Best Baby Nap Mats

Updated September 2020
Why trust BestReviews?
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 we never accept free products from manufacturers. Read more  
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 we never accept free products from manufacturers. Read more  
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.Read more 
Bottom Line
Pros
Cons
Why trust BestReviews?
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 we never accept free products from manufacturers. Read more  
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 we never accept free products from manufacturers. Read more  
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.Read more 
How we decided

We purchase every product we review with our own funds — we never accept anything from product manufacturers.

26 Models Considered
5 Hours Researched
1 Experts Interviewed
308 Consumers Consulted
Zero products received from manufacturers.

We purchase every product we review with our own funds — we never accept anything from product manufacturers.

Buying guide for best baby nap mats

Last Updated September 2020

What’s a baby nap mat? If you’re not familiar with the product, you’re not alone. It’s actually a catch-all term for mats, loungers, and nests where babies can enjoy naptime.

Above all else, baby nap mats are designed to be safe little sanctuaries for sleep. That’s why they don’t have many bells and whistles, such as bedding or toys. Instead, they feature soft, breathable materials and various types of cushioning. Some baby mats have a simple, thin quilt batting. Others have plush edges that elevate slightly to keep your baby in a safe sleeping position.

Some baby ap mats are machine washable, and many are made with waterproof or stain-repellent materials. If you’re looking for something to use on the go, you’re in luck, as many come with a dedicated carrying case or the ability to fold for travel.

If a cozy baby nap mat is in your little one’s future, keep reading our comprehensive buying guide. We’ll give you the rundown of each style so you can compare perks and choose the right baby nap mat.

To get the most bang for your buck with a baby nap mat, aim for styles that have multiple functions or are compatible with other items in the manufacturer’s product line.

Baby nap mat styles

Flat mats

Flat baby nap mats are essentially structured blankets or quilts. While they’re soft and tend to feature a thin layer of batting or foam, they don’t bunch up easily. Flat mats are generally foldable, and many come with a case or handles for easy carrying. If you’re looking for a travel-friendly item, this might be the type of mat you need.

Play mats

Play mats are for play, of course, but some are also ideal for catching a few Z’s. These items are often a bit thicker than flat mats. They’re ideal for babies (and parents) who want it all in one spot: playtime, naptime, and even tummy time. Notably, baby play mats tend to take up more floor space than other types of mats. Make sure you’ve got the room before you buy.

Loungers/nests

Loungers, sometimes referred to as nests, are popular napping spots for babies. The products you’ll find in this category are quite diverse. A lounger/nest may resemble a small box crib, a stuffed animal pillow, or an ergonomic cushion. If you find yourself gravitating to this category, you’ll have your work cut out for you, as no two styles are the same.

  • Crib-style loungers have plush or mesh guardrails to keep baby’s upper body upright. This promotes a clear airway and an optimal sleeping position.
  • Stuffed animal pillows and ergonomic cushions also aim to properly and safely position babies for sleeping. Often, this type of mat will have a depression to hold baby’s tiny bottom. There are plenty of travel loungers and nest styles in this category.
FOR YOUR SAFETY

If you begin to notice any seams ripping, sew them up right away, or consider replacing the baby nap mat, as a defective mat can quickly become a major safety hazard.

Safety features

Baby vs. toddler nap mats

Babies grow quickly, much to our chagrin, so you might be looking for a product that “grows” with your little one. While toddler mats seem appealing, they’re not safe options for babies. They often consist of pillows and blankets that could suffocate babies. As a result, it’s a good idea to use a baby mat instead of a toddler mat until your little one is closer to 24 months old.

Safe sleep positioning

Your baby’s nap mat should keep the child in a safe sleeping position. Keeping the airway clear for unobstructed breathing is essential. With a flat mat or play mat, there is theoretically nothing to obstruct the child’s airway if they lean or turn over. In that same vein, loungers and nests are often designed to elevate your baby’s head for easy breathing. They also have guardrails to maintain positioning. Crib-style mats often have mesh panels to promote airflow.

Educate yourself on SIDS

It’s a heavy subject to discuss but being aware of ways to reduce the risk of sudden infant death syndrome (SIDS) is important. Any time you purchase a product for your little one, make sure it meets all safety guidelines. You can obtain sleep safety information and resources from HealthyChildren.org, which is moderated by the American Academy of Pediatrics, the leading authority on medical, health, and safety standards in the U.S.

A baby nap mat is a sweet, unique baby shower gift that is sure to please.

Features

Materials

Baby nap mats are made from cotton, polyester, plush, velour, and even lambskin. The majority are made from breathable materials for safety reasons. Baby nap mats that are stuffed typically contain fluffy poly fill similar to that used in stuffed animals and quilts.

Sizes

Baby nap mats vary tremendously in size, which means you can always find one to suit your space. Flat mats and loungers are around 18 x 24 inches and play mat styles can be as large as 60 x 60 inches. Travel baby nap mats tend to be on the smaller side, although some folding styles can run larger when fully expanded.

Portability

Baby nap mats are often temporary setups, home or away. For that reason, many of them are outfitted with portability features like handles, folding systems, or carrying cases. Even if you don’t expect to use the mat outside your home, in the event that you do, that’s one less baby accessory you’ll have to buy for a trip.

EXPERT TIP

If your baby nap mat has a removable cover, purchase spare covers. You won’t feel so rushed to do your laundry that way.


Staff  | BestReviews

Baby nap mat prices

Baby nap mats cost between $25 and $150. Price depends on how involved the design is. If you’re looking for a mat that can fulfill other duties, expect to spend more.

  • For less than $50, you’ll find a broad range of soft play mats, rugs, and loungers. Most products in this category have average quality and construction, but there are a few reputable brands here, as well.
  • When you spend between $50 and $80, you’ll find plenty of loungers. Some have advanced features, such as interactive sounds or removable canopies.
  • Baby nap maps between $100 and $150 are made from premium materials. You’ll find a lot of loungers here. There are quite a few styles that are compatible with other items in their manufacturer’s product line, so part of what you’re paying for is the expandability of the item.

Tips

  • Give one to caregivers. If your baby spends a lot of time at the home of grandparents or a babysitter, purchase a baby nap mat to keep at their place. It cuts down on the number of accessories involved with drop-off and pick-up.
  • Check the floor first. Before setting up your baby nap mat, make sure the floor is free of spills, toys, and other hazards.
  • Avoid placing mats on furniture. To prevent your child from falling off of furniture, make sure the baby nap mat is always on the floor.
  • Set it up away from doors. Keep your baby safe by setting up the baby nap mat away from doors that may swing open. Not only are there drafts that could make your baby cold, it’s also important to keep the mat out of a high foot traffic areas.
If you have pets at home, make sure Fido knows that the baby nap mat is not theirs. It’s helpful to buy them their own special bed instead — and to place it in a different room.

FAQ

Q. Can I use a travel baby nap mat at home on a regular basis?
A.
Sure. Plenty of parents do that. The nice thing about travel mats is that they’re compact and easy to fold away when not in use. Since you probably have plenty of baby toys and accessories strewn around the home, a travel mat has a small footprint that won’t get in the way of everything else.
 

Q. Am I allowed to bring a baby nap mat on an airplane?
A.
It depends on your carry-on allowance, which varies between airlines. If it’s too bulky or heavy, it might end up as checked bagged, which means you could incur an additional fee for it. To be sure, check the dimensions of the mat, and cross-reference it with the airline to prevent any hiccups on the way to your destination.
 

Q. How often should I clean my baby nap mat?
A.
If it’s a mat that is machine washable, you can wash it weekly. If it’s a bit harder to clean, like an assembled lounger, you’ll need to spot clean it regularly. In the event that your baby is sick, it’s a good idea to wash it that day.

Other Products We Considered
The BestReviews editorial team researches hundreds of products based on consumer reviews, brand quality, and value. We then choose a shorter list for in-depth research and testing before finalizing our top picks. These are the products we considered that ultimately didn't make our top 5.
The team that worked on this review
  • Ciera
    Ciera
    Digital Content Producer
  • Melinda
    Melinda
    Web Producer
  • Melissa
    Melissa
    Senior Editor
  • Sian
    Sian
    Writer

BestReviews wants to be better. Please take our 3-minute survey,
and give us feedback about your visit today.

Take Survey