portable Foldable Playard
Tri-Fold Pack N' Play Portable Foldable Playard
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Most Versatile
Bottom Line

A dual-sided tri-fold playard mattress that meets or exceeds some of the highest safety standards among baby items.


Stain-resistant, waterproof, and non-toxic. No-gap designs fits perfectly inside playards with its rounded corners. Zip-away cover makes for easy washing. Dual firmness offers two support options.


Some reports that the mattress is a bit lightweight and may beprone to shifting.

Best Bang for the Buck
Dream On Me Pocket Coil Graco Pack N' Play Mattress
Dream On Me
Pocket Coil Graco Pack N' Play Mattress
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Well Made
Bottom Line

This innerspring mattress feels more like the real thing – offering you and your baby more sleep time. But it's not firm enough for newborns.


3-inch thick innerspring mattress. More supportive than foam. Antibacterial, waterproof, lock- stitched binding helps prevent mold, mildew, and odor. Reinforced waterproof cover resists liquids and stains.


A bit soft for newborns, who need firmer mattresses for safety reasons.

NapYou Folding Pack-n-Play Mattress
Folding Pack-n-Play Mattress
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Great Fit
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This mattress fits just about any playard, thanks to its rounded corner design. It can double as a sleep mat when baby outgrows the playard.


Tri-fold memory foam playard mattress. Organic cotton mattress cover included. Includes carrying bag for portability. Can be used as playard or nap mat. Comes with a convenient carry case.


Tight fitted sheets may pull this mattress up at the corners.

MamaDoo Kids Smart Play Yard Mattress Topper
MamaDoo Kids
Smart Play Yard Mattress Topper
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Most Portable
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A firm, folding multi-use mattress that earns praise from parents as the ideal option for older babies. Popular for travel.


2-inches thick. Available in pink, blue, and gray. Firm, high-density foam with fabric cover. Free of phthalates, PVC, and lead. Use as playard or bassinet mattress, "tummy time" mat, changing pad, play mat, or other uses.


The mattress has a strong odor, but the manufacturer says it's nontoxic.

Milliard Pack-n-Play Mattress
Pack-n-Play Mattress
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Ultra Soft
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Soft and cushioned, this mattress is meant for children who are at least 12 months old. Made by a trusted band.


2-inch thick memory foam. High-density foam mattress with waterproof polyester cover. Tri-fold design. Bag for travel and storage. Hypoallergenic cover protects against bacteria, mold, dust mites, and allergens.


Manufacturer states that this mattress isn't intended for child younger than 1.

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BestReviews spends thousands of hours researching, analyzing, and testing products to recommend the best picks for most consumers. We only make money if you purchase a product through our links, and all opinions about the products are our own. About BestReviews  
BestReviews spends thousands of hours researching, analyzing, and testing products to recommend the best picks for most consumers. We buy all products with our own funds, and we never accept free products from manufacturers.About BestReviews 

We recommend these products based on an intensive research process that's designed to cut through the noise and find the top products in this space. Guided by experts, we spend hours looking into the factors that matter, to bring you these selections.

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Buying guide for best playard mattresses

An old adage tells new parents to sleep when your baby sleeps. While this doesn’t always work out, you want to make sure your baby sleeps as comfortably as possible. After all, a cranky baby often means cranky parents.

In today’s busy world, at least some of that sleep will take place away from home. Whether at daycare, at grandma’s house, or in a hotel, a playard, or playpen, can serve as a portable crib and a safe space to play. Many parents choose to add a mattress to the playard’s floor pad to make it a more comfortable place to sleep. A quality mattress can keep your baby supported while playing, comfortable while sleeping, and safe during both.

If you’re looking for a playard mattress, let BestReviews help you find the best one to meet your baby’s – and your – needs.

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If your baby falls asleep after playing in the playard, gently remove the toys. Toys could potentially block a younger baby’s airways, posing a safety risk. And, practically speaking, rolling on a toy may wake up an older child.

Key considerations

Child’s age

When shopping for a mattress, the age of your baby is a key factor. Experts recommend different kinds of mattresses for different ages.

  • Newborns: While newborn clothes and blankets tend to be softer than toddler duds, the reverse is true for mattresses. Pediatricians recommend newborns use a firm mattress to minimize the risk of sudden infant death syndrome (SIDS). Newborns and younger babies lack the strength to push their faces away from objects that could block their supply of oxygen. A softer, cushioned mattress can put babies younger than one at risk, so look for firmer mattresses labeled for newborns and younger infants.

  • Toddlers: By age one, most children are crawling, cruising, and walking and have developed the strength and neck support to change positions if an object is blocking their breathing. As a result, mattresses designed for toddlers are softer than those for newborns.

  • Both: Some mattresses are designed to be reversible: one side is manufactured to be firm enough for newborns, while the other side has more cushioning for toddlers. Both sides should be clearly marked for safety. You may find a handful of playard mattresses that are reversible, but this feature is more common in full-size mattresses that can fit both a crib and a toddler bed.  If you choose a reversible mattress, be sure to confirm with your pediatrician when it’s time to flip sides.


The type of mattress you buy depends on where you plan to use your playard.

  • On the road: Many parents use a playard primarily as a travel crib on family vacations, when visiting out-of-town relatives, or any time a baby needs to sleep away from home. In these cases, portability is a primary concern. Playard mattresses designed for portability are usually trifold and include a travel bag. These are usually thinner than standard mattresses, so they may not be as comfortable, but they aren’t typically used on a daily basis.

  • In one place: Some parents keep a playard set up at home as an alternative to a crib or as a convenient downstairs napping station in a two-story home. Others keep one set up permanently at the home of a relative or other caregiver. In these cases, portability isn’t a primary concern. If this is your plan, you can consider mattresses that fold as well as mattresses that don’t. Most flat mattresses that don’t fold are thicker and more comfortable than folding mattresses. However, if you do need to use the playard on the road occasionally, transporting a standard mattress may be awkward.

Playard mattress features

Once you decide on a style, there are some other practicalities to consider:

  • Materials: Babies sleep a good portion of the day, so it’s important to make sure your mattress is made of quality materials. Ideally, the mattress should be free of phthalates, BPA, and any substances that could irritate your baby’s breathing. Some parents feel more comfortable if their child’s mattress is made of organic substances. If latex allergies run in your family, avoid mattresses that use latex.

  • Waterproof: if at all possible, choose a waterproof playard mattress. Babies spit up, diapers leak, and other accidents happen. Mattresses that aren’t waterproof can more easily harbor bacteria, grow mold and mildew, or develop unpleasant odors. Starting out with one that’s waterproof can save you from buying a replacement if these problems occur or from frantic middle-of-the-night cleanings to help prevent them.

  • Cover: It’s also a good idea buy a mattress that has a washable cover. Again, babies are not known for being tidy. If it’s easy to wipe up a waterproof mattress, it’s even easier to remove the mattress cover and wipe up the little bit that soaked through. If the mattress you choose doesn’t come with a cover, we recommend measuring the mattress and buying one – or more – separately.

Playard mattress prices


The least expensive playard mattresses cost between $20 and $30. Mattresses in this price range are made of foam and may or may not be waterproof. Check carefully to see whether mattresses in this price range are safe for newborns.


These playard mattresses cost $30 to $50. In this price range, the mattress should be waterproof and come with a cover. These may be foam or innerspring like standard mattresses.


High-end playard mattresses cost $50 or more. You should be able to find quality foam and innerspring mattresses in this price range. Both styles should be made of high-quality materials, be waterproof, and feature additional binding to lock out moisture. Portable mattresses should include a cover and travel bag.


  • Check for the proper fit. Make sure the mattress fits snugly against your playard’s edges so there are no gaps where your baby’s face could get trapped.

  • Place your baby on their back to sleep. This is to reduce the risk of SIDS.

  • Air out the mattress before using. Some manufacturers recommend waiting several days before using the playard mattress to allow it to off-gas. Follow these directions carefully.

  • Keep your baby safe. If you’re using a hand-me-down playard, make sure that the sides and floor lock into place. The sides on some older playards do not lock into place, creating a safety risk for babies.
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Aside from sleeping, limit your child’s time in a playard. Spending too much time confined can delay crawling, an important skill for babies.


Q. Do I need a crib if I have a playard?

A. Technically speaking, no, although there are advantages to both. Playards are less expensive and more portable than cribs. Some babies sleep better in cribs, and a crib is often more comfortable for the infant. But it’s hard to know up front whether it’s worth the investment, especially if money is tight. Playards, especially those with bassinet attachments, are perfectly safe for the first several months of a baby’s life. It’s only when babies get older that playards may pose a challenge because of the child’s height, weight, and activity. Since it’s hard to predict how big your baby will be when they eventually transition to a bed, you might decide to cross that bridge when you get there.

Q. How long can my baby use a playard?

A. Most playards are designed for children who are less than 35 inches tall and weigh less than 30 pounds, although some have higher height and weight limits. Many babies exceed these limits before they’re ready for a toddler bed, which is why playards aren’t always a permanent replacement for a crib. Additionally, once your child starts climbing the playard, it’s time to put it away. Playards are relatively lightweight, and a child could tip it while trying to climb out.

Q. Why does the mattress for my newborn feel so hard?

A. As new parents, we tend to touch and taste everything before our children do to make sure they’re healthy and safe. So if you’ve felt your newborn’s playard mattress, you might be second-guessing your choice. It’s not a mistake. Most pediatricians recommend that babies sleep on a firm mattress until about one year of age. Newborns lack head control. If they sink into a cushy mattress the wrong way, their nostrils or mouth could be blocked, and they can’t lift their head to open their airways. Babies will build neck muscles through “tummy time,” rolling and, later, crawling, and by around age one, a softer mattress is acceptable.