The 9 Best Pack ‘n Plays That Are Actually Easy to Fold

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You spent hours researching the best bassinet and the safest car seat, and now you’re wondering about pack n’ plays. Can infants sleep in them? What should you look for in a pack ‘n play? Do you even need one? Relax mama, we’ve got you covered. Here’s everything you need to know about these playards (as they’re also called), plus our pick of the best pack ‘n plays on the market. Read up and then add your favorite to your baby shower list

Are Pack ‘n Plays Worth It?

That all depends on how often you’re going to be away from your kid’s regular bed. If you don’t plan on traveling away from your home very much (or if you have other safe sleeping setups wherever you’re going), then you don’t really need one. But if you are planning on traveling away from your home frequently, whether to visit grandparents or go on vacation, then it’s a great item to have. Another reason why some families invest in a pack ‘n play is if they want to save space—many pack ‘n plays come with removable bassinets and changing stations. 

Can a Baby Sleep in a Pack and Play Every Night? 

Yes, provided that the pack and play adheres to the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission metrics designed to keep infants and young children safe when playing or sleeping inside a pack ‘n play. These guidelines include having mesh sides for breathability, appropriate side height and floor strength, plus undergoing latching mechanism testing (so that the pack and play doesn’t accidentally fold up when a child is inside) and accessory testing (like hanging mobiles, for example). 

At What Age Do You Stop Using a Pack ’n Play?

Pack ‘n plays go by size, not age. Most models will fit a child up to 30 pounds and 35 inches, which usually happens sometime between 2 and 3 years old. But if your child starts to climb out of the pack ‘n play sooner, then it’s time to upgrade to a larger bed. 

The Best Pack ‘n Plays at a Glance

  • Why We Love It: lots of features, very sturdy, wheels
  • Dimensions: 43 x 30 x 30 inches 
  • Weight: 28.46 pounds
  • Maximum Weight Recommendation: 30 pounds

This may be one of the pricier pack ‘n plays on the list, but considering that it’s actually a 3-in-1 option featuring a playard, bassinet and flip changer, it’s a pretty good deal. The removable bassinet can be used from birth until 18 pounds (with the option to rest in the playard or on-the-go), the flip changer sits on the side when not in use but can then be flipped to the top of the playard for quick diapering and clothing changes (and trust us—when your baby’s crying about a wet diaper in the middle of the night, you’ll want speed) and can be used for up to 25 pounds and the playard can be used for children until 30 pounds. Unlike some of the other multi-purpose picks on this list, when not in use the Breeze can be stored away in just one travel bag. While it’s advertised as a one-step set-up, users report that it actually is a little more involved than that, although still easy to do. Writes one mom-to-be: “I’m 32 weeks pregnant and put it together in less than 10 minutes! I’ve told everyone about this amazing product! Everything is easy to assemble and I can’t wait to use it as my baby’s safe place to sleep!” 

best pack n play bugaboo

Best for Small Spaces

2. Bugaboo Stardust Travel Crib

  • Why We Love It: folds flat, lightweight, sleek design
  • Dimensions: 25 x 38.8 x 33.5 inches
  • Weight: 17.2 pounds
  • Maximum Weight Recommendation: 33 pounds 

This lightweight and minimalist pack ‘n play is a favorite with parents thanks to its compact design that folds the bed down like a book in mere minutes. “I’ve used many-a pack 'n plays, and the Bugaboo Stardust wins on all fronts,” says Executive Editor, Dara Katz. “It’s sleek. It’s slim enough to store under a bed or in a closet without taking up too much real estate, plus it’s smaller when unfolded than other travel cribs, which makes it much easier to navigate a crowded hotel room in the dark. The best part? It’s actually easy and straightforward to fold up and unfold—no twisting or turning or sweating while yelling into an empty void where no one can hear you. But most importantly, my baby loves sleeping in it! It has substantial support, a thick mattress and tall sides with mesh, so they can peek through but never escape.” Katz notes that the only downside is that the mattress size is unique, so you have to use the covers that come with it. 

best pack n play graco_
  • Why We Love It: budget-friendly, lightweight, no frills, wheels
  • Dimensions: 39.5 x 28.25 x 29 inches
  • Weight: 18.52 pounds
  • Maximum Weight Recommendation: 30 pounds 

This small but mighty pack ‘n play boasts a mesh storage pouch for baby essentials (like a spare pacifier for those middle-of-the-night wakeups so that you don’t have to turn the light on while you crawl around on the floor searching for baby’s beloved dummy), wheels for moveability and a carrying bag for easy transportation. PureWow Director Cristina Gutierrez agrees: “This is a cute-but-no-frills pack ‘n play that is absolutely dynamite. My mother-in-law bought it for our daughter last time we visited, and I was so (unexpectedly) impressed by it. It’s incredibly easy to set up, then folds into a super compact and lightweight little package. I would 100 percent travel with this one. It's also so affordable compared to lots of others on the market, but don't let that deter you. It's a great little travel crib.”

best pack n play guava lotus

Best for Travel

4. Guava Lotus Travel Crib

  • Why We Love It: lightweight, backpack travel bag, no weight limit
  • Dimensions: 46 x 31 x 25.5 inches 
  • Weight: 11 pounds
  • Maximum Weight Recommendation: no weight limit 

This is one of the most lightweight pack ‘n plays on the market, making it an excellent option for travelers. It is also highly compact when folded up (24 x 12 x 8 inches) and comes in a handy backpack-style bag so that you can keep your hands free while on-the-move. “We have bought the Guava with us on not one, not two, but three international flights (that’s what happens when your family lives abroad!),” says Executive Editor Alexia Dellner. “We’ve traveled with it on our backs—the backpack is great for airports and train stations when we need our hands free for holding babies and tickets and passports and everything else—and also neatly stored it in our check-in luggage. It’s easy to set up and comfortable enough that my 3-year-old didn’t mind sleeping in it (he actually loved playing in it too, especially once he figured out how to zip himself in and out by himself).” Bonus: The playard can be converted into a bassinet, but this requires an additional kit.

best pack n play babybjorn travel crib

Best Lightweight Pack ‘n Play

5. Baby Bjorn Travel Crib Light

  • Why We Love It: lightweight, easy to assemble, no frills
  • Dimensions: 32 x 44 x 24 inches
  • Weight: 13 pounds
  • Maximum Weight Recommendation: no weight limit 

Another simple but effective choice, this pack ‘n play from the trusted brand is easy to set up and, like the Guava, offers longevity since the mattress is on the floor means that there’s no weight limit (the makers state you should stop using once your child can climb out). “We needed a pack ‘n play on short notice and so I turned to Amazon and found this top rated pick,” a New York mom-of-two tells us. “It was delivered the next day and my husband set it up within minutes and without needing to consult the instructions manual. My 2-year-old slept great in it and I liked how airy it was. When it was time to pack it up, we just folded it away in a few steps and stored it in the closet—easy peasy.” 

  • Why We Love It: removable sun canopy, lightweight 
  • Dimensions: 49 x 49 x 28 inches
  • Weight: 11.88 pounds
  • Maximum Weight Recommendation: no weight restrictions

You want to hit the beach but you don’t want to mess up your baby’s nap schedule—we get it. This clever pack ‘n play is ideal for the outdoors, thanks to a removable canopy which blocks 98 percent of UVA and UVB rays. Reviewers say it’s ultra-lightweight and easy to set up, although it’s worth noting that unlike other pack ‘n plays on this list, the Baby Delight doesn’t feature a mattress bottom, so it may not be as comfortable for your mini as another option with more padding. In terms of how much use you’ll get out of it, the recommended age is 6 to 24 months and the height limit is up to 35 inches. 

  • Why We Love It: lots of features, machine-washable cover, wheels
  • Dimensions: 45 x 31 x 46 inches
  • Weight: 35 pounds
  • Maximum Weight Recommendation: 30 pounds

This pack and play features a bassinet, detachable changing station and pack ‘n play all in one. It also boasts a detachable storage organizer with a handle so that you can carry around all those essentials on-the-go. Both the bassinet and playard feature Chicco’s zip-off, machine washable fabrics making clean-up a breeze. Parents also love the electronic toy bar that plays songs and nature sounds to soothe babies to sleep, plus a hanging mobile with plush elephant toys to keep them entertained (a nice-to-have feature when they wake up early!). “This Chicco Lullaby Zip All-in-One Portable Playard is a very nice and easy to set-up play yard for my kids,” notes one user. “We have been using the included accessories like the changing table part a lot and it is very convenient to use. The Playard is very stable and sturdy. I can set it up and take it down in two minutes.”

  • Why We Love It: versatile, storage organizer, wheels
  • Dimensions: 29 x 47 x 33 inches 
  • Weight: 39 pounds
  • Maximum Weight Recommendation: no weight restrictions

This multipurpose playard from Graco may be one of the heavier picks on the list but it’s also the most versatile: It features an infant sleep space (a portable bassinet that can be used in the playard in two height positions or removed and used as a self-standing bassinet), a changing station and a pack ‘n play. We also love the storage organizer that will keep must-haves like wipes, onesies and spare pacifiers close. “As a second time mom with my kids being about 8 years apart - I definitely knew what I wanted in regards to seeking out products that are practical, multi-functional and affordable. This pack n play system definitely hit all three points and so much more,” writes one reviewer. “Practicality and Functionality is 10/10 - you really can’t beat a station that serves as a sleep/nap area, portable bassinet, and changing table equipped with a diaper caddy that baby will grow into.” Parents report that the only downsides to this pack ‘n play are needing two carry bags to transport it (one for the fold-flat bassinet and one for the playard) and that the compatible sheets are sold separately.

  • Why We Love It: large footprint, wheels, great for multiples
  • Dimensions: 39.75 x 39.75 x 31 inches 
  • Weight: 29.6 pounds
  • Maximum Weight Recommendation: no weight restrictions

Boasting a floor area of 10 feet, this pack ‘n play is the most spacious one on the list. It’s so roomy, in fact, that it can even fit multiples in there. With mesh paneling all around, you’ll be able to keep an eye on the baby (babies!) at all times and the wheels are great for transporting the playard from one room to the other. Writes one reviewer: “My son is two, and he’s in the 75th percentile in his height. I knew that we needed to upgrade from our old pack-n-play to one that would support his weight and his height. Out of desperation for an upcoming trip, I decided to pull the trigger and get this big boy and big boy playard. He took to this SO well, that we had ZERO issues introducing the new portable playard that served as his travel crib while away. He has plenty of space for his stuffies that he sleeps with daily, and enough room to roll around without feeling confined. The assembly is a total SNAP - literally - and the pack up and go is a total breeze!” From birth until 35 inches in height.  

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