12 Best Pack N Plays in 2017
For many families, the pack ‘n play is the next best thing to a babysitter.
It’s a place to keep baby out of harm’s way; it’s a temporary playground when your hands are busy making dinner and even a cozy place to nap.
We know how difficult it can be to choose one, though, because when we set out in search of the best pack n play, the results were overwhelming. After much research and testing, however, we’ve narrowed down the options.
In our detailed guide, we will highlight the top 12 pack ‘n plays and provide you with some useful tips that we wished someone had told us when we began shopping for them!
Read on for all of our expert tips.
Top 12 Pack N Plays Ultimate Table
|Design||Name||Bassinet Included?||Weight||Rating (1-5)|
|1. Lotus Travel Crib and Portable Baby Playard||No||13 pounds||4.8|
|2. BABYBJORN Travel Crib Light||No||13 pounds||4.7|
|3. Graco Pack ‘N Play Playard Totbloc with Carry Bag||No||< 25 pounds||4.7|
|4. Graco Pack ‘n Play On The Go Playard Stratus||Yes||23 pounds||4.7|
|5. Fisher-Price Ultra-Lite Day & Night Play Yard||Yes||15 pounds||4.7|
|6. Summer Infant Pop N’ Play Portable Playard||No||12 pounds||4.6|
|7. Cosco Funsport Play Yard||No||20.8 pounds||4.4|
|8. Delta Children 36″ x 36″ Playard||No||28 pounds||4.4|
|9. Graco Pack ‘N Play with Newborn Napper Elite||Yes||33.6 pounds||4.4|
|10. JOOVY New Room2 Portable Playard||No||29.6 pounds||4.3|
|11. Evenflo Portable Baby Suite DLX||Yes||23 pounds||4.3|
|12. Dream On Me Zodiak Portable Playard||No||16.2 pounds||3.9|
Before You Purchase…
We just wanted to mention one small detail before we dive into our awesome shopping tips. It is regarding the term “pack ‘n play.”
Graco is the brand that uses the actual phrase “pack n play” on their portable play yards, yet most of you who set out in search of the best pack n play might not necessarily want something from Graco.
Just wanted to clear up any misunderstanding before we get started!
Choose a Pack ‘n Play That Matches Your Lifestyle
Some of the best pack ‘n play advice we can offer you is to choose one that matches your lifestyle.
So many families end up purchasing one that barely gets used either because it is too complicated to set up or too heavy to tote from one location to another.
- Frequent Travelers – Do you travel frequently? If so, then a travel crib would serve you well. We included two of them on our list – the BabyBjörn Travel Crib and the Lotus Travel Crib and Portable Play Yard. They’re super lightweight and easy to set up, which are two very important features to have when you’re on the go.
Anything 23 pounds or less is reasonable for traveling. Pack ‘n plays that weigh more than that are best for home use.
- Limited Space – If you are limited on space, then a pack ‘n play with plenty of storage and multiple uses would come in very handy.
The Graco Pack ‘n Play with Newborn Napper Elite is a good example of this. It comes with storage shelves on the side, can be used as a bassinet, has a detachable napper and a detachable changing table. Bulky, yes, but if you don’t move yours around a lot, you might appreciate having everything within reach rather than running from living room to nursery every time you need something.
Pay Attention to These Features as You Shop
There are still a few more things to take into consideration before you make your final decision.
- Set Up – All manufacturers are going to assure you that their product is “easy to assemble and disassemble!”
From experience, we know that the best way to get the real info is by watching tutorials from those who have actually used it. If you like a certain pack ‘n play, then chances are you can find a handful of useful videos about it on YouTube.
- Age, Weight and Height Limits – Each manufacturer recommends their products in different ways.
Some will tell you to stop using a product when your baby or toddler reaches a certain height while others provide weight limits. The truth is that both of these should be taken into consideration as you choose because the last thing you want to purchase is a product that is not safe for your baby.
- Wheels – Does the pack ‘n play have wheels? Do you want it to?
They’re handy if you need to move the play yard around the room without having to drag it across the floor (we cringe at the thought of scratching that nice hardwood flooring). Make sure the wheels lock, too (most should with all of the safety concerns these days, but it never hurts to double check).
- Choose the Most Recent Version – Our final suggestion is that you always double check that you are purchasing the most recent version of a product. Never buy outdated play yards.
Safety standards and regulations are constantly changing, and manufacturers tweak their products to meet those standards, so avoid old versions!
Top 5 Best Pack N Play Reviews
Guava Family’s Lotus Travel Crib is so useful. We don’t know what we’d do without it!
For starters, you can see how lightweight it is (13 pounds), which is why we highly recommend it for families that travel often. It folds down to 24” L x 7” W x 11” H, which is just slightly larger than a carry-on.
You’ll love that the mattress is waterproof and doesn’t require an additional mattress pad.
One of the unique things about the Lotus Travel Crib is that it doesn’t have a weight limit. Why?
Because it rests directly on the floor. While most other pack ‘n plays have an elevated floor that can only hold a certain amount of weight, this one only has a height restriction of 35 inches.
True, this is a bit of an investment for some families, but you are literally getting two items in one, and we think that the quality justifies a higher price. It is a solid, well-constructed pack ‘n play!
Here is a quick video so you have an idea of what it looks like in use.
BabyBjörn offers some stiff competition to the Lotus but has different features that appeal to users.
We like that it folds up slimmer than the Lotus (it was more of a block while this is slim and narrow). You can check this on an airplane as-is, so don’t worry about having to add extra padding to it.
Set up really is quick and easy. Just pop it open and set the mattress pad inside. It also sits on the floor like the Lotus does, but there is slightly less space inside this one as it is only 41 inches long internally (the Lotus was 42 inches long). Small details worth noting.
While this doesn’t have the zip-down panel in the front like the Lotus does, we would say that the materials used are much more durable and higher in quality on the BabyBjörn Travel Light.
If you need a little more space for your baby or toddler, then Graco’s TotBloc is both spacious and colorful.
This large 38×38-inch square play yard is great for older babies and toddlers who need a little more room. As all standard pack ‘n plays, it is recommended for babies under 35 inches high, that weigh under 30 pounds or are able to climb out. It doesn’t sit on the floor like the other two, so we read the fine print to double check the weight limit.
We like the colorful design (and if you don’t, it does come in other colors), but it isn’t as durable as some of the other products we tried. The fabric is bright and colorful, but it is not easy to clean. You have to hand wash it and let it drip dry since you can’t disassemble it and throw it in the wash.
It’s a good, sensible product but not the absolute best pack n play we’ve tried.
If you’re looking for an affordable pack ‘n play, then Graco’s Play On the Go model is awesome.
Since it functions as both play yard and bassinet, you have two weight limits to keep in mind. As a play yard, it is the same as the previous product: appropriate for babies under 35 inches high, that weigh under 30 pounds or that can climb out. The bassinet, on the other hand, can only accommodate babies under 15 pounds and that aren’t able to push themselves up on their hands and knees.
Set up is definitely quick and easy, and so is the break down.
Most of you out there shopping for the best pack n play probably want one like this. It is highly functional thanks to the bassinet, doesn’t weigh a ton and isn’t super expensive.
For average use at home or grandma’s house, this pack ‘n play is awesome!
Fisher-Price has a great alternative to the previous Graco product if you didn’t like the looks of it.
It functions as a play yard, changing station and bassinet, and surprisingly, it only weighs a few more pounds than both the Lotus and the BabyBjörn.
The storage pocket on the outside is handy for diapers or changing accessories, and we like that the sleeper has a machine washable pad.
We had to do some digging for the weight limit of the bassinet and discovered that there isn’t one. Instead, they recommend it for infants only who cannot roll over, or pull themselves up on the sides. Not very helpful if you ask us, so use with caution.
In terms of functionality and usefulness, this definitely earns an A. If the BabyBjörn and Lotus were too expensive, this is a great alternative as a travel crib/pack ‘n play.