The 8 Best Pack ‘N Plays to Buy in 2018

Keep the baby safe at-home and on the go with a play yard

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When you’re planning for a baby it can be hard to know which gear and furniture are required must haves and which will just end up gathering dust.

A Pack ‘N Play is a versatile piece of baby equipment that can be used in so many ways. It’s a safe place to put a baby if you need a minute to yourself. It can be used as a secondary sleeping space when traveling and can contain all of your baby’s toys for easy cleanup.

Many models also include a baby changing station that sits on the top of the frame making it even more useful.

Price points can vary by hundreds of dollars so selecting the best pick for your baby can be a challenge. That’s why we have saved you the trouble by compiling this list of the best play yards on the market.

Our Top Picks

Best Overall: Graco® Pack 'n Play with Cuddle Cove Removable Seat & Changer

graco-pack-n-play
Courtesy of Target

Those looking for a pack 'n play that can go from newborn to toddler should shop for an option that comes with features like a changing attachment and a napper for the baby since it is one purchase for three items. This favorite from Graco gives you all of these and it can be customized as time goes on. Use the removable vibrating seat when baby watches you clean the dishes, while the changing pad can act as your everyday diaper station if this pack 'n play is the main fixture in your house. This is not the lightest of option on this list coming in at 32 pounds with all of the attachments, but it can fold up nicely and be moved. So, those looking to take something on an airplane might be better suited with our travel pick. 

Need some more help finding what you're looking for? Read through our best bassinets article.

Best Budget: Graco Pack 'n Play Play Yard

graco-asprey
Courtesy of Walmart

This play yard is an Amazon bestseller and comes at a steal of a price, making it a smart buy as a crib to leave at grandmas house or one for the car. Just because this comes at a budget price doesn't mean it doesn't perform well. It weighs 19.75 so a little large for an airplane, but it comes with a storage bag making it easy to throw in the trunk for weekend getaways. Setting this up is easy and can be done by one person. The breathable mesh sides make it a safe space for baby to sleep and play, giving parents easy viewing access while they cook or get organized for the day. The added wheels make this pick the perfect choice for grab and go practicality when traveling or if you want to move a sleeping baby around your home for convenience. This does not have dual levels so if you are using for a smaller infant bending over might cause some strain on your back. 

Even if you have an unlimited budget, most parents are satisfied with this pack 'n play which has been a favorite through the years and has over 1,000 reviews on Amazon. 

Best for Travel: Lotus Travel Crib and Portable Baby Play Yard

If you are looking for something that is lightweight and can be set up easily in your living room or on the go the Lotus Travel crib from Guava is just the thing. The Lotus play yard has a fully zippered side panel allowing parents to lie down with their children and help them go to sleep or encourage tummy time and beyond. The mattress is thicker than other travel pack 'n play competitors, ensuring your little one gets a comfortable nights' sleep. It also has a wide opening at the top which makes it great for playing on the go since your little one won't feel smushed in. 

As your baby gets older they will love to unzip the side and climb inside like their very own little play tent. With the included convertible backpack straps this play yard is easy to carry especially as it only weighs 11 pounds. The manufacturers boast of a 15-second setup, which really is hard to beat, and makes this the easiest pack ‘n play to assemble.

Best for Toddlers: BABYBJORN Travel Crib Light

Once babies pass the one year mark they are considered toddlers and most kids that age aren't ready for a big kid bed. That is when the BabyBjorn crib makes sense because it is a little bit bigger than most standard pack 'n plays giving your tall baby or toddler room to sleep safely. This model weighs only 11 pounds making it great for travel and has a modern, sleek design which looks great with any decor if it is used as a permanent bed. It can be used with children from newborn up to three years of age.

This crib is easy to wash which is a must when blowouts and spit ups are bound to occur. And best of all it sets up in seconds making the transition from the car to a hotel room late at night stress-free. 

Best for Small Spaces: Graco® Pack'N Play® Travel Lite® Playard

graco-travel-lite
Courtesy of Target

If you plan to have your little one sleep in your room or your baby has a smaller room you might want to try a pack 'n play that has a smaller footprint. This one acts as a bassinet when your baby is in the newborn stage but can convert to a mini crib when they get older. This model only holds up to 30 pounds but for some that can be well past the age of two. What's also great about this is it looks more like a permanent crib instead of something portable so if you plan to use this all the time it has more of a design aesthetic. 

For those who want an option to leave at their grandparents or caregivers place, this also works well because the size is compact enough to fit in most places but it doesn't sacrifice comfort. For those who travel this folds up seamlessly into a bag so you can throw it in the trunk and be on your way. 

Best for Newborns: Graco® Pack 'n Play Playard On The Go

graco-pack-b-play-go
Courtesy fo Target

When your baby is a newborn putting them low to floor can cause major strain on your back so you'll want to shop for a playard that has two levels so you can have them higher when they are younger and then move them lower when they learn to roll over. This model from the popular Graco line does all of this at a reasonable price and has some added features like a mobile and pockets on the side to store, diaper, wipes and such. 

This mode comes in seven different colorways to suit your family needs. It also is easy to assemble (a must when you have your hands full) and weighs only 15 pounds so it is easy to move around. 

Best Playard: Summer Infant Pop N' Play Portable Playard

Baby might not always need a place to sleep when you are on the go or have a busy household (who doesn't!) and that is when a portable playard will let your little one crawl around safely. Set it up in your living room so you can get some chores done or use it at a family picnic or barbecue. You'll never realize you needed this till you go it! 

Set up easy, it just unfolds in seconds. It provides ample room for more than one baby so a few can have a playdate while the moms catch up. This is also a great option for the beach to keep your little one away from eating sand and preventing them from making a mad dash to the water. 

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