Best Play Yards of 2024

Play yards used to resemble the fenced-in playpen you might remember from the TV show “Rugrats,” but they now take a wide variety of forms. They range from feature-rich structures outfitted with changing tables, bassinets, mobiles, and canopies to simple and transportable pads surrounded by durable mesh. Some have elevated platforms to make your baby easier to reach, while others have pads that sit directly on the floor. 

Despite the wide variation, play yards are regulated by the Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC), which stipulates that they should have enclosed mesh or fabric sides, sides that are high enough to limit a child’s ability to escape, and mattresses that babies can’t easily lift from the floor of the play yard, among other rules

We recruited 21 parents to ask about their experiences using one of three play yards: the BabyBjörn Travel Crib Light, the Graco Pack ’n Play Portable Playard, and the Guava Lotus Travel Crib. The parents selected their play yards for a number of reasons, including that they’re safe for babies to sleep or hang out in and are more or less easy to travel with. Overall, all three play yards are good options, but each has its advantages and drawbacks.