Whether you’re at home or on the go, you’ll need to designate a safe place for your baby’s diaper changes. Diaper duty can be quite messy, which is why you may choose to purchase a changing pad.
Using a baby changing pad ensures that your little one has a comfortable and clean surface to lay on while you’re swapping their soiled diaper for a fresh one. In this guide, we cover what to look for in an excellent changing pad while recommending our favorite products of the year.
- Factors to Consider When Choosing the Best Changing Pad
- Top 10 Best Changing Pads 2021
- 1. Best Overall Pick: Munchkin Diaper Changing Pad
- 2. Best Disposable: Peekapoo Changing Pads
- 3. Best Premium Pick: Keekaroo Peanut Changer
- 4. Best Aesthetic Option: Hop Foam Diaper Changing Pad
- 5. Best for Daycares: ECR4Kids Changing Pad
- 6. Best Budget Pick: J.L. Childress Baby Changing Pad
- 7. Best Portable Option: Skip Hop Baby Changing Pad
- 8. Best Foldability: Babebay Changing Pad
- 9. Best Portable Option for Newborns: Lil Fox Baby Changing Pad
- 10. Best Changing Pad Set: Kiddo Vibes Baby Changing Basket Set
- Guide to Buying the Best Changing Pads
- Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)
- Final Words
Factors to Consider When Choosing the Best Changing Pad
As we go through the best changing pads of the year, we’ll cover their features to help you select the best one for your family. Below are some of the most important factors to consider.
Consider the Type
Before making your pick, determine what kind of changing pad best suits your lifestyle and needs.
Stationary Changing Pads
Stationary changing pads are usually secured to the top of dressers and changing tables. They are most commonly found in nurseries and aren’t ideal for travel.
Flat changing pads are flat and cushioned, giving your baby a supreme sense of comfort. They need to be paired up with flat changing pad covers to prevent the cushioned base from getting soiled.
Unlike flat changing pads, contoured pads have padded walls that hug your baby, preventing them from rolling over. Some contoured changing pads are waterproof and can be wiped clean, while others need to be covered by contoured changing pad covers.
Portable Changing Pads
Portable changing pads are perfect for parents who are constantly on the go. However, they can also be used at home and may replace the need for a stationary changing pad — a great option for families who are short on space. Keep in mind, however, that portable changing pads don’t offer any safety features.
Reusable and portable changing pads are easy to use and can be wiped clean using a disinfectant wipe. They’re less expensive than stationary changing pads because they aren’t as luxurious. They fold up into a convenient and portable pouch that can be stored in your diaper bag or clipped onto your stroller.
Disposable changing pads are great for parents who want quick and easy diaper changes. You can throw them into your diaper bag and discard them after each use. We only have one pack of disposable baby changing pads on our list. Check out the Peekapoo Changing Pads if that’s what you’re here for.
Consider the Safety Features
If you choose to purchase a flat or contoured changing pad, it is important to consider their safety features. They should be anchored to your dresser or changing table with a strap, an adhesive, nails, or Velcro. However, an anti-skid bottom may also be satisfactory.
You’ll also want a safety strap that secures your baby to the changing pad. This prevents your little one from rolling over and falling.
Consider the Size and Fit
When choosing the best changing pad for your little angel, you’ll want to consider your baby’s size. Keep an eye on the changing pad’s dimensions to ensure that it’s large enough to support your baby into toddlerhood. You’ll also want to factor in the size of your dresser or changing table to ensure that their sizes are compatible.
Consider the Material
You’ll also want to consider the fabrics that were used to create the changing pad of your choosing. Changing pads can be made of cotton, bamboo, and synthetic fabrics. But while cotton is much more breathable, synthetic materials are easier to wipe clean and are often waterproof. If your baby has sensitive skin, we recommend using a bamboo changing pad liner, like the ones provided in the Kiddo Vibes Baby Changing Basket Set.
Consider the Quality
Your baby will be using diapers for a few years, so you will need a changing pad that can stand the test of time. By choosing a quality changing pad, you ensure that your little one feels safe and comforted throughout their daily diaper changes and growth spurts.
Now that you know which features to consider, let’s explore the best changing pads of the year.
Top 10 Best Changing Pads 2021
- Type: Contoured
- Size: 16’’ x 31’’
- Material: Synthetic and waterproof
If you’re looking for a changing pad for your nursery, the Munchkin is a fantastic option. It is one of the safest contoured changing pads on our list. It has a beveled border, preventing your little one from rolling off of it, and an anti-skid base for extra security. It also has two sets of safety straps: one that attaches itself to the dresser or changing table and one that secures your baby to the pad.
The Munchkin is made with waterproof polyurethane foam, which is durable and very easy to clean. The standard size fits most babies, dressers, and changing tables, and it weighs just under 5 pounds in case you need to transport it from point A to point B.
Since this changing pad comes in the most standard size, you won’t have to struggle to find the right changing pad covers. But, keep in mind that you’ll need changing pad covers with holes so that you can feed the safety straps through them.
One thing to note about the Munchkin is that when you first receive it, it may have a slight plastic smell to it. For this reason, we recommend giving it a few days to air out before using it. The smell should disappear completely after a day or two.
If you’re looking for a changing pad that you can wipe clean, taking away the need for changing pad covers, check out the Keekaroo Peanut Changer instead.
- Lightweight and comfortable
- Has an anti-skid base and two sets of safety straps
- Amazing quality for a very affordable price
- Made with durable and waterproof materials
- Size fits most babies, dressers, and changing tables
- Has a slight plastic smell to it at first
- Type: Disposable
- Size: 23.6” x 17.7”
- Material: Cotton
Disposable changing pads are a great option for parents who would rather spend a little extra money to save on clean-up time. However, since babies go through diapers like it’s nobody’s business, a pack of 50 disposable changing pads may not last you for as long as you’d like. However, this is a small price to pay for convenience.
If you and your baby are constantly on the go, having some Peekapoo Changing Pads will come in handy. You can lay them over public changing stations or any flat surface for quick and easy diaper changes. However, since disposable changing pads do not have any safety features, you need to exercise caution and never leave your baby’s side.
What makes Peekapoo Changing Pads so great is their superior thickness and absorbency. They’re made of cotton and are super thick and soft. They’re also leak-proof, making it easy to fold them up and throw them in the trash without encountering surprise spills.
The Peekapoo Changing Pads are large in width but they might get a little short the more your baby grows. These pads are better suited for newborns and infants who have messier diaper changes. However, you can always combine two of these pads when changing a toddler’s diaper.
The Peekapoo Changing Pads are unscented and come in the color white. This is ideal for spotting poop and pee. All in all, these pads are super practical and easy to use, but in a perfect world, they would be biodegradable, too. If you’re looking for biodegradable, hypoallergenic, and disposable changing pads, check out the Kindersense Changing Pads.
- Thick and ultra-absorbent
- Non-scented and white
- Perfect for travel
- Very large and soft
- A little pricey
- Type: Contoured
- Size: 32” x 17” x 4”
- Material: Synthetic foam and waterproof
The Keekaroo Peanut Changer is more expensive than traditional changing pads — but not without reason. The Keekaroo Peanut Changer doesn’t require the use of changing pad covers, which can easily get soiled and need replacing. The Keekaroo also accounts for less laundry, which is something all parents can appreciate.
The Keekaroo Peanut Changer comes in a standard size and fits over most dressers and changing tables. It weighs about 7 pounds and has a safety strap and contoured walls that keep your baby safe. It’s water and crack-resistant, so it’ll remain plushy and intact no matter how many diaper changes it goes through.
This luxurious baby changing pad has a protective layer that limits the growth of bacteria, providing you with a sterile surface time after time. It’s also slanted, which stops your baby’s waste from sticking to them if they poop or pee throughout their diaper changes.
Keep in mind, however, that since you don’t have to use any linens with this changing pad, its surface can become a little cold during the winter months. To keep your baby comfortable, be sure to supply your nursery with an adequate amount of heat.
Also, you may notice that the Peekapoo can become stained as the months or years go by. This is especially true if you select the grey or vanilla color options.
If you enjoy the components of a foam changing pad but are looking for a more affordable option, check out the Skip Hop Foam Diaper Changing Pad instead.
- Very safe and easy to clean
- Water-resistant and slanted
- Super soft and comfortable
- Has a solid shell that limits bacteria growth
- High-quality product that is built to last
- Doesn't offer any warmth
- Staining may occur on lighter colors
- Type: Contoured
- Size: 31.5” x 18.25” x 2.5”
- Material: Synthetic foam
Traditional changing pads require the use of changing pad covers, which can quickly get soiled, resulting in extra laundry. What we love about the Skip Hop, however, is that it’s made with impermeable foam that doesn’t stain or take on foul smells. It has a toy bar, too, making it easy for your little one to stay put during diaper changes.
The Skip Hop has a safety belt that keeps your baby from rolling over. It also comes with adhesives so you can secure the changing pad to your dresser or changing table. However, since the Skip Hop is a little wider than other changing pads, it’s important to take your measurements before making your order.
The Skip Hop is made with synthetic foam and is quite comfortable. But it isn’t as soft as the foam used in the Keekaroo Peanut Changer. It’s also worth mentioning that since the Skip Hop doesn’t have a slant to it, your baby’s pee and poop won’t slide down the changing pad if they happen to soil themselves mid diaper change.
All in all, the Skip Hop is a fantastic option for parents who are tired of going through changing pad covers like there’s no tomorrow. It’s also a great choice for parents who plan to have a few kids, as it is built to last and doesn’t stain.
The Skip Hop has adhesives, which can limit its mobility. If you’re looking for a changing pad that can be both stationary and portable, check out the ECR4Kids Changing Pad.
- Has a toy bar
- Very safe and sturdy
- Super easy to clean
- Doesn’t stain
- Might be a little too wide for some dressers and changing tables
- Changing pad isn’t slanted
- Type: Contoured and portable
- Size: 28.25″ x 17″ x 5.25″
- Material: Synthetic leather and foam
The ECR4Kids Changing Pad is made of durable synthetic leather and a thick layer of foam. This makes it super comfortable and easy to clean — no changing pad covers are needed.
The ECR4Kids Changing Pad is one of the most durable changing pads on our list. So much so that it’s often used in daycares where it is used to change countless diapers.
If you plan on having a big family or want to start a little daycare of your own, the ECR4Kids Changing Pad is for you. It isn’t as pricey as some of the other options on our list and doesn’t absorb liquids or smells, which is why it attracts first-time parents, too.
The ECR4Kids Changing Pad weighs under two pounds and has a handle that makes transporting it super easy. It has a non-slip bottom and 6-inch sides that prevent babies from rolling over. Its large size can accommodate newborns to toddlers.
Despite its many pros, there are a few issues with the ECR4Kids Changing Pad, like the fact that you can’t select the color of your choice. The ECR4Kids come in blue and red, blue and yellow, or grey and white, but the supplier selects which one to send you. However, you can always try and send them an email if a certain color tickles your fancy, but there are no guarantees.
Most importantly, however, the ECR4Kids Changing Pad doesn’t come with a safety strap.
If you’re looking for a durable changing pad that is easy to clean and has a safety belt, check out the Skip Hop Foam Diaper Changing Pad instead.
- Very lightweight and portable
- Extremely comfortable and durable
- Very easy to clean
- 6-inch sides and non-slip bottom
- You can’t select the color of your choice
- Doesn’t have a safety strap
- Type: Portable
- Size: 19” x 30”
- Material: Synthetic and waterproof
The J.L. Childress Baby Changing Pad has a Velcro enclosure, making it easy to open it up and fold it back up with just one hand. It’s quite large for a portable changing pad and will easily cover the entire surface of a public changing table. Once folded up, the pad itself has a strap that you can slip your wipes through for easy and convenient storage.
If you’re looking for an affordable changing pad that has a nice thickness to it and yet still manages to fold up into a small and compact pouch, the J.L. Childress Baby Changing Pad is for you.
Both sides of the J.L. Childress are made of durable materials. But since the inside is waterproof, you can expect it to feel a little cold when exposed to cold temperatures. Keep this in mind and try and warm it up before placing your little one down for a diaper change.
It’s easy to keep the J.L. Childress clean thanks to its waterproof interior, which won’t stain over time. Unfortunately, the pad does fold on itself, exposing the inside of the changing pad to the outside. To keep things as clean as possible, be sure to wipe both sides down after every use.
The J.L. Childress Baby Changing Pad is also a great alternative to disposable changing pads, like the Peekapoo Changing Pads. Not only is this reusable pad larger and comfier, but it’ll help you save money in the long run while being better for the environment.
- Extra-large portable changing pad
- Very easy to wipe clean and doesn’t stain
- Very durable
- Comfortable padding
- Pad doesn’t retain warmth
- Pad folds on itself
- Type: Portable
- Size: 23.5” x 21.75”
- Material: Synthetic and waterproof
The Skip Hop is a convenient changing pad because it comes with ample storage. You can store your diapers, wipes, and creams in its many pockets, making for a swift and easy diaper change. It has a handle and a snappable wrist strap so you can clip it onto your stroller.
It’s easy to clean and disinfect and can be packed up with just one arm. The changing pad section is big enough to accommodate infants and toddlers, and it’s durable enough to reuse with future children.
When out on short trips, it allows you to ditch diaper bags and opt for a handy clutch instead. On longer trips, you can unzip the changing pad from the top half and slip it into your diaper bag to save on space. When fully loaded, the Skip Hop can get a little bulky hence why separating it from its pouch is so practical.
The changing pad itself isn’t super thick or luxurious, but it isn’t cheaply made either. But that’s to be expected since the Skip Hop is a two-in-one option, so the changing pad may lack comfort features when compared to a stand-alone changing pad like the Babebay. The Babebay offers a larger surface area and has a padded pillow for head comfort.
The supplied wipe holder doesn’t close properly, which can cause your wipes to dry out, but the bag itself is big enough to hold a pack of wipes, so that’s an easy fix. All in all, Skip Hop has made a stylish and practical changing pad that is perfect for busy moms and dads. It’s a one-stop-shop for diaper changes.
- Can replace the need for a diaper bag
- Large changing pad with lots of storage
- It has a handle and a snappable wrist strap
- Easy to clean and durable
- The wipe holder may not close properly
- The changing pad is a little thin
- Type: Portable
- Size: 27” x 22”
- Material: Synthetic and waterproof
If you’re looking for an affordable and reliable portable changing pad, the Babebay is an excellent option. Unlike some portable changing pads, which can be difficult to fold up with one hand, the Babebay folds on itself with ease.
The Babebay Changing Pad has a padded foam pillow for head support. It also has a good amount of padding, ensuring that your baby will feel comfortable. Despite its thickness, the Babebay folds into a compact pouch for easy storage.
It’s made of synthetic and waterproof materials that are very easy to clean. However, since this changing pad is in the shape of a plus sign, fussy babies may reach out their legs and arms to touch uncovered areas, which isn’t ideal if you’re using it in a public space.
The Babebay is very affordable and has a nice texture to it. Unfortunately, its patterns are prone to peeling off over time. After wiping it clean, give it time to dry before folding it back up. Doing so will stop it from sticking together and peeling.
If you’re looking for a changing pad that you can use on the fly, the Babebay Changing Pad has got you covered. However, if you’re shopping for a portable changing pad that you can use exclusively, we recommend siding with something a little more durable, like the ECR4Kids Changing Pad.
- Folds up easily
- Easy to clean
- Padded pillow for head support
- Pattern may fade or peel the more you use it
- Doesn’t offer complete coverage
- Type: Portable
- Size: 23.5” x 13.5”
- Material: Synthetic and waterproof
The Lil Fox Changing Pad doesn’t replace the need for a diaper bag, but it’s got two large pockets that make it possible to store extra wipes and diapers. You can load it up and store it in your car for those unexpected diaper changes. It’s small enough to slip into your diaper bag or onto your stroller. However, keep in mind that the more you load it up, the bulkier it will become. This can make it a little difficult to close.
The Lil Fox is made with synthetic and waterproof materials, making it easy to wipe clean after each use. It has a good amount of padding to it and includes a built-in memory foam pillow so that your little angel feels safe and comfortable no matter where you choose to change their diapers.
The Lil Fox Changing Pad has a stylish look to it. It has a handle which makes it easy to carry it from point A to point B. It’s a great option for traveling parents. It’s also built to last so you’ll be able to use it with more than one child. However, since the pad itself is quite short, your little one may grow out of it within the year. For this reason, we recommend using this pad with newborns and infants instead of toddlers.
If you’re looking for a portable changing pad that offers a wider and longer surface area, check out the Skip Hop Baby Changing Pad. The Lil Fox and the Skip Hop share many of the same features but the Skip Hop is long enough to last your baby until toddlerhood.
- Has 2 large pockets for easy storage
- Comfortable surface with a memory foam pillow
- Easy to clean and fold
- Pretty bulky when fully loaded
- Babies quickly outgrow the length of the pad
- Type: Portable and flat
- Size: 27.5” x 13.5”
- Material: Synthetic waterproof foam and bamboo
The Kiddo Vibes Baby Changing Basket Set easily fits on top of dressers and changing tables. It has two large handles making it easy to transport your little one from room to room. It’s made with quality materials, like bamboo, which is ideal for babies with skin sensitivities.
If you’re setting up your nursery and want a simple yet beautiful basket that comes with machine-washable covers and a comfortable foam pad, the Kiddo Vibes Set is a fantastic option for you. The pad is waterproof so it’ll remain in good condition no matter how many diaper changes it goes through.
Despite its beauty and high quality, the Kiddo Vibes Changing Basket isn’t decked out when it comes to safety features. While the basket’s height can prevent your baby from rolling out of it, it lacks safety straps as well as an anti-skid base.
It’s also important to note that the Kiddo Vibes Basket is designed to accommodate babies who are under a year old. Babies may outgrow this basket before they outgrow their diapers.
If you’re looking for a stationary changing pad that has an anti-skid base and two sets of safety straps, check out the Keekaroo Peanut Changer instead. It doesn’t require the need for pad covers and is big enough to accommodate your little one into toddlerhood.
- Beautiful basket that is very durable
- Very comfortable and soft pad
- Bamboo fabric is good for babies with sensitive skin
- Doesn’t have any safety straps
- Doesn’t have an anti-skid base
- Too short for toddlers
Guide to Buying the Best Changing Pads
Since a baby’s life consists of sleeping, eating, and filling up diapers, it’s no wonder that parents seek to set up their diaper changing station before their baby is born. In this guide, you’ll find the answers to some of the most frequently asked questions and much, much more.
Do You Really Need a Changing Pad?
Changing pads aren’t necessary as you can easily change your baby’s diaper on a bed, table, couch, or floor. In the end, it all depends on your preferences. However, there are a lot of perks to owning a changing pad — be it a portable, disposable, or stationary one.
- Changing pads provide a clean, safe, and comfortable surface for diaper changes — be it at home or on the road.
- They stop your baby’s pee and poop from spilling onto hard-to-clean surfaces.
- Changing your baby’s diapers on a dresser or changing table prevents you from straining your back.
For more information on the difference between portable, disposable, and stationary changing pads, check out our Mini Buyer’s Guide.
How to Set Up Your Stationery Baby Changing Pad
Your baby’s safety is of utmost importance, which is why choosing a stationary changing pad that offers both comfort and safety features is key. Luckily, setting up a stationary changing pad is a straightforward process. However, be sure to read the instructions supplied by the manufacturer as well, as some extra steps may be needed.
- Secure your changing table or dresser to the wall using furniture anchors, as shown in this video. This baby proofing step is essential because it prevents your furniture from toppling over.
- Once secured, remove your changing pad from the packaging and wipe it clean using the disinfectant of your choice. Give the changing table or dresser a good cleaning, too.
- Secure the changing pad to the dresser or the changing table. There are a few ways to do this: Velcro, straps, nails, and adhesives. Alternatively, some changing tables opt for a non-skid base instead of these added security features. Be sure to read the provided instructions manual to ensure that you secure the changing pad the right way.
- Once the changing pad is all set up, test its abilities by giving the changing table or dresser a little shake. The changing pad and dresser shouldn’t move, indicating that it is a safe and stable spot for your baby to lay on.
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)
What Is the Best Changing Pad?
The Munchkin Diaper Changing Pad is one of the best changing pads on the market. It’s large enough to fit your baby until toddlerhood and has two sets of safety straps. We find the Munchkin Changing Pad to offer amazing value for a very affordable price.
We also love the Keekaroo Peanut Changer. It has many of the same features as the Munchkin. However, the Keekaroo can be wiped clean and doesn’t require the use of pad covers, which need to be washed in the washing machine after every use.
What Is the Best Portable Changing Pad?
The J.L. Childress Baby Changing Pad is an inexpensive and durable portable changing pad that offers your little one plenty of comfort. It folds up into a small pouch that won’t take up much room in your diaper bag. The J.L. Childress is simple and easy to use. It’s also very large so your baby won’t outgrow it.
If you’re looking for a portable changing pad that offers extra storage for your diapers and wipes, we recommend looking into the Skip Hop Baby Changing Pad instead.
How Many Changing Pad Liners Do I Need?
Two to three pad liners are more than enough — just throw one into the wash when it gets soiled and replace it with the other one. Keep the third one aside in case you encounter two explosive diaper changes in a row.
When shopping around for pad liners, take the type of changing pad you own into account. Flat changing pads require flat pad liners, whereas contoured changing pads require fitted pad covers. You’ll also want to consider whether or not your changing pad has a safety strap for your baby, as you will need a liner that has holes that you can fit the straps through.
If you’re looking for a changing pad set that includes both the changing pad and pad liners, check out the Kiddo Vibes Baby Changing Basket Set.
There are loads of baby changing pads to choose from, which is why considering your needs, as well as your baby’s needs, can help you narrow down the search. Ultimately, you want a changing pad that is safe, comfortable, and easy to clean and transport.
You may also consider its size and flexibility, which can make it easier to store inside of your diaper bag alongside your other diaper-changing tools. We hope our guide has helped you find the best changing pad for your family and wish you many quick and easy diaper changes.