We Spent 8 Hours Assembling, Moving and Folding Playards to Find the Best Pack and Plays

The 4moms Breeze Playard's attention to detail shined in our lab test

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Pack n play lab test

Verywell Family / Leticia Almeida

From the first day a baby comes home, you need somewhere for them to sleep safely, at least one diaper changing station, and, as they get older, a spot for them to play without getting into trouble. If you plan on doing any traveling, you still need all of these things, which can be particularly difficult when the place you’re visiting isn’t exactly baby-proof. Given all of these needs, it’s no wonder why pack and plays, a.k.a. Pack 'n Plays (Graco's trademarked name) or playards, are so popular.

Tested & Approved

The 4moms Breeze Plus Portable Playard is a modern and intuitive pack and play that can be used from the newborn stage to toddlerhood. If you need a pack and play to take on the go, we recommend the Baby Bjorn Travel Crib Light

A pack and play can be a play space, bassinet, and diaper-changing station all in one or some combination of those three features. You can fold them up and tuck them away into an easy-to-carry bag for travel. It’s also one of those rare baby items that isn’t made for short-term use. “Some [pack and plays] have newborn inserts that make them just right for [infants],” pediatrician Whitney Casares, MD, tells Verywell Family, so they can “grow with your baby.” 

To collect firsthand data on how the top pack and plays perform, we purchased 13 of the best models on the market and tested them in the Verywell Testing Lab. We spent eight hours assessing the ease of assembly, compactness, cleaning instructions, and the overall value of each product to help you choose which one is right for you 

Based on our tests, these are the best pack and plays you can buy. 

Best Overall: 4moms Breeze Plus Portable Playard

4.9
4moms Breeze Plus Portable Playard

Courtesy of Amazon

Our Ratings
  • Assembly
    4.6/5
  • Care
    5/5
  • Portability
    3/5
Pros
  • Includes bassinet and diaper change attachments

  • Very sturdy

  • Spacious

Cons
  • Time-consuming assembly 

Who else recommends it? CNN also picked the 4moms Breeze Plus Portable Playard. 

What do buyers say? 91% of 600+ Amazon reviewers rated this product 5 stars.

We rated the 4moms Breeze Plus Portable Playard our best overall pick because it truly has everything you need—without being overloaded with extra features that you don’t need. Right away, we loved that the playard mattress acted as a carrier as well, which makes transporting it easier. Complete with a bassinet and a diaper-changing attachment, this sleek pack and play has all of the bells and whistles of a deluxe option without the bulky look. When you don’t need the diaper changing station, you can flip it over to free up space without having to remove it, which we found to be super useful while testing.

The features that we really appreciated and noticed about the 4moms playard during testing were the smaller, more intentional details. The two extra legs created unmatched stability, which we know can come in handy for older toddlers who are more active. We also loved that this pack and play featured four wheels instead of the typical two. The wheels are partially covered to prevent tiny curious fingers from touching them, and they have a stacked design, making it easy to push the pack and play across the carpet, hardwood, and even shaggy nursery rugs. Finally, we thought the easily adjustable mattress was quite genius, as they allow you to unzip the extra pieces of the mattress to adjust the size to fit into the bassinet version of the pack and play. 

When it came to setting up the 4moms playard, it lost a few points and we rated it a 4.6. It took our testers around 10 minutes to fit all of the extra pieces onto the playard securely. While this is a larger option that is great for families that want to hang on to it while their baby grows into toddlerhood, it does take up a considerable amount of space, which may not be ideal for some.

Overall, our tester determined this product is well worth the cost and has everything parents need in a pack and play.

Dimensions: 43 x 30 x 30 inches | Weight: 28.46 pounds | Storage bag: Yes | Wheels: Yes

4moms pack n play

Verywell Family / Leticia Almeida

What Our Testers Say

“The 4moms Playard has a sleek, modern design and premium, thoughtful features that I wouldn’t have even thought of. The stacked wheels on all four legs are my favorite detail as it makes moving it around a room, across just about any surface, seamless." —Latifah Miles, Verywell Family Commerce Editor

Best for Travel: BABYBJORN Travel Crib Light

4.8
BabyBjorn® Travel Crib Light

Amazon

Our Ratings
  • Assembly
    5/5
  • Care
    5/5
  • Portability
    5/5
  • Value
    3/5
Pros
  • Lightweight

  • Easy to assemble

Cons
  • High price

We love how easy it is to assemble and take down the Baby Bjorn Travel Crib and rated a 4.8 for its quick setup. In fact, it is so easy to assemble that our tester did it in less than three minutes and didn’t even use the instructions. When it’s folded down, it is a breeze to get in and out of its carrying bag, and it’s super lightweight, which makes it ideal for travel

When set up, this playard has a simple, compact design, but it’s still large enough to fit little ones up to three years old safely. It also comes with a water-resistant mattress that can be wiped down for cleaning. You can also toss the removable sheet and outer crib fabric into the washer and dryer whenever it gets dirty. 

While the design is quite simple, we love that it gets the job done by offering your baby a safe place to sleep, play, and hang out while on the go. This option is one of the higher-priced pack and plays on our list and doesn’t come with many features. However, we still really like this product, especially for families that travel a lot. 

Dimensions: 32 x 44 x 24 inches | Weight: 13 pounds | Storage bag: Yes | Wheels: No

Baby Bjorn pack and play

Verywell Family / Leticia Almeida

Best Convertible: Graco Pack 'n Play Playard Snuggle Suite LX

4.3
Graco Pack 'n Play Playard Snuggle Suite LX, Abbington

Graco

Our Ratings
  • Assembly
    2/5
  • Care
    5/5
  • Portability
    4/5
Pros
  • Decked out with extras

  • Longevity 

  • Sturdy enough to use as a crib

Cons
  • Confusing assembly 

  • Storage bag doesn't fit additional pieces

This Graco Pack 'n Play Snuggle Suite has it all and then some. It comes with a removable infant bouncer, an optional bassinet, a diaper changing table, storage pockets, and a sound machine. Seriously, if you’re looking for all of the features possible at an affordable price point, this is your best option. All of these features give this model longevity, which is why we think it’s the best convertible one on the market. 

While this isn’t the smallest playard that we tested, it’s still fairly compact, given all of the different ways it can be used. It features two back wheels, which makes moving it from room to room easy, especially given it’s one of the heavier pack and plays available. 

The Snuggle Suite lost points for assembly because it took the longest to set up and we rated it the lowest with a 2 for the assembly attribute. Thanks to the robust features, the unclear directions, and more than 15 parts, it took our tester nearly 40 minutes to set this one up, with the bassinet being the most time-consuming part. The playard can be tucked away into its sturdy carrying case, however, it’s not large enough to hold all of the attachments, which can make traveling with it difficult. If you’re looking for something that will serve as a crib alternative, though, we think this is the best pick.

Dimensions: 40 x 28.5 x 33.25 inches | Weight: 30 pounds | Storage bag: Yes | Wheels: Yes

Graco Snuggle Suite

Verywell Family / Leticia Almeida

Best Large Space: Joovy Room² Playard

4.5
Joovy Room²-Playard

Courtesy of Amazon

Our Ratings
  • Assembly
    5/5
  • Care
    4.8/5
  • Portability
    4.8/5
Pros
  • Comes with a fitted sheet

  • High-quality storage bag

  • Easy to move around

Cons
  • Fitting the playard in its bag is difficult

  • Extra fitted sheets will be hard to find

If you’re looking for a pack and play with a bit of extra space, you can’t go wrong with the Joovy Room 2. Measuring 39.75 by 39.75 by 31 inches, this playard is roomier than most others, giving babies and toddlers plenty of space to play, rest, and hang out. 

While we didn’t need to know much to set it up, it was convenient that the Joovy playard had the directions printed on the bottom of the mattress. This means you’ll never have to rummage through your junk drawer to find the paper manual. That same mattress doubles as a high-quality travel bag. Although we thought the mattress quality and the roomy size were standout features, our tester noted that its perfectly square shape would make finding extra fitted sheets tricky at best, since the standard size won’t work.  

We weren’t surprised to find this playard on the heavier side, but we were pleased to discover that it’s quite easy to move around when it’s set up, thanks to the two back wheels. We also really like that this playard has mesh sides all the way around, so your baby will be visible no matter where you’re standing.

Dimensions: 39.75 x 39.75 x 31 inches | Weight: 29.6 pounds | Storage bag: Yes | Wheels: Yes

Joovy Room2

Verywell Family / Leticia Almeida

What Our Testers Say

"The first thing that stood out about the Joovy was its square shape and roomy interior, which is great for a toddler. The only notable downside is that finding extra fitted sheets may be more difficult than it should be." —Latifah Miles, Verywell Family Commerce Editor

Best Expanding: Skip Hop Play to Night Expanding Playard & Travel Crib

4.8
Skip Hop Play to Night Expanding Playard & Travel Crib

Courtesy of Buy Buy Baby

Our Ratings
  • Assembly
    4.8/5
  • Care
    4.8/5
  • Portability
    4.8/5
Pros
  • Expanding design

  • Easy to set up and expand

  • Rubber feet keep the playard in place

Cons
  • Folding is complicated

We love the unique, roomy design of the Skip Hop Play to Night Expanding Playard and Travel Crib. When this pack and play is in sleep mode, it is 38 by 24 by 29 inches, which provides the right amount of space for a napping baby. When it is in play mode, the shorter side expands to 38 inches wide, creating a square space that's ideal for hanging out, lounging, and playing with toys. We rated this pack and play a 4.8 for the compactness attribute thanks to the ability to change its size. Our testers found that it was fairly simple to transition the pack and play between sizes thanks to the helpful zipper. 

The tapered design of this pack and play gives it a cleaner aesthetic and the product as a whole is relatively lightweight, so it’s easy to move the playard from room to room. It also comes with a high-quality carrying bag that the pack and play fits into nicely for storage. 

We really like that this playard comes with two mattresses, one for each mode, that are easy to clean. While our tester found the smaller mattress somewhat difficult to fit into the playard, once it was in it worked as intended and it looked adorable, thanks to the cute cloud-print cover. 

Aside from the minor struggle to get the small mattress in place, our tester found the rest of the setup process for this playard to be quick and easy. Expanding the set from sleep mode to play mode was a multi-step process that our testers found to be simple enough. However, folding it down became a two-person job due to the legs having to be released before folding the pack and play up, which didn’t seem exactly intuitive.

We rated the Skip Hop Play to Night Expanding Playard and Travel Crib highly for its overall value because your baby can comfortably sleep, play, rest, and lounge in it all the way through toddlerhood.

Dimensions: 38 x 24 x 29 inches (sleep mode); 38 x 38 x 29 inches (play mode) | Weight: 15 pounds | Storage bag: Yes | Wheels: No

Skip Hop Expanding Playard

Verywell Family / Leticia Almeida

Best Basic: Graco Pack ‘n Play Portable Playard

4.8
Graco Pack ‘n Play Portable Playard

Courtesy of Amazon

Our Ratings
  • Assembly
    5/5
  • Care
    5/5
  • Portability
    4.8/5
Pros
  • Budget-friendly

  • Very easy to move from room to room

Cons
  • No extra features (pro for some)

The Graco Pack 'n Play is a no-frills option that will serve as a safe place to let your child sleep or play. In fact, our testers found that the basic construction is what made it so easy to assemble, even without instructions. 

While most of the pack and plays that we tested featured two wheels, our testers noted that the wheels on the Graco seemed the most functional. Pushing it across hardwood, cement floors, and even a shag rug was a breeze. It’s also lightweight enough that our tester was able to pick it up and move it from room to room with ease. It has an overall compact design, but it still doesn’t feel small compared to other standard-sized pack and plays. 

Although we were able to set this playard up in under a minute and a half, the breakdown wasn’t quite as intuitive. Tucked away underneath the fabric is a hard-to-grasp button you have to push in order for the sides to properly collapse. Also, this basic model does not come with a fitted sheet, but since it’s a standard size playard, sheets are easy to find in most stores that sell baby gear. If you’re in the market for a basic, portable, easy-to-use pack and play, this is a great option.

Dimensions: 39.5 x 28.25 x 29 inches | Weight: 18.52 pounds | Storage bag: Yes | Wheels: Yes

Graco Portable Playard

Verywell Family / Leticia Almeida

Best for Small Spaces: Bugaboo Stardust Playard

4.5
Bugaboo Stardust Playard

Bugaboo

Our Ratings
  • Assembly
    4.5/5
  • Care
    5/5
  • Portability
    5/5
Pros
  • One-step unfold

  • Sleek style

  • Folds down with mattress inside

Cons
  • It’s a splurge

The Bugaboo Stardust pack and play is compact and lightweight, and it has a sophisticated look that our testers really loved. While the assembly was easy and straightforward, our testers found that the infant insert was a bit more cumbersome than expected. The zipper design came apart after it was zipped together, forcing us to unzip the entire piece to add it back. Although it added a few minutes to the assembly process, we think it could have been a sprinkle of user error rather than the product itself. 

This playard comes with a high-quality and stylish carrying bag, which could have been improved with a shoulder strap in addition to the carrying handles. Our favorite feature of the pack and play was how easy it was to collapse and how compact it was folded down. It folds together like a road map instead of an umbrella, allowing us to pin it closed with the small snaps and lay it flat like a book. We loved the compact design and rated it a 5 for this feature. Our testers were able to slide it underneath a couch, making it a great choice for families living in smaller spaces without a ton of extra storage.

While this pack and play is on the pricier end of the spectrum, the infant insert allows you to use it from infancy through toddlerhood.

Dimensions: 25 x 38.8 x 33.5 inches | Weight: 17.2 pounds | Storage bag: Yes | Wheels: No

Bugaboo Stardust

Verywell Family / Leticia Almeida

What Our Testers Say

“For parents and caregivers that don’t have access to extra storage in their home, this pack and play folds flat like a book, which is a unique feature that we didn’t find with the other products that we tested.” —Latifah Miles, Verywell Family Commerce Editor

Best Outdoor: Graco Pack 'n Play LiteTraveler Playard in Breeze

4.7
Graco Pack ‘n Play LiteTraveler Playard

Courtesy of Walmart

Our Ratings
  • Assembly
    4.5/5
  • Care
    5/5
  • Portability
    3/5
Pros
  • Tears down in well under one minute

  • Mesh sides are great for air circulation

  • Water repellent materials

Cons
  • Complicated set-up

For spending time outside, we picked the Graco Pack 'n Play LiteTraveler LX Playard. Measuring 52 by 50.5 by 27 inches, it’s one of the larger playards we tested, which might make it less than ideal for indoors, but perfect for backyards or parks. Additionally, since the bottom of the pack and play is nylon and isn’t made to accommodate a mattress, this model is much better for play than for sleep. 

While this is a pretty basic design, our testers found that the setup wasn’t intuitive. The poles of the pack and play have to be clicked into place, which added a few minutes to the assembly time when we first set it up. However, we still rated it highly with a 4.5 for the assembly because once we figured out how to click the poles in place, it made sense and wouldn’t be an issue in the future. Plus, the take-down process took mere seconds!

We loved that the 360-degree mesh sides allowed for good airflow and featured a zippered opening for children to get in and out. A zipper on a pack and play can seem like a design flaw for curious toddlers, but our tester noted there is a safety clip on the front to keep little ones from unzipping it and escaping. Additionally, all around the perimeter of the playard is a cover to keep little fingers safe from pinches. Although our testers liked the water-resistant interior, we deducted a few points from the overall rating because of a lack of cushioning on the bottom, which could be uncomfortable if your kiddo is hanging out on a patio, concrete, or other hard surfaces.

Dimensions: 52 x 50.5 x 27 inches | Weight: 16.57 pounds | Storage bag: Yes | Wheels: No

Graco Lite Traveler

Verywell Family / Leticia Almeida

Best for the Beach: Summer Infant Pop ‘N Play Deluxe Ultimate Playard

4.6
Summer Infant Pop ‘N Play Deluxe Ultimate Playard

Summer Infant

Our Ratings
  • Assembly
    4/5
  • Care
    4.5/5
  • Portability
    4.8/5
Pros
  • Removable shade

  • Plastic pouch for tablets

  • Cozy bottom

Cons
  • Starts to collapse when dragged

The Summer Infant Pop ‘N Play Deluxe Ultimate Playard is a must-have for your next beach trip. Not only is it specifically made for outdoor use, but it is the only playard we tested that featured an easy-to-use removable canopy, which is ideal for keeping little ones protected from the sun’s harmful rays. 

We rated this pack and play a 4 for assembly because it was not immediately clear how to attach the bottom to the legs. But once that was resolved, the Summer Infant Pop ‘N Play assembled and folded down in minutes.

The Pop ‘N Play is made from super lightweight nylon that our tester compared to the windbreaker material. The bottom of this playard is lightly padded, which makes it the perfect space for little ones to nap during the day. It also features mesh sides that allow airflow, as well as a plastic pouch where you could safely store a tablet. 

Dimensions: 48 x 48 x 26 inches | Weight: 12 pounds | Storage bag: Yes | Wheels: No

Summer infant pop n play playard

Ashleigh Morley / Verywell Family

Best Compact: Guava Family Lotus Travel Crib

4.2
Lotus Travel Crib

Amazon

Our Ratings
  • Assembly
    4.5/5
  • Care
    3/5
  • Portability
    4/5
  • Value
    3.8/5
Pros
  • Compact design

  • Mattress buckles in for extra safety

  • Travel bag can be worn as a backpack

Cons
  • Hard to collapse

  • Difficult to put in the carrying tote

The Guava Lotus Travel Crib was easily the most compact of all the pack and plays we tested. When set up, it measures 45.5 by 31.5 by 25.5 inches, and since it only weighs 11 pounds, our tester found it very easy to transport and move from room to room. On the downside, however, this model doesn’t have wheels, which would make moving it even easier.

We really like the carrying bag that comes with this playard, too. It’s the only one we tested that had a dual design that can be worn as a backpack and on the shoulder, which we found makes it so much easier to carry around (you’ll need all of the free hands you can get when traveling with kids).

It took our tester a little over two minutes to set up this pack and play, and she didn’t need to consult the manual because the process was so intuitive. However, we deducted points from the assembly attribute because the legs of the Guava were difficult to collapse, making it challenging to close completely. While our testers liked the carrying tote, the pack and play required a substantial amount of effort to force back in the bag. While we liked the material of the Guava, it wasn’t nearly as stain-resistant as the other pack and plays that we tested, so we rated it a 3 for the care attribute. During our applesauce test, the material absorbed the liquid instead of repelling it, causing a small stain to be left behind. However, the good news is that the crib cover is machine washable so you can toss it into the wash to clear away any stains.

Overall, we appreciate how little space this pack and play takes up and how easy it is to transport, whether it’s already set up or tucked away in the carrying bag. It’s the best option for anyone looking for a super-compact model.

Dimensions: 46 x 31 x 25.5 inches | Weight: 11 pounds | Storage bag: Yes | Wheels: No

Guava Lotus Traveling Crib

Verywell Family / Leticia Almeida

Best Budget: Baby Trend Nursery Center

4
Baby Trend Nursery Center

Courtesy of Amazon

Our Ratings
  • Assembly
    4/5
  • Care
    4.8/5
  • Portability
    4.5/5
Pros
  • Easy to move from room to room

  • High quality for price

  • Brake on wheels

Cons
  • Time-consuming to fold

  • Mobile could be sturdier

Out of all of the playards we tested, the Baby Trend Nursery Center will give you the most bang for your buck. We were pleasantly surprised by how many extras this pack and play includes, given its price. Unlike other basic playard models, this one features a themed mobile, a canopy, and storage space, as well as two mattress position options. 

During testing, we found this pack and play to be relatively simple to assemble and we rated the simplicity of assembly a 4.8. However, our tester struggled to get the mattress to lay completely flat when it was set up as a bassinet, though this was minor and did not create an unsafe sleeping environment. As for the folding process, this model was one of the most difficult of all the pack and plays we tested. It took our tester around six minutes because the trigger buttons were difficult to find, and even after the buttons were pushed in, the sides were still stiff, which made it tricky to collapse down. 

Like many of the other pack and plays that we tested, the crib cover on the Baby Trend Nursery Center repelled the applesauce during our stain test. But, we did notice that a slight watermark was left behind which could be an issue when it's time to clean away drool, slobber, and milk. 

Still, we found we were able to overlook the difficult tear down because there were so many other things to love about the playard. It’s super lightweight and features two wheels, so it was easy to move from one room to another. Also, compared to other budget-friendly pack and plays, this one seems to be much more durable, and its design is compact, but not too small. 

Dimensions: 28 x 40 x 31.5 inches | Weight: 15 pounds | Storage bag: Yes | Wheels: Yes

Baby Trend Nursery Center

Verywell Family / Leticia Almeida

Compare

Overall Rating Assembly Care Portability
4moms Breeze Plus Portable Playard
Best Overall:
4moms Breeze Plus Portable Playard
4.9
4.6 5 3
BabyBjorn® Travel Crib Light
Best for Travel:
BABYBJORN Travel Crib Light
4.8
5 5 5
Graco Pack 'n Play Playard Snuggle Suite LX, Abbington
Best Convertible:
Graco Pack 'n Play Playard Snuggle Suite LX
4.3
2 5 4
Joovy Room²-Playard
Best Large Space:
Joovy Room2 Playard
4.5
5 4.8 4.8
Skip Hop Play to Night Expanding Playard & Travel Crib
Best Expanding:
Skip Hop Expanding Playard & Travel Crib
4.8
4.8 4.8 4.8
Graco Pack ‘n Play Portable Playard
Best Basic:
Graco Pack ‘n Play Portable Playard
4.8
5 5 4.8
Bugaboo Stardust Playard
Best for Small Spaces:
Bugaboo Stardust Playard
4.5
4.5 5 5
Graco Pack ‘n Play LiteTraveler Playard
Best Outdoor:
Graco Pack 'n Play LiteTraveler Playard
4.7
4.5 5 3
Summer Infant Pop ‘N Play Deluxe Ultimate Playard
Best for the Beach:
Summer Infant Pop ‘N Play Deluxe Ultimate Playard
4.6
4 4.5 4.8
Lotus Travel Crib
Best Compact:
Guava Family Lotus Travel Crib
4.2
4.5 3 4
Baby Trend Nursery Center
Best Budget:
Baby Trend Nursery Center
4
4 4.8 4.5

Final Verdict

There are benefits to all of the pack and plays on this list, but the 4moms Breeze Plus Portable Playard ranked highest on our list because it includes a bassinet and diaper changing station, offers plenty of space for little ones to play, and is super sturdy thanks to the extra bottom leg. 

Pack n Play test

Verywell Family / Leticia Almeida

How We Rated Pack and Plays

4.8 to 5 stars: These are the best pack and plays that we tested. We recommend them without reservation.

4.5 to 4.7 stars: These pack and plays are top of the line but they may have minor flaws like excessive setup time or complex takedown.

4.0 to 4.5 stars: We think these are great pack and plays, but others are better.

3.5 to 3.9 stars: These pack and plays are just average.

3.4 and below: We don't recommend pack and plays with this rating; you won't find any on our list.

How We Tested Pack and Plays

To determine which pack and plays on the market were the very best, we tested 13 different models in the Verywell Testing Lab to evaluate their size/compactness, special features, ease of assembly, the potential for travel, and durability. First, we timed how long it took to set up and take down each model and considered how intuitive the process is. We also took each pack and play out of its carrying bag (if it had one) and packed it back up to help us determine ease of use. 

To determine portability, we pulled each playard across a linoleum floor and a shag rug. We also carried each product from one end of our testing space to the other to determine how easy they were to lift and move from room to room while set up. Finally, we purposely spilled applesauce on each product and wiped it away with a baby wipe to determine how stain-resistant the material was. After each test, we gave the product a rating, which we then used to come up with an average star rating based on all of the tested factors.

Lab test

Verywell Family / Leticia Almeida

What to Look for When Buying a Pack and Play

Safety

“Never use or purchase a pack and play that doesn’t meet the standards of the Consumer Product Safety Commission, or that is broken or damaged in any way," says Whitney Casares, MD, pediatrician, author, and founder of Modern Mommy Doc. Also, it’s important to ensure any pack and play you plan to use as a bed meets safe sleep guidelines for babies under 1-year-old to reduce the risk of SIDS. The sides should be made of a breathable material, mattresses should be flat and firm, and any included fitted sheets should fit snugly without the risk of coming loose.

To ensure your little one is safely sleeping, the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) recommends avoiding bed-sharing, placing babies on their back for every sleep, and sharing the same room, if possible, for the first six months of the baby's life. You also want to keep any soft objects, loose bedding, or any other items, like blankets, pillows, and toys, out of the baby's sleep space as those all pose an entrapment, strangulation, and suffocation risk.

Lab test with weights

Verywell Family / Leticia Almeida

Size & Weight

Think about what you will be using this product for the most and take its size and weight into consideration. If it’s going to be set up at home, something larger with storage and a lot of attachments will benefit you. However, if you plan on doing a lot of traveling, you’ll want something a little smaller and more lightweight for easier transportation. 

Ease of Use

Ideally, you want a pack and play that is easy to set up and take down, with as little frustration as possible. Many of them are designed with one-step or one-hand mechanisms, simple buttons, or easy interlocking pieces that pop right into place. Also, consider how hard it is to collapse the pack and play and get it in and out of its carrying bag.

Opening Summer Infant Pack n Play

Verywell Family / Leticia Almeida

Functions

Not all travel cribs and playards are meant for the same purpose. Some convert from infant bassinet to toddler playard, some are strictly for sleeping, and others are designed only for play. Consider what purpose you need the pack and play to serve when choosing the right product for you. 

Summer Infant Pack n Play

Verywell Family / Leticia Almeida

Frequently Asked Questions

  • How do you set up a pack and play?

    Most pack and plays have an interlocking frame that can be easily broken down or securely snapped into place, some with the use of buttons while others need an adult to manually fold them down and then up. There is also typically a pull tab in the center of the bottom of the playard (which is covered by a mattress when in use) that functions similarly to an umbrella; when it’s pulled up the playard collapses into itself, and when it’s pushed down the playard fully expands. “Pay special attention that it is fully locked into place so it will not collapse, which could cause serious injury to babies,” Dr. Casares says.

  • Can a baby sleep in a pack and play?

    “It is safe for babies to sleep in pack and plays that meet the safety standards of the Consumer Product Safety Commission,” according to Dr. Casares. Features to look for include “a tight-fitting, firm mattress and a fitted sheet specifically designed to coordinate with it.” Additionally, before you use the pack and play for sleep, make sure you are aware of its age, weight, and height restrictions. If there is a bassinet attachment, find out if there are any guidelines for babies who can roll over. 

Why Trust Verywell Family

Ashley Ziegler is a full-time parenting writer and mom to a 2-year-old and a 5-year-old. She has personal experience in researching and purchasing a variety of children’s products.

3 Sources
Verywell Family uses only high-quality sources, including peer-reviewed studies, to support the facts within our articles. Read our editorial process to learn more about how we fact-check and keep our content accurate, reliable, and trustworthy.
  1. 17 portable cribs perfect for family travel. CNN. https://www.cnn.com/cnn-underscored/travel/best-travel-crib

  2. CPSC approves new federal safety standard for play yards. U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission

  3. Tips for keeping infants safe during sleep from the American Academy of Pediatrics. AAP

By Ashley Ziegler
​Ashley Ziegler is a lifestyle writer specializing in motherhood, family health, and consumer products. She has written for Romper, Moms.com, and more. She received her Bachelor of Arts in Communication from Purdue University and her Master of Science in Management from Indiana Wesleyan University.