When it comes to our children, we want nothing but the best. This is why young parents spent more time and more attention caring for their toddlers. At a young age, children simply demand more attention from their parents. However, sometimes, time can be a very scarce resource and parents use whatever means available to them to ensure that the child is safe even when not supervised for a little as 5 minutes. A camera, baby monitor, a baby chair with a harness and many other products, help ensure that the baby is safe during key moments. One of the more accessible accessories is a baby play yard. They have been around long before baby monitors and cameras were a thing and they are still popular to this date.
A baby play yard is quite similar to a playpen. Some of them are even made to be easy to pack for travel. They may include a carrying case or even have wheels that make them easy to move around. Portability is just as important as the size of a play yard since they can vary a bit. Since they are extremely popular amongst parents, after 2013, baby play yards have been subject of regulation in terms of structural integrity, weight they can support and the material from which they can be made. There are several others key features that may need to be detailed but we will leave those for the end. For now, let’s jump right into or list of recommendations for the top 10 best baby play yards in 2018.
Best Baby Play Yards in 2018
Table of Contents
Best Baby Play Yards in 2018
- 10. Baby Playpen Kids Activity Centre Safety Play Yard Home
- 9. Baby Care Play Mat Playpen
- 8. Costzon New Fireplace Fence Baby Safety Play Yard
- 7. Evenflo Versatile Play Yard
- 6. North States Superyard Ultimate Play Yard
- 5. Best Choice Products Baby Playpen Kids 8 Panel Safety Play Center
- 4. North States Superyard 3-in-1 Metal Gate
- 3. Summer Infant 6-Panel PlaySafe Playard
- 2. Summer Infant Pop N’ Play Portable Playard
- 1. North States Superyard Colorplay 8 Panel Playard
- What To Look For When Searching For A Good Baby Play Yard
10. Baby Playpen Kids Activity Centre Safety Play Yard Home
The Baby Playpen play yard offers a good amount of safety and enjoyment for a toddler for a rather decent price tag. It is made entirely out of safe plastic material and comes with rubber feet that prevent it from slipping on various types of surfaces. The model is made out of individual walls that fit together. This makes it possible to make the play pen larger or smaller or even arrange it in a different shape. It has a small door and it is very easy to assemble.
- Easy to assemble
- Size and shape are easy to adjust
- Rubber feet to prevent it from moving around
- Door locking mechanism not well done
There is a slight movement of the gate. This causes the locking mechanism to move around and simply unlock the door. It takes a bit of shaking for the door to open and some children might be able to get outside because of this issue. Putting an obstacle on the outside of the door should prevent the door from opening.
9. Baby Care Play Mat Playpen
Baby Care play mat playpen is a good pick for parents that need something compact and affordable. It offers an enclosed play surface of 31.6 square feet and it is made out of 10 individual walls that fit securely together. Each wall is made out of a plastic material that is BPA free, lead-free and formaldehyde free. The playpen includes also one wall with a small door that is easy to lock and rubberized feet to keep the walls properly in place.
- 10 easy to assemble walls
- Secure door with a safety lock
- Made out of a safe plastic material
- Can only be arranged in a rectangular shape
The model uses yellow braces to keep the panels together. Unfortunately, the braces only allow the panels to be connected at 180 or 90 degrees. This means that the playpen can only be shaped as a square or rectangle.
8. Costzon New Fireplace Fence Baby Safety Play Yard
Costzon baby safety play yard is a good option for parents that are on a budget. It is made out of 5 panels that look like a fence. To make it easy to store, the manufacturers made the play yard foldable. Also, an assembly is very straight forward and simple. In terms of construction, the fence is made out of metal and plastic. The gate can be locked and comes with all the needed accessories. Last but not least, because of its design, the play yard can be used to either keep the baby in one place or preventing the child from reaching certain areas.
- Multi-purpose design
- Long-lasting steel construction
- Gate latch is not very secure
The design of the lock on the door is not very reliable. A small toddler should not be able to open it but children that can stand up might not have a problem with it. If the design of the latch would have been better, the play yards would have scored much higher on our list.
7. Evenflo Versatile Play Yard
Evenflo makes a great little play yard for toddlers. The model is made mostly out of plastic which makes it lightweight and easy to move around. Assembly is quite simple. The model comes with 5 walls and requires no tools to put together. In total, the play yard offers 18.5 square feet of space and it is suitable for children 6 to 24 months old. An interesting feature is the fact that the legs are reversible and have special stakes for lawn stability that prevents it from moving around.
- Easy assembly, no tools
- Easy to store
The only problem with the play yard is the fact that it is not very sturdy. For small children of up to 12 months, it should be just fine. Older children might knock a panel off when leaning on it. However, since it comes for such a low price tag, it is still a decent pick.
6. North States Superyard Ultimate Play Yard
North States Superyard ultimate play yard is a very popular pick mainly because of its low price tag. The yard offers a total play area of 18.5 square feet and is suitable for both indoors and outdoors. Inside the kit are included 6-yard panels that just click into place. Once connected, the panels can be folded which makes it takes very little storage space. In terms of safety, the walls can support the weight of a child while the door comes with a simple locking mechanism.
- Takes very little storage space
- 18.5 square feet of play area
The fact that the play yard is made entirely out of plastic may raise some concerns regarding how durable it is. As long as it is not hit hard it should hold pretty well. A small child should not be able to break any panel or harm himself in any way.
5. Best Choice Products Baby Playpen Kids 8 Panel Safety Play Center
Best Choice Products baby playpen is a simple, yet large playpen. It includes 8 panels that can be used in any configuration. One of the walls has a secure door with a lock. The walls are made out of a safe and durable plastic material and have various prints and toys built-in. According to the manufacturers, the play yard is suitable for children of up to 4 years old. The walls can also be set as a barrier to prevent the baby from reaching certain areas and it is quite tall.
- Includes 8 panels
- Built-in toys and fun prints
- Easy to setup, can be used as a barrier or play yard
The panels have stickers with colorful cartoons. The bad part is that they will come off quite easily. It might be better to just peal them off the moment they show signs that they are coming off.
4. North States Superyard 3-in-1 Metal Gate
North States Superyard is a rather versatile play yard mainly because it offers a good degree of freedom when it comes to how it can be setup. At its core, the product is a play yard with 6 walls offering a good amount of space for the child. It can also be used as a barrier or wall to prevent the child from reaching certain areas. The door comes with a child-proof lock while the walls are made out of metal to ensure that they are sturdy enough. Assembly is simple while the folding design makes it take very little storage space.
- Study construction
- Durable metal panels
- Child-proof lock the door
Being made out of metal means that the play yard is heavier than expected. Moving it around might prove to be a bit of a challenge and taking the panels apart is much too inconvenient. It is still movable but it is much heavier than regular play yards that have more plastic parts.
3. Summer Infant 6-Panel PlaySafe Playard
The Summer Infant play yard is a very popular product due to how well it is made and the security it offers. It is a 6 panel set with a lockable door, offering a total play surface of 18.5 square feet. The panels are 30 inches high and are made out of a durable plastic material that can withstand the weight of a child. Each panel snaps into place making the assembly very straight forward. It can be folded without taking it apart so that it takes as little storage space as possible.
- Easy to assemble and fold
- 18.5 square foot yard, 30 inches tall
- Has a concealed carry handle
- Difficult to pull the panels apart
Once the panels are snapped in together it will be quite difficult to pull them apart. It takes a lot of force to just disassemble the play yard. In fact, it is possible to simply break the plastic holding them together. The system could have been designed a bit better as it needs to be handled with great care.
2. Summer Infant Pop N’ Play Portable Playard
Summer Infant Pop N’ Play is a portable play yard that was made to be as lightweight as possible but sturdy enough. It uses an aluminum frame and a mesh material. The frame itself is foldable and comes fully assembled. It needs almost no storage space at all and can be setup in just a few seconds. Unlike other play yards, this one has a canvas floor making it much safer to use both indoors and outdoors.
- Takes very little storage space
- Setup takes only a few seconds
The play yard offers just 14 square feet of space for the toddler. It is not much but it should be good enough. For the price, it is difficult to get a better deal or a play yard that is this easy to store or setup.
1. North States Superyard Colorplay 8 Panel Playard
Noth States Superyard is by far the hottest seller amongst play yards. It is made out of 8 colorful panels that are easy to snap into place. Unlike other play yards, this model does not have a door. This makes it much more secure for the baby. Each panel has non-slip pads and will not scratch hardwood floors. Last but not least, the total play surface measures 34.45 square feet but it can be adjusted by using fewer panels.
- Up to 34 square feet play yard surface
- Easy to setup
- Can be setup in a number of different ways
The fact that it does not have a door is both a good and bad thing. Truth be told, the absence of a door means that the child cannot get out at all. The downside is that getting the child in and our is a bit more annoying than with models that do have a door.
What To Look For When Searching For A Good Baby Play Yard
There are a number of different things that matter when it comes to baby play yards. Even if they might seem similar there are some important differences and details that need to be spotted in order to pull the trigger on a play yard. Truth be told, some of them are unusually expensive and before spending a lot of money on a baby play yard, it is important to have a clear picture of what their features are and what matters the most. Each parent might look for something different so here are some important things to take into account.
- Total surface offered: A play yard delimits a certain area for the child. That area needs to be large enough for the baby and also it needs to fit inside a room.
- Height of the panels: The height of the panels can vary a lot. Also, how a child will behave in a play pen can vary. Some toddlers will never attempt to jump over while some will simply refuse to stay inside. For this reason, the height needs to be reasonable so that the child will remain safe inside.
- With or without a door: Truth be told, most baby play yard has a panel that has a door with a locking mechanism. These locks are not that great for the most part which is why a play pen without a door might prove to be a not so bad idea. Sadly there are not that many models without a door.