Best Cheap Playpens for Babies

Babies are great. But as much as you love them, you can’t keep your eyes on them all day long.

You’ll need to prepare your meal, wash dishes, have a shower, or do other chores around the house. You can’t always carry them with you. Yet, you can’t just leave them to crawl around or move close to the fireplace.

A good playpen or playard can help you to restrict your baby’s movements. In other words, it prevents your baby from moving to unwanted places while you’re focused on important tasks. With a playpen, you don’t have to keep an eye on your baby all the time.

What is a Playpen?

A playpen is a portable enclosed area where you can keep your baby safe without constant supervision. It allows you to take a minute to breathe and focus on what needs to be done.

You should, however, not leave your baby unattended to for a long period of time.

Playpens are made from woods, plastics, or metal frames and usually, have their own center floors and mesh sides. Most playpens will fold up to allow easy transport to the beach, grandparent’s house, or babysitter’s place.

cheap playpens for babies

Things to Consider When Buying Playpens for Babies

Whether you’re shopping online or in stores, there are some important features you might want to keep an eye out for when choosing a playpen for your baby.

Here’s a list to consider:

  • Size
  • Your baby’s age
  • Materials used to make the playpen
  • Quality
  • Ease of folding and assembly
  • Portability
  • Ease of cleanup
  • Presence or absence of mesh
  • Attached toys
  • Storage
  • Bassinet
  • Canopy

When shopping, choose a playpen that will keep your little one happy for years to come. Be sure to read reviews of parents who have bought and used it. Weigh the pros and cons before making a decision.

Cheap Playpens for Babies: Our Top 5 Picks

The market abounds with playpens of varying sizes, quality, and price. Although good quality usually commands high prices, truth is some high quality products come at affordable prices.

So, you don’t really have to break the bank to get a high quality playpen for your baby. There are some top quality playpens that are cheap. And here are 5 of such playpens that we recommend for you.

1. Kidzone Baby Playpen

The Kidzone Baby Playpen is an 8-panel playpen with rubber suction cups that holds it firmly on a flat or rough surface. It comes with telephone, spinners, picture house, and a door with a safety lock to prevent your baby from moving out.

You can increase or decrease its size by adding or removing panels. With all 8 panels, the playpen has enough space to contain a couple of babies – or even you and your baby. This space will encourage the mobility of your baby.

This playpen is big enough for you to sit down with your little one. The telephone and other toys in it will entertain your toddler.

What we like

  • The 8-panels can be set up to different shapes be it a rectangle, octagon, hexagon, or square. This way, it can fit into different places in your home whether it is outside, in a corner, or in the middle of your room
  • You don’t need a Youtube tutorial to setup this playpen. It is quite simple and you should be done in minutes. The panels are sturdy and come with extra latches to attach each piece together for extra support
  • The 8-panels create enough room for your toddler to move about freely within the enclosed area. It is big enough and won’t make your toddler feel confined
  • It can be set up into your preferred shape that toddlers cannot knock over or get out

What we dislike

  • For a brand new Kidzone playpen, the panels are a little hard to lock in together. Though this will become much easier as you continue to use it
  • The gaps in the panels may create room for toddlers to put their hands and legs to climb
  • The stickers are old-school cartoons
  • The teddy bear stickers are difficult to remove from the backing papers. You have to be very careful when removing it so as not to tear the heads or ears of the teddy.

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2. North States Superyard Colorplay 8 Panel Playard

The North States Superyard Colorplay 8-panel Playard creates a safe play area for your baby anywhere. It can be used both indoors and outdoors.

The panels are weather-resistant and can easily be cleaned with mild soap and water. The playpen features skid-resistant pads that protect the panels and prevent them from scratch.

You can use it conveniently on tiles or hardwood floors because the pads at the bottom keep it from sliding. This playpen is best for you if you plan to set it up and leave it in one place because it is stiff.

What we like

  • The colorplay 8 panel comes with a strap that makes it easy to be carried about
  • It is sturdy and light. The light weight less than 30 pounds also makes mobility easy
  • It provides plenty of space for your baby to crawl and play
  • Doorways can be blocked off because the panels can be separated

What we dislike

  • The joints are quite stiff. They’re a little difficult to fold and unfold. You may need more hands to make it easier.

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3. Summer Infant Pop N’Play Portable Playard

The Summer Infant Pop N’Play Portable Playard is an ultra-lightweight and compact fold playpen that you can put up and take down in seconds.

It features a water resistant floor that helps keep your baby dry even on damp grass. You don’t have to worry about the grass irritating your baby’s skin.

It also comes with a canopy that protects your baby from the harmful effect of the sun. But you’ll have to purchase that separately.

Weighing just 12 pounds, the playpen is light enough and convenient if you need to move it from place to place on a regular basis.

What we like

  • The net sides make it easy for your baby to be seen while playing. Your baby can also see everything going on around and be part of the fun.
  • It is sturdy enough to allow babies pull up and high enough that they can’t climb out
  • The playpen comes with a travel bag that has a shoulder strap on it. This makes it easy to carry it about

What we dislike

  • The bottom is made of a thin plastic material and has no cushion
  • Babies can hit their head on the X-shaped metal bars. You’ll have to wrap the bars with pool noodles or pipe foams to prevent this.

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4. Graco Pack ‘N Play Playard Totbloc

The Graco Pack ‘N Play Playard Totbloc is a perfect playpen for crawling babies. And a mom or dad who needs to shower, clean, cook, or do what needs to be done with a moving baby.

This playpen is portable and is the favorite travel playpen of many moms of growing babies. Just like other Graco Pack ‘N Play playpens, it has airy mesh on all sides.

The airy mesh provides maximum ventilation and comfort to your baby. It allows for easy folding and comes with a carry bag to contain everything once it’s folded. It’s flexible to open and close.

The carry bag is made convenient for machine wash. And the playpen can simply be cleaned with a mild soap and warm water once it gets sandy. Just remove any crumbs or sand from all surfaces and apply the soap and water.

It is, however, recommended for babies less than 35-inches tall. They’ll be unable to climb out.

It features bugs Quilt made of a material that’s soft and cozy inside, yet, strong and sturdy outside. Your little one will enjoy playing inside while you watch the TV sitting nearby.

What we like

  • It is spacious, unlike the other pack ‘n plays that are narrow. There’s plenty of room for your baby to crawl and play around with toys
  • The toys and the beautiful design on the sides will entertain and keep your baby busy. The colors are beautiful and bright for stimulation
  • It is compact, has a lightweight, and easy to setup and take down

What we dislike

  • The carry bag where the pack ‘n play is stored does not have a handle. So, you have to carry the playpen itself instead of using the handle
  • It’s quite larger than other pack ‘n plays. So, you may have a hard time finding a sheet that fits it properly
  • The padding isn’t all that thick

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5. North States Superyard 3-in-1 Metal Gate

The North States Superyard 3-in-1 Metal Gate is a multi-purpose gate that can be used around the fireplace or Christmas tree to keep your little crawler confined to one side of the room while you clean or do other chores.

It is durable and can be used as a playpen or as a gate. If you use it as a gate and not as an enclosed shape, you’ll need to attach the wall pieces by drilling and using the screws.

It comes with a locking system that will keep your baby safe and a hold-open feature to allow easy access.  The rubber pads prevent scratch making it convenient to be used on tiles, hardwood floors, or carpets.

What we like

  • It is sturdy and also easy to adjust and reconfigure
  • The gate will swing back and shut itself if opened less than 90-degrees. But will remain open if opened more than that.
  • The gate is pretty tall and your baby won’t be able to climb out

What we dislike

  • Babies can stick their legs through the slats if not well monitored
  • It’s a bit heavy. Not very convenient if you need to move it from place to place on a regular basis

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