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Picking the Best Baby Floor Mat

As your baby gets older, he needs some fun toys to interact and enjoy. A baby floor mat, also called a playmat, play gym, or an activity mat is a brightly colored, interactive mat for your child to enjoy. They come in a variety of sizes, shapes, and themes, but almost all have a few small toys, such as mirrors, rattles, jingles, or crinkle toys.

Budget
Best-budget-baby-floor-mat
Infantino Square Twist and Fold
4.8/10
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Best Value
Best-value-baby-floor-mat
Baby Care Play Mat Foam Floor Gym
4.6/10
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Top Pick
Top-value-baby-floor-mat
Fisher-Price Kick ‘n Play Piano Gym
4.8/10
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Brand Uses Batteries? Dangling Toys? Rating
Fisher-Price Kick ‘n Play Piano Gym YES YES 4.8 out of 10 Stars
Skip Hop Alphabet Zoo Activity Gym NO YES 4.7 out of 10 Stars
Tiny Love Gymini Super Deluxe YES YES 4.5 out of 10 Stars
Infantino Square Twist and Fold Activity Gym NO YES 4.8 out of 10 Stars
Baby Care Play Mat Foam Floor Gym NO NO 4.6 out of 10 Stars
Baby Einstein Play Gym – Nautical Friends YES YES 4.5 out of 10 Stars
Fisher-Price Rainforest Melodies and Lights Deluxe Gym YES YES 4.5 out of 10 Stars
Tiny Love Super Mat NO NO 4.6 out of 10 Stars
Wee Giggles Non-Toxic Extra Thick Foam Play Mat NO NO 4.7 out of 10 Stars

Do Babies Need a Playmat?

There is little that a baby truly needs, and a playmat is not a necessity. However, a playmat does come in handy. As much as our babies may like for us to hold them 24/7, we can’t hold our babies all the time. A playmat is a fantastic substitute for our families, plus it entertains them! You can place your child there as you make dinner or use the restroom. You might even be able to shower – crazy!

Unlike baby swings, an activity gym is fun for your baby! They have different shapes and colors to observe, sounds, and textures. A swing might have one dangling toy, but a playmat has several.

A playmat also gives your baby the perfect place to practice tummy time! Tummy time helps to strengthen a child’s head, neck, and shoulder muscles. Another benefit of tummy time is that it promotes motor skills and helps to prevent the flattening of the back of the baby’s head.

The Right Age for a Baby Floor Mat

Parents can start using a playmat from day one, but babies can begin to enjoy using it the most between three and six months old. At this stage, your baby starts to develop his hand-eye coordination, as well as his ability to reach out and grasp for danging toys. Laying on a floor mat gives your baby plenty of practice! Typically, once a baby can crawl, a floor mat is the last place he wants to spend his time!

9 Picks for The Best Baby Floor Mat

1. Fisher-Price Kick ‘n Play Piano Gym

Fisher-Price Kick ‘n Play Piano GymView on Amazon

The Kick ‘n Play is a unique playmat that has looks like a musical piano that plays notes when your child kicks or pays the keys. Your baby will love being able to kick and play a tune! Don’t be surprised if your child starts to kick all the time just to hear the tunes! Plus, all that kicking is valuable exercise and develops motor skills!

Fisher-Price added five toys that dangle overhead, so your child can view them while he lays on his back. You also can attach the same toys to the mat for tummy time entertainment. When he sits up, he will still be able to enjoy the piano keys. Parents can detach the piano once the child is walking and it can be played with separately.

Compared to other playmats, this one is quite small, so there isn’t room for your child to roll around. Also, the mat is lacking some padding, so you might want to make sure you lay it on top of a rug or carpet. However, if you want something that will stimulate your child and keep him entertained, it will work perfectly!

Additional Specs
Recommended Ages: Birth and Up
Batteries Required? 3 AA Batteries
The Pros
Detachable piano toy
Easy-to-reach toys
Usage for a long time
The Cons
Small mat
No off mode for the music

2. Skip Hop Alphabet Zoo Activity Gym

Skip Hop Alphabet Zoo Activity GymView on Amazon

Skip Hop makes high-quality baby items, and their Alphabet Zoo Activity Gym features over 15 developmental activities. The mat is soft and quilted, so your child will be comfortable while he lays on his back.

To support tummy time, Skip Hop added a curved, bolster pillowed to support their chest. The above arches are removable as well, so you can use the quilty as a place to change diapers or as a simple mat to lay your child to play with toys. It features 13 loops that let you move the toys to different heights and places.

The mat itself has a crinkling tree flap, multiple textures, a tactile zebra mane, a crinkling elephant ear, crinkling bird wings, a squeaking monkey, and a mirror.

One of the best features is the simple design and colors of the playmat. Some are gender specific, but Skip Hop made a design that goes for either one. It will fit into any decor. However, the toys don’t make any sounds or have any lights. That could be a pro or con depending on your wishes. Some parents like to avoid toys with sounds; who can blame them?

Most importantly, Skip Hop ensured the mat meets and exceeds ASTM, CPSIA, and EN71 safety standards. It is important to note that the padding isn’t too thick, and that some of the toys may hang too low for your child. The price is a bit steep considering it does lack lights and music, but the quality is fantastic.

Additional Specs
Recommended Ages: Birth and Up
Batteries Required? No
The Pros
Sensory activities on the mat
Extra loops for toys
Meets all important safety standards
Tummy time pillow
The Cons
Expensive
Toys hang too low
Not thick enough padding

3. Tiny Love Gymini Super Deluxe

Tiny Love Gymini Super DeluxeView on Amazon

Children love colors, music, and different textures. The Tiny Love Gymini is perfect for a baby who loves time with music because this playmat has two music modes to pick – Mozart and nursery tunes. Your child activates those tunes by kicking at the response pad. Tiny Love added several dangling toys for your child to enjoy.
Babies also love that this play mat has music! It has motion-activated music and lights on the 3D flower patch, and there are lights on the crinkly elephant’s ear on the mat as well! All of the toys are colorful, with different patterns, so your child will spend time observing the differences.

Every baby loves checking themselves out in the large, attached mirror. Another nice feature is that the gym folds flat and fits into an included sturdy travel bag. That means you can store it wherever you like or take it to grandma’s house!

One important thing to remember is that this mat isn’t waterproof, but it is machine washable. So, if your child decides to have a diaper blow out, you can take off the toys and stick it in the washer. Also, the mat is thinner than other choices. It would be wise to place a blanket or rug under the playmat.

Additional Specs
Recommended Ages: Birth to 12 months old
Batteries Required? 3 AA Batteries
The Pros
Several options for interaction
Folds up and has a travel bag
Machine-washable
The Cons
Not enough padding
Surface may be slick

4. Infantino Square Twist and Fold Activity Gym

Infantino Square Twist and Fold Activity GymView on Amazon

Infantino is a budget-friendly brand that sells quality products for babies and families. Parents love this playmat because it is easy on the wallet, but babies love it all the same. It has four dangling toys, a mirror, and a pillow for tummy time. There is everything a child could want!

Infantino sells their activity gym in several themes, so you can pick the one that fits your decor or preferences. You can pick from pond pals, vintage boy, and sweet safari, which is a pink theme. The pond pals design is vibrant, but it’s perfect for those who don’t want a gender-specific theme.

Aside from being budget-friendly, the Twist and Fold is also one of the best baby mats for traveling. All you have to do is twist the knob at the top of the arch and the gym will collapse. Then, you can carry it from place to place or fold it up for storage. Plus, that can be done one-handed. Taking it to grandma’s house or on vacation is easy-peasy!

You can also remove the toys and just use the mat as a soft place to play. Once the toys no longer entice your child, you can still get use out of the mat.

Additional Specs
Recommended Ages: Birth and Up
Batteries Required? No
The Pros
Arches removable for soft, play mat for an older infant
Plush, removable toys
Budget-friendly
Travel-friendly
The Cons
No grip on the bottom, so it can slide
It’s a bit small

5. Baby Care Play Mat Foam Floor Gym

Baby Care Play Mat Foam Floor GymView on Amazon

Baby care created an awesome playmat may not have dangling toys, but it does have some fantastic qualities that make it a top seller. The mat is cushioned, so your baby is a comfortable, safe place for your child to roll and play around. There is enough cushioning that your baby might fall asleep; it might become a favorite nap spot!

It is a safe mat, made without toxic chemicals It is free of phthalates, BPA, lead, latex, formaldehyde, EVA and mercury. Plus, Baby Care used only 100% recyclable materials! You’ll love that it is easy to clean; just wipe it down with soap and water. The mat is waterproof, so you don’t have to worry that a spilled bottle or sippy cup will ruin it. All you have to do is wipe it down to clean up spills.

The mat is reversible, so you can pick the design your child prefers the most. Two sizes are available – medium and large. A texturized surface ensures your new crawler or walker won’t slip and fall; it adds the perfect grip.

There are a few drawbacks. First, it is pricier. Next, the patterns are quite bright and vibrant. One side is a bright picture of animals, and the other side is the ABCs. If you want something that is subdued and not obviously a baby item, you won’t want this one!

Additional Specs
Recommended Ages: Birth Up
Batteries Required? No
The Pros
Thick cushioned – about half an inch
Two-sided
Two size options
Texturized for crawling and walking babies
The Cons
Pricey
A strange smell at first when you receive it
Too brightly colored

6. Baby Einstein Play Gym – Nautical Friends

Baby Einstein Play Gym - Nautical FriendsView on Amazon

Most parents have heard of Baby Einstein. You can find their TV shows and books meant for babies in most stores. All of their products encourage early learning. Their Nautical Friends play gym has a padded mat with a plush starfish toy that you can remove to place other places.

The design is very bright and colorful, with a clear under-the-sea design. Several toys keep your child bush, such as a crab bead chaser, a baby Neptune rattle, a sand dollar teether, and flashcards! Plus, the gym plays over 20 minutes of classical music and lights to accompany the tunes! You can set the music in two modes – continuous play or motion activated. Also, a whale-shaped prop pillow and a baby-safe mirror provide entertainment while your child practices tummy time.

A few negatives may make this not the perfect pick for you. Although it is quite easy to pick it together, storing this mat isn’t easy. It is small compared to other options, and the toys don’t detach, so you can’t hang them low enough for younger infants. The small size and unremovable toys mean that this mat will only last for a short period.

Additional Specs
Recommended Ages: Birth and Up
Batteries Required? 3 AA Batteries
The Pros
Cute, educational design
Plenty of toys
Starfish can be attached elsewhere
Tummy time pillow included
20 minutes of music and lights
The Cons
Small mat size
Can’t detach the toys
Only used for a short span

7. Fisher-Price Rainforest Melodies and Lights Deluxe Gym

Fisher-Price Rainforest Melodies and Lights Deluxe GymView on Amazon

Here is another fantastic floor mat for babies with a unique and colorful design. The theme is entertaining and gender neutral, so you can use it for several children. The mat is quilted with a silky border and colorful arches that have links all along them. You can attach the toys at different heights to entice your child to play or to encourage your little infant to play!

Fisher-Price also added loops on the quilt so you can attach the toys to encourage tummy time play. Parents can pick three modes of play – baby motion activated music, continuous music (20 minutes), and rainforest sounds (20 minutes).

The most obvious negative is that it’s rather hard to disassemble or to store. It doesn’t fold up well, so you basically have to leave it out all the time.

Additional Specs
Recommended Ages: Birth and Up
Batteries Required? 3 AA Batteries
The Pros
Multiple loops to adjust toys are desired
Soft and quilted
Easy to Assembly
Lights and Music available
The Cons
Pricey
Lights can’t be turned off
Hard to disassemble
Not travel-friendly

8. Tiny Love Super Mat

Tiny Love Super MatView on Amazon

If you don’t want dangling toys and prefer something with a more subdued design, the Tiny Love Super Mat should fit your qualifications. It is a large, quilted mat that is colorful but not obnoxiously colored. It has carrying handles and a detachable mirror.

For being just a mat, you’ll be surprised at how many things Tiny Love included. It has a ring to attach an extra toy, a crinkly foxtail, a peek-a-boo tree, a horn, and a carrot teether. It is a large mat, perfect for your rolling child or two immobile infants! If your child has a diaper blow out, you can put the mat in the washing machine. This mat is incredibly easy to store and carry from room to room or on vacation.

However, you are unable to place the mat into the dryer, and it is a bit slippery. It doesn’t have a texturized grip on the bottom to stop it from moving.

Additional Specs
Recommended Ages: Birth and Up
Batteries Required? No
The Pros
Large – great for twins or mobile infants
Sensory features on the mat
Thick padding
Machine washable
The Cons
Can’t use in the dryer
No way to keep quilt folded
Might be too slippery for crawling babies.

9. Wee Giggles Non-Toxic Extra Thick Foam Play Mat

Wee Giggles Non-Toxic Extra Thick Foam Play MatView on Amazon

Wee Giggles created a floor mat that comes in two sizes and several colors, such as a black/white/grey color pattern and different pinks, blues, and greens. It is a top-rated baby playmat that is created for one thing -keeping your baby safe while playing. These are foam mats that measure about 24” x 24” square. We all have seen the foam mats for play spaces, but these are higher quality mats!

Wee Giggles scores high for a few reasons. First, the tiles are thick, around half an inch, which is more than many other mats. So, that means your child won’t hurt his head if he falls over. Second, the mats are non-toxic that don’t contain BPA, phthalates, lead, latex, formaldehyde, or formamide. However, since these mats are non-toxic, they do have a mild odor when you open up the packaging.

You can assemble the tiles together in a rectangular space that will measure 5-feet wide and 7-feet long. Another option is to place the tiles in a square space, and use the other pieces to create walls to keep your child contained in the area.

Overall, Wee Giggles are well-constructed, with a gender-neutral greyscale animal plant. The animals are large, and the texture to the mat makes it slip-free. Clean-up is a breeze; just wipe the mats with a damp cloth!

Additional Specs
Recommended Ages: Birth and Up
Batteries Required? No
The Pros
Well-constructed
Thick padding
Easy to clean
Easy to assemble
The Cons
Strange odor at first
No toys attached
Not travel-friendly

Baby Floor Mat Buying Guide

Truth be told, a baby floor mat is one the best investment you’ll make as a parent. We love our kids, but we also love breaks – even if they’re only 5 minutes long. Keeping your child engaged with developmental activities will keep your child occupied when you need those breaks throughout the day.

Many parents notice that a floor mat is one of their top used items, often used multiple times per day for many months! However, the baby market is saturated with different options, which can be frustrating for parents. It’s like when you are in the drive-through line with cars behind you, and you don’t know what to pick; you panic! Sweat starts to roll down your neck as you look at the sign of choices. Everything seems amazing. What do you want? So, you pick something and hope you like it!

If you’re feeling a bit confused, here are some features and qualities to consider.

Size of The Mat

While the size of the mat you want might look perfect for a newborn, don’t forget that your baby is going to grow! How long do you want to use the play mat? Once your child is active and can roll, you need a larger mat because your baby will take up more space! If your child can roll, is the mat large enough that he won’t roll off and end up on the floor? You should also consider the floor space in your home and if you have more than one child who will use that space.

Arches or No Arches

Some parents prefer not to have arches with dangling toys! While your child will probably have a better time if you pick a mat with arches, they aren’t necessarily a must-have. Arches do free up your hands so that you don’t have to dangle toys over your child’s face.

One negative with arches is that they make folding the mat up for storage or traveling trickier. Also, a baby that can sit independently won’t want the arches, but they probably would still like the toys. So, preferably, the toys and arches can all detach, which makes the play mat have a longer lifespan.

Easy to Clean

Babies are messy, seriously messy at times! Diaper explosions and spit-up happen all the time, so it’s essential that your baby gear is easily cleaned. Ideally, the mat is machine washable, so that means the arches should detach easily.

Portability

Do you travel often, or do you go to grandma’s house on a regular basis? Having a portable play mat is convenient for trips outside the home. If that is a priority for you, you will want to pick an activity mat that is easily folded and carried places.

You should also consider if you plan on leaving the mat out on the floor all the time or if you want to put it away when not in use. A mat that is hard to disassemble will make storage harder!

Theme – Gender Neutral or Gender Specific?

Some parents don’t save items for their future kids, or you might plan only to have one baby. Either way, you want to decide if you prefer a gender-neutral floor mat or one that is more gender specific. A gender-neutral mat is excellent if you plan to use it for future kids, which saves you money.

Comfort Level

If your child is going to spend any amount of time on this mat, you want to make sure it is comfortable! The thickness of the mat will determine how comfortable it is and how safe it will be while your child learns how to sit or crawl. A thick mat helps to cushion the dozens of falls your child might have when he learns to sit up, crawl, and walk.

Included Toys

Your baby will love these toys, so you want to make sure they are fantastic! Some play mats allow you to remove the toys and place so babies can enjoy them during tummy time or while sitting. Make sure the toys are washable and free of any safety hazards!

Are There Music and Lights?

Not all baby activity gyms have music and lights. Some parents want them, while others prefer to stay away from all the lights and sounds! Most babies find music comforting, and lights will stimulate the baby. How your baby reacts is individual; some find that their babies end up overstimulated and fussy. If you aren’t sure about your child’s reaction, make sure it is a feature that you can turn on and off.

Picking the Best Baby Floor Mat

As you can see, the right one for you may not be the right floor mat for someone else, and that’s okay! There are some fantastic options on the market. You can find ones that dazzle your kids with lights and music, or you can find mats that are simple places to play.

Do you have a favorite baby floor mat? If so, let us know in the comments!

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