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10 best ball pits to keep babies and toddlers entertained

Whether it’s for encouraging physical development or providing an entertaining space to keep little ones busy for a while, a good ball pit can be a great addition to any playroom.

By Mumsnet HQ | Last updated Aug 1, 2022

Baby playing in ball pit

Whilst we all love to entertain our little ones and engage them in interactive play, nothing beats a toy or activity which encourages independent play for a short while. We'd never recommend leaving your child unattended during playtime until they are old enough, but with the right ball pool it’s possible to sit back and watch them entertain themselves and give you that all-important five minutes of peace.

We all know the benefits of physical activity for children but, due to the good old British weather, a trip to the park or a run around the garden isn’t always possible. A ball pit will encourage children to move around and expend some energy whilst at the same time help them to develop hand-eye coordination, provide some sensory stimulation, and, let's face it, they’re quite simply a lot of fun!

One of the biggest bugbears with Mumsnet users when it comes to buying a ball pool is the fact that the balls can end up everywhere, particularly when older toddlers are using them. Our top tip here at Mumsnet HQ? Give your child a bucket and declare a ball hunting competition or a treasure hunt - they’ll have you tidied up in no time!

Here are the best ball pits to buy in 2022.

1. Best overall ball pit: KiddyMoon Baby Foam Ball Pit

Kiddymoon ball pit

Price: From £64.99 | Buy now from Amazon

“DS got a [Kiddy Moon] ball pit. He loved it but I hate picking all the balls up from under the sofa!” (Tried and tested by Mumsnet user Warrickdaviesasplates)

This KiddyMoon Ball Pit has a wealth of five-star reviews. Parents loved the fact that the sides remained sturdy enough to support little ones sitting up against it but it’s pliable enough for them to crawl in and out of.

The KiddyMoon pit is made of high-quality, non-toxic fabric so you can rest assured it remains safe for children. It also has a handy removable cover, making it easier to keep clean. 

The pit can be bought on its own or with 200 or 300 balls, with most reviewers noting that 200 balls were more than enough to fill the pit.

It’s a pricey option, but aesthetically, the KiddyMoon Ball Pit is hard to beat. It also comes in a range of colours and patterns with coordinating balls - so at least they look decorative when they inevitably become strewn across the room! They also have a triangular version which can be neatly tucked into the corner.

Pros

  • Wide range of designs and colours
  • Sturdy and hardwearing

Cons

  • Pricier than some
  • Can’t be stored away easily when not in use 

Key specs

  • Dimensions: 90 x 62 x 32 cm
  • Weight: 4.62 Kilograms
  • No. of balls included: Available on its own or with 200 or 300 balls
  • Age suitable for: 9 months and up

2. Best budget ball pit: Chad Valley Indoor Ball Pit Activity Toy

Chad Valley ball pit

Price: £9 | Buy now from Argos

Due to its bargain price tag, the Chad Valley Ball Pit is a great option if you’re not 100% sure whether a ball pit is something your little one will get a lot of use out of. Its simple pop-up design makes it easier to put up and the sides are high enough to hold plenty of balls. 

Unsurprisingly, considering the price, this ball pit didn’t rate quite so highly with reviewers when it came to sturdiness or longevity so this is something to bear in mind if you have a particularly rambunctious toddler and you think you might be using it a lot.

Pros

  • Great value for money
  • Bright and colourful design

Cons

  • Not as sturdy as some
  • May not stand the test of time if it’s going to be well used

Key specs

  • Dimensions: H25, W80, D80cm
  • Weight: Not specified
  • No. of balls included: None
  • Age suitable for: 6 months and up

3. Best ball pit for versatility: Bright Starts 5-in-1 Your Way Activity Gym and Ball Pit

Bright Starts ball pit

Price: £53.99 | Buy now from Amazon

“Had the Bright Starts 5-in-1 Play Gym that converts to a little ball pit - thought it was really good. Not the cheapest but worth it if you plan on using it for more babies down the line, I'd say.” (Vetted by Mumsnet user Kimblebee19)

There’s a lot going on with this Bright Starts Activity Gym which boasts five different ways to play; ranging from a simple tummy time mat for babies to a ball pit for toddlers to an activity gym for those in between. 

It also comes with a wealth of add-ons and accessories including a bead chaser, safari-themed crinkle toy, baby-safe mirror, flashcards, and a rattle. So whilst it may seem a little pricier, you do get a great deal for your money.

It also has a singing light-up elephant to keep babies entertained when lying on the mat and there’s even a handy carry case to neatly store away the balls when not in use.

However, the actual ball pit component is quite small and some reviewers did note that the sides weren’t hugely sturdy, so if it’s just a ball pit you’re after this maybe isn’t the best choice for you.

Pros

  • Offers a range of lovely add-ons and accessories
  • Will last your little one from birth to the toddler years

Cons

  • The ball pit is a little on the small side

Key specs

  • Dimensions: 76.2 x 113.03 x 53.34 cm
  • Weight: 862 g
  • No. of balls included:  40
  • Age suitable for: Newborn and up

4. Best ball pit for easy storage: Moonvvin Kids Ball Play Pool Pit

Moovvin ball pit

Price: £24.99 | Buy now from Amazon

If you’re a little short on space or it already feels like you’re drowning in toys, you’ll likely want a ball pit that can be put away easily when not in use. The Moonvvin Play Pool is a lightweight and foldable pit which takes up little space when folded away and can be reassembled in seconds.

It comes with a number of five-star reviews with consumers praising its soft yet sturdy fabric and easy assembly. Due to its robust material, manufacturers state that this ball pit can be used both indoors and out too.

The Moonvvin pit also offers a little more area to play than some of our other featured products and has nice high sides, making it perfect for slightly older toddlers.

Pros

  • Easy to store away and reassemble
  • A good size for toddlers
  • Can be also be used outdoors

Cons

  • Perhaps not appropriate for babies not yet sitting 
  • Need to buy balls to fill it separately 

Key specs

  • Dimensions: 80 x 80 x 26 cm
  • Weight: 800 g
  • No. of balls included:  None
  • Age suitable for: Not specified

5. Best tent-style ball pit: MAIKEHIGH Ball Pit Play Tent

Tent style ball pit

Price: £19.99 | Buy now from Amazon

Something often discussed on the Mumsnet forums is that, whilst little ones may love them, constantly having to pick up balls and return them to the pit can feel like a bit of a chore for parents. If this is something that concerns you, a tent-style pit may be a good option. 

If you choose to keep the front fabric door fastened, the MAIKEHIGH Ball Pit is almost completely enclosed, meaning the balls are less likely to escape. Whilst the slides are covered, they’re made from a mesh material meaning your little ones won’t overheat too. Do be aware that if you choose to keep the door open you may still get some escapee balls though!

Reviewers were keen to praise the pit’s sturdiness and size and liked the fact that, as it’s pop-up, it was easy to assemble and store away again. We also love the fact that it comes with a handy little bag, which makes it great for space saving.

The manufacturers state that this product can be used by children up to eight years of age, but we did feel that this may be a little ambitious.

Pros

  • Easy to assemble and store away
  • Enclosed to stop balls from falling out

Cons

  • You may need a lot of balls to fill it

Key specs

  • Dimensions: 140 x 130 x 75 cm
  • Weight: Not specified
  • No. of balls included: None
  • Age suitable for: 1 to 8 years

6. Best ball pit with hoop: GIEMIT Kids Ball Pit Play Tent

Giemit ball pit

Price: £13.88 | Buy now from Amazon

If you’re not planning on having a ball pit out all of the time, the last thing you need is one that takes a lot of building up every time you take it out of the cupboard. The GIEMIT Ball Pit takes seconds to pop up and take back down again and even comes with a handy storage bag.

Despite being a pop-up design, this tent is very generous when it comes to size and has relatively high sides so is great for toddlers. There's even a little hoop for added entertainment.

This is a cheaper option though, so some reviewers did note that the pit did succumb to a little wear and tear after prolonged use.

Pros

  • Plenty of room to play
  • Easy to assemble and store away
  • Good value for money

Cons

  • May not be as sturdy or long-lasting as other pits

Key specs

  • Dimensions: ‎33 x 28.8 x 6.9 cm
  • Weight: 425 g
  • No. of balls included: None
  • Age suitable for: Not specified

7. Best ball pit for outdoor use: Hedstrom Play Sand and Ball Pit with Canopy

Outdoor ball pit

Price: £89.99 | Buy now from Amazon

With its lovely striped canopy and wooden base, the Hedstrom Sand and Ball Pit will make a stylish addition to any garden. The clever canopy design not only keeps little ones in the shade but it can also be wound down to the bottom, to cover and protect the pit when not in use.

The manufacturers state that the pit is suitable from six months onwards. However, whilst they have taken care to ensure there are no sharp edges and have added plastic caps on the corners of the pit, it is made entirely from wood so it won’t offer babies and younger children as much cushioning as indoor designs might. If you’re planning on getting in with them, however, there’s no reason why this can’t be enjoyed by younger ones. 

Pros

  • Stylishly made
  • Clever canopy design over the pit
  • Can also be used as a sandpit

Cons

  • Made from wood so might not be as comfortable on the sides
  • Pricey

Key specs

  • Dimensions: 117 x 117 x 117 cm
  • Weight: 13.8 kg
  • No. of balls included: None
  • Age suitable for: 6 months plus

8. Best ball pit for sensory stimulation: World's Apart GetGo A-Zebra Pop Up Ball Pit

Price: £19.99 | Buy now from Very

The bold primary colours and sweet animal design of the Worlds Apart pit is likely to delight little ones. It comes with three sensory bean bags as well as peek-a-boo ball holes to provide a little extra stimulation and opportunities to develop hand-eye coordination.

The pit has fairly high sides and is easy to assemble and put away. Some reviewers did feel, however, that it was a little on the flimsy side so it may not go the distance if you plan on using it with older children.

Pros

  • Added extras provide additional sensory stimulation
  • Bright and colourful design
  • Balls are included - great value

Cons

  • May not be as long-lasting as some other pits

Key specs

  • Dimensions: 80 x 80 x 30 cm
  • Weight: 600g
  • No. of balls included: 30
  • Age suitable for: 12 months and up

9. Best activity centre with ball pit: Hide N Side 5Pc Kids Ball Pit

Price: £64.95 | Buy now from Amazon

If you’ve got a little one who prefers to motor around as well as sit in a ball pit, this may be just what you’re looking for. The activity station comes with three separate ball pits all interconnected by tunnels, perfect for active crawlers and toddlers.

Despite the number of stations, its pop-up design makes it easy to assemble and store away again and it even fits into one handy storage bag. 

If you plan on using all three ball pit stations at once, you’ll need a lot of balls to fill it. But you could consider putting different things in one of the tents such as bean bags or soft toys to keep little ones stimulated and entertained.  You can also use the pits as stand-alone items so you don’t have to get everything out all at once.

Pros

  • Tunnels provide a great way for active toddlers to burn off some energy
  • Easy to assemble and store away
  • Super fun design for little ones

Cons

  • If you plan on using the whole thing together you’ll need a fair bit of space
  • Expensive

Key specs

  • Dimensions: 52.07 x 52.07 x 2.49 cm
  • Weight: 2.4kg
  • No. of balls included: None
  • Age suitable for: 1 to 6 years

10. Best ball pit for toddlers: MEOWBABY Foam Play Set With Ball Pit

Meowbaby ball pit

Price: £179 | Buy now from Harrods

If you’re serious about your soft play, the MEOWBABY Play Set from Harrods is an excellent choice.

It certainly doesn’t come cheap, but it has five different obstacles that can be rearranged to make a variety of obstacle courses. Reviewers felt that the hefty price tag was worth it due to the time their little ones spent playing on it and, with its velvet finish on the covers and range of attractive colours, it’s bound to add a bit of luxury to any bedroom or nursery

The soft foam will keep little ones safe and it comes with handy removable covers which are machine washable too.

Pros

  • Added obstacles are a great addition to encourage physical development
  • Handy removable covers for easy cleaning
  • Stylish, luxurious design

Cons

  • A pricier option
  • Will take up a lot of space

Key specs

  •  Dimensions: Length of the whole construction: 197cm; Mini ball pit: 57 x 45 x 30 cm 
  • Weight: Not specified
  • No. of balls included: 100
  • Age suitable for: 1 year plus

What age is good for a ball pit?

Guidance states that public ball pits aren’t suitable for children under 10-months-old, but if you’re planning on having one at home, some are designed to be suitable for children from as young as six months. All products vary, however, so always check the manufacturer’s guidelines and never leave your child unattended during playtime.

How many balls are needed for a baby ball pit?

This will depend on many factors such as the size of the ball pit and the age of your child. As a rough guide, experts suggest filling it a quarter of the height for little ones that are sitting and half of the height for those that can stand.

What plastic balls do I buy for a ball pit?

Argos and Amazon are great places to start for buying balls to fit your pit if it doesn’t already come with them. Do check that they are made from non-toxic material and comply with health and safety standards.

Are ball pits safe for toddlers?

Ball pits are a great way for toddlers to expend some energy and if you’re creative you can incorporate plenty of activities and imaginative play to further stimulate and engage them. Remember toddlers often exceed our expectations when it comes to climbing so, whilst a high-sided pit may feel like a safe vessel to keep them contained, it’s more than likely they’ll find a way out so never leave your little one unsupervised.

How to choose a ball pit for kids

Budget

If you just want something that you’re going to get out on the odd rainy day or you have a little one who just wants to sit in the middle of it and play, then a cheaper option will do the job. However, if you have a toddler who’s going to be diving in and out and you know it’s going to be well played with then you may need to spend a little more.

Added extras

Consider what your child enjoys and what you want them to get out of the ball pit before making a purchase. A child who likes to move around a lot may be more suited to one of the ball pits which forms part of an obstacle course or activity station, whilst a child not yet crawling may enjoy some added sensory attachments to play with when sitting. 

Storage

If you’re lucky enough to have a larger play space then you can choose to get something that will be a permanent feature of the room. However, if you’re a bit more pushed for space, you’ll probably want to bring out the pit from time to time and store it away when not in use. If this is the case, look for something that can be easily folded away and comes with a storage bag. 

How often should ball pits be cleaned?

This will all depend on how often the pit is used. Experts recommend cleaning at-home pits every three to six months and the balls every two to three uses. If you make sure your child doesn’t take food or drinks in the pit with them and you wash their hands after snack and meal times you may need to clean a little less often.

What is the best way to clean a ball pit?

Some of our recommended pits come with removable, machine-washable fabric covers. If not, simply remove the balls and wipe the pit down with warm soapy water or mild disinfectant and leave to dry.

When it comes to the balls, many parents recommended popping them in the bath with some washing-up liquid or mild disinfectant. If you have used your bath for cleaning, make sure you give it a thorough rinse out, particularly if it's being used by your little one.

When it comes to cleaning both the pit and the balls, avoid any harsh chemicals and always make sure everything is dried before use.

How we chose the best ball pits for babies

Recommendations from real Mumsnet users

Nothing will give you a better sense of whether something is worth buying than an honest, unbiased review from a real parent. That’s why our first port of call is always the Mumsnet forums where we trawl the Talk boards to find out recommendations and top tips from the Mumsnet users. 

Expert opinions

To help us whittle down our shortlisted products, we also took on board the top tips and advice from experts to ensure what we were recommending was fit for purpose and safe to use.

Authentic customer reviews

Finally, we looked at the ball pits that were ranking highly on bestseller lists and noted those that had first-class reviews on retailer sites. We took into account what reviewers were saying regarding value for money, longevity and, most important of all, whether the little ones they were purchased for enjoyed playing in them.

Why you should trust us 

Nothing beats the feeling of making a purchase that feels worth it. Something that will keep little ones entertained whilst offering a safe space to play in is sometimes tricky to find. That’s why we’ve worked hard to bring you a range of ball pits that children and parents will love. We do sometimes earn revenue through affiliate (click-to-buy) links in our articles. This helps us fund more helpful articles like this one.

Main image credit: Bright Starts.

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