Mother and Baby

The best baby playpens: the best wooden, plastic and metallic playpens on the market

Playpens cover

Playpens can provide a safe space for babies to play and peace of mind for the supervising adult. While some babies are cool with their own company for a short space of time, some will see their playpen for what it is: a baby prison. (Don’t worry, we have some tips to avoid that!).

Before splashing your cash on something that may just wind up as storage for all your baby’s things but that your l baby won’t *actually* entertain, check out our guide below for choosing The Best Baby Playpens. There's a huge variety of playpens on the market to suit a wide variety of tastes – both adult and child – and budgets. So, here’s how to choose the best one for you and your baby.

What is a baby playpen?

Essentially, a playpen is an enclosed play area that gives your baby a safe place to play. .The self-contained units are usually made from either wood, plastic or metal frames.. Most baby playpens are light so can be easily carried around the house.  

Do you need a baby playpen?

As much as you may want to cuddle your baby 24 hours per day, 7 days a week, it's pretty much impossible. A baby playpen will not only make your life easier, it will also to give your baby some sense of independence at an early age.  Also, nowadays the baby playpen is safer and easier to transport, making your daily routine even more practical and organised.

How to use a baby playpen?

Simply set up your chosen playpen on a flat surface, when you have life admin stuff to take care of and can keep a watchful eye over them. Fill with their favourite toys (link to toy article) and watch their imagination wander!

What are The Best Baby Playpens to buy?

Best wooden baby playpen: Costway Baby Playpen Wooden, £45.99, Ebay 





  • Blend easily in any decor scheme.
  • It has manageable panels, so you can change its shapes


  • It's very plain, so you need to add some exciting toys for your baby.

Best baby playpen for small spaces: Summer Infant Pop 'N Play Playpen

£55.00 - RRP: £59.99



  • It’s portable and folds into a compact travel bag

  • It has a weather resistant canvas floor


  • There is no door so you have to lift your baby

Read the full review about this product.

Best baby playpen for playing around: Venture ALL STARS Baby Playpen, £99.99, Venture





  • 1,5-metre square
  • Anti-slip play mats
  • 200 bright coloured balls


  • It requires a lot of space to make full use of this


Best baby playpen for minimal style: BabyDan Playpen






  • It's been in business since 1967

  • It's simple and effective
  • It can also be used as a room divider



  • You’ll need to add all the baby entertainment accruements yourself.

Read the full review about this product.

Best baby playpen for outdoors: Babymoov Babyni Pop-Up 3-in-1





  • It's perfect for spending lots of time outside
  • It protects from UV, rays, wind, and sand
  • It comes with an over-the-shoulder bag


  • It's very little


Best baby playpen your baby will love: Surreal Bear Infant & Baby Playpen




  • It’s very colourful with different shapes
  • It can be bigger or smaller just adding or removing more panels


  • You have to buy the balls separately


Best baby playpen you can easily transport: BabyDan Medium Wooden Beech Playpen



  • Made from European furniture grade hardwood
  • 3 adjustable height options
  • Features lockable wheels so it's easy to move around


  • You need to baby the mat separately


How do you choose the best baby playpens?

The first thing you need to think about is how much floor space you have. There’s no point buying something that doesn’t fit in your front room!

There are different designs and shapes for baby playpens. Below you can see other important points to help you in making your decision:

The types of baby playpens

  • Traditional wooden baby playpens: it's usually more spacious and it’s easier to match with the house decoration. These will provide plenty of room for your baby to play safely.
  • Coloured plastic baby playpens: eye-catching, but harder to move from room-to-room so make sure you have enough space for it.
  • Metal structured and fabric-sided baby playpens: better for smaller spaces and very easy to keep clean. These tend to last for a longer time, if you are planning to have more than one baby, they are perfect to pass on.

The technology of baby playpens

When are you thinking about the technology of baby playpens you need to look for lightweight and foldable features. Also, playpens can come with wheels which make them super easy to move around.

The extra features of baby playpens

Most baby playpens are very plain, so you won't find so many extra features. If they have them, it's usually: toys, pieces of music e lights.  Also, what you can find are extra storages.

The prices of baby playpens

A basic model will set you back about £30, whilst some of the fancier ones can set you back over £100. It all depends on the type of baby playpen you choose. Before buying, if possible, test how your baby feels inside The average price for a playpen is about £50-60.

Important: If you can afford a new one, avoid buying a used one, as over the years several popular baby playpens have been recalled. It's better to buy a new one to keep your baby completely safe.

Tips for choosing the best baby playpens

Here are some of the features to look out for:

  • Strong construction
  • Easiness during assembling and packing away
  • Foldable feature to easily store it
  • No sharp edges surfaces

Important points about a baby playpen safety

  • Only buy a playpen with the BS EN 12227:1997 safety mark (there are also others: BS EN 12227: 1999 and BS EN 12227: 2010)
  • Don’t leave your child alone unless absolutely necessary.
  • Keep the playpen clean.
  • Make sure there is no large item inside that your baby can climb and get out.
  • Don’t leave it near an open fire or other heat sources.
  • Don’t tie anything across the top to avoid any strangulation hazard.
  • Don’t have it near heaters, radiators, doors or windows that can be open.
  • Keep it away from any dangling cords or cables.
  • Make sure that the baby playpens doesn't have any holes.
  • Put your child’s favourite toys and books in the baby playpen.

What do you think about these best baby playpens? Let us know on Facebook or Twitter!

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Tam works at Bauer Media writing affiliate content for Mother and Baby. She moved to London in 2016 and has lived previously in Toronto, Canada and Sao Paulo, Brazil. She had a blog called TaraVivendo and wrote two e-books: Divas and Divando aos 25 anos. At the moment, her days are spent writing, eating croissants and drinking coffee. Her biggest dream is to start a big family and to adopt three kids.