The best baby mat in the UK 2023

To entertain baby and give you a little break, there's nothing better than a brightly colored, interactive play mat for your baby's playtime. It will entertain and stimulate his senses throughout his physical and mental development. But which one to choose? Read this guide to find out.

Yookidoo 3 in 1 folding playmat 1

Best value for money

Yookidoo 3 in 1 folding playmat

The best early learning mat in 2021

This mat offers a beautiful and soft surface on which baby can be placed on his back, on his stomach (under the supervision of parents of course), or sitting. Fun, practical and mobile, it has everything to please baby and his parents!

54 £ on Amazon

This playmat features a variety of fun accessories that your child will love to discover and rediscover over and over again during their first year. These include a plush bear pillow, a large mirror, a rustling paper adventure map, a musical rattle, and a multi-textured rattle.

Beyond its playful features, this mat is also appreciable for its great practicality. Indeed, it is machine washable and folds easily to be taken everywhere. Especially since it weighs only 2.2 kg. It can also be used as an extra bed for your child thanks to its integrated wrap-around cover. In short, this mat is definitely the ideal playmate to entertain and awaken your baby.

Ludi "owl" pink playmat 2

Best value for money

Ludi "owl" pink playmat

The best entry-level early learning mat in 2021

Also available in blue, this playmat offers a beautiful and colorful play area for your little one to safely develop their sense of touch and dexterity, as well as their motor skills thanks to the removable arches.

16,19 £ on Amazon

This playmat with playful illustrations in pink and brown tones will make your little princess happy. It can be used from the moment your baby is born and has folding edges that can transform it into a cozy cocoon in which your infant will feel safe. Ludi's little owl can also be used later as a ball pool to entertain your little one.

The toys hanging from the two perpendicular arches of the mat are both intriguing and entertaining for the child. Practical, this mat is removable and machine washable on cold. In addition, its removable arches make it easy to store in any room of your home. Although it is criticized for its lack of thickness, this mat is still a very good choice!

Lovevery play gym 3

Best value for money

Lovevery play gym

The best high-end early learning mat in 2021

It is an educational playground that has won over hundreds of parents. It owes its popularity to the discovery activities it offers for each stage of baby's development and to the high quality of its materials.

124 £ on Amazon

Developed by brain development experts and inspired by Montessori learning, this playmat will not leave your baby indifferent. You'll also love it for its many benefits: a multi-learning sensory experience, with opportunities to stimulate fine and gross motor skills as well as the development of your child's cognitive skills. Apart from that, the quality is there: the Lovevery's accessories have been designed with high quality materials that are safe for baby's health.

Five developmental zones are provided to introduce your child to concentration, inquiry, color discovery, sound and cause and effect. The cards and toys included are there to expand his vocabulary and encourage him to speak. Finally, the included play guide is a great help in knowing which accessories and activities are appropriate for each stage of baby's development. This playmat is definitely worth a try.

Tapis d'Eveil Kinderkraft 4SMART 4

A great choice

Tapis d'Eveil Kinderkraft 4SMART

A playful and original early learning mat

Usable from birth, the 4SMART offers a variety of games that will satisfy your baby's developmental desires. The adjustable arches of its arch also allow you to attach other toys or to change the place of the toys on the mat.

55,96 £ on Amazon
Buying guide • November 2023

Best baby mat

Any specific needs?

The best early learning mat in 2021

The best entry-level early learning mat in 2021

The best high-end early learning mat in 2021

A playful and original early learning mat

Your guide : Samuel

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Comparison table of the best baby mat

Yookidoo 3 in 1 folding playmat 5
Ludi "owl" pink playmat 6
Lovevery play gym 7
Tapis d'Eveil Kinderkraft 4SMART 8
Yookidoo 3 in 1 folding playmat
Ludi "owl" pink playmat
Lovevery play gym
Tapis d'Eveil Kinderkraft 4SMART
This mat offers a beautiful and soft surface on which baby can be placed on his back, on his stomach (under the supervision of parents of course), or sitting. Fun, practical and mobile, it has everything to please baby and his parents!
Also available in blue, this playmat offers a beautiful and colorful play area for your little one to safely develop their sense of touch and dexterity, as well as their motor skills thanks to the removable arches.
It is an educational playground that has won over hundreds of parents. It owes its popularity to the discovery activities it offers for each stage of baby's development and to the high quality of its materials.
Usable from birth, the 4SMART offers a variety of games that will satisfy your baby's developmental desires. The adjustable arches of its arch also allow you to attach other toys or to change the place of the toys on the mat.
Nomadic, can be converted into a crib, 3 positions (baby lying down, tummy up, sitting)
Removable arches, fold-down sides to transform into a cozy cocoon or ball pool
Inspired by Montessori learning, an included play guide offers 5 play areas that can be hidden to avoid over-stimulation of the child
Complies with EN 71-1, EN 71-2, EN 71-3, adjustable hoops to move toys from mat or hang others, nomadic
Dimensions (LxWxH) and weight
91 x 90 x 2 cm/2.2 kg
Removable arches, fold-down sides to transform into a cozy cocoon or ball pool
111.76 x 96.52 x 60.96 cm/3.27 kg
128 x 1.2 x 116 cm/1.1 kg
From 0 to 12 months
From birth
From 0 to 12 months
From birth
Organic cotton, FSC-certified wood frame
Variety of games offered

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Buying guide - baby mat

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How to choose your baby mat

Here are some parameters to consider in order to find an excellent quality playmat for your toddler.

#1 - Security

First, make sure that the mat complies with current European standards and has the CE mark. After that, carefully inspect the mat's components. Choose a model with removable parts that are not too small to prevent baby from swallowing them. A non-slip mat is also a very good option to limit accidents.

#2 - The material of manufacture

Since your toddler will spend most of his time on the play mat, make sure that the material the product is made of is not harmful to your child's health. In general, parents prefer waterproof mats because they are easier to maintain and clean. Be aware, however, that most waterproof baby play mats are made of polyvinyl chloride (PVC) or thermoplastic polyetherane (TPU). However, each type of plastic contains different types and amounts of chemical additives to achieve a certain desired comfort level (hardness, softness, texture). In this sense, opt for TPU, which uses significantly less chemical plasticizing additives than PVC. Moreover, TPU is more flexible, more resistant and does not contain phthalates. Finally, TPU is environmentally friendly because it is biodegradable. Fabric or foam playmats are also great and safe.

#3 - The thickness of the carpet

Foam playmats are thick and are best for infants and toddlers because their thickness helps cushion the impact of falls as your toddler begins to roll over, crawl, stand or walk. Thicker playmats usually have zippers that need to be hidden to avoid scratching your toddler's delicate skin. Fabric mats, on the other hand, are thinner and are best suited for older babies. Fabric mats are comfortable for walking and sitting on. However, a cloth playmat does not cushion falls when your baby falls. If you are going to buy a cloth mat, consider buying an extra mat to put under the mat. It will also come in handy to prevent your child from catching a cold when the mat is set up on a cold floor.

#4 - Multifunctionality

Children grow up very quickly and as they get older, their toys and mats lose their appeal. Quality mats like those available in the market are made to last and be used even when your baby has grown up. These rugs can easily be reused by moms as exercise mats or stylish bedroom decor. So, when buying a baby floor mat, consider choosing one that offers versatile use.

#5 - Portability

Go for a lightweight, compact playmat that is easy to set up and take down. Also, favor models with removable arches. Not only are they easy to carry, they take up less space and are easy to store. There are also play mats that can be adjusted to fit the space available in the room where they are installed. While compactness is a key consideration, be sure to invest in a mat that is large enough to allow your little one to play in total comfort.

Which stimuli for which age?

From 0 to 3 months

During the first 3 months of his life, it is mainly the moments of exchange and tenderness with you that he needs. At this age, baby does not yet discern colors well. It's mostly contrasts that tickle his curiosity. As the first few weeks of his life will be hard on him, it's best to let him sleep. Give him time to adapt to his new environment. It's only when he's about 1 month old that his senses will be ready to be stimulated. At this age, he begins to discover touch and to pick up sounds. He can only see objects that are 30 cm from his face, but he can still follow objects with his eyes.

From 4 to 6 months

From 4 months onwards, babies begin to use their hands to grab and manipulate objects and then put them in their mouths. His eyesight is more developed and he can now distinguish colors and objects that are a little further away from his face. He also distinguishes different textures. At this age, baby is ready to get to know his cuddly toy.

From 6 to 9 months

By 6 months, baby is able to roll over, sit up and pick up his feet. He gets excited about bath time and loves to spend time on his playmat and in his playpen. This is also the age when he begins to diversify his diet. This is the time to buy a teething ring for baby to chew on. Most playmats have them.

From 10 months to 1 year

Around 10 months, baby is crawling, rolling balls, flipping through books and throwing things. He loves closing and opening drawers and cupboards and spends his time emptying and filling containers. He is beginning to imitate what you do and loves to nest and stack objects.

1 to 2 years old

At this age, your baby starts to walk. He's starting to hold on to the bars of his playpen. He climbs, jumps and tries to climb his playpen. He loves to pull or push things. He especially likes sound toys and rhymes that stimulate his hearing. He has fun and wiggles to the rhythm of the music.

2 to 3 years old

In addition to all the games that have allowed him to discover his environment and that have helped him to blossom, around the age of 2, your little one will become interested in drawing and modeling through clay. These are activities that will develop his fine motor skills. At this stage, children love to be told stories and are full of imagination.

Carpet of awakening or park baby?

Early learning mats

The playmat is more stimulating and attractive than the playpen for a baby, especially during the first months of life when he spends most of his time lying on his back. With its bright colours, the play mat helps to train baby's vision. In addition, the mat offers more play activities than a playpen. It often includes mirrors, rattles, stuffed animals and sometimes music. Although some playpens come with toys, the play mat is pedagogically richer through the shapes, colours, music and textures it offers. Also very practical for parents, the playmat is easy to clean in the washing machine and not at all cumbersome.

However, the padding on most playmats leaves something to be desired. This forces parents to invest in a small baby mattress to ensure the safety and comfort of their little one. What's more, once baby is settled on his play mat, it's out of the question to leave him alone without supervision!

Baby park

The playpen is a play area that provides an enclosed and secure environment for baby to play and move around as they please. It can even be used as a safe sleeping area and can be moved from one place to another without difficulty. Many playpens come with built-in mesh canopies that will protect baby from insects and sunlight.

With this equipment, parents will have more freedom at home and can go about their daily business with peace of mind. They will be able to watch the child from a distance from time to time to see if all is well. Baby will be more independent. Thanks to the net sides of the playpen, he will not hurt himself even if he bumps into them when he moves around in his playpen.

The playpen has been cleverly designed to stimulate the development of baby's motor skills. The baby can hold on to the bars of the playpen to learn to stand up on his own and later learn to walk independently. The disadvantage of this equipment is that it takes up a lot of space. This is quite problematic for small rooms.


In the end, the play mat and the playpen are two complementary educational tools. One (the playpen) allows children to evolve in a restricted but secure space, encouraging them to move, sit and walk, while the other (the mat) stimulates the senses of the toddler via the colours, shapes and textures of the toys that make it up. While both allow baby to gain independence, the playpen focuses more on the physical development of the child while the playmat is more focused on his mental development.

Why buy a play mat for your baby?

So that baby can discover his body

Once installed on the mat, lying on his back, baby gradually discovers his body and his environment. Perfect for stimulating gross motor skills, the play mat offers a secure playground (thanks to its folding edges) and is attractive to encourage your child to wriggle, roll up, stretch and move in all directions. This way, all his muscles are stimulated to work: arms, back, legs, stomach...

So that baby can discover his environment

There are on the market, mats developed from themes such as the jungle, the meadow, the polar world, farm animals, etc.. By playing these games, baby becomes familiar with animals, their voices, plants, etc. and consequently expands his knowledge of the world around him.

So that baby can stimulate his senses

The playmats include toys of different colours and textures to allow toddlers to discover and rediscover infinitely. They also have toys that emit sounds and musical instruments to awaken the child's hearing. Basically, it is the sensory awakening tool par excellence for babies.

To improve hand-eye coordination in the toddler

At around 3 months of age, your baby will reach for the toys on the arches of the playmat with his little hands and learn that he can control his hands as a result.

To promote baby's spatial awareness

The desire to reach the objects attached to the arches of his play mat helps your baby to become aware of the notion of space, i.e. depth and distance.


Read the product instructions carefully

As each playmat has its own specificities, read the instructions provided with the product carefully. This will be useful to ensure the durability of the mat (how to care for it, clean it and store it) and ensure the safety of your baby.

Make sure everything is there before you buy

Since a playmat is made up of several removable elements, make sure that everything is there before any purchase. Typically, the product comes with a mat, stuffed animals, 4 arches, several rattles and an activity board. Once you make sure everything is there, assembling the playmat will be easier for you.

Deodorizing a play mat

Baking soda can be safely used to deodorize your child's toys and playmat. To do this, form a paste by mixing baking soda with water. Apply the paste to the mat with a sponge and let it sit for 10 minutes. After that, remove the paste by gently dabbing the carpet with a water-soaked sponge.

Take good care of the play mat

Avoid using a vacuum cleaner with a bristle head to dust the carpet as this may scratch the surface. Be careful never to put the mat in contact with heating elements as this can damage it. Also, don't leave it in a place where it is too cold or too hot, as it can expand or shrink depending on the temperature. Finally, avoid placing heavy objects on the mat for extended periods of time.

Storage of the play mat

It is best to keep the original box of the playmat and use it to store the mat when not in use.


Are all playmats suitable for babies of all ages?

There is a mat for every age. When buying a mat, check that it is suitable for your baby's age. However, an evolutionary model will be able to meet the needs of your child throughout his mental and physical development.

Can a 3-month-old baby distinguish colors?

At the age of 3 months, baby is not yet mature enough to distinguish colours, but he can still distinguish the contrast between one and the other.

How to stimulate baby's senses when he is tired of his play mat?

To do this, take him out for regular walks so he can discover the world around him. You can also take advantage of special moments with him to stimulate him. This can be done when you give him a bath, when you breastfeed him or when you change him. This relationship of discovery and exchange with your little one is the main form of stimulation during the first three months of his life.

Can a playmat be put in the washing machine?

In general, all play mats can be washed in a washing machine at 30 or 40 degrees. In any case, always read the instructions provided by the manufacturer carefully to do it correctly. To get rid of small dirt, a simple sponge soaked in soapy water will do the trick.


Note: Below are some of the sources we have consulted in writing this article. Links to other sites are not continuously updated. It is therefore possible that a link may not be found. Please use a search engine to find the desired information.
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March 2022 : Translation of this buying guide from our partner

See more
Our selection
Yookidoo 3 in 1 folding playmat 9
Yookidoo 3 in 1 folding playmat
Ludi "owl" pink playmat 10
Ludi "owl" pink playmat
Lovevery play gym 11
Lovevery play gym
Tapis d'Eveil Kinderkraft 4SMART 12
Tapis d'Eveil Kinderkraft 4SMART


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