Best Pack ‘N Plays By Category: Travel, Play, New Parents, Setup, & Budget

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Baby crawling in pack n play (caption: Best Pack N Plays)A pack ‘n play is on most baby registries, but do you have any idea which one you need? First, think about what you want out of your pack ‘n play. Do you want it to include a newborn bassinet and changing station? Do you want it to be easy to travel with? Or is it going to be primarily used for playing? We’ve chosen the best pack ‘n plays based on your needs.

Best Pack ‘N Plays

Before we get into our reviews, we’d like to remind you to always practice safe sleep practices with your child. This typically includes children sleeping on a firm, flat surface. And for children less than 1 year old, don’t place any blankets, stuffed animals, pillows, etc., in the crib (or playard or pack ‘n play) with the child to reduce the risk of suffocation.

For the most up-to-date information on safe sleep practices, check with the American Academy of Pediatrics or speak with your child’s pediatrician.

Now, on to our reviews where we’ve chosen the best pack ‘n plays based on your needs.

Budget-Friendly | New Parents | Easiest Setup | Playing | Traveling

Budget-Friendly: Graco Pack ‘n Play Portable Playard Review

Graco Pack N PlayView on Amazon

If all you need is a simple pack ‘n play to use for overnight stays, this Graco Playard is a great option. It is easy to set up and has wheels to make it easy to maneuver around the room.

You can use it for children less than 35″ tall and 30 pounds. We recommend Graco to those of you looking for a cheap but quality pack ‘n play.

Author’s Experience

I gave birth to my son in August 2018. The first night he came home with us, he slept next to our bed in a Graco Pack ‘n Play we borrowed from my sister. We set it up in the bassinet position, so we didn’t have to bend down as far to get him since he was a newborn and unable to roll around or stand at that stage. It worked perfectly the first couple of months while we all adjusted to our new life together.

Now, when we have overnight stays, we use it for his naps and bedtime without the bassinet setup. He sleeps great in it.

Pros

Cons

  • Great for car trips
  • Affordable
  • 1-year warranty
  • Not recommended for airplane travel since it’s not as lightweight or compact as competitors
  • Too wide to fit through most doorways, so you may need to collapse it to move to another room
  • Travel bag is flimsy, easy to tear

Price & Tech Specs

  • $68.30
  • Weight: 20 pounds
  • Dimensions: 40″ x 28.5″ x 29″

Honorable Mention Budget-Friendly: Cosco Funsport Playard Review

Cosco FunsportView on Amazon

Cosco is another popular brand for a basic playard. It’s inexpensive and is very similar to the Graco one above. The only downside is that this one is slightly more difficult to break down, but it’s still a great option.

If you want a budget-friendly pack ‘n play, we recommend comparing Graco and Cosco to see which has the lowest price when you’re ready to buy.

Pros

Cons

  • Great for car trips
  • Affordable
  • 1-year warranty
  • Not recommended for airplane travel since it’s not as lightweight or compact as competitors
  • Too wide to fit through most doorways, so you may need to collapse it to move to another room
  • Travel bag is flimsy, easy to tear
  • Hard to break down

Price & Tech Specs

  • $50.99
  • Weight: 20 pounds
  • Assembled Dimensions: 28.5″ x 30.5″ x 41″
  • Folded Dimensions: 29″ x 9″ x 9″

Best For New Parents: Chicco Lullaby Glow Playard Review

Chicco Lullaby Glow PlayardView on Amazon

If you want a playard that’s multi-purpose, this could be a great fit for you. We give this model the “best for new parents” award because it acts as a newborn napper, bassinet, playard and changing station. It can grow with your baby into the toddler years, and it even plays nature sounds and lullabies. This playard can do it all.

This Chicco playard also includes changer storage and a soothing mobile. It’s easy to unzip the cover and throw it in your washing machine. It’s more expensive than others, but it may cut out expenses elsewhere if you opt to use this over purchasing several other baby items.

We wouldn’t recommend it for travel since it weighs 40 pounds with all of its bells and whistles attached, but if you need something in your living room or nursery during the newborn stage, this is an excellent option.

Pros

Cons

  • Easy to set up
  • One baby items that does many things
  • 1-year warranty
  • Not recommended for travel because it’s heavy
  • Too wide to fit through most doorways, so you may need to collapse it to move to another room
  • Expensive

Price & Tech Specs

  • $329.99
  • Weight: 40 pounds
  • Assembled Dimensions: 45″ x 31″ x 46″
  • Folded Dimensions: 11.5″ x 30″ x 19″

Easiest Setup: 4moms Breeze Go Review

4moms Breeze GoView on Amazon

This setup couldn’t be more simple. The 4moms Breeze Go and Breeze Plus playards have one-push open and one-pull close setup and tear-down. This could be especially handy for a single parent or if you do a lot of traveling by yourself with your baby. You can use this travel playard until your child reaches 30 pounds.

If you just want the basic playard, the Breeze Go will be your best bet. But if you want a bassinet and changer built-in, we’d recommend the Breeze Plus.

Pros

Cons

  • Easiest setup in this article
  • Sturdy traveling case
  • 1-year warranty
  • Not recommended for airplane travel since it’s not as lightweight or compact as competitors
  • Too wide to fit through most doorways, so you may need to collapse it to move to another room
  • Expensive

Price & Tech Specs

See The Setup

The video below shows how simple the setup is for the 4moms Breeze Go.

Best For Playing: Summer Infant Pop ‘N Play Portable Playard Review

Summer Infant Pop N' Play Portable PlayardView on Amazon

If you want a playard primarily for your child to play in, Summer Infant’s playard is excellent. It provides 14 square-feet of play room and is 48-inches wide. This is a great option for those of you who need something for your child to play in while you’re at your older child’s soccer game or on vacation at the beach.

Pros

Cons

  • Great for outside and inside
  • Convenient traveling case
  • Lightweight and compact
  • More play space than other pack ‘n plays in this article
  • 1-year warranty
  • More work to set up than others in this article
  • Some kids use the support bars as a ladder

Price & Tech Specs

Best Travel Crib: Lotus Travel Crib Review

Lotus Travel CribView on Amazon

The Lotus Travel Crib is a great option for families who, you guessed it, travel often. This travel crib is lightweight and compact. It packs up into a backpack to free up your hands to hold your child or other bags you are traveling with.

The mattress sits right on the floor, which means you can lie next to the crib with your little one. The zipper door is perfect for cuddling or nursing your little one to sleep and then allowing you step away and zip up the mesh door without being too noisy.

Pros

Cons

  • Easy to set up
  • Great for travel
  • Zipper door
  • Backpack traveling case
  • Lightweight and compact
  • 2-year warranty
  • Legs stick out some, so you may trip on them
  • Too wide to fit through most doorways, so you may need to collapse it to move to another room
  • Expensive

Price & Tech Specs

Honorable Mention Travel Crib: BABYBJORN Travel Crib Easy Go Review

BABYBJORN Travel Crib Easy GoView on Amazon

This BABYBJORN Travel Crib is extremely similar to the Lotus model we reviewed above, but it’s slightly more expensive. This travel crib also doesn’t include a zipper door (like the Lotus does).

It’s still an excellent travel crib though — just at a higher price point. You can use this until your child is 3 years old.

Pros

Cons

  • Easy to set up
  • Great for travel
  • Sturdy traveling case
  • Lightweight and compact
  • 2-year warranty
  • Legs stick out some, so you may trip on them
  • Expensive

Price & Tech Specs

Other Baby Gear You May Need

Once you’ve chosen your pack ‘n play, head over to our baby registry checklist to see if there are other items you should consider for your parenting adventure. One item commonly forgotten about is a humidifier, which we include in our article. A humidifier can help keep your baby’s skin moisturized as well as purify the air and help keep your baby healthy.

Are you overwhelmed with your options? Tell us what you need in a pack ‘n play and we can help!

About The Author:

Kimberly is our home security expert, and has been researching and writing about security and safety since 2013, covering everything from security systems and home automation to identity theft protection, home warranties, medical alert systems and more. She has personally tested hundreds of system components and interfaced with dozens of home security companies to find out what's happening behind the scenes.

In 2018, she had her first child, and that opened up a whole new avenue of security experience with baby gear. She wanted to purchase the safest items for her family.

Kimberly received her Bachelor of Arts in multimedia journalism from Simpson College. Her natural curiosity helps her research as she seeks the truth when learning about, comparing and personally testing products and services.

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Disclaimer: This website contains reviews, opinions and information regarding products and services manufactured or provided by third parties. We are not responsible in any way for such products and services, and nothing contained here should be construed as a guarantee of the functionality, utility, safety or reliability of any product or services reviewed or discussed. Please follow the directions provided by the manufacturer or service provider when using any product or service reviewed or discussed on this website.

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