7 Best Inflatable Baby Water Mats of 2021 (Buyers Guide!)

Our guide to the best inflatable baby water mats can help you find the ideal water mat to enhance your tummy time with your baby, making it both fun and safe. 

If you’re a new mom, you might be wondering about the importance of tummy time and how you can make the most of that activity with your newborn baby. Is it really that important?

According to the Mayo Clinic, tummy time can help your baby develop a strong neck and shoulders. It’s also critical for the development of motor skills. 

Not only have we put together a comprehensive buying guide that highlights features to look for in the best inflatable tummy time water mat as well as the benefits of using it, but we’ve also compiled helpful inflatable baby water mat reviews to make your buying process easier. Check it out!

The Best Inflatable Baby Water Mats Reviews (Editor’s Picks)

Below we have our choices, in no particular order, for the best inflatable baby water mats of 2021. Read through to find detailed descriptions along with the pros and cons of each product. 

1. Splashin’ Kids Inflatable Tummy Time Premium Water Mat

The Splashin’ Kids Inflatable Tummy Time Premium Water Mat is one of the more expensive products on our list, but it often comes with a coupon which helps the budget out a bit. Plus, the company makes sure it uses only the highest quality materials and construction, so the price is worth it.

Heavy-duty PVC construction ensures this mat lasts a long time. Each product goes through rigorous testing, guaranteeing a secure seal and no leaks.

Measuring 26″ x 20″, this is one of our larger mats on our list today. It offers plenty of space so your baby can reach, roll, and stretch as they develop stronger muscles. 

In addition, the fun and bright colors of the ocean scenery are truly captivating for your child. It’s the perfect addition for any baby three months or older who’s starting to explore the world around them. 

This mat comes with several colorful toys in various shapes, including a starfish and a yellow ducky. They serve to keep your baby’s attention and focus as they try to grab them through the mat. It’s the perfect way to splash around without getting wet!

Pros 

  • Excellent for infant development
  • Eye-catching, stimulating colors
  • Easy to set up and fill
  • Large size 
  • Very strong, durable material

Cons 

  • Chemical smell upon opening
  • More expensive brand
  • May experience mold/mildew growth

2. Rabosky Store Tummy Time Baby Water Mat 

Safety is critical when it comes to the philosophy of Rabosky’s baby toys. Their Tummy Time Baby Water Mat uses the thickest PVC materials on the market for quality control while applying only BPA-free, eco-friendly materials. Not only will this mat stay leak-free, but it also actively prevents mold and mildew buildup. 

Measuring 27.5″ x 21.5″, the Rabosky mat is also one of the largest tummy time mats on the market today. This gives your baby more room to explore, play, and grow. 

The design itself is truly gorgeous, displaying an underwater beach theme and featuring fish, mermaids, and other sea creatures. The bright pastel colors are excellent for color recognition and visual development. 

Along with the pictures already printed on the inside, this set also comes with separate dynamic floating toys that you can keep separate or put inside of the mat to float around in the water. Either way, these toys help boost development, giving your baby something to reach for and focus on. 

Pros 

  • Thickest, strongest, and safest PVC material
  • Mold, mildew, and leak-resistant
  • Comes with extra toys for internal or external use
  • Offers more intense color display than other similar products

Cons 

  • May experience a chemical smell when first opening
  • Mat gets too cold for some babies
  • Character stickers come loose after some use

3. SwimSchool Splash Play Mat

Whether your baby is smack in the middle of their tummy time journey or they’ve begun sitting up and exploring just a little more, the SwimSchool Splash Play Mat is the right choice for them. 

The Splash Play Mat is more than just a tummy time mat. While there isn’t enough space for your baby to spend time on their belly, it features a seat and a backrest for them to sit up and see the world around them. 

Ideal for babies 6 to 24 months, you can get some long-term use out of this inflatable mat. It’s a great way to introduce your baby to the water. You can fill the bottom with water for comfort while also tossing some water on top for some outdoor summer fun. 

This mat also features three stackable rings that sit on a post in front of the seat. The multi-colored design is sure to capture your child’s attention, and the rings are great for developing visual and motor skills. 

Since this mat comes equipped with an optional sun protection canopy, you can take it anywhere. Use it in your home, or take it to the backyard, the park, or the beach for extra on-the-go fun and a safe place to play with your baby.

Pros 

  • Fill with air or water for diversified fun
  • Backrest allows baby to sit up
  • Fun, stackable ring toys included
  • Sun protection canopy included
  • Includes a patch for potential tears

Cons 

  • Difficult to blow up without a pump
  • Not enough mat area for tummy time
  • Backrest tears with heavy use

4. Magifire Tummy Time Baby Water Mat

The Magifire Tummy Time Baby Water Mat is one of the best ways for your child to enjoy the sensation of the water without actually getting wet. If tummy time is a difficult period for your baby, you may consider trying out this mat. 

The Magifire mat has some of the highest quality construction seen on the market. It markets itself as 100% leak-proof, having been made from high-quality, BPA-free, non-toxic materials. The food-grade PVC is both safe and secure, leaving parents worry-free. 

The overall design of this product is simply beautiful, showcasing eye-catching colors and shapes of the ocean. It truly brings out a unique experience for your little one, as they can watch the floating characters and begin to recognize certain colors. 

All of that being said, this company offers a 100% money-back guarantee and a lifetime of replacements for defective items. With promises like that, there’s no reason not to give it a try. 

Pros 

  • Food grade, safe, quality materials
  • Excellent for promoting baby development
  • Easy to set up, use, and transport
  • Money-back and replacement guaranteed

Cons 

  • Strong plastic smell upon opening
  • Floating animal often stick to the plastic instead of moving
  • Seam edge can be rough on babies’ skin

5. Gebra Inflatable Tummy Time Water Mat

This water mat brings loads of extra fun into tummy time with its unique turtle shape. While other mats focus on the bring and colorful images inside the mat, this one creates a whole new world for your baby by making its shape a part of the imaginative playtime. 

Gebra boats improve technology to solve all water leakage problems using a .35mm PVC leak-proof screw cap water plug. It also has bettered its seams for longer, worry-free use. 

This inflatable mat is very easy to use. It measures 43″ x 35″ x 2.5″, so your baby has plenty of space to move around. All you have to do is fill the inner ring with water and the outer ring with air, and you’re good to go!

This product passed safety tests with flying colors, and the company offers full refunds and replacements should any quality issues occur. It’s such a bright and easy way to brighten up tummy time for a new experience. 

Pros 

  • Improved quality design to prevent leaks
  • Easy to fill with water and air
  • Available in other animal shapes
  • One of the largest sizes on the market
  • BPA free with safe ingredients

Cons 

  • Emits a new product smell upon opening
  • Difficult to clean
  • Easy for babies to roll off of

6. TIKTOK Tummy Time Water Play Mat

Made by the popular brand TIKTOK, this brightly-colored tummy time water mat is an updated version that’s perfect for babies from 3 to 12 months old. Measuring 26″ x 20″, it gives your little boy or girl plenty of room to practice lifting their head and strengthening their muscles.

Not only does this mat showcase fun sea creatures around the edge, but the water-filled inside offers a clear view as more shapes move as your child moves. It offers an ideal distraction to keep your baby occupied. 

The TikTok mat is made using high-frequency heat sealing, so you can depend on it to stay in one piece and resist leaks. The whole package is also CPC/EN71 security and non-tonic certified. 

This mat also specifically uses 34 different colors in the product, which is proven to help develop hand-eye coordination, color recognition, and visual development. Moms and experts alike can agree that this tummy time mat truly makes a difference. 

Pros 

  • Updated, high-quality materials for long-lasting use
  • 34 different colors specifically help visual development
  • BPA free with non-toxic certifications
  • Easy to fill

Cons 

  • Does not come with instructions
  • Mat can take on an awkward shape if overfilled
  • Toys bunch together inside

7. Powobest Tummy Time Water Baby Play Mat

Coming in last – but certainly not least – on our list is the Powobest Tummy Time Water Baby Play Mat. After seeing all of the other mats on the list, it’s easy to say that this mat looks very similar to the rest. However, we’ve noticed a few things that help it stand out among its competitors.

For starters, this mat is one of the most affordable on our list. While none of these products are going to break the bank, the Powobest brand definitely tops them all in this area.

This tummy time water mat is also 100% BPA-free and uses food-grade, heavy-duty PVC. It’s constructed to be completely leak-proof and tear-resistant while remaining safe for your baby to play on. 

Like the other mats on our list, this model is very easy to fill and use. However, it kicks things up a notch by including an air pump that makes it even easier to pump up with air; no more huffing and puffing to get things started.

Inside, you’ll find tons of colorful shapes, images, and toys to grab your baby’s attention. The ocean scape is the perfect distraction that will make tummy time enjoyable for even the fussiest of babies. 

The Powobest measures 26.5″ x 18.5″ x 3″ and is great for babies 3 to 12 months.  

Pros 

  • Uses completely safe and durable materials
  • Comes with a handy pump for quick and easy fill
  • Affordable price
  • Bright colors and shapes

Cons 

  • Strong plastic smell when first set up
  • Will grow mildew if not properly cleaned
  • Comes in poor packaging

Buyers Guide – Knowing What to Look For

Buying a new product can be a stressful task, but when you’re looking for the best product for your baby, parents can feel the extra pressure. You want to make sure a product is safe, high-quality, and useful, but it’s tough when you’ve never purchased or used it before! 

Our buyer’s guide is your comprehensive roadmap to all things inflatable baby water mats. Read through the sections below to learn more about this product, what to look for, and additional buyer tips.

(You might be interested in reading our article on Best Floating Water Mats)

Benefits of Using Inflatable Baby Water Mats 

There are many different ways to do tummy time. Some babies prefer a soft carpet, while others do better on foam play mats or harder floors. Regardless of your method, the goal is to place your baby on its tummy to play. 

Tummy time itself has many benefits for an infant, such as the following:

  • Prevents flat spots from forming on the baby’s head
  • Promotes the use and strengthening of various muscles: back, arms, shoulders, and neck
  • Establishes a foundation for motor skills like crawling, rolling over, reaching, and sitting up

The above benefits to tummy time listed above are critical enough to make this practice very important. It can help set the stage for many developmental checkpoints to come. Additionally, tummy time is a safe way to keep your baby occupied so you can get minor chores done nearby!

So, it’s equally as important to find a tummy time routine that works for you and your baby. Inflatable baby water mats are one way to accomplish that, and these products pose benefits of their own. 

Easy Use 

Inflatable baby water mats are incredibly easy to use. Unlike some other children’s toys today, they are simple and avoid complicated se tup. Simply fill with air and water, and you’re ready for tummy time! They definitely have a mom-approved design with little hassle. 

Whether you’re a new mom of one or a busy, working mom of several, convenience and ease of use are huge benefits to any product. 

Sensory Stimulation

As we already mentioned, there are several routes you can take concerning tummy time, such as mats and carpets. Inflatable water mats are unique because they offer sensory stimulation in addition to the benefits that standard tummy time offers. 

The water in these types of mats offers movement to the surface your baby is playing on. This movement serves to promote hand-eye coordination as they touch, hit, and push it and see it move under their hands.

Inflatable water mats allow babies to experience the sensation of water without the mess. It’s a cool way to introduce them to the ocean from far away. 

Likewise, baby water mats display tons of bright colors and beautiful scenes that are truly captivating to a baby’s developing eyes and mind. The various colors and shapes promote visual development and color recognition while holding your baby’s attention for longer periods of time. 

Comfortable and Safe

These days, any inflatable baby water mat you will find on the market will be made with safe, non-toxic, durable materials. When you use one of these mats during tummy time, you don’t have to worry about your baby putting things in their mouth or using unsafe products.

Likewise, both the air-inflated portion and the water section are bouncy, cushioning, and soft. Even if your baby slips while pushing themselves up on this mat, they won’t get hurt coming down. The mat offers a comfortable place to lay and explore without injury or harm. 

Drawbacks to Inflatable Baby Water Mats 

Perhaps the only downfall to inflatable baby water mats is that you have to set them up each time you use them. As we mentioned earlier, set up for these mats is incredibly easy. However, it will take more time than it does to place your baby on a foam mat or the carpet. 

Additionally, each time you use a baby water mat, you have to empty it out completely to best maintain the product and its cleanliness. Any extra work during the day can be tough on a new parent, so this is certainly something to consider. 

How to Set Up Inflatable Baby Water Mats 

Setup and use are pretty simple for most inflatable baby water mats. In most cases, the manufacturer will include step-by-step instructions that let you know how to use your specific mat. Otherwise, the general steps are very similar across the board.

When you receive your mat, it will not be inflated. Some mats come with a pump, while others need to be blown up manually by you. 

A standard inflatable baby water mat will have two inflatable sections: an outer ring and an inner tube. The most common way to set up the product is to fill the outer tube with air and the inner tube with water. 

Use the valves on the outer ring to fill it with air. You can either do this by blowing into it, or you can implement an air pump. Once you’ve completed that portion, you can fill the inner tube with water using its valve. You can do this at a sink or a bathtub, depending on how much space you will need.

If your baby mat comes with toys, place them inside of the water section before filling it with water. 

Emptying the inflatable baby water mat is easy too. Simply open the valves and squeeze out the air or water accordingly. Be sure to empty the water portion either over a sink or outdoors to avoid a mess.

After allowing it to dry out, you can easily fold up the mat for storage or to transport it somewhere else.

Using an Inflatable Baby Water Mat with Your Child

Most baby water mats are ideal for tummy time. They are designed to make it more comfortable and enjoyable for your baby, as they add movement and visual aids. While some babies do not like tummy time, many parents have found these mats useful in keeping them entertained while strengthening their neck, back, and arm muscles.

The best way to use your baby water mat is to fill it according to the user’s instructions. In most cases, this means filling the outer ring with air and the inner tube with water, as we mentioned above. Some mats may also come with extra toys that you can put inside before filling with water.

From there, you can simply place the mat in a clean, safe spot on the floor and lay your baby on its tummy facing the mat. The rest is up to your baby! 

(Best Baby Beach Beds, you will find it worth reading)

Appropriate Age Range

Ideally, baby water mats work best for babies ages 3 to 12 months. It’s during this time that babies develop critical skills and strengths and can truly benefit from tummy time. Beyond this age, many babies are beginning to crawl, walk, and explore further. Eventually, beyond 12 months, a baby will leave tummy time behind. 

However, many parents have found that toddlers also enjoy these mats. While they may not lay on them, they will often sit up and poke, smack, and push the mat. The colorful backgrounds and toys might still keep your child’s attention past the 12-month mark.

Be sure to keep an eye on any older child playing with a baby water mat, as they may discover the water plug or puncture the tube with rough play.

Main Features 

Like with any other product you buy, there are a few main features you should keep in mind. Below are some of the specific features that are key in selecting a high-quality inflatable baby water mat. 

Design 

One of the most critical components to finding the best mat for your baby is going to be its design. A lot of parents who decide to use an inflatable baby water mat do so because their baby simply is not enjoying tummy time. A good design is what will turn this crucial developmental tool around.

The design of a baby mat should be bright, fun, and colorful. The goal is to grab your baby’s attention and keep them focused so that they begin to enjoy tummy time. Most water mats display ocean and beach scenes, as the theme suits the water inside.

Additionally, you can find baby water mats that also include extra toys that you can put inside to float around. The movement is more stimulating than a stagnant image. You may also choose to keep these toys on the outside as accessories for tummy time. 

Many mats are specifically designed to include several varying colors and shapes. These details help with cognitive and motor skills. They promote color recognition at an early age and keep your baby reaching for the shapes, which ultimately helps to encourage movement. 

Size 

Each brand that markets an inflatable baby water mat is likely to offer varying sizes. Likewise, each baby is unique and special and may be a different size than the next. The most important thing you can consider is what is best for your baby. 

Mats will range in size from just 26 inches long to as long as 43 inches. The only thing that matters is that your baby has plenty of room to move, roll, stretch, reach, and explore. 

If you’re from a household that has two babies, then you can also benefit from a larger-sized mat. Larger inflatable baby water mats are often big enough to accommodate two babies at once, making it easier on you during playtime. 

Quality

Buying a high-quality product is important throughout all aspects of life. Whether you’re purchasing something for your child or for yourself, you want to make sure it will last longer and give you your money’s worth. 

The best way to ensure your baby’s water mat is high quality is to take a look at the materials that they use. Here are some keywords and phrases to keep an eye out for:

  • Non-toxic
  • BPA-free
  • Heavy duty
  • PVC
  • Thick
  • Double seal

If the product you’re considering using some or all of these words and phrases, there’s a good chance it’s a solid, strong, and well-constructed mat. Not only do you want your mat to last for a long time, but you also want to make sure the elements used are safe for your baby, keeping in mind that babies put almost everything into their mouths.

Tummy time is a daily activity, so it’s essential that your water mat can handle frequent use, cleaning, and even transportation when necessary. Because your inflatable mat will hold water, a durable seal is high on the list of demands. Be sure to look for the words “leak-proof” as well. 

Safety Tips

As with any product made for infants and toddlers, there are a few safety tips you should keep in mind when using your baby water mat. 

Always Watch Your Baby

Any new mom – and even those who are not moms – should know the cardinal rule to having a baby is to always watch them during any activity. Unless your baby is asleep, there should always be eyes on them because accidents can happen quickly.

The same goes for using an inflatable baby water mat. While these mats are considered safe for babies, you just never know what could happen. Always supervise tummy time with your baby. 

Keep Your Mat Clean

Germs are everywhere, and your baby is still developing its immune system. Therefore, it’s critical that you keep your baby’s water mat clean at all times. 

Because baby water mats use water on the inside, it’s important to take proper care after each use to prevent mold and mildew buildup. Luckily, many baby mats are pretty low maintenance and can be cleaned in a breeze.

The best way to get the most out of your baby water mat is to empty it after every use. By doing this, you’re preventing water from sitting too long in one place. 

Additionally, you can also use a pump to remove any leftover moisture and dry out the inside faster. 

You should also wipe down the outer surface after every use and before you let your baby play on it. Basic disinfectant wipes that are safe around infants will do the trick. Avoid using any harsh chemicals, as your baby is sure to lick and bite the mat.

Simply let the mat air dry after you’ve cleaned it, and it will be ready for its next use.

Best Inflatable Baby Water Mats Comparison Chart

Product NamePriceSize (L*W)Recommended ageUnique Features
Splashin' Kids Inflatable Tummy Time Premium Water Mat$26" x 20"6 Months and upHeavy-duty PVC construction ensures this mat lasts a long time
Rabosky Store Tummy Time Baby Water Mat $27" x 21"3-12 MonthsThickest, strongest, and safest PVC material
SwimSchool Splash Play Mat$28" x 28"6-24 MonthsSun protection canopy included
Magifire Tummy Time Baby Water Mat$27" x21"3-9 MonthsMoney-back and replacement guaranteed
Gebra Inflatable Tummy Time Water Mat$43" x 35"3 Months and upBPA free with safe ingredients
TIKTOK Tummy Time Water Play Mat$26" x 20"3-12 Months34 different colors specifically help visual development
Powobest Tummy Time Water Baby Play Mat$26" x 18"3-12 MonthsComes with a handy pump for quick and easy fill

Wrap Up

Inflatable baby water mats are fabulous products that can significantly improve tummy time with any fussy baby. They are fun, bright, and captivating and make developing cognitive abilities and basic muscle strength fun for your child. 

If you’re ready to try something new for your little one, use the guide above and our product selection to get started. Each product listed is of the highest quality, and our information comes from solid experts. This mom-approved product is perfect for new moms, experts, and gifters alike. 

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