Updated on March 19, 2021 by Lyric Fergusson
Wood floors are classy and elegant looking. At the same time, they are not the best for little babies, who are on the floor… a LOT. What do you do to remedy this situation? You get a baby foam play mat! These are just mats to make your floor more comfortable for your baby (and you, since you are likely on the floor a lot these days, too). These mats will keep you both from being on the hard floor, while you still get to enjoy the pleasantness of your wooden floor around the edges of the room.
From foam mats that go well with décor to educational and colorful mats, here are my top 7 favorite baby foam mats for 2020:
Best Baby Foam Play Mats
(Best value — $)
Why it’s great: This mat is colorful and comfy! Perfect for sitting, kneeling, and laying to play. It is put together like a puzzle with its interlocking pieces. Plus, there are pieces to fit around the edge to make it complete. There are a few different options for this mat. You can pick solid colors, alphabet, or shapes. Cleaning is a cinch, with just a damp cloth and mild soap. It is about 0.4” thick and 6’ x 6’ when laid out as a whole. Something else nice about an interlocking floor mat is that if you have an oddly shaped area, you can reconfigure the mat to fit your needs!
Keep in mind: Some parents have complained about some of the pieces not fitting perfectly together. This can easily be remedied by just tucking it in- or- snipping off excess foam with your scissors (and then promptly throwing it away so that little fingers don’t get it to it)
Good for: Indoor playtime fun on the floor for babies and older siblings.
(Best for travel — $$)
Why it’s great: This mat is a one-piece mat that is also reversible. It is water proof and folds up for storage, with its own storage bag (or travel bag- whichever you’d rather call it). The Forstart baby foam play mat is an extra-large size, which cover plenty of floor space for your little one (or little ones) to play on comfortably AND it is easy to clean. This one is a rectangular size. It has a safe, non-toxic, non-slip surface, so that it will stay still when little feet are walking on it. Plus, it won’t leave anything on the wooden floor underneath during its use.
Keep in mind: Should you need anything, the company who makes this seems like they really care and want to stand by their products.
Good for: Playing, doing yoga (with or without baby), or just as a cushion for sitting on the floor.
(Best for indoor AND outdoor use — $$)
Why it’s great: The Bammax Play Mat is another foldable play mat. You can take it on a picnic. You can use it as a play mat, a gym mat, or a mat for baby to crawl on. It is a large mat that has shock absorption to protect your sweet little baby from all the falls that a newly walking baby may encounter. This mat is quite safe- made with XPE material- and is easy to clean. It is reversible, so that if your baby needs a “change of scenery,” you can flip it over and enjoy the other side for a while. It is lightweight and also works well for travel.
Keep in mind: While it does say you can use it outside, it would be best if you brought it in and out each time, to preserve the mat’s integrity and not risk it getting faded by sun or sullied by bad weather.
Good for: Use indoors and outdoors (for playtime or a picnic- brought back in after).
(Most versatility for usage — $$)
Why it’s great: The Wonder Bebe Baby Plat Mat has an optional fence! This helps keep toys inside and even allows you to create a ball pit! You can also create a little doorway with the fence pieces. It is a gray and white mat with animals on all of the tiles. It is non-toxic and easy to wipe down. This mat is 57”x57”, which is a little smaller than the previous mats, but it still provides plenty of room for fun and comfort.
Keep in mind: The fence does not keep a mobile child inside. However, this creates a good place to keep toys or allows you to create a ball pit- in which case, your child may be too distracted by playing with the balls to even think of leaving the area!
Good for: Tummy time or just a soft place to play for littles. It will also be good for an optional ball pit. Balls sold separately.
(Thickest — $$$)
Why it’s great: With a majority of the options for this particular mat, you may think it is a rug from a distant first glance. But- nope! It is indeed a play mat! It is minimalistic and reversible. This mat has the best of two worlds- with its comfort for your little one, but blends in with your décor. It is one piece and easy to clean. This mat is non-toxic and a safe place to sit, lay, or crawl while having lots of fun! It is non-slip and shock-absorbent, which means that it will stay still and cushion your new little walker when there are falls (and there WILL be falls when learning to walk- it is part of the learning process). It has a rectangular shape that is 78” x 55” x 0.6”. It rolls up easily to be out of the way.
Keep in mind: Bugaberry puts forth a lot of research, effort, heart, and soul into this mat, so if you aren’t fully satisfied, reach out to them so they can make things right for you!
Good for: Blending in with the room versus bright colors that may overstimulate some children.
(Best for babies with furry siblings — $$$)
Why it’s great: A lot of the options for this reversible mat are that one side is more fun for your kiddo, and the other side is more geared towards blending in with your décor. A couple of the choices are two sides of kid’s fun. It really depends on what you want. It’s a good choice, either way. This mat is safe and non-toxic, as well as hypoallergenic! With its non-slip surface, it also reduces sound. The size of this mat is large- being 82.7” x 55.1” x 0.5”, and comparable to the size of a queen mattress. This high-quality mat can even withstand pets walking across it!
Keep in mind: If you should have any issues with it, it comes with a free 2-year warranty.
Good for: Sometimes using the kid-friendly design side, and sometimes using the parent-friendly design side!
(Easiest to clean — $$$)
Why it’s great: This is a very high quality and durable mat that you can use as a replacement for an area rug. There is a variety of ways to clean this mat- including spot cleaning with a wipe, but also mopping and vacuuming! It is even safe for a Roomba to go on this mat. This mat is a 0.10” thicker than some of the previous mats, and it is 6.5’ x 4.5’ for a rectangular shape.
Keep in mind: If choosing to use the vacuum, keep going on it and don’t stop in a spot for too long, as it will cause some damage. Between that and keeping pet nails trimmed, and you should be good to go!
Good for: Indoor playing, hanging out on the floor, and even some family yoga.
FAQs about baby foam play mats
1. Why should I purchase a play mat versus a new area rug?
Your baby’s body, as well as your own body, will thank you for choosing a play mat! These are cushioned and specifically designed for hanging out on the floor and playing… or doing tummy time in those very early days. If you want to use the playmat in place of a rug, some mats have designs similar to rugs to keep your space looking chic, yet still baby-friendly. Then, too, it helps give your little babe a defined place for play.
2. What should I take into consideration, while shopping for a playmat?
Well, there are a lot of questions to ask yourself when shopping for a play mat. First of all- do you want it to be one piece or inter-locking, like a puzzle? Do you want it to become of your space or just something to get out for play and put away when finished? Do you want bright colors and designs that your baby can interact with as time goes by –or- would you rather the mat fit in more with your décor? How are you going to clean it? Are you going to JUST use it at home or do you want to use it when you travel? Are you putting this mat in a nice open space or do you have a unique area where your little one can play? These are all the sorts of things to think about, as you browse the different mats.
3. How old should baby be when we start using the playmat?
The day you bring baby home from the hospital! Tummy time is something that can be done that very day. While baby will not do a whole lot at that point, you both will still enjoy being on a cushioned ground rather than a hard one! Plus, this literally can last you as long as you want because even big kids (and sometimes, grown-ups) need comfort on the floor.
4. Do I want to leave this out ALL the time or will we just get it out for playtime?
If you want to put it away when playtime is over, you may want that inter-locks or folds for easy storage. If you want to leave it out all the time- consider if you want the mat to be more baby-friendly with bright colors and pictures or if you want it to blend in more with the rest of the room.
5. How am I going to clean it?
For the most part, every mat listed here is a spot clean with a wipe. However, if you’re an avid vacuum user, keep your eyes open because some are more vacuum-friendly than others… but they do exist! Either way, these mats are pretty easy to clean.
Baby play mats are a great place to give your baby tummy time, and then playtime as your little one gets older. These mats are designed for your little one to be laying, crawling, walking, and playing on (that includes, running- with the mats’ anti-slip features). Maybe you want your child to use the playmat as part of playtime, or maybe you want it to become part of the room. Whatever way you want it, there is a mat for you! Some of the mats even have BOTH.
These mats are easy to care for and will be well-loved by baby and you, as you start tummy and- later- playtime. Having a mat on the floor helps define a play area for your little one, and helps you have a place to put the toys when your babe is ready for some fun.
All you need to do now is to find your ideal play mat and get to tummy time and playtime!
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