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When your baby starts rolling off their play mat, you know you're in trouble.
Gone are the days of popping your baby on the play mat and knowing that they will happily stay in that one spot. Once those tiny feet and hands have worked out how to bounce and get mobile (probably when they're aged around six or seven months) it's even more important to keep them safe while they play.
Of course, babies shouldn't be left alone but it's great to have the freedom of enjoying a quick sandwich or coffee on the sofa! Just make sure you keep an eye on them, as when they start working out how to climb out of their cot, it'll probably be the end of the playpen too, sadly.
Whether you need a play area for large or small spaces, a travel cot combination for visiting friends or for using outside, we've taken a look at the best playpens for babies.
Kidadl's Top Pick
All our recommended baby playpens get the thumbs up, but if you're really short on time we've picked out the best all-rounder.
1. Joie Cheer Little Explorer Playpen
We love the imaginative, stylish design of this play pen. The grey and yellow colour scheme is nice and modern, and the gorgeous nature scene and toys on the inside will fascinate your baby. It folds away neatly for storage and travel, and while it's big enough for babies to roam, it won't take up much space. This high-quality playpen for babies ticks all the boxes at a very reasonable price.
- Price: £79
- Plush toys and nature design to feed your baby's imagination
- Can also be used for naptime
- Removable mattress
Best For Families On A Budget
2. deAO Baby Playpen Set
If you're looking for a less expensive playpen for babies, this one is the best we've found. It's one of the brighter baby playpens on the market, and is available in both blue and pink. The playpen is a little flimsy at the bottom but is easy to assemble and has a zip opening door for when you want to let your baby explore the rest of the room. It's also perfect to use as a ball pit and even comes with the balls, making it a bargain for the price.
- Price: £43.99
- Can be used as ball pit and includes 50 balls
- Brightly coloured design
Best For Indoors And Outdoors
3. Koo-Di Deluxe Foldable Playpen
This is one of the lighter baby playpens around, making it super easy to use in and out of the home as well as for travel. It's water resistant so handy to put in the garden, and big enough for you to sit in and encourage playtime when needed! We love how easy it is to unfold and pack away.
- Price: £89.99
- Foldable design means instant assembly and folding away
- Water resistant
- Travel bag included
Best For Outdoor Summer Use
4. Babymoov Aquani 3-in-1 UV Tent/Play Area/Paddling Pool
This baby playpen is perfect for hot summer days. You can keep your baby cool with the canopy, and the UPF 50+ sun protection means they're protected from harmful rays. The mosquito net is also handy to keep pesky insects away. This baby playpen is suitable to use at home for those summer days in the garden as it pegs into place (and can even be used as a paddling pool), but it's also handy for trips away with its pop-up system and carry bag.
- Price: £64.99
- 3-in-1 design - can also be used as a tent and paddling pool
- UPF 50+ sun protection
- Four ground pegs to keep it in place
Best Playpen And Room Divider
5. BabyDan Deluxe Playpen
This BabyDan is one of the sturdiest play pens around, so you know your baby is safe as they crawl around and cling onto the bars. The best thing about this playpen though is that it can turn into a room divider afterwards, so, although it's one of the more expensive playpens on the market, you can get your money's worth. We love how the safety gate is reliable yet easy to operate with one hand - essential if you are carrying your baby with the other arm.
- Price: £119.99
- Can be changed into room divider (needs wall fittings)
- Washable play mat included
Best Portable Playpen
6. Summer Infant Pop 'N Play Playpen
The Summer Infant Pop N' Play playpen is perfect for travel yet also sturdy enough for everyday use. The floor is even water resistant, so you can also use it outside. We love how easy it is to fold out and put away in seconds, and that it comes with a handy travel bag. With all this functionality, this baby playpen really is a steal at the price.
- Price: £59.99
- Unfolds in seconds
- Lightweight frame
- Comes with travel bag
Best Foldable Play Pen
7. Venture All Stars Joy Baby Playpen
This baby playpen is easy to set up and fold away, and we love how the mat is not only water resistant but also padded so your baby is extra comfortable as they play. As one of the most popular baby playpens on the market, we can see why - it's easy to set up, comes with a carry bag and is big enough for your baby to play without getting frustrated. We also love the neutral colour scheme which makes it a nice addition to your home.
- Price: £69.99
- Easy to set up and fold down
- Padded weather-resistant floor mat
Best For Playpen Your Baby Will Love
8. Surreal Playpen
If your baby could talk, we're certain this is the one they would ask (or tell) you to buy. Available in a castle or bear theme, your baby will love the bright colours and that they can actually play with one of the panels. These plastic playpens aren't the sturdiest though, so if you did want to use it as a room divider we wouldn't recommend leaving babies on their own with it.
- Price: £84.99
- Colourful, child-friendly design
- Suitable for indoor and outdoor use
Best Large Playpen For Babies
9. Venture All Stars Playpen
We love how this playpen with mats is large enough for your baby to enjoy and also comes with a cute activity panel to introduce letters and telling the time. Despite being plastic, it's strong enough to handle your baby pulling themselves up on the bars. They'll love the playful design while the grey colour scheme won't be too garish for adults' tastes!
- Price: £99.99
- Includes activity panel
- Comes with padded floor mats
Best Wooden Baby Playpen
10. Kiduku Foldable Playpen XXL
We love how this playpen can adapt to the shape that's best for you. For example, you could make it into a slim rectangular shape if that works better in the space you have. It's also made of solid, untreated pine wood, which is quite rare among the baby playpens currently on the market, and it's of a very large size so your baby will enjoy roaming around as they get more mobile.
- Price: £102.99
- Can be locked into different shapes
- Can be extended with extra panels
Kidadl Best Buys selects the top parent-recommended products across the web for families of all ages. If you liked our suggestions for baby playpens then why not take a look at these sensory baby toys, or for something different take a look at these kids' beach shoes.
At Kidadl we pride ourselves on offering families original ideas to make the most of time spent together at home or out and about, wherever you are in the world. We strive to recommend the very best things that are suggested by our community and are things we would do ourselves - our aim is to be the trusted friend to parents.
We try our very best, but cannot guarantee perfection. We will always aim to give you accurate information at the date of publication - however, information does change, so it’s important you do your own research, double-check and make the decision that is right for your family.
Kidadl provides inspiration to entertain and educate your children. We recognise that not all activities and ideas are appropriate and suitable for all children and families or in all circumstances. Our recommended activities are based on age but these are a guide. We recommend that these ideas are used as inspiration, that ideas are undertaken with appropriate adult supervision, and that each adult uses their own discretion and knowledge of their children to consider the safety and suitability.
Kidadl cannot accept liability for the execution of these ideas, and parental supervision is advised at all times, as safety is paramount. Anyone using the information provided by Kidadl does so at their own risk and we can not accept liability if things go wrong.
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