Playpen is old version of play yard and rather means likely to playground or ‘safe space’ for babies. Playpen is a great idea for prevent toddler –who crawling to everywhere in the house to stay in the safe area –while doing the housework, preparing his meal or just catching a breath. Playpen is rather used in house or nearby place than portable cribs. Unlike today, earlier playpen is made of metal frames or gates. Though new playpen, play yard and portable crib are very closer, old versions of playpen are still catching up by many parents for its simple and practical uses.

For safety gates,  North States Industry and Summer Infant are praised for expertise. However, if you’re looking for more portable or functional playpen, Graco Totbloc and Joovy Room2 are recommended.

5 BEST Playpens & Baby Gates 2012

Groco Pack 'n Play TotBloc

Best Overall

Graco Pack ‘N Play TotBloc Playard

38”x38” size, a breeze to setup, lightweight and portable with 23.7lbs, Graco TotBloc provides safety space for baby to entertain freely. This TotBloc is designed for fun place for little monkeys –bright colorful, thick bottom padding, big size, soft mesh, exiting toys and comfy to nap when they’re tired! Easy to clean and set-up. Concerning about the price, this is one of the most value products we’ve recommended –under $100 and long uses.

 Superyard 3 in 1 Metal Gate

Best Flexible & Strong Playpen

North States Superyard 3 in 1 Metal Gate

Safe, flexible and durable –The 3-in-1 Superyard is not only a playpen, but also flexible safety gate for your little ones or even pet owners. As made of metal, this baby gate is very sturdy, but easy to close and open. The best thing is you can shape it whatever you need –it can transfer to safety gate that breeze to connect to the walls at both ends. It’s heavy duty and doesn’t fall over no matter how it is shaped, with no sharp edges that may harm babies. Sturdy metal-made, simple use, 30” tall and can be expanded up to 19 square feet play space when adding extension kit, this is the most versatile playpen ever.

Friendly Toys Little Playzone

Best Entertainer Playpen

Friendly Toys Little Playzone with Sounds & Lights

Colorful spinning balls, toy phone and musical keyboard –this is all-in-1 fun space for baby. The gate are hollow plastic (but rather sturdy) and easy to put it together. The walls are not scoot around or break easily, even on the carpet. We love the large area of almost 13 square feet (46”x46”) and can be add more block to expand size –It’s big enough to get inside and play with baby in his Playzone. The door is fantastic work; it allow to open from outside. This playpen is rather cumbersome to take to the trip, but do its best as a play gate for the crawling baby with no tears.
Plus, You can expand more 29” play space by adding extension kit (sold separately).

Joovy Room2

Best Stylish for Everywhere Playpen

Joovy Room2 Portable Playard

10 square feet  (37.5” x 37.5”) big space that can easily folded to travel with. The aluminum frame, that can be folded like a umbrella, make this Joovy Room2 very safe, strong and durable. We also love 100% cotton sheet that make it more comfortable. The color and modern design and sophisticated color go well with home decor. This may seems quite heavy to carry, but it comes with quality carry bag that make easy to carry. Great quality, and absolutely worth the price.

Versatile Play Pen Large (16 pieces)

Best Large Play Space

Versatile Play Pen – Large size (16 pieces)

If all you need is ‘huge’ playground for crawling babies which isn’t look too alike a gate (yes, for your baby, his sibling, nephew and you!), never miss this Versatile play pen. For about 7 square feet (84 1/2″ x 85 1/2”), this is the biggest playpen available on the market! Both daddy and mommy can stay and play with baby with no crowed! The plastic blocks are insanely easy to assemble and can be flexibly shaped whatever you want. Everything is basic, but practical. This quite expensive, but great for them all.

Interesting Products:

While those playpen above are in our best list. Yet, there are some interesting models worth for considering:

6 7 8 9
North State
Superyard Colorplay
Summer Infant
Secure Surround
Dream On Me
Combi Jazz Sport

For parents who prefer the ‘highly’ sturdy playpen, metal gates-style play yard is the good solution, as it’s strong, useful and simple, with no ages restrictions. This classic version of playpen can also help save more money when compare to others.

The well-known brand among baby safety gates is North States Industry. The 2.North State Superyard 3-in-1 is in our best list for its full-function and  flexibility –playpen & safety gates. However, if you’re looking for a simple one 6.North State Superyard Classic XT (26” high and 34.4 square feet), is also a wise choice, which comes with cute & colorful look. Another popular model is 7.Sumer Infant Secure Surround (30” tall and 18.5 square feet).

If you’re looking for portable playpen (like Graco Totbloc and Joovy Room2), which breeze to take around your home, 8.Dream on me Full-size bed and 9.Heaven Play yard are interesting models, but quite smaller when compare to our top-rated items.