10 best baby changing mats

24 March 2021

best changing mat

A decent changing mat or changing pad can make all the difference at nappy changing time. Here’s our pick of the best changing mats for babies.

Nappy changing might seem like just another task to get through several times a day, but it’s actually a great opportunity to bond with your baby – with lots of eye contact, plenty of time for them to listen to your voice and make noises back to you, and maybe even a baby massage.

All this might sound like a world away if your baby screams through nappy changing, so finding a changing mat that can help to make it a more pleasant experience for you and your baby is worth investing in.

There are all sorts of changing mats available in various shapes and designs, as well as options designed for travel, swimming and more. So we've done the legwork for you and chosen the mats that we think will suit every occasion – and every baby.

Here are the 10 best baby changing mats.

1. Best all-round changing mat: John Lewis & Partners Changing Mat

“The John Lewis standard ones are good. Bigger than average.”

“I really like the John Lewis one with raised edges. I bought it when pregnant with my first as I thought it would be reassuring for my husband with zero baby experience. It's really well padded too.”

1. Best all-round changing mat: John Lewis & Partners Changing Mat

John Lewis changing mats have been a staple on new baby shopping lists for years and, according to Mumsnetters, they do their job very well.

The John Lewis & Partners Changing Mat is available in a range of neutral shades that will suit any nursery or living room scheme if you plan to leave it lying about, but we particularly like this tasteful-but-sweet elephant design, which is also available across a range of John Lewis’s baby products.

This mat is sturdy, but with more than enough squish, and doesn’t split and fade within months like many changing mats do. It’s a comfy surface for your baby, with raised sides to help them to stay put, and the phthalate-free PVC cover is easy to keep clean.

It'll come as no surprise that there are no bells and whistles here, but if what you want is a good-quality changing mat for everyday use that will also stand the test of time, then you can’t go far wrong with this.

John Lewis & Partners also offers a cheaper print-free version for just £6.

Need to know

  • Machine-washable: No – instead, wipe clean with warm water (no abrasive cleaners)
  • Size: 77 × 46.5 × 5cm
  • Retailers: John Lewis & Partners

2. Best changing mat for newborns: Shnuggle Squishy Changing Mat

“We love ours, especially when the little one pees mid-change. The mat is angled, so it drains down and keeps them dry.”

2. Best changing mat for newborns: Shnuggle Squishy Changing Mat

A little bit different to the average changing mat, the Shnuggle Squishy offers a more comfy, cosy nappy change for your baby.

Made from a slab of soft and squishy premium foam that's warmer on a baby’s skin than other change mats, it’s non-toxic and also waterproof to withstand anything you – or, more likely, your baby – can throw at it.

Newborns who find being laid on a cold changing mat a bit of a shock might find this a more relaxing experience and there’s no need to lay a towel or cover on it first, saving you extra washing. It also makes a great spot for a baby massage.

The Schnuggle is slightly angled, which helps colicky babies stay happy and means any errant wees run down towards their feet where they can easily be mopped up, rather than up and into their hair.

Because it’s waterproof and made from one piece of foam, with no nooks and crannies, it’s really easy to clean. The raised sides also prevent a baby from rolling off as they grow.

It’s clear a lot of thought has gone into the Shnuggle's design, making it well worth the price tag, and reviews say that it lasts really well so should see you through as many changes (and babies) as you need it to.

Need to know

  • Machine-washable: No – wash with warm soapy water and a soft sponge
  • Size: 70 × 46 × 10cm
  • Retailers: Shnuggle, Amazon, John Lewis & Partners, Mamas & Papas, Uber Kids and Kiddies Kingdom

3. Best budget changing mat: Red Kite Changing Mat

3. Best budget changing mat: Red Kite Changing Mat

If you’re of the opinion that, since you’ll be scraping poo off it regularly, you’re not in the market for anything fancy, this budget changing mat from Red Kite is a great choice.

No frills, no fuss, but perfectly serviceable and pleasant looking with its neutral clouds design, at just £6 you won’t feel like the Red Kite Changing Mat owes you anything by the time your baby's potty training.

At this price, you could also buy one for upstairs and one for downstairs so that you're not dashing about at nappy-change time.

For a more travel-friendly option, we also love the Red Kite On-The-Go Travel Changing Mat.

Need to know

  • Machine-washable: No – sponge-clean with mild detergent solution or an anti-bacterial wipe
  • Size: 76 × 48 × 3.5cm
  • Retailers: ASDA

Price: £6

Buy now from ASDA

4. Best travel changing mat: JoJo Maman Bébé Deluxe Portable Changing Mat

“We were given a fold-up changing mat with compartments for wipes and nappies from JoJo Maman Bébé. It was used every single day when DS2 was little, and now is always in the changing bag. I have no idea how I survived without it for DS1!”

4. Best travel changing mat: JoJo Maman Bébé Deluxe Portable Changing Mat

This fold-up genius from JoJo Maman Bébé is half changing mat, half nappy bag.

A generously-sized changing mat with a pocket for nappies and nappy sacks, plus a special baby wipes compartment, folds up into a neat pouch so you always have everything you need to hand whether you're at home or on the go.

It’s made of wipe-clean fabric and, while it’s not padded, is comfortable enough for babies. We also like that the bottom half folds out a little bigger to give you more work space in the nappy area.

Need to know

  • Machine-washable: No
  • Size: 60 × 58cm
  • Retailers: JoJo Maman Bébé

5. Best luxury changing mat: Mamas & Papas Luxury Changing Mattress

“I had many cheap mats, but they kept on splitting at the seams every few months. We then invested in a Mamas & Papas one and haven't had an issue in over a year. It's soft, warm and large. It's one I'd definitely invest in again.”

5. Best luxury changing mat: Mamas & Papas Luxury Changing Mattress

If you’re looking for something a bit swish for the nursery, look no further than this cute and tasteful changing mattress from Mamas & Papas.

A soft liner, cloud-shaped detachable fabric pillow and removable towelling insert makes this changing mat really comfy and inviting for babies. The pillow gently cushions a baby's head as you change them, while the lining means that there's no chilly plastic touching their back.

You can buy additional liners for when the original one is in the wash and other nursery items from the range are also available to match.

Need to know

  • Machine-washable: Yes
  • Size: 80 × 46 × 4cm
  • Retailers: Mamas & Papas, Amazon, Boots and Very

6. Best inflatable changing mat: IKEA Skötsam Babycare Mat

“IKEA does an inflatable changing mat and you can buy washable covers for it. Nice and warm for your newborn, and you can dump the covers later and just use the wipeable surface.”

6. Best inflatable changing mat: IKEA Skötsam Babycare Mat

IKEA does it again, with a simple, well-priced baby product in an understated style that does all you need it to do and more.

A squishy base provides a comfy spot for your baby during nappy changing, and four inflatable sides can be blown up to help keep her where she should be.

Great for throwing in your suitcase for holidays (deflated, of course), you can also buy washable covers for the Skötsam if you prefer your baby to be lying on something warmer.

And, in case you were wondering, this changing mat fits all IKEA changing tables too.

Need to know

  • Machine-washable: No, but the covers are
  • Size: 80 × 53 × 2cm
  • Retailers: IKEA

Price: £5 (covers also £5 each)

Buy now from IKEA

7. Best wedge changing mat: John Lewis & Partners Wedge Changing Mat

“Get yourself a plastic one that you can wipe down. John Lewis do a wedge one with raised sides, which I found really useful. It's very secure for when they start to roll over.”

7. Best wedge changing mat: John Lewis & Partners Wedge Changing Mat

Wedge-shaped changing mats, which help stop a baby from rolling so much, are a real help if you have a particularly wriggly child.

The Wedge Changing Mat from John Lewis & Partners is a really good height on the sides thanks to deeper cushioning around the edges, which keeps your baby positioned in the middle of the mat as you change them. This also means that there are no tricky corners to clean later on.

The phthalate-free PVC cover is easy to wipe down after each use, the foam feels nice and thick, and the neutral grey stars design would look sweet but smart in any nursery. This mat is also available in plain white if you prefer.

Need to know

  • Machine-washable: No
  • Size: 69 × 45 × 9cm
  • Retailers: John Lewis & Partners

8. Best portable changing mat: Mabel + Fox Travel Changing Mat

8. Best portable changing mat: Mabel + Fox Travel Changing Mat

We never thought we’d yearn to possess a changing mat quite so much, but this stylish Mabel + Fox mat with its distinctive banana leaf print (although others also available) has changed our minds.

It’s very lightweight and, at only 8mm thick, folds easily into four to be moved around the house or popped into a changing bag when you’re going out. You can also use it in an eco-friendly changing basket.

The mat can be wiped down really easily as it's made from non-toxic, waterproof PVC.

Need to know

  • Machine-washable: No
  • Size: 60 × 32cm
  • Retailers: Mabel + Fox and Natural Baby Shower

Price: £15.99

Buy now from Mabel + Fox

9. Best patterned change mat: Mama Shack Printed Changing Mat

“Loads of parents will say that you just need a changing mat that's easy to clean. But if it looks great at the same time, I'm all for it!”

9. Best patterned change mat: Mama Shack Printed Changing Mat

A changing mat is an easy way to add a splash of drama or colour to a nursery. After all, who said utilitarian items have to be sensible?

We love the various changing mat prints from Mama Shack (blankets and muslin sheets are also available in these patterns, incidentally), and Mumsnetters have been raving about the company’s bright and customisable options for some time.

Mama Shack's Changing Mat is made from phthalate-free PVC and is waterproof for easy cleaning. The foam inside is thick and supportive, and the raised sides discourage your baby from rolling, helping to contain any nappy changing accidents too.

Need to know

  • Machine-washable: No
  • Size: 79 × 45cm
  • Retailers: Mama Shack

Price: £18

Buy now from Mama Shack

10. Best changing mat for swimming: Bambino Mio Swim Travel Mat

“Get a splash changing mat for the changing room floor as it's safer.”

10. Best changing mat for swimming: Bambino Mio Swim Travel Mat

Whoever coined the phrase ‘as slippery as an eel’ has clearly never taken a baby swimming. What you really need post-swimming lesson is somewhere safe to pop your baby while you get changed, as well as somewhere clean to change them out of their swim nappy.

This roll and fold Swim Travel Mat from Bambino Mio pops neatly into your swimming bag and is made of three-millimetre-thick neoprene, which helps your baby to retain heat, stopping them from getting shivery when they get out of the pool.

It’s 100% waterproof so won’t soak up water from the changing room floor, and the top is anti-stick, so it’s easy to shake sand off if you're at the beach. The underside is also rubberised to minimise movement on hard surfaces.

Need to know

  • Machine-washable: No, it's handwash only
  • Size: 58 × 30cm
  • Retailers: Bambino Mio and Amazon

Do I need a changing mat?

Like most baby items, a changing mat is not an absolute must. Some parents simply put a towel or muslin down onto the floor or changing table to change their baby.

However, a proper changing mat is more hygienic, particularly if there’s an unexpected wee (or more) during nappy changing. It also offers comfort and support for your baby, which can make nappy changing a more pleasant experience and give new parents some added confidence.

What size should a changing mat be?

Changing mats inevitably differ in size, but the average size is around 70 × 45cm.

The main thing to ensure is that, if you have a particular spot in mind for your changing mat (e.g a changing table), it fits well. If it’s too big and sits above ground, it can be dangerous, especially if your baby rolls too close to the edge.

Travel changing mats tend to be smaller in size.

What is the best changing mat for babies?

There are many types of changing mat available and much of it is down to personal preference.

Wedge changing mats are popular as they are good for preventing a baby from rolling around – though obviously you should never leave your baby unattended on a high surface – and are easy to clean. Some mats have a cover or liner for added warmth and comfort.

If you need something for out and about, a dedicated travel changing mat is best as it's lightweight and will fold up really small.

We think that the John Lewis & Partners Changing Mat is the best all-round changing mat for most families. The JoJo Maman Bébé Deluxe Portable Changing Mat is a good travel-friendly option.

How much are baby changing mats?

Changing mat prices vary from around £5 to £50 and beyond, depending how fancy you want to get.

Spending £10 to £15 should ensure you get a budget-friendly product sturdy enough to go the distance.

What should I look for in a baby changing mat?

First, be sure that your chosen changing mat will fit wherever you need it to go – particularly if it’s for a changing station or cot top changer.

Beyond that, look for good-quality materials and a cover that won’t split or crack. The thicker the foam base, the comfier it will be for your baby to lie on. Look for other comfort-enhancers, like covers or inserts, if you prefer your baby laying on something a little warmer than plastic.

Phthalate-free covers are a plus, as your baby will spend a lot of time lying on the mat. We'd also recommend a changing mat with a rubberised or textured base to stop it from slipping about.

In terms of practicality, waterproof and wipe-clean covers are useful. If covers need washing, make sure they’re machine-washable as you’ll be washing them regularly.

Avoid styles that have narrow crevices and corners. Once poo hits, you’ll have trouble shifting it and no one likes a cleaning job that involves bodily fluids and cocktail sticks. Wedge changing mats are a particularly useful solution as they are easy to clean.

Do wedge changing mats stop a baby rolling off?

Wedge changing mats definitely make it harder for a baby to roll around, but a determined roller will eventually find a means.

So, while, they’re certainly a big help in the battle against the roll, you shouldn't rely on them. Always stay with your baby when they're on the changing mat, especially if it’s not on the floor.

Do I need a changing mat cover?

No, it’s not necessary. Plastic is easier to wipe down. But if your baby is very sensitive to the cold, you might want to consider a changing mat with a soft fabric cover.

How to clean a changing mat

Always check the manufacturer’s instructions before cleaning your changing mat. Most PVC-covered mats wipe clean with soap and warm water or an anti-bacterial spray or baby wipes.

A quick wipe down after a nappy change is usually enough, but it’s worth giving your mat a thorough clean each week to make sure you’ve got rid of any lurking germs.

Do I need a baby changing station?

If you suffer from back pain or are having a c-section and know getting up and down from the floor will be tricky, it will be helpful to have somewhere to change your baby at waist height.

A changing unit, like this one from My Child, is handy in those circumstances, but they do take up space. You could consider a cot top changer (a tray that fits over your cot) or use a table or chest of drawers.

If you don’t need to be changing your baby at waist height, you can simply do it on the bed or the floor, which is safest anyway.

How we chose our recommendations

We know that parents are the real experts, so we first looked at which changing mats Mumsnetters were recommending – and not recommending.

We also trawled the internet for consumer reviews before cross-referencing these with recommendations from reputable review websites, such as Which?.

Once we collated all that information, we drew up a list of 10 changing mats that we felt offered something for every lifestyle, occasion and budget.

Why you should trust us

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