Don't Waste Your Money is supported by our readers. When you purchase an item through links on our site, we may earn an affiliate commission.

The Best Playard

Last updated on September 17, 2020

We looked at the top 6 Playards and dug through the reviews from 52 of the most popular review sites including All Top Ten Reviews, Your Home Security Watch, Mommy Tea Room, Read Best Reviews, Two Monkeys Travel Group, BestReviews and more. The result is a ranking of the best Playards.

Best Playard

Why Trust The DWYM Score?

DWYM is focused on helping you make the best purchasing decision. Our team of experts spends hundreds of hours analyzing, testing, and researching products so you don't have to.Learn more.

Look for the DWYM seal for products that are the best in a category.

Our Picks For The Top Playards

Show Contents
Our Take
Experts Included
Pros
Cons
  The Best Overall

Summer Infant Pop ‘N Play Compact Fold Portable Playard

Summer Infant

Pop ‘N Play Compact Fold Portable Playard

Overall Take

Indoor-Outdoor SolutionYou can set this playard up either outdoors or indoors, allowing you to use it either at home or on the go.

Experts Included
DWYM Baby and Kids Experts plus BestReviews, What To Expect, The Bump, Beginner Baby Care, All Top Ratings, Verywell Family and 3 more. Along with user reviews from Amazon.
Pros
" Great for indoor or outdoor use and offers a large play area. Easy to set up and take down. Inexpensive price."
Cons
"The downside for this yard is also a strength: its larger size. This may not fit in a small space, so you're going to want a little bit of room if this is your go-to product."
  The Best Value

Graco Pack & Play Compact Fold Portable Playard

Graco

Pack & Play Compact Fold Portable Playard

Overall Take

Extra Safety FeaturesThe safety features set this playard apart, including fastening straps to hold the mattress in place and padded metal bars.

Experts Included
DWYM Baby and Kids Experts plus Verywell Family, PrimeTopList, What To Expect, Lucie’s List, Baby Gear Lab, Parenting Pod and 3 more. Along with user reviews from Amazon.
Pros
" Graco seems to have put a lot of thought into this play yard’s design because it has a lot of safety features. From the fastening straps on the mattress to the mesh siding, down to the carefully padded metal bars,..."
Cons
"Sheets and other accessories sold separately"

Regalo 6-Panel My Portable Washable Playard Kit

Regalo

6-Panel My Portable Washable Playard Kit

Overall Take

Easy to CleanThe mesh walls and nylon play surface make it easy to simply wipe with a damp, soapy cloth to clean.

Experts Included
DWYM Baby and Kids Experts plus Beginner Baby Care, All Top Ratings, PrimeTopList, Top 10 The Best Reviews, Business Insider, Baby Gates Expert and 3 more. Along with user reviews from Amazon.
Pros
" It boasts an all-steel construction, making it an appealing playard, which is made with strength and durability in mind."
Cons
"Non-removable bottom"

Guava Family Lotus Portable Travel Playard Crib & Backpack

Guava Family

Lotus Portable Travel Playard Crib & Backpack

Overall Take

Designed for PortabilityWeighing only 13 pounds, this playard is highly portable and even includes a carrying case with shoulder straps.

Experts Included
DWYM Baby and Kids Experts plus Verywell Family, CTOP Reviews, Top 10 The Best Reviews, Experienced Mommy, Also Mom, Baby Advisor and 1 more. Along with user reviews from Amazon.
Pros
" With its quick setup, small footprint, and convenient carry bag, the Guava Family Lotus Travel Crib is a must-have for globetrotting families."
Cons
"A bit expensive"
Don't just take for granted what one reviewer says. Along with our own experts, DWYM analyzes the top expert reviews of the leading products and generates a score you can actually trust.
13

Products Considered

We identified the majority of the playards available to purchase.
6

Products Analyzed

We then selected the leading and most popular products for our team to review.

View All Product Rankings

52

Expert Reviews Included

In addition to our expert reviews, we also incorporate feedback and analysis of some of the most respected sources including: All Top Ten Reviews, Your Home Security Watch, Mommy Tea Room, Read Best Reviews, Two Monkeys Travel Group.

25,598

User Opinions Analyzed

We also incorporate user reviews from the leading retailers including Amazon.

Our experts reviewed the top 6 Playards and also dug through the reviews from 52 of the most popular review sites including All Top Ten Reviews, Your Home Security Watch, Mommy Tea Room, Read Best Reviews, Two Monkeys Travel Group, BestReviews and more. The result is a ranking of the best of the best Playards.

DWYM is your trusted roduct review source. Our team reviews thousands of product reviews from the trusted top experts and combines them into one easy-to-understand score. Learn more.

Look for the DWYM seal for products that are the best in their category.

The Best Overall

Summer Infant Pop ‘N Play Compact Fold Portable Playard

Our Expert Score
8.8
9 expert reviews
User Summarized Score
9.4
4,671 user reviews
Our Take

This playard can be set up either indoors or outdoors, making it a versatile solution. The lightweight "pop-and-fold" design is designed to allow you to set it up and break it down in a matter of seconds. It has mesh sides to encourage airflow and a water-resistant canvas floor that will keep your baby dry.

What other experts liked
Great for indoor or outdoor use and offers a large play area. Easy to set up and take down. Inexpensive price.
- BestReviews
This play yard is also super lightweight and really easy to set up and take down, which you will be thankful for when you're holding baby and a diaper bag and a beach chair or whatever else you need that...
- What To Expect
Mesh sides make baby easy to see and provide airflow
- The Bump
It is a baby play yard, which is made for portability, so it folds down and loads fast into an included bag when you want to go.
- Beginner Baby Care
Comes fully assembled for immediate use
- All Top Ratings
It provides ample room for more than one baby so a few can have a playdate while the moms catch up.
- Verywell Family
The see-through mesh cover also allows you kid to offer enough breathability and visibility.
- PrimeTopList
The floor consists of a weather resistant canvas which is great to keep your baby dry at all times. The sides are in a mesh fabric for easy visibility.
- Mums on Flipflops
It is stable. My 14 month old is on the big side (aka, he’s wearing 2t clothing!) and he has pulled on the sides without moving the playpen or knocking it over.
- Kaylee Eylander
What other experts didn't like
Bulky for storage, but that is to be expected in a unit that provides a 14-square-foot play area.
- BestReviews
The downside for this yard is also a strength: its larger size. This may not fit in a small space, so you're going to want a little bit of room if this is your go-to product.
- What To Expect
Bottom is thin/unpadded
- The Bump
Unluckily, the bag is made in such a manner that it is not durable. It even gets holes after a couple of uses
- Beginner Baby Care
The crossbars can do with some padding
- All Top Ratings
The Cross bars on the side don’t have padding on them. One day when my kiddo was learning to walk, he tripped and fell inside the play yard and bonked his head on the crossbars.
- Kaylee Eylander

The Best Bang For Your Buck

Graco Pack & Play Compact Fold Portable Playard

Our Expert Score
7.8
9 expert reviews
User Summarized Score
9.6
12,112 user reviews
Our Take

Available in a variety of designs, this playard has feet and wheels that automatically fold to make it easy to transport. An insert lets you raise the sleeping surface to a level more easily reachable, and mesh sidewalls keep airflow moving through the playard. The mattress is held in place with fastening straps to give you the peace of mind of knowing your baby will stay firmly in place.

What other experts liked
Graco seems to have put a lot of thought into this play yard’s design because it has a lot of safety features. From the fastening straps on the mattress to the mesh siding, down to the carefully padded metal bars, parents really don’t have much to worry about—unless their child...
- Verywell Family
This portable baby playards has a pair of wheels. Therefore, you can conveniently move it from one place to another with ease.
- PrimeTopList
Convenient for travel or home
- What To Expect
The Pack ‘n Play can also be a playard, which is a handy place for your baby to hang out when you have to do something else and can’t keep eagle eyes on them. (Oh, hi, toddler climbing on the table.)
- Baby List
It DOES come with an insert that raises the base level of the sleeping surface, which is a big help with newborns when you’re laying them down/picking them up.
- Lucie's List
We think it is a good choice for parents on a budget and that most families will be pleased with the features, functionality and overall quality of the Pack 'n Play.
- Baby Gear Lab
With a one-year warranty and a sturdy design, the Pack ‘n Play On the Go lets parents relax and feel secure that they’re making a good purchase.
- Parenting Pod
The Graco Pack ‘n Play portable play yard has been specially conceptualized and designed to provide not only a safe and protected place for your baby to play, but also take rest and recharge themselves.
- Portable Guide
What other experts didn't like
It’s a good option for local travel, but may not withstand the beating it would get in the luggage compartment of an airplane.
- Verywell Family
Sheets and other accessories sold separately
- What To Expect
It’s heavy and hard to use. Folding and unfolding can devolve into a wrestling match. The lightest version is more than 20 lbs, and most are closer to 30.
- Baby List
It is a little harder to use and heavier than some parents will want to carry.
- Baby Gear Lab
There aren’t any extras, the fabric isn’t machine-washable, and this pack ‘n play has a two-step fold, not a one-hand fold.
- Parenting Pod
Need to buy sheets separately
- Portable Guide

Overall Product Rankings

Summer Infant Pop ‘N Play Compact Fold Portable Playard

1. Summer Infant Pop ‘N Play Compact Fold Portable Playard

Overall Score: 9.7
Reviews Included: 10

Graco Pack & Play Compact Fold Portable Playard

2. Graco Pack & Play Compact Fold Portable Playard

Overall Score: 9.5
Reviews Included: 10

Regalo 6-Panel My Portable Washable Playard Kit

3. Regalo 6-Panel My Portable Washable Playard Kit

Overall Score: 9.4
Reviews Included: 10

Guava Family Lotus Portable Travel Playard Crib & Backpack

4. Guava Family Lotus Portable Travel Playard Crib & Backpack

Overall Score: 9.3
Reviews Included: 8

Joovy Room2 Portable Playard

5. Joovy Room2 Portable Playard

Overall Score: 9.0
Reviews Included: 9

Baby Trend Nursery Center Playard

6. Baby Trend Nursery Center Playard

Overall Score: 8.9
Reviews Included: 11

Our Playard Findings

Summer Infant Pop ‘N Play Compact Fold Portable Playard

What We Liked: This playard can be set up either indoors or outdoors, making it a versatile solution. The lightweight “pop-and-fold” design is designed to allow you to set it up and break it down in a matter of seconds. It has mesh sides to encourage airflow and a water-resistant canvas floor that will keep your baby dry.

Graco Pack & Play Compact Fold Portable Playard

Runner Up

What We Liked: Available in a variety of designs, this playard has feet and wheels that automatically fold to make it easy to transport. An insert lets you raise the sleeping surface to a level more easily reachable, and mesh sidewalls keep airflow moving through the playard. The mattress is held in place with fastening straps to give you the peace of mind of knowing your baby will stay firmly in place.

Regalo 6-Panel My Portable Washable Playard Kit

What We Liked: The frame of this playard has an all-steel construction, making it sturdy and likely to last through many years. Setup is easy, thanks to a a double-locking mechanism that you can operate using only your foot. It includes a carrying case that has an arm strap to make it portable.

Guava Family Lotus Portable Travel Playard Crib & Backpack

What We Liked: This playard is both lightweight and durable, with a design that surrounds your baby. You can set it up and take it down in seconds, and guides on the crib will walk you through setting it up until you get used to it. It’s lightweight, but one of the best things about it is how small it is when folded down, making it easy to pack up and squeeze into your car.

Joovy Room2 Portable Playard

What We Liked: This playard is ideal for setting up in your home and leaving it, as you’ll get 10 square feet of playspace, double the size of typical playards. It comes with a waterproof mattress sheet to give the baby a clean surface for playtime.

Our Playard Buying Guide

You can’t keep eyes on your baby 24 hours a day. Infants and toddlers need room to play and move around and doing so can easily get them into trouble. Even if you’ve baby-proofed your house, things can happen.

That’s where a playard comes in. Earlier generations called them playpens, but a brand called Pack ‘N’ Play, manufactured by Graco, transformed the concept of a playpen. Instead of being confined to your home, Pack ‘N’ Plays allowed parents to fold up their playpens and take them on the go. But today, Graco isn’t the only manufacturer making this type of product, so to get a true picture of the market, you’ll need to use the product name “playard.”

Like a playpen, a playard gives babies a small, safe space for them to play freely. Think of it as a gated area, only the gate is a soft, safe mesh, and instead of crawling around on the floor, babies get a soft flooring to crawl around on. But perhaps the best thing about playards is they don’t limit you to one small area of your home. They’re built to easily fold up so that you can take them on the go with you.

You aren’t limited to inside play areas with playards, either. You can find some that can be used either outdoors or inside, making them much more versatile than the playpens your grandparents and their parents used. The mesh walls of playards also ensure airflow gets through, which keeps your little ones from being confined between walls that restrict the oxygen they breathe.

But as with almost every other baby product, playards come in a wide variety, with each offering its own unique features. You may find you love the ease of cleaning one playard, only to discover that a competitor has a more comfortable mattress or better safety features. That’s why it’s important to shop around until you find the playard that has everything you need.

DWYM Fun Fact

Playpens have a long history. In fact, they’re believed to have gotten their beginnings when primitive moms realized they could confine babies to a corner of the cave using a barrier, effectively keeping them safe. But as a commercial product, playpens weren’t popularized until the late 1800s, when they were referred to as a “baby cage.” These cages more closely resembled a walker than a playpen, though. That version could double as a cot. A later version was an adjustable cot that could double as a playpen and a go-cart. The first known use of the term playpen was seen in a 1931 ad in the Daily Express, which referred to “play-pens in best hardwood.”

The Playard Tips and Advice

  • One thing many playards offer that playpens didn’t is portability. You’ll find most fold down, with some even coming with storage bags that you can use for carrying. Look at the folding mechanism. The best ones make it easy to set up and break down, taking mere seconds. Some even let you do the setup and breakdown work through the use of a foot pedal, which comes in handy if you’re holding a baby.
  • If you opt for a playard with a storage bag, make sure it has a storage strap that makes it easy to tote around.
  • Some playards have something called a “bassinet feature,” which simply means you can lower and raise the sleeping area by adjusting it. This can make it easier to pick up and put down your baby.
  • If you plan to regularly take your playard on the go with you, look for one that has a changing area built in.
  • Safety features are important with any product geared toward children. Check to make sure the mattress will be secure and that all parts of the frame are sufficiently padded to reduce the risk of injury.
  • As useful as playards can be, it’s still important to keep an eye on an infant or toddler, even when in a confined area.
  • Durability is important, too. The frame needs to be built to last. If you plan to use your playard outside, make sure you buy one that can weather sun, humidity and even a surprise rainstorm.
  • You’ll need to clean the playard. In fact, you’ll probably find cleanup is necessary on a fairly regular basis. Having one with a cover for the mattress area can be valuable since you can simply remove the cover and wash it as needed. But it can also be nice to have one made of material like nylon that can simply be wiped down with a damp, slightly soapy washcloth when needed.

About The Author

Avatar
Stephanie Faris 

Stephanie Faris is a novelist and professional writer. She's also a wife and stepmom who lives in the Nashville, Tennessee, area. Her work has appeared on popular parenting sites. She also writes books for young children, including the Piper Morgan series of chapter books published by Simon & Schuster's Aladdin imprint.