The Best Pack 'n Plays of 2023
Provide your little one a safe place to snooze and play, at home or away, with our top playard picks.
Our Top Pack 'n Play Picks
- Best Overall: Maxi-Cosi Swift Lightweight Portable Playard
- Best for Travel: Lotus Travel Crib
- Best Splurge: UPPAbaby REMI Playard/Portable Crib
- Best Outdoor: The California Beach Co. POP 'N GO Portable Playard
- Best Portable: AEROMOOV Instant Travel Cot Playard
- Best Multipurpose: Graco Pack 'n Play FoldLite Playard
- Best Machine-Washable: Baby Björn Travel Crib Light
- Best Budget: Graco Pack 'n Play On the Go Playard
- Best With Changing Table: 4moms Breeze Plus Portable Playard
- Best Value: Graco Pack 'n Play Travel Dome Playard
Contrary to popular belief, babies don’t need much to thrive. They need lots of love, nourishment and a safe place to sleep and play throughout the day. And, though we can’t point you toward an online retailer to buy the first two essentials on that list, we can present you with one catchall solution for the third: the pack ‘n play. Pack ‘n plays, also called playards, are lightweight and portable cribs that provide your baby a secure place for naptime, playtime and diaper appointments at home or on the go. These one-stop shops come in various price points and offer unique features like one-push setup, carrier bags, diaper changing stations, bassinet attachments or UV-protective covers. So, how do you narrow down the best pack ‘n play for your little one?
What to Look for in a Pack ‘n Play
SIZE & WEIGHT: Before investing in a pack ‘n play, determine where you plan on using it, how often you plan on using it and who will be responsible for transporting it from point A to B. Playards come in various dimensions and weights and some may be more challenging than others for you to lug about — especially with your baby plastered on one hip. Avid travelers who need a compact playard they can carry on their flights will be more inclined to invest in a minimalist design, while a parent who wants a second changing station on the first floor of their house will be more satisfied with a roomier design with extra storage and soft toy accessories.
FUNCTIONALITY: Narrow down what purpose your pack ‘n play will serve in your life and look for features that fit the bill. If you’re the parent mentioned above who needs a second changing station, seek a playard with that feature. Looking for a summer-ready pack ‘n play you can bring on vacation? Invest in an indoor-outdoor design that comes with UV-blocking shades for maximum safety. And, if you need a pack ‘n play that won’t send you into a blind rage during setup, look for a one-handed or push-button mechanism to save yourself time and sanity each day.
Safety is paramount when purchasing any baby product – but this is especially true when investing in your baby’s potential sleep space. Ensure your baby is safe by purchasing pack ‘n plays in line with current U.S. CPSC Federal Safety Standards for Play Yards.
Always use a fitted sheet tailored to your pack ‘n play mattress for maximum safety. And, as with a standard crib or bassinet, remove all loose items like blankets, pillows or plush animals from the playard before putting your baby down for a nap.
Ready to take the plunge? Read on to get the scoop on the 10 best pack ‘n plays and shop our favorites in the links below.
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Gear up for the golden days of sleep and play with the Maxi-Cosi Swift. The top-rated travel pack 'n play grows with your little one as a portable newborn bassinet, a toddler nap space and a steady playard for your tot. The three-in-one design includes a dual-stage mattress that unzips to nestle into the bassinet and zips back together to create a roomier cushion at the base for your toddler to sleep and play. True to its name, the Swift features a lightning-fast, one-handed fold for setup and breakdown. Once collapsed, the lightweight Swift stows in the included carrier bag for seamless travel. Snag the Maxi-Cosi design in three classic, neutral hues: essential graphite, blue or gray.
Braving your first flight with your little one? The Guava Family Lotus Travel Crib gives you one less thing to worry about before heading off on your adventure. The five-star portable pack n’ play is designed for the skies and approved for overnight sleep for infants and toddlers ages 0-3. Ultra-lightweight, the 13-pound pack n’ play collapses flat in seconds, has a zipper side door and fits neatly into the included hands-free backpack. In other words? No need to check this puppy with your luggage. Sling it over your shoulder, and you’re on your way! Each Lotus crib is free from PVC, lead, phthalates, formaldehyde and heavy metals and boasts a prestigious GreenGuard Gold stamp of approval.
Treat baby to this splurge-worthy pack n’ play by UPPAbaby. The REMI playard/portable crib provides your bundle of joy a place to snooze and amuse while at home or on the go. The featherlight design includes a removable, zip-on bassinet for newborns and a washable, triple-layer mattress base for tots. The air mesh mattress maintains your little one’s body temperature and sports a buttery soft cotton cover for maximum coziness during naptime. Each REMI features four mesh walls, a woven mélange fabric railing and an integrated zip window for regular check-ins. Our favorite part? It features a one-handed setup and breakdown mechanism that gets you situated in seconds.
Take your tot outside for sunshine and good times with our pick for the best outdoor pack 'n play. The POP ‘N GO playpen provides a secure place for your little one to enjoy the great outdoors while protecting them from harmful UV rays and pesky bugs. The hexagon pen features a quick-assemble fiberglass frame, a roomy mattress and a removable UV cover for sun protection. At 7.2 pounds, this pack 'n play won’t weigh you down as you commute with it in its carrying case across your yard, beach or park.
Always on the go with your bébé? Bring the AEROMOOV Instant Travel Playard along for all the fun. The compact travel cot earns our award for best portable pack ‘n play because it combines featherlight weight (11 pounds, to be exact) with a compact fold (five inches) for ultimate travel ease. The adjustable cot features dual levels that grow with your baby from newborn months into toddlerhood. Each AEROMOOV playard includes a handy carrying bag plus two innovative nooks for your feet. Their purpose? To support your back as you (repeatedly) lift your little one from the pack ‘n play in the years to come.
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Searching for a portable bassinet, changing table and playard rolled into one? The Graco Pack ‘n Play FoldLite Playard is the way to go. The top-rated design includes everything you need to keep an eye on your sweet one: an infant bassinet, a diaper changer, a storage caddy and a roomy base for toddler naps and play. The contemporary gray playard pairs well with your neutral interior, and its machine-washable fabric makes regular cleaning a breeze. The best part: The Graco FoldLite collapses in a snap and comes with a carrying case for stress-free transport from point A to B.
Between sticky fingers and dirty diapers, babies have a reputation for making messes. The good news, though? The Baby Björn Travel Crib Light is prepared to play ball – and win – against your messiest mini, thanks to its machine-washable mesh material. Its airy walls allow you to check in on your sweetie as they catch some z’s on the cozy integrated mattress. Better still, the (magic) machine-washable mesh is OEKO-TEX certified to be safe to taste and sensitive-skin friendly. The lightweight pack ‘n play sets up in one swift movement and comes with a sleek carrier bag for days you're on the go.
If you’re looking for something more affordable, you can’t go wrong with the Graco Pack ‘n Play On the Go Playard. This adjustable pack ‘n play pockets its title as Amazon’s Choice in earnest, with over 41,000 glowing customer reviews and a five-star rating. The adjustable design grows with your little one; it includes a newborn bassinet, a toddler playard, a storage pouch and a charming toy bar with dangling soft toys to captivate your baby from above.
Whether you’re on diaper duty or need to change your tot into fresh clothes, you’ll feel lucky to have the 4moms Breeze Plus Portable Playard in your arsenal. The classic pack ‘n play features a bassinet, a playard for toddlers and the pièce de résistance: the detachable flip changing table. The innovative feature secures to the side of the cot and flips up when it’s changing time and back against the mesh wall when not in use. Bonus: The 4moms Breeze Plus features one-push open and close functionality, making setup and breakdown the least stressful part of your day.
Enjoy all the bells and whistles during your baby-rearing years with our pick for the best value pack ‘n play: the Graco Pack ‘n Play Travel Dome Playard. Ringing in pennies shy of $160, this Graco design is moderately priced and packed with top-notch amenities poised to see you through toddlerhood. Honorable mentions include the detachable bassinet, the diaper changing station and storage caddy, the full-size infant bassinet and the roomy toddler playard for naps and daytime play. And did we mention the top-handle tote bag and integrated bassinet canopy, complete with dangling soft toy stars, for your little one’s entertainment? Because yes, this beauty includes those, too.
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