We're sure you agree that there's nothing better than your own bed but even though they may not be having them as much as they grow older, it's likely your toddler still has an afternoon nap. Which is no problem if they're at home, but if your child is at nursery or staying over at Grandmas, where do they sleep?
Some parents choose to buy a nap mat for these occasions as they offer children a cosy spot that they recognise, making it easier for them to settle and sleep (sometimes...).
Generally used between the ages of two and five, a nap mat is essentially a roll out travel bed consisting of a comfy base, pillow and cover. They're usually ultra-portable and can be rolled up tightly which also means they can be easily tucked away without taking up too much space.
Things to consider when buying a nap mat
- The padding and thickness: If your child will be sleeping on the floor, you'll want to ensure the mat has good padding so they're comfortable while lying down and won't hurt their back.
- Is it waterproof? Accidents happen, which is why it's useful to have a waterproof nap mat. This is also handy if you plan to use it while camping too.
- Can it be cleaned? Bedwetting or otherwise, you're going to want to clean your child's nap mat and we recommend finding out how easy this job will be for you before you buy. Some will be wipe-clean or hand wash only while others can be popped in the washing machine.
Best nap mats to buy
Made from an easy care cotton-blend, this super soft nap mat is kind to little one's delicate skin as well as being quick drying, durable and machine washable too. The roll-out design, removable pillow storage pouch and carry loop make it easy to travel with too.
Dimensions: 47 x 23 x 21 cm
Review: “Bought this for my granddaughter's afternoon nap during visits. She loves the animal pattern and easy wrap over cover. This keeps her warm but doesn't restrict movement as a sleeping bag style would. The size is ideal for her to snuggle into and the small raised pillow supports her head and neck well. When not in use, it is easy to roll up and store, A great idea which will be used often.”
Suitable for kids up to 5 feet tall, simply unfold and snuggle into this extra long, extra wide, extra padded nap mat. Simple to fold and carry with the included travel loop, it features an attached, standard-sized pillow case (pillow not included) and Mickey Mouse on a red, white, and blue pattern on one side and solid blue on the other.
Dimensions: 157.48 x 66.04 x 2.54 cm
Review: “My granddaughter is just turning two and we bought this so that when she and her brother come to stay overnight, we can have a "slumber party" of sorts during movie time before bedtime. She is thrilled with this nap mat. We bought sleeping bags and put them on top of these mats (her brother has a Mickey one) and they think they're the coolest things ever! I like the little strips of velcro that help it adhere to the carpet so they don't slip and slide around, but beware that the velcro grips tight to the carpet and can cause pulling so use caution when picking up the mat.”
Available in several different designs, this 100 per cent cotton nap mat combines a sleeping mat, blanket and pillow. It's easy to roll-up with fastening straps as well as encorporated plastic buckles and a carry handle, so it can be quickly rolled, clipped and carried.
Dimensions: 52 x 39 x 15 cm
Review: “The sleeping mat is absolutely great! It has a wonderful bright velvet lining that my grandson immediately loved and he nestled into the sleeping mat/bag with no hesitation at naptime. The mat is very well made and a perfect size that will be good for use for some time as this little one (now 17 months old) grows into the next few years.”
Ultra soft and breathable, so you don't need to worry about your toddler being too hot or cold when they sleep, the Biloban nap mat can be easily rolled up and thanks to the carry handle, it's easy for your child to carry too.
Dimensions: 28.8 x 26.3 x 13.6 cm
Review: “I did huge research before buying this and can say that we love it so far! My daughter 4.5 years old and it fits just perfectly. Pillow is removable (it was the main criteria of buying the product). And the blanket inside is so soft. I will buy another one for my son.”
With a cosy, super-soft fleece sheet and blanket and pillow, your youngster will be snug as a bug in this nap mat. Water resistant and completely washable, it has a removable pillow and velcro fasteners to keep it rolled up for easy carrying.
Dimensions: 129.54 x 53.34 x 3.81 cm
Review: “This napper was perfect for my 4 year old son for daycare. His previous napper had a sheet to pull across and he prefers a cozy fleece blanket like this one! He got it for his birthday and asked to sleep on it at home for a nap. You do have to pull out the pillow for washing, but I’m hoping that will help it keeps it shape longer. It is easy to take out and put in.”
Made from high-quality material that is breathable, fade resistant and naturally hypoallergenic, this nap mat helps to create a comforting and calming sleep environment to help your little one rest well. The roll-up design, convenient fastening closures straps and carrying handle means it's easy to travel with while the easy to see name tag window ensures only your child will use it.
Dimensions: 127 x 50.8 x 5.08 cm
Review: “My 3 year old needed a nap blanket for her daycare and this one looked good on the site so I ordered it and it's everything we needed and more. According to her teachers she uses it no problem and doesn't argue about nap time. I have zero complaints!”