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The best baby changing mats for safe and comfortable nappy changes

A changing mat can make all the difference at nappy changing time. Here’s our pick of the best baby changing mats.

By Louise Baty | Last updated May 6, 2022

Best changing mats

If sleepy newborn cuddles and gummy smiles come top of the ‘fun times’ list of early parenting, nappy changes are probably right down at the bottom (pun intended). But while nappy changing might seem like yet another arduous task to get through several times a day when your baby is tiny, maybe it’s time to think a little differently. 

Experts say that nappy changes can actually be a time to treasure. Perhaps not those fraught 3am nappy changes when it feels like you’re drowning in the brown stuff when all you really want to do is go back to bed. But, during less stressful nappy changes, it’s great to pause and make the most of that one-on-one time with your little one. Take the opportunity to  bond with your baby as you change them - the NHS says that it can help with their development if you chat, pull faces and smile and laugh with their baby during nappy changes. Also, make sure to avoid showing disgust at the contents of the nappy because, after all, poo and wee are just part of life.

The NHS also recommends being well prepared for nappy changes by assembling an essential changing kit, which can include:

If you’re wondering where exactly to change your baby, the NHS says that the safest place is on a changing mat on the floor. 

There are all sorts of changing mats available in various shapes and designs, as well as options designed for swimming and travel. We know how overwhelming it can be to choose the right baby equipment so we've done the legwork for you and chosen the mats that we think will suit every occasion and every baby, all of which are suitable from birth. 

How we chose our recommendations

Recommendations from real parents

Before we recommend new products, we always ask our trusted Mumsnet users, of which there are more than 7 million each month. That’s an awful lot of honest, impartial advice, don’t you think? 

Expert guidance

We always ensure our information represents the latest recommendations from experts so that you can rely on it before you make your choice. We also research each product thoroughly to ensure it follows the latest expert advice and stands up to testing. Here we consulted reputable sources including the NHS.

Consumer feedback

We also scour the internet, leaving no stone unturned to check out real reviews from customers who have bought the products themselves and given both positive and negative feedback. 

Celebrated best products

Finally, we check to see which products have won industry awards and received recognition from trusted sources and feed this into our analysis too.

Here’s our guide to the best baby changing mats of 2022 for your child’s nursery or to use around the house as and when you need it.

Mumsnet HQ's Best Buys at a Glance

What are the best baby changing mats?

1. Best overall changing mat: Mama Shack Banana Leaf Anti Roll Changing Mat

Mama Shack Banana Leaf Anti Roll Changing Mat

Price: £30 | Buy now from Kidly

“My husband did a surprise order to Mama Shack, I love their patterns. He ordered a changing mat which we had agreed we needed to get but then he also got a blanket and splash mat, they weren't on our to get list but look great!” LexiM

Award-winning Mama Shack may be a relatively new name on the nursery equipment market but it’s making big waves thanks to its gorgeous prints and functional designs. In fact, style-conscious Mumsnetters have been raving about the company’s bright and customisable options for some time.

Founder Danielle started the company after failing to find a funky changing mat for a pregnant friend. The result is a large range of eye-catching, modern prints and colours which will add style to any nursery. 

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

There are plenty of prints to choose from and the range has now extended to matching blankets and muslin sheets too - perfect if you fancy a bit of matchy matchy in your baby’s room. A changing mat this pretty would make a rgreat gift for a new mum too. Of course, you don’t get style like this at a snip. Weighed-up alongside the other wedge anti-roll changing mat on our list, the East Coast Nursery Ltd ABC Wedge Changing Mat, this changing mat is pricey. In fact, it’s double the price. But if you want the Mama Shack look without the hefty bill, you can opt for the more basic design in the same print for £18.

Key specs

  • Machine-washable: No
  • Size: 79 × 45cm

Pros

  • Gorgeous designs
  • Anti-roll design

Cons

  • More expensive than basic changing mats

2. Best budget changing mat: East Coast Nursery Ltd Changing Mat Grey Stars, Multi

_East Coast Nursery Ltd Changing Mat Grey Stars, Multi

Price: £8 | Buy now from Amazon

“Buy a cheap padded one with a wipe clean surface.” KingofDinobots

If you have a lot of baby equipment to buy, including the big ticket items such as a crib, moses basket or cot, you might want to save money when it comes to the less, ahem, exciting items. Also, you may well not fancy shelling out for something you’ll be wiping pee off on a regular basis and if that’s the case, this purse-friendly changing mat from East Coast might just hit the spot.

There are no frills or showstopping design features. But you may well be perfectly fine with that. This low key, padded baby change mat has an attractive neutral star print which will fit with most home decor. For just £7.99, you won’t feel that the  East Coast Nursery Ltd Changing Mat Grey Stars, Multi owes you anything by the time your baby is ready for a potty. 

You could even buy more than one to have in your key nappy changing areas so you’re not dashing about to gather everything together when your baby’s lower half starts to whiff.

This basic change mat probably isn’t quite as comfy as the Shnuggle Squishy Changing Mat or as snazzy as the Mama Shack Banana Leaf Anti Roll Changing Mat. However, it will do the job and leave you with cash to spend on other items for your baby. 

Key specs

  • Machine washable: no, wipe clean only 
  • Size: 

Pros

  • Reasonably priced
  • Attractive neutral print 

Cons

  • More basic than some other change mats on the market

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

Shnuggle Squishy Changing Mat

Price: £44 | Buy now from Amazon

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

Some newborns find lying on a cold, plastic changing mat an unpleasant experience - and, to be fair, who would blame them?  In comparison to the average changing mat, the Shnuggle Squishy offers an altogether cosier nappy change surface. Constructed from a slab of soft, non-toxic foam, it’s warmer on a baby’s delicate skin than other change mats which should lead to a more relaxing nappy change for your little one and you. 

As there’s no need to cover the mat with a towel or muslin, as you may find necessary with more basic changing mats, buying this high-end changing mat should reduce your washing pile and stop you spending money on extra towels. It’s a good job really, considering that the Shnuggle Squishy is heaps more expensive than the other changing mats in our round-up.

Another clever design element is that the changing mat is slightly angled, which helps colicky or snuffly babies feel happier and also means unexpected pee runs downwards rather than up and into their hair.

Because the Shnuggle Squishy Changing Mat is waterproof and made from one piece of foam, with no nooks and crannies, it’s easy to clean. Raised sides prevent your baby from rolling off as they grow. It’s clear a lot of thought has gone into the Shnuggle's design and reviews say that it lasts well so it should see you through as many changes, and babies, as required.

Key specs

  • Machine-washable: No – wash with warm soapy water and a soft sponge
  • Size: 70 × 46 × 10cm

Pros

  • Soft and comfortable for baby
  • Angled design with raised sides

Cons

  • Expensive

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

Jojo Maman Bebe changing mat

Price: £18 | Buy now from JoJo Maman Bébé

“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!” BrioLover

Mumsnetters love nothing more than a multi-tasking product and this fold-up genius from JoJo Maman Bébé is a favourite on our boards, with good reason. Half changing mat, half nappy bag, it does both jobs rather brilliantly. 

A generously-sized changing mat with a pocket for nappies and nappy sacks,  it also offers a baby wipes compartment. Once your baby is clean and dry again, you can simply fold up the mat into a neat pouch. This travel changing mat is ideal for helping keep all your essentials in one place whether you’re out and about or just at home. Anything that makes life easier during the tired fog of early parenthood is a winner in our books.

Granted, the JoJo Maman Bébé Deluxe Portable Changing Mat isn’t padded so won’t be as supportive as the uber comfy Shnuggle Squishy. But it should be comfortable enough for your little one, especially if you’re only planning to use it for days out. 

One drawback - it’s made of wipe-clean fabric rather than being machine washable. But it’s well designed, with the bottom half of the mat folding out wider to give you more ‘work space’ in the nappy area.  In navy and white stripes, it looks pretty swish and a handy velcro tag allows you to attach it to your buggy.

Key specs

  • Machine-washable: No
  • Size: 60 × 58cm

Pros

  • Great for travel and days out
  • Dual purpose change mat and nappy bag

Cons

  • Wipe clean only 

5. Best waterproof changing mat: Bambino Mio Swim Travel Mat

Price: £12 | Buy now from Amazon

“Get a splash mat changing mat for the floor as it's safer.” babydreamer1

Whoever coined the phrase ‘as slippery as an eel’ has clearly never taken a wriggly baby to a swimming pool. What you really need after a 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.

Bambino Mio have produced a roll and fold Swim Travel Mat made from 3mm thick neoprene - the sort of a synthetic rubber used to make wetsuits. This helps your baby retain heat to stop them catching a chill after being in 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. When you’re all changed and ready to go, this non-slip travel swim chang mat rolls up and slips easily into a swim bag, ready for next time.

Annoyingly, it can only be hand washed rather than flung in a washing machine, which adds extra faff to proceedings. The good news is that it’s a bargain at just over a tenner.

Key specs

  • Machine-washable: No, handwash only
  • Size: 58 × 30cm

Pros

  • Reasonably priced
  • Waterproof and easy to roll up and store

Cons

  • Can’t be machine washed

6. Best changing mat with sides: East Coast Nursery Ltd ABC Wedge Changing Mat

Price: £15 | Buy now from Amazon

“I can honestly say just get one which is nicely padded and the ones with sloping sides are handy when they start rolling. They're called 'wedge' shaped.” Cherrybakewellard

Half the price of the other wedge changing matson our list, the Mama Shack Anti-Roll Changing Mat and the The Gilded Bird Wedge w/Raised Sides Baby Changing Mat, the East Coast Nursery Ltd ABC Wedge Changing Mat is ideal if you’re looking for an anti-roll mat that won’t break the bank.

This padded foam changing mat is designed with wedge shaped sides to help your newborn feel more secure during nappy changes and to prevent an older baby rolling off altogether 

Made from phthalate free PVC and filled with foam, this comfortable change mat is waterproof and wipe-clean. Suitable from birth, it features a grey and white alphabet print which should fit nicely into any modern nursery. It’s a great option and fantastic value for the price. 

Key Features

  • Machine washable: no, wipe clean only
  • Size: 69 x 45 x 9.5 cm

Pros

  • Great value
  • Anti-roll wedge design

Cons

  • Only one print design available

7. Best portable changing mat: Bambino Mio Changing Mat

Price: £13 | Buy now from Amazon 

If you want an easy-to-carry changing mat, compact enough to stash away in a changing bag, the Bambino Mio Changing Mat might be what you’re looking for. 

Slim and lightweight, the change mat is made from super soft quilted fabric which provides a cosy changing surface for your baby. It’s super easy to handle - simply unfold it for use and then fold it back up and secure with a hook and loop fastening. 

There’s an absorbent inner pad to soak up any little leaks. Of course, one disadvantage of this nappy change mat being washable rather than wipe-clean is that you will need to wash it thoroughly after use to ensure that it’s really clean. Thankfully, it can be machine washed and tumble dried so it’s ready for the next use. 

It’s more than double the price of the other foldable changing mat in our round-up, the bargainous  Lekebaby Foldable Travel Changing Mat Portable Baby Change Mat.  

However, it’s still such great value, you might consider buying a spare change mat so that you’ll always have one ready and raring to go. You’re certainly spoilt for choice - this foldable changing mat comes in a variety of eye-catching prints to suit all tastes including Safari Spots, Cute Fruit and Savanna Stripes. 

Key Specs

  • Machine washable: yes
  • Size: 4 x 15 x 21 cm 

Pros

  • Compact and easy to carry
  • Lots of print choice

Cons

  • Will need machine washing to clean up spills 

8. Best high sided changing mat: The Gilded Bird Wedge w/Raised Sides Baby Changing Mat

Price: £32 | Buy now from Amazon

“I've just spent £30 on a beautiful one from the gilded bird - she's my third baby...I bought cheap for DC1 & 2 . They spend a lot of time on changing mats and I figured it'll be nice to have a good quality anti roll one this time round....the cheap ones end up splitting I found over time.” ElleyBear13

If you like the glam prints emblazoned across Mama Shack products, you’re sure to also love the hand drawn designs which feature on The Gilded Bird Wedge w/Raised Sides Baby Changing Mat . This wipeable, extra thick wedge baby change mat will raise the style stakes of your baby’s nursery - and then some.

This mat is only slightly more expensive than the Mama Shack Banana Leaf Anti Roll Changing Mat, depending on which print you choose. There are plenty of print designs to deliberate over, including the dreamy Balloon Festival, the fun Giraffe or the subtle Linen Leaves along with many more. 

Featuring an extra thick lay area - 8am at its thickest point - it has raised sides for support and safety, this changing mat is made and designed in the UK. Made from wipeable, durable, non-toxic PVC, which the manufacturer promises is ‘made to last endless bum changes!’ Music to any parent’s ears…

Key specs

  • Machine washable: no, wipe-clean only 
  • Size: 9cm x 44cm x 8cm 

Pros

  • Beautiful designs
  • Raised side for comfort and support

Cons

  • Expensive in comparison to other change mats

9. Best foldable changing mat: Lekebaby Foldable Travel Changing Mat Portable Baby Change Mat, Grey

Price: £6 | Buy now from Amazon

A brilliant budget travel changing mat, the Lekebaby Foldable Travel Changing Mat Portable Baby Change Mat, Grey is a no frills, no fuss type of mat - which may be exactly what you need. Lightweight and slim, it’s ideal for slinging in your changing bag on days out and holidays. 

Padded with foam to provide a comfortable changing surface for your baby, it’s spacious too - to allow for growing room so it will fit your baby for a good while. When you’ve finished changing your baby, you can fold the mat up again to go back in your bag. 

Made with baby safe & durable fabric, free from BPA, latex and PVC, this changing mat is waterproof and wipe-clean but can also go in the washing machine - we love a product with plenty of cleaning options! 

We’ll be honest - it’s nowhere near as eye-catching or fun as its closest equivalent products in our round-up; the Bambino Mio Changing Mat or the JoJo Maman Bébé Deluxe Portable Changing Mat. However,  it’s considerably cheaper than both those changing mats and when you have a ton of new kit to buy, price point is the most important point to consider. 

Key specs

  • Machine washable: Yes
  • Size: 70 x 41cm when unfolded

Pros

  • Spacious with plenty of growing room
  • Budget friendly

Cons

  • Not as stylish as other foldable change mats

10. Best anti-bacterial changing mat: Splash About Anti-Bacterial Changing Mat

Price: £12 | Buy now from Amazon

“..you can get neoprene swim changing mats that are good presuming [the] baby won't roll away!” JessicaPeach

An ideal solution to changing your baby after a swim, the Splash About Anti-Bacterial Changing Mat is an award-winning changing mat made from neoprene with anti-slip backing. 

Neoprene is the fabric used to make wetsuits and it’s designed to keep your baby warm, dry and safe from dirty changing room floors and changing tables. 

This swimming changing mat does the same job as the Bambino Mio Swim Travel Mat, but it’s slightly thinner, at 1mm thickness. Naturally anti-bacterial, neoprene also dries quickly. This waterproof change mat also rolls up to fit into a swim kit bag. If you like lots of choice, you’ll be happy with the colour choice on offer with the Splash About Anti-Bacterial Changing Mat - it comes in Navy Yellow, Blue Turquoise, Pink Candy and Yellow Navy. 

The only downside is that this swimming change mat can’t be machine washed - it has to be hand washed in warm soapy water. Some reviewers say that they wish it was slightly more spacious but it should be large enough to house one baby - even if they’re a particularly squirmy one.

Key specs

  • Machine washable: no, hand wash only 
  • Size: 60cm x 40cm 

Pros

  • Naturally anti-bacterial, quick dry fabric
  • Great choice of colours

Cons

  • Hand wash only 

What is the best overall changing mat for babies?

The best overall changing mat for babies is the super chic and practical Mama Shack Banana Leaf Anti Roll Changing Mat with wedged sides for support and safety and oodles of style factor too. 

What should I look for in a changing mat?

Where can I put it? – Some mats aren’t suitable for use on a raised surface such as a dresser or nappy changing table. Check the product descriptions before you buy. 

Is it the right size? – As a general rule, spacious changing mats are better because they’ll allow for growing room. However, for days out and holidays, you are more likely to want a compact, foldable changing mat that will fit into a bag or under your buggy. If you’re planning to placing your mat on a changing table or dresser, check the measurements to ensure it fits. 

How do I clean it? – When a product is doing a messy, dirty job, it’s essential that it can be cleaned easily and frequently. Many mats can be wiped cleaned with a disinfectant spray or wipe. Fabric changing mats are more likely to absorb leaks and should be machine washable to ensure that they can be properly cleaned between uses. If you choose a fabric changing mat, you may need to consider purchasing two so that you always have one at your disposal while the other is in the wash.

Can it be transported easily? – If you are in the market for a travel changing mat, you’re likely to want a compact, lightweight foldable style. If you’re looking for a padded changing mat for your home, you may want to consider how easy it is to carry around your house between rooms where you’ll use it most. 

How expensive is it? To avoid carrying a mat around your home between changes, you may consider invest in more than one changing mat - one for upstairs and one for downstairs, perhaps? You may also want to buy a separate portable mat for days out. If this is the case, you may want to look at cheaper options that will allow you to purchase more than one mat within your budget. If you can only invest in one changing mat, some compact foldable change mats are fine to use at home and work well as space saver mats too..

Does it offer special features? These days, many change mats are decorated with beautiful printed artwork. Some offer functional design features such as anti-roll wedge sides, which can be really useful, especially if you have a particularly wriggly baby. But the fact of the matter is that special features often add expense so if your budget is tight, you may well find that a basic change mat does the job perfectly well. 

Is a changing mat necessary?

A changing mat isn’t necessary and the NHS advises that you can use a changing mat or a towel for nappy changes. However, whilst a towel may be comfortable for your baby, it is likely to absorb leaks and spills and will need machine washing between uses. For that reason, a wipe-clean, waterproof padded changing mat is likely to make your life easier in the early weeks and months of your baby’s life as well as reducing your washing pile and keeping other surfaces in your home - such as your carpets, if you tend to change your baby on the floor as the NHS advises is the safest way.

Are PVC changing mats safe?

Polyvinyl chloride – or PVC - contains chemical additives including phthalates, lead, cadmium, and/or organotins, which can be harmful to health in high doses, look for changing mats which are labelled as being made from non-toxic PVC or eco-friendly vinyl, free from phthalates and other toxins.

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