As a busy mom, I don’t always have time to watch over my baby, but I need to make sure he is safe and relaxed.
Fortunately, I can rely on my trusty play yard to keep my baby contained and happy while I go about my day.
Doesn’t that sound like something a busy parent like you could use?
When you’re always on the go and need an extra hand to watch your baby, non-toxic play yards (a.k.a travel cribs, baby playpens, or pack ‘n plays) will do the job for you!
You will thank me after buying one for your own baby!
In this list, I picked out the best non toxic play yards you can find on the market. These are all lightweight, easy to bring around, and made with safe materials!
4 Best Non-Toxic Play Yards, Travel Cribs, and Pack ‘n Plays
1. Guava Lotus Travel Crib
Material: Aluminum, polyester
This option is for all busy, traveling moms! The Guava Lotus Travel Crib is known to be one of the best options for PORTABILITY!
What makes this non-toxic travel crib special is its travel-friendly design!
With its SUPER light build, you can store this away and bring it around with its backpack carry bag! I was out and about in a flash!
You’ll need 15 seconds to set up and pack away the Lotus Crib, which isn’t the most convenient on this list, but it’s still convenient enough for any parent.
It’s reviewed to be non-toxic, BPA-free, phthalate-free, PVC-free, and flame-retardant-free! I’m glad this also applies to the crib mattress that comes with it.
It’s no surprise this travel crib is also GREENGUARD Gold certified and the ONLY one with this certification on this list.
I can also rest easy knowing the breathable mesh fabric sides won’t suffocate my baby and can supply enough air to keep him cool!
My baby was happy and comfortable and didn’t cry once!
Of course, it isn’t perfect. Some issues I had were the not-so-sturdy legs and the low height of the crib mattress.
Despite that, you will NOT regret buying this non-toxic travel crib as it gets the job done!
- Can be carried like a backpack
- GREENGUARD Gold-certified
- Easy to access
- Breathable mesh sides
- Some parents commented that the legs aren’t the sturdiest
- Some parents found the crib mattress pad too thin
- Low mattress height can make it uncomfortable
- Not the easiest to set up and pack away
2. BABY BJORN Travel Crib Light
Material: 100% polyester
The Baby Bjorn and the Guava Lotus are quite similar in terms of weight and mesh sides.
BUT! I think the Baby Bjorn has the edge over Guava Lotus in terms of SAFETY and MATERIALS.
This baby crib has multiple safety certifications, from OEKO-TEX to JPMA and ASTM International.
Simply put, it is the SAFEST travel crib! Credentials like these are no joke, as they 100% guarantee your baby’s safety!
I also LOVE that you can detach the play yard from the legs and machine-wash it! This innovative design makes it easier to keep your baby in a fresh and clean environment!
All it took was this crib and a few toys to keep my baby occupied for HOURS!
However, the Baby Bjorn Travel Crib has no side zipper for easy access, which could make it a hassle to reach down to the floor whenever you need to pick up your baby.
Not to mention the high price tag.
I should also point out that the mattress is made of flame-retardant-free polyurethane foam.
I know this material may raise a few eyebrows for some parents (I was skeptical myself), but I eventually learned that this material is FREE from harmful chemicals and is certified baby-safe!
- Easy to set up and pack away
- Certified to be safe for babies
- Breathable mesh sides
- Mattress sits on the floor; no upper weight limit
- Some parents found the mattress too thin
- Low mattress height can make it uncomfortable
3. 4moms Breeze GO Portable Travel Playard
Material: Steel frame, polyester, spandex, nylon mesh
NO TOXINS. NO COMPLICATED DESIGNS. This is what this piece of non-toxic baby gear blesses me with!
I noticed this travel crib took even LESS TIME to set up and pack away than the Guava Lotus. The difference is quite huge, and I’ll take all the saved time I can get!
You only need to push or pull the center of the play yard using one hand, and you’re done!
Yes, it only takes ONE HAND! Amazing!
My baby is even happier whenever he sees this crib being taken with us during a trip!
This product weighs around 23 pounds, which isn’t the lightest travel crib option on this list. Still, I consider it a portable crib that can be moved around the house.
This play yard also doesn’t touch the ground, which could make the mattress feel more comfortable for your baby!
It also means you should strictly follow the weight limit of 30 pounds.
The foundation of this travel crib might not work well for heavier babies, so you should be careful!
For a little extra, you can get the newer version of the Breeze GO Play Yard, which comes with a removable bassinet and changing station! It’s worth it if you ask me!
- Fast and easy to set up and pack away
- Free from BPA, PVC, lead, and flame retardants
- Water-resistant mattress is easy to clean
- Convenient travel bag
- Heavier compared to other travel cribs
- Mesh sides don’t extend to the bottom
- Material of the mattress is not specified
4. Joovy Room2 Portable Playard
Baby products can be expensive, and baby cribs and play yards land on the pricier side of the spectrum.
This product is the way to go for those looking for more AFFORDABLE non-toxic play yards!
If you’re looking to invite some friends over, this crib has enough room for multiple babies!
What I love about this pack ‘n play is how STURDY it is. Even with multiple babies inside, you don’t have to worry about flimsy legs giving out!
I once had two baby friends come over, and no harm done!
Another great feature of this play yard is that there are two front wheels attached at the bottom.
This extra mobility makes things so much easier for me to move around the house! It also comes with a 100% cotton fitted sheet and a travel bag, so that’s a plus!
Joovy also sells separate waterproof fitted sheets if you’re interested.
You can even lay down a non-toxic play mat inside this for more comfort.
The cherry on top is that Joovy’s products are flame-retardant-free and JPMA certified!
However, the previous products listed set the bar for weight and simplicity. Unfortunately, the Joovy didn’t deliver in those departments.
- Square shape gives a lot of space
- Can handle multiple babies
- Wheels make it easy to move around
- Comes with a travel bag
- More affordable compared to other play yards
- Flame retardant-free and safe for babies
- Not the easiest to set up and pack away
- Heavier than other play yards on this list
- You can feel a lump down the middle of the play yard
What Are Baby Play Yards?
Play yards are wonderful baby products that are perfect for older babies.
It’s a safe space where they can be contained, and it’s safe enough to leave your baby inside while you do other quick tasks.
A play yard is also called a travel crib or a pack ‘n play, and it’s a great product that’s perfect for parents who need to travel.
Anywhere you go, you can have a portable space for your baby to play!
Importance of Choosing Non-Toxic Play Yards
Of course, your baby will be confined to this space for some time, so you want to make sure they are safe and not exposed to anything harmful!
Once you know they are safe, they can play, relax, and develop different skills all while in a SAFE environment.
It is important to choose non-toxic play yards as they do NOT contain harmful chemicals that can negatively impact your baby’s health.
They are also better for the environment!
You want your baby to be in contact with safe, eco-friendly materials, and non-toxic play yards are only made with NATURAL, ORGANIC ingredients that are better for the baby in the long run.
Non-toxic play yards are also likely to LAST LONGER, meaning you can pass them down if you decide to have another child, saving you money!
As a parent, the safety of your child is your TOP priority, and these non-toxic play yards will help you achieve that!
What to Look For When Buying the Best Non-Toxic Play Yards
It can be difficult to choose the ABSOLUTE BEST non-toxic play yard, which is why I listed some important criteria to take note of when choosing.
Hopefully, these factors will help make your decision easier!
I listed certifications first because I think it is the MOST IMPORTANT factor.
Certifications, such as OKEO-Tex, GREENGUARD Gold, and GOTS (Global Organic Textile Standard) indicate that a product has passed standard safety guidelines and is declared SAFE to use.
These also show that a product has been tested for harmful chemicals, so you can relax knowing that any product with these seals contain NONE.
Certifications also show that a product is made from SAFE, ORGANIC MATERIALS.
Materials such as organic cotton, wool, BPA-free plastic, and so on are the ones to look for in a non-toxic play yard and travel cribs.
AVOID harmful chemicals, such as lead, phthalates, BPA, PVC, and flame retardants.
Though he doesn’t realize it, but I know my baby prefers organic play yards as they are more comfortable and safer.
You want a play yard that can LAST and support your baby!
Make sure all parts of the play yard are strong and sturdy. Since your baby will be using it a lot, you want as minimal wear-and-tear as possible.
My baby likes to jump and move around a lot, so I knew I needed a crib that can handle all that movement.
Additionally, you want your play yard to last as long as possible until your baby doesn’t need it anymore.
A good non-toxic play yard can stand the test of time, or in this case, until your baby outgrows it!
Size and Portability
A good baby playpen is LARGE ENOUGH to accompany at least one baby!
You want to ensure there is enough space for your baby to play, sleep, and stand up. My baby gets fussy when there’s not enough space for both him and his toys.
If your play yard is too small, the baby will feel cramped and restricted, limiting their movements and eventually, their learning.
Additionally, you want a play yard that is mobile and easily portable in case you want to bring your baby outside the house.
Find ones that are easy enough to set up and store away.
Other Factors to Consider When Buying a Play Yard
- Comfort – Of course, you want your baby to be happy and comfortable while they’re in the play yard. Find one with a soft enough floor/mattress to prevent them from being fussy.
- Age Range – A play yard is suitable for kids aged around 6 months – 2 years. If the child can easily climb out, it’s time to start transitioning out of it.
- Versatility – Extra features, such as a baby mobile, bassinet, or canopy, always come in handy, but they are likely more expensive.
- Cleaning/Maintenance – Some parts of the play yard are machine-washable, so choose one that will not shrink or be deformed. You also want a yard that is easy to spot-clean to save time.
- Pricing – Lastly, consider your budget when picking out a play yard. These often come at high prices, so budget wisely! Although, there are some affordable (and safe) options as well.
Toxic Chemicals to Avoid in Baby Play Yards
Your baby’s health ALWAYS comes first.
Since they’ll probably spend a lot of time inside their baby playpens, it’s best to keep the environment as non-toxic as possible.
These are some substances you should know more about and avoid!
Flame Retardant Chemicals
Flame retardants are bad news for your baby.
Harmful flame retardant chemicals have been linked to endocrine disruption and other developmental problems.
Baby products with flame retardant chemicals are a BIG NO-NO!
As previously mentioned, this material is a red flag for a lot of parents. This is because flame retardant chemicals are commonly applied to polyurethane foam.
BabyBjorn’s Travel Crib Light mattress is nothing to worry about though, this is certified to be safe and free from any flame retardants.
BPA (Bisphenol A) is commonly used to harden plastics.
These substances have also been linked to developmental problems and even cancer when ingested. Avoid at all costs!
PVC Plastic is very toxic because of all the chemicals added to it. As much as possible, you should make sure that none of your baby essentials contain PVC!
Phthalates are harmful substances that are additives to PVC. These have been linked to endocrine disruption, hormonal imbalances, and cancer!
Lead usually goes hand-in-hand with phthalates, and it’s also an additive to PVC. It’s linked to nervous system damage, ADHD, and decreased IQ.
Frequently Asked Questions
If you have any lingering questions about play yards, you can refer to the following section for some extra help!
What’s the Difference Between a Play Yard and a Crib?
In terms of functionality, a play yard and crib can work the same way. They can both be a safe sleeping space, and they can both be a playtime space for your baby.
The main difference between play yards and cribs is portability.
Many play yards also work as travel-friendly cribs, while most cribs were meant to be permanent sleeping spaces for your baby.
Since a play yard was made to be portable, these are usually lightweight and easy to move around.
Meanwhile, for cribs, a lot of them are meant to stay in one place, which is why you would often see bigger and sturdier cribs made of wood.
Does My Baby Need a Play Yard?
As long as you supervise your baby and they’re in a safe and hazard-free environment, they can play wherever you’re most comfortable with.
However, having a play yard will help make things more CONVENIENT for you!
You can take a quick shower, have a bathroom break, or a quick breather. You can do other stuff while your baby enjoys playtime inside a safe space!
I’m lucky that my baby remained calm and happy while I was doing other tasks, and it’s thanks to the convenience of a play yard!
Can Play Yards Be Used for Sleeping?
Yes, play yards can be used for sleeping, but not for extended periods.
Make sure you remove all toys, blankets, and other loose items that can hinder your baby’s sleep.
You can make their sleep more comfortable by adding a play mat or a crib mattress.
Remember to follow the required weight limit and ALWAYS have your baby sleep on its back.
How Do I Clean a Non-Toxic Play Yard?
Some play yards have machine-washable covers, which you can easily throw in the washing machine.
Meanwhile, you can spot-clean the metal frame with an all-purpose cleaner. Make sure to get every nook and cranny to prevent dust and bacteria from being trapped.
How Long Can My Baby Use a Play Yard?
The amount of time your baby can spend in a play yard is dependent on factors like their size and development.
Do not leave them in the play yard for extended periods of time. I, personally, would NOT recommend leaving them there overnight, for example.
However, in terms transitioning, out, a baby can use a play yard until they reach the 18-24 month mark.
Once they can stand up or pull themselves up, it is a sign that they are comfortable without the protection of the play yard and can play outside of it (with FULL SUPERVISION, of course).
The Guava Lotus Travel Crib is my pick for the best non-toxic play yard on this list!
I love how portable this product is, and any parent would appreciate the convenient side zipper door for quick and easy access!
I also recommend the 4moms Breeze GO Portable Travel Playard because of how simple and easy it is to set up and pack away.
With just one hand, you can instantly open this pack ‘n play for your baby’s playtime, and you can pack it away just as fast!
Baby gear essentials can be expensive, so budget options are great for any family looking to save up as much as possible.
Luckily, the Joovy Room Portable Playard is a great pickup that’s more affordable compared to other products on this list.
Despite the price difference, the quality of this non-toxic play yard doesn’t suffer, so that’s great!
And once your little one starts becoming even more active and playful, you can invest in getting a non-toxic activity gym. It’s highly helpful for their brain development!