The best non-toxic baby playmats: reviews to help you find the safest play mat for your baby
Hi Mamma! Today I’m talking about one of my most researched baby items – our non-toxic baby playmat. This research (and obsession) led to reviews of multiple non-toxic baby playmats to help choose our favorite. When your little one is young you worry about every little thing that touches their body. Since they spend so much time on a playmat, for me this was no exception.
After reading about possible chemicals in nursery furniture, and the Greenguard certification for safe furniture that doesn’t off-gas chemicals, I started thinking about the chemicals and other surfaces our baby would come in contact with. As I was researching a non-toxic baby playmat, I knew I wanted to get one that was both comfortable and safe for our very small baby.
After looking into the multiple different non-toxic baby playmat options, I realized that almost all playmats I could readily pick up at the store had materials that weren’t as safe as I’d like them to be. So of course, I jumped into the research. Have no fear, I now have a full list of options that can be easily delivered to your door. I’m sure by now, you’re no stranger to online shopping 🙂
This post contains affiliate links. That means if you buy something using one of my links I may receive a small commission – at no additional cost to you! How cool is that? It’s kind of boring, but feel free to read my full disclosure.
- 1 The best non-toxic baby playmats: reviews to help you find the safest play mat for your baby
- 2 ✔️ The Alzipmat Baby Playmat: our favorite non-toxic baby playmat
- 3 Criteria for a non-toxic baby playmat
- 4 What chemicals to avoid when shopping for a non-toxic baby playmat
- 5 Non-toxic playmats and your budget
- 6 How to clean your non-toxic mat
- 7 Our favorite budget-friendly baby playmat, the Babycare Baby Playmat
- 8 The Most Budget-Friendly Non-Toxic Baby Playmats (XPE Foam Playmats)
- 9 TPU Foam Playmats
- 10 Monomat Baby Playmat
- 11 Baby Mushroom Baby Bello Organic Playmat
- 12 The Pillobebe Organic Cotton Playmat
- 13 CorkiMat by Pillobebe
- 14 The best non-toxic baby playmat roundup, with full reviews of The Alzipmat and Baby Care Baby Playmat
In a hurry? This is a long one.
Don’t forget to Pin this article so you can come back and go shopping later!
*Note: I was given an Alzipmat to review for this article, so I have more information on this playmat than some of the others. I’d never endorse or recommend something I wouldn’t buy myself.
This playmat made our top choice because it was easy to clean, it’s SUPER protective for your little one, and it’s unquestionably non-toxic. As you’ll read below, there are so many materials that are billed as non-toxic, but once you dig a little deeper there are questions about the true safety of the product. Not so with the Alzipmat. While pricey, the quality of the product and material make it worth the price.
All about the Alzipmat
The company provides this description and information on the mats:
- Excellent in absorbing impact providing babies with great protection from injury
- Excellent in absorbing noise; free yourself from noise through floors
- Easy to clean and lightweight. Durable and Flexible structure with 3 bending points
- Dimensions: SG size : 94.5 x 55.1 x 1.5 inch, XG size : 110.2 x 55.1 x 1.5 inch
- Materials: Interior material: eco-friendly PE Foam, Surface material: Non-toxic PU Fabric
- Made in Korea
The mat itself is fairly thick and provides even more cushion for all those tumbles. It resembles a thicker gym mat and is easily folded into sections. This may be why my little lady started stomping and jumping on it as soon as we laid it down.
They roll out mats at daycare occasionally, so she was very happy to immediately play on this one. Due to the thickness of the mat, I wasn’t worried at all that she’d end up bruised if she took a spill. This would have been fantastic when she was learning to walk.
Alzipmat playmat sizes
The Alzipmat comes in multiple different sizes:
200G: 79 x 55 x 1.5 inches
220G+: 87 x 55 x 1.5 inches
240SG: 95 x 55 x 1.5 inches
280XG: 110 x 55 x 1.5 inches
It comes in multiple neutral colors that fit well within any color scheme. They fit well with any adult decor while still feeling baby-friendly. You don’t have to worry about an explosively colored mat in your living room if your baby doesn’t have a separate play space.
Another cool feature is that this mat can transform into multiple play options like a tunnel or mini-sofa. This is a huge bonus as one item can play double duty for both playmat and imagination tunnel. This helps make the higher product cost worth it.
Alzipmat’s non-toxic materials
I did research on the materials in these mats and found out that High-Density Polyethylene (HDPE) is one of the safest plastics available and is used in many food and drink products.*
Food Grade polyethylene is also what our little’s mattress is made out of, and we were confident that the Naturepedic tests on mattresses were comprehensive. Here’s a little more info Naturepedic provides about polyethylene, and this is what is on the inside of the Alzipmat.
The Alzipmat outer cover is made of non-toxic PU fabric coated with silicon. Silion is the company name for this specific coating. The Silicon fabric has a small frictional force to prevent slipping. This ensures that even as the baby moves the mat won’t slip out from under her. This fabric is safe even if your baby bites or sucks on the mat. You can rest assured even during the teething stage. Additionally, these playmats have a Certificate of Korea Eco-Label certifying that they are free from toxic chemicals like Formamide or DMF (Dimethylformamide).
Cons of the Alzipmat playmat
It’s not perfect, but it’s pretty darn close. I have two cons, and one you can’t really avoid when you’re looking for non-toxic playmats, which is the price. Almost all the truly non-toxic baby playmats run between $200-$400, so the Alzipmat isn’t off the charts when compared to other offerings. You can slightly cut the cost by ordering a smaller size if you can get away with it in your space.
Although I received this product to review for free, all the opinions are my own. If you’re looking for a great non-toxic baby playmat, Alzipmat is a fantastic choice. It’s made in Korea, but can be at your door in two days with Amazon Prime.
Criteria for a non-toxic baby playmat
When we were looking for a baby floor mat for our daughter, I had a few things I was specifically looking for before we purchased. Clearly, I wanted something safe, but I was also looking for a playmat that would be protective, and easy to disinfect.
- Floor protection – obviously, this is the main reason most people are looking for a playmat. They’re safe places for your baby to play, and will protect her from bumps and bruises as she’s learning skills like rolling, sitting, crawling, and walking. They also help protect your knees if you’re on the floor with your little one.
- Safety – I wanted to protect our floor, but I also really didn’t want anything that would be harmful to our daughter. Finding a floor mat for our baby that didn’t off-gas chemicals was really important.
- Easy to clean – Babies are constantly spitting up, drooling, and having blowouts. I absolutely didn’t want another thing that needed to go in the washer or could only be spot cleaned. I wanted to be 100% sure I could get the germs up quickly and easily.
- Appropriately sized – I wanted a mat that would be big enough for us to really play on, without taking up my entire living room floor. Some of the small mats are great before your baby can move, but once you have a crawler they’re essentially useless. Keep this in mind if you’re looking at some of the smaller circular mats out there.
What chemicals to avoid when shopping for a non-toxic baby playmat
Unfortunately, many of the commonly available playmats are made of PVC (unsafe) or EVA foam, which is widely touted as safe. However, according to multiple sources, EVA foam play mats contain Formamide which is toxic to reproduction.
There is an extensive list of chemicals to avoid if you want a truly non-toxic playmat – so when shopping make sure your playmat doesn’t include any of the following: BPA, Phthalates, Lead, Formaldehyde, EVA Foam, PVC, or flame retardants.
Foam playmats are the main type I’ll steer you away from since it seems like they may have in some of the sneaky stuff. There is a lot of misinformation out there on these types of play surfaces. If you immediately think about puzzle piece mats when you hear about a baby playmat, you’re likely thinking about an EVA foam mat.
Here’s an example of a “non-toxic” EVA foam playmat. It’s labeled non-toxic, but I wouldn’t recommend a mat like this because of the materials.
What is formamide and why is it banned in the EU?
If you’re more visual, here’s a quick video on formamide, and why you want to avoid it.
Additionally, here are a few more articles if you want to learn more about Formamide and why it’s considered toxic:
Worried about other chemicals that might be impacting your baby? Make sure you’re also using mineral sunscreen. It’s truly the only non-toxic sunscreen option!
Is EVA foam really toxic for babies?
There have been lots of studies done on EVA foam and off-gassing formamide. We know that formamide is bad, but many of the EVA foam manufacturers claim that their products are formamide free. Which makes things a little confusing.
As long as the company clearly states and shares its testing documentation, it is technically considered safe. However, here’s where the questionable stuff comes in.
According to this article, there can still be traces of formamide in the product because companies are only required to test to a certain degree.
To make matters even less clear, some of the testing coming out of Australia shows that a baby would have to physically ingest foam mats for every day of their life to have any real detrimental impact, even if the mat contains formamide.
So, again, take all this with a grain of salt. Every playmat on the market is tested for toy safety standards. The U.S. standards just aren’t as rigid as some places in the EU. I leave EVA foam mats off my list of non-toxic playmats because I just don’t have enough confidence in all the information out there. It’s clear that formamide is bad. I’m not a chemist, so I can’t really tell you if any trace level you might find in a mat is truly unsafe.
Most of the playmats from typical big-box retailers are made out of EVA foam, so I knew I’d need to look elsewhere to get something I knew was a 100% safe alternative. Of course, I jumped online to look for additional options, and to understand what types of playmats would be considered “clean.”
Non-toxic playmats and your budget
You’ll want to keep a budget in mind as you’re researching a non-toxic baby playmat. Multiple non-toxic mats are rated highly from a materials standpoint but are also incredibly expensive. Getting a truly non-toxic mat is a worthwhile investment since your baby will spend so much time there, but you likely won’t find one for under $100.
That said, over the past year or so there has been a new segment of baby playmats that are billed as non-toxic and are made from XPE or TPU foam. The XPE foam mats are significantly cheaper than any of the other mats I’ve found on the market. I’ll explain more about the differences between these types of playmats in a bit.
How to clean your non-toxic mat
How you clean your baby playmat will depend on what type you end up with. If you have a silicone lined playmat like the Alzipmat, or The Baby Care Playmat, you can clean it with a non-toxic cleaner. We love Method’s antibacterial all purpose cleaner. It’s safe enough to use on high chairs, so we’re not worried about having her play on surfaces we’ve cleaned with it.
Another great option is just old fashioned soap and water, but we want to make sure that the mat is occasionally disinfected as well. I typically wipe up spills and baby drool with soap and water and use the disinfecting cleaner a couple of times a week.
Our favorite budget-friendly baby playmat, the Babycare Baby Playmat
Let me start off by saying this is definitely one of the “questionable” baby playmats in terms of safe materials. I go into a lot of detail on this below, but this playmat is made of eco-friendly PVC. This is complicated because PVC is on the no-no list, but the company claims that all the chemicals in traditional PVC aren’t included in their mat. More about that in a minute. That said, we have loved the mat and the company claims it’s safe, so I didn’t want to leave it off completely.
I wanted to recommend this as our top pick, but as you’ll see below it is I just couldn’t do that on a non-toxic playmat list since it is made of PVC. Although it’s listed as eco-friendly and food quality grade PVC, I just couldn’t stand behind it 110% since I’m not a chemical expert. That said, we still love it and you may as well.
We’ve had this playmat for over four years now. It met our criteria for protection, size, and price. This playmat has truly been a great addition to the house and lives right on the living room floor.
I purchased this on Amazon because I wanted to be able to return it if I wasn’t 100% sold. However, these playmats are made in Korea, so in full transparency, I’ve included a link to the company website. They publish their toxicity reports, but you’ll have to zoom in on the images if you actually want to read what they test for. This mat is tested on multiple toy standards, including the U.S. and EU. It claims to be BPA Free, EVA free, Phthalate Free, Lead-Free, Latex Free, Formaldehyde Free, and Mercury Free – you can read the Amazon claims and reviews here.
The Babycare Baby Playmat Material Concern
The biggest issue is the fact that this mat is made of PVC, and PVC is commonly touted as a chemical to avoid in baby playmats.
When I originally purchased this playmat back in 2016 it had a description about food grade non-toxic PVC. This is now called Eco-friendly PVC on the Amazon description.
In one of the Amazon questions, the company says this: the mat is made of “Non-toxic eco-friendly PVC, which is used in medical equipment, toys, and households, is completely free of phthalates and has been tested and proven safe for humans. In addition, our mats contain no formaldehyde, no heavy metals including lead and mercury and no BPA. All toxins in the materials are removed by I&S toxic removal technology and pass all Regulation and Product Standards in the States and EU.”
If you search for non-toxic baby playmats, this definitely comes up in the results and is on many lists of non-toxic baby playmats I’ve found across the internet. However, that doesn’t necessarily mean it’s the best material for your baby.
I found this report that shows why even phthalate and plasticizer-free PVC may still be considered toxic. If you are concerned about having any type of PVC in your home, I’d skip this one.
And this is coming from someone who actually likes this mat – but I’m still questioning having it in the house.
Many other reviews have noted that you can easily tell when mats are toxic based on their odor and off-gasses. This mat had no smell when we opened it. But, I did want to call this out for any of you who are more versed in chemical structure than I am.
What we love about the Babycare Baby Playmat
Now that I’ve probably scared you away from the Babycare Playmat, I’ll tell you why we still have one in our house 🙂 One of our favorite things about this mat is the thick foam and “sticky” surface so the baby doesn’t slip when learning to walk. When she does inevitably fall down, the mat has great thickness and shock absorption.
Although our little has taken some rough tumbles, she really doesn’t get hurt. The reversible mat comes in bright colors to stimulate baby’s senses, which has been proven to help sensory development.
As our first daughter got older, she could identify animals, colors, and numbers right on the mat’s surface.
There are also newer options of this playmat that are more palatable for adult color schemes in case you don’t have a separate baby play area.
Another key criteria I was looking for in a mat was its ability to be cleaned. This mat is easy to clean, but it is grooved so it’s not a 100% smooth surface. This means it will still be a little wet for a few minutes after you wipe, and some things do get in the crevices. However, it wipes up very easily. When you’re dealing with drool and spit up you don’t want to be worried about being unable to get your mat clean.
A key benefit is that spit-up won’t get in the cracks like it can with the puzzle piece mats. Besides the fact that those mats are made of EVA foam, they’re also much harder to clean.
With the Baby Care Playmat, you don’t have to take off or wash any covers. Any type of non-toxic surface cleaning spray can go directly on the mat. (We recommend Method.)
This playmat is a great option if you’re looking for a quick clean up. When our little got her first stomach bug, I was much less worried when she was hanging out on the mat versus on our beige carpet.
Downsides of the Babycare Baby Playmat
This playmat is very dense and protects the baby from the floor and bumps and bruises, which was our top criteria for a playmat other than it being non-toxic. However, it doesn’t neatly fold up or roll off to one side out of sight.
The website shows a picture of a neatly folded playmat, and I’m calling BS unless they released a new line of the mat since we bought ours. The one we have just won’t fold easily. We just leave it out on the floor and it’s not an issue since we want it out all the time anyway. However, if you’re looking for something super collapsible or easily stored, this might not be the mat for you.
If you’re looking for a product that has NEVER been called into question, I’d move on to some of the other options below. I don’t understand toxic removal technology, or how they can alter the structure of PVC, so while this mat is something I have in my house, I am definitely hesitant to recommend it as something truly non-toxic.
The Most Budget-Friendly Non-Toxic Baby Playmats (XPE Foam Playmats)
For me, these playmats fall into the “questionable” category of non-toxic baby playmats. While all the reviews say that they’re tested and free from the toxic chemicals listed above, I’m not 110% sold that these are truly non-toxic. Mainly because I couldn’t find a lot of information on XPE foam being used in baby playmats.
Most of these I found on Amazon and they are significantly cheaper than some of the playmats I found the first time I wrote this article in 2018. That said – for the price, it may be worth it to see if you’re comfortable with the materials because they are a LOT cheaper than some of the playmats that have unquestionably clean materials.
- Materials: The Bammax is made of BPA-free XPE foam, and when I looked it up XPE foam is considered non-toxic.
- Some reviews prefer TPU foam over XPE, but I couldn’t find anything that said XPE foam is inherently harmful.
- Dimensions: 70″ x 77.5″ x 0.6″
This may be a good budget option for a large play mat that folds up nicely. It is a thinner mat than some of the others on the list, so it may not be as plush or shock absorbent.
- Materials: Made of BPA free XPE foam
- Dimensions: 70 x 79 x 0.6inch
- Made in China
- Also folds up and is very similar (and similarly priced to The Bammax)
This is a thinner mat than some of the others on the list, so it may not be as plush or shock-absorbent but is a nice budget-friendly option.
TPU Foam Playmats
TPU foam playmats have recently come on the scene, and are also claiming to be non-toxic. I’ve seen come commentary that TPU foam is one of the cleanest foam products
- Materials: High-quality TPU foam, non-flammable, no latex, no BPA, no formaldehyde, no PVC, no EVA, no odor, no flame retardant.
- Dimensions: 78.5 x 0.5 x 55 inches
Materials: 100% TPU; BPA Free, Phthalate Free, Lead Free, Formaldehyde Free
Dimensions: 78.74 x 55.12 x 0.59 inches
- Inner Foam – Recyclable Polyethylene(PE) foam, which is used for food packaging. No artificial color added & No chemical adhesives used.
- Outer Cover – Vegan leather fabric made of Polyurethane(PU), which is animal cruelty-free and eco-friendly.
- Free of PVC, BPA, EVA, Formaldehyde, Phthalates, Flame Retardants and other toxins.
- If you have questions on the PU leather cover, this may help: Creamhaus is widely recommended as a non-toxic mat, and their cover is PU leather, treated this way.
- Dimensions: 79 inch x 45 inch x 1.6 inch
Here’s what Amazon had to say about it:
“The Baby Bello Organic Play Mat is VOC tested (off-gas), performance-tested, and material content tested. It is PVC free, non-toxic hypoallergenic and made with the best combination of earth-friendly products with health and safety features.
Materials: 100% Natural Organic Cotton Cover- made from 100% non-dyed USDA certified organic cotton grown without pesticides or chemical fertilization.
Non-toxic Waterproof Layer- Made of vinyl/PVC free non-toxic medical grade stretch knit fabric with safely sewn seams for anti-bacterial and dust-mite protection.
1.25″ Thick Plant-Based Foam- The core of the playmat is made of a plant-based foam (polyurethane foam that uses up to 1/3 of soybean oil as its polyols), VOC tested (off-gas), and contains no Tris or Nanoparticle.
Both foam and waterproof covers were material tested and passed VOC (off-gas) and heavy metal content. This playmat is not intended for sleep and thus is not treated with any flame retardants.
Dimensions: Measures 55” x 55” x 1.5” and rolls up for easy storage.”
Pillobebe playmats are some of the most widely known non-toxic playmats around. Made with an organic cotton cover, they’re also easy to wash. My main issue with this type of mat is that you’ll need to wash the cover often, and you may have issues with staining.
If this isn’t an issue for you, one of the Pillobebe mats may be an excellent choice. Here’s what the company has to say about its product:
- FREE of Formamide, Fire-retardants, PU, PVC, BPA, BPS, Formaldehyde, Phthalates, Lead, and harmful VOCs
- Facing: 100% Certified Organic Cotton Designer print
- Backing: Silicon Anti-slip silicon dotted cotton
- Removable cover for easy washing
- Anti-slip feature
- Invisible zipper at the bottom (Hidden closure system)
- Batting: 100% Organic Cotton, appx. 1/2″ thick
- Soft and clean material for your baby to play anytime and anywhere
- Topstitched for durability and finished look
- Wash and Care: Cover – Machine wash cold, Wash separately. Air dry, Do not tumble-dry, No bleach, Iron if needed
- Insert: Machine wash cold, Wash separately. Tumble dry in low setting.
- Handmade in USA
Dimensions: Appx. 54″ X 54″ for the cover, appx. 50″X50″ for the insert
The company recommends if you have hardwood floors to get double or triple padding.
Feel free to use my code to get an additional discount! Use themammaslist at checkout.
This is another fantastic (and truly non-toxic) mat from Pillobebe. It’s one of their most popular mats and is OEKO-TEX Standard 100 certified, Certified Class 1 (infants and toddlers).
This mat is free of Formamide, PU, PVC, EVA, Latex, Fire-retardants, Formaldehyde, Phthalates, Lead and other VOCs.
- Comes with one large ergonomic cover and insert tiles
- Removable cover: Quilted 100% Certified Organic Cotton
- Padding: Hypoallergenic Polyester padding + 100% Certified Organic Cotton cover
- Dimensions: 4 inserts can fit in 1 cover
Silicon anti-slip fabric on the bottom of the removable cover
- Hidden zipper puller pocket
- Easy to disassemble for traveling, storage, and moving
- Multifunctional: Playmat, Adult/Kids exercise mat, Yoga mat, nap mat, etc.
- Recommended ages: 0 months and up
Dimensions: Four inserts fit in one cover. Cover measures appx. 50.5″x50.5″x1″(128cmx128cm).
Feel free to use my code to get an additional discount! Use themammaslist at checkout.
Ok, I know that was a lot. And it was even more complicated because there are so many types of “non-toxic” baby playmats on the market right now. Make sure you’re comfortable with whatever materials you choose, and find an option that’s the right fit for your family.
I believe the list above has some really great options for a non-toxic baby playmat you can feel good about. If you have any more information or just want to let me know which one you chose, drop me a comment below!