Mumsnet Logo
My feed

Our writers test and research products independently. When you buy through a link on our site we may earn a commission but this never affects our product choices.

10 best playpens for babies and toddlers

Baby on the move? We’ve rounded up the best playpens to keep babies and toddlers safe, secure and entertained. Here are the best baby playpens to buy in the UK right now according to parents.

By Lucy Cotterill | Last updated Jun 6, 2023

Best baby playpen

If you have a clingy child, even simple tasks like going to the loo or washing the dishes can become a challenging task. When your baby starts to move – crawling, cruising or taking those tentative first steps – this can become even harder, particularly if they are no longer entertained by options like a baby bouncer.

A playpen can be a great solution to suit both you and your child's needs. Not only do playpens offer a few moments of hands-free peace, but also the chance to make yourself a well earned cuppa or catch up on general life admin while your little one is kept calm, entertained (check out our guide to the best baby toys for help there) and, most importantly, safe while you supervise.

For those new to the world of parenting who are worried that playpens aren’t conducive to proper learning and reaching those all-important baby milestones, we’re here to reassure you. Whilst one-on-one playtime with your baby is extremely important, the best playpens also allow babies and toddlers to have some independent playtime, which is also a crucial part of their development. Simply place some sensory toys inside and watch them explore and learn about their environment. 

If you’ve already begun the search for the best baby playpen, you may be finding it all a bit overwhelming, but fear not – we’ve done the research so you don’t have to, collating honest online reviews, expert recommendations and advice from Mumsnet users, the largest online network of parents in the UK. 

Here are the best playpens for babies and toddlers, as recommended by parents.

Best playpens at a glance

1. Best overall playpen: BabyDan Deluxe Playpen

BabyDan Deluxe Playpen

Price: RRP £179.99 | Buy now from Amazon

Key specs

Dimensions: H72 x W360 (circumference) | Age suitability: Birth to 24 months | Material: Metal | Foldable: No | Assembly required: Yes (no tools required) 

What we like

  • Can be configured to suit almost every room setting 
  • Comfortable play mat included 
  • Easy assembly with no tools required 

What we don't like

  • Costly
  • Wall fixings are sold separately for use as a room divider 

What Mumsnet users say

“The BabyDan hexagonal playpens are great because you can use them as a traditional playpen or use it to section off an area of the room.” (Tried and tested by Mumsnet user and childminder NannyR

“I used ours for all three of my sons and all loved it. The large BabyDan one is great. It comes with a lovely, padded floor cover (my son used to always conk out for his morning nap!) and opens out to become a room divider, so is really, really useful.” (Tried and tested by Mumsnet user wildbhoysmama

Our verdict

Lovingly known by the brand as a ‘Park-A-Kid’, the BabyDan Deluxe Playpen is a versatile and practical metal playpen suitable for babies from birth to 24 months. 

You may be wondering if you need the best baby play mat to act as a base to your play pen, but luckily this comes with one included and we love that it's machine-washable. The BabyDan Playpen also comes with an extra wide door which opens one-handed in both directions, ensuring you always have easy access to your child.

With a 360cm circumference when used in the traditional hexagonal set-up, it can also be converted into a stair gate, half gate, fire guard or room divider (using wall fixings) to adapt to your space as required.

Easy to assemble and disassemble, you’ll be relieved to know that the BabyDan doesn't need any tools to put it together. You can simply reposition and realign the pieces to suit your environment, even changing the location of the door.

Read next: The best toys for 2-year-olds, as recommended by Mumsnetters

Latest deals from trusted retailers

2. Best budget playpen: Hadwin Baby Playpen

Hadwin playpen

Price: RRP: £46.99 | Buy now from Amazon

Key specs

Dimensions: 54.72 L x 27.17 W x 29.92 H (inches) | Age: Birth to 24 months | Material: Alloy steel and cotton | Foldable: Yes | Assembly required: Minimal 

What we like

  • Affordable price 
  • Folds down for portability
  • Mesh sides 
  • Suitable for use indoors and outdoors 

What we don't like

  • Base is not padded 
  • One large-sized configuration only 
  • Doesn’t come with a door 

What Mumsnet users say

“We used this one. We filled it with ball pit balls and toys and popped my daughter in it for toilet trips, getting stuff in the car etc. I also used to bring it into the kitchen when I was cooking so I could chat and play while making dinner (well away from the job or any surfaces!)” (Tried and tested by Mumsnet user MindatWork)

Our verdict

If you’re after a high-quality playpen that comes without the eye-watering price tag, this affordable six-panel playpen from Hadwin comes well rated by Mumsnet users and online retailer reviews. 

It’s quick to assemble and can accommodate two babies with room for a parent too – ideal if your little one needs a little encouragement to play with things like baby toys. If you prefer to put toys away at the end of the day, you can easily fold and pack this baby playpen up ready for use the next morning. It even comes with a handy storage bag, making it a portable choice for travel or visiting friends and family.

The wipe-down base is suitable for use indoors and outdoors and will keep bottoms dry even when the grass is damp. Indoors, you may want to place a mat or rug underneath for additional padding as the base material is relatively thin. 

If you're planning to use this playpen to entertain your toddler whilst you tend to your newborn, it’s also worth noting that it doesn’t have a door. For that reason, you’ll need to be able to physically lift your child – something to bear in mind if you’ve had a c-section

Latest deals from trusted retailers

3. Best portable playpen: Regalo My Portable Play Yard Indoor and Outdoor Playpen

Regalo playpen

Price: RRP £126 | Buy now from Amazon

Key specs

Dimensions: 121.9 x 2.5 x 66 cm | Age suitability: 6 months to 24 months | Material: Alloy Steel | Foldable: Yes | Assembly required: No

What we like

  • Portable fold-out design
  • Easy to clean
  • Safety lock feature
  • Suitable for use indoors and outside

What we don't like

  • Costly
  • No door 

Our verdict

Without question, baby playpens need to keep your little one safe. However, they also need to be easy to set up and easy to maintain. The Regalo My Portable Play Yard Indoor and Outdoor Playpen is water-resistant for both indoor and outdoor use and is super easy to clean. All you need to do is wipe it down with a damp cloth to keep it looking its best. You can even remove the bottom and netting for a deep clean when required. 

For practicality, it’s designed with a simple fold-and-go design and is simple to set up and dismantle within seconds, even one-handed. If you also want to transport it, it comes with a carry case with an arm strap. 

Similar to the above, this design doesn’t come with a door, which you may find less convenient or accessible than a playpen with door or zip-down section. 

Latest deals from trusted retailers

4. Best playpen for versatility: Venture All Stars Baby Playpen

Duo playpen

Price: RRP £119.95 | Buy now from Amazon

Key specs

Dimensions: ‎155 x 155 x 65cm (expansion packs available) | Age: Birth to 24 months | Material: Plastic | Foldable: No | Assembly required: Yes (no tools required) 

What we like

  • Accessories included 
  • Suitable for indoor and outdoor use
  • Easy assembly  

What we don't like

  • Plastic design won't be to everyone’s taste 

What Mumsnet users say

"We don’t live in a big house, so it’s great that you can take the panels out to make it smaller if need be."  (Recommended by Mumsnet user Pixiefringe)

“I got this one because we have a big dog and this allows my little one and I to play without him and ensures my baby’s safe when I nip to the toilet. It's quite large but can be made smaller.” (Tried and tested by Mumsnet user Yokey)

Our verdict

This square-shaped baby playpen from award-winning Venture All Stars is not only spacious and designed to British Safety Standards, but includes nine large, cushioned floor mats and a bag of brightly coloured balls too – ideal for keeping kids entertained.

Whilst not everyone will love the plastic aesthetic, it comes with a dual lock safety door panel system, so you can be confident that your little one will be safe inside.

If you consider yourself less than experienced at DIY, you’ll be delighted to discover that you don't need any tools to assemble this baby playpen. It has a push panel fit system which means that it can be folded down and configured to suit the shape of your room. It can even be used as a room divider – convenient if you have pets too. It’s big enough for multiple children (and you) to gather inside, with plenty of space to crawl around, interact, play and explore.  

Plus, if you're looking for toys to encourage your baby's development while they're spending time in their playpen, our in-depth guide to the best toys for 9-month-olds, has been carefully researched and features lots of Mumsnetter-approved products.

Read next: The best baby walkers and push-along toys

Latest deals from trusted retailers

5. Best sustainable playpen: Mokee Foldaway Playpen

MoKee Foldaway Playpen

Price: RRP £149 | Buy now from Mokee

Key specs

Dimensions: H63 cm x W72 cm x L103 cm | Age: Birth to 15kg (approx 3 years) | Material: Sustainably sourced beech wood | Foldable: Yes | Assembly required: Yes (tools required) 

What we like

  • Folds into a flat position for easy storage when not in use 
  • Made from sustainable and ethical materials
  • Aesthetically pleasing in a modern home 

What we don't like

  • Relatively small footprint
  • Tools required
  • No padded base

Our verdict

If you’re keen to embrace the modern and natural Scandi vibe in your child’s nursery or living space, or are simply looking for a more eco-friendly playpen, the Mokee Foldaway Playpen is likely to be a popular choice.

Whilst it’s relatively small in size, the Mokee playpen is both stylish and sustainable, with no metal or unsightly plastic. Made from sustainably sourced beech wood, it not only looks sleek, but is easy to fold away flat and store when not in use.

It comes in a choice of white or black to suit most room settings, but does require some initial assembly using tools. The downside? There’s no base on this playpen, so you’re likely to need a small mattress or cushioned base to pop inside. 

Latest deals from trusted retailers

6. Best playpen for outdoor use: Babymoov Babyni Anti-UV Playpen


Price: RRP £44.99 | Buy now from Amazon

Key specs

Dimensions: ‎36 x 33 x 12.5cm | Age: From birth to 2 years | Material: Polyester | Foldable: Pop-up design | Assembly required: No

What we like

  • Ideal for use outdoors and holidays
  • UVA/UVB and mosquito protection 

What we don't like

  • Not the most durable 
  • Small size

Our verdict

In warmer months there will be many opportunities for your toddler to play safely in a playpen outdoors. The Babyni Anti-UV Playpen is a 2-in-1 sunshade and travel playpen, which folds and unfolds quickly due to its pop-up system. 

If you keep it in its carry bag, you can transport it easily too, ideal for holidays and travel.

With the addition of balls, you can use this playpen as a comfortable ball pit for your toddler, whilst the two integrated loops allow tactile toys to be securely attached for playing inside. The only downside is that this playpen is only available in two colour shades – both of which are blue! 

Read next: The best tummy time toys

Latest deals from trusted retailers

7. Best playpen for travel: Koo-di Happy Home Foldable Playpen

Koo-di Happy Home Foldable Playpen

Price: RRP £130 | Buy now from Amazon

Key specs

Dimensions: 139 x 118 x 75cm | Age: Birth to 3 years | Material: Polyester | Foldable: Yes | Assembly required: No

What we like

  • Fold-out design
  • Portable with travel bag
  • Padded base
  • Suitable for indoors and outdoors 

What we don't like

  • Costly 
  • One fixed size 

Our verdict

First up, it’s hard to not comment on the baby blue design of this playpen, making a really unique choice compared to other playpens on the market. 

Folding up and down in seconds, the Koo-di Foldable Playpen is ideal for travel, coming in a portable carry bag that allows you to create a safe space for your baby wherever you go. The water-resistant padded base is suitable for use both indoors and outdoors. When in use, the mechanisms are completely inaccessible to your child, ensuring a safe and comfortable environment for your baby, whilst providing plenty of space for them to play.

It doesn’t come cheap and is fixed in size, but for overall aesthetic, safety and comfort, we feel it’s a worthy investment. 

Read next: The best umbrella pushchairs for travelling with a baby

Latest deals from trusted retailers

8. Best playpen for small spaces: Safetots Deluxe Fabric Playpen

Safetots Deluxe Fabric Playpen

Price: RRP £64.90 | Buy now from Amazon

Key specs

Dimensions: 120 x 120 x 71cm | Age: Birth to 2 years | Material: Fabric (unspecified) | Foldable: No | Assembly required: Yes

What we like

  • Zip opening
  • Smaller footprint
  • Easy to assemble

What we don't like

  • May be too small for some
  • Playpen mat is sold separately 

Our verdict

Before you dismiss buying a playpen because your living space is simply too small, think again. 

There are specific playpens that work really well in small spaces and the Safetots Deluxe Fabric Playpen is most definitely one of them. 

This six-sided playpen consists of solid plastic connecting elements and durable fabric that’s still soft touch. It’s wipe clean and machine washable and can be assembled and put away in minutes, packing away into a small portable box that is easy to take along with you when you travel.

You do need to buy the mat separately at £19.95, however even with the additional purchase, it’s still a really affordable price. 

Latest deals from trusted retailers

9. Best large baby playpen: Costway Baby Playpen

Costway Baby Playpen

Price: RRP £84.95 | Buy now from Amazon

Key specs

Dimensions: 190cm x 150cm x 70cm | Age: Unspecified | Material: 210D Oxford Cloth + Iron + PE | Foldable: No | Assembly required: Yes (no tools required) 

What we like

  • Substantial size
  • Attractive design 
  • Protected corners 

What we don't like

  • May be too large for smaller homes
  • Base could be more padded

What Mumsnet users say

“I bought a really big playpen from Costway. Definitely worth it.” (Tried and tested by Mumsnet user seaborgium

“We use a £70 Costway playpen that is just the right size to fit a double mattress.” (Recommended by Mumsnet user xkcd519)

Our verdict

The mesh sides of the Costway Baby Playpen ensure complete visibility,  allowing you to see them at all times even if you haven’t opted to climb inside yourself.

If you’re looking for a playpen that offers a considerable safe space for your baby or toddler to crawl, walk and develop their motor skills, the Costway Baby Playpen comes with a five-star rating on Amazon as well as positive reviews from the Mumsnet community.

Measuring a substantial 190cm x 150cm, it comes with not one, but two zip-down doors so your baby can crawl in and out without any lifting required. 

With protected corners to avoid bumps and suction pads for stability, this is a safe and comfortable space for your baby to play. 

Latest deals from trusted retailers

10. Best playpen for barrier feature: Dreambaby Mayfair Converta 3-in-1 Metal Playpen

Dreambaby playpen

Price: RRP £120.99 | Buy now from Amazon

Key specs

Dimensions: ‎81 x 65 x 16 cm | Age: Unspecified | Material: Metal | Foldable: Yes | Assembly required: Yes 

What we like

  • Versatile modular design
  • Easy to install 
  • Compact fold for storage 

What we don't like

  • The black colourway may be a bit overpowering for some modern homes 

Our verdict

Our favourite features? With an easy-open gate that swings in both directions or can be fixed in the direction of your choice, it’s a completely modular design, so you can locate the door in the place that works best for you.

For those concerned that a playpen is a big investment, why not get your money's worth by opting for one that can be used in a variety of different ways? 

This Dreambaby Mayfair Converta 3-in-1 unit can be configured as a playpen, but it also works as a hardware mounted fireguard or wide barrier gate for the room, stairway or hallway too. 

The black mesh design is simple yet stylish and ensures you can maintain a clear view of your baby at all times. Best of all, it’s simple to install and the compact design easily folds away for easy storage.

Read next: The best sensory play activities for babies

Latest deals from trusted retailers

Are baby playpens a good idea?

Playpens are a good idea as they provide your child with a safe place to play independently, especially if they are crawling or cruising. While you’re busy, your child can be occupied with soft toys and books, and a playpen is a great way for them to explore and learn new skills without getting hurt. 

The types of baby playpens

Wooden playpens 

The most traditional style of playpen is wood framed and spacious, with plenty of space for your baby to crawl and explore. They normally require assembly and tend to be best for more long-term use, becoming a somewhat permanent feature in your room.

Plastic playpens

They tend to be eye-catching and durable, but can be on the large side for modern homes. Usually fairly easy to assemble, some plastic playpens can adjust to the size of your room by removing panels. 

Metal-framed playpens 

Probably the most versatile, playpens with metal frames are usually adjustable to the shape and size of your room, with some even offering the ability to use as a fire guard or room divider. They tend to be more expensive, but often come with fold-down benefits which make them ideal for travel or for bringing out as and when required.

Pop-up playpens

Pop-up models tend to be less durable and hardwearing, but for temporary short-term use on holiday or when visiting friends and family, they are a relatively stress-free way to create a safe space for your baby, whatever the environment. 

What age do you stop using playpens?

The age you should stop using a playpen is when your child can climb out. Most parents find that when a baby can pull themselves up, they might start to get tired of being in the playpen if it’s small. 

How much does a baby playpen cost? 

Generally, baby playpens aren’t particularly cheap, especially given that they need to be made from high-quality, durable materials and adhere to UK safety standards. For a decent playpen you can generally expect to pay at least £100, although you can pick up cheaper alternatives that do the trick for more ad hoc use. If you’re planning to use one regularly, it’s best to invest in one that will stand the test of time. 

How do I choose the best playpen for my baby?

With so many different playpens to choose from, here are some things to consider when making your decision:

  • Dimensions: How much space do you have for a playpen? Some playpens are extremely large and spacious whilst others have a smaller footprint. Consider whether the size is fixed or if the playpen offers some choice depending on the positioning or removal of panels. A larger-sized playpen is great if you want to get inside too, whilst a smaller playpen is ideal if you are limited on space. 
  • Ease of assembly: How easy is the playpen to assemble? Does it require tools to put together? If you’re not keen on sacrificing a whole section of your living room, you should consider how easy it is to fold down and store when not in use.
  • Portability: Does the playpen come with a storage or carry bag that enables you to take it with you when travelling or visiting family? More portable playpens tend to be a little less sturdy, but are ideal for occasional use. 
  • Where can it be used? - Is the playpen suitable for use outdoors as well as inside? Some metal or alloy-framed playpens can be used outdoors and double up as a fun play area in the summer months. Is the base waterproof to prevent your child getting a wet bum on damp grass?
  • Does it come with any accessories? - Consider whether the price includes any accessories such as padded mats, balls, and entertainment or whether they are available to purchase separately. 
  • Other uses: Some playpens offer a fixed shape and size, whilst others can convert into fire guards, safety gates and even room dividers with additional wall fixings. 

Important safety points for baby playpens 

Babies should always be supervised in playpens, but in addition to this, there are a number of other safety considerations you should make when using one.

  • Only buy a playpen with BS EN 12227: 1997, 1999 or 20110 safety mark. 
  • Ensure that your playpen is not located near to an open fire or other heat sources. 
  • There should not be any large items inside that your baby can step on and use to try and climb out. 
  • Make sure that nobody ties anything across the top of a playpen as this is a strangulation hazard. 
  • The playpen mustn’t be placed near doors or windows that your little one might be able to open. 
  • Keep the playpen away from dangling cords or cables. 
  • Always keep the playpen clear and ensure that it is in good condition with no holes or broken pieces of wood or plastic.

Which are the best baby playpens to buy? 

Overall, the BabyDan Deluxe Playpen is the best playpen to buy as it’s safe, attractive to look at, comfortable for your baby and incredibly flexible too. Whilst it’s not cheap, the ability to adjust and reposition the sides to suit your environment certainly makes it worth the investment. It can even be used as a room divider with additional wall fixings. 

How we chose our recommendations

Recommendations from real parents

First up, we sought out the trusted opinions of Mumsnet users, to get their feedback on playpens, as well as the playpens that they rate, recommend and have used in their own homes with their babies. We considered the elements they looked for in a playpen, including versatility, size and comfort. 

We also looked out for any negative reviews, where Mumsnetters highlighted products that they felt were poor quality, difficult to clean or they felt were a bit of an eyesore.

Expert opinions

Next up, we considered reviews and feedback from trusted industry experts. We want to be confident that the products we recommend are fit for purpose and safe to use with babies and toddlers, so we looked out for award-winning products or those that were well regarded in the marketplace, including those bearing the relevant UK safety standards.

Authentic consumer reviews

Finally, to bring you our definitive list of the best playpens on the market, we thoroughly investigated genuine, in-depth customer reviews on retailer sites such as Amazon, Argos and John Lewis to get wider consumer experiences regarding the products on our shortlist. 

Why you should trust us

We work hard to provide honest and independent advice you can trust and we spend hours scouring the Mumsnet forums and online bestseller lists to find products that real parents rate.

Transparency is really important to us and that's why we're always upfront about where we find our recommendations. We write about products that we feel offer the best value to most parents – the ones that our users would recommend to their own friends and family.