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Once you’ve transitioned your baby from sleeping in a bassinet to sleeping in a crib or Pack ‘n Play, you will quickly realize that mattress protectors are an absolute must-have for Pack ‘n Plays! Babies are messy, and whether it is a spilled bottle or a leaking diaper, chances are that you are going to be thankful that a mattress protector stopped the Pack ‘n Play mattress from being ruined.

Choosing the right Pack ‘n Play mattress protector can seem a little overwhelming. There are quite a few options on the market, and it can be difficult to know how to choose the best one.

To help out, here is how to choose the best mattress protector for your Pack ‘n Play or portable travel crib, to ensure the mattress stays clean and in good shape, and your little one is kept comfortable!

Do You Need A Mattress Protector For Your Pack ‘n Play?

Do not listen to anyone who tells you that you do not need a mattress protector for your Pack ‘n Play!

You will most likely end up buying a suitable mattress to place inside the Pack ‘n Play, as the Pack ‘n Play mattress pads are usually hard and uncomfortable, as some parents have attested to when they gave us their honest opinions about their Graco Pack ‘n Plays. You then will want to ensure that this mattress is kept clean and protected, and a mattress protector is the best way to do this.

Unless you want to be constantly washing up the mattress, and risking potential stains and even mold and mildew, a mattress protector is a must. Your baby will likely spend time playing and sleeping in their Pack ‘n Play, and this is opportunity for lots of spills and messes.

Here are some reasons why Playard mattress protectors are so helpful:

They make the mattress soft and comfortable

Whether you are using the pad that comes with the Pack ‘n Play, or you have bought a new mattress, a mattress protector along with a Pack ‘n Play sheet helps to add a new level of softness and comfort. This will obviously be conducive to a night of better sleep for your little one and help them feel cozy and warm.

They protect the mattress and extend its lifespan

The main purpose of a mattress protector, as the name suggests, is to protect the mattress. Diaper accidents and milk spills can stain and ruin the mattress, but a mattress protector will help to stop these messes from reaching the mattress at all.

Not only does this keep the mattress clean and safe to use for your baby, but it extends the lifespan of the mattress as well.

They are easy to clean

It is much easier to clean spills and messes from a mattress protector than it is to clean them from the mattress itself. Some Pack ‘n Play mattress protectors are machine washable, and others are easy to clean by hand.

If your baby sleeps in their Pack ‘n Play, you will be thankful for the mattress protector when they wee through their nappy in the middle of the night, and you only have to remove the mattress protector and not the whole mattress!

They create a safer sleep environment

Mattresses can form a build-up of dust mites, mold, or mildew if not protected. This could cause your little one to develop allergies, and this is sure to ruin their sleep. A mattress protector goes a long way to prevent this, and keeps the mattress cleaner and more hygienic for your baby.

What To Consider When Choosing A Pack ‘n Play Mattress Protector


Photo by Hu Chen on Unsplash

Ask yourself these questions when choosing a Pack ‘n Play mattress protector, to help you pick one that would be most effective at keeping the mattress clean, and which will be safe and comfortable for your baby.

Will the mattress protector fit onto the mattress?

Make sure to check that the mattress protector will fit snugly onto the mattress. Also consider how it might fit onto the mattress, whether it uses elasticated sides or straps.

Will it be comfortable for my baby?

You obviously want to choose a mattress protector that will be comfortable for your baby to use. The materials are important, so try to choose a protector made from cotton and bamboo, which are natural and help keep your little one cool and dry while asleep.

Is it waterproof?

All mattress protectors should be waterproof, but some are more effective at this than others. Check to see that the mattress protector has a waterproof layer that stops moisture from seeping down into the mattress, but also avoid any that have a plastic layer that makes a sound whenever your baby moves around.

Is it easy to clean?

It kind of defeats the point if the mattress protector is not easy to clean. It really does help to choose a mattress protector that can be placed in both the washing machine and the tumble dryer. Being able to dry the mattress protector in the tumble dryer means you don’t have to wait for ages for it to dry on the line, and risk putting your baby in their Pack ‘n Play without a protector.

Are Pack ‘n Play Mattress Protectors Safe?

Pack ‘n Play mattress protectors are completely safe to use, as long as you use one which is the right size for the mattress. Pack ‘n Play mattresses are not the same size as cot or crib mattresses, so you will need to find one which is made specifically for the Playard or Pack ‘n Play.

If it does not fit properly and is too tight or too loose, it could pose a risk for your baby. Make sure to measure the Pack ‘n Play mattress to determine what size protector you will need, and make sure that you choose the right sheet to cover it too.


Image of a chubby baby playing on a comfortable white mattress

The Best Pack ‘n Play Mattress Protector

Our top pick for a Pack ‘n Play mattress protector is the American Baby Company Waterproof Fitted Pack ‘n Play Mattress Pad Cover.

The top and the bottom of the mattress protector are made from 100% soft polyester, with the middle layer being waterproof, preventing any leaks and spills from reaching the mattress.

Measuring 27-inches by 39-inches, it fits most standard size Pack ‘n Play mattresses or mattress pads, and can be placed comfortably under a sheet too.

Once dirtied, the protector can be placed in the washing machine and then in the tumble dryer for easy cleaning and maintenance.

Soft, waterproof, and super comfortable for your baby, there is no way you could go wrong with this Pack ‘n Play mattress protector.

Make sure you choose a mattress protector that is the right size for the Pack ‘n Play, and which is comfortable for you baby to sleep and play on!

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Mother playing with her baby in a Graco playard

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Rebecca Brown_One of the stuff4tots authors
Rebecca Brown

Rebecca Brown is a mom to two and writer on all things parenting. She has been focussed on content creation and article writing for the last four years, drawing on the inspiration she gets from her own experience as a mother, and the expansive research the job requires.

When not writing, you can find Rebecca outside with the kids, or hidden away enjoying a good cup of coffee!