Babies are magical, adorable and joy-inspiring bundles, but they can also be messy, and nappy changing can often seem like an almost never-ending ritual.
Whether you're at home or out and about, a baby changing mat is one of the most essential nappy changing accessories to have in your changing bag to help the changing process go as smoothly, comfortably and cleanly as possible.
While some parents may use a blanket or towel to rest their baby on while they change, a wipe-down mat you can easily clean can be a godsend for many, especially if you're away from the house.
There are plenty of changing mat designs to choose from including simple, cheap versions, portable styles designed for travel and all out luxury options.
Best baby changing mats at a glance
- Best anti-roll changing mat: The Little Bumble Co Anti-Roll Wedge Changing Mat, £28
- Best changing mat for a classic design: Mama Shack Anti Roll Sage Spotty, £30
- Best changing mat for days out: The White Company Travel Changing Mat, £20
- Best changing mat for a stylish design: The Gilded Bird Wedge Mat, £29.99
- Best changing mat for sturdiness: Bumbo Changing Pad, £58.39
- Best disposable changing mat: Babymoov Disposable Chnaging Pads, Pack of 10 £17.36
- Best changing mat for wriggly babies: BabyDam SuperSnug Change Mat, £27.99
- Best changing mat for after swimming: Splash About Changing Mat, £12
- Best changing mat for minimalists: Shnuggle Squishy Changing Mat, £49.95
- Best changing mat for portability: Bambino Mio Baby Change Mat, £12.65
What to look for in a changing mat?
Is it the right size? – If you're planning to put your mat on a changing table or dresser, check the measurements to make sure it will fit. In general, larger mats are better as they'll grow with your baby, but for travel and days out you might want a more compact design.
Where can you put it? – Some mats may not be suitable for use on a raised surface, so do check the product descriptions carefully.
How do you clean it? – Many mats are wipe clean and can be cleaned with a disinfectant spray or wipe. Some are machine washable: these tend to be made of fabrics similar to cloth nappies, and while they're cosier and sometimes more environmentally-friendly, do bear in mind you'll need somewhere else to change your baby while they're in the wash.
Can it be transported easily? – You'll probably want a padded changing mat (or two) for your home and a separate travel one to keep in your changing bag or pushchair basket, but if you're short on space or tight on budget, a folding travel mat can be used at home too. Look for ones that are generous in size, but flat enough to fold down.
Does it have special features? – Modern changing mats often come with design features: they may be anti-roll, or have straps to contain a wriggly baby. These additions can be useful but they'll often add to the cost, so do think whether you really need them before you splash out.
Below, we've rounded up a selection of the best changing mats we've found, including our MadeForMums Award winners, plus some pretty and practical picks for all your changing needs.
Here's our pick of the best baby changing mats for 2023
1. The Little Bumble Co Anti-Roll Wedge Changing Mat, £28
Best anti-roll mat
Machine washable: No | Size: 69cm x 45 cm x 8cm | Colours: wide variety – see online | Awards: Gold – Changing mat, MadeForMums Awards 2022
Bright, beautifully designed and lightweight, this was an all-round winner in the eyes of parent testers. Made of non-toxic PVC, it’s easy to clean and the wedge shape is designed to help stop your baby from rolling off, with an impressive quality too that would make it ideal for a baby shower gift.
Our testers especially love how simple it is to use, as well as the fact it’s British-made. Parent Lauren, who tested this with their newborn, said: “The anti-roll feature makes changing babies lot easier. It’s very padded and provides great support – an essential for newborns. And the lovely design isn’t an eyesore in baby’s bedroom.”
There are lots of different colours and styles available, and the size fits perfectly onto a changing table or cot-top changer: just be aware that anti-roll sides help, but don't completely stop a wriggly baby from rolling, so always keep one hand on your baby.
Pros: Beautiful design, lightweight, high quality, easy to use anti-roll, great padding, different colours and styles, wipe clean
Cons: Not great for taking out and about
Available from: The Little Bumble Co
2. Mama Shack Anti Roll Sage Spotty, £30
Best for classic design
Machine washable: No | Size: 70cm L x 44cm W x 8cm H | Colours: wide variety – see online | Awards: Silver – Changing mat, MadeForMums Awards 2022
Forget garish prints, this is a properly chic changing mat you’ll be happy to leave out on display. Made in the UK from non-toxic BPA-free material, the mat is spongy and soft for babies to lie on and the turned up sides help to keep your baby secure. Our parent testers were especially impressed with the padded feel and the anti-roll design. In the words of parent tester Amy, who tested this with their 8 month old: “The anti-roll design is extremely handy for my wriggly baby, and it works well either on the changing unit or on the floor.”
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Our parents testers who tried these mats for us loved the comfort and quality of the products, and agreed even though it was more expensive than some mats, it was worth it. “Very stylish, not too big and bulky and more reassuring than a normal changing mat,” commented parent tester Samantha, who tested it with their 1 month old.
Pros: Great design, padded, anti-roll, comfortable, high quality, wipe clean
Cons: Quite pricey
3. The White Company Travel Changing Mat, £20
Best for days out
Machine washable: No | Size: 77 x 47 x 5cm | Colours: Natural with animal print
If you're after a compact changing mat to keep in your changing bag for days out, this one looks the part and delivers with its soft feel and wipe-clean changing surface.
While a lot of travel changing mats are made from synthetic fabrics, the 100% cotton outer of this one feels a bit more elevated: trust the White Company to make a changing mat feel a bit more glamorous!
The fabric ties that keep this closed do take a second to fasten compared to a velcro closure, so do bear this in mind if you find nappy changes a struggle. It does stay relatively compact without the ties in place if you're in a rush and just need to stuff it in your bag and go.
The size is generous but it folds up small, making it a great option if you're short on space.
Pros: Compact, beautiful design, wipe clean
Cons: Fabric ties can be time consuming
Available from: The White Company
4. The Gilded Bird Wedge Mat, £30
Best for stylish design
Machine washable: No | Size: 69cm x 44cm x 8cm | Colours: Various prints
If you want a stylish nursery, your changing mat can actually offer a really easy way to add a splash of colour or a fun print. There are a few beautiful independent brands that focus on modern, stylish mats, and The Gilded Bird is one of the best. There are lots of prints available, but we love the unisex balloon festival design but there are plenty of others to choose from.
The mat is made from extra thick, high density foam, and comes with a non-toxic PVC cover that's easy to wipe-clean. One parent commented that it's "much softer and more padded than alternatives we had looked at." The wedge mat is designed to help stop your baby rolling while you're changing them.
Pros: Colourful, lots of prints to choose from, very soft and padded, wipe clean
Cons: Not great for out and about
5. Bumbo Changing Pad, £58.39
Best for sturdiness
Machine washable: No | Size: 48cm x 73cm | Colours: Aqua, grey, pink, yellow | Awards: Bronze – Changing mat, MadeForMums Awards 2022
This unique changing pad by Bumbo is ergonomically designed and features high sides to prevent babies rolling away. The pad, which is made from Bumbo's trademark supportive foam, feels lovely and includes an adjustable strap to help keep your little one in place and secure. Parent tester Sarah, who tested this with their 5 month old, said, "It is soft, has a little bit of a bouncy feel and does not feel cold to touch."
We were impressed with the clever design and effectiveness of this product, and how lovely it feels for your baby. “It's Simple to use - with a clear dip in the pad for baby’s head to go in. Straps easy to adjust,” said MFM tester Harriet, while MFM tester Wandana added that the, “material is very soft and padded, very kind on little ones skin and really easy to wipe clean.”
Pros: Stops baby rolling, adjustable strap to keep baby secure, soft, easy to use, wipe clean
Cons: Not as compact as others
6. Babymoov Disposable Changing Pads - pack of 10, £17.36
Best for a disposable option
Machine washable: No | Size: 40cm x 60cm | Colours: White/grey
You're a parent-on-the-go, and you need fast, cheap, simple, solutions. Enter the Babymoov disposable changing pads which are ideal for travel.
These leak-free, disposable mats are super-absorbent, small enough to fit in your bag and hygienic - they can be disposed of as soon as you've used them. You may find them familiar if you have dogs, as they're very similar to puppy pads, designed to help with toilet-training! Indeed, these are also useful when you're in the early days of potty training and prone to accidents.
Although they're not designed for daily use (as they're not great for the environment) they're ideal for travelling, or to pop in your hospital bag for those early changes. In a handy pack of 10, they'll see you through those times when you just need to change-and-go.
Pros: Great for travel, compact, disposable, handy for accidents
Cons: Not very sustainable
Available from: Amazon
7. BabyDam SuperSnug Change Mat, £27.99
Best for wriggly babies
Machine washable: No | Size: 70cm x 45cm | Colours: Grey print
With extra padded sides and a generous size, this is a great mat for keeping wriggly babies in place. It's not be the most affordable on the list, but if you can afford to splash out, you'll be buying a great quality mat that will see you right through to potty training.
The mat boasts a 4cm thick base that provides a nice cushioned base for your baby, and those anti-roll sides will make changes as simple as possible. Home tester Daniella, mum of 2, said, "“Even my toddler likes his nappy changed on it – just the same as my newborn daughter does.”
Pros: Very padded, good size, keeps baby from rolling, high quality, comfortable, wipe clean
Cons: Quite expensive, not great for taking out and about
8. Splash About Changing Mat, £12
Best for after swimming
Machine washable: No | Size: 38cm x 63cm | Colours: Shark Orange, Navy and Red, Navy and Turquoise, Pink and Pink Blossom
Let's face it, changing babies for, and after, their swim can be challenging, especially if you can't find somewhere suitable to lay them down. You may find that the space you have is very limited if your pool only has one or two baby changing cubicles, or if you're at an outdoor pool or beach. That's where this super-comfy splash mat comes in.
Made from anti-bacterial neoprene, the Splash About Changing Mat retains heat (always a good idea for a post-swim change) and is non-slip. It dries quickly, and rolls up small to pack alongside your towels and change of clothes.
You simply wipe it down and roll up after use, ready for next time. Velcro tabs keep everything secure.
Pros: Anti-bacterial, retains heat, non-slip, dries quickly compact, wipe clean
Cons: Not the most attractive looking
Available from: Amazon
9. Shnuggle Squishy Changing Mat, £49.95
Best for minimalists
Machine washable: No | Size: 70 x 46 x 10 cm | Colours: Grey | Awards: Silver – Changing mat, MadeForMums Awards 2022
This is not the cheapest (or lightest) around, but our users mostly felt the superior materials justified the price tag, with a lovely simple modern mat. Parent tester Natasha said: Doesn’t stain, and slightly tilted at the top, so makes nappy changes easier, but baby doesn’t slide down or roll away,”
A key feature is the surface doesn’t get too chilly, preventing those sudden tears of shock when onesies and nappies come off. Parent tester Karen said: “An amazing mat that feels great quality and isn’t cold to the touch. My baby loved it and felt safe. It would probably last up to 2 years: worth the expense.”
Pros: High quality, minimalistic design, doesn't stain, wipe clean
Cons: Quite big and not compact, more expensive options
10. Bambino Mio baby change mat, £12.65
Best for portability
Machine washable: Yes | Size: 60cm x 43cm | Colours: lots of fun unisex prints
Made using the same technology as Bambino Mio's award-winning reusable nappies, this folding changing mat can be slipped in your changing bag for days out, but it's so cute you'll probably want to use it at home too. Home tester Fola said, "I took it with me to the hospital when I gave birth and it was perfect as I was expected to change my daughter in her cot with nothing below it. It was easy to fold and unfold, and since we’ve been home I use it for night time changes."
Although this is not a wipeable mat, it is machine washable and can even go in the tumble drier. It's made with absorbent padding for little accidents and a quilted design that feels soft on your baby's skin. If you've got a baby who can't stand the plastic feel of wipeable mats, this could be perfect for you. The only problem? Given it comes in a whole host of pretty prints to match the nappies, you'll find it hard to resist buying more than one.
Pros: Machine washable, portable, soft, lots of designs to choose from
Cons: Can't wipe clean
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