Your sweet baby may be happiest in your arms, but having a soft, safe space to set them down is essential. The best baby play mat has built-in toys and is designed to stimulate your little one’s senses and encourage tummy time to help them get stronger. Bonus points for mats that clean easily.
Not all baby play mats are the same, and it’s worth looking for one with features that will engage your baby in age-appropriate sensory stimulation. Mats with high-contrast images are more visually stimulating, especially to newborns and infants who still see in black, white, and gray. If you want your play mat to fit in well with most home decor, modern baby play mats feature more neutral colors. Mats with varied textures on surfaces and toys are also appealing to babies. Parents will love any mats designed with quick assembly and takedown in mind, especially in smaller spaces. And some mats have extra padding or come with small pillows for a comfortable assist during tummy time.
Babies tend to spit up and drool, so the best baby play mats are machine washable. Keep in mind foam mats will call for spot cleaning, but they wipe clean easily.
Each of the baby play mats on my list can be used from infancy, but some are designed to also intrigue your little one as they become a toddler. For the most bang for your buck, you might want to invest in baby gear that lasts longer. Check the recommended age range to get a sense of how long your little one could use the mat. It's also always a good idea to pay attention to the size so that you can ensure the mat works with your space.
With all this in mind, below are the best baby play mats. Each one is highly rated, including several picks with thousands of reviews on Amazon.
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