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Best changing mat 2023: Keep baby warm, dry and clean during nappy changes

Take the stress out of nappy changes with these changing mats

The best changing mats are an essential and practical bit of baby equipment, but that doesn’t mean they have to be dull. And there are many different styles of mats on the market.

From roll-proof mats to ones that are warm to touch on your baby’s skin, plus ones to take out and about, there are a range of options to choose from. One thing is for sure, though, you won’t be able to do without one!

Below is our round-up of the best changing mats around, chosen to reflect a range of styles and a spread of functionality. There’s also a buying guide to help you pick the best changing mat for you.

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Best changinge mats: at a glance

How to choose the best changing mat for you

When choosing a changing mat, there are a few things to consider. While you might think one changing mat is very much like another, it will quickly become clear that products differ. We’ve covered everything to make choosing a change mat quick and easy.

Why do you need a changing mat?

A changing mat will become part of your essential baby kit. You might even find you want one mat in your baby’s nursery, one downstairs, and another in the changing bag itself… even one at grandparents’ houses.

A changing mat will provide a clean, comfortable surface for you to change your baby on. It will be easy to wipe clean if any spills occur (which they will), and will support your baby while you get down to business.

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What are the different types of changing mat?

There are a few different styles of changing mat. Firstly you’ve got your simple, no-frills foam mat. These are normally covered in a wipe-clean plastic and have a slightly raised edge.

There are also anti-roll change mats, which are similar to the foam change mats. However, they’re often a bit thicker for extra comfort, and they have sides that slope upwards. These will help keep your baby from rolling off the mat. But it’s important you never leave your baby on a changing table unattended, even if you have an anti-roll changing mat.

Changing mats are fairly big. You’re not going to want to chuck one under your arm as you head out of the door. Enter travel changing mats. These folding mats slip in a changing bag easily. They’re thinner than regular changing mats, but often have little pockets to store wipes and nappies too. Most cafés, pubs etc have changing tables, but taking your own travel mat to lay on top of public tables means taking fewer risks with hygiene.

A big nursery décor trend is changing baskets. These baskets are often woven from natural materials and look super stylish. They’re practical too, as you can get a couple of liners and switch them around, and you can wash them to make sure everything is nice and clean.

What are the key things to think about when buying a changing mat?

Take care to ensure your changing mat fits your changing table. They’re not all made to a standard size (we’ve included dimensions in our reviews below). You’re looking for a fairly snug fit, but where you can also slot in some wipes.

Changing mats should be as comfy as possible for your baby. Some mats will be made from materials that don’t feel cold on their backs, and some will come with washable material covers to ensure they don’t get cold. Babies and young children can’t regulate their temperature like adults, so this will help them and make change times less fraught.

Of course, changing mats should be easy to clean. Trust us, accidents will happen. So look for a change mat that’s either wipe-clean or has a removable cover or liner that is washing-machine friendly.

How we test changing mats

At Expert Reviews, we’re aware that you want reliable, impartial reviews, and the best way to deliver on that is to thoroughly test all the products we feature on our pages. With changing mats, this means putting them to use in various scenarios – at home on the floor, on changing tables and when out and about.

To adequately test each changing mat, it’s used for changing a lot of nappies, of different aged children. For newborns, we consider the comfort and support a changing mat delivers, to keep seemingly less-robust newborns warm and safe during changes. For slightly older, wriggly children, safety is a priority, and so we assess how well toddlers fared on anti-roll change mats. In addition, we consider how easy a changing mat is to keep thoroughly clean, and how long they’re likely to withstand daily use without splitting or falling apart.

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The best changing mats you can buy in 2023

1. Olli Ella Reva Baby Changing Basket: The best changing mat for style

Price: £75 | Buy from Mamas and Papas

These changing baskets are everywhere on Instagram, and for good reason. As well as having those sought-after cool, natural Scandi vibes, the Olli Ella basket is incredibly well made. As you would hope for the price tag.

This changing basket will see you through as many kids as you end up having. The basket requires a liner, which is sold separately, but mercifully isn’t too pricey. You can also throw the liner in the wash, and replace it between kids or if it gets a little worn out. The liner is made from organic cotton and feels well made, but is quite thin. You might end up having to put a towel under the liner to provide extra cushioning.

There are several Olli and Ella baskets available, but we loved the contrast between the natural seagrass and the recycled plastic white weave on the Reva. It added a little interest to our nursery. We appreciated that it held our wiggling babe securely as we changed them – as well as all our changing essentials – so everything was to hand and secure.

Key specs – Dimensions: L70 x W30cm

Buy now from Mamas and Papas

2. BabaBing! Flipout Changing Mat Pack: The best travel changing mat

Price: £24.99 | Buy from Boots

We love that this pack has everything you could want on the go. There are pockets for wipes and nappies, meaning you don’t have to scrabble around in the depths of your bag when you’re in a rush. And these pockets open out to reveal a large, wipe-clean change mat that also flips out width ways. This is handy if you have a baby who likes to spread out or if you want to keep all your changing gear off public change tables.

This pack made us feel very organised when we were out of the house with our kids. A real Swiss Army knife of changing mats – as long as you keep it stocked with wipes and nappies!

Key specs – Dimensions: L75 x W50cm (unfolded), L26 x W19cm (folded)

Buy now from Boots

3. Shnuggle Squishy Changing Mat: The best easy-to-clean changing mat

Price: £44.95 | Buy from John Lewis & Partners

This foam changing mat claims to be warm to touch, so more comfortable for your baby. While it’s definitely not as cold during a night-time change, it also feels very plasticy. But that does mean it’s easy to keep clean. There are no little folds or seams that are tricky to wipe clean here, so no matter what befalls you during a nappy change, you’ll be able to wipe it up without fuss.

We liked that it’s slightly raised for babies who don’t like to lie completely flat (thanks, colic and reflux!). This might make for a less screamy nappy change.

So it scores points for hygiene and ease of use, but the shiny grey plastic feels quite institutional.

Key specs – Dimensions: L69 x W45cm

Buy now from John Lewis & Partners

4. Mama Shack Anti-Roll Baby Changing Mat: The best anti-roll mat

Price: £30 | Buy from Kidly

We were impressed with the quality of this anti-roll mat. Other anti-roll mats we’ve tried have torn quite easily, which makes them unhygienic. However, the cover on this one feels durable. It’s also removable, so you can change it when necessary.

We went for the banana leaf design on our change mat, but Mama Shack offers a plethora of different prints for their mats. The colours on the print are vibrant and don’t seem to fade despite cleaning. We also liked the subtle texture of the cover on this mat – it didn’t feel like we had to peel our baby off it after a change, and they didn’t protest that it was cold on their backs.

High sloping sides prevent rolling, but you should never leave a baby unattended on a changing table.

Key specs – Dimensions: L70 x W45cm

Buy now from Kidly

5. Mamas and Papas Dream Upon a Cloud Luxury Changing Mattress: The best changing mat for comfort

Price: £36 | Buy from Mamas and Papas

Adorable with a capital A, this changing mat has a cute smiley cloud pillow. And, yep, it’s pretty plush all round.

We liked the removable towelling mat, as it offered absorbency when spills happened. You can chuck this in the wash – the only downside is there isn’t a spare mat, so you have to use a muslin or towel if the mat is in the wash. Under the mat is a fabric cover, that’s also removable. This meant our baby never got cold on the mat, even when they were fresh out of the bath.

While the pillow is cute, it’s probably most practical for older babies during a change. However, it is lovely for a bit of tummy time. We found this a charming change mat (not a sentence we thought we’d ever write) and liked the functionality of it, too.

Key specs – Dimensions: L78 x W44cm

Buy now from Mamas and Papas

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