Frequently Asked Questions about Pack and Play Mattress

For busy moms and dads, a pack and play mattress is a great way to put your baby down for a nap, or create a safe, soft play area. The durable yet sturdy mattress is great for travel and at home and gives baby a comfortable mattress that can be used well into their toddler years. Of course, as with anything your infant sleeps or rests on, you want to be sure that it’s safe and that the materials are top grade. Below are some of the most commonly asked questions we’ve received about pack and play mattresses and their safety and use:

Why Do You Need a Pack and Play?

A Pack n Play doubles as a safe, self-contained station for baby to rest or nap, or a comfortable place to play while providing you with all the necessities you need to help care for them. Most Pack and Play playards are designed to combine a changing station, bed and play area along with storage for everything baby might need. In short, it’s a portable, convenient and easy to use way to keep baby safe and comfortable as they grow!

Most Pack and Play bassinets or care stations don’t come with a mattress, which makes it a priority for many parents to find the right mattress that easily fits their bassinet or otherwise look into buying a portable Pack and Play. Fortunately, by following the advice outlined here, you’ll be able to choose the right mattress for your Pack and Play no matter what brand you have!

Understanding Pack and Play Mattress Size

When considering a pack and play mattress, it’s important to note that the original Pack ‘n Play by Graco is designed for a mattress that measures approximately 25.5” wide and 37.5” long. A standard crib mattress won’t fit in a Pack and Play, and likewise, a Pack and Play mattress won’t fit in a crib because it’s too small.

Every mattress is different, so be sure that when you buy a Pack and Play mattress, that you’re buying it for the brand of playard or care station that you have. Check the labeling carefully, otherwise you may find that the mattress is too large, too small, too thick or too wide.

Is a Mattress for Pack and Play Safe?

Absolutely! Mattresses designed for Pack ‘n’ Play are very safe, provided that you follow care instructions and purchase the correctly sized mattress for your baby’s Pack and Play center. Many Pack ‘n Play mattresses are designed to provide firm support for a growing baby’s needs while staying soft and comfortable enough to help baby drift off and enjoy sweet dreams.

How Do You Set Up a Pack and Play?

Every Pack and Play station has specific instructions directly from the manufacturer regarding its setup. It’s a good idea to check the manufacturer’s website to see detailed instructions and diagrams on how to properly set up your Pack ‘n Play. Since Graco is the original manufacturer of the Pack and Play brand, you’ll want to check out their website for details on their recommended Pack and Play mattress for Graco or a mattress for the Pack and Play bassinet to make sure you are setting it up properly.

How Do You Clean a Pack and Play Mattress? Do You Need a Mattress Cover?

It’s a good idea to buy a mattress cover that is made to fit all portable crib mattresses. The best mattress covers for Pack and Play mattresses are made with strong, reinforced threads and high quality fibers, so they won’t tear apart no matter how many times you wash them. In addition, look for a mattress cover that’s crafted with a protective waterproof lining, so that you never again have to worry about spills and stains from occasional accidents or leaky diapers! .

If you don’t have a cover and you need to clean a Pack and Play, simply take it outside or somewhere you don’t mind it getting wet, then mix up a solution of ½ cup (120 ml) of detergent to a bucket of warm water, then scrub and rinse the Pack and Play and let it dry. That’s all it takes to clean out most stains and it will be ready to use again as soon as it’s dry!

Which Pack and Play Mattress Brands are Best?

While many parents understandably choose the original Pack ‘n Play brand by Graco, there are a variety of affordable options for parents who want the ease and convenience of travel while still keeping baby comfortable. The most popular brands of Pack and Play mattresses include:



Each one has its own sizing details, so be sure to look for Pack and Play mattresses sized appropriately for your specific model. Some brands, like the Milliard Pack and Play mattress come with a foldable mattress and carry bag for easy transport.  You’ll want to be sure that whatever mattress you choose, provides comfortable yet firm support for your growing little one, so they can enjoy a restful sleep, and you can have greater peace of mind about their safety.

The Final Word on the Pack ‘n Play Mattress

Finding the right mattress for your Pack ‘n Play doesn’t have to be a chore. By getting the right measurements and taking time to read reviews and check pricing, you’ll be able to choose a suitable mattress that grows with your child until they outgrow their Pack and Play. Overall, be sure to check the sizing, ease of cleaning, and the brands featured here, which have all received top marks from parents just like you.  These are just a few safe, simple steps to help keep your little one safe and protected while helping them nod off to sweet dreams!