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Best playpens to keep babies and toddlers safe and secure

We’ve rounded up the best baby playpens to keep your little ones safe, secure and entertained.

By Mumsnet HQ | Last updated Feb 11, 2022

Best baby playpen

If your child has gone from baby to toddler in what feels like a matter of minutes and is now most definitely on the move, a playpen to suit you and your toddler’s needs can positively transform your life. Not only will you have a chance to catch up on work or just general life admin, but your little one will be kept entertained and, most importantly, safe.

For those new to the world of parenting who are worried that playpens aren’t conducive to proper learning, we’re here to reassure you. Baby playpens allow babies and toddlers the opportunity to have some independent play time. Simply place some sensory toys inside and watch them explore.

If you’ve already begun the search for the best baby playpen, you may be finding it all a bit overwhelming. Before you make a purchase, the most important things to consider are size and portability. There’s no point in investing in a playpen that overwhelms the space you want to put it in. You also want to ensure it’s easy to transport.

Here are the best play playpens to buy, as recommended by parents.

Mumsnet HQ's best buys at a glance

1. Best overall playpen: Bonnlo Foldable Baby Playpen

Bonnlo playpen

Price: £100 | Buy now from Amazon

Not only does this playpen look attractive in white and grey, but it's practical too. It features specially designed rubber feet to ensure the parts don’t slide around. It’s BPA-free, easy to clean, and has a simple fold-and-go design which means that you can set it up and take it down quickly and easily. The height of the panel is high enough for your baby to stand and walk around and the area inside gives them a good amount of space to explore.

Key specs

  • Age: Suitable from six months
  • Dimensions: 132 × 140 × 58cm

2. Best budget baby playpen: Hadwin Baby Playpen

Hadwin Baby Playpen

Price: £65 | Buy now from Amazon

This six-panel playpen features an all-steel frame and reinforced stitching. It’s quick to assemble and can accommodate two babies. If you’re the type of parent that prefers to put things away at the end of the day, you can easily fold and pack this baby playpen up for the morning. It’s also easily portable and can be used indoors and outdoors. It doesn’t come with any accessories though, so you’d need to purchase balls separately.

Key specs

  • Age: Suitable from birth
  • Dimensions: 138 × 69 × 75cm when fully unfolded

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

Regalo My Portable Play Yard Indoor and Outdoor

Price: £125 | Buy now from Amazon

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 indoor and outdoor use and is easy to clean. All you need to do is wipe it down with a damp cloth to keep it looking its best. As for practicality, it’s designed with a simple fold-and-go design and is simple to set up and dismantle within seconds. If you also want to transport it, it comes with a carry case with an arm strap. Made with an all-steel frame and reinforced stitching, this playpen also has a safety-lock feature for additional safety.

Key specs

  • Age: Suitable from six months
  • Dimensions: 121 × 2.5 × 66cm

4. Best easy-to-assemble playpen: Venture All Stars Baby Playpen

Venture All Stars Baby Playpen

Price: £140 | Buy now from Amazon

"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" - Pixiefringe

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. You could also use it as a room divider. It comes with a dual lock safety door panel system, so you can be confident that your little one will be safe inside. This baby playpen includes nine large, cushioned mats and a bag of brightly coloured balls that will hopefully keep kids entertained for a while.

Key specs

  • Age: Suitable from birth
  • Dimensions: 65 × 155 × 155cm

5. Best sustainable baby playpen: Clippasafe Multifunctional Wooden Playpen

Clippasafe Multifunctional Wooden Playpen

Price: £165 | Buy now from Amazon

It used to be hard to find sustainable baby products, but thankfully this is no longer the case. This baby playpen is made from natural and sustainable beechwood. It’s also multifunctional as the gate section can be used on its own as a stair gate. Alternatively, the four sections can be put together to make a travel cot. When not in use, you can fold it flat for storage.

Key specs

  • Age: Suitable from birth
  • Dimensions: 76 × 128 × 66cm

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

Babymoov Babyni Anti-UV Playpen

Price: £42 | Buy now from Amazon

In warmer months there will be many opportunities for your toddler to play safely in a playpen outdoors. The Babyni Anti-UV Playpen folds and unfolds quickly due to its pop-up system and blocks up to 99% of harmful UVA and UVB rays. If you keep it in its carry bag, you can transport it easily too. It only comes in blue which is a downside if you’re not fond of the colour.

Key specs

  • Age: Suitable from birth
  • Dimensions: 37 × 33 × 9.5cm

7. Best luxury baby playpen: BabyDan Deluxe Playpen

BabyDan Deluxe Playpen

Price: £135 | Buy now from Amazon

If you’re looking for a solid playpen that’s neutral in design and can fit into the majority of home colour schemes, then this playpen is worth considering. It has an extra door opening section which is flexible and easy to fit and includes a machine-washable playmat. This playpen is expensive but it's well-made and can also be changed into a room divider if needed (wall fittings required).

Key specs

  • Age: Suitable from birth
  • Dimensions: 73 × 72 × 15cm

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

Safetots Deluxe Fabric Playpen

Price: £57 | Buy now from Amazon

Before you dismiss buying a playpen because where you live 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. It’s six sided and consists of solid plastic connecting elements and soft-touch but durable fabric. It’s wipe-clean and machine-washable and can be assembled and put away in minutes into a small portable box. It comes in a grey colour too which is suitable for most interiors.

Key specs

  • Age: Suitable from birth
  • Dimensions: 120 × 120 × 71cm

9. Best for large spaces: Dripex Kids Safety Activity Centre and Playpen

Dripex Kids Safety Activity Centre and Playpen

Price: £105 | Buy now from Amazon

If size isn’t a consideration when it comes to purchasing a playpen, then it may be a case of ‘the bigger, the better.’ Your little one can have hours of fun in this large play pen which has plenty of room inside for toys and is BPA-free and easy to clean. Be aware however that the ocean balls are not included so you’ll need to buy them separately.

Key specs

  • Age: Suitable for a toddler
  • Dimensions: 200 × 150 × 69cm

10. Best flexible playpen: Dreambaby Mayfair Converta 3-in-1 Metal Playpen

Dreambaby Mayfair Converta 3-in-1 Metal Playpen

Price: £95 | Buy now from Amazon

For those concerned that a playpen is a big investment, why not opt for one that can work in different ways? This Dreambaby Mayfair Converta 3-in-1 unit can be configured as a playpen, but it also works as a fire guard and a wide barrier gate too. It’s easy to install and also folds away for simple storage.

Key specs

  • Age: Suitable from birth
  • Dimensions: 66 × 16.5 × 74 cm

Are playpens a good idea?

Playpens are a good idea as they provide your child with a safe place to play while you get on with necessities such as going to the bathroom, taking a phone call or cooking dinner. 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 try new things without getting hurt. 

What age do you stop using playpens?

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

How to choose the best playpen for your baby

Playpens are usually made from wood, plastic or metal. Wooden playpens are generally more spacious and suit most home decors. If you are looking for something brighter in colours, plastic playpens often come in an array of eye-catching shades. If you have a smaller space, a metal structured or fabric- sided playpen is ideal. When you’re considering buying a playpen, there are a number of important safety things you need to take into consideration, Firstly, it is important not to leave your little one unsupervised in a playpen. Playpens are generally easy to assemble and take down, so if you need to go to the bathroom, you can move the playpen in there. Only buy a playpen with BS EN 12227: 1997, 1999 or 20110 safety mark. Ensure that your playpen is not near 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. It’s important that the playpen is not 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 piece of wood or plastic.

What is the best playpen to buy?

Overall, the Bonnlo Baby Playpen is the best playpen to buy as it’s both attractive to look at and also incredibly practical too. 

How we chose our recommendations

Because we know that there’s nothing like a real recommendation from a real parent, we first headed to the Mumsnet forums to find out which bath toys discerning Mumsnet users had bought for their children. We compiled a list of the toys they recommended for being fun and long-lasting, noting safety credentials as well as age suitability.

We then did some research across the wider web, looking at which baby bath toys had won accolades or been featured in ‘best buy’ lists across websites and print media, and what customers reviews said about them. We also looked at advice on toy safety from the Royal Society for the Prevention of Accidents (RoSPA) for their recommendations on buying toys for very young children.

Having collated all that information, we picked the bath toys we thought would make the best buys in several age and interest categories.

Why you should trust us

We work hard to provide unbiased, independent advice you can trust. We do sometimes earn revenue through affiliate (click-to-buy) links in our articles. This helps us fund more helpful articles like this one.