Best Playpen - Guide & Reviews
Do you have a small child that recently figured out that they can get around? Whether they’re a roller, a crawler, or they can do a little walking, your job of parenting just got more difficult. So what can you do to try and make watching the little one a little easier? Well, it’s like they say, you can’t stop them, you can only hope to contain them. You need a best playpen.
A playpen is a small portable enclosure in which a baby or small child can play safely. There are literally hundreds of playpens for sale on the internet today. They come in different shapes, sizes, colors, heights, and varying toys and activities to keep your child entertained. Searching through all of the available playpens is enough to get your head spinning. Fortunately, I’ve done a huge amount of research on playpens to help parents figure out which playpen is the best choice for them.
Recommended Playpen Reviews
Now that we know what to look for when shopping for our new playpen, here are some great products I found with a short review on each one of them:
8 Panel Safety Play Center Yard Home Indoor Outdoor New Pen
This playpen from Best Choice Products is available in blue or pink for your little boy or girl up to four years of age.
This playpen has an assembled diameter of 63 inches, or 5-foot 3.
This is an eight-panel playpen, and each panel measures 31 inches wide by 23 ½ inches high. Playpen size can be reduced or enlarged by removing or adding extra panels.
The material used to make this playpen is BPA and Lead-free plastic for your child’s safety.
In and out access is easy thanks to a swinging hinged door built into one panel with a safety lock.
The activity panel on this playpen features a picture house, two ball spinners, and a play telephone to entertain your child.
People who have used this playpen like that it is sturdy, durable, easy to clean, and has nice bright colors that your baby will enjoy. People who did not like this playpen said that the stickers are a choking hazard and that some especially crafty kids can figure out how to climb over the gate panel.
Baby Diego Cub’Zone Playpen and Activity Center, Yellow/Blue/Red
This red, yellow, and blue playpen is recommended for children from 6 to 24 months old.
The size of this playpen is 25 square feet or roughly 5 feet by 5 feet.
The Baby Diego comes with eight panels, and you can adjust the playpen size by adding or removing additional panels. Each panel measures 24 inches high by 31 inches wide.
This playpen is made from plastic that is BPA and lead-free.
Access is provided by a hinged gate panel complete with safety lock. Help stimulate your child’s mind with these riddles for kids
Activities in the Baby Diego playpen are two ball spinners, a play telephone, and a mirror.
People who bought the Baby Diego playpen were impressed with how easy it is to clean, how easy it is to set up, and they loved the suction cups on the bottom for hardwood or laminate floors. Complaints were that some babies hated the activity center and that it slid around pretty easily when set up on carpet.
Friendly Toys Little Playzone with Electronic Lights and Sounds
This playpen from Friendly Toys is recommended for children up to 45 pounds.
This playpen is 3 ½ feet by 4 feet or 14 square feet in size.
This playpen consists of four large panels (2 square, and 2 rectangle) and four corner pieces to link them together. The smaller panels are 2 ½ feet wide by 23 inches high. The larger panels are 3 ½ feet wide by 23 inches high. Additional panels and corner pieces are available separately so you can customize your playpen size.
The Little Playzone is made from ASTM and CPSC Certified plastic.
Access is provided by a built-in swinging hinged door with a safety lock.
This playpen has lots to see and do. There are colorful spinning balls, a light-up musical keyboard, a picture house, and a play phone.
People who bought this playpen love how sturdy it is with the large panels and thick walled construction. Parents also report that most kids absolutely love the keyboard feature in the playpen. Some customers did not like how much room this playpen takes to store, or the fact that it is not a fold-up model.
ProSource Baby Kids Playpen 8 Panel Play Center Safety Yard Pen
This red, yellow, and blue playpen is recommended for children three years old and under.
The assembled dimensions of this playpen are 46” wide by 46” long by 24” high, or 13 square feet of play space.
This is an eight-panel playpen. Each panel is about 24 inches by 24 inches.
The ProSource playpen is made from BPA and lead-free plastic.
A hinged door with a safety lock is integrated into one panel for access.
The activity center here is the picture house, two ball spinners, play telephone variety.
People who love this playpen said that the customer service was excellent when they had shipping damage, and they love the rubber feet to prevent scratching up your floors. Some users said that the gate hinges break rather easily and that plastic shavings can be inside of the panels from drilling holes at the factory.
Dream On Me Circular Playard, Red/Yellow
This circular playpen is recommended for children between 6 and 24 months and includes a padded floor mat.
This playpen is a 45 ½” diameter circle and stands about 25 ½” high.
The Dream On Me has six semi-circular panels that stand 25 ½” high. You cannot add or remove panels on this playpen.
This playpen is made from BPA and lead-free plastic.
There is no door or gate on this playpen for access. The size of the playpen is small enough that it’s probably not an issue.
The extra here is the cool padded floormat that fits inside the playpen.
User complaints about this playpen were that it takes tools to put this playpen together and that because of that, this playpen is not very portable. Pluses were how sturdy this playpen is built and how easy it is to clean. Parents also really like the floor mat.
Kidzone Baby Playpen Kids 8 Panel Safety Play Center Yard Home Indoor Outdoor Pen (Blue)
This playpen is available in yellow and blue for your boy, or yellow and pink for your little girl.
The assembled size of this playpen is 74 inches in diameter using all eight panels.
This playpen includes eight panels. Each panel measures 31 inches wide by 23 ½ inches high. You can make the playpen smaller or bigger by adding or subtracting panels.
The Kidzone Playpen is made from BPA and lead-free plastic.
Access is provided by a hinged door with a safety lock.
The activity board has two spinning balls, a play phone, and a picture house.
Many users love the flexibility that this playpen offers. Several of them just went ahead and bought two so they could go as big or as small as they wanted to. Some customers claim that the stickers are a choking hazard while others complained that the gate squeaks.
Versatile Play Pen - Large (16 pieces)
This massive playpen is perfect for active kids or fun with their friends.
The playpen measures 7 feet by 7 feet, or 49 square feet, which is huge.
This playpen comes with sixteen panels. Eight large panels, four small panels, and four corner pieces. You can adjust the size by varying the number of panels.
This playpen is made out of BPA and lead-free extruded plastic.
There is no access door or gate in this playpen. Step over only.
There are no extras included with this playpen. It is a simple, versatile design, and it’s gigantic.
One user referred to this playpen as their “fun corral,” and loved how easy it is to put together and reconfigure. Others simply love that it’s the same size as their king-size bed. One complaint said that the rubber feet can fall off and become a choking hazard. Others noted that this playpen costs more than the smaller ones.
Large Magic Panel Playpen
This red, blue, yellow, and green playpen is recommended for children up to 5 years old!
It measures 7 feet by 7 feet when assembled using all of the panels.
This playpen consists of 32 panels, each measuring 11 inches wide by 23 inches tall. Panels can be added or removed as needed.
This playpen is constructed from high-density polyethylene that is BPA and lead-free.
There is no access gate or door to help adults get in and out.
There are no extras included with this playpen, but the large number of smaller panels make this playpen very versatile.
People who bought this playpen love the large size and how sturdy it is after you snap it together. Believe it or not, many buyers bought two of these so they could build a mega playpen. Some buyers said it was too hard to snap the pieces together correctly.
North States Superyard Ultimate Play Yard, Ivory from North States
This playpen from North States is made in the U.S.A. for your child between 6 and 24 months old.
The Superyard measures a little over 5 feet in diameter or 18.5 square feet of play space.
This playpen consists of six interlocking, pre-connected panels. The height of the panels is 26 inches, which is higher than most playpens. A two-panel extension kit is sold separately.
The Superyard is made from BPA and lead-free plastic.
Access is supplied by a nice walk through door with a dual lock and easy one-hand operation.
The extras on this playpen are the fact that you can fold it up quickly and carry it with the included carrying strap. Weighing only 21 pounds, anyone can easily haul it around.
People who bought this playpen love that the sides are three inches higher than most other playpens. They also like the fact that this playpen has no crossbars to form a ladder for those climbing babies. Some people thought that it took a little too much effort to open the playpen up or break it down, and some others simply thought it looked similar to a dog run or a prison.
Summer Infant Secure Surround 6-Panel PlaySafe Playard
This playpen from Summer Infant is available in 6,8,10, or 12-panel configurations. It is recommended for children between 6 and 24 months old.
This playpen has 18.5 square feet of space and measures 4 foot 3 inches across.
The PlaySafe Playard has six panels that measure 32 inches wide and a whopping 30 inches tall. You can configure these panels any way you like.
This playpen is made from lightweight BPA and lead-free plastic.
One door panel swings open in both directions to allow access.
Once again, the extra here is the ability to fold up quickly and carry with the included carrying strap. The weight of the six-panel playpen is 22.6 pounds.
Users love how you can configure the panels here into anything you can imagine. Several people use it as a barricade to keep kids away from stuff rather than keeping them inside of it. They also like the quick set-up and take down. The 30-inch height and reasonable price make this a very attractive product. Users complained that the holes were too large and allowed children to climb it like a ladder and that it looks very much like a mixed martial arts cage.
How to Choose the Best Playpen
So how do you choose which is the best playpen for you and your child? There are six major items to consider when you are shopping for your new playpen:
Best Playpen Considerations
When you begin to look at playpens to purchase, keep these considerations in mind, and add any others that you think are important:
This is a highly important item to consider when looking at playpens. Figure out where you plan on setting it up in your home. Take careful measurements. Your new playpen is of no use to you if it doesn’t fit inside your home. At the same time, consider where you are going to set it up outside. Some of us are more limited for space outside rather than in. The main point here is to make sure it fits where you want to use it. Playpens come in various sizes, and average around five to six feet in diameter.
Most playpens consist of a number of panels or sections that snap together to form a shape. Shapes can be square, hexagon, rectangle, octagon, or round. Figure out how many panels come with the playpen, and imagine yourself moving them in or out of the house, or loading them up in your car for use elsewhere, like the park. Figure out the size of each panel and consider if they will fit where you need them to, like the trunk of your car. While you consider panels, you should also check and see if you can order extras in case you want to expand your playpen in the future.
This is an important feature for all parents. Figure out if the material used to make your playpen is safe for your child as well as durable. No parent wants their child touching or chewing on materials that are dangerous to their health. Keep in mind that certified materials may cost more money, but your baby’s health is priceless. Most playpens are made from plastics because they are light, strong, and extremely durable. User reviews can help you figure out materials if you have any questions.
Picture yourself either putting your baby in or taking your baby out of the playpen. Many playpens have gates or a panel that swings open to allow you to enter and exit the playpen. This will allow you to lower and lift your child most easily. Make sure any gates have safety latches to prevent any unwanted escapes. Many parents fail to consider this item, and their back ends up paying for it later.
Every buying decision you make involves price to some degree. The price of the playpen is a quick and easy way to narrow down your choices. My suggestion here is to settle on a dollar amount before you start shopping, and stick to it. Going a little over or a little under is fine. Don’t go crazy! Most of us believe that you get what you pay for, and for the most part, that’s true. However, internet pricing can sometimes be the exception to the rule. If there is any doubt in your mind, you can quickly search for the regular retail price of the playpen.
This is the part I like to refer to as the bells and whistles, because when it comes to playpens, it is. There are a multitude of distractions available on playpens these days. Buttons, flashing lights, sounds, toys, and mirrors can all be found on playpen panels. It’s nice to get some cool gizmos with your playpen, but it’s not necessary. Remember that we can rarely predict which objects and activities will capture the baby’s attention. You can always put your own toys in. If you’re price shopping, keep in mind that the extras cost extra.
That’s it for my list of ten of the best playpens available on the internet today. While all of them have pros and cons, I have picked out my favorite. The winner is the North States Superyard Ultimate Play Yard. I like the fact that it has a good size right out of the box and that you can easily enlarge it. I also like that you can quickly set it up or tear it down by folding or unfolding it. The handy carrying strap is a nice feature for transportation, and the sides are a bit taller than most. Finally, I like that it has skid-resistant pads on the bottom, and it’s made here in the U.S.A. All of the best playpen for babies included in this list are quality items, but the North States Superyard is the clear winner. Remember to measure for size, count the panels, make sure the material is safe, and that you have in and out access. Combine all these features with your price range to figure out which playpen is the best one for you and your child. Good luck and happy playpen shopping!