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Playpen reviews

Few playpens pass all our safety tests, but some are still worth considering.
 
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01.Introduction

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Test results for 26 playpens, including 10 newly tested models, priced $65 to $300.

Our rigorous tests reveal the models that are safe, and easy to assemble and put away.

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CHOICE's experts independently test a wide range of products and services to bring you unbiased reviews, product comparison tools and buying advice that is trusted by 160,000+ members.
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It comes as quite a shock to parents when their formerly immobile baby becomes a fearless little explorer. So to avoid that dreaded “Where are they?” moment during times when you can’t keep a constant watch, a playpen can bring some peace of mind. 

But there’s a catch. As there is no current mandatory or voluntary Australian standard for playpens - unlike for cots, strollers or high chairs - some playpens on the market may pose potential safety risks to your child, from relatively minor hazards such as sharp edges or protrusions to bump themselves on, to major hazards such as a gate that the child could easily open, or gaps that can trap a head or limb. 

In the absence of a standard, our testers developed a set of safety requirements and test procedures that are based on various Australian and overseas standards for children’s products such as baby furniture, as well as the Product Safety Framework, and used those to assess the playpens. It's a tough test, and few playpens pass entirely. However, several models failed only minor tests and are still worth considering.

Brands tested

Newly tested models:
  • Jolly Kidz Smart Wooden Playpen
  • Mother's Choice 2 In 1 Space Save Wooden Playpen
  • Mother's Choice Wooden Playpen
  • Tikk Tokk Boss Playpen
  • Tikk Tokk Nannypanel Playpen
  • Safety 1st Tranzforma
  • Star Kids Giant 2.2 X 2.2 Square Baby Playpen
  • Childcare Deluxe Babyden / Universal Hearth Gate
  • Kids Can Learn Play And Learn Interactive Baby Room
  • Newaim 6 Angle Wooden Playpen
Previously tested models:
  • Chicco Open Sea Square Playpen #
  • Infa-Secure 888 Playtime Play Yard
  • Kiddy Cots 3 In 1 Delux
  • Lindam Safe & Secure Play Pen
  • Jolly Kidz Magicpanel Playpen
  • Roger Armstrong Large Expandable Entertainer Playzone #
  • Vee Bee 6-Sided Play Yard
  • Baby Dan BabyDen #
  • Graco Tot Block Pack 'n Play 9261QB #
  • Infa Outdoor/Indoor 884
  • Jolly KidZ Jolly Versatile HPP005 #
  • Jolly KidZ Jolly Wooden #
  • Kiddy Cots Pushbutton PBP3 #
  • North States Superyard XT 8666 (A)
  • Plebani Recinto ART 044 (A)
  • Valco VeeBee V1253

# Discontinued or changed since test.
(A) Still made but not distributed in Australia - may be found online.

How we test

As there is currently no standard for playpens in Australia, our tester Matthew Tung uses safety requirements and test procedures based on various Australian and overseas standards for children’s products, as well as the Product Safety Framework. He assesses the playpens for the following:

  • Small parts that can come loose and be swallowed or inhaled
  • Sharp corners, edges and points
  • Hazardous projections
  • Entanglement with projections and openings – if a child’s clothing snags on a projection, there is a risk of strangulation
  • Whether the child can climb or otherwise get out of the enclosure
  • Entrapment in openings or between moving or rotating components
  • Sturdiness and stability

Matthew also checks how easy they are to set up and pack up, and how easy they are for a carer to access a child occupant.

For more information on child-friendly furniture and other kids products, see our Babies and kids section.

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