From the first year of life, a baby begins to actively explore the world around him/her. Your baby is actively developing, so he/she needs to be watched constantly to prevent any injuries by colliding with any object or falling off the bed, sofa, or stairs. The play yard is one way to ensure a safe space for the baby. Modern models of play yards are play areas in their own right.

Of course, it is not worth constantly keeping a baby in an enclosed space because the main function of the play yard is to ensure the safety of the child when there is no one around to keep an eye on him/her. Even if you have installed a baby gate, there might be a few objects your baby can bump into and gets injured. If you want to buy a play yard for your little one, then you better check out consumer reports play yards comprising of reviews of 5 best play yards along with buying guide.

Reviews Of 5 Best Play Yards

1. Baby Trend E Nursery Center PY86B67B

consumer reports play yards

Get this play yard from Baby Trend, which allows your baby to enjoy in the most comfortable environment. This Trend-E Nursery Center is a full-size bassinet that offers a safe, secure and comfy environment for your little one to rest and refresh. It comes with a mesh parent-organizer where you can keep all the necessary items for your baby. You can remove the organizer when not in use.

The nursery center can be converted into a perfect playtime center as your baby grows a bit older. The unit comes with large wheels with brakes that offer mobility and stability. When your baby is done playing in the play yard, you can easily fold it and fit it into a travel/storage bag. The compact design of the play yard makes it the most popular choice among parents. Other notable features of the unit include a one-hand locking mechanism and the ability to add toys as per the requirement of the baby.

2. Lotus Travel Crib Play-Yard With Comfortable Mattress

consumer reports play yards

This isn’t a normal play yard, but Lotus Travel Crib Play-Yard is a product that you can carry on a flight as well. Its compact and lightweight design allows you to carry it along on trips. The play yard weighs just 13 lbs and is set up in just 15 seconds, thus making it very convenient for busy parents like you. The play yard is made of non-toxic material and comes with GreenGuard Gold non-toxic certification, which confirms no use of PVC, phthalates, lead, or heavy metals while making the play yard.

The company has added a quiet zipper door on one side, which can be quickly zipped to nurse or cuddle your baby to sleep. The inclusion of a comfortable mattress makes this play yard a perfect place for playing as well as sleeping. The use of a thick pad along with soft foam is ideal for newborns as well as infants for overnight sleep. The package includes a complete travel crib with a backpack carrying case. The product comes with a 2-year warranty along with highly reliable customer service.

3. Fortella Cloud Castle Foldable Playpen Baby Safety Play Yard

consumer reports play yards

What I like the most about Fortella Cloud Castle Foldable Play Yard is how easily you can assemble, pack and store it. The play yard features anti-slip pads that work on all types of surfaces be it indoors or outdoors. The inclusion of durable hinge connectors along with anti-slip pads helps the play yard keep its shape and position. The company has added a gate with a safety lock that allows easy access to your baby and secures him/her inside as well.

You will also like the presence of a whiteboard on the back of the door panel, which your baby can use to draw things to improve his/her motor skills and cognition development. The inclusion of 5 sensory toys will also encourage your baby to play independently. You will get the play yard pre-assembled, so you just need to expand the play yard’s panels into the configuration of your choice followed by tightening the given hinges to make the unit stable. That sums up the assembling process.

4. UANLAUO Baby Playpen For Babies And Toddlers

consumer reports play yards

If you are looking for a large play yard for your children, then you can consider this one from UANLAUO, which has an area of 29 square feet, thus letting one baby and 2 adults easily lie inside. You can also use the play yard as a toy storage area, so if you have cleaned your baby’s room with the best cordless vacuum, then you will want it to stay that way. For that, you can transfer all your baby’s toys to this play yard. Assembling this play yard is a breeze, as you can watch the assembly video to assemble it without any issue. The playpen is double stitched, which adds to its durability.

The company has used a breathable mesh in the playpen, which has a 360-degree view. The upper pipe of the play yard is protected by a sponge, which ensures the safety of the baby. A floor mat is also included in the play yard, so you don’t have to buy one separately. The double-sided cute pattern of the unit is soft yet anti-slip, thus making it ideal for crawling babies or the ones who have just started to walk. You can assemble this play yard in the living room, kitchen, and even outdoors, but make sure to be around when setting it up outside the house.

5. Baby Playpen Extra Large Playyard For Toddler ‎QT-BP20100

consumer reports play yards

This is one of the most durable play yards available on the market. It weighs 18lbs, which is a bit heavier than other play yards, but the weight comes from thicker 27mm steel pipe and 250D oxford cloth, which are used to make this play yard. The play yard features anti-skid bottom suckers that keep it in its place. The company has used only eco-friendly materials in this play yard, so you don’t have to worry about the health and well-being of your baby. The side panels of the play yard are made of breathable mesh, which offers a 360-degree view, thus letting parents see their babies inside the play yard.

A quiet zipper on the outside is easy to unzip, thus letting you interact with your baby at any time. You can add toys into the play yard to encourage your baby to play independently. Just as how easy it is to assemble the play yard, disassembling it is as easy, as it doesn’t require any tools. Cleaning the play yard is easy too, as you just need to wipe the unit with a wet cloth and soap. The company provides excellent support for all its products, so if you come across any issue in this play yard, get in touch with the company’s support providers.

How Does The Play Yard Work?

Baby play yards come in different shapes, sizes, and additional accessories. Generally, the yard has a fenced space made up of bars between which the network or fabric is stretched. Some play yards have a special door for an older child, which opens and closes with a zipper.

Modern plastic models present a builder: such a yard can be increased or reduced, divided into zones, adjusted to the age and needs of the child. If the play yard is equipped with an adjustable bottom, the construction can be placed at ground level during the day for a baby to use as a play area and assemble it in the evening so that a child can sleep in the play area.

What Are The Types Of Play Yard

The classic baby play yard - It is constructed with transparent mesh sides. These models have a budgetary cost. They assemble and disassemble quickly. Classic models include a wooden play yard. They may have a height-adjustable bottom covered with a mattress.

The play yard/bed - It is a multifunctional model with two levels: the upper level is a bed and the lower level is a playpen itself. Most of the play yard/bed models are equipped with drawers, shelves, pockets, changing tables, play elements on the sides.

The play yard/the security barrier - It is a modern model of a play yard that looks like a constructor of different sections. This construction is often designed for several children and can look like a tent or a house.

What Are The Important Criteria To Consider Before Buying A Baby Play Yard?

A baby will be spending most of the day in the play yard, so parents should be serious about choosing this accessory for a baby. There are important criteria to consider when buying a play yard:


  • The construction of a play yard should not have large cracks and open spaces where a baby can put his head, handle, or leg.
  • In the taut network must be safety meshes in which the baby's finger cannot get stuck.
  • The playpen must be made of ecological materials.
  • The height of the sides of the playpen should match the height of the baby so that he does not go through the fence. The height-adjustable models are convenient, in which the bottom can be lowered as a baby grows.
  • The play yard must be sustainable.

The comfort of the baby - The play yard should be spacious, with transparent windows and interesting and useful devices for a baby (hanging toys, etc.).

Transportation - It is best to choose a play yard that is easy to move from room to room (with wheels, with a folding function).

Multifunctional - Many models are equipped with additional functions and accessories. For example, there are playpens with changing tables, toy drawers, hanging toys, etc.

Brand - It is recommended to choose models from a reliable manufacturer.

Final Verdict

Don’t leave the safety of your baby to chances, especially when you have a product like a baby play yard available on the market. You just need to figure out which play yard from the consumer reports play yards reviews suit you and your baby the best. Also, consider the aforementioned buying guide before finalizing your order because you don’t want to end up buying the wrong product that is neither comfortable nor fulfills the needs of your baby.

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