Best Playpen for Toddler in 2020 (to have fun AND stay out of trouble!)

Choosing the best playpen for toddler fun & safety can be a challenge. We've narrowed it down for you, sharing the best features of our top four choices...

My playpen is one of my favorite things I own (as it relates to my kids’ stuff). It is so versatile and makes things like cleaning house, days at the beach, and traveling SO much easier when you have a young toddler or mobile baby always trying to get into trouble.

But how do you know if you’ve got the best playpen for toddler fun and safety?

A good playpen can be used for all sorts of things.

Not only can it be a safe place to put your little one while to take care of some chores or a portable napping spots, but the best playpens can be used for safe outdoor play, days at the beach, homemade ball pits, and so much more.

That’s why it is important to know that your playpen will grow with your little one. One of the most important things to look for when you are shopping playpens is its long-term usage. I use my playpen all the time, even now that my son is 2 years old!

Not all playpens are created equal. Only four made it on my list of the best playpen for toddler fun and safety.

Let’s check ’em out.

(Note: This post contains affiliate links. See affiliate disclaimer at the bottom of the page.)

Best Playpen for Toddler Fun & Safety #1: Kidzone 8 Panel Safety Play Center

This Kidzone Baby Playpen is for much more than babies. Toddlers will love the colors and the built-in toys!

The Kidzone playpen can be used indoors and outdoors without problems. The durable material is easy to clean, and all the pieces are interchangeable.

There are 8 pieces total and because they interchange, this playpen can be configured to fit any space perfectly. When all pieces are used you can expand the play space up to 74 inches total.

This playpen has a locking gate to keep your toddler safe during play time. It is also suitable for all flooring types indoors. If using this playpen on hardwoods you can use the suction cups on the bottom of the sections to keep things in place and secure.

The materials are of high quality and are sure to last many years and through many play times.

Click here to read more about the Kidzone Kids 8 Panel Safety Play Center.

Best Playpen for Toddler Fun & Safety #2: North States Superyard Colorplay 8 Panel Playard

This North States playpen is another great option for toddler play.

This is a brightly colored playpen, broken into 8 connecting pieces and folds up for easy transport. The pieces when used all together provide over 34 square feet (that’s 7 feet corner to corner!) of play area. However, if you want, pieces can be added or taken away as necessary.

This playpen is great for toddlers because it has high walls to prevent climbing accidents. At 26 inches high they are high enough to make climbing difficult but not so large they are difficult to maneuver for mom or dad.

This play pen also has non-slip pads to prevent slipping if used on hardwood flooring.

The only drawback is that this playpen doesn’t have an operational gate. I like to have a gate for easy in and out. However, the North States Superyard Colorplay allows you to enter and exit from any side by lifting out the connections in between the sections.

All in all, this playpen is a great option for corralling babies and toddlers!

Click here to read more about the North States Superyard Colorplay 8 Panel Playard.

Best Playpen for Toddler Fun & Safety #3: Summer Infant Pop N’ Play Portable Playard

This Summer Infant playpen is one of my personal favorites for travel. I have used this one for my son from the time he started crawling, right up to current day. I have found multiple uses for this playpen.

My favorite features of this playpen include the easy fold up design and carry bag system. It is lightweight and easy to tote around. This playpen has a built-in floor, which makes it great for outdoor events like camping and beach days.

I have also used this indoors as a ball pit. I purchased several hundred of plastic play balls like these and filled this playpen with them. You can buy yourself good hour of occupied play time right off the bat!

This is a hit with my son and his friends. It was a great way to help him keep toys near by when he was small and now it helps provide a safe, clean place for him to play when we are outdoors.

One of my favorite features about this playpen is the sun shade that can be purchased as an attachment. This sun shade is PERFECT for beach days. It gives babies and toddlers a clean, sand-free place to play while they are protected from the sun.

Drawbacks to this portable playpen is the bottom section gets water-marked and stained super easy. It’s easy enough to clean but never really comes out “perfect” again. Also, it is relatively small compared to the other options at 14 sq ft (about 4 feet of play space). However, I have not found this to be an issue for our play needs.

Click here to read more about the Summer Infant Pop N’ Play Portable Playard.

Best Playpen for Toddler Fun & Safety #4: Baby Care Play Mat Pen

This playpen for toddlers is the last on our list and the most expensive, but for good reason: This Baby Care playpen is super durable and high quality that will stand the test of many play times. It also comes in a variety of colors.

I like that this one has a gate door section and can be reorganized to include more or less sections based on your needs. It also has non-slip and sturdy sections, so it won’t move around on hardwood, tile or laminate flooring.

This playpen encloses 31 sq ft of play area and the walls are a little over 24” inches high. Based on the product specifications, this playpen weighs over 37 lbs.

In my opinion, this play pen is best for a set play area as it may be difficult and cumbersome to move or travel with.

Click here to read more about the Baby Care Play Mat Pen.

That’s it for our list of the best toddler playpens!

Hopefully you were able to find one of these that suits your needs – you really can’t go wrong, but I think it comes down to how much you plan to use it and how portable you need it to be.  Like anything else, you get what you pay for.

Playpens are a great way to keep baby and toddlers safe and keep their toys contained. Depending on your needs, these are all great options that are sure to grow with your little one and provide some great play time memories. Keeping your toddler in a crib…that’s a different story. 🙂

Have you tried any of these before? Which is your favorite? Leave a comment and let us know!

Choosing the best playpen for toddler fun and safety can be a challenge. We've narrowed it down for you, sharing the best features of our top four choices...

About Eric and Tiffany Matthews

We're Eric and Tiffany, the parents behind Cynical Parent. We're just normal parents who are navigating parenthood with both eyes wide open (probably because there's a kid yelling nearby). And of course, we're pretty cynical. Don't believe everything you read or hear, whether it's on the internet, or from a close family or friend (or even from us!). Every child is different, and what works for one may not work for another. Sometimes you just need to try and see for yourself. :)

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