Skip to Content

9 Best Baby Play Gym Picks (2023)

Looking for the best baby play gym for your baby? Here are 9 picks with different features and for different budgets to pick from.

Right from birth, babies need to enjoy some floor play and tummy time. It is not only great for encouraging independence, development, and relaxation, but it also allows you to take a break every once in a while.

A great way to encourage this and get your baby to enjoy their experience is by using a baby play gym. A play mat is great for exploring different textures from an early age which contributes to brain development and bright starts.

Baby play gyms are brightly colored interactive playmats that often come with an assortment of toys.

They are available in various sizes, shapes, and themes and are designed to provide babies with a safe, comfortable space to relax, play, and develop their skills. 

If you have been thinking about getting a baby play gym for your kiddo, you have come to the right place.

This guide is going to outline some of the best options that you can buy right now. Hopefully, it will give you a great starting point for your search for the perfect choice for you and your little one. 

This post may contain affiliate links. GenThirty may make a small commission at no additional cost to you. Thank you for supporting this resource.

Why do babies use a play gym?

Even if you wanted to, it is impossible to hold your baby 24/7. You’ll get tired, and your little one will get bored of being held in the same position all day. 

That’s where play gyms come in. They provide a fun space for your little one to relax and play, freeing your hands and allowing you to get other things done. 

Babies love play gyms because they come with a variety of sounds, textures, and visuals that are attractive to them.

Some models will also come with a set of plush toys that your baby can interact with. This makes them the perfect location for tummy time or general play. 

Apart from keeping your little one engaged as you enjoy some free time, here are a few more benefits that your little one will get from using a play gym: 

  • Provides a surface for tummy time, which helps strengthen your baby’s neck and shoulder muscles
  • Helps your baby develop their gross and fine motor skills 
  • Prevents the onset of flat head syndrome which occurs when a baby spends too long sleeping in one spot
  • Interactive play helps improve your little one’s eyesight
  • Boosts cognition development
  • Encourages your baby to become more mobile, which can help them crawl sooner

What to consider in a play gym:

Before getting your little one’s play gym, here are some of the most important things you’ll need to keep in mind: 

Material

Different play gyms are made using different materials. Consider going for options that are made of phthalate-free foam, which gives it a cushiony effect.

This foam is also easy to care for and transforms the play area into a cozy space. The surface material should also be non-toxic, baby friendly, and easy to clean. 

Portability

If you need a play gym that you can bring with you as you go on adventures with your little one, this is a very important factor to consider.

It should be easy to carry and handle, and you should be able to take it with you wherever you go.

This also applies if you simply want to bring the play gym with you as you move from the living room to the bedroom to the kitchen while keeping an eye on your little one.

Bonus points if it also has an easy setup process with no extra tools required to take it down. 

Your baby’s age

Different play gyms are designed to cater to the needs of babies of different ages.

In most cases, the age ranges will go from 0-12 months and 12-16 months. Ensure that the baby play gym you end up getting is suitable for your little one’s age. 

Weight

The best baby play gyms are lightweight and easy to use.

Go for one that is not only easy to carry but also made using durable materials that will allow it to last a long time. 

Extra features

Great play gyms come with hanging toys and dolls to assist in your little one’s development.

Things like rattles, mirrors, sensory toys, wind chimes, and so on will go a long way to boost the developmental benefits that your little one will enjoy whenever they spend time in the play gym. 

Price

Baby play gyms are available at a wide range of price points.

Generally speaking, the more expensive it is, the better the features you can expect, although this is not always a hard and fast rule.

As you will see from the recommendations below, many great options are also budget-friendly. 

9 Best Baby Play Gym Options

Here are our picks for the best baby play gyms: 

Lovevery Play Gym – TOP PICK

Price: $140
Size:  24h x 38w x 43l with mat zones closed; 24h x 50w x 47l with mat zones open
Weight: 7.19 pounds
Portable: Yes
Batteries needed: No
Ease of cleaning: Easy to clean, machine-washable
Special features: Converts into a fort to grow with your baby, Comes with 14 adjustable play cards

The Lovevery Play Gym has made it to the top of our list because it was designed by child development experts with a keen focus on your baby’s developmental stages.

It is an eco-friendly activity mat with toys, teething rings, and high-contrast pictures for your little one to look at. 

You also have the option of hiding some sections so that your baby isn’t too stimulated all at once. It comes with a guide that offers suggestions on what activity to present your baby based on their age. 

And the best part? It is designed to grow with your child and to offer lots of utility as your baby grows.

As such, it converts from a playmat when your baby is young into a fort for when they are a toddler and no longer needs a playmat.

This way, your little one will end up using it for years instead of outgrowing it within a few months. In my opinion, this is one of the best baby activity gyms in terms of quality and longevity.

If you care about natural materials, this one will be great for your family. It’s a one of the most interactive mats for a variety of ages. I wouldn’t say it has easy storage as it doesn’t fold flat but it does work well in small spaces, in my opinion.

Of all of the play mats we have used over the years, this one has been my favorite. I am not planning to have a 3rd child at this time, but I have still kept this play mat even though my toddlers don’t use it anymore… just in case! That’s how much we love it.

Click here to get it on Amazon
Click here to get it on Lovevery

Fisher Price Gym With Piano – Best Budget Option

Price: $33
Size:  ‎36.02 x 27.01 x 17.99 inches
Weight: 4.71 pounds
Portable: Yes
Batteries needed: Yes
Ease of cleaning: Easy to clean, machine-washable
Special features: Fun kick and play piano with 5 light-up keys

If you have been looking for a fun, interactive play mat that’s perfect for the little musician in your life, the Fisher-Price Gym with Piano is it!

It comes with the Fisher-Price Deluxe Kick & Play Piano and Rattle ‘n Rock Maracas.

The detachable keyboard has five light-up keys, four musical settings, and more than 65 songs and phrases that are designed to teach your little one music, animal sounds, colors, shapes, and numbers. 

You’ll also love the reposition-able toy arch on which you can attach the included baby toys (crinkle panda, rattle lion, clacking monkey, elephant teether, and a mirror).

The soft and thick machine-washable playmat also comes with additional loops for attaching toys. 

We really liked this one when my second son was an infant. He loved the sounds and was really motivated by the piano. I like that you can also detach parts of it and use it in different ways.

Click here to get it on Amazon

LADIDA Stage-Based Play Gym – Best Budget, No Battery Option

Price: $40
Size:  ‎‎32 x 32 x 16 inches
Weight: 2.68 pounds
Portable: Yes
Batteries needed: No
Ease of cleaning: Easy to clean, machine-washable
Special features: Usable in 3 different modes (0-3 months, 3-6 months, 6 months+)

The LADIDA Stage-Based Play Gym is designed to help your little one transition through all their developmental stages from birth to toddlerhood:

  • From 0-3 months, your baby will interact with it in Lay and Play mode.
  • From 3-6 months, they will graduate to Tummy Time mode as they strengthen their neck and shoulder muscles, getting ready to crawl.
  • Finally, from 6 months and up, they will enjoy the Sit and Play mode, where they’ll get to interact with the fun interchangeable STEM toys. 

It features adjustable arches, crinkle, rattle, and jingle toys, a tummy time cushion with a mirror, colorful ribbons, textured silicone balls, and interchangeable patterned cushions.

With this play gym, your little one will be able to exercise their hand-eye coordination, their crawling ability, and their cognitive development as they interact with all the features it comes packed with. 

While I still prefer the Lovevery Play Gym the best, at about $100 less, this play mat is very developmentally appropriate for infants, especially from zero to six months. It has similar but less features than the Lovevery mat.

With this mat, I think interest will wane around 12 months but it truly depends on your baby and what they like!

Click here to shop on Amazon

Infantino 4-in-1 Play Gym – Lightest Pick

Price: $49
Size:  ‎‎26.8 x 10.8 x 4 inches
Weight: 2.84 pounds
Portable: Yes
Batteries needed: No
Ease of cleaning: Easy to clean, machine-washable
Special features: 4 different play modes for overhead discovery, tummy time, sit and play, and on-the-go activities. 

The Infantino 4-in-1 Play Gym is a gorgeous boho-inspired gym with amazing portability. It stands out because of its unique twist and fold design that makes it easy to move and set it up.

You’ll also love the gorgeous colors, visuals, and patterns along with all the unique features it comes with, such as the peek-a-boo flaps, the hanging toys, and the fiddle flags.

Every feature included in this play gym is designed to help your child engage with it and enjoy endless hours of fun as they interact with it. 

It comes with a generous 32-inch playmat that’s soft and comfortable for your little one, making it the perfect location for tummy time. You also get a spinning musical mobile and a reposition-able selfie mirror. Everything is also super easy to wipe clean! 

The pad is a bit thin on this one, so if you only have a hardwood floor it might not be the best for you. Since both options are so colorful, you might only want to hang up one or two of the toys at a time.

Click here to shop on Amazon

Lupanette 7-in-1 Play Gym – Most Supportive Mat

Price: $39
Size:  ‎‎‎13 x 13 x 13 inches
Weight: 2.99 pounds
Portable: Yes
Batteries needed: No
Ease of cleaning: Easy to clean, machine-washable
Special features: Thick and soft, super easy assembly

The Lupanette 7-in-1 Play Gym is loaded with features that will keep your little one engaged for hours.

It comes with 6 removable sensory toys (including a baby mirror, ribbon rattle, cotton star, toy dino, crinkle elephant, and a cloth book) and one tummy pillow. You also get two replaceable mat covers. 

Most moms and dads love how soft this play gym is. The mat is thick and soft yet flat and firm so your little one can enjoy sitting, crawling, and eventually, standing and climbing on it.

If you have also been looking for a play gym that is easy to install and disassemble, this is it! You can do it in less than a minute! 

Click here to shop now on Amazon

Let’s make Organic Wooden Play Gym – Best Non Toxic

Price: $55
Size:  ‎‎‎‎26.4 x 5.2 x 3.3 inches
Weight: 3.39 pounds
Portable: Yes
Batteries needed: No
Ease of cleaning: Easy to clean, wipe down
Special features: Made entirely of wood

The one thing that will instantly stand out to you from the moment you lay your eyes on the Let’s Make Organic Wooden Play Gym is the fact that it is made entirely of wood.

It is a minimalist design that relies on the beauty of unfinished wood, which makes it an all-natural product that is free of any harmful chemicals and completely safe for your little one. 

It comes with 4 wooden hanging toys that are also completely baby safe. Everything is removable and easy to assemble without having to invest in any extra tools.

It comes with wooden toys that are non-toxic and can be used off the play gym as well.

It is designed to be easy to fold away for storage, which makes it the perfect space-saving play gym. 

Keep in mind, this play gym does not come with a mat so you’ll have to provide your own soft mat or use it on carpet or a blanket. This is one of the best wooden play gyms available, especially for the price.

What I really like about this one is that after you’re done using it as a play gym you can use it as a clothing rack for your little one, especially if you follow Montessori dressing principles.

Shop now on Amazon

Skiphop Farmstand Grow – Best Multifunctional

Price: $76
Size:  ‎‎‎‎32 x 19 x 46 inches
Weight: 2.05 pounds
Portable: Yes
Batteries needed: Yes
Ease of cleaning: Easy to clean, machine washable
Special features: Playful, adorable design. 17+ developmental activities

The Skip Hop Farmstand Baby Gym features a delightfully adorable farm-theme design that will not fail to put a smile on your little one’s face.

Designed to stimulate your baby’s senses, it comes packed with activities, textures, and sounds that will keep them busy for hours. 

It has lots of bright colors and is easy to clean. This one has lots of interactive toys that can be removed and used in different ways.

It has fold-up sides that you can use to create a safe play space during tummy time. You also get 5 hanging toys (including an avocado rattle, a beet squeaker, a plush tomato, a carrot with ribbons, and a musical bunny) and more than 17 developmental activities for your little one to explore independently. 

This one is super cute and I like that the sides fold up so you can easily create an enclosed play safe space!

Click here to get it on Amazon

Makemake Organics Floor Mat – Best Floor Mat

Price: $99
Size:  ‎‎‎‎20.91 x 14.41 x 5.91 inches
Weight: 2.77 pounds
Portable: Yes
Batteries needed: No
Ease of cleaning: Machine-washable
Special features: Thick and soft, super easy assembly

Made entirely using the finest quality GOTS-certified organic cotton, the Makemake Organics Floor Mat is the gold standard for playmats that are kind and gentle on your little one’s skin.

It is double-sided and handmade, which makes it the perfect location for tummy time and play. 

Featuring modern, practical designs, this mat will also fit perfectly in any home’s decor. The neutral palette also makes it perfect for both boys and girls.

You’ll also love how large it is as well as how light and easy to maintain it can be. It will make a great addition to bring with you anytime you head out with your kiddo! 

I like that this one is very easily portable and you can use whatever toys you want with it. It creates a safe place for your baby but doesn’t have any of the bells and whistles.

Click here to shop on Amazon

Ingenuity Cozy Spot Play Gym

Price: $49
Size:  ‎‎‎33 x 33 x 19 inches
Weight: 4.8 pounds
Portable: Yes
Batteries needed: No
Ease of cleaning: Disassemble, wipe down, machine wash, air dry
Special features: Highly portable

The Ingenuity Cozy Spot Play Gym comes with an ultra-plush mat that will create the most comfortable play space for your little one. It also comes with 6 different removable toys, including a plush bear, a baby-safe mirror, a bead rattle, a wooden ring, a rubber apple, and a tummy time pillow. 

The wooden bars are designed to conveniently collapse for storage. You can then fold everything in two and carry the entire setup using the handles.

In this way, this play gym has been designed for portability and mobility and you’ll love how easy your life will be with it. 

Click here to shop on Amazon


Baby Play Mat FAQ:

Do babies need a play gym?

While play gyms are not must-have essentials that your little one absolutely needs, it does help to invest in one for several reasons.

A good play mat will help your baby develop their motor skills. It will also prevent them from getting a flat head while also strengthening their neck and shoulder muscles. 

How do you use a play gym?

Using a play gym is very straightforward.

Once you’ve set it up, all you have to do is lay your little one on it while ensuring that they are safe and secure.

Avoid having any pillows or blankets or any small toys that can be potential choking hazards in the play gym.

Additionally, you should never leave your baby unattended while they are in the play gym. Always supervise them at all times. 

How long will babies use a play gym?

Your baby can use a play gym right from the first week of birth.

However, they will enjoy it most when they are between 3 to 6 months. They will gradually start losing interest once they start to crawl.

You can keep offering it as a play option until your baby is about 18 months old. 

In Summary: Best Baby Play Gym

The best baby play mats are one that fit your needs, space, budget. As you can see there are lots of options available!

Please don’t worry too hard about picking the “right mat.” All of these are great options and your baby will be sure to enjoy any of them!

My top pick is the Lovevery Play Mat and I would in general, keep the loud sounds and noises to a minimum in the early months to protect their hearing and keep them from being overstimulated. That said, if your baby enjoys music, don’t keep it from them!

Activity mats are great tools for play time and are a great option as multi-sensory toys. Good luck!!

More Helpful Guides:

Baby and Toddler

Home and Nursery

For Parents

Travel