After considering 8 nap mat brands and 3 different styles of nap mat, we chose the Organic Designs Nap Mat as the best overall nap mat for toddlers, with the Naturepedic Rest Pad + Urban Infant Tot Cot (used together) as our other top choice.
We think the Organic Designs nap mat is the best solution for families who want and all-in-one bedding and sleeping pad solution that doesn’t incorporate synthetic fabrics or harmful chemicals. Because it has enough padding to make it soft to sleep on, the Organic Designs mat is good solution for families who plan to use it directly on the floor (instead of putting it on top of a daycare-provided memory foam nap mat or sleeping pad). All the bedding is included, making this a single solution for your child’s nap time at daycare or preschool. However, it’s also quite pricey, at least at the time of writing.
For a more affordable option, we think the Naturepedic Rest Pad is a great option. You can use it in combination with the Urban Infant Tot Cot. The Rest Pad gives your toddler a non-toxic, non-foam sleeping surface, and the Tot Cot serves as bedding with a build in pillow.
Read on to find out why we think these are the best solutions. Here are all the nap mats and all-in-one bedding solutions we considered:
- Organic Designs Nap Mat
- Urban Infant Tot Cot
- Naturepedic Rest Pad
- JumpOff Jo Toddler Nap Mat
- Wildkin Nap Mat
- ECR4 Kids Rest Mat
- My First Nap Mat Memory Foam Nap Mat
- Milliard Toddler Nap Mat
Researchers have found toddler nap mats are a significant source of potentially harmful chemicals for kids in daycares and pre-schools. And that by switching from a “normal” nap mat to a non toxic nap mat, you can reduce your child’s exposure to a range of harmful chemicals.
While there are plenty of nap mat brands on the market, there are also plenty of nap mats that use questionable materials or come with California Proposition 65 warnings for containing chemicals known to cause cancer.
I don’t know about you, but “known to cause cancer” isn’t exactly a phrase I want to see when buying things for kids.
Rather, I’d argue the best nap mat is one that’s safe for your child and his or her peers.
In this article, we’ve identified what we think are the “safer” nap mat brands, while also providing you with some information to make your own decisions when considering the best nap mats for your child.
We’ve included brands that use mostly natural materials as well as those that use synthetics, provided the companies don’t add fire retardant chemicals to their mats.
We’ve also included 2 foam nap mats. Polyurethane foam isn’t our favorite, and many a memory foam nap mat come with potentially harmful chemicals. For this reason, we’ve stuck to foam that is Certipur-US Certified only, which reduces the chemicals your child will be exposed to.
We’ve also included all different styles of nap mat:
- All-in-one nap mats have enough padding to be used directly on the floor, while still being pretty comfy for your little one. These “all in ones” have attached bedding and pillows, and generally roll up so you can carry it back and forth between home and preschool for washes.
- Bedding mats don’t have padding on the bottom, and therefore aren’t a great solution for kids who need to sleep on the floor. Instead, these are intended to attach to a cot or padded sleeping mat, and serve as the bedding to keep your child cozy and secure feeling.
- Sleeping pads provide a lot of cushioning, but they don’t come with bedding. You’ll still need to add a pillow, blanket and sheet to use in conjunction with the sleeping pad.
The Best Nap Mat for Every Family: Our Winners
- Best All-in-One Solution: Organic Designs Nap Mat
- Best Bedding Solution: Urban Infant Tot Cot
- Best Sleeping Pad: Naturepedic Rest Pad
The Organic Designs daycare mat is made from 100% certified organic materials. It has dense padding, a super soft flannel blanket and a removable pillow – all the ingredients to ensure a comfy sleep for your toddler or older child. Plus, it’s easy to clean and carry.
Organic Designs‘ makes one of the best nap mats for families who want to stay all natural. The company makes sure their nap mats aren’t treated with any toxic dyes, chemical washes, pesticides, or flame retardants, and they don’t use any polyester. They are made with 100% certified organic cotton and stuffed with a comfy amount of 100% certified organic filling – soft, safe and comfy for your little one.
As with all great preschool sleeping mats, this one rolls up easily into a lightweight 3.5-pound package with handles. That makes it easy to carry back and forth.
The mat is comfortably large, measuring 52″ long by 19″ wide, and intended for kids up to 6 years old. The attached soft and organic flannel blanket measures 42″ long by 27″ wide.
This nap mat is machine washable for easy care (we recommend using fragrance free detergents), and available in a variety of patterns from unisex elephants to rose pink flowers.
Organic Designs sells their full line on their Etsy shop.
The Best Bedding Solution
The Tot Cot is meant to be used in conjunction with the thick sleeping mats for preschool that many institutions provide. The corner bands attach to cot legs, keeping it in place as your child snoozes.
The Tot Cot is made from a 65% poly / 35% cotton weave, and according to the company, doesn’t use flame-resistant chemicals. According to Urban Infant, “We specifically test our materials and coatings frequently to be sure our accessories meet or exceed government recommendations limiting heavy metals, lead and phthalates in children’s items.”
The Tot Cot also has clever design features that could make your child’s transition to daycare or preschool a bit easier. First, your little one can choose from 11 different designs, helping them get psyched about nap time at school! Second, it has a built-in “secret” pocket where your toddler can store their favorite nap time snuggle buddy or lovey. It also offers a built-in pillowcase with a removable pillow and attached blanket. And it’s machine washable for easy care.
The Tot Cot has four corner-straps which secure the nap mat to your child’s sleep cot. This mat measures 22 x 52.4 inches and is appropriate for children from two to five years of age. It’s easy to carry back and forth, and is well-made to withstand years of wear and tear. It also has space for a name tag.
The Best Sleeping Mat for Daycare
The Naturepedic Rest Pad is soft, plush, and made from only high-quality natural and organic materials. You won’t have to worry about exposing your little one to harmful chemicals, and can trust that they are comfortable for the best rest possible.
This foldable and stackable mat is made from GOTS certified organic cotton coated in a non-GMO waterproof layer. If you’re concerned about your child sleeping on polyurethane foam, this is a great option. Pair it with an organic toddler pillow and blanket, and your child will be nice and cozy – and safe from harmful chemicals – during their afternoon snooze. It’s also free from pesticides, glues, and vinyl/PVC/phthalates, and is hypoallergenic for extra peace of mind.
With the waterproof design, you’ll be able to handle any accidents with ease.
Dimensions are 24 x 48 x 1.5.
The Best Nap Mat for Every Family: Our Runners Up
- JumpOff Jo Toddler Nap Mat
- Wildkin Nap Mat
- ECR4 Kids Rest Mat
- My First Nap Mat Memory Foam Nap Mat
- Milliard Toddler Nap Mat
JumpOff Jo nap mats come in a few different playful designs that may even help your kid look forward to nap time.
The outer shell is made of 100% cotton, with the filling and minky blanket made up of 100% polyester. The mat comes with a built-in removable pillow and attached blanket for optimum convenience and the whole thing is machine washable. There’s a built-in name tag area to keep track.
The blanket is made out of “soft dot Minky” – a plush and soft fabric fit for snuggling. The 43″ long by 21″ wide mat has a thin layer of polyester padding, adding a bit of extra comfort for kids using it on top of a daycare mat or cot. Depending on your child, it may or may not work directly on the floor.
The whole set can be rolled up and secured with velcro straps for easy storage.
And according to the company, their “nap mats do not have any flame retardant chemicals or fire barriers of any sort within the product.”
Made out of a super-soft blend of cotton and polyester, this nap mat can be rolled up and secured with straps, revealing a convenient handle to make transporting effortless, even for little hands.
The inside is lined with 100% cotton flannel to keep your little one warm and cozy. It is machine washable and designed with fade-resistant colors. The recommended age range for this mat is three to seven years, so it will accommodate your child through various stages of growth.
Wildkin mats are BPA, phthalates, and lead free, with testing by a 3rd party lab to ensure safety. According to Wildkin, “no flame-resistant chemicals are ever applied to these Nap Mats or Sleeping Bags. Although the shells of the bags do contain polyester, the way that the cotton and polyester are blended and weaved makes the bags naturally flame-resistant – meaning they have a slow “burn rate” and minimal “ease of ignition.”
Wildkin nap mats are formerly Olive Kids mats.
Made out of high-density foam and covered with a durable polyurethane material that is phthalate-free and easy to disinfect, this soft and cozy mat is CPSIA compliant and GREENGUARD [GOLD] Certified. It folds up for easy storage and comes with a clear plastic pocket for nametags.
Measuring 48 x 24 x 2 inches and weighing only 1.2 pounds, the ECR4 mat is perfect for kids ages three to six years old and eliminates the need for bulky sleeping cots.
As this isn’t easy to carry, it would need to stay at daycare.
My First Nap Mat is made out of high-quality CertiPUR–US polyurethane memory foam. The foam has a cooling gel that redirects heat away from the child’s body for comfortable and restful sleep. The mat is lined with ultra-soft velour and has a removable pillow for extra support.
Its dimensions are 41 x 21 x 1 inches when rolled out, and 21 x 22 x 13 inches when rolled up. It is ideal for toddlers, preschoolers, and kindergarteners.
The mat comes with space for a name tag and velcro straps for securing it in a rolled position. However, it isn’t as easy to carry as some other solutions on this list.
The mattress is made of CertiPur foam that is free of many potentially harmful chemicals and is an impressive three inches thick. It has a removable machine washable bamboo cover that is soft and durable for years of repeated use.
It measures 24 x 58 x 3 inches when unfolded and 24 x 19 x 19 inches when folded up. Its larger size will accommodate kids from infancy well through early school age.
This sleep pad doesn’t have a pillow, and you’d likely want to use it in conjunction with something like the Urban Infant Tot Cot, the JumpOff Jo Nap Mat, or the Wildkin Nap Mat, all of which have a removable pillow.
As with some of the others, this isn’t an easy to carry solution. It would likely stay at daycare rather than get transported back and forth regularly.
Nap Mat Buying Guide: What You Need to Know
What is a Nap Mat?
A nap mat is a portable and cushioned surface your toddler or young child can use to sleep on when their bed isn’t available.
There are many different styles of nap mats, including stackable mats which are mostly provided by a daycare or preschool, or rollup mats which you might have to buy yourself and leave at daycare. You can also buy a style of nap mat that connects three or four pillows together – these are best for use at home, as they’re large and a bit burdensome.
What are Nap Mats Made of?
What a nap mat is made of can vary widely between brands. We recommend choosing a brand that takes the safety of every child seriously, by avoiding materials and chemicals such as PVC, phthalates, fire retardant chemicals, etc.
What are the Benefits of a Nap Mat?
Getting your little one their own nap mat for use at daycare or preschool ensures they’ll have a comfortable place to sleep during the day.
Having their very own nap mat can provide some emotional security, knowing it’s their very own place for down time and sleep. It will also help to avoid sharing germs a bit.
When Will We Use a Nap Mat?
When it comes to sleep, children need to feel safe and secure, and having something with them that’s familiar can help achieve this. When they’re little, you can bring along their baby activity gym or a favorite blanket to lie on. But as kids get older, they need something they can sleep on. Getting a nap mat will help when your little one needs to sleep at daycare or preschool, for a sleepover at a friend’s house, or when you’re traveling or camping.
In this article, we mostly focused on the best nap mats for daycare and pre-school. However roll-up nap mats are also a great to have on-hand for travel and sleepovers.
At What Age Can My Toddler Use a Nap Mat?
Babies under 1 shouldn’t use nap mats to sleep, whether it’s for a nap or night time sleep. If your infant is in daycare, make sure the facility has a infant-safe sleep environment for his or her nap. The best options is a crib or pack and play that’s totally bare, with no pillows, blankets, or stuffed animals, and that uses a firm crib mattress (we also recommend an organic crib mattress, and use Naturepedic in our house). Nap mats don’t create a safe sleep environment for under ones.
Once your baby passes the one-year mark, a nap mats may be a good solution.
- 12 to 18 months: Most older babies still need a crib or pack n’ play to sleep in. They need the enclosed environment to get comfortable, feel secure, and settle in. Nap mats may not yet work for your child’s nap time until they’re a bit older.
- 18 months to 3 years old: This is the perfect age range to use a nap mat! Nap mats work great for a child’s afternoon nap at preschool or day care. They may have transitioned to a toddler bed at home, as well as to using a toddler pillow.
- 3 to 5 years old: As your child transitions out of having daily nap time, nap mats can work as an occasional solution, much like a sleeping bag. Nap mats are great at sleepovers, when visiting friends or family, on vacation, etc.
What Features Should I Look for in a Nap Mat?
- Mat is easy to clean and machine washable
- Velcro straps make it easier to roll up for storage and transporting back and forth between home and school
- Rolls relatively easily, so a young child could do it
- Area for a name tag
- Removable pillow
- Mat is easy to carry back and forth between home and daycare/preschool
- Soft and comfortable
- Appropriate size for your child, and large enough that they can use it for several years.
- Well made to withstand the rigours of daily like with a toddler.
If you need an all-in-one rest pad with bedding, you can’t go wrong with the Organic Designs Nap Mat. We think it’s the best of the bunch, and worth the price given that it will get used daily. Families that want to avoid potentially harmful chemicals and prefer natural materials should also consider the Naturepedic Rest Pad, which can be paired with an organic toddler pillow, sheet, and blanket to make it cozy.
We hope this article has helped, and you found the right nap mat for your child. If you know a parent of a toddler, please share this article with them!