As any parent knows, one of the first things you do when you find out you’re expecting is prepare to babyproof the house. Be that gates on the stairs, or mats on the floor, every surface needs to be soft and safe for your little one.
Years ago that might have meant garish and mismatched products, that didn’t necessarily match up with the decor of your house. But now we’re seeing a wave of far cooler baby brands come on the market that are as practical and safe as they are pleasing to the eye.
We’ve become particularly intrigued by the range of play mats that are now on offer. Some are designed purely with newborns in mind, ideally to keep them safe before they start exploring too much. But others are made to last – ideal for parents with both babies and toddlers.
How we tested
From the mats we tested, all had devilish good looks and we think you’d be proud to show them off. We also wanted them to be comfortable underfoot, of a good size and ideally with the option to add on to as our baby grows and begins to explore. Bonus points were given to mats that were purse-friendly, could be easily wiped clean and could cover wooden and tiled floors as quickly as it could carpets.
The best baby play mats for 2022 are:
- Best overall – Totter & Tumble the captain playmat: £160, Totterandtumble.co.uk
- Best thick play mat – Gus & Beau triangle playmat set: £70, Gusandbeau.com
- Best portable option – Munchkin & Bear large speckled play mat: £138, Munchkinandbear.co.uk
- Best for customisation – Toddlekind prettier playmat, standard: £194.99, Toddlekind.co.uk
- Best large play mat – Skip Hop playspots foam floor tiles, 20 pack: £87, Amazon.co.uk
- Best for style – The Singing Ant spring green midi playmat: £87, Thesingingant.com
- Best for development – Etta Loves animal print playmat: £75, Ettaloves.com
- Best cushioned mat – Stoy mixed solids foam puzzle play mat: £37, Alexandalexa.com
- Best puzzle mat – Quut playmat: £47.40, Yesbebe.co.uk
- Best activity mat – Tiny Love magical tales super mat: £39.95, Naturalbabyshower.co.uk
- Best for newborns – Little Green Sheep baby playmat: £49.95, Thelittlegreensheep.co.uk