Once your baby has reached toddlerhood and has experienced the joy and freedom that movement brings, it can be difficult to contain them.
Whether you need a safe place for them to sleep and play while you’re travelling, or you need to keep them out from under your feet, a playard can be the perfect solution.
They are very stable and safe for your children, and since they all have mesh walls, you can be confident in your ability to keep an eye on them at all times.
Since the baby industry is absolutely overwhelmingly full of products, it can be hard to know what product is right for you in any category.
When it comes to playards, there is a lot of diversity out there. Some are quite simple products, but others are more versatile and suited to various purposes.
Keeping features like price, portability, convenience, and play space in mind, we have evaluated 25 products over 29 hours and considered 895 consumer reviews to bring you the best playards in Canada.
Following our last update, we recommend the Graco 2084227 Pack ‘n Play playard for its portability, compatible weight range, and play space.
Playard Comparative Table
|Graco 2084227 Pack ‘n Play Playard||
||9.5/10||See price on Amazon|
|BabyBjorn 040280CA Playard||
||9.6/10||See price on Amazon|
|Cosco 05069CDFL Funsport Deluxe Playard||
||9.4/10||See price on Amazon|
Our Pick for The Best Playard
The Best Overall
If you’re looking at buying a playard and want a balance of value, quality, and usefulness, the Graco 2084227 Pack ‘n Play playard is the best choice with an affordable price tag, incredibly convenient features, and a durable structure.
Graco 2084227 Pack ‘n Play Playard Video Review
What We Think of The Graco 2084227 Pack ‘n Play Playard
The Graco Pack ‘n Play playard is one of the best values on the market. It is incredibly user friendly with a compact push-button fold so you can flawlessly pack it up whenever needed without an intensive set up or take down procedure. An included carry case makes it that much easier for parents to travel with the playpen.
The playard has two wheels instead of four, so mobility is simple but the playard remains more stable when your child is playing or napping inside. The sides of the playard are a breathable mesh fabric that facilitates maximum breathability and ventilation, plus allows your child to see everything around them. The mesh siding is the safest option for napping as well.
I’m amazed at how easy this thing was to set up. My old playpen was such a nightmare to set up or take down, but the Pack ‘n Play is utterly painless. The mattress is firm but I don’t think too firm, and I use a plush quilted sheet on top to make it nice and cozy. My baby sleeps 7 hours at a time in it at 7 weeks old. I do wish it was a bit taller, but it’s nice and compact, great for travel.
This Pack ‘n Play playard includes a storage pouch that hooks on the side of the playard to keep essentials close by at all times. The frame is sturdy with folding feet and wheels for maximum portability. This playard has a high weight capacity of 68 lbs, so parents will get several years of use out of this playpen as their child grows.
Graco 2084227 Pack ‘n Play Playard Specifications
- Dimensions: 39.5” x 28.2” x 29”
- Weight: 18.5 lbs
- Weight Limit: 68 lbs
- Foldable: Yes
Graco 2084227 Pack ‘n Play Playard Pros and Cons
- Mesh sides provide great visibility and air flow
- Push button fold
- Has a mesh storage pouch attached and comes with a carry bag
- Has wheels on one side to easily move it around the house
- Cannot also function as a bassinet
- No toy arch included
Our Final Opinion about the Graco 2084227 Pack ‘n Play Playard
Quality 5.0 out of 5.0 stars Effectiveness 5.0 out of 5.0 stars Design 4.0 out of 5.0 stars Price 5.0 out of 5.0 stars
Though slightly limited without a bassinet or toy arch, the overall quality and usability of the Graco Pack ‘n Play is excellent. For a reasonable price, parents can easily travel with the playard for peace of mind and an easy time corralling their curious kids wherever they go.
Our Upgrade Pick for a Playard
The High Performance Pick
If you travel a lot with your baby and want a reliable solution for contained playing and sleeping no matter you are, the BabyBjorn 040280CA playard is the top choice with lots of space, simple setup and take down, and lasting quality.
BabyBjorn 040280CA Playard Video Review
What We Think of The BabyBjorn 040280CA Playard
The BabyBjorn playard is one of the top options on the market if you value quality, durability, and portability enough to spend more on this high-end option. The play area is quite large at 44” long 24” wide, so there is plenty of space for your child to play, move around, and stretch out during naps without feeling restricted.
The triangular shape of the frame provides reliable sturdiness to the playard, ensuring your child’s safety at all time. The mesh siding is tall so your older children can’t climb out and endanger themselves, though it isn’t so tall that shorter parents won’t be able to comfortably lift their kids in and out. The mattress at the bottom is thick and comfy with firm support for crawling, walking, and sleeping.
I’m still not sold on the necessity of the ridiculously expensive price, but it is a nice playard. It is lightweight and easy to put together. It is stylish looking for sure. Even without wheels it is easy to pick it up onehanded and move it around the apartment. It has plenty of space for one or two children and I like how sturdy it is since it sits on the ground. It’s comfortable for sleeping, but it’s also good for crawling and tummy time.
The weight limit is surprisingly low at 29 lbs, especially considering the base of the playpen touches the ground for more stability. Travel is simplified with a quick set up and take down process, and the lightweight design ensures parents of all strengths and sizes can travel with this playard comfortably. Given the price, you’d expect some extra features, but they are unfortunately lacking on this playard.
BabyBjorn 040280CA Playard Specifications
- Dimensions: 44” x 24” x 32”
- Weight: 13.1 lbs
- Material: Polyester
- Weight Limit: 29 lbs
- Foldable: Yes
BabyBjorn 040280CA Playard Pros and Cons
- Mesh sides allow for visibility and air flow without allowing children to put their fingers through
- Unique shape is highly stable
- Machine washable
- Easy setup and takedown
- Low weight limit
Our Final Opinion About the BabyBjorn 040280CA Playard
Quality 5.0 out of 5.0 stars Effectiveness 5.0 out of 5.0 stars Design 5.0 out of 5.0 stars Price 3.0 out of 5.0 stars
Though one of the more expensive options out there, most parents find the BabyBjorn playard to be well worth the cost. Its quality surpasses the majority of the competition, and parents will enjoy the user-friendly design for optimal portability despite its larger size.
Our Budget Pick for a Playard
The Budget Pick
If you’re on a strict budget or simply don’t feel the need to spend unnecessarily on luxury items, choosing a more affordable, but still high-quality, playard is probably your main goal. If so, we recommend the Cosco 05069CDFL Funsport deluxe playard for best value.
What We Think of the Cosco 05069CDFL Funsport Deluxe Playard
The Cosco Funsport deluxe playard is one of the most value-packed bassinet/playpen combos on the market. Though the bassinet isn’t very durable it can support up to 15 lbs, meaning you’ll have plenty of time to make use of the insert before it’s outgrown. The bottom of the playard is thickly padded for comfort during play or sleep and is sized for a toddler to lie in comfortably.
This playard has an entertaining toy arch with two soft toys to provide mental stimulation while your child spends time in their playpen. The pen has two wheels for mobility without sacrificing the stability of solid feet on the other side. The playard has a middle support to prevent sagging of the bottom base, ensuring children up to 66 lbs can play in the Cosco playard safely.
I am so happy with this. It’s inexpensive but is decently built and a great size. It is easy to pop up and down and folds really small to fit in my car when we travel. I’ve gotten a lot of use out of the bassinet insert, and I’m glad that the pen is large enough for a toddler when my daughter outgrows the bassinet part. One thing I don’t like is how heavy it is, but it is sturdy which is more important to me.
The playpen is quite sturdy and solid, though the downside of this is a heavy 23 lb frame that makes portability a challenge. To offset this, the playard folds up nice and compact to fit into a carry bag for easier transport. The mesh siding is breathable and airy for ventilation in any position, as well as greater visual stimuli when your baby is playing independently.
Cosco 05069CDFL Funsport Deluxe Playard Specifications
- Dimensions: 41” x 30.2” x 37.5”
- Weight: 22.9 lbs
- Weight Limit: 66 lbs (15 lbs for bassinet insert)
- Foldable: Yes
- Warranty: 1 year
Cosco 05069CDFL Funsport Deluxe Playard Pros and Cons
- Can double as a bassinet
- Has a toy arch attached
- Has wheels on one side for mobility around the house
- Comes with a carry bag
- Bassinet insert is not very durable
Our Final Opinion About the Cosco 05069CDFL Funsport Deluxe Playard
Quality 4.0 out of 5.0 stars Effectiveness 5.0 out of 5.0 stars Design 5.0 out of 5.0 stars Price 5.0 out of 5.0 stars
Considering the price, the value you get with this Cosco playard is pretty incredible. It is incredibly versatile, very sturdy (bassinet notwithstanding), and has several useful extra features to provide excellent value for your dollar. If you want quality on a budget, it doesn’t get better than this.
Alternative Products to Consider
Joovy 7017 Room 2 Playard Review
The Twin Pick
Usually, having twins means you need two of everything, but parents of twins are in luck when it comes to playards. The Joovy 7017 Room 2 playard is doubly large to fit both babies comfortably whether they’re playing or sleeping.
Joovy 7017 Room 2 Playard Video Review
What We Think of the Joovy 7017 Room 2 Playard
The Joovy twin-sized playard is just that: an extra-large playard meant to hold multiple babies instead of just one. Though the length is fairly standard, the width is nearly double that of a normal playard to provide the needed space for a set of twins. This large playard has no weight limit, so your use of this playpen is only limited by your babies’ height (no more than 35” so they can’t climb out).
This pen is incredibly sturdy with a solid metal frame for support, though this does mean you’ll be lugging around 30 lbs of playard if you need to travel with it for any reason. The middle of the pen has two floor supports for added stability, limiting the sag of the base fabric for a reliable sleep and play surface that will last as your children grow.
Love this for my twins. They fit perfectly in it and they have plenty of room to stretch out when sleeping or playing with various toys. It was easier to set up than my last play pen and is easy to pack for overnights at Grandmas, though it is really heavy. The quality of the mattress is great, nice and firm and durable which you don’t find often with these things..
The pen folds up nicely considering its size. The larger edge-to-edge windows provide extra peace of mind since your baby can breathe easily even if they jam themselves into a corner while sleeping. The sheet included with the mattress is waterproof in case of spills and accidents for convenience as well. The only downside is that for a pretty penny, you don’t get any added features like a bassinet insert, storage, or toy arch.
Joovy 7017 Room 2 Playard Specifications
- Dimensions: 39.8” x 39.8” x 31”
- Weight: 29.6 lbs
- Weight Limit: None; for kids up to 35” tall
- Foldable: Yes
Joovy 7017 Room 2 Playard Pros and Cons
- Very easy to setup and take down
- Large play/sleep space perfect for multiple children
- Highly durable, built to last
- Nearly invisible mesh provides great air flow and visibility
- Not very versatile
- Quite expensive
Our Final Opinion About the Joovy 7017 Room 2 Playard
Quality 5.0 out of 5.0 stars Effectiveness 5.0 out of 5.0 stars Design 4.0 out of 5.0 stars Price 3.0 out of 5.0 stars
For twins, there really is no better option than this Joovy playard. If you’re willing to spend a little extra to keep your little ones playing and sleeping together, and if you don’t mind a bit of a struggle if you need to transport it from place to place, you’ll be glad you chose a twin-sized playard like the Joovy.
Evenflo 70212307 Portable Babysuite Deluxe Review
The 4-in-1 Pick
Babies go through a ton of different growth stages during the first few years, and they require a ton of equipment to match. If you’re more of a one-and-done type of shopper, consider the 4-in-1 Evenflo 70212307 portable Babysuite deluxe playard.
Evenflo 70212307 Portable Babysuite Deluxe Video Review
What We Think of The Evenflo 70212307 Portable Babysuite Deluxe
The Evenflo playard is jam-packed with great features for parents and babies. It serves every important purpose for those first few years of your kid’s life: full-size bassinet, floor playmat, diaper changing station, and toddler playard. The versatility of this playard is unmatched by others on the market, so this is truly the best bang for your buck.
That’s not all this Evenflo playard does well. It has a large multi-size storage organizer built in to hold all of your essentials: bottles, toys, pacifiers, diapers, anything you need. There is also an adorable toy arch with 3 hanging plush elephant toys to keep your little one entertained and stimulated while they explore their playard.
I have a love/hate relationship with this playpen. I love the design, I like how I can use it as a change table, and the pockets are the best. It is very easy to set up and take down, and it is so convenient when mommy is doing housework. That being said, it is really flimsy and is developing a hole after only 4 months of use. I wish it was stronger, but that’s the only issue with it.
There are two sturdy wheels for mobility along with a carry bag and a simple fold-down design for simple travel. The mesh siding is ideal for maximum ventilation and your baby’s comfort since they can see what’s going on around them. The fabric is wipeable for quick cleanups and sanitizing. The high weight limit of 66 lbs for the main area, 25 lbs for the changing table, and 15 lbs for the bassinet ensures a long life of usefulness in your home.
Evenflo 70212307 Portable Babysuite Deluxe Specifications
- Dimensions: 30” x 43” x 32.5”
- Weight: 20.8 lbs
- Material: Cloth, vinyl, plastic
- Weight Limit: 66 lbs
- Foldable: Yes
Evenflo 70212307 Portable Babysuite Deluxe Pros and Cons
- Functions as a toddler playard, floor playmat, bassinet up to 15 lbs, and diaper changing station up to 25 lbs
- Has a storage organizer for essentials
- Has wheels on one side for mobility around the house
- Highly affordable
- A bit heavy
- Not very durable
Our Final Opinion About the Evenflo 70212307 Portable Babysuite Deluxe
Quality 4.0 out of 5.0 stars Effectiveness 5.0 out of 5.0 stars Design 5.0 out of 5.0 stars Price 5.0 out of 5.0 stars
Considering the price and the amazing number of functions this Evenflo Babysuite deluxe playard can perform, parents everywhere will be thankful they chose this incredibly versatile, very affordable playpen for their child. With so many features, what’s not to love?
Bugaboo 951000GM01 Stardust Playard Review
The Travel Pick
Though nearly all playards are designed to be good for travel, not all of them are as travel-friendly as we wish they would be. If you want a truly convenient option for taking with you from place to place regularly, the Bugaboo 951000GM01 stardust playard is a great choice.
Bugaboo 951000GM01 Stardust Playard Video Review
What We Think of the Bugaboo 951000GM01 Stardust Playard
The Bugaboo playard is incredibly pricey, but it is built to last and be useful through all of your baby’s early stages up to 2 years of age. The bottom mattress is one of the thickest on the market and is super comfortable for newborns and toddlers to sleep on. It comes with a fitted cotton sheet that is gentle on skin and cozy to play and sleep on, plus is convenient for washing.
The mattress is height adjustable inside the playard, so it can be used as a bassinet during those early months as well as for ease of lifting your child in and out of the playard without bending over too far and hurting your back. The top fabric surrounding the edged of the playard is soft while the mesh siding with extra-large windows ensures excellent views and breathability from inside.
Bugaboo’s done it again! This playard/bassinet/crib is simply awesome. It is the lightest and sturdiest playpen I’ve tried, and with 4 kids that’s saying something. It is clearly made of high-quality materials and is so unbelievably easy to travel with. It is lightweight enough that I can carry it in one hand, and it literally folds down in 3 second or sets back up in 1 second. Worth every penny.
This playard is one of the best for travel because of how easily it folds down and sets back up. The mattress does not need to be removed to be folded up, and it folds to just 5.5 inches wide for easy packing into its Velcro bag. it takes only three seconds to fold and one second to unfold. The weight limit is slightly lower than average at 33 lbs, so it can only be used until your child is about 2 years old, but that’s still plenty when you consider its practical, versatile applications.
Bugaboo 951000GM01 Stardust Playard Specifications
- Dimensions: 25” x 38.8” x 33.5”
- Weight: 17 lbs
- Material: Polyester
- Weight Limit: 33 lbs
- Foldable: Yes
Bugaboo 951000GM01 Stardust Playard Pros and Cons
- Smaller size is ideal for frequent travel
- Great for indoor and outdoor settings
- Don’t need to remove mattress pad to fold
- Very quick fold (3 seconds) and unfold (1 second)
- Priced at the top end of the market
- Fairly small, only suitable for kids up to 2 years old
Our Final Opinion About the Bugaboo 951000GM01 Stardust Playard
Quality 5.0 out of 5.0 stars Effectiveness 4.0 out of 5.0 stars Design 5.0 out of 5.0 stars Price 2.0 out of 5.0 stars
Though it doesn’t have a few common extras like a toy arch or storage option, this Bugaboo Stardust playard is well worth the cost for parents who travel with their kiddos all the time. It folds down surprisingly small and is the most user-friendly playard available.
Safety 1st 05086CEHD Prelude Playard Review
The Convenient Pick
Taking care of a baby is a hectic job at best and a chaotic disaster more often, but with the help of the Safety 1st 05086CEHD Prelude playard, parents can tackle most of their daily tasks in one location to speed things up and make time for a 15-second break between emergencies. You’re welcome.
Safety 1st 05086CEHD Prelude Playard Video Review
What We Think of The Safety 1st 05086CEHD Prelude Playard
The Safety 1st Prelude playard has everything you could ask for: changing station, bassinet, spacious playard, and corralling station for days where you just need a break from the chaos. The elevated changing table is complemented by a large storage area with multiple pockets for diapers, wipes, powder, and anything else you’ll need close at hand.
The full-size bassinet supports up to 15 lbs and provides plenty of room for your baby to sleep comfortably in the room with you for your peace of mind. The toy arch has two cute toys and is removable if you want to use it with tummy time or need unobstructed access to the inside of the playard.
I originally bought this for my 2-month-old because his arms were too wide for the bassinet I had and I wanted him with me. This one works much better, though I know he’ll outgrow it pretty soon. I haven’t tried to fold it yet, but I like that it comes with a bag so I don’t need to juggle too many things at once. The changing table is soo convenient and my son loves the hanging toys.
While the playard does fold compactly and comes with its own travel bag, we don’t recommend planning too many trips as it weighs more than 20 lbs and isn’t the best option for regular outings unless you’re stronger than us. The breathable mesh siding is a safe enclosure material for ventilation as well as your child’s wellbeing that they can see around them.
Safety 1st 05086CEHD Prelude Playard Specifications
- Dimensions: 43.5” x 28.3” x 39.5”
- Weight: 23.5 lbs
- Weight Limit: 15 lbs in bassinet
- Foldable: Yes
Safety 1st 05086CEHD Prelude Playard Pros and Cons
- Quite affordable
- Usable as a bassinet and changing table as well
- Has a toy arch and storage bag with multiple pockets
- Breathable mesh walls help you keep an eye on your child
- A bit heavy for frequent travel
Our Final Opinion About the Safety 1st 05086CEHD Prelude Playard
Quality 5.0 out of 5.0 stars Effectiveness 5.0 out of 5.0 stars Design 5.0 out of 5.0 stars Price 5.0 out of 5.0 stars
This playard has everything a parent needs to keep a close eye on their baby and tackle all of their needs in one place. With a bunch of useful features, parents will be hard-pressed to find a playard that is more convenient for everyday use so long as they don’t plan on travelling too much with it.
Why Should You Trust Us?
All the recommendations we make on The Good Choice are the result of many hours of research, comparisons, analysis of consumer reviews and, if necessary, expert feedbacks. The products we recommend here are the ones that will best perform their daily tasks, passing all security, reliability and efficiency tests while having an appealing price-quality ratio for everyone.
What are our criteria for judging the products reviewed and selected by The Good Choice?
- Quality: Does the product have a solid construction? Will it be reliable over time? Does it have a good warranty?
- Efficiency: Is the product efficient in its task or do you need to give it some help? Is it for example powerful, fast, quiet?
- Usability: Is the product easy to handle, easy to use and maintain?
- Price: Is the price of the product and/or accessories and/or spare parts reasonable compared to the rest of the market?
In addition to these main criteria, we then establish a list of specific criteria for each product category, detailed a little further down in this article.
In the end, the products we recommend are the ones we would want to buy, and the ones we would also choose for our friends and family.
Things to Know Before Buying a Playard
When to Use a Playard
There are many different ways to make use of a playard. First, if you have children of different ages, it can be really inconvenient for them to nap in the same room.
A playard provides an extra space for your youngest to nap so your kids don’t disturb each other and can follow independent schedules.
Second, a playard provides a safe space for children to play independently while remaining safe and controlled.
Playards are incredibly useful when you have visitors, either expected or unexpected, since you can quickly place your child inside to corral them and keep them safe while you’re distracted.
Playards are also part of the essential arsenal when heading camping, going to the beach, or any other event so you don’t have to hold or watch your baby for hours on end.
Even if just going to visit family for a few hours, bringing your playpen along is a great idea so you have the freedom to socialize and enjoy yourself.
Despite all of these convenient uses for a playard, the most helpful way for a parent to use one is to simply give themselves a short break when they need it.
Is it Safe for My Child to Nap in a Playard?
Absolutely! We recommend choosing a playard with mesh siding since it is more breathable, but either way it is perfectly safe for your child to nap in their playard. Of course, there are a few precautions to take.
First, if the playpen has wheels, make sure they are locked in place or use extras around the house to block in the wheels for extra stability. Second, follow the same safety rules as you would in a normal crib.
They are commonly used as a portable crib, so you don’t have to worry about letting your child sleep in one unsupervised.
How to Properly Choose Your Playard
Babies need a LOT of stuff through their first few years, so it makes sense that not everyone’s budget will be the same when shopping for a playard. Luckily, there are great options available that will suit any budget, big or small.
Though the more affordable options will lack features and tend to be smaller in size, the more expensive options aren’t necessarily of better quality, so budget-minded parents can provide a great playard for their children no matter their budget.
- Weight Limit.
When choosing a playard designed for toddlers, you may not think you need to worry about the weight capacity, but you should. Since most playards have fabric bases, it is only rated to safely support up to a certain amount before it has the potential to break or wear down faster than it should.
To avoid putting unnecessary strain on the structure of the playard, as well as for the sake of your child’s safety, make sur your child falls below the weight limit recommended by the manufacturer. You should give yourself at least 10lbs of growth room to ensure you get as much use out of the playard as possible before your child grows too big.
Since playards are meant to be toted around when visiting friends or family or heading to the park for a picnic, it’s important that it is portable and easy to bring along wherever your journeys take you. Many playards are foldable, but some are heavier than others depending on their frame material. Size is also an important factor when determining portability since the larger it is, the more you’ll struggle to lift it up a flight of stairs or into the car. Wheels are also super helpful! Some playards even have their own storage bags that leave the wheels out so it can be rolled while folded. Unless you plan on using the playard only at home, check out how portable it is before buying.
- Machine Washable.
Children are messy. That’s just a fact of life. Stains, however, don’t have to be. Most playards have machine washable mattresses, covers, or pads that reduce your cleanup if something spills or someone has an accident.
Since playards are meant to keep your kids safe and entertained, storage pockets or built-in shelves can be incredibly useful for storing additional toys, books, games, and other necessities right where they’ll be needed. All storage space should be outside of your baby’s reach for safety reasons.
Playards are available in a variety of materials, for both the frame and the siding. We recommend choosing mesh siding since this is most breathable and you’ll be able to clearly see your child no matter where they are or what they’re doing. For the frame, you have two options. Plastic is affordable, lightweight and easily maneuverable, but less durable. Steel frames are the more secure option, but they are heavier and more expensive.
- Toy Arch.
Many playards have built-in toy arches for entertaining your baby, but they’re not all created equal. Some toy arches have many toys while others have just a few. Some have music and lights included while others have neither. Some toy arches are detachable, which can be useful for engagement during tummy time as well, but this isn’t necessary for the playard itself.
Playards are available in a variety of sizes, some meant for one child while others have space for multiple. The most basic playards are about 28 inches wide and doubly long, but you should always note how tall the sides are to make sure your child cannot climb out on their own.
Not all playards come with a mattress, but many do since they are often used as a portable crib for naps. Many playards will have a cushion on the bottom that is similar to a mattress, but it probably won’t be thick enough to offer the right support. Some playards have no cushion at all, so a separate mattress would help you child be more comfortable.
No matter the price of the playard you end up choosing, it’s always a good idea to check that you have a warranty period. Not only does this protect your purchase, it lengthens the life expectancy of the playard since you can get replacement parts or free repairs if something happens within the coverage period.
We do our best to provide you with a comparative guide of playards allowing you to choose the best product possible. If we are missing information or new models, do not hesitate to leave a comment below or to send us a message.