best play mats for babies

Looking for a fun way to help your baby grow and learn? You’ll be surprised how much babies can learn from playing on baby floor mats! But how can you find the perfect play mat for your baby? What factors make a baby play mat the best of its kind? 

In this blog post, we’ve put together a list of important factors when choosing a baby play mat. By keeping these standards in mind, you’ll be able to quickly identify the ideal baby floor mat for your young one.

Benefits of Play Mat for Babies

As a parent, you want to cuddle your little ones as much as possible, but you also have to allow them to play and explore independently. One of the best ways to help your baby develop physically is to encourage them to move around as much as possible.

This is where a baby play mat comes in. These play mats are a great way to provide a soft, safe space for your baby to explore. They help your baby develop gross motor skills and promote cognitive and social development. Here are ways play mats can help your baby:

It Promotes Independence

As any parent knows, babies are full of energy and curiosity. They’re always active and like exploring their environment. Unfortunately, this can sometimes lead to frustration, as they may not be able to reach the toys they want or get to the place they’re trying to go. 

Baby play mats can help promote a baby’s independence by providing a safe and soft place for tummy time and floor playing. They may move around freely on the mat without worrying about falling or being hurt.

Cognitive Development

A baby floor mat is an excellent way to help babies’ cognitive development. The best playmats for babies stimulate a baby’s visual development through built-in hanging toys, bright colors, and cute patterns, while the different textures help develop a baby’s tactile skills. 

Additionally, a baby play mat provides a valuable distraction during nappy changes or when feeding times get messy. Allow your baby tummy time and play with the removable toys that make noise on a baby floor mat. Built-in detachable toys such as a light-up star, musical sheep, or light-up keys will help stimulate your baby’s auditory senses and learn to focus their attention. 

Muscle Development

Child development experts recommend encouraging tummy time as soon as a baby can lift his or her head. This activity helps babies develop the muscles in their necks and shoulders and allows them to practice pushing up, rolling over, and crawling. 

The cushioned surface of a baby play mat is the perfect surface as it offers a soft, comfortable place for your little one to stretch and move. In addition, the best play mat for a baby comes equipped with built-in toys and features that also help encourage exploration and discovery. 

play mat with detachable toys - one of the best play mats for babies

Types of Baby Play Mats

Most parents are already familiar with the purpose of a play mat. But did you know that various play mat types are on the market? Here’s a quick guide to help you choose the best baby play mat:

Puzzle Mat

Puzzle mats are a good way to keep your baby entertained while helping them develop their fine motor skills. There are several puzzle mats available, each with its own distinct qualities. 

Other play mats, for example, feature diverse textures to encourage the development of your baby’s sense of touch. Many puzzle mats also have built-in activity centers, such as mirrors, toys, and vibrant colors. 

Activity Gym Play Mats

This mat is highly-designed to provide a safe and stimulating environment for babies to explore. Activity gym play mats usually feature a variety of colorful shapes and textures, as well as built-in play features such as mirrors, squeakers, and crinkle fabric. 

Many activity gyms also have dangling toys that encourage reach and grasp development. Other play mats can be folded up for easy storage, providing more space in your baby’s nursery room.

Tummy Time Play Mat

This play mat was designed to handle a baby’s tummy time activity. You may add a tummy time pillow to make the surface even more comfortable for your baby.

Some key characteristics of this play mat include a padded surface, machine-washable fabric, and non-slip bottom. These features will help ensure the baby is comfortable and safe while playing.

Water Play Mat

Water play mats are an excellent method to keep your child engaged while they learn to sit up. Usually made of clear plastic, they are filled with water, and toys float around in them. This provides your baby with a moving target to try and reach. 

They will improve their motor abilities as they move their arms and legs. In addition, the water provides a cool and refreshing sensation that can help soothe and calm your baby.

a baby doing tummy time on his play mat

4 Qualities of the Best Baby Play Mat

Play mats are essential for parents, as they keep babies entertained while developing essential skills. As parents, it’s normal to want the best things for your child, especially their needs while in the development stage. If you’re ready to invest in a play mat for your baby, what qualities will make you say it’s a good purchase? 

Tummy Support

As any parent knows, playtime is important for your baby’s development. So, when looking for the best play mat for your baby, it is important to find one that will support your baby’s tummy during playtime. 

The best play mat for babies will allow them to move around freely without worrying about rolling over. You may want to find a play mat that is firm enough to provide support but soft enough to be comfortable.

Made from Non-Toxic Material

The best play mat is one that is made from non-toxic material. When selecting a play mat, avoid materials that contain dangerous chemicals. These mats might be hazardous to your baby, so make an informed decision. 

Choose a play mat made of organic cotton or bamboo. These natural materials are gentle on your baby’s skin and won’t off-gas like some synthetic materials. Also, look for a play mat that doesn’t have dangerous chemicals like formaldehyde, phthalates, and PVC.

Easy to Clean

An easy-to-clean play mat is important to keep your baby healthy and safe. The best play mat has a waterproof backing. This will help to protect the play mat from spills and accidents. 

Additionally, choose a play mat that is made from easy-to-clean materials. Wondering how to clean a baby play mat? If you choose a play mat made from machine-washable fabrics like cotton or can be wiped clean with a damp cloth, there should be nothing to worry about.


The best baby play mat is portable and easy to move. When narrowing down your choices, look for a lightweight play mat that is easy to set up and take apart. Many parents need to take their play mat with them when they travel, so portability is an important consideration.

This way, you can take your baby’s play mat with you on trips to the park or beach or when going to a friend’s house for a playdate. 

Get the Best Baby Play Mats From Ashtonbee

With so many factors to consider, finding the perfect play mat for your baby can be tricky. However, by keeping these qualities in mind, you can be sure to find a mat like Ashtonbee’ play mat that will provide your little one with hours of enjoyment. 

Ashtonbee produces high-quality play mats and other baby must-haves that tick all the boxes in terms of quality, safety, and value for money. Give your baby the gift of fun and learning today by checking out our collection!

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