A play mat is your baby's first place to learn and discover. Play mats are typically large foam floor coverings that give babies, toddlers, and even older kids a soft, safe surface to play on. Play mats are ideal once your baby starts crawling and walking because it gives them sufficient cushioning, especially for when they fall down. They're protective on hardwood floors, but they're just as useful on carpets because they give a flat playing surface that's also soft and cushy.
The parenting experts and fiber scientists in the Good Housekeeping Institute Textiles Lab reviewed baby play mats of all kinds – from small activity gyms to large floor coverings – to offer the best recommendations for every stage. The picks ahead offer something for everyone with a range of price points, sizes, design offerings, and more. Here are the best baby play mats and activity gyms to buy in 2020: