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From tummy time through first steps and beyond, play mats offer a soft, safe space for your little one to grow and play.
By Jennifer LaBracio Updated February 7, 2022
From tummy time through those first steps and beyond, a baby play mat offers a soft, cushy space for your little one to grow and play. Need to take a shower? No problem. Just drag it into the bathroom. Time to cook dinner? Slide it into the kitchen. Play mats are a must-have in every new parents' home—and with their bright, primary colors and loud designs, they're also almost impossible to take your eyes off of.
Looking for a beautiful and modern baby play mat that complements your style instead of clashing with it? Look no further, mamas; we've rounded up our 16 swoon-worthy favorite kids' play mats that you won't want to roll up the second your little one is done using it. From foam play mats to padded play mats we've rounded up some of the best looking gear on the market.
Check out our favorite baby play mats below!
From the teeniest babies to rough and tumble toddlers, Gathre’s padded play mats are the perfect place for playtime. Yes, they’re super comfy and available in a range of sizes that are incredibly versatile, but where they really knock it out of the park is with their signature wipeable faux leather. Spit up? No problem. Jelly fingers? Do your worst. There are a ton of gorgeous colors and patterns to choose from which is no doubt the hardest part of this decision. 😉
It’s going to be awhile before they master warrior pose, but they’ve got happy baby pose down pat! The brand new baby yoga mats from Béaba are soft, squishy and perfect for tummy time or mommy-and-me yoga sessions. They’re cleverly designed with a detachable shoulder strap that makes it super easy to take on the go and since they’re also moisture and bacteria resistant, you can really take them anywhere!
Handcrafted with natural latex in California, the portable and cozy play mats from Hugomat are a minimalist mama’s dream. The design (which comes in a variety of gorgeous muted colors and watercolor floral patterns) is perfectly sized for home use but conveniently folds in half for easy transport to grandma’s or an afternoon in the park. Soft handles and a pocket to carry some diapers and your phone are a thoughtful touch, but what we really love is the thoughtfulness of the brand itself. Each month, they donate a percentage of profit to organizations that fight poverty, racial discrimination, hunger, child abuse, environmental devastation and indifference to help make the world a better place for the children that will inherit it.
Baby’s love of high contrast pairs perfectly with the bold pop art of Keith Haring! This impossibly cool Keith Haring x Etta Loves collab “has been expertly scaled and colored by our consultant orthoptist specifically to support babies’ visual and cognitive development throughout their first year” making it a win for everyone. The double-sided design is made from organic cotton and is fully machine washable.
For an alternative to foam, we 💜 this ingenious line of washable rugs from one of our designer faves,Lorena Canals. These beautiful rugs do double duty—they make a gorgeous accent to any nursery or play space, but they also provide a soft spot for little ones who still need an extra layer of cushion beneath their feet. And the best part: the rugs are completely machine washable, so you won’t have to stress out about spills. (Truly; we tried them!)
Perfect under a play gym or just as a landing pad, the soft and snuggly playmats from Coco Village are functional baby gear that doubles as decor. They’re made from an easy-to-wash linen cotton blend and come in a variety of gorgeous shapes and colors.
Originally launched in the UK, Totter + Tumble’s luxe and stylish mats are finally available in the states and we’re instant fans. Their non-toxic memory foam mats provide new walkers a cushy place to crash and teeny ones a safe spot to lay and play. Their stylish and subtle designs look right at home in any room of the house and since they’re reversible you can just flip it over for an instant room refresh! Prices start at $179
We’re obsessed with this beautifully designed foam mat. Created as an alternative to play mats that lets kids roll, crawl and play wherever from their first steps through toddlerhood and beyond, the founder, Eli, came up with idea during her maternity leave. Toki Mats feature a variety of stunning cover designs, from fun tropical leaves to more neutral mini hearts—guaranteed to match any mama’s decor. Bonus: The covers are machine washable to accommodate those inevitable messes, waterproof, and non-toxic.
Reversible, non-toxic and totally waterproof, this oversize mat can host all kinds of play. The one-piece construction can easily roll up when not in use, but we suspect that won’t be too often!
Made famous by their appearance on Shark Tank (under their former name, Little Nomad), The House of Noa’s play mats are truly works of art. (The patterns were conceived by a designer + illustrator.) They’re muted + minimal, and at first glance, you’ll think you’re looking at a beautiful heirloom carpet. But they also wipe clean and are available in three different sizes.
This beauty doesn’t come cheap, but if you’re a stylish mama looking to accent your space with a playmat that won’t stick out like a sore thumb, they’re our top pick.
This is one of the more comfy mats on our list, made from cotton muslin and hand embroidered giving you a beautiful and cushy interactive play mat that has over 30 developmental benefits for a growing baby. It’s perfect for tummy time and sized generously enough that any parent can join baby on the floor. We love the crinkle peek-a-boo leaves, reflective sun mirror and bird rattle. Plus, it’s machine washable and super easy to just fold and store when you no longer need it.
If you can’t decide whether you love bright graphics or subdued patterns, the Lollaland play mat has you covered. This roll-up, reversible foam mat features a colorful graphic on one side and a muted print on the other. Its one-piece design means you don’t have to fumble with interlocking foam squares, and its textured, non-slip surface means that it stays put on floors and rugs.
If you’re looking for the whole kit and caboodle, Lovevery’s got you covered. Their colorful but not overly loud playmat features five development “zones” that help take the “am I doing this right?” worry out of playtime. (Relax, mama. You’re doing great!) It’s got flaps for peek-a-boo, textures to explore and a gorgeous minimalist activity gym with a collection of toys to swap out as they grow. And if that’s not enough, it also converts to a sweet playtime fort to keep it relevant long past tummy time.
A Skip Hop family favorite, the Doubleplay reversible playmat is perfect for cushioning a large space in an easy (and stylish) way. We love that the kid-friendly pattern on one side isn’t too glaring, and that the other side’s subtle grey and white print will complement any space. If you’re chemical-conscious, this mat fits the bill—it’s 100% PVC-free.
Style meets function in a big way here with a reversible play mat that looks like a rug but feels like a safe place for baby. The “rug” pattern on one side will have you doing a double-take, while the flipside offers an interactive map that is sure to provide hours of playtime fun. (Or yoga for mama, if you can find the time!)
Ruggish mats are a bit of an investment, but keeping in mind they can truly do double duty, we think they are worth the splurge. Prices start at $119.
For the minimalist modern mama, the Nook LilyPad is a completely foam-free solution that’s great for both indoor and outdoor use. The non-toxic, air-filled pebble cushion grows with your little one—it’s perfect for baby’s tummy time or play time, and can be used as a seat, beach mat, or even a picnic blanket as they grow. It’s completely machine washable, folds easily, and features a handle that makes it easy to carry or even hook onto your stroller.
A cross between a play mat and a rug, these gorgeous, one-of-a-kind designs are made in Australia and are the perfect choice if you’re looking for something original for your nursery or play space. The gender neutral patterns and designs are minimal + modern while also remaining soft. The mats are organic, machine washable, and simply stunning.
We independently select and share the products we love—and may receive a commission if you choose to buy.