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Baby Play Mats : The Ultimate Guide

Baby Play Mats : The Ultimate Guide

You may not think it, but the purchase of a play mat is just as crucial as a cot, stroller or car seat.

If you ask any parent, many would say that their purchase of a play mat is one of the most used baby items of all!

With that being said, it is a good idea to spend some time researching play mats to feel confident that you are buying one that best suits your needs.

In this article, we are going to break down for you the key factors that make up a great playmat.

We will also provide you with a list of great Australian brands that, through our research, provide great play mats which will suit everyone’s needs.

This blog is 'Baby Play Mats : The Ultimate Guide'.

Our guide will allow you to become more informed on how to purchase a play mat that suits your needs and style.

As an added bonus, we have an exclusive The Young Folk Collective discount code below.  😊

Let's get right into it. 

  • (1) What is a play mat?
  • (2) What makes a good play mat?
  • (3) Types of play mats?
  • (4) Our list of best foam play mats to buy in 2021
  • (5) Our list of best fabric play mats to buy in 2021
  • What is a Play Mat?

    A play mat is typically a cushioned mat that provides a safe area for your baby on the floor.

    Like a baby stroller, cot or car seat, most parents would agree that a play mat is an essential baby item.

    As a play mat is an essential item, you will be pleased to know that there are some great play mats to choose from these days.

    What Makes a Good Play Mat?

    Below are 5 essential factors which make up a good play mat. We will give you a brief overview of each to help describe how to spot a good play mat.

    - Non-toxic

    A non-toxic mat is at the top of our list of what makes a good play mat for a reason. If a play mat has toxic properties to its makeup, we recommend not purchasing it.  

    We have created an article that dives into this topic in more depth : 'Baby Play Mats : Are You Buying The Safest Option?'

    - Shock Absorption

    In the early months of a baby's life, a lot of time is spent on a play mat. The mat should provide a safe environment by providing enough cushioning and support when the inevitable trip and fall occurs. 

    - Waterproof and Easy to Clean

    We all know how messy newborns up to toddlers can be. From drool to a Crayola piece of art, you are going to need a play mat that is waterproof and easy to clean. Look for a mat that is completely waterproof and can simply be cleaned with a soapy damp cloth.

    - Portability

    A good play mat will be large enough for your baby to move around and have a lot of space to explore their environment. Being large means that they take up a lot of floor space. A good play mat will be easily packed away, either by rolling it up or folded to store away easily.

    - Design

    You will be pleased to know that the days of brightly coloured play mats filled with cartoon animals are gone. Today there is a great selection of designs to suit every households' tastes from the more minimalistic Scandinavian style to up-to-date bold designs created by talented Australian artists.

    It is important to note that the old cartoon styled designs served to allow newborn babies to focus on bold and contrasting patterns. However, this ability can also be achieved without compromising style.

    See article on 'Developmental Benefits of Using a Baby Play Mat'

    Types of Play Mats

    - Foam Play Mats

    Play mats that are made from foam are the most popular type of playmat as they provide excellent shock absorption. They are waterproof and with their popularity, there are some fantastic artistic designs to choose from in Australia.

    A few foam play mats out in the market are made from low-quality materials and may pass ton toxic international standards. Don't worry, and you won't find any of these mats in our list of best mats. For more information on this topic, see our article on 'Baby Play Mats : Are You Buying The Safest Option?'.

    - Fabric Play Mats

    Fabric play mats are lightweight and designed to be taken with you to the beach, playground, play dates and everywhere in between. They are generally make from a cotton top layer and waterproof bottom.

    Foam Play Mat

    OK, so now you know the factors of what makes up a quality play mat.

    Want know the best part?

    We have already done the complex research for you and handpicked the best play mats Australia has to offer using the criteria outlined above, and there are some fantastic ones.

    Drumroll please.....!

    Our list of Best Foam Playmats to Buy in 2021 

    The Young Folk Collective Kids Play Mat

    The Young Folk Collective

    Foam play mats is the category we at The Young Folk Collective are in. We selected this type of play mat for our brand as it ticks all the boxes of what makes a good play mat above. 

    Best Play Mat Australia

    Our 'Whimsical Woodland' play mat provides you a close-up glimpse of the whimsical world hiding deep within the woods.

    foam baby play mat

    'Outback Adventure' is our latest design that takes you on a journey through the wondrous landscapes of Australian and the beautiful animals that we share with it.

    Price:  $189 (200 cm x 140 cm)

    Our mats are:

    • Non-Toxic by complying with the highest international standard EN-71
    • Durable and Shock Absorbent by using TPU (Thermoplastic Polyurethane) Foam. TPU is the same foam used as memory foam mattresses.
    • Waterproof and easy to clean, which only takes a warm damp cloth to clean up all spills with ease.
    • Portable by being able to be rolled up and stored away when not in use.
    • Designed by renowned Australian artists to create a seamless balance of bold contrasting colours and signature retro designs are perfect for supporting a baby's visual perceptual skills whilst fitting in harmoniously with your home's existing decor. 

    Baby Play Mat Google Reviews

    We are proud to display our Google 5 Star Rating.

    'We only work with the best artists, suppliers, and materials worldwide to provide play mats that are  currently enjoyed in thousands of Australian homes.' - Skye, owner of The Young Folk Collective

    foam play mat

    play mat discount code

    Other Australian Brands:

    Through our research, we have determined that the below companies are also producing amazing foam play mats that are of the same quality as ours. They are all made from polyurethane and comply with the highest non-toxic international standard EN-71, the 'gold standard' in determining the safety requirements for non-toxic materials for baby toys.

    It really comes down to the personal preference of style when choosing one of ours, or one of the companies below. 

    Little Wiwa

    Little Wiwa Baby Play Mat

    Price:  $179 (200 cm x 140 cm)

    What we love: 

    Little Wiwa has brought out some tremendous up-to-date Scandinavian inspired minimalistic designs with timeless aesthetics.

    Soft Mats

    soft mats playmat

    Price:  $199 (185 cm x 125 cm)

    What we love: 

    Established in 2006, Soft Mats have certainly been around from the start of the revolution. Their HUGE extra large size mat of 230 cm x 140 cm makes it the biggest plat mat on the market.

    Freddy and Co

    Freddy and Co Playmat 

    Price:  $179 (200 cm x 140 cm)

    What we love: 

    Freddy and Co work closely with their Australian designer to develop distinctive prints, with each mat having an educational children's side and a decor friendly parent design. They have three educational children's designs, and you can choose your reverse side to suit your style.

    Munchkin and Bear

    Munchkin and Bear Playmat 

    Price:  $169.95 (200 cm x 140 cm)

    What we love: 

    Munchkin and Bear certainly have the most extensive range of designs, with colour pallets to suit anyone's style. They are continually bringing out new styles to suit any nursery.

    Softly Summer

    Softly Summer Baby Plat Mat

    Price:  $179 (200 cm x 140 cm)

    What we love: 

    If you love the beach and earthy tones, then you have to check out Softly Summer. You will fall in love with their range of colour pallets that emulate the beach. The inspired designs came from their love of the ocean, palm leaves and the desire to bring a summery, chilled out vibe to our living space. With palm leaves, dreamy peachy pink sand and the beach in mind. They selected a neutral palette which means their baby and children’s play mat works well with your pre-existing colour scheme.

    Our list of Best Fabric Playmats to Buy in 2021 

    Rudie Nudie

    Rudie Nudie Play Mat

    Price:  $99 (130 cm x 130 cm)

    What we love: 

    Take your Rudie Nudie play mat anywhere you go with it being super lightweight. From the bed to the beach, Rudie Nudie play mats can be enjoyed anywhere. Available in three sizes to suit every age and stage, they come with a soft fabric top and a waterproof base. Our favourite part is that they are machine washable!

    Warren Hill

    Best Play Mat from Warren Hill

    Price:  $154.95 (115 cm diameter)

    What we love: 

    Warren Hill play mats are made from high-quality French Flax linen and are stonewashed to make them luxuriously soft from the first time your little one lays upon it. Our favourite parts is that for each play mat sold, ten trees are planted through their charity partner.

    Marmalade Lion

    Best Play Mat Australia Marmalade Lion

    Price:  $239 (150 cm diameter)

    What we love: 

    Marmalade Lion super play mats are perfect for tea parties, napping, and rough 'n tumble time. They are super comfortable due to their thick soft memory foam core. We like how they have a removable waterproof cover that can go straight into the washing mashing. The best thing is that they do sell the covers separately which allows you to change up the designs!

    Bella Buttercup

    Baby Play Mat for Bella Buttercup

    Price:  $80 (110 cm diameter)

    What we love: 

    A soft cushioned surface makes it ideal for tummy-time, nappy-off time and when your baby is learning to sit and roll. We love that it is machine washable which will clean up any mess!

    play mat discount code

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