Now that you have decided on which pack and play to get, what’s next?
You do not necessarily have to buy the pack n play sheet of the same brand as your playard. So, let’s take a look at which pack and play sheets to go with your playard.
- Are Pack and Play Sheets Necessary?
- Pack n Play Sheets vs Crib Sheets – Are They The Same? Are Pack n Play Sheets Safe?
- Factors To Consider When Choosing The Best Pack and Play Sheets
- #1: Graco Pack n Play Quilted Playard Sheet – Best Overall
- #2: American Baby Company 100% Natural Cotton Value Jersey Knit Fitted Pack N Play Playard Sheet – Best Value
- #3: Cambria Baby – Best for Organic Pack n Play Sheets
- Other Pack and Play Sheets Worth Mentioning:
- How Many Pack n Play Sheets Do I Need?
- Bottom Line
Are Pack and Play Sheets Necessary?
Based on my research and experience, definitely yes.
Pack and plays typically come with a hard thin pad (typically only around 1” thick) at the bottom. It almost looks and feels like a cardboard. That certainly do not look like the most comfortable setup for sleeping.
Pack and play mats are usually vinyl. It has a sticky and plastic feeling, which could be uncomfortable for your little one to nap in. Moreover, babies’ skin tend to be rather sensitive. However, due to SIDS concerns, it is not recommended that you use an additional mattress on the pack and play.
You’d want to cover it with a nice soft fabric so that your little one can fall asleep comfortably.
The vinyl material is waterproof and easy to wipe clean. However, there are still times when you will appreciate an extra barrier to keep the mattress clean or at least to make clean-up easier. Just imagine if your baby is suffering from a stomach flu.
While it’s good that the mat at the bottom of the playpen is waterproof, it can also be really annoying at times. For example, when your baby spits up, nothing gets absorbed. Instead his hair or clothes can get really gross and wet.
That’s why having a pack n play sheet can help with these messy situations.
Pack n Play Sheets vs Crib Sheets – Are They The Same? Are Pack n Play Sheets Safe?
Pack and play sheets are safe if you purchase the right one.
It is important that you use pack n play sheets instead of the regular crib sheets as the dimensions of playpens and regular crib mattress are different. Crib sheets tend to be too big for pack and plays as they are meant for thicker mattresses.
Play yard sheets NEED TO FIT SNUGLY to avoid the risk of the sheets becoming loose, scrunching up and causing risk of suffocation.
Factors To Consider When Choosing The Best Pack and Play Sheets
The dimensions of most pack and plays are relatively standard, but some may be a little different. Do check that the playpen sheets’ dimensions match that of your playpen pad as you would want a good snug fit.
Some fabrics are stretchy enough to fit most pack n plays, but you don’t want them to be too stretchy such that they are loose and unsafe on smaller pack and plays. You also don’t want the sheets to be too tight as that would cause the playard pad to bunch up in the center and not stay flat.
- Comfort and Softness
Just like our own bedsheets, the sheets come in different material and thread counts.
Common fabric materials for most playpen sheets include cotton/polyester blends or cotton. If your baby has skin allergies, do remember to check the labels to ensure that it is 100% cotton.
- Color and Patterns
With such a wide range of designs and colors available these days, you can easily pick one that suits your taste and matches your nursery décor. Of course, some brands have more patterns to choose from, while some only offers plain colors.
The price of most play yard sheets is in the range of $8-20 each. Organic cotton sheets are typically at the higher end of this price range.
#1: Graco Pack n Play Quilted Playard Sheet – Best Overall
This quilted Graco pack n play sheet is a cozier and more comfortable upgrade to the standard plain sheet as it is padded like a thin quilt. It also features elastic all the way around. However, it may not be suitable for babies with skin allergies as the fabric material is a cotton/polyester blend. Also, this graco playpen sheet cannot be used in a dryer to avoid damage and shrinkage.
What we like about the Graco Pack n Play Sheets
The fabric is soft and super quilted, adding a little extra padding to the sticky, hard and thin vinyl pad that comes with the Graco pack n play. It helps make the playard bottom a tad softer and comfortable for your baby, without making it unsafe.
The bedding is still firm, as recommended for babies. The quilted material also does not bunch up as it is sturdy enough and also not too bulky.
The quilted surface also feels warmer, which would be really good for winter months.
Some parents have commented on how pleasantly surprised they were as their fussy sleepers were sleeping better and longer with this quilted sheet.
The quilted Graco pack n play sheets have pockets at the corners and also elastic all around it, just like a regular fitted sheet. It fits tight and snug, so you do not have to worry about the sheet slipping off with the movements from your baby.
It is also convenient to use – easy to put on and take off. It has a water-resistant lining, which acts as a nice barrier between the playpen pad and your baby. (ps. It is not water-proof, so you’ll probably still have to wipe clean the mat in really messy situations. But at least it would be easier.)
Even though there are no fun prints, the quilted Graco pack n play sheets comes in 4 different lovely color – Cream, Stone Gray, Pink and Blue, which can easily complement any nursery décor.
The fabric material is Cotton/Polyester blend. So if your baby is allergic, this is not for you.
Another downside is that it cannot be used in a dryer.
Most of the complaints surround the quilted Graco playard sheets are due to damages after washing and drying, including fuzz balls of pilled materials, shrunken sheet or holes in underside quilting.
IMPORTANT: DO NOT ruin your quilted Graco pack and play sheet by putting it in the dryer!
The heat from the dryer will melt the underside of the fabric. However, if you follow the care instructions, the sheets can still look brand new after several washings. It can be machine-washed (in cold water and no bleach) and tumbled, but do remember to hang dry.
Which pack n plays are compatible with the Graco Pack and Play Sheets?
It is designed to fit perfectly over the vinyl pad that comes with the Graco Pack n Play, with the exception of Quick Connect and the Twin Playard. It is NOT meant for any separately purchased pack and play mattress, which are thicker.
This Graco pack and play sheet measures 27 by 39 inches, so it should fit most playpens, including Baby Trend, Everest and Dream on me.
Pack and play models that are incompatible include Cosco and the Baby Bjorn Travel Crib.
#2: American Baby Company 100% Natural Cotton Value Jersey Knit Fitted Pack N Play Playard Sheet – Best Value
If you are looking for a 100% cotton sheet, the American Baby Company 100% Jersey Pack n Play Sheet is the best value choice. The jersey cotton material is soft, nice and breathable. It also comes in a wide range of designs and patterns. However, the cloth is somewhat thin and you may see through your pack and play mat.
What we like about the American Baby Company Pack n Play Sheets
Many of the cotton sheets that I’ve bought have a somewhat rough and stiff texture. But the American Baby Company 100% Jersey Cotton fabric is really soft and nice for the baby’s skin. It feels just like a t-shirt, and has a warm feel to it.
If you own or have decided to buy a Graco Pack and Play (by now, you would’ve known that Graco is the most popular pack n play), and is needing a cotton pack n play fitted sheets, here’s the GOOD NEWS.
Same as the Graco Quilted sheet, the American Baby Company sheet also measures 27 x 39 inches. So it fits great on a Graco or Chicco play yard.
The material is stretchy. Along with the deep pockets at the corners and elastic trim all around the sheet, the sheet fits nice and snug.
But it has a depth of 4 inches so that as your baby grows older, and you decide to purchase a playard mattress, this sheet can accommodate up to a 3 inch thick mattress.
It is not uncommon for babies to land themselves in dirty and messy situations, so it is convenient that the sheets are very absorbent, and very easy to put on and to take off for cleaning.
There hasn’t been much complaints about the American Baby Company Cotton Pack and Play sheets when it comes to washing. It holds up well in the wash, do not shrink, and stays soft and comfy.
I really love the wide range of cute patterns available. You will be spoilt for choices, with as many as 39 designs! The colors are also soothing and pleasing.
The material is kind of thin, so you might be able to through the mattress pattern.
#3: Cambria Baby – Best for Organic Pack n Play Sheets
The Cambria Baby playpen sheets are made from 100% ORGANIC cotton jersey. You can rest assured that that it is eco-friendly and good for your baby’s health as the sheets are certified by Global Organic Trade Standards (GOTS).
I like that there is a 3/4 inch elastic around the pack n play sheet so that it is strong enough to securely fit a playard measuring 26 by 36.5 inches. The sheets also have enough depth to accommodate 3” thick mattress for most of the popular brands of Pack ‘n Play, such as Graco, Dream On Me and LA Baby.
The Cambria Baby playard sheets come in a set of 2 cute adorable designs:
- Elephant and bubble patterns, featuring pastel, warm gray and white color. This design is gender neutral and blends well with any nursery environment.
- Clouds and sea patterns, featuring mint, gray and white color. Again, gender neutral and soft.
- Clouds and stripes patterns, featuring contrasting gray and white color. This is a more trendy design.
- Tulip and retro dotted stripe patterns, featuring white and pink color.
The sheets are thick and durable, and stands up well to repeated washings. The fabric thickness is 160 gsm, compared to 120 gsm of many other brands.
It is also easy to change and convenient to use as you can just throw in into the washer.
Nothing much to complain, really. I wish it’s softer, but the fabric does gets softer after several washes.
Other Pack and Play Sheets Worth Mentioning:
Graco Pack n Play Playard Sheet
This set of Graco pack and play sheets have pockets to slide the corners of the playard mat in, but they do not feature any elastic. If your baby moves around a lot, you’ll probably have to tuck the sheets in every now and then.
However, this is a good option for those whose daycare wanted non-elastic band sheets.
Like the quilted Graco pack n play sheet, this is also made from a polyester/cotton blend, so it is not suitable for babies with skin allergies.
Linen & Leah Pack and Play Sheets
This is the most expensive playard sheet in our list. The sheets are soft and breathable, made from 100% organic cotton.
What is worth mentioning is Linen & Leah’s focus on SAFETY.
It features a patented safety design – There is an adjustable Velcro strap for a perfectly tight and secure fit over your pack and play vinyl cushion.
How Many Pack n Play Sheets Do I Need?
You’ll probably need at least 2 play yard sheets so that you can switch around when you throw 1 in the washer. However, if your baby often spits up or has reflux, you might need a few more sets to get through.
With a soft fabric pack and play sheet, your baby will be able to nap more comfortable. And it will be easier for you to cope with the mess. One of the most important factors in choosing the BEST pack and play sheets is the right dimension, in order to ensure a snug fit to your playard mat.
Our top choice is the quilted Graco pack and play fitted sheets for their additional padding and comfort.
However, if your baby has skin allergies, you’d want to go for 100% Cotton. The American Baby Company pack n play sheets are the best value option for 100% Cotton, with the widest range of designs and patterns. They fit great on popular pack and play brands, including Graco and Chicco.