A comfy playmat or baby gym, with lots of things to see, hear, feel and grasp, is a must-have for small-baby entertainment between naps, feeds and nappy changes.


The best ones will have a good range of mat-based features and dangly toys with different sounds, textures, mirrors and patterns to discover. And some activity mats will even 'grow' with your baby, coming with a special cushion to support tummy-time play or offering multiple places to attach the dangly toys so you can move them around as your baby learns to roll, sit and crawl.

This list includes traditional activity mats which have arches or bars with toys attached overhead, plus some options for larger, super-comfortable flat floor mats that work well as a base where your baby can lie down with additional toys and can potentially be used for toddlerhood and beyond.

Best baby activity mats at a glance:

Activity playmats

  • Best baby activity mat for masses of stimulation: Kinderkraft 4SMART Contrasting Sensory Mat, £69.90
  • Best baby activity mat for the sensory blanket extra: Taf Toys Savannah 360 Activity Gym, £69.99
  • Best baby activity mat for style: Tiny Love Boho Chic Luxe Development Gymini, £114.99
  • Best baby activity mat for cosy newborn play: Taf Toys Koala Musical Cosy Gym, £83
  • Best baby activity mat for longevity: Lovevery Play Gym, £140
  • Best baby activity mat for monochrome stimulation: Magical Tales Black & White Gymini, £69.99
  • Best value baby activity mat: Red Kite Ball Playgym Peppermint Trail, £27
  • Best baby activity mat for extra comfort: Little Bird Told Me My Little Sunshine Multi-Activity Playgym, £69.95
  • Best baby activity mat for a unique design: Skip Hop Camping Cubs Activity Gym, £99.99
  • Best baby activity mat for a classic style: Kids Concept Edvin Baby Gym, £89.90
  • Best baby activity mat for bright colours: Lamaze Freddie the Firefly Gym, £40

Flat floor mats

  • Best baby activity mat for high quality: Totter and Tumble The Friend Playmat, from £140
  • Best baby activity mat for soft touch feel: Mellow Mat Soft Touch Tatami Rug, from £109
  • Best baby activity mat for luxurious feel: Tutti Bambini Padded Playmat, £149
  • Best baby activity mat for folding and easy transport : Taf Toys Savannah Super-Size Foam Playmat, £57.99

Here's our pick of the best baby activity mats, as tested by babies and rated by their parents...

Activity playmat

1. Kinderkraft 4SMART Contrasting Sensory Mat, £69.90

– Great for masses of stimulation

Kinderkraft 4SMART contrasting sensory mat

Age suitability: From birth | Batteries: None

This 126cm x 112 cm machine-washable activity mat, predominantly in red, white and black, has an adjustable, fabric-covered arch and 4 different 'sensory zones' around the central mat that can be raised up for tummy-time play. Each are designed to stimulate sight, hearing, touch or concentration. It comes with detachable toys including a mirror, a ball with a rattle, a plush donut and a rustling toy, as well as a sensory ball, and 12 'cognitive' cards that can be slotted into a clear pocket on the side of the mat or attached to a ring and clipped to a pushchair.

More like this

This activity mat is absolutely brimming with features to keep your baby busy – and to keep them interested and stimulated as they get older and more curious.

We also really like that you clip the detachable toys at any height along the arch, so a smaller baby or a baby on their tummy can reach them – as Simone, mum of our baby tester, Lily, 4 months found out: "Lily uses both her legs/feet and arms to reach for the toys which she's never done on other playmats as the toys have been too high." The sensory zones are nicely thought out and we particularly like the range of textures in the 'touch' zone. Natalie, mum of another of our baby testers, Lani, 5 months, said these were a real hit at tummy time. "Lani spends ages looking at everything," she said. "She especially enjoys the rustling, rattling, squeaky features in the 'hearing' sensory zone."

Pros: Lots of sensory stimulation, washable, detachable toys, additional cognitive cards
Cons: Quite pricey

Available at: Kiddies Kingdom, and Very

2. Taf Toys Savannah 360 Activity Gym, £69.99

– Great for the sensory blanket extra

Taf Toys Savannah 360 Activity Gym

Age suitability: From birth | Batteries: 2 x AAA (not included)

A 100cm x 80cm playmat with a fabric-covered arch and accessories including plastic pockets to put double-side felt picture cards in and 7 multi-sensory detachable hanging toys. There's plenty for babies to play with, including a rattling teether, a double-sided turtle with a baby-safe mirror, a bee ring rattle and a music and light toy that plays 3 melodies. Comes with a double-sided crinkle blankie that can be attached in different places.

This is a very sweet, fun, colourful, comfy mat and the hanging toys are well-chosen and nicely designed. "There is a great variety of sensory toys and activities," said Abigail, mum of our baby tester Poppy, 4 months. "Every base is pretty much covered for baby development! Poppy let out shrieks of enjoyment playing on this mat. She had lots of fun using her feet to kick the crinkle blanket and when she rolled over onto her tummy she was bobbing her head around so much trying to look at everything. It all really caught her attention."

Pros: Calming colours, detachable toys, additional picture cards, sensory blanket
Cons: Quite pricey

Available from: Amazon, Wayfair and Halilit

3. Tiny Love Boho Chic Luxe Developmental Gymini, £114.99

– Great for style

Tiny Love Boho Chic Luxe Developmental Gymini

Age suitability: From birth | Batteries: 3 x LR44 (included)

This ‎74cm x 59cm double-padded, machine-washable play mat has a standalone wooden arch with hanging toys including a baby-activated musical sloth that plays nature sounds and melodies, a eucalyptus mobile, and a set of 3 gripping rings with dangling ribbons. It also comes with a koala doll with rattle, a crinkly plant toy, a mirror, a giant leaf kicker, a transparent bead ball and 12 milestone cards.

We like the stylish, modern colours are restful and modern, the comfiness of the mat and the moveable wooden arch – and our baby testers really liked the sloth's little song. Andrea, mum of our child tester Finn, 6 months, said: "It's a gorgeous-looking gym. Finn was very excited when he heard the musical sloth, and the eucalyptus mobile got him kicking his little legs. The mat is super-soft and cushioned, too. He spent ages on his tummy staring at himself in the mirror." Her only concern with the wooden arch was that it makes it not so easy as other mats to fold away for travel or storage.

Pros: Stylish, additional toys, washable, nature sounds, milestone cards
Cons: Pricey, wooden arch makes it difficult to fold

Available at: Amazon and Natural Baby Shower

4. Taf Toys Koala Musical Cosy Gym, £83

– Great for cosy a newborn play

Taf Toys koala gym

Age suitability: From birth | Batteries: ‎2 x AAA

A 78cm x 55cm padded baby mat with a fabric-covered arch, music, lights and 5 multi-sensory toys, including a butterfly ring rattle, crinkle-effect rainbow, fluffy koala and baby-safe mirror. The soft padded sides can be pulled upwards to create a soft, comfortable and cosy 'nest' for a small baby, then let down as your child grows older and is more interested in active play.

We love how soft and padded it is – and that the cushioned sides are sturdy enough to provide support for tummy time play. The toys are stweet (we like the crinkly rainbow in particular) and it's good that there is a choice of heights on the arch to clip them to. Trudy, mum of our baby tester Laura, 3 months, said, "This is perfect for any baby to try. I love the way it's set up and the price isn't bad, either. I would recommend it to anyone."

Pros: Cosy nest design, soft and padded mat, cushioned sides
Cons: Quite pricey

Available at: JoJo Maman Bebe and Mamas & Papas

5. Lovevery Play Gym, £140

– Great for longevity

Lovevery Play Gym

Age suitability: From birth | Batteries: None

A 96cm x 109cm machine-washable polyester playmat with a wooden arch and 5 flaps that each open out to display a 'sensory zone', each featuring different colours, shapes, fabrics and textures. From the arch you can dangle a high-contrast cotton ball, batting ring and a cotton teether. Comes with 3 sets of picture cards (black-and-white, faces, objects), a set of mirror cards, a play guide and a fabric frame cover to turn the gym into a little den.

It's pricey but, with its den option, it's designed to last well into toddlerhood and it has an astonishing variety of features hiding behind those flaps. We love its generous size and tip-filled play guide. The mat itself is comfy enough, though some of our testers commented that the polyester-mix material attracted the dust.

Precious, mum of our baby tester Nakai, 5 months, was a big fan, though: "I love that the main colour of the mat is neutral and then the flaps open to show splashes of bright colours," she said. "Nakai loves the bell and she also likes lying and looking at the black and white cards above her."

Pros: Neutral yet colourful, washable, additional picture cards, frame cover to transform gym into den promotes longevity
Cons: Pricey, mat tends to catch dust

Available at: Lovevery and Amazon

6.Magical Tales Black & White Gymini, £64.99

– Great for monochrome stimulation

Magical Tales Black & White Gymini

Age suitability: From birth | Batteries: None

This 45cm x 78cm black-and-white mat has adjustable fabric-covered arch and comes with interactive toys such as a musical hedgehog, a hanging mobile, a mirror and a baby book for tummy-time play.

The toys that come with this mat are a good size and can be positioned in a variety of places on the arch and the black-and-white theme is both stylish and great for baby stimulation. We particularly like the little book – which can be opened right out or even detached for pushchair/car seat distraction.

Ashley, mum of our baby tester Ruby, 7 months, said: "My daughter seemed very comfortable on this mat. It's a good size, with plenty of toys to keep her occupied. She has had so much fun. She loves the dangling toys and her favourite is the mirror, she speaks to herself and gives herself kisses."

Pros: Additional toys included, black and white colours great for sensory, comfortable, adjustable arch
Cons: Quite pricey

Available at: Kiddies Kingdom and Boots

7. Red Kite Ball Playgym Peppermint Trail, £27

– Great value for money

Red Kite Baby Peppermint Trail Play Gym

Age: From birth | Batteries: None

A 82cm x 51cm wipe-clean playgym with fabric-covered arch and soft hanging toys for floor-time play that – with the sides up – converts into a padded ball pool for when your baby can sit up. Comes with balls and a carry bag.

This is one of the best-value play mats on our list – and we love that it converts into a ball-pit once your baby gets bigger. The hanging toys don't have all the lights and sounds and clever features of some of the more expensive activity mats but they do their baby-entertainment job well.

Amanda, mum of our baby tester Eadie, 4 months, said, "Eadie really enjoys being on the playmat and is fascinated by her reflection in the mirror. She seems very comfortable on it, too. It's very easy to assemble and also very easy to convert into the ball pit by simply lifting up the sides and securing with Velcro."

Pros: Affordable, converts from mat to ball pit, comes with carry bag, easy to assemble
Cons: Plain toys with no lights or sounds

Available at: Little Angels

8. Little Bird Told Me My Little Sunshine Multi-Activity Playgym, £69.95

– Great for extra comfort


Age suitability: From birth | Batteries: None

A 74cm x 53cm well-padded (and washable) playmat with lots of smooth, shiny and scrunchy textures that comes with a tummy time/headrest cushion, 2 activity toys with teething rings, a (detachable) musical pull toy, a (detachable) play mirror and easy-to-assemble play arches. It can also be used as an activity rug when your baby can sit up or crawl.

This is one of the comfiest play mats we've seen – really lovely cushion-y padding – and the bright colours and friendly snail design are fun (without being too much for your average sitting room). Our parent testers were particularly impressed that, with its fun snail shape, it could be re-purposed as a fun rug for an older baby.

Pros: Comfortable, cushioned mat, extra toys, brightly coloured
Cons: Quite pricey

Available at: Little Bird Told Me

9. Skip Hop Camping Cubs Activity Gym, £99.99

– Great unique design


Age suitability: From birth | Batteries: 3 x LR44 (included)

This teepee-style gym comes with 4 hanging toys, including a light-up firefly, a mirror, a rattle and a musical raccoon with teether. There’s also a plush sleeping-bear tummy-time pillow and a peekaboo felt flap on the ‎86cm x 86cm x 94cm mat.

It's gorgeous-looking and its attention to detail is lovely. It’s nice and comfy to lie on and there's a really nice mix of different textures and sounds to play with. For all our baby testers, the light-up firefly is the absolute star of the show. Makes for a sweet den once your child outgrows the gym, too.

Pros: Unique design, toys included, fun light-up firefly toy, arches can be repurposed as a den
Cons: Quite pricey

Available at: Amazon, Kiddies Kingdom and Fenwick

10. Kids Concept Edvin Baby Gym, £89.90

– Great for classic style

Kids Concept - Edvin Baby Gym

Age suitability: From birth | Batteries: None

A 47cm x 50cm padded floor mat with cushioned sides and plush gym frame, featuring 5 soft animal-themed hanging toys that are detachable.

It's got that lovely minimal Scandi look – and is trend-settingly gender neutral. It's quite small but it's beautifully padded and definitely of a high enough quality to last through several babies. Nice and light, and made with gorgeously strokeable material. Our baby testers particularly liked the dangly hedgehog.

Pros: Neutral Scandi design, gender-neutral colour, soft mat, detachable toys,
Cons: Pricey

Available at: Scandiborn, Kids Concept

11. Lamaze Freddie the Firefly Gym, £40

– Great bright colours


Age suitability: From birth | Batteries: None

A 46cm x 78cm machine-washable mat with 3 large dangling toys (including a version of Lamaze's bestselling Freddie the Firefly, natch), and a padded, curved cushion for tummy-time-play support.

This is a great-value mat in properly eye-catching colours that comes with really well-sized removable toys. Our baby judges especially like the large mirror, Freddie's crinkly wings, and the tactile ridges on the apple and pear teether. You'd probably need to place this mat on a carpet (it's not very thickly padded).

Pros: Affordable, includes padded cushion, colourful, detachable toys
Cons: Needs extra cushioning under the mat

Available at: Amazon

Flat floor mats

12. Totter and Tumble The Friend Playmat, from £160

– Great for high quality

baby testing totter and tumble play mat

Age suitability: From birth | Batteries: None

This 1.3cm thick mat comes in a range of patterns and colours. It is reversible and features 2 designs per mat. Suitable for newborns upwards and is made with high-quality recyclable materials.

Parent tester Karen says, "They’re more of a matte feel – spongy but not fabric but in my view that’s so much more practical for cleaning etc! They do dampen noise but I’m afraid they don’t magic away the stomping!"

This luxurious playmat is spongy and thick enough to take on baby footsteps as well as pilates exercise. Featuring 2 modern design patterns on either side to suit most living spaces. The mat is durable and made to last so will last a long time.

"When I first unrolled this mat Carlo was completely mesmerised. He sat staring at the design for a good 20 minutes before he decided to move at all! When pulling himself to standing, Carlo lost his balance and fell onto his mat. He never got upset but carried on smiling away happily," shared parent tester Olivia who tested this with her baby Carlo (pictured above).

Pros: High-quality materials, reversible, suitable from birth, very durable
Cons: Pricey

Available at: Totter and Tumble

13. Mellow Mat Soft Touch Tatami Rug, from £109

– Great for soft touch feel

mellow mat playmat

Super-comfy, this soft, lightweight playmat is made from slow-rebound memory foam. It's stain resistant and easy to clean, plus it has a non-slip bottom for extra safety.

Parent tester Lucy says, "It’s so soft and comfy. Great for rolling around and jumping on. I spend a lot of time sitting on the floor playing with my little one and it’s so much better than the carpet. We’ve had it 6 months and it’s not lost it’s shape/bounce so far, would defo recommend."

The Mellow Mat comes in a range of colours so you can find something to suit your playroom or nursery. It's light enough to carry and move from room to room if necessary which can be a useful perk as other similar playmats tend to be heavy to carry. The rug absorbs sound and provides a soft cushioned landing for any rolly pollys or tumbles from your little one. Simply vacuum or wipe off any crumbs or stains to keep it clean.

Pros: Soft touch feel, easy to clean, lasts long, lightweight
Cons: Pricey

Available at: Mellow Mat

14. Tutti Bambini Padded Playmat, £149

– Great for a luxurious feel

tutti bambini Luxury Padded XL Play Mat

Age suitability: From birth | Batteries: None
Award: Silver, MadeForMums Awards 2022

A luxurious playmat that has a modern reversible design feature, it has non-slip surface and is made with toxic-free materials.

Parent tester Tanya says, "The feel is so luxurious! My son Isaac has just turned 4 months old, he's enjoyed having a clear surface to lie on, with the freedom to sit unaided without worrying about falling and hurting himself. He loves looking at the blue side and is mesmerised by the contrasting colours."

These gorgeous playmats are stylish, safe and convenient. The simplistic, modern designs mean they can inconspicuously fit into most living room or nursery interiors and is padded well for a soft luxurious feel.

Pros: Modern style, reversible, luxury feel, toxic-free materials, very durable
Cons: Pricey

Available at: Tutti Bambini

15. Taf Toys Savannah Super-Size Foam Playmat, £57.99

– Great for folding and easy transport

Taf Toys Savannah Super-Size Foam Playmat

Age suitability: From birth | Batteries: None
Award: Bronze, MadeForMums Awards 2022

A padded playmat that's foldable and has 2 designs in one – one side has a fun illustration pattern geared towards kids and the other side is a neutral design fit for any room.

Parent tester Helen who tested this with Ada who is 4 months old, says, "It's a good extra large size. The quality of the product is excellent too, it is lightweight, foldable and durable and also comes with a carry bag. Ada was very engaged with the colourful animal pictures on the mat and actually had tummy time for the longest time while using the mat."

The Taf Toys playmat is perfect for smaller living spaces as it can be folded and moved and only used when necessary. It's cushioned well and suited for lots of tummy time plus, the mat comes with a pack of milestone cards too to document your child's development memories.

Pros: Foldable, reversible, large size, includes milestone cards
Cons: Might be too large for small spaces

Available at: Mamas & Papas and Taf Toys


We've got more award-winning toys here...


Helen Brown
Helen BrownHead of Content Delivery

Helen is author of the classic advice book Parenting for Dummies and a mum of 3. Before joining MadeForMums, she was Head of Community at Mumsnet and also the Consumer Editor of Mother & Baby.