Well constructed and can take heavy weight or pressure up to 200 lbs. Two bag hooks for holding diaper bag and supplies. Polypropylene body resists odors and is easy to clean. Comes with hardware for wood stud installation.
If you have metal studs, you'll need to buy additional hardware.
Features a sturdy concave changing surface and safety strap. Smooth corners around changing area prevent scratches. Bag hook holds diaper bags and purses. Comes with built-in dispenser for towels or sanitary liners.
The holes for installation were in the wrong place on a few units.
Two liner dispensers mean you'll be changing dispensers less often. Bag hooks conveniently located on the corners. Easy installation. Pneumatic shocks provide easy one handed open and close.
Small table space.
Straight forward installation. Sturdy once mounted. Two storage pockets for protective sheets and baby wipes. Includes two hooks for hanging diaper bags, which can hold 25 pounds each.
Does not come with mounting hardware.
We purchase every product we review with our own funds — we never accept anything from product manufacturers.
Daycares, dance schools, churches – there’s no shortage of places that need a commercial changing station for parents and their babies. More than one parent has breathed a sigh of relief after spotting a changing station in a public venue. These amenities provide a safe place to change diapers, and most have onboard storage for diaper bags, coats, and other baby gear.
Finding the right changing station requires taking a good look at the space you have available and the needs of those who will be using it. We’re here to help you narrow down your choices and find a safe station that fits your budget.
We’ve put together this shopping guide to let you know the main considerations and features to watch for. Our top five picks include the stations we think stand out for their durability and convenience.
Horizontal vs. vertical
Commercial changing stations come in one of two basic designs: horizontal or vertical.
Horizontal: This type of station opens on a long horizontal hinge. Parents change their babies from the side and can access any built-in dispensers or storage bins by reaching over the baby. This station works well if you have the wall and floor space. It takes up 35 to 38 inches of wall space but only extends 22 to 23 inches into the room. Once open, it uses the same square footage as a vertical station but keeps that area hugged close to the wall.
Vertical: This type of station opens on the short hinge and extends farther into the room. It uses the same square footage as a horizontal station but extends out from the wall. In general, it works best in areas with limited wall or floor space because it uses 22 to 23 inches of horizontal space and extends that distance up the wall.
The design that is right for you depends on the layout of the room where the changing station will be installed. Horizontal stations are more popular, but there are definitely circumstances in which a vertical station is the best option.
There’s not a great deal of size variation from one station to the next. Most are approximately 21 to 23 inches wide by 33 to 37 inches long. When it comes to fitting in the available space, the size isn’t as important as the orientation (horizontal or vertical).
Maximum weight limit
This varies from model to model and ranges from 50 to 200 pounds. Daycares and dance schools that have older children using the changing station may benefit from a higher maximum weight limit. If infants and toddlers are the only ones using the station, a high maximum weight limit isn’t necessary.
The ease of installation varies by model but also depends on the construction of the building. Some models come ready for installation in concrete studs while others don’t. Depending on the studs in the building and the model you choose, you might need to buy extra hardware to install the station securely.
Easy installation and excellent storage
Koala includes everything you need for installation, including a hanging bracket. The ease of installation makes this a standout model. We also love that it has two bag hooks for coats, bags, or any other baby necessities. Two built-in dispensers round out all the extras, making this one of the best models on the market.
Safety: When it comes to children, safety is always the number one consideration. A commercial changing station absolutely must have a safety strap to keep the baby from falling off. The strap acts as a backup precaution, but the strap isn’t foolproof. The station should include a warning about leaving children unattended.
The corners of a changing station pose a small hazard for young children who might be walking around while a sibling is getting changed. For that reason, many stations have rounded corners. Oval-shaped stations eliminate sharp corners altogether, but even rectangular models have rounded corners that do little damage.
Bag hooks: Parents lug half of their house with them when in public with a baby, and bag hooks on a changing station can be a lifesaver. Hooks may be integrated into the plastic body of the table or extend from the wall mount. Most stations have at least one bag hook, but some have two or more for added convenience.
Built-in dispensers: Built-in dispensers allow you to provide wipes, liners, diapers, or diaper disposal bags. These can be accessed with one hand while the parent keeps the other hand on the baby. Stations may have one or two built-in dispensers located on the wall mount.
Storage: Storage bins aren’t as common as built-in dispensers, but there are models that include one on the wall mount. Parents can place wipes, diapers, or anything else they need to use here while changing the baby.
Table design: Changing tables come in one of two designs, concave or flat. The raised sides of a concave table help keep babies in place (though they’re not foolproof), but they don’t allow parents to place wipes or diapers on the table during changing. Flat tables may not prevent babies from rolling, but they do provide more space for extra items. One design isn’t superior to the other because both pass safety standards. See the American National Standards Institute (ANSI) website for more information.
Odor-resistant/antimicrobial materials: Some changing stations are made of materials that resist odors and germs. While this feature adds peace of mind, all changing stations will need to be regularly cleaned and sanitized.
Some stations have hanging bars on the wall mount rather than bag hooks. Some parents prefer this design because bags and coats stay put better than they do on a plastic hook.
Dispensers usually hold about 50 liners or wipes at a time. You can base your replacement schedule on how often the station is used to make sure they’re not left empty.
A mounting template aids in proper placement of mounting hardware. Not all stations have one, but those that do are generally easier to install.
These stations cost from $125 to about $300. Price isn’t affected by the orientation but by the extra features included, such as built-in dispensers, storage, and the number and placement of bag hooks. More features equal a higher price.
Make sure the station is properly installed. This is absolutely necessary. If you’ll be doing the installation yourself, read through all the instructions first to make sure you have all the necessary tools and hardware.
Purchase and restock supplies regularly. Commercial changing stations provide a place for dispensing liners or wipes, but they don’t come with any of these items. All supplies will need to be purchased separately and regularly restocked.
Basic convenience at a reasonable price
The ECR4Kids station has some great convenience features like two dispensers and a bag hook. It also has a pneumatic cylinder that eases one-handed opening and closing. Installation is easy, but you’ll have to buy the hardware separately.
Horizontal changing stations dominate the market, which is why all of our top picks fall into this category. However, that doesn’t mean there aren’t great vertical models.
We like the Koala Kare KB101-00 Vertical Wall Mounted Baby-Changing Station. The concave table, built-in dispenser, and two bag hooks make it a great option for rooms that don’t have the wall space for a horizontal model. It also comes in gray, white, and cream.
We also considered the Alpine Industries Fold Down Baby-Changing Diaper Station. It’s newer to the market than some of our top picks, but its maximum weight limit of 220 pounds and good storage features add up to an affordable model that’s worth considering.
Q. Can a changing station be mounted into metal studs?
A. Most stations come with hardware that allows them to be mounted in either metal or wood studs, but there are a few that don’t. Be sure to check the specs and what’s included if you have metal studs. Your other option is to buy the model you want, whether it works with metal studs or not, and buy the necessary hardware to mount it in metal studs.
Q. Do commercial changing stations come with a recommended age limit?
A. Changing stations come with a weight limit rather than an age limit.
Q. Do changing stations have one-handed opening and closing?
A. Some models have pneumatic cylinders that create easy one-handed opening and closing. Even if pneumatic cylinders aren’t used, most manufacturers design the tables to slowly open and close to prevent injury.
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