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11 best changing mats to help make new nappies less stressful

We tried baskets, anti-roll designs and accessories for changing on-the-go

Sarah Young
Thursday 24 February 2022 17:27 GMT
Easy-clean models were a must, but we awarded points for style too
Easy-clean models were a must, but we awarded points for style too (The Independent)

As a parent you spend a lot of time changing nappies – as many as 10 or 12 times a day for young babies – so it’s important to ensure you have all the necessary tools to help make the process as stress-free as possible.

Whether you’re at home or out and about, a changing mat is essential to getting the job done as quickly (and with as little mess) as possible, while also ensuring your baby is safe and comfortable.

But, what exactly should you be looking for? One of the most important things to consider when choosing a changing mat is how easy it is to clean, so make sure to opt for either a wipe-down version or one you can pop in the washing machine.

Size also matters. If you’re planning to place your mat on a changing table or dresser, check the measurements before making your purchase, or if you’re planning to use it for travel, you’ll want to make sure you opt for a more compact design that can be folded down.

How we tested

In order to find the crème de la crème of changing mats, we put a range of different types to the test, from travel-friendly ones that are convenient to use on the go, to basket versions that promise to complement your nursery.

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We considered everything from cushioning levels and safety features to portability, how easy they were to clean and cost, with extra points awarded for stylish design.

The best changing mats for 2022 are:

  • Best overall – The Gilded Bird wildlife wedge mat: £30,
  • Best changing basket – Avery Row seagrass baby changing basket: £65,
  • Best anti-roll mat – Shnuggle squishy baby changing mat: £49.95,
  • Best stylish design – Mabel & Fox x Abel & The Label changing mat: £31.99,
  • Best for travel – Tiba + Marl Etta changing clutch: £45,
  • Best budget changing mat – Jojo Maman Bébé changing mat: £14,
  • Best for portability – Little Dutch comfort changing pad: £19,
  • Best mat with a pillow – Mamas & Papas welcome to the world luxury changing mattress: £36,
  • Best for storing changing essentials – Storksak organic change station: £50,
  • Best for boho chic style – Mama Shack changing mat boho palms: £18,
  • Best sustainable changing mat – Mini Rodini violas changing mat: £36,

The Gilded Bird wildlife wedge mat

The Gilded Bird wildlife wedge mat indybest.jpg

Best: Overall

Rating: 10/10

If you want a stylish nursery, your changing mat can actually be a really easy way to add a splash of colour or a fun print, and we love this wedge version for doing just that. An Insta-worthy changing mat if we ever saw one, it’s designed by independent brand The Gilded Bird and, while there are lots of motifs to choose from, this wildlife one is our top pick. In addition to its good looks, this is one of the thickest mats we tried. Made from super dense foam that’s standard for baby mattresses in the UK, your baby will love the extra cushioning during change times and the sides are also a really good height, which helps keep baby positioned in the middle. Despite its chunkiness, the mat is lightweight, making it easy to move around the house, too. Coated in non-toxic PVC, it’s also fully wipeable, making it a breeze to clean.

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Avery Row seagrass baby changing basket

Avery Row seagrass baby changing basket indybest.jpg

Best: Changing basket

Rating: 10/10

This beautiful changing basket is definitely a statement piece, fitting perfectly into the interior of your home as well as being a lovely place to lay your little one. Handwoven from seagrass, the basket is sturdy with raised sides to help keep your wriggly baby in position, and it also features thick handles for extra durability. It’s worth noting that you’ll need to invest in a basket liner, too. Sold separately, there are plenty of colour and print options to choose from including a neutral woodland walk design (£20, and this elegant peaches motif (£20, Whichever you fancy, all of Avery Row’s liners feel luxuriously soft as they’re made from organic cotton and feature light padding with a quilted texture for extra comfort and support. They’re also machine washable, making accidents or spillages easy to remedy. It may not be the most affordable option, but once your little one no longer needs it for nappy changes, we think the basket would make for great storage of blankets and toys, or even laundry.

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Shnuggle squishy baby changing mat

Shnuggle squishy baby changing mat indybest.jpg

Best: Anti-roll mat

Rating: 9.5/10

A changing mat like no other, the Shnuggle squishy is made from a slab of soft, non-toxic and baby-safe PU foam that’s warm to the touch, so there’s no need to put a towel down first. A lot of thought has gone into this design as it not only has a waterproof and wipe-clean surface, making it extremely hygienic with no nooks or crannies for dirt to gather, but it also has an elevated head to help reduce colic and raised sides to prevent baby rolling off. While it’s not the most cheery mat on our list, it’s a great option for minimalists or those looking for something something versatile – we think it’s ideal to use for a spot of baby massage, too.

  1. £49 from
Prices may vary
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Mabel & Fox x Abel & The Label changing mat

Mabel & Fox x Abel & The Label changing mat indybest.jpg

Best: Stylish design

Rating: 9/10

Created in collaboration with illustration-led lifestyle brand Abel & The Label, this mat is covered in a colourful ocean print and would make a great addition to an under the sea themed nursery. However, there’s more to this mat than just its stylish design. It has a padded foam base and raised edges, which help your baby feel comfortable and secure. This also means that there are no tricky corners to clean later on and any accidents can be easily wiped clean with warm soapy water. Owing to its popularity, the mat is constantly in and out of stock, but the brand has confirmed it receives deliveries every four to five weeks, so if you do miss out make sure to sign up for email notifications so you can be the first to know when it returns.

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Tiba + Marl Etta changing clutch

Tiba + Marl Etta changing clutch indybest.jpg

Best: For travel

Rating: 9/10

Changing your baby – one of the least glamorous parenting jobs – just got a little bit luxurious thanks to this chic clutch. Delivering eye-catching style for the modern-day parent, it’s ideal for when you need a quick and lightweight solution while out and about as it folds out to reveal a sizeable super soft fleece mat for your baby to lie on, which can also be removed for easy washing. Worried about rooting around for wipes and nappies while your baby is not so patiently waiting? Fear not as this mat has handy pockets where you can store everything you need. Despite its larger size, it folds down easily into a compact clutch bag shape and has a wristlet for easy carrying, making it the perfect travelling accessory that can be kept under the buggy or in the car as an additional changing station. You can pick up the clutch in a number of styles including silver (£45,, embossed faux python (£45,, leopard print (£45, and, our favourite, cream fleece (£45,

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Jojo Maman Bébé changing mat

Jojo Maman Bébé changing mat indybest.jpg

Best: Budget changing mat

Rating: 8/10

If you’re of the opinion that there’s not much point spending a huge chunk of money on something you’re likely to be cleaning mess off daily, this budget option is a great choice. There are no bells and whistles here but if you want a good-quality changing mat for everyday use, then you can’t go far wrong. Foam filled for comfort, the mat has a decent amount of padding that feels spongy and soft with slightly turned-up sides for extra support, and comes covered in wipe-clean PVC for easy cleaning. There’s also a huge range of styles to choose from depending on what you like and, while we tried this ditsy floral design (£14, you can also pick the mat up in bright rainbow (£14,, grey star (£14,, fox (£14, and koala prints (£14, At this price, you could also buy one for upstairs and downstairs, so you’re not dashing about at change time.

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Little Dutch comfort changing pad

Little Dutch comfort changing pad indybest.jpg

Best: For portability

Rating: 8.5/10

If you’re looking for a mat that you can take with you wherever you go, be it on holiday or a trip to the local café, then consider this portable pad that’s guaranteed to help make the dirty business of nappy changing easier to manage. Made from soft cotton, the mat is lightly padded so your baby is comfortable on any surface, and inside you’ll find a number of practical pockets that fit all the essentials like nappies and wipes. It’s also easily folded, even with one hand, and feels nice and compact, making it great for popping in your handbag. Although this is not a wipeable mat, it is machine washable and can even be ironed at a low temperature, should you be that way inclined.

  1. £13 from
Prices may vary
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Mamas & Papas welcome to the world luxury changing mattress

Mamas & Papas welcome to the world luxury changing mattress indybest.jpg

Best: Mat with a pillow

Rating: 8/10

Keep your little one comfy while you change their nappy with this luxury mat. Designed with a thick padded mattress, the cover is made from super soft bamboo cotton with a removable towelling insert in the centre that’s gentle against baby’s sensitive skin, and means there’s no chilly plastic touching their back. We also love that it has a detachable quilted pillow to support your little one’s head, meaning they’ll be cosy and supported when lying down for a change. While a fabric mat might sound like dirty business, the great thing about this option is that the towelling insert and cover are both machine washable, so you can clean it up in a flash. This pink version, which features delicate floral embroidery, is ideal for a girl, but you can also pick it up in grey (£39.20, or blue (£28.90,

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Storksak organic change station

Storksak organic change station indybest.jpg

Best: For storing changing essentials

Rating: 8.5/10

A decent mat can make all the difference at nappy changing time, especially when you’re not in the comfort of your own home, which is why we liked this station from Storksak. Ideal for taking with you on days out, it’s easy to use with one hand as all you need to do is pull open the Velcro tab and give it a shake. In addition to a soft organic cotton lining and memory foam padding, the mat is removable and washable so you don’t need to worry about stains. The standout for us though was just how much you could fit inside this mat, which has external pockets to hold nappies and creams, as well as a built-in wipe dispenser. With so much storage space and the fact it can be attached to your pram using a stroller bar attachment on the handle, it’s a win-win.

  1. £50 from
Prices may vary
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Mama Shack changing mat boho palms

Mama Shack changing mat boho palms indybest.jpg

Best: For boho chic style

Rating: 8.5

If you’re a fan of bohemian interior design, look no further than this offering from Mama Shack, which is covered in a gorgeous palm leaf print in tonal hues, proving that you don’t have to compromise on style when it comes to practical baby essentials. Crafted from nursery grade materials, including a non-toxic fabric cover that’s waterproof and wipeable, the mat has slightly raised edges to keep your baby comfortable and prevent rolling, as well as a generous layer of foam in the centre, which makes it great for use during tummy time, too. While we love this chic motif, the brand has a whole range of stylish designs to choose from that will suit any nursery or living room, depending on where you plan on leaving it lying about, from colourful banana leaf (£18, to mustard spots (£18,

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Mini Rodini violas changing mat

Mini Rodini violas changing mat indybest.jpg

Best: Sustainable changing mat

Rating: 9/10

This changing mat comes courtesy of Swedish childrenswear brand Mini Rodini, which has a playful approach to design and a focus on sustainability, making it a great choice for parents that are both eco and style conscious. Ideal for travel or those short on space at home, the mat folds up easily, features a handy interior pocket and fastens with a single yellow button, which can be a little tricky to secure if you only have one hand free. Incredibly cushioned and soft, it’s made from GOTS-certified organic cotton and upcycled leftover fabric that would have otherwise gone to waste. We also fell head-over-heels for the bold print, which is an original artwork by founder Cassandra Rhodin from the brand’s AW20 collection and has a series of red viola flowers set against a bright yellow background.

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The verdict: Changing mats

The type of changing mat you opt for will largely depend on how and where you plan to use it, but we think The Gilded Bird’s wedge mat is a great all-rounder. We adored the design, which has an almost William Morris look to it, while the super chunky base provides your little one with the ultimate in comfort during nappy changes.

We also have to shout out Avery Row’s changing basket, which is a great option for style-conscious parents, while Tiba + Marl’s clutch is ideal for use on the go.

Voucher codes

For the latest discounts on changing mats and other essentials for baby, try the links below:

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