Non-toxic Playmats For Babies & Kids

Playmats are a wonderful place for babies to strengthen their neck and back muscles, explore toys and teethers and snuggle up for story time. Sadly – not all playmats are created equal. In this article, we look at what materials to avoid and show you our top non-toxic picks!

SafePlaymat-carousel

If there’s one universal truth for babies and toddlers, it’s that they spend a lot of time on the floor exploring every toy, furniture surface and rogue crumb with their hands and mouths.

Incredibly crucial for both their cognitive and physical development, it’s important that parents find safe and non-toxic spaces for their tots to play and rest. Due to the fact that babies have extra sensitive skin and delicate immune and endocrine systems, it’s wise to make sure you’re avoiding products with materials and/ or ingredients known to disrupt hormones or cause irritation the the skin, eyes and respiratory track.

While many brands are switching to natural and non-toxic options, the sad truth is that many still contain harmful chemicals.

In this guide, we’ll go over:

  • Chemicals to avoid in infant and toddler playmats
  • Our favorite non-toxic playmat product picks

Scroll down to learn more.

 

Chemicals to avoid in infant and toddler playmats

  • Flame Retardants: Some play and nap mats are made with synthetic foams and many times are treated with flame retardants. Kids ingest roughly 10 times more PBDEs than adults from hand-to-mouth contact and can present health risks and exposure to carcinogenic compounds affecting fertility and causing other health problems.
  • PVC or Vinyl: PVC is made using a toxic cocktail of materials that could put your little ones at risk from exposure to lead, volatile organic compounds (VOCs) and hormone disrupting chemicals like phthalates.  This would be my #1 material to avoid with kids and babies.
  • Formaldehyde: Less common but still something to avoid is formaldehyde. Most notably found in particle board and press board, formaldehyde off gasses VOCs and adds to the indoor pollution of our homes. Look for products that are free of formaldehyde and toxic glues.
  • PFAS Chemicals: Used to achieve water-proofing, PFAS (poly-fluoroalkyl substances) are a large family of different chemicals that have been shown to cause developmental and other adverse effects in laboratory animals.
  • Triclosan: Triclosan is in a lot of products from cutting boards, pencils, toothpastes and hand soaps.  Triclosan typically protects the product more than the consumer.  Not to mention is gets into our waterways and contaminates our fish and wildlife.  We are exposed to it more and more so if you can avoid it, all the better.
  • BPA and Phthalates: These are likely less common but still something to check off on the avoid list.  Both Bisphenol-a and Phthalates pose a risk to child’s developing endocrine system in that it mimics hormones.  A small amount of exposure might not be too harmful but compounded with all the other times we are exposed to these chemicals can prove to be a pretty sizeable load on our bodies, especially kids.

At The Tot, we never use or recommend anything that hasn’t passed The Tot Test. This means we’ve looked deep into third party testing, examined ingredients lists and asked in-depth questions about a product’s composition to make sure it doesn’t contain any of the chemicals that we avoid.

Click here to view the full list of ingredients we avoid and why.

 

Our favorite non-toxic playmat product picks

All Tot Tested and approved, here are our favorite non-toxic playmat product picks!

 

Pehr Playmats

 

 

Made of super soft cotton and screen printed by hand using AZO-Free dyes, Pehr’s playmats aren’t only cute – they’re practical. Babies love them because of their playful illustrations while parents love them because they’re machine washable!

 

Pehr Life Aquatic Playmat

 

Pehr Life Aquatic Playmat

 

$84

BUY NOW

 

 

Pehr Celestial Playmat

 

Pehr Celestial Playmat

 

$84

BUY NOW

 

 

GATHRE Mats

 

Easy to wipe and water-resistant, these insanely cute leather mats from GATHRE are printed with non-toxic inks and are free of harmful chemicals like PVC, phthalates, and heavy metals.

 

GATHRE Mini Mat - Rainbow

 

GATHRE Mini Mat – Rainbow

 

$62

BUY NOW

 

 

Gathre Mini+ Mat USA Map

 

GATHRE Mini+ Mat – USA Map

 

$86

BUY NOW

 

 

Gathre Round World Map

 

Gathre Midi Mat – Circle World Map

 

$106

BUY NOW

 

 

Gathre Tannin Mini Mat Lifestyle photo

 

Gathre Mini Mat – Tannin

 

$46

Available in more colors

BUY NOW

 

 

Nook Sleep Systems LilyPad Playmat

 

Lifestyle image of Nook Lily Pad in Pacific

 

The LilyPad Playmat is a soft and stylish foam-free playmat that can be used for tummy time, nap time or play time. The padding is made from non-toxic PETE and covered in a 100% organic cotton cover for a comfy playmat experience.

 

Nook Lilypad Playmat - grey

 

Nook Sleep Systems LilyPad Playmat

 

$149

Available in more colors

BUY NOW

 

 

Louelle Playmat / Quilt

 

Louelle Play Mat/Quilt in Harbor Island Blue with baby

 

Made in a light cotton linen blend, this versatile playmat does double time as a quilt. Simple and sweet, you can also get a matching sleeping bag, bloomers, towel and bib in the same print!

 

Louelle Gold Spot Playmat

 

Louelle Playmat – Gold Spot

$135

BUY NOW

 

 

Louelle Play Mat/Quilt- Dusty Pink Gingham

 

Louelle Playmat / Quilt – Dusty Pink Gingham

 

$125

BUY NOW

 

 

Louelle Play Mat/Quilt in Harbor Island Blue

Louelle Playmat / Quilt – Harbor Island Blue

 

$125

BUY NOW

 

 

 

Toki Playmats

 

Toki Mats Mudcloth Playmat

 

Free of toxins, PVC, phthalates and lead, Toki mats are made with a pure latex foam insert and easy to wash 100% cotton cover. Easy to fold and store, they can go from tummy time to toddler yoga to preschool reading nook! Shop the full Toki Mats range here!

 

Toki Mats Olive Branch Playmat

Toki Mats Olive Branch Playmat w/ Organic Insert

 

Ranging from $195 to $305

BUY NOW

 

 

Toki Mats Rainbow Watercolor Playmat

 

Toki Mats Rainbow Watercolor Playmat w/ Organic Insert

 

Ranging from $195 to $305

BUY NOW

 

 

Toki Mats Arches Playmat Forest Green

 

Toki Mats Arches Playmat w/ Organic Insert

 

Ranging from $195 to $305

BUY NOW

 

 

Wee Gallery Explore Organic Playmat

 

Wee Gallery Safari Explore Playmat

 

Ethically made in India from GOTS Certified Organic cotton, these double sided soft playmats are free of all harmful chemicals including pesticides + herbicides. The high contrast illustrations are also great for sharpening a newborn’s eyesight!

 

Wee Gallery Safari Explore Playmat

 

Wee Gallery Explore Organic Playmat

 

$89.95

BUY NOW

 

 

Wee Gallery Organic Cotton Safari play mat

 

Wee Gallery Safari Organic Playmat

 

$89.95

BUY NOW

 

 

Ruggish Play Rugs

 

Three kids playing on a ruggish play rug

The definition of genius, Ruggish play rugs are a 2-in-1 rug/ playmat that provides functionality and fun without compromising on style!

 

Ruggish Lulu Play Rug

Ruggish Lulu Play Rug

 

$199

BUY NOW

 

Ruggish Cali Play Rug in Rose

Ruggish Cali Play Rug

 

$199

Available in more colors

BUY NOW

 

Ruggish Romy PLay Rug Updated

Ruggish Romy Play Rug

 

$199

Available in more colors

BUY NOW

 

 

Continue exploring