7 Best Baby Travel Play Mats (parents will LOVE to travel with)

Author: Celine Brewer

Last Updated:

Curious and so adventurous, babies are just little explorers in tiny bodies! I use a baby play mat at home so much that it only makes sense to have a travel play mat for our family trips! Having one of these best baby travel play mats is perfect for traveling with a baby. It gives baby a space to play and work on those development skills, even when traveling!

One important lesson I learned early on in my family travels is that a baby’s development needs don’t stop just because you are on holidays. Thankfully it’s easy to entertain those growing minds with colorful designs, sounds, and textures, strengthen their muscles with active play, and give them the simplest of pleasures. Maybe even find some time for yourself in the process!

a baby from the BabyCanTravel.com family has tummy time on a portable play mat.
My son loves his portable play mat!

This post contains compensated links.

7 Best Travel Play Mats for Babies

The right play mat can really benefit a baby’s overall development. Let’s look at some of my top picks for travel baby play mats.

My Top Picks for Portable Play Mats

In case you don’t have time to read the full article, here are my top picks for the best baby play mats for travel:

Overall Best Travel Playmat:

A to Z Adventure Gear Lay and Play Mat – I love this play mat for travel as it’s easy to pack, easy to assemble and easy to clean.

Most Unique Portable Playmat:

Infinno Inflatable Tummy Time Mat – filled with water, this portable baby playmat is also a sensory toy.

baby playing on A to Z Adventure Gear Lay and Play Mat

Why Travel with a Portable Baby Play Mat

For hygiene and safety reasons, letting your baby play on the ground at the park, hotel, and airport isn’t ideal. While baby travel toys and a blanket may be enough for short outings, choosing the best travel play mat is essential for longer trips.

a baby from BabyanTravel.com is all smiles while playing on a portable baby travel play mat.

Here are some of the reasons I recommend you add one of these play mats to your baby travel gear:

  • Baby travel play mats are much safer than playing on a bed because they allow the baby to explore on solid ground, without the risk of falling.
  • Play mats and travel blankets are hygienic as they keep your baby and their toys off dirty carpets and floors.
  • Tummy time is the most effective way to aid baby muscle development. Increase the time your baby spends on working these muscles by using portable baby play mats.  
  • Once your baby is comfortable on their mat, you can move their toys and other playthings out of their reach. Their curiosity will make them stretch and reach for their toys, encouraging babies to interact with their surroundings.
A to Z Adventure Gear Baby Travel Play Mat with baby on it with volcano in distance.

4 Important Features for Travel Play Mats

Small purchases matter just as much as the big ones when it comes to caring for your baby. From choosing the right bottles, clothes, and crib to the toys they need, the decisions are endless. Picking out the best baby travel play mat for you and your baby is no different.

Between functionality, material, cost, and design here are a few pointers to help you make the right choice for your little one. 

1. Material

This is the most important thing to check when buying a baby travel mat as babies spend a lot of time playing on it. If your baby is going to be in contact with anything for a long time, it should be baby-safe, thick, and soft. Foam mats tend to provide the most cushioning, so be sure to opt for them whenever possible.

Most mats are guaranteed to be free of harmful chemicals such as BPA, phthalates, lead, latex, PVC, and formaldehyde. However, it is always a good idea to do your research and check the material descriptions of the products. 

With that being said, comfort isn’t the only thing that the mat’s material will affect. Questions about textured surfaces, the play mat’s durability, and ease of cleaning and washing are all things to you’ll want to consider.

Textured mats are excellent for developing your baby’s sense of touch.

Machine-washable mats are preferred for ease of use and cleaning. Babies are messy. Play areas are messy. Reduce clean-up time to a minimum with these mats. 

2. Portability

A compact yet functional mat with good portability is a must for travel or even easy storage at home. Some mats even convert into quirky toy storage bags, making cleaning and organization that much simpler.

3. Cost

Some play mats will cost you a pretty penny, but are worth the investment considering their benefits. Priced anywhere between $20 and $100, there are some travel baby play mats that are easier on the wallet and others that come with more high-end features. Worry not, for you will find every kind on my list of portable baby play mats!

4. Developmental Activities

While focusing on product details is important, answering what the mat can do for your baby’s development is most important. Developmental activities encourage and facilitate everything from sensory, cognitive, and motor development to self-awareness. 

Play mats allow babies to move freely. The extra space allows for more activity and exercise. 

a baby from the BabyCanTravel..com family lies on his travel play mat.
My little guy really wants to whack that black & white kitty.

Once you have a play mat in your possession, investing in toys with colors and sounds will promote the baby’s other senses. These toys may come as a package deal with some mats or you may have to buy them separately. 

Having baby-safe dangling toys around the mat encourages babies to exercise their arms and legs as they engage with the bright colorful objects. Consider looking for play mats with these included. 

Other Baby Travel Gear

Best Travel Play Mats for Babies

This post was written & edited by:

info@babycantravel.com | Website | + posts

Celine Brewer is the owner of Baby Can Travel. Not only does she have years of experience traveling with babies & toddlers, but she's helped millions of new parents travel with their babies and toddlers for over a decade. In addition to writing on her baby travel blog, she has shared her expertise on traveling with a baby or toddler by contributing to articles about traveling with a baby with the Washington Post, USA Today, the Lonely Planet magazine and Pregnancy & Newborn magazine.

Celine also writes about family travel on the site FamilyCanTravel.com, which she co-owns with her husband. Being from the Canadian Rockies, she shares her passion about her home and travel to Banff National Park and area on their site TravelBanffCanada.com.

Read more about Celine Brewer.