It’s hard to fold and it can be a nightmare to set up when you’re trying to settle a crying infant late at night when you’re tired. Yet the Pack n Play is possibly one of the best and most affordable tools in your parenthood arsenal. The pack n play mattress is an important component of the pack n play.
For those of us a bit too tired to sit here reading all night, here’s what you need to know:
Your Pack n play is invaluable…
…but the mattress sucks.
Luckily, finding a replacement is not only easy and affordable, but it improves your little one’s sleep quality too.
Quick Summary for Busy Parents
Need to jump straight to it? Here are our top pack n play mattresses from the list below.
Best Overall – Dream On Me, for waterproof bacteria-resistant foam.
Best Folding – Hiccapop, for tri-fold design, removable cover, and carrying bag.
Best Memory Foam – NapYou, for machine-washable organic cotton cover and affordable price.
Pack n Play Mattress Buying Guide
Time to spare? Just need a distraction? Read through our short n sweet guide so you can know for sure that what you’re buying is a decent pack n play mattress.
Pack n Play Mattress Sizes
Here are the mattress sizes you need for your specific pack n play models (you’re welcome):
Graco Pack n Play Portable Playard – 27 inches x 39 inches
Chicco Lullaby SE and LX Models – 37.5 inches x 25.5 inches
Joovy Room2 Portable Playard – 37.5 inches x 37.5 inches
Regalo Six Panel Play Yard – 48 inches wide (6 sided)
It’s super important to get this part right. Ill-fitting mattresses might not be structurally able to hold your baby in the pack n play and gaps between the mattress and walls are dangerous places for tiny arms and legs to get stuck.
Different Types of Pack n Play Mattresses
Just like grown-up mattresses, the babies have a few options too. Each has pros and cons.
Memory foam – it’s super cushioning, comfortable and warming. That’s great for traveling in cooler climates and cozying up. However, it doesn’t allow your baby to move as freely (e.g. rolling comfortably in their sleep), some foam mattresses can let off a god-awful stench when they first arrive, and they’re typically not foldable for transport. Make sure it isn’t too soft as the risk of SIDS increases on soft mattresses.
Firm foam – unlike memory foam which molds around the little one’s body, a firm foam offers a stronger and more solid base. This is better for sleeping on but not as great for playing on during the day, as there’s less cushioning support when they topple over.
Quilted mattress – these often feel like a very firm comforter stitched onto a board backing. This offers the best of both memory foam and firm foam, with solid support and cushioning comfort… but the creases and curves can be uncomfortable compared to a completely flat surface.
Other Accessories You’ll Need
Besides the mattress itself, there are a few accessories and features you might want to look for.
Waterproof linings are excellent for traveling and wiping up accidents. Mattress toppers and fitted sheets can add more comfort. Cleaning tools and methods (can it go in the washing machine?) are also a big feature you should look for.
Because let’s be honest. It’s never just pack n play. It’s always pack n unfold n play n tantrum n dirt n spills n packing up again. Keeping it clean is just part of the process.
Before You Buy, Check…
Finally, before you give a big sigh and just pick one at random (not recommended), take a look at these last considerations:
Durability – how long is it going to last and will it be suitable for those toddler years if it’s going to be around that long?
Price – is it worth the cost? Look at the materials, customer reviews and usability. Is it going to pay for itself and can it be used in other places besides the pack n play?
Warranty – what voids warranty and how long does it last? Raising kids is expensive, as you already know. Don’t waste money on a faulty mattress that you can’t return.
Dream On Me Firm Foam Mattress
Best Overall Pack n Play Mattress
Mattress Type: foam and vinyl
Size: 37.5 x 25.5 x 3 inches
Warranty: 30 days
Dream On Me Firm Foam Mattress for pack n play models is rightly one of the most popular of all available online. It won us over too!
Compared to the standard barely-there mat that comes with the pack n play, this mattress is soft, bouncy, comfortable and very easy to keep clean. It’s made entirely from foam (FDA-approved) with a vinyl waterproof cover. It’s hypoallergenic to keep your baby safe, plus fire-resistant and bacteria-resistant.
You can wipe it clean with just a cloth and warm water. Stains slide off.
It’s made to fit a variety of pack n play mattress playards, including the Graco Pack ‘N Play Snuggle Suite LX and Graco Day2Night Sleep System. It doesn’t fold or roll (forcing it to will just break it, so don’t even try) so you can’t use this easily for traveling.
Pros: waterproof cover, great price, firm foam, hypoallergenic and stain-resistant
Cons: can’t fold for travel, small gaps in some Graco Pack n Play models
Hiccapop’s tri-fold pack n play mattress is possibly one of the best for travel! It’s not the most common size, so before you waste time reading further make sure the dimensions are right for your pack n play.
The tri-fold design makes it easy for traveling with and the creases don’t reduce the stability of the mattress when unfolded. One side is moderately firm, for young babies and the other is more cushioning with CertiPUR-US high-density memory foam, which is better for toddlers.
The super-soft jacquard cover is removable via a zipper and can be thrown straight into the washing machine. What a relief! It’s also hypoallergenic like the Dream On Me mattress and is mildew/mold/odor/dust mite/bed bug resistant.
As for warranty, Amazon has the standard 30 day return period and you can register your pack n play mattress with Hiccapop here for the lifetime warranty.
Pros: flip mattress for different cushioning levels, great warranty, removable and washable cover
Cons: not the thickest, not firm enough for very young babies (under 12 months)
With an organic cotton, soft, waterproof and, most importantly, machine washable cover, this simple memory foam mattress is one of the comfiest for the smallest of babies!
The firm surface makes it most suitable for babies under 12 months and less suitable for larger/heavier bubbas. At only 1.5 inches thick, it won’t feel overly cushioning! This is what makes it the best memory foam pack n play mattress – it’s designed especially for babies rather than just a scaled-down adult foam mattress for toddlers.
Furthermore, the price is wonderfully affordable and it comes with a travel bag to keep it clean during travel.
The biggest issue with it is the strange size. It fits a variety of different pack n plays… but finding fitted sheets? That’s a struggle. You’ll also need to air it out for a day before you use it. That’s normal for memory foam so don’t worry if it smells a bit when you open the box!
Pros: affordable, suitable for small babies, organic softcover, washable, and waterproof
Cons: your baby will out-grow it, awkward size for sheets, needs airing out before use
Similar to the first and best overall Dream On Me pack n play mattress but slightly more expensive (for reasons unknown), this is still a great one for babies over 6 months old!
It features 3 inches of medium-firm cushioning foam, a hypoallergenic and waterproof vinyl cover, and a plethora of certifications. AND, it’s made in the USA. Awesome.
As for those certifications, this play yard mattress passes federal flammability tests 16 CFR 1632/1633 and passes phthalate, lead and toxicity tests. It also has a GREENGUARD Gold certificate to ensure it’s safe for your baby indoors.
It fits a range of different Graco pack n play models plus the Chicco Lullaby LX model. An all-round great one!
The only problem is the price – we can’t fathom why it’s more expensive than the seemingly identical other model from Dream On Me – plus the solid structure. You can’t fold or roll it for travel, which is a tad annoying.
Pros: good price, great certifications, waterproof cover, good cushioning comfort
Cons: can’t travel with you if you don’t have an oversized vehicle, not suitable for very young babies
A foldable, long-lasting and thin pack n play mattress that’s great for babies and toddlers alike. Visually, it’s very similar to the other mattresses on this list.
It has the standard CertiPUR-US certified foam, removable and washable cover that’s also hypoallergenic and waterproof, plus the tri-fold design and carry bag.
Where the Milliard differs, however, is the polyester cover (most use vinyl or cotton) longer than usual size (it’s about 1 inch longer and wider than most) and impressive durability.
We chatted with owners of the Milliard Tri-Fold Pack n Play Mattress who confirmed that after several years of use the foam holds its shape. The cover is equally impressive and can withstand many runs through the washing machine without shrinking or getting threadbare.
It takes up to 24 hours to unfurl from the box. The depth is supposedly 1.5 inches but after it unfurls it can be nearer 2 inches.
Pros: very durable, long-lasting, travel-friendly, good price, nice softness
Cons: Not suitable for very young babies, takes a while to unfurl, unusual size
If you’re worried about material safety (non-toxic foams, plastic-free, etc.) this is the pack n play mattress we’d recommend. It’s thin, simple and great for travel with a tri-fold design. The cover is waterproof PUL fabric, which is food grade safe and anti-bacterial! Your teething baby can go wild with chewing this mattress and you won’t need to worry about a thing.
We like that MamaDoo shows you how their pack n play mattress has multiple uses – you can fold it up into a chair or play mat. You can get good use from this even when your toddler has outgrown the pack n play.
Make sure you buy this pack n play from Amazon (link below) as they have the standard 30-day return policy. The MamaDoo website has a 7-day return policy only! Don’t get caught out if the mattress doesn’t fit your pack n play model.
Pros: non-toxic and ideal for traveling, waterproof cover
Cons: not overly comfortable for sleeping, a higher price than average
Not looking to get rid of the original pack n play mattress you have? No worries. This mattress topper saves you money and prevents the original mat from going to waste. AND, it makes the whole set up way more comfortable for your baby too.
It wraps around the original pad, like a fitted sheet but thicker and with a quilted top. This adds more comfort with a soft spongey layer. This is a great way to transition the pack n play from being baby-ready to toddler-ready.
We love that it’s also going to prolong the life of the original mattress too.
The Little One’s pad cover is made from strong re-enforced fibers with a waterproof coating that can last many trips through the washing machine. The microfiber top layer is as soft as a baby’s bottom and has a cozy peach fuzziness that feels so light and comfortable.
Pros: affordable, works with the original mattress, very soft, durable
Cons: not good for young babies, doesn’t work with very thin (1 inch) mattresses
It’s not designed for pack n plays. Let’s start by addressing that. Firstly, it’s larger than many pack n play models… but not all. If you’re stuck with an awkward sized pack n play from an obscure supplier, chances are you’re desperate. The Delta Children Portable mattress could be ideal. If not, this is a good crib mattress or just a tummy mat to have at home.
For the Graco or Chicco pack n plays, look elsewhere.
As for the features, it’s a durable standard foam mattress. It has a non-toxic stain-resistant cover that’s waterproof all the way around so you can flip it over to use the other side happily. The foam is quite firm and is designed to support babies in cribs.
Finally, it’s certified gold by GREENGUARD so you can have peace of mind that your little one is safe and sound.
Pros: 1-year warranty, decent size, and thickness, double-sided waterproof cover
Another crib-sized mattress. If you’ve made it this far down the list, you’ve already passed the perfect sized pack n play mattresses and you’re now reaching the above and beyond territory.
At 51.7 inches long, this is a crib mattress that could be used in a pack n play if you happen to have one large enough. Honestly, we were so impressed with this mattress that we thought it deserved a place on the list regardless.
It’s a premium, luxury mattress with a price tag to match. It’s waterproof and features two non-allergenic layers in the cover – which is staph-guard hospital-grade fabric. 204 tiny coils are inside this mattress, keeping it perfectly level and supportive without any sagging. Compared to a foam mattress, quality innerspring mattresses tend to hold up longer.
Pros: excellent quality, ideal for babies, waterproof cover
Cons: very expensive, hard to find a pack n play that will fit
The last on our list is a very specific pack n play replacement mattress that fits only certain compatible Chicco models – XXX79058XXXXXX and XXX79059XXXXXX.
Nonetheless, it’s super comfortable. So comfortable that we wished we could fit on it! It’s also a great price and can be folded up for traveling with Velcro tabs to keep it together or lay flat.
You could use this in the pack n play or just on the floor for rolling about. The boards in the back that keep it flat are removable so you can put the quilted top part straight in the washing machine. Be aware that the padding can shift around a bit so handwashing or the delicate cycle can be used to prolong the life of it.
The price is about the same as most good foam mattresses, so this is a nice alternative if bubba doesn’t like the foam feel!
Pros: good price, comfortable, standard size, machine washable