I have since written a guide about the Best Non-Toxic Play Mats for Baby which does NOT include the Baby Care Play Mat.
While I still love (and use) my play mats, I cannot in good conscience recommend them without highlighting the fact that these mats are made from phthalate-free PVC. It is highly debatable to what extent phthalate-free PVC is toxic. Bearing that in mind, everything else about my review still holds true.
I love the Baby Care Play Mat (Made in Korea; BPA, lead, latex, and phthalate free) so much, I have two – one in Max’s room and one for his playpen area in the living room. The mat is really big and thick, measuring 82.7 inches x 55.1 inches and 1/2 an inch thick. The mat is also shock-absorbent, waterproof, easy to clean, durable, and dual-sided with a variety of colorful designs. Exactly what you want in a playmat!
My favorite aspect about the mat is just how cushiony it is. We have hardwood floors and Max has fallen back, hitting his head on the mat countless times, but has never cried from a spill. Max may be stunned for a few seconds, but he comes out completely unscathed. The mat is also exceptionally easy to clean – I just spray a gentle cleaner and wipe down with a paper towel. There are no cracks and crevices for food/dirt/dust to get into, although there is a slight waffle texture to the surface (which can trap liquids). So far, despite daily use and abuse, there are no signs of wear whatsoever.
The play mat has two different designs, one printed on each side of the mat. At first, I thought the patterns were a little busy, but I have grown to enjoy the bright and colorful quality they add to the décor. And now that Max is older, he loves to point out different object or animals on the mat and have me name each one.
I searched extensively for non-toxic play mats, but the problem is, unless you go for a completely natural fiber, e.g., cotton, wool, bamboo, almost all other play mat materials have toxicity to an extent. According to Baby Care, the play mats are non-toxic – tested to European Toys Safety Standards EN71 & Australian Toy Safety Standards AS/NZS ISO 8124.1 & 3. The product is phthalate free – which is great – but is still made from PVC. When I received the play mat, I did allow the mat to air out for any potential off-gassing before Max used it. I can say that within a day or two, the mat was completely odor free.
In all honesty, if I had carpeting, I think I would have gone for a cotton/bamboo play area for complete peace of mind. But I have hardwood floors, and on balance, if it’s between saving Max’s head from hard falls vs. potential toxicity (remember, the company claims its mats are non-toxic), I choose the Baby Care Play Mat.
Did you like my review? If so, you can buy the Baby Care Play Mat on Amazon here.
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